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How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Being able to search for ways to save money on girlfriend getaways is a blessing in itself. Having someone you want to go away with and create lasting memories is one of life’s sweetest pleasures.

I’m incredibly grateful that my bestie and I have been friends since first grade, and we are now 38 years old. I moved away from her when I was twelve, and we’ve continued to stay close, living hundreds of miles apart.

If you are on Tiktok this trend is perfect for a bestie who lives far from you!

When we were kids, we would try to visit each other every year. Then we started having our own kids, and it was even harder to visit when you were breastfeeding.

As soon as our kids were toddlers, we kept the tradition up. Both of us are cheap in nature, and I’ve taken it to a whole other level, hence this whole blog and my couponing blog.

tips to afford a  girls trip on a budget

I want to save money on everything, and I understand it’s not always possible, but if you put in a bit of time looking for your deal, odds are you will find one.

We started planning a real adult girls’ trip last year. Our first trip was to Daytona Beach, Nashville, and we went to Orlando this year.

All on a budget.

So let’s see how you and your besties can have a girl’s trip on a budget.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Be Flexible with Your Dates and Destination.

Listen, we don’t say oh, I’ve always wanted to go to England and then decide to go there. No, this is an affordable place, let’s go there.

I usually look on websites like Expedia and can pick a general area to visit and set a price point. This way, you have many options to choose from when it comes to prices for hotels and flights bundled together.

When you can be open with the dates you fly and travel, you will save more money, especially if you go during the week.

What is Your Vacation Style?

This one is important, especially if you are traveling with someone you are in a newer relationship with. If one of you wants to lay on the beach the entire time and someone else wants to explore and try new things, your vacation may not go as planned.

Talk about what your ideal vacation looks like; what is the most important thing to you when you go on this vacation? Relaxation? Adventure? Quality Time? Food?

I know most of us moms want a few days away from normal responsibilities, and the number one is no one to cook, prepare and hear complaints about the food we make.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Talk About Money

Once you know what you are looking for and what time of year you want to go, then you can plan and add this girl’s trip to your budget.

You do have a budget, right? You must, or you wouldn’t, be here on this blog of mine. In case you don’t create a budget, sticking with it is life-changing. If you want to change your life’s financial course, become debt free. GAME CHANGER.

When you are debt free, these girls’ trips are even BETTER.

If you need to get started with a budget, I have a very detailed blog post here and a very simple easy-to-use budget planner here.

If you have a budget or not, you have to talk with your girls about what you can and can not afford. The trip will be lingering on your credit card bill after and will wipe away all those moments of fun you had. It will create resentment and guilt when it comes time to plan your next girlfriend getaway.

You don’t want that. You want to be excited to plan more for years to come.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Travel with Spirit Airlines

It doesn’t matter what you heard about Spirit Airlines; it is worth trying yourself and seeing if it is worth the cheap price. For our last girls trip, we flew to Orlando mainly because the nonstop plane ticket was $106 total! That’s with taxes.

If you can choose a nonstop flight, it is well worth it. It’s so much less stressful when you don’t have a layover.

I have nothing but positive things to say about my spirit trip. I plan on writing a longer article just on that, but quickly, we had no delays. They allowed us to bring our backpacks as personal items, and we also had a small purse out.

The seats were fine, and everything was similar to flying on other airlines.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Use a Travel Site

I always use Expedia or the like to book vacations. When you choose a flight and hotel, you do get a cheaper price than booking on your own. I always go to the hotel’s site and the airline to double-check and ensure it’s a discount.

This is an easier way to find something that will work with your budget and your travel dates. If you can be flexible certain days of the week will be a better deal than on the weekend.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Cashback Sites

When you book on travel websites like Expedia, booking, etc, use Rakuten or other similar sites to earn cashback on your trip.

For our girl’s trip to Orlando, I booked my flight with Spirit and hotel through Expedia and earned 4% back on my total.

If you haven’t used Rakuten before, sign up here and get $30 to spend! Make that girls trip even cheaper!

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Meal Planning

Depending on where you are booking a hotel or even an Airbnb, try to find one that includes breakfast. Usually, when they include breakfast, you will be booking a more basic hotel, but depending on what your goal for this girls weekend getaway is you may not be spending much time in the hotel anyways.

If you can get breakfast included, you can grab extra snacks for later in the day. We try to eat one meal out. That saves significantly on the overall cost.

Order Groceries

We stayed at a resort in Orlando, and of course, the restaurants are a little pricey, but the marketplace store was double the cost of what it would be in a grocery store. We decided to pay for the Instacart delivery fee and got some groceries.

