Vacations do cost money. But the value of laughs, love and memories is priceless. Fortunately, you really don’t have to break the bank to organize an epic girls trip with your gal pals.
What do you do on a girls trip or girls weekend? Apparently, some people are actually googling this! They must be men because girls know by instinct exactly what to do on a girls trip – just be together!
Spending time with your friends is food for the soul, whether you’re enjoying meals, movies or glasses of wine. And you can easily design these mini vacations to suit any budget, and conveniently share costs with payment apps like Venmo or PayPal.
In this article we’ll review several ways you can reduce the costs of your ladies vacay. We’ll also suggest several popular itineraries for most any type of girls group trip. You’ll find:
- Tips for Saving Money on a Girls Trip
- Types of Girls Trips to Consider
- Best American Cities for Girls Trips
- Best Foreign Countries for Girls Trips
Tips for Saving Money on a Girls Trip
Group vacations do have several expenses. Of course, the largest expense is usually your lodging and actual travel costs, but you’ll also have to factor in food and entertainment.
Fortunately, there are several ways to keep your girls trip budget in check:
1.) Carpool to Save Gas
Carpool as much as possible to save gas. Carpooling to the airport or to your destination can save you a substantial amount of money. Plus, you get to spend more quality time with your ladies.
Long car time with the girls can bring some of the best conversations. Here you are with nothing much to entertain you besides the radio and the road scenery. You’re not cooking anything or being distracted by entertainment. So your girl talks have time to bask in the spotlight.
As far as saving money, consider a destination about 120 miles from your home. Roundtrip, that’s 240 miles. So, taking your average middle-range SUV, say a 2017 Ford Escape, you are getting an average of 30 miles per gallon on the highway.
Now, with gas prices at about $2.75 per gallon, you are looking at $22 in total gas costs. (240 divided by 30 multiplied by 2.75.) With four people, that would be $5.50 per person instead. If everyone drove separately, total gas costs would be $88 instead of $22.
2.) Share Food Costs
The same cost-splitting benefits can work for your meals as well. If you divvy up the food assignments, you can focus on making one meal, instead of buying all the ingredients for multiple meals.
Enjoy your friends cooking for breakfast, then treat them to your own homemade dinner.
Of course, skipping restaurants can save you a lot of money as well. Restaurants are known for their major markups of from 5 to 15 times the direct cost of the food. They do deliver great service and cleaning – but you can, too. And doing the dishes is more fun with your friends around.
3.) Skip Costly Entertainment
Girls trips are for making memories. And there’s a lot of choices when it comes to sharing a memorable event — Broadway plays, concert, comedy shows, amusement parks, to name a few.
But why spend money when the real memories are just being together. If you only have a few days for your ladies trip, think about more affordable entertainment choices.
You could take a scenic outdoors hike, host a group movie night with Netflix or grab a few bottles of wine and make your own wine tasting hour.
Again, girls vacations are for just being with your besties. The price of the venue is not important.
4.) Stay Smart with Lodging
Wherever you’re staying for your girls weekend, it pays to shop around a bit for the perfect place.
In fact, sharing lodging ideas can add to the pre-trip excitement because you can envision where you’ll be staying together.
Many friends groups like to have one person researching and pitching ideas, and the others casting votes. However, your friends may each want to do a little leg work and share their own top picks.
Types of Girls Trips to Consider
Ladies vacays come in many forms. What’s best for your group of girlies depends on your own habits and tastes.
Each of your friends may have a different idea of what makes the best type of girls trips. Landing on the general kind of ladies vacation you want to have is the first step toward establishing a solid plan.
Among the many kinds of girls trips that are on the more affordable side:
1.) Beach Trip
The beach is the iconic destination for girls trips. Here, you can share a hotel room, then enjoy the endless soothing scenery of waves and sand.
Beach trips come at nearly any price point – from luxury hotels at faraway beaches to affordable hotel rooms at a beach by you. Not all beach trips have to be oceanside. The U.S. has plenty of lakeside beach worth lounging on with your girls.
Camping can be an adventure – a sharp contrast to everyday living. For many people, escaping from technology and getting close to nature is an ideal vacation. You can sleep under the stars and enjoy morning coffee with the rising sun.
Camping as a girls trip is one of the most affordable type of getaways. Costs basically are only the cost of the site, food and drinks and any equipment. You could easily plan a ladies vacation for just $20 to $50 per person if you’re willing to sleep in the great outdoors.
Of course, if as a group you’re short on tents, sleeping bags, grills and supplies, camping costs can add up. And for many people, camping is not their thing.
2.) Mountain Cabin
Some ladies just aren’t fond of pitching tents and cooking over fire, but still want to take in the mountain views and enjoy nature-related activities like hiking. For these gals, renting a mountain cabin is the way to go.
