Tips for Planning the BEST Girlfriend Getaway Ever!

If you’re planning a Girlfriend Getaway with your friends, there are a few things you should know to take it from an ‘okay’ trip to an AMAZING trip!  Today, I’m wrapping up my 3 part series by sharing how to stretch your dollar, pick the best travel mates, and a few other tips for planning the best girlfriend getaway ever!

On Monday, I convinced you that planning a girls getaway should be on your to-do list for 2015 (at least, I hope I convinced you) and on Wednesday, I gave you lots of ideas on places to go and things to do

Now that you’re on board with making this happen, I want to take it one step further and give you some tips for making your trip epic and one you’ll never forget!

Tips for finding good deals…

As you probably know by now, I love to travel and I consider any money spent on doing things (like travel) to be money well spent (much better than spending money on things).  With that said, I want to stretch my dollar as far as possible, so I have a few tips for finding good deals.

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Some of these tips could apply to any trip planning and I am working on a post for just this topic, but there are a few extra tips specifically for girlfriend getaways!

 Look for Packages  – Girlfriend getaways are very popular these days, so always check for a package.  These are great because they usually include a spa treatment or two, some chocolate, and other goodies!

Sometimes you can even luck upon some really hysterical packages!  Last year, I stumbled across a breakup themed package when researching a trip to New Orleans and couldn’t help but laugh…you get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a voodoo doll with your ex’s name on it! 

 Plan for Off Seasons  – As with any travel, going during a peak season will cost you more, so if you’re wanting to save some pennies, try going off season to maximize your dollars.  

What is off season?  That will depend on your destination,  but essentially its when it’s typically less crowded (for example, the summer is typically the peak season for most destinations).

A great way to take travel ‘off season’ yet still at a good time is to take advantage of what’s called the ‘shoulder seasons’.  

The ‘shoulder seasons’ are typically the months that bookend the peak season.  For example, most of Europe is typically peak June, July, and August.  May and September/October are the shoulder seasons and tend to be less crowded, less expensive, but just as lovely (and not nearly as hot!)

So do a little research for your intended destination and be flexible!

 Go Midweek  – If your work schedule is flexible, go midweek to really save a bundle!  Spas in particular are much busier on weekends, so if you can swing a mid-week trip, you’ll have cheaper prices all around and less crowd.

 Check Groupon or Living Social  – As with the packages, Groupon and Living Social are GREAT resources for travel packages!  I haven’t personally used them (yet) for traveling, but I have known folks that have, and so far, no one has complained or had any issues.

 Look Close to Home  – If you’re strapped for cash, you don’t have to hop on a plane to have an awesome getaway!  Save some dough and look into places within driving distance.  

You can usually find a day spa nearby.  Book a hotel room for one night (to keep the feel of a ‘getaway’) and indulge in a day of pampering with your bestie and night out on the town! 

BONUS TIP! If you’re planning to split the hotel bill, when you check out, just have the hotel split the bill amongst you and your friends and everyone pays their part right there! No need to try to get your friends to pay you back later!

Tips for making sure you have a good time…

Once you have your trip booked and you’re ready to head out, it’s not a given that you’ll have a blast just because you’re with your besties (unless you’ve traveled together before and know you travel well together!).

Image Source: Pixabay.com

Unfortunately, trips that should be epic, end up flopping because people are just different and a tromance wasn’t born (“tromance” = travel + romance…you know, like bromance.  Ok…I just made that up, but you get it, right?!).  

It’d be nice to think that traveling with any of your friends will guarantee a good time, but anyone that has traveled with others can probably share a story or two to the contrary.  So…if you want to ensure you (and your friends!) have an amazing time, there are a few things to keep in mind.

 Pick your Travel Mates Carefully  – It’s a tough pill to swallow, but sometimes your best friends may not be your best travel mates.  

I once had a roommate where we got along awesome as roomies, but a long girl’s weekend in Boston turned out to be the worst trip I’ve ever been on! And yes, I’ll say it…it was due in large part to her (she was very moody).  Not only did we have a horrible time, it left a scar on the friendship (i.e. we’re not friends anymore)

My advice on this one…if your friend(s) has any traits that annoy you on a limited basis, or if they’re extremely moody…tread lightly, dear friends!!  Try a weekend away first before booking any long vacations (we were originally supposed to go on a 2 week trip to Europe but that fell through, THANK GOD)!!

 Be Mindful of Everyone’s Budget  – This one can be a bit tricky.  If you’re in college or just starting out in the real world, it’s probably not a concern because everyone’s broke!

