Picture it: the open road. Your favourite tunes blasting. Your three best friends packed in around you – off on the adventure of a lifetime. A girls weekend away…. Aaaaahhhh.
We know life can be tough. It’s busy, it’s overwhelming at times, and sometimes you just really need a break.
In fact, according the 2019 World Happiness Report, Australians could do with some perking up. We dropped off the chart of the 10 happiest countries across the globe this year. Isn’t it time we all start doing more things that make us happy?
And what better way to improve your happiness than a relaxing getaway with friends? Read on to learn everything you need to know to plan the perfect girls weekend away.
Taking a holiday is good for you. Science says so.
As we get older, our lives become busier and more complicated. Maybe it’s kids. Partners. Families. Work and home obligations. Or maybe it’s that we convince ourselves we don’t have time – that we’re too busy to take a break.
Well, no more. Consider this your guilt-free ticket to getting out there and enjoying life: going on a holiday can improve your wellbeing, reduce stress, and increase your productivity and mood. Your boss will thank you for it ????
Step 1: Rally the Troops (and Funds)
If you want your friends to put time aside, it’s best to get in early and book that trip in now. Or it’ll end up at the bottom of everyone’s to-do list. The more people involved, the more lead time you need to get the dates right.
The secret to planning a girls’ getaway of a lifetime is to invite those you care about most. Don’t be pressured into inviting your aunt’s sister’s cat’s niece because she’s available and keen. Connect with your nearest and dearest and keep the party poopers at bay.
When budget is an issue
Your friends are keen, but everyone’s purse strings are tight. We’ve got the perfect solution. Open a joint ‘girls’ weekend away savings account.’
Agree on your budget and set up an auto-transfer from each of you (to guarantee everyone pays their share). Then keep an eye out for accommodation deals so you can take advantage of them when the time is right.
You’ll have your girl’s road trip paid for in no time.
Step 2: Decide on Your Getaway Goals
Everyone’s idea of a break will probably differ, so your road trip success will hinge on making plans that makes everyone happy.
Think about what you want. Relaxing in the tranquil countryside? Sipping cocktails by the beach? Indulging in gourmet night and day? Being spontaneous and trying new things?
It’s true: some of the best trips are born from spontaneity. But you’re more likely to have a fun, stress-free getaway if you plan a little. Not only the end destination – and the overnight stops along the way – but what you’re going to do when there.
Getting heated about what to do, where to eat and so on every day isn’t something you want to get caught up in. And you don’t want to come home from your trip only to discover you missed out on something incredible.
Questions to help you narrow down ideas
- What is your budget?
- How far do you want to drive?
- How long can you get away for?
- Is room sharing OK or do you need a bedroom each?
- What activities are you hoping for?
- Are you looking for a luxury experience or happy to rough it under the stars? (or a mix of both)
- What about going on a caravan holiday?
- Or exploring weekend spa getaway ideas?
- Or all-inclusive hotel destinations?
By agreeing on the basics, you can be realistic about your budget, your holiday location and how much you can fit into your trip.
Step 3: Decide on Your Destination
Choosing where to explore is way more difficult then choosing where to go to dinner. Australia is filled with oodles of wonders and attractions to suit every taste. We’ve made a list of ultimate Australian road trip destinations (to go with our original list of ultimate road trip ideas).
Once you’ve decided on the region you’ll head to, pick a few core sights, restaurants and activities with your crew and vote collaboratively on what you want to do. Plus, if you book in advance, you can often find pretty sweet deals. Get Googling!
Step 4: Rock a Killer ‘Girls Weekend Away’ Playlist
You’re may not always have phone or radio reception where you’re headed, so get your friends to add their fave songs to a Spotify playlist before you go. Got stragglers? Give them a deadline of one week before departure, so you’re ready and raring to sing your hearts out.
If you can, save your playlist so you can access it offline. If you’re heading outdoors, you may not have reception and if it rains, a spot of karaoke (with a glass of bubbly or two) is a great girls’ night-in activity.
Step 5: Prepare the Car with These Packing Hacks
Before you hit the road, it’s best to service your car (read car servicing 101). Be sure your car tyre pressure is at its optimum (including your spare) and give your car a once-over for broken lights and windscreen wipers. You can’t control the sun and moon so be prepped for driving safely in bad weather.
Here’s a quick checklist to prep your car for your girls weekend away:
- Get the car serviced, or check plus coolant and water levels and do an oil check
- Check your tyre pressure and do a once over to make sure they’re in good nick
- Pack extra distilled water for your car (in case it overheats)
- Pack a spare bottle of your car’s oil
- Keep a jack and good quality socket set in your boot
Make sure your car insurance is up to date
Sometimes things don’t go to plan and we don’t want you to be out of pocket.
Step 6: Make the Most of Your Car Space
If you’ve got three, four or even five people cramming into a car, you won’t have a lot of room for luggage. Don’t be that person who brings five bags and ends up crushing the unfortunate souls stuck in the backseat.
Time to pack smart so these tips will help:
- Make your own pillow on the road. Pack a pillowcase and stuff it with your clothes instead. Genius!
- Take microfibre towels. They’re lightweight, super absorbent and quick drying.
- Use these clothes folding hacks to make the most of your space, and make use of laundromats while you’re on the road.
- Forget buying coffee on the road: Take a portable espresso machine with you instead. It’s a tired driver’s best friend (but not a replacement for stopping every now and then!)
- Buy ice for your esky and leave it mostly intact. The extra surface area means it will take longer to melt, keeping food fresher for longer. No one wants to spend on exorbitant petrol station food or deal with a hangry friend
- Wrap your charging cables into your socks to keep them from tangling on the trip (and invest in a portable charging back for the car)
- Take a first aid kit for those unfortunate accidents, including nail clippers, toothpicks, LED torch, bandages and band aids.
- Download your route so it’s accessible from Google maps offline. You don’t want to get lost when you enter a black spot with no reception.
Step 7: Drive Safely
Remember: a good holiday is a safe holiday – minimise distractions while you drive. Ensure your windscreen is clean, your windscreen washer fluid is full and invest in a good pair of sunglasses so your vision isn’t an issue.
Don’t touch your phone. Make your front passenger your second-in-command to choose the tunes, work maps, and handle urgent calls.
You’re the exclusive driver of your car on this trip (maybe because we’ve rewarded you with an exclusive driver discount for being the only driver), so don’t forget to take regular breaks. You all need the occasional satisfying stretch. And stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of chilled water beside you.
You deserve a break
Twenty years from now, you don’t want to look back on your life and think how busy you were. You want to be able to smile as you reminisce over that summer road trip getaway with friends – and the breath-taking sights and new experiences you enjoyed.
If you’re still reading this, we’re going to take a stab in the dark and say you desperately need that weekend away. You only live once, right? Go make some happy memories!