I think it’s best to plan 8 months to a year in advance for a trip lasting 5 nights or longer. It will allow you to get your personal finances in order, as there’s nothing worse than being on a trip broke. But most importantly it’s to get the entire groups schedule in sync. Without it, you’ve got nada. Scheduling is everything. You not only have to coordinate the schedule of your household but the households of those planning to go, including partners who have to put in vacation requests to stay home with the kids and/or to pay for sitters
With your dates confirmed its time to…
As a group, you gotta openly talk about what type of trip you want to take. Do you want to be active and adventurous? Do you want to relax and lounge? If you’re unsure do a little research about location ideas and what they have to offer. Afterward look into flights, hotels, transportation (if needed), and activities. Each mom should take one item and research it so that no one person is doing all the work. Unless there’s a mom who enjoys doing all the work, there’s almost always a natural born planner in the group.
With your location set now its time to talk…
Knowing everyone’s budget should be established early on. With you all being friends there’s no reason to feel embarrassment about how much you can or can’t afford. Financial transparency is key to this trip even getting off the ground. Once your destination and budget are agreed upon now if time to start pricing your trip. If there are four or less you all can simply share a room or maybe do 2 rooms side by side with an adjourning door.
When I took my mommy trip there were four of us in one room. This helps keep cost low and will allow you to splurge at 4-star hotel, or upgrade your room from a city view to an ocean room, or maybe a suite. Remember deals are your friends. You can find them on various vacation and discount sites like Groupon or Expedia. Also, call the hotel directly and inquire about any unlisted deals they may have. Remember the earlier you book the better.
If you have a hard time saving up coins try opening a vacation savings account. Have a little money direct deposited directly into that account. This way you don’t have to think about putting money to the side. And to keep the money from being too easily accessible don’t link it to your debit card. Make it so that you have to go inside the bank to dip into it. Trust me, you will not go to the bank to withdraw money from the account.
A way to keep organized throughout your planning is a group email, Google doc or a private Facebook group. The best thing about the private Facebook group is, one it’s a secret so no one has access to it outside of the group. And two, you can turn on the group notifications to make sure you’re always in the know about everything relating to the trip.
CALL AND ASK ABOUT LOCAL EVENTS
Sign up for hotel or event newsletters or reminders for the location you plan to visit. Keeping up to date about what’s happening locally will allow you to plan around an event that may be of interest to the group. There’s nothing fun about missing a dope ass event taking place nearby simply because you didn’t know it was happening.
IT’S OKAY TO NOT DO EVERYTHING TOGETHER
Don’t worry if everyone isn’t in agreement with an adventure idea. Yes, its a group trip but don’t expect to be together the entire time. It’s perfectly okay if the group separates to do different things. The group split will make for great conversation at dinner about what everyone did with their day.