Some of my most loved memories are with my friends when we have travelled together. As a group of 7 ladies with diverse tastes and habits it can be a challenge to travel together. Some of us are vegetarian and some of us like to have independent bathrooms. Some like the beach, some like to party and some like to do crazy adventures. Yet, together we have managed to go to Dubai twice, relax in Cyprus and get a cultural feel of Thailand. Speaking from experience, travelling with your girl friends is probably one of the most difficult and fun things you will do in your life.
And I’m going to tell you how to make the most of it!
Step 1: Set a budget.
Make sure the travel dates are already set so that everyone (or most of the group) is committed. Since most of us are based in the GCC we choose dates around Eid holidays or long weekends. Once the dates are locked, you can proceed with talking budgets.
When it comes to money, it can be often a tough conversation to have. Luckily, we have comfort in speaking our minds and ensuring everyone is comfortable. If you don’t have that kind of comfort, be sensitive. The last thing you want is for someone to either go into debt with the trip or feel too embarrassed to say that they can’t afford it.
Once the total spend amount per head is decided, it becomes much easier to choose flights in that price range, hotels and have a rough idea how much you want to spend on food, transport and excursions. It’s all about being a team player so stay sensitive to your friends choices too.
Step 2: Brainstorming
Now, you are going to stick close to Google for plenty of reasons. For us, it was a saviour as it allowed us all to brainstorm together through Google docs! This gave all of us access to the ideas and information, so no more miscommunication.
This is the next plan of action when it comes to brainstorming.
- Finding a destination that everyone likes and can travel to (passport or visa issues?), within the budget, fit the number of days you will travel and for us weather always played a key role (that’s just personal choice).
- Look up for bargain deals on booking.com. I can swear by this site as we have had great luck in getting luxurious stays for a good price.
- Reviews on excursions and overall the vibe the city gives. Yes, tripadvisor.com is ideal.
- We take it a step ahead and also check out restaurants on zomato.com for hot eating spots for at least one meal in the day (we love checking out cool, innovative eating joints together!).
Step 3: Appoint a leader
Without realizing, my group started working like a tour agency. One of the ladies nose-dived into research on most convenient flights and hotels. This was great as we later appointed her as our ‘mother’ (haha). She did justice to her status as she chose flights that worked for all her ‘kids’, assisted in the flight booking process, chose hotels which were safe and found fun activities that would satisfy each member. We would give our opinions and vote so the majority preferred items were added to the itinerary.
Step 4: Planning versus spontaneity
I would have to say, our group could be a driven on moods a lot! So we preferred having a rough plan as to what we will do during our stay. This helped us in knowing that plans can change if we are too tired or on the contrary completely energized. For example, when we landed in Phuket at 7am instead of lethargy kicking in, we were pretty psyched and opted to hit the nearest mall for breakfast. From there we booked a half-day tour, which included an elephant ride and independent ATVs (buggy ride) to one of the prominent Buddhist temples.
It’s a holiday so make the most of it and don’t kill yourself trying to stick to the plan. Have space to be spontaneous and have fun with it!
One of the best things we do, depending on the number of people is to book either a large room with 2 bathrooms or 2 rooms next to each other. This makes our entire stay extremely comfortable. Again, we learnt this from experience when in Larnaca, Cyprus, we didn’t realize that our independent apartment had 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, balcony and ONE bathroom. This was challenging but fun in it’s own way as we had a bathroom schedule to work with! #funtimes
What’s your tip for a group travel?