But, if everyone’s been working for a few years, it’s likely you’ll all be in different financial places (or, some have kids and some don’t…those without kids will, typically, have more cash to blow).

If you’re on the higher end of the scale…don’t expect 5 star accommodations if your best friend is not quite in the same place at the moment.  Remember…it’s about spending time together and having fun and that happens no matter where you are or where you’re sleeping!! 

 Consider Everyone’s Travel Styles  – It may not always be apparent, but consider if you are the type that likes to get up at the crack of dawn and go-go-go or sleep until noon then leisurely pass the rest of the day relaxing as much as possible.

Both are fine, but if you try to get these two types of people together on a trip…it likely won’t go down well (so again…choose your travel mates wisely)!

 Just go with the Flow and Have Fun!  – It’s a getaway!  Don’t allow petty things to get under your skin, if you tend to be that type.  It’s really not that important…take a breath, smile, and let it go.

Tips for making the trip extra special…

Now that you have your travel mates selected, a place in mind, and you’re ready to go, I have a few more suggestions to up your trip from an ‘okay’ trip to an AMAZING trip!

 Plan ONE Nice Dinner  – I’m not a foodie, so I generally go for reasonably priced meals.  I’m definitely more of a burger and fries girl than a fancy, looks-like-the-cover-of-a-food magazine girl.

But, I do think it’s fun to plan to have ONE really nice meal out with my friends as a celebration of our friendship and to treat ourselves!  And it doesn’t have to be fancy! 

When I was in Juneau, Alaska a couple of years ago, my boyfriend (at the time) and I went to this little seafood stand that was recommended by a local (and I know…I’m supposed to be talking about girlfriends not boyfriends, but just go with me for this one example, okay?).  We enjoyed lobster bisque, king crab legs, snow crab claws, crab cakes, and I think something else.  

It was outside on picnic tables and it was served on paper plates.  But, because it was fresh king crab legs, it was EXPENSIVE!  This lunch ran us close to $100 for the two of us, which was why I almost didn’t want to eat there.  BUT, it was the best meal I have ever had and it was worth every single penny.

That was our splurge meal for the trip and we were in jeans…so point being, go for something a little extra special for ONE meal to treat and celebrate yourselves!

 Get ONE Decent Group Picture  – I say ‘decent’ because I’m betting there will be tons of Instagram pics snapped, but just be sure to pause in front of a gorgeous backdrop and take a ’non-party’ pic that you guys can look back on in later years (and add to the collection with each subsequent trip!).  

Me (on the right) and my good friend, Kendra (on the left) in Costa Rica!


 Do ONE Thing You’ve Never Done Before 
– Plan an activity doing something you and your friend(s) have never done before!  This is sure to create some awesome memories and up the ‘epic’ factor!

When I went to Costa Rica with one of my friends several years ago, we booked a horseback riding tour through the rain forest.  Neither of us had ever ridden a horse before (so, believe me, hilarity ensued and we still laugh about that experience!), so we were both out of our comfort zones, but we had a blast!

Just before we hopped on our horses to go horseback riding for the first time ever!


 Put your Phone Away! 
– I know..it’s TOUGH! But you’re going away with your friends to spend time with THEM!  

If you’re burying your nose in your phone the entire time, you’re not spending time with them, you’re just sharing space.  Be present with each other and I promise, you’ll have an even better time!  

Last year, I went to Kripalu for a weekend yoga/fitness retreat with one of my good friends.  They actually have a policy that you can’t use your phone anywhere outside of your room.  When they explained this to us upon check-in, I was like ‘WHAT?’.  It was tough (for both of us), but you know what, we were able to focus on each other more and be more aware of the experience of being there without our phones in hand.

3dots

So, friends…what do you think?  Are you ready to plan an EPIC girlfriend getaway?!  What have I inspired you to do?  Leave me a comment and share it with me because I’d LOVE to know!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    How fun to travel to Costa Rica! I bet that was a complete BLAST!! And your travel tips are spot on! Groupon is great but I have found AMAZING deals via Jetsetter (http://bit.ly/1IF5gj5) … you need to check on that site! I just got a room at a $400 a night hotel in Chicago (Michigan Ave) for a little under $200. I use them all the time now! Midweek travel is always genius… such better deals and not as crazy crowded!! Great post, Vicky!! Glam Karen

    • 2

      says

      Jetsetter!! I haven’t heard of it, but will be checking it out today!! That’s a crazy good deal for a hotel, so I’m excited to see what they have. I’m all about living luxury at a pauper’s price, lol (not that $200 is pauper, but you know what I mean ;)). Have fun on your trip!

