When it comes to getting away for the weekend, there’s a lot that goes into it. It takes a lot to plan, coordinate and get several busy women to take a break and make the time for each other. Yet, we know – and study after study shows – that when we do we are happier, healthier, people!
But if you are going to finally bring the girls together, here are a few rules to make it a successful getaway:
Rule #1 – Pick a date and stick to it.
It’s hard to sync up multiple family schedules. Especially when you don’t live local to your girlfriends. School activities and breaks rarely match up perfectly. If you have to factor in a spouse’s work schedule it makes it doubly hard. But if you don’t control your calendar, your calendar will control you. Pick a date, make it sacred and stick to it. This is your weekend and you deserve the break.
Rule #2 – Set your budget ahead of time
This may seem silly, but the older I get the more apparent it has become to me that not everyone operates on the same budget. Every person has their own set of personal considerations to deal with. So to be transparent and head off awkward conversations later on- set the budget. These are your friends! They are nothing but supportive and considerate of your situation. That way your friend doesn’t suffer from sticker shock when you suggest the tasting menu at the hot new restaurant you just heard about.
Rule #3 Make reservations.
It seems silly, and there are more and more places getting away from this, but when possible make reservations for dinner at least one night while you are out. You aren’t used to traveling in a large group, and those are most easily accommodated with reservations ahead of time. Especially if you DO decide to indulge in that tasting menu.
Rule #4 Have a plan.
No I don’t mean schedule every activity down to the minute. But have a general game day plan in mind ahead of time so everyone knows what to expect. Getting 6-10 people to make a decision in the moment is like pulling teeth. Then you have to run 6-10 people through showers to get ready. No thanks. But if everyone generally knows that you plan to head to the outlets when it opens up at 10, or that you have brunch reservations at 10:30, everyone can plan out their morning accordingly.
Rule #5 Book as far in advance as your schedule allows
This goes back to the “Pick a day and stick with it rule.” It’s even easier if you have an annual long weekend/week like Labor Day or Memorial Day that you always plan for. But the further out you plan, the more time you have to budget/save accordingly and to hash out a plan with your friends.
Rule #6 Rotate planning responsibilities
It is exhausting year after year coming up with something to do, somewhere to go. It takes a lot of effort to do the research, make a plan, pitch the proposal, and make the necessary bookings and reservations. This often falls on the shoulders of one person. Spread the responsibility (and stress). Take turns planning and being in charge of the event. This gives you more variety to the types of trips you have, and makes it easier to have it annually.
Rule #7 – Not everyone is going to make it, and that’s ok
Not so much a rule as a handy reminder. It’s hard to get 10 people together every year. Life happens. Baptisms, weddings, funerals, school plays. Take the time to acknowledge the chapter of your life that you are in and honor that. It’s impossible to make every event every time. But don’t give up on the opportunity for everyone to get together if one or two people can’t make it. There’s always next year!
Rule #8 Don’t cover down for every little thing prior to you leaving
This was particularly hard for me when I first started taking annual girls trips. I would go out of my way to make it as easy on my partner as possible while I was gone. I would meal prep, lay out kids clothes, color code a calendar, do all the laundry, clean the house, etc etc etc. Then I remembered – my spouse is my PARTNER, not my EMPLOYER. I don’t have to do everything for him because he is in this WITH me. And totally and completely capable of cooking, cleaning, and clothing kids while I’m gone. Which leads me to…..
Rule #9 Bless and release what happens while you are gone
So what if your kids eat mac and cheese for five days straight and wear mismatched clothing? There are worse things (like never taking a vacation and having to be responsible for everything 24/7). And work will absolutely survive while you are gone. Partner with a trusted colleague to handle emergent cases while you are traveling and agree to do the same for her when she is gone. Then bless and release. This is your time. You have earned it. Don’t waste it by stressing about things beyond your control.
Rule #10 Someone always pack a wine key
Nothing worse than being in your hotel or your rented villa, you are ready to toast the start of vacation with your girls and you can’t find the wine key. Someone always pack a wine key (just not if you plan on bringing a carry on).
The bottom line: you deserve a weekend away with your girlfriends. Why not make it the best it can be? And if I can help, you know I want to!
Until next time, happy wanderlusting!
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