Whether you’re organizing a trip for a dozen sorority sisters or just for you and your best friend, you need to discuss a few things first:
- Budget. If one friend is still getting by on tips while waiting for her big break as an actress, and another is an executive at a dot-com, things can get tricky. You either agree to subsidize for those who can’t afford it or go somewhere she can pay her own way. Be clear about costs and payment arrangements so no one gets crossways.
- Timing. Suggest a few dates and see what works. Summers are bad for stay-at-home moms because her husband will have to take the whole day off work instead of just a few hours. November and December are out of the question for anyone working retail. Be aware of everyone’s constraints.
- #SquadGoals. Do you want to relax and spend your time talking and eating and drinking or do you like a whirlwind of activities and adventure? Decide what kind of trip it will be so the expectations are realistic.
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Someone needs to head up planning. You can delegate tasks, but if one person isn’t taking the lead and making sure everything gets done, things can go south. Things to decide:
Destination. Budget can be a factor when deciding where to go. Flying into Dallas is way cheaper than Phoenix. Hotels in NYC are way more than in Orlando. Some ideas to get you started:
- Asheville, NC. Asheville is a small town but chock full of amazing food and cute shops.
- Charleston, SC. The food and shopping here are amazing.
- New York, NY. Shopping, shows and food.
- Denver, CO. Great nightlife, skiing, hiking and beautiful summers.
- Santa Fe, NM. I had the best margarita of my life here! It’s a beautiful city with so much culture and history.
- Chicago, IL. What’s not to love about Chicago? Maybe the winters but the food and shopping can’t be beat!
- Sonoma, CA. Wine…just wine. All the wine.
- San Diego, CA. Sun and sand and fish tacos!
Accommodations. Think outside of the box. Does anyone live somewhere great? My cousin’s husband took the girls to his folk’s house for the weekend so we could all meet at her house. Some other ideas:
- Hotel. For four or less, a hotel works great. You can stay in the same room and have plenty of together time. Maybe one of you has points so you can get a free night or two!
- Airbnb or VRBO. This is a great option for large groups. Just make sure there are plenty of bathrooms!
- Bed & Breakfast. They are more intimate and comfortable than a hotel.
- Dude Ranch. Seriously, this would be amazing! Riding horses and singing around the campfire? Yes.
- Beach House. Even in the off season, a beach house is great. There is plenty of room and the views are magnificent.
Travel. Is everyone driving or flying? Coordinating airport transportation means you can share an Uber or…a limo!
Food. Getting into hot restaurants may mean making reservations several weeks in advance so don’t wait until the last minute. If you’re staying at a vacation rental, take turns planning meals and everyone can help cook.
You’ve been looking forward to this trip for weeks but how are you going to make sure that you really enjoy yourself?
- Disconnect. As much as you can, disconnect from home. Plan a time for a daily call and make it clear that you won’t be available to chat via text, etc. throughout the day. Leave work at work and don’t bring a laptop. Everyone will make it without you and you deserve this time to yourself.
- Drink the right amount. This is tricky, I know. You want to cut loose but you don’t want to end up in jail. You probably know each other’s “tells.” Like, if I ask for Fireball, it will all be downhill from there. Do not, under any circumstances, give me Fireball. Be a good friend and tuck me into bed!
- Listen. This seems like a given, but it’s not. We all get to talking and then we tend to talk over each other. Try to slow down and make sure you’re listening and that everyone is being heard. If one gal doesn’t like seafood, remind the group that heading out to a fish fry isn’t going to work. Stop yourself from focusing on the next story you’re going to tell and make yourself listen to the story that’s being told.
Whether you have a gaggle of girls from high school or just one bestest friend in the world, get together. Connecting with your friends will renew you and make you a better mom and wife. It also allows your family to miss you a little, which is a good thing. Okay, you have your marching orders: plan a trip!