Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How to Plan A Girlfriend Getaway Vacation

Years ago, my best girlfriends and I all turned 30 in the same year. We’d talked about going on a major 30th blowout celebration trip - packing our bags, leaving the husbands, kids and work behind, and just going. Destination Anywhere. Yet, somehow Year 30 came and went, and without our celebration blowout. We let life, kids, jobs and drama get in the way of our “free” and fun time, and let our dream trip pass us by.

Luckily, the vision never died and a few years later, we decided to breathe life into our getaway. Have you been stuck in a rut, unable to REALLY connect with your girlfriends? Stop the excuses and start planning your own 2009 getaway! Planning can be simple and I’ve added a few suggestions based on my experiences below:
  • Determine who your Core Divas are. Core Divas are the girlfriends whose opinions will be used to create the vacation details, the ones that are definitely down for the trip. This isn’t to say that you won’t invite others to attend your vacation getaway; it simply keeps the opinions down to those with the original vision. During the initial planning stages, it’s also important to know if it’s “allowed” for Core Divas to invite more travelers, once the trip details are confirmed.

  • From the Core group, choose the Contact Diva. The Contact Diva should be the person that is great with detail, has patience and gets along with everyone in the group. If you don’t have one “lead”, then I strongly suggest delegating responsibilities among the Core Divas, so that none of the planning falls through the cracks.

  • I’ve found that the very best way to determine where and when to go, as well as how much to spend on your vacation is to survey your Core Divas. I actually use a survey site, Survey Monkey, to gather the responses. It may seem formal to gather responses, but I like the confidentiality and Survey Monkey tracks the percentages of individual responses...so majority rules ;) I include questions such as: "What’s Most Important in a Getaway, Package Price Range for airfare/accommodations, Date Ranges, Trip Location and Desired Activities (i.e. spa, tours, water sports, shopping, etc.)"

  • Core Divas surveyed and key details determined? Now it’s time to call your favorite Travel Agent with the details! Travel Agents can a great value and resource, especially with planning group trips. I also love working with agents because they are able to find packages that allow for payment plans, so your group doesn’t have to worrying about footing the full package price upfront. The Contact Diva is also a key player here, as it’s much easier for a travel agent to communicate details with one contact person, rather than the entire group of travelers.

  • **As a side note: if you set up a payment plan with your Travel Agent, it’s SO much easier to have your Travel Agent use one form of payment, rather that several from all of the group members. I highly recommend setting up a PayPal account for the group payments and using the associated PayPay MasterCard for the payments to your Travel Agent. Your Travel Agent should be able to assist you with keeping track of payments from the group.

  • Once all the details are in place, Get Excited!! I actually create a flyer to send everyone the trip details and to create more excitement. Don’t forget key details such as: When, How Much (include payment plan schedule, if app), Where, and Hotel websites. Also, include the Contact Diva’s contact info if travelers outside of the Core group will be invited.

  • Add Bells and Whistles. Other perks I add to my getaways to make them fun for the traveling divas:

    · Monthly emails with traveling tips, fun info about the vacation destination, and fashion news.
    · Swag Bags with traveling essentials. My girlfriends LOVE receiving a “La Diva Loca” trip package, days before we depart. Trip packages can include a novelty from the location you are headed, Peek-A Boob Strips, and a customized party CD. The key is being creative and fun!
    · Group t-shirts. I’m not talking about your standard, cheesy screen-print tee. Check out Sparkle Plenty, for a fun, Swarovski crystal t-shirt, designed with your group in mind!
My girlfriends and I have made our trip an annual adventure and it’s something that’s highly anticipated every year! Stop making excuses, grab a girlfriend or two, and start planning your own girlfriend getaway!

Have more fabulous tips to add? Please feel free to comment and share!


Globetrottingbride said...

This is a great post! I love the core and contact divas. That would have solved some problems for my friends :)

badislandchic said...

Just getting started on my destination 40th birthday party. Your post was very HELPFUL!! THANKS

Anonymous said...

Would you mind sharing your list of questions for the survey you conduct with the "core divas"?

Anonymous said...

Love the post! Would you mind sharing the questions for the survey, please? Thank you kindly and blessings~

La Diva said...

@Anonymous check out this post for a few sample survey questions. Be sure to be creative and add a few of your own ;)