I must confess – I miss my girlfriends

We all lead such busy lives these days, and with all the demands of family and work, our friendships can sometimes suffer. I have a few close friends who I just don’t get to see enough. We’ve been through a lot together – marriages, babies, school, childhood, divorces, death – you name it, we’ve been there to support each other. These friendships are important to each of us, so we try to organise a weekend away together once a year. A weekend with your closest friends can be the ideal way to kick back, relax, laugh and reconnect with each other.

We ladies enjoy a good girl’s weekend for lots of different reasons:

Carole: “As much as I love my hubby and kids, it’s great to escape for a couple of days to just be me, not someone’s Mum or wife, just me.”

Donna: “I really enjoy having the time with my beautiful friends – we have such a ball together. We laugh so much.

Melissa: “I love our annual Girl’s Weekend away – I really look forward to them. We go somewhere different every year. We go shopping, have a massage, see a live show, sometimes have a tarot reading – lots of fun girly things!

There’s no question that going away together can be a fantastic way to bond and/or reconnect with your most treasured friends, but a successful and enjoyable weekend away requires forward planning and organisation, particularly for busy Mums.

As I’ve organised many weekends away for myself and my friends, I thought I’d share the following tips on what makes a fabulous Girl’s Weekend:

  • Decide who to invite –  This can sometimes be tricky, and I strongly suggest starting with a smaller group, as there can be issues with conflicting personalities. Sharing a common interest can be helpful to the cohesion of the group too.
  • Plan ahead –  Gather potential participants at a lunch or dinner and discuss possible dates and locations. This is best done at least 6 months ahead, or it can be difficult to pin down a date where everyone can make it. Once you’ve settled on a date, lock it in by getting everyone to mark it on their calendar.
  • Decide where to go –  Your destination depends on the time you have available for the trip, your budget and the distance away from home you’re comfortable to be – this is especially important for younger Mums, in case of needing to return home. When some of our group had small children, we usually only ventured 1-2 hours away for this reason.
  • Get a commitment. It’s important to know your exact numbers before you book anything, as this can affect the costs for other members of the group. We all pay a percentage of the accommodation deposit, to get a commitment from everyone involved.
  • Research and book accommodation – Where you stay depends on your budget and the size of your group. If you have 8 or less in the group, it can often be cheaper to book a holiday house or apartment for the weekend than it is to stay at a hotel in separate rooms. The thing we like best is that you have a kitchen and living areas where you can gather and not be in each other’s hotel rooms. I’ve found Stayz a great resource for finding holiday accommodation. If you have a large group, try to find accommodation with more than one bathroom, or at least a second toilet. If you prefer a hotel’s facilities, by all means book a hotel, then you have the challenge of working out who shares a room – draw names out of a hat?
  • Decide on your activities –  We usually talk about what we’d like to do over the weekend. Obviously, not everyone wants to do the same things, and that’s fine. Our group sometimes splits and we either agree to meet up at a particular time and place or just meet back at the house whenever we’re ready.

Some suggested activities: Massages, Beauty treatments, see a movie, a live band or stage show, have a clairvoyant reading, go shopping, do a cooking class, go hot air ballooning, go on a winery tour, shop the factory outlets, do an art/craft class, go bushwalking, do yoga, learn to surf, go bike riding, lay by the pool and drink cocktails, sunbathe and read a book (with sunscreen on, of course), enjoy a day or evening cruise – or anything else you can do together.  Make it as relaxing and affordable as possible for everyone… unless one of the group has just won the lottery – then it’s their shout!

  • Work out a budget – Make one person the treasurer. Ask them to work out how much it will cost per person for accommodation, food, activities and travel costs. When you’re on a limited budget, paying out several hundred dollars in one go can be a stretch. We opened a separate account and each of us contributed $20 a fortnight towards the trip. We kept a spreadsheet of all the savings. Some people found this too hard and just wanted to pay one amount.  You’ll need to set out dates that people need to pay by in order to pay deposits, book tickets, etc.
  • Make final arrangements – A few weeks out, we make final arrangements on who will drive (we usually only travel within 1-3 hours of home), what everyone needs to bring, what time you’ll leave and return, etc.

5 Cost-Saving Tips for your Girl’s Weekend

  • In your budget, include the cost of meals so that one person holds the kitty and everything gets paid out of that. We work out where we will eat our main meals, check their menu, and allow a particular amount per person for two courses and drinks. Allow for lunch, morning and afternoon tea where appropriate. That way, nobody has to put their hand in their pocket unless it’s for personal spending or extra alcohol!
  • Each person brings a bottle or two of their favourite wine/alcohol to share.
  • Each person is allocated a few grocery items to bring, such as: breakfast items, tea and coffee, extra loo paper (we have run out more than once), essentials such as chocolate, crackers and snacks (for afternoon drinkies) or whatever else you want to bring and share.
  • We shop on arrival, purchasing milk, bread, butter, any breakfast items which require refrigeration, cheese/dip/olives etc.
  • We usually book accommodation close to our activities so that we can walk there.

The most important part is to relax, enjoy each others company and have fun.

Have you been on a girl’s weekend? Do you have a tip to add? Please leave your comments in the box below. Grazie! 🙂

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 Linking up for #WednesdayWanderlustWanderlust-Link-Party-Button

Linking up with My Home Truths for #IMustConfess – I must confess that I really miss my girlfriends when we don’t see each other for months at a time.

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