I don’t love traveling with my husband. There, I said it. Judge me if you will, but it’s the truth. I’d much rather travel with my girls, my squad, my peeps – any day, any time. I’ve had some epic Girls Trips and I plan on having many, many more. But let’s talk about planning a Girls Trip. Keeping everyone happy can be a challenge. I’m going to share some tips to help you plan your own epic Girls Trip and keep everyone on speaking terms after the trip has ended.
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Where to Go and When to Go
If your group is going to have a hard time coordinating dates then figure out a time that works for everyone first and then choose your location. Why? Well if everyone’s availability happens to be January, then you probably don’t want to head to Colorado (unless you’re planning a ski trip) or Seattle (unless you enjoy rain). I’m from Minnesota so if I’m going on a trip in January it better be somewhere warm and sunny!
On the other hand, if people’s schedules are more flexible then figure out an awesome destination and the best time to visit. This is what my friends and I did when we went to New York City. We all decided we wanted to go to NYC and we thought Fall would be a great time to visit. It’s less busy (kids back in school) and not as hot as going in the summer.
Discuss a Budget
Is this going to be a budget vacation or a luxurious getaway? If you’re like me – probably somewhere in between. And really everyone has a different idea of what budget or luxury looks like so it’s best to be open and upfront about it from the get-go. Once you have a budget hammered out, you can start looking at accommodations and decide if you’re going to hotel it or stay in an Airbnb. When I was in New York City there were only four of us so we stayed at a hotel, but it was a little bigger with 2 queen beds and a pull-out couch. We also had a snack bar with stools and an extra sink, which is super-handy when four ladies are trying to get ready in the morning.
Is this going to be a relaxing, sleep till 10 am kind of trip or balls to the wall, up early seeing #allthethings kind of trip? I would highly recommend discussing this before you leave because if people are not on the same page, it’s gonna get ugly! To be honest, I usually prefer a little of both and it also depends on the location. For example, if I’m going to an all-inclusive in Mexico then I’m probably going to take the relaxing, sleeping in, drinking all the mojitos option. When we went to New York, it was more balls to the wall, let’s do it all, but we all knew that going in so it was fine.
Planning and Research
First off, I highly recommend several planning lunches or dinners because it’s just part of the fun! Depending on your destination, the planning could be simple – beach day with mojitos, pool day with mojitos, spa day to detox said mojitos. But if you’re going to see the sights and do the things, there could be a lot more decisions to make. When we went to NYC, I had everyone make their Top 10 list of what they wanted to see and do. Then we all got together (planning lunch!) to compare notes. Luckily, we all had most of the same things on our lists – except one friend was disappointed to find out she was the only one who watched Sex and the City and wanted to do a tour to see filming locations (and ironically, we had a Kim Catrall encounter, but that is a story for another day). We also decided that each person could pick one activity that we would all do – even it wasn’t on everyone’s list.
If you’re going to be doing lots of activities, I’d suggest researching ahead of time to find out things like cost, do you need reservations, best times to do the activity, where is the activity, etc. You get the idea. It can be a lot of work so divide and conquer. When I went to New York with my girlfriends, I was working as a travel agent. However, I didn’t want to do all the planning for this trip so we made our list of things to do and then split them up, giving everyone a few things to research and report back on (another planning lunch!). This worked great and luckily my friends didn’t expect me to do it all.
Create an Itinerary
Again, if this is a relaxing getaway, you probably don’t need a rigid itinerary or any itinerary for that matter. But if you’ve got a big to-do list, then you might want to have some sort of schedule, especially if you need to make reservations for activities ahead of time. I’ll admit – I’m a planner. Not having a plan makes me anxious, but I’m not afraid to deviate from said plan if I need to. I actually made a fairly rigid plan for us when we went to New York, but it was mostly for me. I was in charge of researching transportation so I tried to group our activities based on location. I was really nervous to show my friends the itinerary because I didn’t want them to think I was the trip-Nazi, but they actually loved it. They enjoyed not having to think about logistics and when we were doing what activity.
It’s traveling – $hit happens. Yes, I like a plan, but you have to be willing to go with the flow when you travel. I consider it part of the adventure. You’ll get lost, things won’t go as planned, weather doesn’t cooperate – just roll with it. And yes, our New York itinerary did change. We had to move things around due to weather. We got on the wrong subway a few times. We also did things that weren’t on the schedule and they were awesome!
And most importantly – HAVE FUN! Enjoy this time with your girlfriends and make some memories that you can talk about for years to come.
If you’d rather leave all the planning to a professional, Laurie2 can definitely help you out.
Do you have any tips to add? Where did you go on your favorite Girls Trip? Let us know in the comments below.