Planning a group trip can be a lot of work and stress. If you are planning a bachelorette trip for your friend, you may start to feel pressure to get it just right for her. Weddings can bring out the worst in people, and planning a destination bachelorette with a group of girls can quickly turn into a nightmare. As you are working with the bride and her friends to plan a fun and stress-free trip, keep the following ideas in mind.
ASK THE BRIDE WHAT SHE WANTS
Especially for a party centered around the bride, you will first want to talk to your friend to see what she is thinking in terms of location and time. The bride will likely pick where the bachelorette party will take place, and which weekend your group will travel. Your bride should also give you the invite list – do not make assumptions on who she may want at her party. Sometimes brides will want a smaller party with just bridesmaids, and other brides may want a party with many more friends. Depending on how far away or how expensive the bachelorette trip is may also impact who the bride is interested in inviting.
In addition to the location, ask the bride about what types of activities she is expecting to do. The activities she is interested can dramatically impact your group’s budget. Assess the bride’s interests and the types of girls you are traveling with to determine the types of activities that may be interesting to the majority. If your bride is interested in inexpensive activities, be sure to gauge the group’s enthusiasm before signing everyone up.
SET BUDGET EXPECTATIONS
Do not assume that every person invited to the bachelorette trip will be able to attend. Especially since the trips can get pretty expensive, try to outline a budget ahead of time so girls know what to expect, and they can figure out if they can attend or not. You will want to estimate the costs of:
- Meals & snacks
- T-shirts & accessories
- Gifts for the bride
You cannot change the price of flights, but you can be flexible in the budget if the guest list requires it. If the bachelorette trip invite list is all recent college graduates, you may not be able to plan the most extravagant trip.
Consider an Airbnb instead of a hotel. Before you begin reserving hotels, set a deadline for the group for girls to determine whether or not they can attend. If you do choose to book a hotel, you can use Booking.com to find refundable rooms.
The last thing you will want is to be stuck with a non-refundable hotel reservation that you may have to cover on your own. Your lodging may be determined by the number of girls that can attend the bachelorette trip, so be sure to have a backup plan in the event that not everyone can attend. Is your group willing to accept higher costs?
How To Save Money
Avoid selecting the most expensive restaurants. Rather than getting custom t-shirts, opt for generic t-shirts or just matching outfits. You may not need all of the decorations, and you don’t need to do all of the activities. If the group cannot afford everything on your trip, consider finding less expensive activities to do in the place you are all visiting.
Be sensitive towards what people can and cannot afford. Do not assume that everyone will want to splurge on your friend, or on a crazy trip. Bachelorettes can cost up to $1,000 per person, which may not be feasible for everyone. Do what you can to keep expenses low while having a good time.
PLAN MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
You do not need to have every meal at a five-star restaurant. If the bachelorette trip extends over a course of a weekend, pick out restaurants ahead of time so women have the opportunity to budget for where you will be eating. The bride may deserve a nice meal, but expect to have more casual lunches with flexible meal options.
Instead of eating every meal out, you may want to consider picking up food to go and eating it in your hotel or Airbnb. If you have access to a kitchen, you may consider heating up pizzas for one meal in. Your meal is also the perfect time to pregame, or even play bachelorette games. Plus eating in means you can buy your own alcohol which will be significantly cheaper than buying drinks at restaurants!
Depending on the group you are planning for, your bachelorette trip guest list may either all want to match the entire weekend, or they may despise being told what to wear. Work with the bride to gauge which route the group may prefer, and what the bride’s preference is. Even if your group does not want to match perfectly all weekend, it is still a good idea to list out activities and outfit recommendations so that women know what to pack. A few examples may include:
- Friday night we are going out, so bring your favorite black dress!
- Saturday morning we are hiking, so bring shirts and comfortable shoes.
- Saturday afternoon we are going to a pool party, so bring a swimsuit and cover-up.
- Sunday morning we will be going to brunch, so wear a sundress or cute top.
This will relieve stress from your guests on figuring out what to wear and will ensure that guests arrive at the bachelorette trip prepared. Even if you do not want to list out specific outfit recommendations, it is important to at least list out activities ahead of time.
CHECK WITH THE GROUP BEFORE BOOKING ACTIVITIES
If you are going to book a group activity during the bachelorette trip, make sure to get the okay from the rest of the group before placing any ticket orders. Also, give girls an out option if they don’t want to go. For example, if you are booking tickets to a show, make sure that the girls are willing to pay the premium. If a girl cannot afford an activity or is not interested in a show, give her the option to meet up with your group afterward.
If there are even different tiers to tickets, for example, different seats at higher costs or an add-on for VIP services, again check to make sure that everyone in the group is okay with any purchases ahead of time. If there are many group activities planned, be sure to express these ideas before women are required to let you know if they can attend or not. Some women may choose not to attend the trip if their budget does not line up with the trip expectations.
CREATE AN ITINERARY
If you are planning a bachelorette trip, do not show up to a destination without any plans. You do not need to plan every hour of the weekend, but at least have a general but flexible itinerary of what the group will do. If you wake up on Saturday and ask the group “What do we want to do today?”, you will waste valuable fun time sitting around trying to make decisions. Know the general activities ahead of time, or at least have options already researched so the group does not spend too much time waiting around.
With your itinerary, be flexible and consider time for getting ready. If you only have one shower per four women, it might take two or three hours to get out the door in the morning or to finish getting ready for the evening. It’s fine to schedule activities that start on time but avoid scheduling too many activities back to back. If the pool party ends at 4:00 pm, will everyone have enough time to get to the hotel, get dressed, and be at dinner by 6:00 pm? Budget enough time for wiggle room.
It is also helpful to list out when girls may be arriving at the destination or leaving for the airport, especially if everyone has to fly in for the bachelorette. Give women an idea of when you think the group should be traveling, so everyone can plan carpools appropriately.
DON’T DELAY PLANNING
If you are expecting guests to take time off or to book flights, you will want to be respectful and plan the trip ahead of time. At least three months in advance should give women enough notice to find time off, and determine if they can attend the bachelorette trip.
You will want to book flights one to two months in advance at a minimum – less frequent travelers will prefer to book much further out. Especially if you will be coordinating rides to and from the airport, it is important that everyone in the group is aware of when their flights should be booked.
If you are coordinating the bachelorette trip, make sure that you have the contact information of every woman who is attending. Make as much trip information available as possible, so bachelorette guests know what to expect will take place during the party. Set up a group text, a Facebook event, a Google drive doc – find some way to communicate the itinerary and expected budget, so that there are no surprises involved. You definitely don’t want women complaining about the party, so set expectations appropriately.
Planning a bachelorette trip can be stressful, but it will absolutely be worth it with all of the fun your group has. There is almost always drama when planning group activities, but with enough communication, you can minimize any frustration your guests may feel.
Have you ever been on a bachelorette trip? If you have any additional tips for our readers or questions please leave these in the comments below.
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We Are Travel Girls Contributor Michelle Maraj of TravelAfterFive.com
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