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This past Memorial Day Weekend, my NYU girlfriends and I had our inaugural Annual Girls Trip. The seven of us are sprawled in various corners of the country—two in NYC, 3 in LA, 1 in Sacramento, and I in Colorado (for the most part).
After a few months getting settled into our post-grad jobs/towns/apartments/friends/lives, it became quite clear that these group rendezvouses weren’t just going to manifest with no planning like they used to. We all carved out a few hours one week to have a group google hangout and within minutes the words “Girls Trip” were spoken.
We threw out a couple places—Bahamas! New Orleans! Greece!
We ruled out Europe pretty quickly since we’d only have a long weekend and we were still in our first year out of college, so it wasn’t like everyone had already had time to stash a vacation fund (aah the joys of adulting).
So then we started thinking if any of our families have vacation places we could stay in for free. It turns out a few of us—including me—did, yay!
Within a couple weeks we had knocked out a pretty solid game plan for our holiday weekend in Aspen and our wallets weren’t hurting either.
Herewith, how to plan an annual girls trip that’s a success on all fronts:
If you can, ride the wave of familial connections.
If one of your family members has a vacation condo, cabin, or property ask if they’d be open to letting your girl group have a weekend getaway. Obviously you and your friends will pay for all the cleaning and be class-act house guests.
Make a meal calendar ahead of time.
As the host, I took on the role of planner and created a google doc where everyone signed up to cook a meal. Everyone indicated what they were planning to make AND if they had any allergies. We decided that the cooks would be responsible for buying the ingredients for their respective meals. That way if one girl’s budget is a bit tighter, she can still make a lovely meal but on her own terms.
Bring and Send a Hosting Gift
Maybe it’s the midwesterner in me, but I am a firm believer in happy hospitality and demonstrating gratitude for that hospitality. Even if it is a family member’s place, odds are the host friend has put in a good amount of time to make this whole operation work. Bring her a little something. As a group, you can write a thank you note to the owners and pitch in for a little token of your appreciation. Think of how much their generosity SAVED you in hotel or Airbnb expenses! A thank you gift is quite little in comparison.
Get a “split-the-bill” app.
Going out to sushi is fun. Seven different rolls to try = sushi lover’s dream. Splitting the bill seven ways? Not so much.
I’m a fan Square Cash. It’s the most intuitive and simply designed of the money transfer apps. But my favorite part is the sender doesn’t have to have the app or an account to send you money! This just came in handy last week when my mom and I split a cab to the airport and she didn’t have cash. My mom’s low on phone storage so she didn’t want to go through the hassle of clearing her phone to make space for a new app, then setting up the app account just to send me money once and then delete it to make storage on her phone. So instead, she just went to my “Cashtag” url and entered her debit card info there! Unlike other money transfer apps where you have to an account to send money, Squarecash makes it a lot easier for everybody involved.
Remember y’all are independent women and alone time is A-ok.
Want to be true to the word “annual” in Annual Girls Trip? Decide one single weekend so that you never have to think about dates in the future.
We decided that if we really want to hold ourselves accountable in doing this annual trip, we needed to take out as many obstacles as possible. Two of those obstacles are scheduling and airfare prices. So when you decide on one holiday weekend to stick to every year, it becomes a lot easier to reserve that in your calendar and refer to it by name instead of specific dates. It’s like a standing reservation for a weekend with your friends. So in addition to saving yourself a headache in coordinating schedules every year, you also have lots of time to keep an eye on airfare AND have something to look forward to every year 🙂
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Square, Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.