We should all go on a trip together! How many times has that phrase been exclaimed only so no trip could ever be planned? Yes, it is a fine idea until logistics turn it into a puzzle nobody wants to solve. But if you’re willing to take the reins, you can make it happen. With these simple tips, you can probably even do it in time for a long girls’ weekend this Galentine’s (or Valentine’s) Day.
The good news is February 13 falls on the Wednesday before Presidents’ Day weekend this year. This means it’s already a long weekend for most people, making it easy to get away. Now, there’s your first argument — see below for everything else you should say and do to turn general interest into a definite Yes.
Pitch the Trip to Friends
First things first: you need to take charge. Take it upon yourself to figure out the who, what, where, and how much everyone can afford. This is where last-minuteness becomes an advantage, as most people have a good sense of their plans (or, hopefully, lack thereof) and what their budget is. Your job is to convince them to seize the moment.
The best way to do that is enlist another person, an early adopter to function as the trip’s cheerleader. It’s not essential, but it will make the idea more finite. Then round up the rest of the group for a real-life get-together — a tiki bar might help your case — if possible (if not a group text or call will do). The important thing is that you make the meeting all about the trip and don’t try to work it in as an afterthought. Have fun with it, allowing the thought of trading boots for sandals to take root.
Once everyone’s mind is poolside, it’s time to talk specifics.
Book the Trip
There will likely be many opinions and little consensus, which is why you’ll want to guide the conversation with practical suggestions. For example, a cruise is a pretty streamlined way to get everyone on a Galentine’s getaway. With so many activities in one place (a.k.a. the ship), you’re never far away from each other. You can break into smaller groups or go off and do your own thing, but it’s simple to return to the group at a moment’s notice. And without the stress of navigating an unknown location or dealing with logistics each day, it’s a lot more fun to be a group on vacation. For instance: on a three-night Royal Caribbean cruise, leaving from Miami on February 15 and going to the Bahamas, you and your friends can sip tropical cocktails in a kitschy tiki bar, try the FlowRider surf simulator (who’ll be able to stand up on their board first?), and dine at a Jamie Oliver restaurant.
There are, of course, opportunities to get off the ship, but Royal Caribbean will remove most of the guesswork. On a Bahamian cruise booking, you can stop in the capital, Nassau, and the “Perfect Day at CocoCay” private island. You can try the Spanish, West African, and British-influenced local cuisine, and in exclusive Perfect Day at CocoCay specifically, you can tour the Berry Islands on your own personal watercraft, get a rush at Daredevil’s Peak (North America’s tallest waterslide), or rent an oceanfront cabana with your friends for a day at the beach.
But back to that planning. As the self-proclaimed leader of this trip, you’ll probably be the one to book it, though don’t be afraid to delegate tasks. If it’s the cruise you’re taking, it makes sense to book all the rooms at once, though that’s not absolutely necessary. If you’re doing this, it’s probably a good idea to have each friend send money with their final decision, but do whatever feels comfortable. Have another friend book the flight, or suggest everyone handle their own arrangements, and put another in charge of researching ports.
Shop, Pack, and Go
You’ve done it. You got a whole group of friends with busy lives together for a Galentine’s Day cruise, and now it’s time to pull your summer clothes out from wherever you stashed them. You’ll probably want to add a few new things — resort collections are in full force, and some spring pieces should be debuting.
Just keep your suitcase as light as possible. Besides the fact that you always return with more you arrived with, you don’t need to bring much for a three-day trip, especially if it’s a cruise where you’ll have a good idea of your planned activities in advance. With a few smart pack hacks — roll your clothes, wear something twice, store important things in your carry-on — you can probably get away with just a carry-on. And bonus: on a cruise, you only have to unpack once.
If you want to truly achieve Galentine’s Day greatness, consider buying your friends a small gift. It could be a face mask, an in-flight cocktail kit, or a big ol’ chocolate-filled heart. But truly all that matters is that you have fun. And with the plan you’ve put in place, it will be hard not to.
This is paid content produced for an advertiser by New York Brand Studio. The editorial staff of New York Magazine did not play a role in its creation.