With warm spring sunshine now giving way to warmer temperatures, it is that time of the year when you slip into your floral summer dress; slather copious amounts of sunscreen; and put on your sunglasses to beat the heat. The days are longer, lazier, and you find yourself craving a vacation to get away from the grind — be it the pesky project deadlines or the relentless monthly targets at work. There couldn’t be a better time than this to plan a holiday with your girls — because what could possibly beat the joy of bonding with your girlfriends while backpacking or lounging at a beach? Whether it is hiking in the hills; exploring the cultural treasures of a town; or even hitting the sands for the sun and surf, a girls’ holiday needs meticulous planning and plenty of patience to ensure you don’t end up with a grumpy gang. We bring top tips from our travel diaries to prepare you for a soul-enriching experience with your girl pals, as you head out to see the world.
Setting the course
When travelling in a group, it is common to lock horns over not just the holiday destination, but also the mode of travel. While you might want to rough it out on a camping trip, your girl friends might prefer to fly down to a glamping resort. And it is worth noting that your mode of transport (by air, rail or road) will play a key role in deciding your destination of choice. Fix a date with your girls, and hold a healthy discussion to get started with your holiday planning.
The last thing you want to ruin your holiday is that awkward moment when your gang is squabbling over who owed how much to whom. Situations such as these can get messy and unnecessarily complicate relationships. The trick is to create a shared money resource — or a ‘kitty’ — at the start of the vacation, and fix a per person contribution to it on a daily basis. Then whether it is taking that unplanned boat cruise or ordering an extra bottle of wine, you and your girls are covered.
Although it is a good idea to appoint one person in-charge of all travel arrangements to avoid confusion, it can also weigh the person down mentally with managing all the hotel reservations and travel bookings. Avoid meltdowns and frayed nerves by sharing responsibilities amongst yourselves, with one of you taking on the hotel booking, another the air/rail/road travel arrangements, and so on. With great travel comes great responsibility!
Sharing is caring
This cannot be emphasized more on a girls’ holiday. Whether it is a bottle of sunscreen, or a pair of earrings, or even that hair dryer, it pays to share your stash of things with your friends. Not only do you get to travel light and make sufficient room for your shopping excesses, but you also get to wear a new look every day. However, exercise discretion when packing anything expensive you wouldn’t want to lose or get damaged.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a holiday. There will be times when some of you will want to binge-drink the evening away, and others will want to lounge at the hotel pool with a pack of crisps. Remember you and your gang are on a holiday to let your hair down, and not to cause disappointment by scoffing at each other’s activity suggestions. Let everyone in the group do what they’d prefer to do, rather than pushing your own agenda. By the same token, it can sometimes be fun to try something you’d otherwise not. Indulge in your friends’ wishes every now and then — be it signing up for a culinary workshop, or taking beginner lessons in a water sport of their choice.
How much is too much
While it maybe tempting to reach out for yet another pint of your favourite spirit, keep in mind that you don’t want to attract unwanted attention in unfamiliar surroundings. Be mindful of your friends’ safety as well as your own — stumbling and fumbling the way back to the hotel is not the best idea.
Handling tense moments
A group holiday will almost always bring disagreements and arguments, when your gang won’t see eye-to-eye on various aspects. Take a deep breath; identify the points of conflict; and have a patient, level-headed discussion to resolve your issues. It doesn’t help anyone to get all riled up and bring up something that might make the situation worse.
If you’re mostly an introvert — or even otherwise — it is vital to make some time for yourself, away from the hubbub of the rest of the group. Find yourself a cosy nook at the hotel property to catch up on some me-time: carry a book, go for a swim, write your travel journal, or simply listen to music. You are sure to join your people back feeling happier, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the day!
So what are you waiting for? Head for the holiday already!