So you want to plan an epic girls trip and you don’t know where to start? Courtney to the rescue! I just got back from an amazing girls trip that I never even knew I needed. It was supposed to be a bachelorette weekend, but after the wedding was called off, we turned it into a girls weekend retreat. Not only did we have a good time, but we documented quite a few details so our social media family could follow along. As the young folks say, it was lit! I got tons of DMs about where we were, how we chose the place, what we ate, where we got our looks, etc. So I’m here to give all the deets! Keep reading for 7 practical tips to plan the perfect girl’s trip.
Choose the right people
This is easily the most important part of planning a great trip. While you may love all of your friends dearly, you have to be strategic about who you invite on a girl’s trip. Keep in mind, you all will be living in close quarters for an extended period of time. You will have an itinerary that requires spending time together. Think about personalities, interests, hobbies, finances, etc. You know that friend that you love so much, but she’s often “misunderstood” because she takes a while to warm up to new people? Maybe you want to tell her about the trip when you get back. Oh, and you probably don’t want to have your turn up friend on a girl’s trip with your friend who prefers staying in and reading a new book on a Friday night. No shade because I love me a good book. I’m not saying everyone must have all the same interests and hobbies, but just like in a relationship, your girls trip attendees must all be equally yoked.
Pick the right location
Major key! The location will determine the overall vibe of the trip. Do you want to lay out on the beach, slay bathing suit looks, eat good food and drink margaritas all day? Or do you want to sight see, do excursions, and have a lot of interactive local experiences? Would you prefer a beach or mountains? Countryside or city life? All of this is important. For our trip, Jasmine wanted a scenic location that had a beach. She also wanted a place that was chill and lowkey, not a huge party city. Her main focus was good food, good pictures, and a good time. That’s how we landed on Naples, FL, and it was perfect. Naples is a predominantly white city, so we were definitely the minority whenever we went out. One night we had the entire club jamming to the City Girls, which I’m sure the DJ never played, and it was epic. Whenever we were over being out and about, we were able to come back to our wonderful Airbnb and lay out by the pool.
Airbnb over hotel
If you’re going on a girl’s trip that has more than 6 people, I would say try an Airbnb over a hotel. For one, it allows for a lot more inclusion since everyone is under one roof. Communication can also get complicated when your guests are spread all over a hotel, or even spread amongst one floor. Naturally there is a better connection amongst the group when you’re living in one house. Also, it allows for more flexibility. You can bring your own food and alcohol, plan your own activities, make the best use of the space, and basically have free reign over the house. You can’t do this at a hotel, due to disturbing other guests. When choosing the house, make sure it sleeps your guests comfortably. We had 8 guests and our house had 2 king beds, 2 queen beds, 2 full beds, 2 single beds, and a huge comfy sofa- we had more than enough space. We also chose a house that had a nice pool and a nice sized kitchen since we knew we would be using both of those amenities. The house ended up being much more cost effective than a hotel and we got great value for our money.
Have an itinerary
Rookie mistake number one: inviting people on a trip with no solidified plans. While you should always have free time built into the agenda, you must take the time to create an itinerary. Think about the purpose of the trip, the people attending the trip, the location, and make an itinerary based off those factors. One of the most important items on our to-do list was to have a personal chef for dinner on the opening night. We did our research by reaching out to locals and found the chef we wanted. After dinner, we switched into pajamas had a game night. Friday, we prepared a continental breakfast at the house, and that was a hit. We went to Publix and stocked up on bagels, muffins, pastries, meats and cheeses, fruit, yogurt, and of course mimosas! This was a great option because it allowed us to make use of the kitchen, eat as much as we wanted in the comfort of our PJs, and have an ample amount of time to get ready for the rest of the day. We then had a professional photo shoot on the beach, followed by lunch on the beach. We had dinner reservations the next two nights at two of Naples best restaurants. We chose the lounges that we wanted to go to for after dinner and all of our brunch spots, as well. One day was set aside for a pool day and we had plans to have food delivered to the house. Well, our chef loved us so much that he came back the next day and made us an authentic and delicious Jamaican feast. Y’all, the food was bomb!!! I never would have expected authentic Jamaican food in Naples. Shout out to Chef Junior, his Instagram is here. In the midst of all our plans, we still had some alone time to do the things we needed/wanted to do without the rest of the group. Alone time is important, but just don’t invite people on a blank trip.
Think about photo ops
If you don’t take pictures, did it really happen?! Okay seriously, you have to plan out some good photo opportunities. Call me crazy, but when choosing the house, one of the requirements was that it have some good backdrops for pictures. The greenery out by the pool and the dock leading out to the water sold us on the house. Jasmine also requested that we do a beach photoshoot and it turned out amazing! She asked that everyone wear a bright solid colored bathing suit and we asked everyone to let us know the color of their swimsuit before they arrived, so the picture was well balanced. Yes, I’m that annoying. The shoot came out perfectly. The different colors of swimsuits, the hues of melanin, the different body types, the pictures were LIT! We also coordinated colors at dinner for the sake of good pictures. We wore all black one night (Jasmine wore all pink). And we all wore nude the other night. We definitely made a statement everywhere we went. Side note, I got both of these bathing suits from Amazon. Blue one is linked here. Snakeprint one is linked here.
Create a realistic payment plan
Let’s face it, trips can be pricey. So instead of trying to cut costs and compromising the value of the trip, set up a realistic payment plan. By realistic, I mean something that is affordable for everyone on the trip. Creating a payment plan should be the last step of your planning because you will need to know the full itinerary to determine what the total cost of the trip will be. First and foremost, factor in all the costs. The lodging, food, goodie bags, décor, photographer (if applicable), alcohol, etc. Once you have the magic number, come up with a payment plan that makes sense. The cost of the trip should determine how far out your payment plan goes, but I wouldn’t recommend anything less than 6 months out. Cash app actually lets you order a debit card through the app, called the Cash card, which was super convenient. I used that as our card for the trip. Whenever each of the ladies sent their monies via cash app, it went directly to the card so it was easy to track. This worked out better than having the money for the trip sitting in one of my personal bank accounts. I kept all of the info updated on an Excel spreadsheet and sent it out monthly so everyone was aware of exactly what was paid vs what was owed. Everyone paid on time and I didn’t have to send out a million and one reminders, which was good in my book. Timely payments with no extra hassle makes the planning process so much smoother.
Make the trip purposeful
Of course, everyone wants to have a good time on vacation, but the trip has to have something meaningful. Whether that’s a takeaway gift, an open discussion, or an activity- your attendees should leave fuller than they came, and I’m referring to soul food. Being the sensitive person that I am, contrary to popular belief, I had us to do an activity that didn’t leave a dry eye in the room. We sat in the living room and each person was supposed to say how they met Jasmine, what they loved about her/ their friendship, and give her words of encouragement for her new chapter in life. In turn, Jasmine was to go around the room, and tell each person what they meant to her, and why she requested their presence for this weekend retreat. This activity started out light hearted, but in a matter of minutes, it literally turned into a real-life therapy session. Jasmine was so touched by this, she almost couldn’t articulate her appreciation for all the genuine love and support. This part of the trip was so necessary as it reminded each of us about the importance of friendship. I’m not recommending you do such an emotional activity, but try to incorporate something to make your trip purposeful.
So that’s all, folks! We are currently planning a trip to the Hamptons for next year and I am so stoked. I hope all of these tips helped! If you have any questions or even any tips you’d add, leave a comment below and let me know.
Xo, Consuella ♥