My adapted how to for my girls’ weekend away.
Margarita in the pool. Palm Desert, California. June 2014.
In a little less than a month, my sister is getting married and, along with all the other stresses and pleasures this event inspires, this means one very specific per-ceremony event has to take place: the bachelorette party.
What, one may ask, does this have to do with travel?
Well, my sister’s bridal party (plus additional guests) spans 10 people from 50 years old to 14, so this is more than just a one night affair in Vegas.
The 10 of us will be staying in a rented house for two full and two partial days with the bill (minus the house) split between 8 of us. In this way, as well as the event planning, this weekend get away—though very specifically themed—is a lot like planning any other travel experience… most specifically a road trip.
So go through the list:
Housing: rented a house—check
Cars: carpooling 8 of us furthest away in two cars—check
The simplest way to say this is have one. Most of the time, you aren’t taking one of these trips on your own and so your budget not only has to fit everyone involved but account for their spending. There are a few ways to do this:
- Paying as a group. This is easy in the moment but can take a lot of post work. You really have to talk out affordability beforehand. Be frank on what people can chip in and what items are and aren’t on this list of group expenditures—some things are for everyone and others are personal—only one of these sets goes toward the group spending. You can even go so far to assign only one or two people (who you can rely on for their model spending habits) as shoppers but the key to this type of budgeting is recite collection and calculating while you go. The receipts tell you exactly how much one person spent which then can be divided. It’s not that I don’t trust people to tell me how much they spent, but seriously, just get all the receipts.
- Pay for things individually. This keeps everyone separate money wise which avoids the awkward “you owe me money” down the line, but also means everything from food to entertainment has to be parceled out right there and then—and that’s not even considering how you decide about things like the gas for the car. You have to really plan out what you are doing and where you are going—some restaurants won’t split the bill (at least for larger parties) and everyone will have to think about any pre-bought tickets, possibly paying more for none group rates.
- Break down of type. This means that one person (or one group) pays for gas while another pays for food and another for entertainment and so on and so forth. This can keep things simple and reduces the math but can be a serious game of monetary Russian roulette—you don’t necessarily know what is going to cost the most on any given trip.
For our trip, we’ve gone with option one. Two of us are the spenders and in the end we’ll be gathering our receipts and hashing out the numbers. We had a meeting before we did anything else to discuss what we wanted to do and the cost range we thought we’d be able to afford and still stick to while accounting for the number in our party. This is the option I usually recommend for larger groups of travelers.
Just like I talked about in my post about staycations, a weekend away can be just as low key or top speed as you want it to be. You’re not going very far (usually) and are usually trying to keep you costs low. For my trip, this means we’re bringing our food and drinks with us and eating at home. Making your food at home and packing lunches for when you head out—eat in a park and enjoy the day!—will save you a lot of money and can be turned into an event. What you chose to do can also determine costs for a weekend trip just like with any vacation.
Our basic plan is to stay around the house for a good chunk on the trip with an at home (and DIY) spa and pool day and a bachelorette themed movie and game night. We have one day where we’re going to go out and explore the area, do a scavenger hunt, have dinner and go drinking (away from the minors). These trips tend to be more about relaxation than anything else, so take it easy and have fun!
Just like any other trip, packing comes down to paying attention to where you’re going (the weather), for how long, and what you’ll be doing. I have almost always been a chronic over-packer but I’m trying to cut the habit, while still keeping my style intact.
For this trip, that means:
Your travel outfit (ie an oversized shirt, shorts/pjs/sweatpants, slip-ons or sandals [x2 if you can’t rewear it on the return trip])
Your pjs (something comfy for the night in)
Your day out outfit (something easy like jeans and a tee shirt to an easy dress that can transition to …)
Your night out outfit (through on a blazer and some heals/booties over your day wear and up the makeup)
Swim suit (and sunscreen and all other pool essentials)
A robe if you have/want one
Add one Bachlorette themed soundtrack and that’s it. Something easy you can roll and throw into a duffel or backpack with you toiletries, makeup and essentials.
So, that’s my weekend (and next week of last minute prep). What did any of you do for your last weekend away or what did you pack/see or not pack/see that you wish you did or didn’t?
Anyway, this seemed like an odd post and I’ll be sure to be back on track next week, but I hope you enjoy.
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.
PS. Exciting news on the horizon so stay tuned and wish me luck!