Are you looking for ideas and tips on how to plan a girls weekend? Like most of us, you’re probably overdue for a fun and relaxing girls getaway with your friends. And, there are a lot of steps to plan a girls trip.
When you start to talk to your friends about planning a future girls getaway, it doesn’t mean you must plan the entire girls trip if you don’t want to. Definitely get some help from your friends along the way.
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. But, it’s a great time to start planning your girls weekend to go on in the future!
Table of contents
- How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Make a Guest List
- How to Plan a Girls Weekend: What Kind of Girls Trip is This Anyway?
- How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Who’s the Planner?
- How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Establish Ground Rules
- How to Plan a Girls Weekend: When Will We Go?
- How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Find Somewhere to Sleep
- What to Look for in a Friends Weekend Rental
- 1. Are There Enough Beds?
- 2. Are There Enough Bathrooms?
- 3. Do the Check-In and Check-Out Times Work for Your Group?
- 4. Does the Furniture Look Comfortable?
- 5. Is the Girls Getaway Rental Within Walking Distance to Restaurants and Shops?
- 6. Is There a Hot Tub or Swimming Pool? Or Other Fun Girls Vacation Amenities?
- 7. Are There Any Concerning Reviews?
- 8. If Renting a House, Does Someone Live On-Site?
- Find Your 3 Favorite Rentals or Hotels, Then Ask Your Girls Weekend Friends to Vote
- Paying for the Girls Vacation Rental or Hotel
- What to Look for in a Friends Weekend Rental
- How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Tours, Activities and Restaurants
- Girls Weekend Games
- Gift or Swag Bags
- How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Create an Itinerary
How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Make a Guest List
Sounds easy, right? However, have you considered whether you want to go on a girls weekend with your two sisters, or 20 of your friends?
If you’re inviting a lot of friends, remember not everyone has the same interests or will travel well together. Consider who you think would be a good fit for this girls trip. You can always plan and go on another girls weekend later in the year with a different group of friends. (However, if you have a group of friends that all know each other well, like a group of your high school or college friends, you may need to invite all of them. You probably don’t want to damage friendships.)
Some of your friends might like to wake up early and hike tall mountains or go river rafting. Others may want to sleep in, lounge around the pool all day and go out to the bars all night. Or, maybe you prefer a peaceful mountain getaway. But, inviting friends that party harder, drink a lot more and like to play loud music all night could create a conflict when others are trying to sleep.
So, even if it’s only in your head, create a guest list for your girls getaway. Write down your friends names. You can add their interests or dislikes if it helps to brainstorm or organize the list.
Who to Invite Tips
- Going on a girls weekend with just a few friends might be more relaxing and fun than going with a large group. Especially if one of you is going through a difficult time and just needs a quick last-minute getaway to recharge.
- Taking a last-minute girls weekend trip with minimal planning can be fun. But, spending a couple, or a few, months to plan a girls weekend will give your friends time to save money and schedule time to go. And, it gives the planners more time to find fun activities and things to do. Try to start planning a few months ahead of time.
- Do you already have a group of girlfriends that regularly go on a girls trip? Mix it up this year and ask them to each invite a friend that they haven’t brought before. Maybe a couple people that the rest of you haven’t met yet.
How to Plan a Girls Weekend: What Kind of Girls Trip is This Anyway?
Now that you’ve decided who you want to invite on your girls weekend, it’s time to decide what kind of a girls trip you and your friends want to go on. This step is a great excuse to get together with your friends for coffee or dinner to make some decisions.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, you can plan to meet over Zoom or Facetime with your girlfriends. Bring your own drinks and some appetizers. Or, talk about it during your online Book Club or online Craft Night.
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Decide What Kind of Girls Weekend You’re Going to Plan
Before you and your friends decide where you’re going, you should agree what kind of a girls trip this will be. Will it be a 3-day weekend to a local destination? A road trip to a neighboring state? Or, will you be flying out-of-state for a few days? Or, even taking a more luxurious trip out of the country?
Tip: Create a place on your phone, or buy a small notepad that will fit into your handbag to take notes on, so you can reference them later. Write down any important information. If Anne tells you she can’t take time off of work until next year and is only able to attend a weekend trip, write that down. Or, if Ciara says she doesn’t have a lot of money to spend at the moment, take note of that. If Maggie has a great idea for an experience or an accommodation, write that down too.
Be Aware of Your Friends’ Obstacles
Some of your girlfriends may have a lot of money, but it can be a constraint for others. If a friend is tight on money at the moment, they might not want to tell you or your friends.
It might be hard for some friends to take time off of work for a longer girls getaway. Additionally, it can be difficult for some to leave their kids for a few days if the other parent, or another relative, has to also take time off of work to get the kids to school on-time, or to be home for them after school.
