As the editor-in-chief of Travelgirl Magazine, I often get asked about how to plan the perfect girlfriend getaway. I don’t want to start a battle of the sexes–but the truth is women do need some TLC when it come to trip planning. So here are six ways to do it right.
It all starts with a strategy session – an official planning meeting where you and your gal pals brainstorm and narrow down your desires. This includes destination, dates of travel and budget.
To avoid distractions, do it at someone’s home, not at the bar. But, you can pour the drinks, gather around the computer or iPad, and let the ideas flow.
Rule number two: Share the fun, share the burden. Everyone gets a “vacation job.” Someone researches restaurants. Someone else looks up the best spas in town. And someone finds out where to go for late night fun. Share ideas via social media and regroup to finalize plans. If you don’t all live in the same city, use Skype to stay in touch.
Number three, and this might be the most important: Don’t over-plan! You’re traveling together, but the BFF bonding doesn’t have to be 24-7. “Cate” might want to stick to her workout routine while “Amy” does yoga and “Rachel” goes to church on Sunday. Allow for some down time so that everyone can experience a little “me” time.
Number four: Push your limits. Girlfriend getaways are an ideal time to try new things. Whether your group heads for the casino, the rodeo or the karaoke bar, let your collective hair down a little. There’s power in numbers – maybe it’s time for a group hang-gliding lesson.
The fifth tip is definitely in the “girly” category: Cherish the memories, and not just on Facebook and Twitter. Create meaningful souvenirs, such as personalized t-shirts or drinking glasses to use during the trip – or, afterwards, note cards with some of the best photos from your adventure.
Finally: Advice on what not to pack. There’s no guilt allowed on a girlfriend getaway! Moms or pet owners who must stay in touch with those left behind should plan an easy schedule to do so. And, if your job requires a daily e-mail check or two, so be it. But, as much as possible, unplug your electronic leashes, and leave those worries behind.