1.) Start EARLY. Once you have the main wedding planning items get checked off, start brainstorming with your friends about what your plans are for a bachelorette trip. Communicate your ideas early and often. Then, start scoping out some early train or plane tickets if they are needed. We know that there are certain windows when airfare and train tickets are cheapest, so stay on it to find the best deal. For traveling to NYC, we ended up taking the train because we found tickets for only $40 from DC! It was worth it to pay a small amount of extra money to be more spread out than taking the bus up there, but only because we found such an amazing fare. Plus, we had the ability to bring mimosas and party during the entire ride!
2.) Poll your Friends. You are never going to find a weekend that every person will magically be able to attend, but the earlier you reach out to people the better chance they have to rearrange their schedule. I knew my friends were all going to be most worried about taking off any vacation days, so I chose Labor Day weekend to head up to NYC so we already had an extra off-day built in. Also, the earlier you reach out to your must-attend ladies, the more opportunities they will have to put aside some extra cash!
Image via giphy.com
3.) Utilize your friends’ knowledge. One or many of your friends, coworkers, or family members have no doubt been to the location you have chosen for your bachelorette getaway. So ask around! One of my bridesmaids suggested a great boutique hotel with a roof deck overlooking the Empire State Building. Because it wasn’t a chain or something that instantly popped up on the travel websites, I would never have found it without her insider secrets. It also was an affordable cost because it wasn’t a well-known chain.
I had another friend who previously had lived in Manhattan and knew the best restaurants, lounges, and all the right people to help guide us over our weekend. We didn’t waste time or $$ in any overpriced tourist traps. If you don’t happen to be so lucky and have friends who know the area that you are visiting, there is a great company who will plan the entire weekend with vetted activities/restaurants for you. It’s called My Best Friend’s Weekend (http://www.mybestfriendsweekend.com) and they will make the reservations and activity plans for you.
Photos courtesy of Michelle Poling
4.) Take advantage of some chill time. While you may want to keep the getaway jam-packed with activities, an easy way to save some money is taking a few hours to just relax. Whether you are on the beach or like me in the middle of the city, take a few hours of nothingness in before heading back home to the final stretch of the wedding planning process. The second day that I was in NYC with my friends we went to brunch, then headed to shopping. By the afternoon, we were wiped out and, perfect timing, it started to rain slightly as we were all hopping into cabs and heading back to the hotel. We ended up just hanging out and talking in the hotel while it rained for a few hours, but it was definitely needed to prep for the evening’s festivities!
In the end, we know the most important part is to proudly celebrate the next chapter of your life and have one more reason to party it up with your ladies, so don’t worry about all of the small details and just have a blast!
Lauren Pencek is a newlywed living with her husband on Capitol Hill since their wedding last fall. She is a blogger dedicated to nutrition, fitness, weddings, project management, and all around dining and entertainment in the DMV. Lauren is an NBA and NFL professional cheerleader alumna and spends her free time taking as many dance classes as possible and traveling to as many new places as possible! Follow her on Twitter @LaurOntheHill and at laurenonthehill.wordpress.com/.