It is no easy feat to plan a girls trip, especially when it includes busy women. Inevitably, there is a mom involved, which means not only is she restrained by her own schedule, but she’s also limited by those of her kids. And, of course, married women have to consider their spouses’ schedules. Lastly, there are those of us who are single, yet we have full-time careers, side gigs and classes that fill up our time, which also affects our availability.
According to science, taking a trip with your girlfriends is good for your health. However, organizing a handful of strong, successful women to plan a girls trip is about as easy as juggling watermelons. Yet, it is possible. Here’s how my squad does it.
Group Text or Message
Get the group together on one thread (group text or group Facebook message) and start off with a head count. Who’s in? Who’s out? What general time of the year works? Should the trip be domestic or international? Just get the group talking, excited, and kick off planning.
Plan Months in Advance
It’s even better if you can plan a year in advance. You don’t necessarily have to book your travel far in advance of the actual trip, but if you can at least get the conversation going and gather some general ideas as to who can attend and where your group would like to travel, your lives will be so much easier when it comes time to make arrangements.
Listen to Everyone
The whole reason you’re even planning a girls trip is because you love your friends. Listen to them. Validate their ideas. It’s difficult to make everyone happy and fulfill everyone’s travel fantasies, but at least hear everyone out. Every opinion counts.
Don’t Designate All Tasks to One Person
Even if you’re the most organized person among your gal pals, do not try to take on all responsibilities. You will burn out and feel resentful. Everyone should share the load of planning. Ask your friends to help out and delegate tasks.
A girls trip should be relaxing, wonderful, and fun for everyone involved. If there is a lot of talk about traveling to a certain city that you absolutely hate, say so. If the trip is amounting to an expense you can’t afford, inform your friends. The operative word here is ‘friends.’ If you can’t be blunt and honest with them, with whom can you be? They’ll understand. They love you. Be honest. Speak up.
Do Your Research
At certain times of the year, there are specific cities that are super busy or very pricey. As a resident, I can tell you that Las Vegas is super hot in July and August. I would recommend visiting any other month than those. Do your research. Determine the best times to travel to your chosen destination and even which areas of that city are best for your stay, according to the personalities and dynamic of your tribe of sisters.
Use Digital Tools
If you have a Google account, you can easily set up a survey to help your group decide on the details of your girls trip. Most travel sites allow you to easily share URLs to accommodations and/or experiences you need to show your friends for their approval. Venmo simplifies splitting bills and paying your girlfriends for your share of the trip. If the digital tool exists, use it and make your planning easier.
Create some urgency by giving your friends deadlines to vote on vacation time frame, destination, accommodations, etc. There’s always that one friend who doesn’t chime in enough, doesn’t participate in the conversation. Rather than call her out, just set a deadline and keep the planning moving forward.
I, personally, think a girls trip works best when everyone is under one roof. Our squad prefers to use Airbnb for arranging our accommodations, but there are other options and other ways you can all stay together. Living together as a family allows for more opportunities to bond and connect. Cook together. Clean together. Chill together. You’ll find your ties strengthen.
Take Tons of Photos
Candid shots are great, but as part of your girls trip planning, plot some photography time. You will cherish your posed group pics as much as you do your silly ones.
Within all the planning and arranging, keep an open mind. My girls trip this year went from a springtime visit to the Florida Keys, to a summertime stay in Palm Springs, to a Labor Day Vegas vacation (which is a staycation for me, but a trip for them). It can be frustrating when changes occur, but be flexible. The goal of a girls trip is that it happens, that you’re given the chance to be with your friends. That’s the most important thing.
No kids. No spouses. No drama. Enjoy your friends—the family you’ve chosen to have in your life. A girls trip is your opportunity to bask in nurturing, supportive feminine energy. Take full advantage of it. Life is short. Get in as much girl time as you possibly can. Your happiness is dependent on it.