If the majority of your group wants to go on a longer or more lavish trip, ask if it would help to plan a longer trip for next year so they have time to save money and plan for time away.
Tip: If you think your friends might not want to disclose their financial situation, take an anonymous straw poll online. Ask what their personal budgets are for accommodations, transportation and activities. Have a few different options with a variety of estimated costs. e.g. $250 – $350, $350 – $500, $500 – $800, etc.
Mistakes to Avoid
Don’t assume your friends’ financial circumstances. Even if they told you something about it a couple months ago, their situation may have changed since then.
Even if your friends have “a lot of money”, maybe they don’t want to spend a lot on a girls getaway right now. So, it’s still better to ask what they prefer.
How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Who’s the Planner?
The next step is to decide who is going to plan and coordinate the girls trip. Are you? If you are, wonderful!
But, what if you don’t want to plan it? Maybe a project came up at work and you don’t have time at the moment. Or, perhaps you’re not as good at planning as someone else in your group is.
If you have a large group going, then you’ll probably want to recruit a co-planner to help you. You want to relax and have fun on this girls vacation too! Don’t get overworked and stressed out by the end (or start) of the weekend.
Talk to Your Friends About Who the Planner Should Be
Even if you want to plan the girls trip, don’t take charge without talking to your friends. It could create resentment.
Ask your friends if they mind if you plan it, or if any of them want to plan and coordinate.
Or, inquire whether any of them wants to co-plan the girls trip with you. One person can search for and make the accommodation and transportation reservations, and the other person finds things to do, restaurants and places to see.
How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Establish Ground Rules
Clarifying everybody’s expectations should help make it easier to plan and help you all relax better during your girls getaway.
Talk with your friends and decide how much decision-making they want the planner(s) to do.
- Do they want the planner(s) to propose to the group what city you’re going to, possible places to stay as well as activities? Or, do they want the planner(s) to decide those things and surprise them later?
- Does the group want the planners to plan and make reservations for activities, or just share ideas to decide on when you arrive?
Who’s going to pay for the house rental or hotel reservation?
- When is the money due to that friend?
- How will they collect the money?
- What happens if someone gets sick and can’t go at the last minute?
- Does the sick friend get a refund and everyone else has to pay a little bit more at the last minute, unless you can find a replacement to go that pays?
- Or, is the rule once you say you’re going on the trip and pay, you’re locked in?
Who’s going to pay for activity reservations?
It’s easier if each person reserves their space or buys their ticket. That way, you don’t have to worry about coordinating and collecting money.
But, depending on the business, they may have group discounts that you qualify for. And when you make a group reservation, you usually have to pay for it in one lump sum.
If your girlfriends choose or need to make one payment to a business, you need to decide:
- Who is paying for the activity reservation?
- When is the money due to that person? (Before you reserve the accommodations or after? If they’re paying you back after the reservation is made, how long will they have, a week, three weeks?)
- How will they collect the money?
- What happens if someone gets sick and can’t go at the last minute?
- Does the sick friend get a refund and everyone else has to pay a little bit more at the last minute?
- Or, is the rule once you say you’re going on the girls vacation and pay, you’re locked in?
How to Plan a Girls Weekend: When Will We Go?
Each of you have different priorities, responsibilities, schedules and financial limitations.
It’s easier for you to plan a girls getaway for a group of friends a few months in advance. You have more time so it’s easier on the planner. And, it gives your friends time to fit the girls vacation into their schedules and save money if they need to.
Ask Your Friends When They Want to Go on Girls Weekend
Choose three to four weekends a few months from now. Then, poll your friends which weekends they’re available or not available. Once you have it narrowed down to a couple of different weekends, ask which one they prefer.
Summer is the most expensive time to travel, and the hardest to find accommodations. If you rent a house for girls weekend, most of them have a minimum rental of one week during this time.
January and February are often the cheapest times to travel and have the most openings for accommodations and air travel. However, weather can be tedious for travel in the middle of winter if there is too much snow or ice. So, taking a road trip can be dangerous and may not be feasible. Flights are often delayed or cancelled during this time too.
Tip: If you or a friend has a cabin or recreational property that you can use, it will save money and be more flexible than renting a house or booking a hotel. Especially during the summer months.
You’re Not Going to like This
Your friends probably won’t all be able to go at the same time. And that’s ok. Plan your girls weekend when the majority of your friends are free. If you wait for everyone to be available, you could wait a long time.
Choose a Time Anyway
There will likely be friends that confirm to go on girls weekend that will cancel at the last-minute. Illness, jobs and financial difficulties have a way of a way of rising up at the last minute. Don’t be discouraged, expect it will happen and go with the flow.
