She’s dreaming of checking the last to-do off of her list, setting her OOO, jet-setting somewhere new with her vacation outfits in tow, and laughing over mimosas at brunch with her closest girlfriends. Who is she? It’s me. It’s you. It’s all of us. Because let’s be real, we could always use a girls’ trip.
Scottsdale? Palm Springs? Wine country? Where do we even begin? As endless options and preferences start rolling into the group chat, we are faced with the not-so-great process of planning a trip. Trying to navigate the logistics of a girls’ trip isn’t easy—no matter how many girls are going or how hard we try to keep the peace—but there are a few things we can (and should) keep in mind when we are planning that can save us from unnecessary tension and, god forbid, ruined friendships.
Since I have a girls’ trip planned in one month (!!) and there have been zero friendship casualties, I have a few pieces of sound advice to offer on this topic that I recommend everyone keeps in mind when planning a trip with their girls:
Set a goal for the trip
Do you want to plan a jam-packed itinerary to see and do #allthethings or do you want to get in as much relaxation time as possible? There is nothing worse than going on a trip and feeling like you didn’t get out of it what you wanted, so by deciding on the goal of the trip as a group first, everyone will be more aligned with their suggestions for what to do and more importantly, their expectations for how the trip will go. You wouldn’t suggest an all-inclusive if your goal was to dine out regularly and enjoy the foodie scene, right? So set a goal early on to get everyone on the same page.
Decide on a budget
Money plays a big role in friendships, and as awkward as it may be to bring up, being upfront about what you feel comfortable spending is a crucial part of the process when you’re planning a trip. Whether we like it or not, the budget for the trip will ultimately determine where you will go and what you can do together, and if it’s not discussed, it’s likely that there will be girls in the group that feel more stressed than excited about the trip. Set a realistic budget so everyone knows what to expect and can plan accordingly. Budgeting tip: Keep the goal of your trip in mind. If you plan to have a busy schedule sight-seeing, you won’t be spending much time in the hotel room, so you can save money on the hotel by staying somewhere that is more affordable.
Create a few options
It’s important to set the expectation that not everyone has to do everything. This is especially important with a big group. For example, if a few girls want to go hiking and a few girls would prefer to book a class at a boujee pilates studio, that doesn’t mean it has to be one or the other. Don’t be afraid to separate for activities and come back together for brunch! While I wouldn’t recommend doing this every day (you’re supposed to be spending time together after all!), it is helpful to plan a few similar but different activities scheduled at the same time so no one has to do something they really aren’t into. And with that said, count me out for hiking.
Make flexible plans
IMO, having no plan is just as bad as having too strict of a plan, but I’m willing to bet that you have a few go-with-the-flow gals and a few thrives-off-of-a-plan gals in your group. To satisfy both, set a flexible plan for each day that will create some sort of structure but nothing that feels rigid. I always recommend planning for one or two activities (depending on how much of the day they will take up) and one restaurant per day, leaving enough time in between each of them. While it can be tempting to try to fit a lot in with your girls, trying to do too much can be overwhelming and exhausting for everyone. You can still make the most of each day without a rigid timeline. Plus, this creates time for naps if needed, and everyone loves (and needs) a vacation nap.
Keep an open mind
Read carefully: Plan to change plans. Plan to do something you didn’t expect to. Plan to stay longer somewhere and have to skip whatever was supposed to be after it. Plan to stumble upon something you didn’t expect and be so glad you did. You can plan your trip down to every last detail and it not be anything like you expected it to be by the end of it. But if you keep an open mind through it all, it can end up going better than you could have imagined in the first place. You are more likely to make the very most of every second you have with your girlfriends if you allow yourself to not overthink the details, the plans, the timeline, etc., and trust me, you will make a lot more memories that way anyway.