  2. 3

    says

    Great post and great tips! I go away with college friends annually and running friends often and you really covered a lot of the potential issues. There are some great vacation deals on Rue La La for fun girlfriend trip spots like Miami and Charleston. You can also check Luxury Link auctions. One of my fave trips was to my fave Red Mountain Spa. We got a great deal and shared rooms and had a blast!

    • 4

      says

      Hi Erica! I didn’t realize Rue La La did travel and I’ve never heard of Luxury Links, so I’m going to be checking those out TODAY! LOL…thanks for sharing those! I love Charleston…I’ve only been once, but it’s so pretty. That would definitely make an awesome girl’s getaway :)…must mention that to my bestie, hehehe. Such great suggestions…thanks for leaving such a great comment! Enjoy your weekend!

  3. 5

    says

    I am definitely going to try and get a girlfriend getaway planned. I spent a part of my Spring break a few semesters ago at the beach with a good friend. It is was cold and rainy, but we still had a pretty good time.

    • 6

      says

      Yay! I hope you can get something planned, Niki! That would be awesome and you’re right…with a great friend and a positive attitude, even a little rain can’t dampen an amazing trip!

  4. 7

    says

    I was just talking to a friend about planning a girlfriends stay-cation rather than a get-away. It’s been awhile since we’ve all been together (I hate to say this but I think it was 3 years ago when I got married. Eeeek! We’re over-due), and we were trying to figure out ways to make it work for all of us.

    Some great tips here!

    • 8

      says

      Ooh..I love stay-cations! As much as I love traveling, a good staycation does wonders (and I’m overdue for one :)). I hope you guys can get something planned….with New Orleans nearby (not sure if it’s close enough to work as a stay-cation though) you have TONS of options!! I love that you can have just as much fun, but avoid the travel hassles, save some time, and save some money!

  5. 9

    says

    I love that so many of the money saving tips are really about being strategic with your timing. That’s so much less overwhelming that trying to sleuth out some incredible deal that takes hours to find. I love, love, love the ‘breakup package’ idea. Too funny! Traveling with someone you’re compatible with is key. I love a good mix of rest and adventure on vacation so anyone who’d want to do too much of either would be a no-go for me. Fortunately I think most people fall into that category. I second the idea to do something you’ve never done before. It’s such a wonderful way to make memories with your friends.

    • 10

      says

      Good point, Miranda! I gots no time for searching out good deals online…that can take hours!! I’d rather just alter my schedule and go with it :). Even though it’s been years since I divorced my ex-husband, I feel like I should go to New Orleans for that package just to get the voodoo doll with his name on it, hehehehe. Have a great weekend!

  6. 11

    Mags says

    Great tips. Especially about picking your travel mates carefully. Nothing can turn you against your best friends like a vacation lol!

    • 12

      says

      Exactly!! In most cases it just boils down to be considerate of other people but there can definitely be some plain ‘ole compatibility issues and those just can’t be fixed, lol. Thanks for stopping by, Mags!

  7. 13

    says

    I was on my way to a girls weekend in southern Utah at this time last year- it was so fun and I did lots of new things and made some great connections with people I didn’t think I would!

    • 14

      says

      That sounds awesome, Briton! What a fantastic experience and I’m sure you will always look back fondly on that trip! I hope you get to do another one soon :).

  8. 15

    says

    I’ve been thinking about getting away in the next few months whether with someone else or by myself, but I’d say for sure that you have to be on the same wavelength with the aims of the get away. You could end up on a party holiday when what you thought you were going on was a cultural trip!

    • 16

      says

      I’m wanting to do a solo trip as well…I just need to figure out where I want to go, lol. I’ve found when traveling with just one friend, it’s easy to know the page we’re on before we go, but the few times I’ve traveled as a group of girls, it’s a whole different story! Fortunately, I’m not at the age, where the group trips are no more, which is fine by me! I’ll stick with my few travel buddies that I know I’m compatible with, lol. But, at least there are fun stories from the past to look back on! :)

  9. 17

    says

    I wish I would have seen this back when my friends and I used Groupon to stay at a hotel in FL together! We each had a different idea of what the getaway meant and it ended up being a bit of a tense situation! Eek! It’s so important to take everything into consideration!

    • 18

      says

      Oh no!! I’m so sorry that happened, but I hope it still turned out to be a good trip despite the unexpected stress :(. Thankfully, we learn from situations like this, so it’ll only be better next time!! :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>