Your perfect girls weekend getaway: Five good friends sipping wine around the fire, soaking in a ski lodge hot tub, or enjoying a chef's table tasting menu at a French bistro.
Your actual girls getaway: One friend who wants to stay up until sunrise and one who wants everyone to go for a 6 a.m. run. One who wants to shop till she drops and one who cringes at the prices on the spa menu. And you, the planner, who's trying to make everyone happy.
Arranging a successful vacation for a group takes both thoughtful planning and flexibility. Here are seven mistakes that are easy to make, as well as some better ideas to help you create the best girls getaway ever.
On the spur of the moment, you invite both your sisters-in-law. They got into a huge fight last Thanksgiving, but maybe this trip will restart their relationship. The new girl at work seems fun, so ask her to come too. The more the merrier, right?
You can easily name the three or four friends you'd love to spend a girls weekend with, so keep it to that. Resist the temptation to add coworkers, cousins or anyone you don't know well.
Go ahead: Book a suite at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills and then plan a shopping spree on Rodeo Drive. Your best friend just celebrated paying off her credit card debt, so she must be ready to have fun!
It can be hard for even the closest girlfriends to talk honestly about money, but setting a budget is essential. As the organizer, it's your responsibility to give your friends an accurate estimate of the costs for food, lodging and transportation.
You can't go wrong with a decadent weekend of spa treatments and wine tastings. You know your best friend prefers Tevas to strappy sandals, but she really needs a little pampering.
Not everyone enjoys girly vacations. There's so much more out there! Consider:
You only get the opportunity to plan a girls getaway once every year or two, so make sure you leave your familiar surroundings far behind. Maybe a cross-country road trip, a week at a Caribbean resort, or even a quick jaunt to Paris?
If everyone's budgets and schedules permit, then by all means choose an exotic destination for your girls getaway. But for most women, it's hard to reclaim days from work and family — so don't waste too much of your precious vacation time on the journey.
There's a group snowboarding lesson at 1, followed by a group massage at 2:45. Cocktails are at 6:30, followed by dinner reservations at 7...
When you arrive at your hotel, one friend will crave a nice, relaxing 5-mile run. Another friend will crave a nice, relaxing margarita on the rocks. Let them do their own thing and set a time for everyone to catch up and hang out together.
Las Vegas! New Orleans! Atlantic City! You're ready to party with your girlfriends like you did in your college days, and you don't plan on coming back to your hotel until the sun comes up.
While some girls weekend getaways are meant to be rowdy, like bachelorette weekends, you can't assume that your friends have the desire to dance all night. Before you leave for your trip, talk about how much partying everyone wants to do, and be prepared if the answer is "none." If you do go out clubbing, make arrangements to get everyone safely back to the hotel whenever they're ready to call it a night.
Your girls getaway will be exactly how you imagined it — a long weekend of perfect weather, fabulous food and moments your friends will remember forever.
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