Girls' trips sound like a great idea. With none of those pesky men around, you and your ladies can kick back, relax, and drink all of the rosé with none of the judgment. You already share a lot of the same opinions (that's why you're friends in the first place!), so how hard could putting together a five-day trip to Napa really be?
At least, that's what's this nascent girls-tripper thought before saying yes to an all-female getaway. It turns out, when there are differing budgets, priorities, and tempers in the mix, the whole thing could blow up in your face faster than you can say "bottomless brunch."
So instead of you ruining friendships over whether or not you should splurge on a car service, here are some questions to ask yourself before you click "confirm" on that reservation. Because wine should be for drinking, not throwing.
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1. What is your budget?
And next, what are theirs? Sure, they don't have to be identical, but it helps that you're vaguely on the same page when you are deciding on which hotel you're staying in, or whether or not a pricey restaurant is making the itinerary. It's no fun thinking you're signing on for a spa vacation and then finding out your girls want to stay in a hostel.
2. How planned do you like your days to be?
If you're the type of girl who needs a 24-hour schedule but your travel buddies want to wing it, the planning process is not going to be fun—not to mention you'll likely be doing most of it yourself. Talk amongst your friends and come up with a compromise before you're wandering aimlessly through your vacation and wishing you had booked a tour ahead of time.
3. What's on your must-do list?
Make a list of your priorities for the trip—what you definitely want to do, see, and eat—and rank it from "I'll die if I don't eat beignets in NOLA" to "I kind of feel like I should visit the Guggenheim but I'm not the biggest modern art fan." That way, you and your friends know where your priorities lie and where you're willing to compromise when you run out of PTO.
4. How far in advance will you be ready to book?
There's nothing worse than being ready to book your flight and then finding out your travel buddy is waiting for her next paycheck until committing. What if you book first, and then the flight fills up? Before you blow your lid, set a timeline for when you're planning to book each aspect of your trip, and then hold yourselves to it.
5. What's more important: your friendship or this trip?
Let's be real: Is this vacation worth losing a bestie over? If yes, then you probably shouldn't be traveling with that friend in the first place. But when a healthy friendship is more valuable to you than getting your first-choice hotel, take off the boxing gloves and compromise. You'll thank yourself the next time you need a friend and she runs to your aid with a box of Kleenex and some ice cream.