Sightseeing while on a European cruise is one of many options for girlfriend getaways. Here, the Spanish Steps in Rome
What goes into planning a memorable girlfriend getaway? Travel Agent checked in with agents who specialize in this particular niche and put together useful tips you should know.
Whether it’s a wild bachelorette party or a weekend of spa and beauty treatments, Adrienne Manson of Indie Lady Travel and Robin Zell of Just Girl Trips agree that there are some basics every agent planning girlfriend getaways for their clients should know.
Manson and Zell agree that the most important part of planning a perfect girlfriend getaway is obtaining the group’s input. This includes everything from destination and numbers to budgets. “And then the next step is getting even more input so expectations can be met,” says Zell.
How much her clients can spend influences Manson’s planning a great deal, so she emphasizes the importance of getting clients to be honest with their agent. Dollars are needed from the get-go, starting with deposits right down to last-minute details like tipping a bellhop. “Nailing down how much each girlfriend actually has is the first step toward a successful trip,” she says.
Knowing the number of travelers well in advance is key as well. In Manson’s experience, mostly it is five or six girls. “It is important [to know numbers] in planning because group size will make a difference in price, and we will be able to determine if we can give the group free credits for their travel,” she says.
Offer options. While the purpose of the trip is for your client to spend time with her closest friends, not everyone will want to do the same thing at the same time. And everyone enjoys a little space. Zell says, “Too much togetherness can become too much of a good thing.”
Finally, leave enough time to plan. Manson recommends three to six months. “Incorporate learning, laughing, shopping and relaxing and you have a winner,” says Zell.
Robin Zell of Just Girl Trips offers these pointers for clients planning a girlfriend getaway.
Get your group together. We know you want everyone to go, but be realistic about those who definitely want to be a part of it. Let them know that if they can’t make it this time, they will always be welcome on the next trip. This gives everyone a green light to start planning…and to be excited and start packing!
Coordinate your date books, calendars and PDAs. Pick dates that work for everyone. Be flexible (leave on Thursday rather than Friday or return on Tuesday, not Monday) but being more specific helps everyone in finding child care, pet sitters, etc.
Vote on a budget and plan for everyone to save enough. Will someone’s lack of $50 keep others from going? Make sure your budget is realistic and everyone is serious about the trip.
Commit to going. Set deadlines for payments and take nonrefundable deposits. Let someone go in their place if need be, but don’t let them have an easy way out. Travel insurance is recommended.
Take the planning off your plate. The average consumer spends 15-20 hours online researching their next vacation and over half still contact an agent. Why waste time and money?