For 7 years, I’ve been doing a girls’ weekend away with 3 of my best friends from college. Every year we pick a new location, but we’ve narrowed in on our ideal weekend itinerary. Here’s our plan for a 4 day, 3 night girls’ weekend and my 3 best tips on planning your own.
Where To Stay for a Girls’ Trip:
We usually choose an Airbnb for Girls’ Weekend so we can have 2-3 bedrooms and a bit more space to spread out. A place with a hot tub or pool gets extra points. Occasionally, we will choose a hotel if we’d prefer to be right downtown, but we know we’re likely to stay up late and laugh way too loudly, so we usually prefer having our own space. And having a 2nd bathroom is always a plus.
Where to Eat for a Girls’ Trip:
One of my friends really enjoys cooking, but the other three of us don’t consider ourselves on vacation if we have to cook or do dishes. So we might eat in for one meal if we have an Airbnb, but typically we’re trying local restaurants. Here are 3 things we always look for:
Tacos – Because tacos are amazing. You don’t need any more reasons. But we do specifically look for a restaurant that offers many different types of tacos that you can order individually. Variety is the spice of life. Bonus points if the restaurant also has churros or elote.
Pie – Preferably savory pie. But we’ll take sweet pie too. This started in Savannah with The Little Crown by Pie Society, a traditional British bakery that served a variety of meat pies. We also found a great savory pie shop in DC. We’ve even had pie flavored ice cream sandwiches from Peace Pie on our Charleston weekend trip.
Local Traditions – Lobster rolls and clam chowder in Boston or fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese in Charleston… if there’s a food the area is famous for, it’s on our list to eat.
Thursday Night: Gather
So far we’ve tried to pick a city that’s sort of central to everyone, but the weekend always kicks off with a pretty long drive for somebody. Usually one of my friends will fly, and the rest of us will pick her up. (Although we have big dreams to start flying out west soon!) No matter what the travel process looks like, we have a rule that no ‘big life updates’ are discussed until all four of us are together. (This rule meant that one year I waited through a 3 hour drive before spilling the beans that I was pregnant.) Day 1 ends up being a pretty full travel day so our only plans are good food and catching up.
Friday: Something Historic and a Coffee Shop
While we all enjoy visiting historical sites, one of my friends is a history teacher, so she is usually chomping at the bit to do all the historical things everywhere we go. And we always make time to stop at a cute local coffee shop for another friend whose love language is small business caffeination.
Friday night would also be the perfect time for a charcuterie board dinner. We usually pick up some breakfast items, so adding some salami, cheese, crackers, fruit, hummus, and veggies to our grocery list makes for a relaxed dinner that needs almost no prep.
Saturday: Food Tour
We’ve never gone on an official food tour (but we definitely should!), but Saturday is often planned around our must-eat restaurants. Often this day also includes some shopping, but other trips we visit more historic locations or get out in nature, depending on the city we’re visiting and the weather that weekend.
Sunday: Delicious Breakfast and Goodbyes
Sundays are nobody’s favorite girls’ weekend days, because it’s time to go home and wait another 10-15 months until we can do it all again. So we recommend drowning your sadness in a really amazing brunch before heading out.
How to Plan Your Best Girls’ Weekend:
Do a little something for everybody
In our case, a historic site for the history teacher, something fresh or super foodie for the chef, a local coffee shop for the coffee lover, and a beautiful landscape or city viewpoint for the photographer (that’s me). Your friend group is unique, so give everyone a chance to share what they’d love to do.
Make sure it feels like vacation for everyone
One of your friends might have strong feelings about staying in a hotel, because hotel beds = vacation for her. Others (like us) might insist on eating at restaurants and not needing to cook for a week. That might mean that your weekend is packed full of activities and sightseeing or that your itinerary consists of room service and lounging at the pool. Whatever makes your crew happy. Some years we’ve felt burnt out and needed to focus more on relaxation and other times we’ve tried to pack in as much as possible.
Have a trip captain
It might not surprise you that I’m the trip captain of our group. I lead the brainstorming conversation, research places to stay once we’ve made a decision, and collect the money on Venmo from everyone to cover our accommodations or attraction tickets. I also do most of the research on sightseeing and restaurant ideas and then ask my friends for input on what they’d like to do most. Whether you have a case of too many cooks in the kitchen or a group too amenable to come to a decision, choosing a trip captain will help a lot.
Remember the goal
The goal of your girls’ trip is to spend time together. If you make that the focus, making compromises as you plan the weekend will be easier for everyone. And remember, there’s always next time!