My husband does not like the beach and he does not like shopping. These happen to be two of my very favorite things so if I want to experience them; I have to take my girlfriends when I travel. Luckily, I have great girlfriends and some family members who are also good friends so it’s not a problem to find travel partners. Making sure those friends are also good travel partners who will provide a fun and stress-free vacation, however, takes a little foresight and planning. Here’s how you can also organize the perfect girlfriends getaway.
1. Choose your travel companions carefully. There is nothing quite like a trip together to really show how much you can get along with your friends. If you have a problem having lunch together and argue over the least little thing, this is probably not a person you want to share a hotel room with for a week. I just spent ten days at three different resorts with my sister-in-law and we never had one disagreement. She is sweet, easygoing and the perfect travel partner. I would travel with her anytime. I have acquaintances who indicate often they would love to go on a trip with me sometime. Believe me, that will never happen with some of them.
2. Talk about money. It’s vitally important to know how much (or at least a general idea) your travel companions have in mind to spend on this trip. Nobody wants to run out of money in the middle of a vacation. If they want to order expensive champagne with dinner, that’s just fine, but if they expect their friends to share the cost, that’s something that needs to be discussed. On a recent trip, I really wanted to spend time at the local outlet mall. My friend really didn’t have money for that on this trip. No problem, I can do that on another trip.
3. Talk about accommodations. If you all want to save money for that big splurge at the outlet mall and agree to stay at an inexpensive hotel, perfect. But if some of the group prefers a luxurious resort and less money spent on shopping, you need to know that in advance. If someone sleeps with a fan (that would be me) or falls asleep with the television on, that’s important information to know in advance. You might want to get adjoining rooms rather than sharing one.
4. Talk about what you are going to do on your trip. Oh, you thought you would spend the entire week lounging on the beach? Too bad, the rest of the group has made reservations for zip-lining. There is no reason every person in the group has to participate in every single activity, but you should talk about what you are going to do so nobody is miserable the whole time. Everyone should understand that every group member does not have to participate in every activity; it’s fine for everyone to do their own thing one day.
5. Make plans and reservations. That fabulous new restaurant you have been planning to visit for six months? Sorry, all booked up. Nothing ruins a trip faster than not being able to do the things you were the most excited about. If it’s possible to make a reservation, buy tickets in advance, put down a deposit, then do it so everyone will be happy.
6. But don’t overplan. If you, like me, are a type A personality who wants every single minute planned, you may find you have a mutiny on your hands when the rest of the group just wants to sleep in or relax by the pool. Leave plenty of downtime in the schedule as well as plenty of activities.
7. However, do plan for emergencies. Anyone can get sick on vacation, or have a family emergency for which they need to go home. Make sure everyone has a plan for what might happen and how the group will handle it. Everyone may not want to go home because Aunt Bertha is sick; if you have planned ahead, all members of the group will know what to expect. If you are going to an exotic locale or taking a trip that was pretty expensive, travel insurance is a good idea.
8. Take care of problems before they occur. Simple things like making sure you have identification inside your suitcase in case it is lost; packing valuables in your carry-on, not the suitcase you check; making copies of all your identification; carrying money in several different locations will all help ward off problems before they happen. If you are the member of the group who is the experienced traveler, make sure the others also have this information.
9. Talk it out. It’s very easy to get angry about something small on a trip and let it ruin your whole experience. Your friends went to the island beach and left you on the cruise ship alone, wondering where everyone was? Yes, I was annoyed but I didn’t let it ruin the trip. I just asked them to please communicate better in the future.
10. Have fun. Plan ahead and communicate often so you can relax and just enjoy spending time with your girlfriends. These are some of the people you care about the most so enjoy spending time with them. You will never be able to duplicate this exact trip and these specific memories again, so relish them while they are happening. Don’t let petty details get in the way, just relax and have fun. Now, start planning that next girls getaway!
Jan Ross is a freelance travel writer who has been traveling the world since way back before she can even remember. Her dad was in the Marine Corps so she is used to packing up at a moment’s notice! She loves writing hotel and restaurant reviews since it means she gets to stay in fabulous places and eat wonderful food. She especially loves writing spa reviews because that means she gets phenomenally pampered and, seriously, who does not like that? She has visited lots of places but still gets a thrill of excitement when she boards a plane, steps into a new hotel room, or sees a new location for the first time. And she hopes that thrill never, ever goes away.
For more information on Jan, visit her website at WanderlustWonder.com.