A Traveling Sisterhood: A Guide for Girls Traveling Together
Here are 10 things to remember when traveling with your gal pals.
Trips with your best girls are always a good idea, especially when your group of friends needs some time away together. Roadtrips to the beach, jetting off on an out-of-town shopping spree, or heading to your nearest spa are just a few of the ways you and your friends can spend some girl-bonding-time. But whether you're off to Boracay to relax on the beach, going to Siargao to catch some waves, or setting out to go shopping in Cebu, there are few things you and your BFF's must keep in mind when going on a girls-only trip.
- Have a general idea of what you all want to do. Just because you'll be traveling together, it doesn't mean that you'll be doing absolutely everything on your itinerary with each other. Even if the point of your vacation is to spend some time with your girl friends, not all of you may want to go visit the same places or do the same things all the time. Figure out what you and your pals want to do as a group first, then schedule your individual (or smaller group) activities when you've got your group itinerary set. Having an idea of what you'll be doing will also help you pack more efficiently.
- Pack light, but don't forget the essentials. Even if you'll be limiting the number of bags to bring, make sure you have everything you need. Plan your outfits before you put everything into your bags, and make sure to leave a little room for the souvenirs you might buy while you're on vacation. At the same time, have the essentials with you--toiletries, proper clothing and gear for your planned activities (swimsuits and sunscreen for the beach, rubber shoes and shorts for hiking, trekking and other land sports, and so on), and a small first-aid kit with band-aids, allergy medications (if you're prone to allergies), Paracetamol, pain killers, and other personal medicines that you may need.
- Be prepared for any girl emergencies. Even if you've planned your trip so that it doesn't fall during your period, it's always best to be prepared for unforeseen situations. Feminine hygiene products can take up a lot of room in your luggage, but having a Mefanamic Acid pill in your emergency kit and a couple of sanitary napkins or tampons in your toiletry bag can be a lifesaver (for you or any of your companions) in case of unexpected red days.
- Keep safety and security in mind. Take note of the security measures that are taken at your chosen place of accommodation, as well as the safety around its general location. Read travel reviews or ask friends and family who have been to that place how tight or lax the security is there before deciding to book a room. Staying at a hotel or resort that takes steps to keep their guests and their guests' belongings safe will help you avoid losing things due to theft, and give you more peace of mind during your trip.
- Read up and ask around. Find the best ways to get around your destination, and if there are any specific areas to steer clear of. Ask the staff at the hotel or resort you're staying at for tips on how to get around, directions to the places on your must-see list, and take note of the places they recommend you visit and advise you to avoid. Don't snub the free destination maps that you may find at the local airport or bus station upon your arrival, as this may be a big help when you're trying to find your way around.
- Dress to belong. Take note that some communities can be more conservative than others, so make sure that the clothes you pack are appropriate to your destination. In places like Boracay, women in bikinis are a common sight, but there are still some places where women don't bare that much skin, not even on the beach.
- Look out for each other. When you get to your destination, it's always safer to have two or three people accountable for one another, so having a buddy system can be helpful. As much as possible, try not to go off on your own too much, or if you must separate from your friends, make sure someone in the group knows where you are. This is especially important if you're going to a crowded place, such as a public market, or a big event, like a festival.
- Communicate with each other. It's a given that you and your companions will be talking about many things during your outing, but sometimes communications about logistics, extra plans, and other things that could affect your trip can get overlooked among all your other conversations. Have clear discussions about other plans or activities that some of you may want to do, arrange times and places to meet in case you split up, and make sure to notify each other if one of you is not feeling well. Communicating effectively about your plans and concerns will ensure that all of you get a chance to enjoy your trip.
- Set some extra money aside for the trip home. Since you'll be vacationing with your girlfriends, expect that you'll all want to go around, eat, party, shop, try new activities, and see the sights, which can sometimes cost more than you initially planned to spend. You may need the extra money to ship some items back home, for excess baggage fees, or even for car fuel. Put your extra money somewhere other than your wallet, like, for example, in a small envelope inside a separate compartment of your bag. It also helps to label the envelope so that you remember that this money is your emergency stash to be saved for the journey home. Sometimes that extra little bit of cash can go a long way.
- Have fun! You're getting away from it all, and the best part is that you'll be with your friends. Enjoy yourself and the company you keep, and you'll definitely have a great vacation.
Not everyone in your group may be as prepared for a girls-only trip as you are, so don't forget to share your new-found travel knowledge with your gal pals so you can all enjoy and make the most of your trip!