Tip: Sometimes, friends that absolutely can’t go on a certain weekend will have a change in circumstances and will be able to go at the last-minute anyway.
How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Find Somewhere to Sleep
You’re well on your way to an amazing girls getaway! This step is one of the most fun parts of planning a girls vacation. 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 girls vacation you’re going on: a ski trip, a craft weekend, 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, 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 girls weekend 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?
2. Are There Enough Bathrooms?
Try to find a girls weekend rental that has a bathroom for every 2-3 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, it gives you time to enjoy a relaxed day, go to brunch, 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 want comfortable seating. Wood chairs or cheap, hard sofas aren’t optimal.
5. Is the Girls Getaway Rental Within Walking Distance to Restaurants and Shops?
It’s a huge perk if you can find a girls 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 Girls Vacation Amenities?
If you can find a girls vacation rental with a hot tub or swimming pool, it’s a huge bonus. 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 lives in your preferred girls 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?
For a girls trip, we rented a beautiful Airbnb in Seattle. I had disclosed ahead of time to the owner that 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. They were staying in the basement while we stayed in the upper two stories of the house.
We arrived on a Thursday night, we sat at the dining table to play board games that the owner provided. That evening, we stayed in, eating delivery, drinking wine, 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. Every time one of our group of 10 scooted a chair back, it was loud in the basement. Not to mention laughing or talking at normal volumes for our situation (which we disclosed ahead of time).
The next morning, I received a cranky text message from the owner asking that when we used the hot tub, please close the cover afterwards. 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 as disgruntled. A couple hours later, he apologized. His young daughter (around 8 years old) had used it and not closed the cover.
It’s a good idea to ask whether someone lives on-site prior to reserving and paying for your girls weekend rental. Maybe the owners live on-site and you’re comfortable with that. But, for a girls getaway, a rental with more privacy works better for everyone. So, it’s good to know ahead of time.
Find Your 3 Favorite Rentals or Hotels, Then Ask Your Girls Weekend Friends to Vote
Unless your friends want you to rent a house and surprise them, message them with your top 3 – 4 choices to get their input.
You can ask your friends to look at more than 3 – 4 rentals when planning your girls vacation. However, consider whether it’s 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 review the options then find they don’t have time to look at them all right now? If they put it off until later, will they forget? I’m guilty of doing that myself!
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 girls getaway friends to the board. They can then vote for and comment on each rental.
Paying for the Girls Vacation Rental or Hotel
If you haven’t talked about how you’re collecting money or who is going to pay for the rental yet, now is the time to. Once the reservation has been made, make sure you tell your girlfriends. Re-confirm the exact dates, as well as how much they owe you and remind them when it’s due.
How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Tours, Activities and Restaurants
Did your group decide that it wants to plan tours, activities, or make restaurant reservations? Now that your vacation rental or hotel is booked and your dates are set, you can decide what you’re going to do during your girls getaway. If your group wants to wing it and decide on these things during the trip, you can skip to the next step.
After you research things to do in the city or town you’re visiting, pitch three to four ideas to your friends and get feedback.
Once your friends decide on the girls getaway activities, set the time and let your friends know how to reserve their space and pay.
If the planner needs to reserve an activity or restaurant for the entire group, they can do that after the days and times are decided. Remember to give your friends any details about how cost and where/how to send their payment. I also suggest giving them a date the money is due so they don’t forget and then you need to chase them later to pay you back.
Girls Weekend Games
Bring some girls weekend games to play the first night to help break the ice, relax, and laugh with your friends.
Gift or Swag Bags
Put together some gift or swag bags for your group! Here are some custom tote bags and reusable shopping bags to get you started. Fill them with bottles of wine, spa amenities, or other girls weekend goodies.
If your group wants to have girls weekend gift or swag bags, you can have someone else lead or manage the purchases and putting these together. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends to help pay for the cost or contribute items.
How to Plan a Girls Weekend: Create an Itinerary
To make sure everyone has all of the details they need, it’s helpful to create an itinerary. It’s also a great resource for all of you to leave with your partner or relative that’s babysitting the kids.
What to Include in the Itinerary
- The name and address of the girls getaway vacation rental or hotel
- A link to the website of the vacation rental or hotel
- The dates and times of check-in and check-out
- Any details about checking-in that your friends should know
- If there’s a hot tub or pool, point that out, “bring your swimsuit!”
- Add details about any planned group cooking, food or drink sharing
- Dates, times and details about any activity reservations
- Dates, times and details about any activity reservations (do they need to wear special shoes or attire?)
- Dates, times and details about any restaurant reservations (Is the restaurant casual, or elegant? Should they dress-up?)
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