You’re well on your way to an amazing friends weekend getaway! This step is one of the most fun parts of planning a friends weekend trip. It’s time to decide your girls weekend destination and find a place to stay.
By now, you’ve probably decided what kind of a trip you’re going on, a ski trip, a craft weekend, maybe you’re flying to an exotic international city, or staying somewhere locally. You might even already know the city or area your group wants to stay in.
If you’ve taken any notes about what your friends have told you that they want to go for your friends weekend trip, or your own thoughts, it’s a good time to review them. It’s also a good time to message your friends and ask what their ideas are for destinations.
Tip: Give your friends a deadline so they make it a priority to reply. Otherwise, they may put it off for later and never get to it. You can simply say, “On Saturday morning, I’m going to start looking for girls weekend destinations for our trip. Do you have ideas or thoughts about what city or area we should visit?”
What to Look for in a Friends Weekend Rental
1. Are There Enough Beds?
When reviewing girls weekend rentals, are you considering a hide-a-bed as a place where someone would actually sleep? If everyone is paying equal amounts for the house rental, is it fair that some friends get a luxurious master suite while others are sleeping on a hard sleeper sofa in the middle of the common area?
If you’re planning to travel during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, please take precautions advised by medical and scientific experts. Some locations may require you to quarantine upon arrival or not allow visitors at all.
2. Are There Enough Bathrooms?
Try to find a girls weekend rental that has a bathroom for every 2-4 people. The showers and bathrooms will be crowded in the mornings and when you’re getting ready to go out.
3. Do the Check-In and Check-Out Times Work for Your Group?
If check-out time is 11 am, and your friends don’t get up until then, want a shower and time to eat and pack-up, that may not work for you. You can inquire with the rental host about a late check-out. Or, consider renting the house for an additional night, even if you leave that day, so you can enjoy a relaxed day and leave in the afternoon.
4. Does the Furniture Look Comfortable?
If your group is going to spend time sitting around, talking, playing games, or watching movies, you probably want comfortable seating. Wood chairs or cheap, hard sofas may not be optimal.
5. Is the Friends Weekend Rental Within Walking Distance to Restaurants and Shops?
While it isn’t mandatory, it’s a huge perk if you can find a vacation rental that’s within walking distance to restaurants and shops. If you’ll be going out to drink, smaller towns may not have many Uber drivers. Of course, if you have a designated driver in the group, that helps a lot.
6. Is There a Hot Tub or Swimming Pool? Or Other Fun Friends Weekend Trip Amenities?
It’s a huge bonus if you can find a vacation rental with a hot tub or swimming pool. It adds some fun activity options on-site so you can have more privacy when hanging out.
7. Are There Any Concerning Reviews?
Read through the reviews, especially the recent ones. Are there any concerning remarks about the rental being dirty, or broken items? Also, note how the owner or manager responded. Were they fair and kind? Or does the owner tend to get snarky if people say something they don’t like?
8. If Renting a House, Does Someone Live On-Site?
Sometimes rental listings disclose whether someone lives on-site. But, in my experience, often they don’t. Before reserving a girls weekend rental, I would ask the owner if anyone lives on-site.
If you discover someone does live in your preferred vacation rental, ask who lives there and what their roll is. The owner may live there, or a renter, or caretaker. If it’s a relative, renter or a caretaker, consider asking if they’ve ran a criminal background check on the person that lives there.
Why Does It Matter If Someone Lives On-Site?
Once we had a creepy experience where the owner’s son lived in a separate building on the lakefront property. He was in his building most of the time. Except when we were laying in the sun next to the lake. Suddenly he’d appear and lurk around until we went back in the house. When we decided to walk to the local park down the street to swim instead, he appeared there too, and awkwardly lurked off to the side. There was nobody else in the park at the time.
On another friends weekend trip, we rented a beautiful Airbnb in Seattle. I had disclosed ahead of time to the owner we were renting the house for a girls weekend. When we arrived, we discovered that the owner had not disclosed that he and his young daughter lived there, and would be staying in the basement while we stayed in the upper two stories of the house.
We arrived on a Thursday night, and were sitting around the dining table that evening playing board games that the owner had provided. That evening, we stayed in, eating, laughing, and having a good time. Around 7 pm I started getting text messages asking us to quiet down because it was his daughter’s bedtime. We weren’t even being that loud. But, the floors were hardwood, so every time one of our group of 10 scooted a chair back to grab more food or drinks, it was loud in the basement. Not to mention laughing or talking at normal volumes for our situation.
The next morning, I received a cranky text message from the owner asking that if we used the hot tub to please close the cover. He’d found the hot tub that morning with the cover flipped back. We hadn’t even used the hot tub the night before because it was raining so hard. I explained this and he still came across disgruntled. A couple hours later, he apologized. His young daughter (around 8 years old) had used it and not closed the cover.
Long story short, it’s a good idea to ask whether someone lives there, and the circumstances, prior to reserving and paying for your girls weekend rental. Maybe the owners live there and you’re comfortable with that. But, maybe you want a rental with more privacy. It’s good to know ahead of time.
Find Your 3 Favorite Rentals or Hotels, Then Ask Your Friends to Vote
Unless your friends want you to rent a house and surprise them, it would be good to message your friends with your top 3 – 4 choices, and get their input.
You can ask everyone to look at more than 3 – 4 rentals when planning your friends weekend trip, but consider whether it may be too overwhelming if you give them very many options. Will they look at them all, or just one or two anyway? Will they start to look and decide they don’t have time to look at them all right now, and put it off until later, and then never do it?
It’s good to include your friends in parts of planning for girls weekend. It takes some of the weight off of you, and they feel included. They might even help by catching an issue you didn’t notice.
Tip: In the U.S., the VRBO app on Apple and Android lets you create Trip Boards. You can save a few rental possibilities here and invite your friends to the board. They can then vote for and comment on each rental.
You can create a board on the Airbnb app to share with friends. They can add listings to this board. But at this time, it doesn’t allow comments from friends.
Paying for the Vacation Rental or Hotel
If you haven’t talked about how you’re collecting money or who is going to pay for the rental, now is the time to do that. Once the reservation has been made, make sure you tell the attendees and let them know the exact dates, as well as how much they owe you and remind them when it’s due.
Once your vacation rental or hotel is reserved, you’ve got the hardest parts of planning a girls weekend done! Treat yourself and go celebrate!