a girls' trip to glenwood springs, colorado

Planning a Girls’ Trip: 5 Important Things to Consider

Even if you and your ladies don’t succumb to food poisoning in the street (Bridesmaids) or roll down a hill (Wine Country), a girls’ trip can be an amazing bonding experience and an opportunity for a special kind of travel.

But planning a girls’ trip requires more than a case or ten of wine. Here are five things to consider as you bring your crew together. 

mom and daughter on a girls' trip to Hawaii

Girls’ Trip Considerations

  1. Time Off

How much time off from work does each person have? Is it just a long weekend, or do you all have a week or more? A shorter trip requires a closer destination — you don’t want to waste precious time going to and fro, especially when you consider point 2. If you’re all meeting up somewhere, consider a destination to which most or all of you can get a direct flight.  

  1. Centrality of Location

Are you all starting from the same place, or are you each coming from a different part of the country (or world)? If you’re traveling to your destination as a group, your options are greater. A road trip can be part of the fun … or it can be the entire girls’ trip! If you’re meeting up from different places, look for a destination that splits the difference, so that no one feels the burden of a longer or more expensive commute. It’s easy to run each person’s starting point and your destination through Google Flights and see how it will work.

  1. Budget

This is the hot potato. Everyone tosses the question around, but no one likes to slice it, dice it and butter it. (Did butter take the metaphor too far?) If you have a good sense for the budget of the person whose disposable income is the tightest, plan from there. Unless that person really has a chip on her shoulder about her budget, she’ll likely feel pressure to acquiesce to the group’s plans to avoid crimping anyone’s style. So be sensitive! 

Plan for the basics (transportation and room) to be budget friendly, and then allow those who want to splurge to do so in discreet ways. Get separate checks at dinner, or if that’s a hit for your server, split the bill amongst yourselves according to what each person ordered. (Apps Billr and Divvy make it really easy to split both shared and separate menu items.) Look for a destination that has nice amenities baked in, yet allows for people to peel off easily if they want to indulge in luxury activities. (Sorry — I can think of nothing but potatoes now.) 

a girls' trip hiking in rocky mountain national park
  1. Activity Level

Do you have a range of abilities? Or are you all sofa slugs/triathletes? If it’s a range, again consider the person whose abilities are most limited. No girlfriend left behind! There are really so many options. Here in Colorado, there are paved hiking trails for people with assisted mobility, and trails with Braille and guide ropes for people with limited vision. If there are people who want to rest or to challenge themselves, allow a day part — right before or after lunch is usually a good time — for members of your party to express or accommodate their energy levels. A girls’ trip doesn’t require everyone to be in lockstep.

  1. Accommodations

Do you want to stay together in a shared space, or would you each prefer your own bedrooms and/or bathrooms? Part of this will shake out in the destination decision; if you’re going to an all-inclusive, for example, the options are much more limited. Consider whether your trip is more about the resort or the things you’ll be doing when you’re not in your room. Consider how well you know the other women in the group. Consider sleeping habits, cleanliness, snoring, smoking and other challenges to a shared room. It’s nice to have a private space for your group to gather, but that can be achieved in an expansive hotel suite as well as in Airbnb-type lodging.

Allow for Modifications

Before you lock down anything at all, test the waters with your gang. In fact, you may start with an “absolutely not” list if you don’t know everyone in the group well. Along the way, do check-ins as you build the trip. First, the destination; then, the accommodations; and then, the activities that will form the bones of your adventure. And be sure to leave room for weather, flight delays and people being human. Once you’ve crafted a good structure, put it into a format such as Google Docs where people can comment on things and make collaborative suggestions.

Sojourn Safely

One of the benefits of traveling with your gang is safety in numbers. But that doesn’t eliminate the need for smart steps to secure yourselves and your trip. See the travel safety tips section of our site for pointers on gear, emergency kits, buying travel insurance, getting vaccinations and registering your trip, if you’re traveling internationally. 

We’ve Got You!

If you run into a hitch in your girls’ trip plans, Heather and I can help. Check out our travel planning consultation options. We can serve as sounding boards, researchers and even tie-breakers, if needed. 

Whether your style is soaking in hot springs or sampling the best hot wings, shopping or bar hopping, beach or city streets, you can dope out a girls’ trip in which no one ends up crying in her rosé. Round up your crew and prepare to institute a new tradition — potato vodka optional.

The views expressed on this website represent the opinions of the authors; we encourage you to form your own opinions and confirm any facts.

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