For years my girlfriends and I have been saying that we are going to plan a girls weekend away. But the task always seemed daunting, navigating so many peoples schedules just to steal a night or two away. This year we finally planned our weekend away and it was AMAZING. It left me wondering why we hadn’t done it sooner.
How to Plan a Girls Weekend
Set the date
With so many schedules involved it’s hard to plan too soon but also tough to plan too far out because peoples schedules change. I planned our weekend about 2 months in advance, which gave everyone enough time to get it on their calendars.
Find a Convenient Destination
We choose to have our girls weekend in my hometown which is about 30 minutes to 2 hours away for most of us. This made it easy for people to come because they didn’t have to worry about traveling too far or paying for an airline ticket. I’m lucky that most of my friends live nearby. This destination also worked because a few people had to leave early in the morning to get home to activities.
As moms, we often don’t want to spend money on ourselves and planning something with too high of a price-point is likely to price some of your friends out of going. So look for inexpensive getaways or girls weekend deals. We were able to stay at my parent’s house at the Jersey Shore since my parents are in Florida. Make sure to check Airbnb for rentals or find a friend or family member who has a second home you can stay at.
Find Pre-Planned Events
When picking our Girls Weekend I purposely planned it to be the same weekend that the town we would be in was hosting their official Girls Weekend. That meant that there were drink specials, sales, free mimosas while shopping and official Girls Weekend tee shirts.
Keep People Informed
I created a Facebook invite and regularly posted updates on plans and ideas for our weekend. It was a great way to get everyone excited for the weekend. Also, it allowed everyone to ask questions and find out who was bringing what.
Keep Things Loose
I was torn between making lots of plans and not making any plans at all. In the end, I made dinner reservations and kept the rest of the day pretty unplanned. Though I had a general idea of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go since I knew the area. When planning for a large group sometimes it’s easiest to have a general plan but not too many places you have to be at certain times.
One thing I’ve learned from my Dad is that sometimes it’s best just to say what everyone else is thinking. I knew people were worried that they wouldn’t want to do everything we had planned or that some people would tire out early and feel like a downer or that some people just might not be into getting pedicures. So like my Dad does when we go on vacation I let everyone know in advance that we were all there to have fun and that no one should do anything they don’t want to do or feel bad about going home early or skipping an activity. One of my friends later told me that this put her at ease. And I think having said this helped when after midnight some of us were still dancing away and others were ready for late night snacks. Because it was already out there, there were no hard feelings.
Since everyone was driving in on their own and since it was my parent’s house, I wanted to get to the house first and make sure I had a welcome cocktail ready for when my friends arrived. I also got some cupcakes from a local bakery to go with. I kept my welcome cocktail simple: processo and pureed fruit juice were easy and self-serve.
Do the Must-Dos
Since our girls weekend was in my hometown I knew what the must-dos were. A girls weekend in Sea Isle isn’t complete without a good dinner, drinks at The Carousel and dancing at The OD. I wanted to make sure my friends did the Sea Isle things. If you are visiting a place you are unfamiliar with you can easily google what are the must do’s in that area.
Make Time for Downtime
While I thought our girls weekend was perfect I wish we had, had more downtime to just relax at the house. On Sunday morning we all sat around in our PJ’s and I really could have spent all day that way but everyone had to get home. Next time we are planning to do 2 nights and there will definitely be more downtime.
Whatever you end up doing, the weekend will be about not where but who you are with. I couldn’t have imagined a better weekend with a better group of friends.
As moms, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our schedules. Between kids, work and family commitments there doesn’t seem to be much time to plan a weekend away with friends. But for me, my girlfriends are essential to my happiness as a mom. They are the people I count on to swoop in and watch my kids when I have a doctors appointment. They are the people I text early in the morning or late at night, who I know won’t be annoyed to have a message from me. They are the friends I never knew I needed until I found them. These friendships make me a better person and parent. So spending time with them is a priority.