- If you know your girl friends very well, then there’s nothing wrong with leaving the planning up to one or two persons to do – everyone else will then just fall in, pay their share, not be worried about the destination, agree to whatever is decided upon for the menu and be happy to travel together. This has been a recipe for success that works very well. (It is not easy pleasing everyone in the group, and getting consensus could take up a lot of time and effort.)
- If you don’t know your girl friends all that well, then get everyone involved in the planning. Put someone in charge of a specific item, such as an excursion or a meal, so that there’s something for everyone. Some girls enjoy preparing foods, others enjoy entertaining and others might enjoy decorating. Whatever the girls in your group enjoy doing, let them do it and they will have fun in doing so.
- Be BIG on budget, when taking into consideration the financial implications a weekend could have on some of the group members. Share expenses equally, but don’t be afraid to cater for more where others cannot cater for at all.
- Girls’ weekend getaway is all about relaxing and having fun, lots of fun! Whatever the deal, go with the flow…whether it is quad biking, tanning by the pool, going down waterslides, playing board games, or even dressing up. Just don’t over schedule yourselves…you don’t want to go home, all worn out!
- Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous. This is the best time and the perfect occasion to let your hair down!
- BYOC: Bring your own chardonnay! And don’t forget the corkscrew and snacks.
- Be willing to compromise.
- You don’t have to do everything together the entire time. Be prepared to spend some time separately from one another, especially when new girlfriends are introduced to the group and you get to know each other. Some girls enjoy burning the midnight oil whilst others go to sleep early…that’s okay!
- Make sure everyone has everyone else’s cell phone number entered into their cell phone. Know everyone’s emergency information, e.g. emergency phone numbers, allergies, health issues, and medications. If something happens to someone during your trip, you may need to relay this information to the paramedics. An emergency is unlikely, but it’s always better to be prepared.
- Take a lot of pictures to share. Each of you will capture different moments. Make sure you always have your camera ready and don’t forget to share the pictures once you get home. Alternatively, each person can take a memory stick with where there is access to a laptop, download all the pictures from all the cameras and copy to each person’s memory stick, before going home.
- Pack light. Travelling together limits the space per person for luggage. Plan on taking only one or two hairdryers (if any) amongst the group as well as things such as shampoo and conditioner.
- Limit your technology. Have a general rule not to use cell phones unless it is an emergency. No checking of e-mails, or visiting social media sites, no texting or chatting.
- Have fun!
WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM CHICK FLICKS
At a loss for where to go with your favourite gal pals? Start by travelling to your local DVD store. Just be careful about how closely you follow the scripts.
Thelma & Louise
Thelma, an unhappy housewife (Geena Davis), and Louise (Susan Sarandon), a world-weary waitress, take off in a green ’66 Thunderbird convertible for a relaxing weekend at a friend’s cabin. A run-in with a rapist and a few gunshots later, their legendary trip gives new meaning to the term girlfriend getaway. That said, flooring it into the abyss won’t leave a whole lot of options for next year’s adventure.
Take away: Always rent a convertible. You never know when it’ll be your last road trip.
How Stella got her groove back
It’s early midlife crisis time for impossibly sexy Stella (Angela Bassett), who takes a vacation from her hotshot stockbroker gig and heads to the tropics with pal Delilah (Whoopi Goldberg). Sure, the girl chats on the beach are nice, but this flick is all about the groove-giver, Winston Shakespeare, a younger man with killer abs, who single-handedly raises the temperature in Jamaica.
Take away: Think twice before importing your vacation man to the mainland.
Tough-but-perky Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) splits her time between caring for her kid sister (Mika Boorem) and training with her pal (Michelle Rodriguez) to compete in Pipe Masters, a traditionally all-male surfing competition in Hawaii. Think of it as a female The Fast and the Furious, with lots of water and luau love mixed in.
Take away: Surfers are hot. Join them.
A couple of highbrow Londoners (Miranda Richardson and Josie Lawrence) ditch their husbands for an entire month to live la dolce vita with rent-sharing pals (Joan Plowright and Polly Walker) at San Salvatore, a stunningly beautiful villa on the Italian Riviera.
Take away: A fabulous destination can make annoying travel companions more bearable.
Boys on the side
Jane (Whoopi Goldberg) is a nightclub singer sharing the car ride from New York to Tucson with Robin (Mary-Louise Parker) and Holly (Drew Barrymore). Much heavy-handed estro-bonding issues: Jane is a lesbian! Robin is HIV-positive! Holly was abused!
Take away: Belting out “Shame, Shame, Shame” should be banned.
Copyright 2008 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc., all rights reserved.