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9 tips for planning an epic girls getaway

Suggestions and recommendations so your girls getaway is an amazing one.

Ladies, have you ever done a trip away with your girlfriends?  I’ve done loads, and, as much as I enjoy travelling solo or with Liebling, there’s nothing quite like spending time away with the girls.  Even though these jaunts can be a pain to plan and execute,  I think they’re the perfect way to combine wanderlust with good old female bonding. The benefits make the hassle so worth it!

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But clearly a group trip of any nature doesn’t come without its snags. In my last article about group trips, I talked about how conflicting schedules, differing personalities, and mismatched budgets and expectations can throw a wrench in what would otherwise be the perfect vacation. I then offered tips on how to navigate these issues.

However, those tips were more general; in this post I wanted to offer suggestions more specific to travelling with your girlfriends.

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Squad goals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

And so, here’s my take on how to have a great girls getaway filled with discovery… and devoid of drama.

1. Make it collaborative

There’s no quicker way to hurt feelings and infinite side eye than when people feel decisions are being made for them, or when those doing the lion’s share of the organizing feel as though they are being exploited.  So from pinning down travel dates to researching activities and lodging, all parties should be involved, aware, and have a say in planning your girls getaway.

Create a Google Doc or profile on Travefy that allows for collaborative planning; assign roles and tasks in the early stages so everyone knows what they’re responsible for organizing/booking/researching. Then check in with each other periodically. Teamwork makes the dream work!

2. Discuss goals and budgets for the girls trip

Is this girls trip about the party party (i.e. the #turnup) or relaxation?  Will this be a lavish girls getaway (#poppingbottles) or one where you’re constantly keeping an eye on your wallet? Make sure budgets and interests align, figure out how payments for activities/dinners/accommodations will work, and make sure that each lovely lady gives her blessing before any big ticket purchases or commitments are made.  Also keep in mind that while this is a group trip you don’t necessarily have to do everything together.

3. Coordinate packing so your squad’s outfits are on the same level

Even though you’re beautiful just the way you are, there’s nothing worse than feeling like the ugly duckling in a group full of swans.  For this reason your girl group should make sure everyone’s on the same page with regards to wardrobe.  Trust me on this.  Nobody wants to show up for a night out in ripped jeans and flip flops when the rest of the crew is dressed to the nines! A little chat amongst friends with regards to clothing goes a long way.

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Serving headwrap realness with my ladies in Chiang Mai, Thailand

4. Cut down on luggage: by creating a group packing list

I hope I don’t sound sexist when I say that us ladies have a greater propensity for overpacking than men, but this has been 100% true in my experience. In order to remedy this, I propose leaving most of your hardware at home. Instead ask each gal in your getaway group to bring beauty products you can share (think body lotion,  shampoo, facewash, those pesky hair straighteners and/or curling irons).  The same goes for electronics: do all SIX of you need to bring your own laptop? Really?! Think about it. There’s also no need to stock up on heavy books and magazines– one each will suffice since you can trade when you’re done reading. After all, sharing is caring!

5. Create a Whatsapp group so you can share photos (and keep track of everyone)

Again, not to be sexist, but in my experience, us ladies tend to loooove our photos, and we take even more than usual on a girls getaway. Ergo, instead of making some poor passerby snap your squad pics with 18 different cameras, figure out who has the best camera in your group, use that device for the majority of your images, and have that person/those people share them in a Whatsapp group you would have created in advance of the trip.  That way, everybody can easily procure the pictures…and upload their faves to the ‘Gram *wink*. And yes, Whatsapp groups are also great for keeping abreast of everyone’s whereabouts throughout the day.

6. Establish a “girl code” for when you go out

“Mates before dates?” or every (wo)man for himself herself? If there are single gals in your group you should definitely discuss the rules of engagement before heading out for a night on the town– particularly the sleeping arrangements should your roomie with meet someone they’re interested in bringing home. In the event that heavy drinking is involved, also be sure to determine who will be designated driver/sober voice of reason. Safety first!

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On a night out last month on a girls getaway in St. Lucia

7. Be flexible, especially with timing

With any group trip my recommendation is to only schedule one to two major activities a day— try as you might to achieve expediency, you WILL move more slowly. Alleviate the stress of rushing (and friction between the “tortoises” and the “hares” of your girl group) by planning an itinerary that leaves time and space for all eventualities.  Save the hectic pace for travelling on your own– girls getaways are about taking it easy.

8. Schedule at least one dedicated bonding session

It’s easy to get caught up in the rapture of travelling and forget that spending quality time with your besties is the reason you planned a girls getaway in the first place.  Whether it’s a shopping trip, cooking class, spa day, or hotel room turn up-cum-slumber party, make sure you pencil in at least one session where you get to bond with your girls without distractions.  

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9. Let it go, let it flow

Despite all efforts, you and your girls are bound to get in a spat at some point during your journey– it’s human nature after all.  The key is to (try t0) not let it affect the overall tone of the trip.  Keep it light, fun, and harmonious whenever possible, because nothing is truly that deep.

Have you ever been on a girls getaway?  Do you agree with my tips?  What would you add?

For further reading, check out my general tips for group travel here: 5 things to consider when organizing a group trip

 

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Neni
    March 28, 2017 at 8:30 am

    I need to adapt the group packing list, that’s so clever!
    And I love your girlfriend pictures you all look so happy and fun 🙂

  • Reply
    Dawn Starr
    March 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Excellent tips!!!

  • Reply
    Sonja
    March 29, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    It’s a great idea but I just wouldn’t … I have way too little travel time as it is. And as much as I adore my gals – we are just WAY too extreme – polar opposites – different. From the junk food junkie to the foodie to my vegan … to the ultra early bird and extreme night owl and then there is the party animal versus me — Oh heck no – been there done that and over it. The risk of spending enormous amounts of my precious and hard won travel time doing the exact opposite of what I would like to do is just wayyyyy to big. I think we’d all end up resenting each other.

  • Reply
    Charlene @SporadicObsessions.com
    April 8, 2017 at 4:24 am

    These are all great tips!

  • Reply
    Karlie
    April 11, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Loved the group packing list idea! Usually I just travel with one or two other friends and ask if they happen to be bringing a hair straightener because one won’t fit into my suitcase. This would work so much better!

    http://thetatteredpassport.wordpress.com

  • Reply
    KA
    April 19, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    This was a really helpful article. Headed to Morocco and Portugal next month with a large group and have barely thought of any of this. My roomie is doing most of the planning because she’s so good it… I should probably ask if she needs any assistance to help take the weight off.

    • Reply
      Oneika
      April 21, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      Yay! Glad to be of assistance!

  • Reply
    Candy Rachelle
    May 22, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    These are absolutely wonderful tips…esp the sharing the group packing list and Whatsapp! Awesome! New follower!

    http://www.keepingupwithcandy.com

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