Mountain cabins deliver all the perks of camping, but with the addition of the comforts of home – from an indoor bed to Wi-Fi connections. Some even come with features like game rooms, pools or Jacuzzis.
Airbnb has plenty of options to rent spacious homes in the mountains, whether your looking for somewhere in the East Coast Smokies to the West Coast Rockies or in between. Splitting the cost of a mountain cabin makes this another options for an affordable girls trip.
4.) Road Trip
Road trips are major bonding experiences. And they can be done several ways and with seemingly limitless choices for itineraries.
You can take U.S. road trips through the Southwest, taking in the Grand Canyon and the desert landscape. Or drive along the California’s famous coastal highway, Route 1. You can loop up through the northeast, stopping at sights in Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. Or cut directly across the country, crossing the Mississippi river. These are just a few of countless option for girls road trips.
You can hit the road in a few ways. In order of lodging from least expensive to most expensive:
- Camping Sites
- RV Rental
- Hotel Stays
Of course, the idea is to make your road trip with as few vehicles as possible. Ideally, you and all your girlfriends would be together in one ride.
5.) Home Destination
If your group of girlfriends lives far away from each other, consider cutting ladies vacation costs by simply visiting someone’s home for a cozy reunion.
The major money-saver here is on lodging. Because, hopefully, your gal pals won’t charge you to stay in their guest room or on their couch. You can also save money on expenses like food and necessities that you’d have to pay premium for if you traveled somewhere new to everyone.
Another perk to making your friend’s home your vacation destination is that you can get to know her daily life even better. You can briefly feel like a part of her home and neighborhood, which is an invaluable memory to have with your bestie.
5 Best American Cities for a Girls Trip
1.) Las Vegas
Vegas, with its oversized theme-park like excitement, may seem like it would be an expensive destination. Actually, Sin City is on the affordable side.
Flights here are usually on the cheaper side. And even the massive resorts aren’t as overpriced as they seem.
Vegas is an ideal place to have fun getting dolled up. So get out the glitter, have makeup get-ready time and strut around in your sparkle dresses. (Or you can just stroll around in jeans – Vegas will still love you.)
During the day, lounge poolside and enjoy mixed drinks and sunshine.
What to consider:
- Vegas is still a seasonal city. It can be quite hot or cold, depending on the time of year.
- Ladies tend to get attention in Vegas. You could easily be called into a nightclub.
2.) New York
New York is the epitome of fast-moving excitement. It’s a city that has a lot to offer a group of girlfriends – from rooftop cocktails to Broadway plays. Explore art museums or stroll through Central Park. Do brunch or do Wall Street.
New York is called the city that never sleeps for a reason – it’s on the go at all hours.
What to consider:
- New York is not a place to lounge around in your hotel room. This is a city of activity. So if you want to loaf on the couch with some wine-time, consider another venue.
- If you’re not careful, New York can easily get expensive. Still, there are numerous ways to hit the city on a budget.
3.) Los Angeles
Like New York, Los Angeles is the perfect place for an active girls trip. However, the vibe here is much more relaxed.
Plus the metro area offers several things New York may not – namely the opportunity to jet to the beach and warmer winter temperatures.
What to consider:
- You can keep costs down in L.A., but like New York this city can get expensive.
- Los Angeles is much more spread out than New York, so traveling from place to place can be a little time-consuming, depending on your sight-seeing list.
Miami has a reputation for being one of the sexier cities in the U.S. So it’s a great vacay girls destination spot for those looking to get a little wild.
Miami is a place to wear bright colors and lots of makeup. Enjoy the beach or a few drinks by the poolside with your gal pals.
What to consider:
Miami, like New York and L.A. can also get expensive easily. But if you’re careful with pre-planning the details of your girls trip, you can easily make this an affordable vacation.
5.) New Orleans
New Orleans has a personality of its own that you don’t get with other U.S. cities. So, it makes for an incredibly memorable girls trip destination.
This is a very friendly, laid-back city that accepts virtually any kind of character – except jerks. Girls will find it an ideal vacation destination for its friendly, accepting vibe.
What to consider:
New Orleans is known for being more lenient with their drinking laws. That means drinking is allowed on their streets. So be prepared to both enjoy and accept the consequences that come with that policy!
5 Best Foreign Countries for a Girls Trip
If it’s in your budget to travel abroad, consider countries that tend to offer lower costs but still have unique experiences. Among them:
- Puerto Rico
- Costa Rica
The Bottom Line
A tight budget should never stand in your way of planning the ideal getaway for some together time with your girls.
Fortunately, you don’t have to splurge to have a good time with your girlfriends. You can easily find a girls trip itinerary that fits both your budget and your standards for fun.