Published on November 6th, 2011 | by thevyne1
How to Have a Grown Up Girls Weekend
Being in NYC this weekend for our second annual girls weekend with two of our friends was just what we needed to officially kick off the fall season. Though girls weekends have always been about fun, that fun used to be in the form of partying, meeting guys, shopping, and laying on the beach. This time, in the tradition of “fall,” we decided to turn over a new leaf. Not to say that we didn’t still do some of the same traditionally fun stuff that we usually do, but this time around we added purpose and planning to the festivities to make this a “grown up girls” weekend which was exactly what we all needed. Something undeniably inspiring happened for all of us as we actively added purpose and planning to this weekend. We came away from the weekend feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to move forward.
So if you’re interested in giving your next girls weekend a “grown up” make over with purpose and planning, here are our tips on how to make it happen:
– Plan the tradition: We recommend you plan a trip with your girls every year or two. By planning the tradition, and sticking to it despite your busy schedules, you all have something exciting to look forward to each time. Not to mention it ensures that you will regularly take that much needed pause to refresh, rejuvenate and ready yourself for moving forward. Last year we went to London and Paris, this year we went to New York.
– Stay at a nice hotel: You’ve made more money than the “immediately after college” years, so splurging for an upscale hotel versus the cheapest one possible is definitely the way to go (we enjoyed the cozy beds of the Ritz Battery Park). And, if you are staying in the same room you get the benefit of splitting the costs and bonding with your girls “slumber party” style. Just make sure you don’t pack any more than four into a room – we’re a little too grown to pack into the hotel like sardines.
– Set goals: Establish goals and action items to complete those goals for career, wellness, love, finance and lifestyle. You can do this throughout your weekend over meals. Have a sheet of paper handy so everyone can write their goals one by one and talk them through out loud as they do. Once all goals are written, establish checkpoints throughout the year to see how you’re tracking towards your goals and encourage each other along the way. We completed this activity over the course of a couple days while enjoying a fabulous lunch at BD (Bergdorf Goodman), sparkling water and cocktails at the St. Regis on 5th Ave and a scrumptious brunch at Locanda Verde in TriBeCa.
– Plan activities that everyone will enjoy: What do you and your girlfriends like to do? Relax at the spa? Shop? Eat good food and wine? Hike? Whatever is the common thread amongst your group of girlfriends is what you should do. Going on a trip with your friends doesn’t only or always have to be about doing tourist activities. Doing activities that all of you like to do in the city you visit will be even more enjoyable together. Recommend the “planner” in your group (every group of girlfriends has at least one “planner”) take the lead on building the itinerary and then everyone else can assist by helping to secure reservations, voting on options, etc. We had fun taking massages and facials at Bliss Spa in SoHo, shopping for shoes on 5th Ave, and eating delicious food around the city (we really enjoyed Bond St. in TriBeCa).
– Be open and friendly to the environment around you: You never know what types of people you will attract while you’re on your girls weekend. There’s something so magnetizing about a group of girlfriends having genuine fun that almost no one can ignore and everyone wants to join. So let it be and see where it leads you! Being friendly at an Italian restaurant in lower Manhattan this weekend resulted in us sharing drinks and dances with the owner and staff!
– Provide honest feedback: Good girlfriends are about not only telling each other what they want to hear, but being honest with each other (without being too critical) as well.
– Be spontaneous: Do what feels right throughout the weekend. You should plan an itinerary so that you can make sure you have a general idea of what you want to do, what reservations you need, etc, but factor in enough flexibility so that you can enjoy whatever happy surprises may come your way during your weekend. Our happy surprise was meeting a few additional girlfriends at Employees Only, a “speakeasy” style cocktail bar, and turning the place into a raging dance party when the DJ commenced to playing a block of old school R&B. We even convinced those around us to join in the dancing/karaoke fun!
– Give unconditional support: Is there anything that each of you are going through? Provide an environment of unconditional love and support and help each other through anything that may be giving pause to your lives. Is there a challenge at work? A relationship? Your family? Having everyone rally around to help each person in their challenges is a great way to demonstrate accepting each other where you are in your lives and maximize on the “safe space” of your friendship. A “you like it, I love it” mentality is a great way to go.
– Unplug: Do your best to leave your work BlackBerries, iPhones and computers in the hotel room. Focus on your friends and enjoy the time. Separate yourselves from the stress and pressure that work may bring. Remember this is your time to refresh, rejuvenate and ready yourself for what’s next which is hard to do if you can’t allow yourself to be in the present moment by unplugging.