Everyone needs a getaway now and again, most of all overworked moms! Making time for old and new friends, especially on a trip away from home, can be an essential way to recharge and reconnect with your own identity.
Plan a grown up girls trip (even as busy, money-strapped moms) with these tips!
You guys know I’m ALL about moms finding time for themselves. Book club, lunch with friends, even just a long walk alone can do wonders for a frazzled mom’s psyche.
One of my FAVORITE ways of making this “me” time happen is by going on a girls’ trip out of town, with old friends. Several people have asked me exactly how we make these work regularly so I wanted to share the details with you today.
My hope is that more overwhelmed, underappreciated moms can make time in their own lives to reconnect with old friends and remind themselves what freaking awesome human beings they are!
Several years ago, one of my close college roommates shared an article she read in a magazine that talked about how some older women had been getting together for regular girls’ trips for many years. A few of my friends and I LOVED the idea and committed to figuring out a similar solution for ourselves. The goal was to rekindle our crazy fun college relationships and escape the grueling work of being mom all day (errryday).
We decided that we’d plan a trip around the same time, every year. Each person would take a turn “hosting” the girls trip, meaning that she would be in charge of picking the city, itinerary and exact dates, while we’d all be responsible for scheduling our own flights to the destination. The hostess doesn’t necessarily have to plan something close to her, but we often do it this way to save money on airfare.
We began the trip with just 4 of us, but 2 other really close friends have since joined us once life settled a bit and they saw how doable it was. We’ve traveled to Las Vegas; Sedona, AZ; Boston; NYC; Park City, UT and North Carolina/Tennessee. Our next trip is currently in the planning stages for Seattle!
It’s probably a moot point to argue why every woman (especially mothers) needs a break to reconnect with old friends. But until we started doing these, I wasn’t completely aware of HOW much we needed it!
The first thing that happened on one of our trips was that we remembered who we were as college students. We let loose a little and acted a bit more carefree; we binged on ice cream and did some crazy stuff (well, crazy for 35 year old conservative moms, anyway). We may have even googled a few past boyfriends. Maybe.
In short, we took off our “responsible adult” hats and were free to just be ourselves. Vacations of any kind are a great way to escape the everyday hustle and just relax. But vacations with kids tend to not be particularly relaxing, and it’s not always possible to get away with your spouse when there are kids at home.
Girls trips are the perfect solution!
The BEST part of our girls trips is this: we decide on a fixed budget for each trip and the hostess is responsible for ensuring we don’t spend a penny more. For example, I was the hostess for the year we congregated in Sedona and I had a friend flying in from the east coast, one from Utah and one from the south. Everyone paid the same exact amount (I think it was around $350 on that trip) and I pooled our money to pay for everyone’s flights, the rental house and our meals/groceries.
It takes some ingenuity to make the finances work every year, but it helps when the hostess chooses some place close to her home so that we avoid buying a plane ticket for at least one person. My girlfriend in NYC would barely be able to find a plane ticket for $400, let alone afford a place to stay and buy food. But when we all pool our money, we’re able to do more and include everyone, even those who live far away.
And because we’re such good friends, we have so much fun just sitting around, eating food, doing our nails, chatting and watching sappy chick flicks. We don’t really require high-end entertainment to have a good time, although we do try to plan at least one fun experience or fancy dinner out. My favorite part of the Vegas trip was going on a rollercoaster at the New York, New York casino and gorging on a buffet afterwards!
Our trips have seen us through a bout of breast cancer (and chemo and surgery), a marriage, about 12 new babies (we have 24 kids between 5 of us!), breastfeeding (I can’t tell you how many sketchy NYC bathrooms I had to pump in) and 2 sets of twins (we were even pregnant with our twins at the same time, on one of our trips).
Spending time with friends who love us unconditionally brings us so much joy and relief, especially in the midst of our crazy, overscheduled lives where we have to be everything to everyone. I look forward to seeing these ladies for months and months before we actually get together; it never gets old.
I’d love to hear if anyone else has similar traditions and how you make them work around your families. If you do, let me know where your favorite US destination is…we can always use more ideas!
And if you’re looking for more reasons to justify a sanity trip, read THIS! And be sure to subscribe to my “More than a Mom” e-course below. It’s 5 days of surefire tips for caring for yourself, even while caring for your family.