It didn’t include breakfast, so we bought some cereal, milk, popcorn (the best frugal snack), fruit, chips and some seltzers. If you rent a car or have your own car consider stocking up on groceries for snacks and breakfast.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Split Cost

Remember the more girls that go, the less money you will spend on hotels, airbnb etc. There is an app called Splitwise that keeps track of your spending so you don’t have to wonder who owes who what?

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Cheapest Weekend Getaways ( SEO Keyword)

This year we went to Orlando, Flordia because we got our plane tickets for $106, then we decided to find a hotel in the area that offered us what we wanted for this trip- pools and lounge chairs.

We ended up going with a Holiday Inn Club Vacation, and yes, we did get sucked into the Timeshare presentation to get $200 cash. I will talk about that experience in another post. Overall the hotel was cheaper $150 a night, and had plenty for us to do right on the resort.

They asked us if we wanted to go on a 90 min. “tour” of the place, and for our time, we would get $200. We all knew it was to promote a timeshare, but us being cheap girls at heart and wanting a deal on EVERYTHING, we said yes.

I would never do it again, the other girls I was with said it wasn’t that bad, and they would do it again for a deal. I did indeed get the $200 cash, though and it is a memory I’ll never forget!

Resorts or Airbnbs

What do they call us now, Geriatric millennials ( what a horrible name!) I still like my hotels over Airbnb. Maybe it’s because, as a kid hotels were something rich people got to experience, I don’t know. If I’m with a large group Airbnb is the way to go, but for a girls weekend getaways, I love a resort.

For us, a resort was the perfect choice because we didn’t have a car and we really wanted a nice relaxing vacation in the sun. When you live in a place with cold grey days for six months, just being in the presence of sunshine and a pool breathes fresh life into ya.

So look at a resort that includes FREE activities.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Car Rental or Uber/Lift

Depending on where you stay it’s important to look into the option of needing a car while you are there or only going a few places and taking an Uber or Lift. Remember if there are a few of you, the cost can be split.

When we went to Nashville, ( Hello rooftop bars!) we had a Free shuttle from the airport to our hotel. Then there was a shuttle that went downtown Nashville( Music city) for a daily fee. It ended up being cheaper than taking an Uber.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

On a side note if you go to Nashville, the Bike Bar is SO worth the cost. It was one of our favorite fun things we did there. It would be perfect for bachelorette parties.

Keep in mind if you choose to Uber or Lift rates tend to increase at peak times in tourist areas.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Here are some free activities I’ve experienced at some of the resorts and hotels we’ve stayed at.

  • Water Aerobics Class
  • Kids Candy Bing
  • Kids Crafts
  • Bikes
  • Boogie Boards
  • Outdoor Movie Night
  • Live Music
  • Tennis Courts
  • Fitness Rooms
  • Pools
  • Hot tubs
  • Volleyball

There are many more but these are some of the most common ones.

How Do You Make a Girl’s Trip Extra Special?

Let go of all your worries and stresses and let yourself enjoy the weekend. If you are married or a mother, let any guilt of this time relax and enjoy going. You deserve time away.

Taking a break from our normal routines is refreshing for the soul, and the best way to make it special is to let go of the guilt when you are leaving behind family members.

Relish in the moments with your girlies and have fun.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

The Best Girls Weekend Getaway Ideas on a Budget

Below are some girls trip destination ideas. Remember that the ideas below will save you money when you book during the off-season.

Glamping Trip

Glamping is the perfect solution for those who love the outdoors but don’t want to sacrifice comfort! Whether you choose to stay in a fully-furnished yurt overlooking stunning mountain views or a luxury tent complete with all the necessary amenities, many options are available for those looking for an affordable, modern camping experience.

Grab some tents and sleeping bags and head out into nature with your best friends for a weekend away from it all without breaking the bank.

Backpacking Adventure

Backpacking is one of the most budget-friendly forms of travel around – just grab your trusty backpack, hit the trail, and follow wherever it takes you! With nothing more than supplies from grocery stores and old clothes from thrift shops at your disposal, you can explore new places on foot without needing much money or gear.

Popular destinations for girls’ backpacking trips include the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Zion National Park in Utah, Yosemite National Park in California, Glacier National Park in Montana, and the Appalachian Trail. For my locals the Adirondacks in upstate New York.

Consider joining up with other travelers on websites such as CouchSurfing or Meetup (or arrange a meet-up in person if possible) for even greater savings!

Weekend Cruise

If you’d rather take advantage of staying somewhere already equipped with modern amenities and comforts, look into booking one of many cheap cruises offered by various companies worldwide.

While they may not be as luxurious as other cruises, they still offer plenty of activities and entertainment while sailing through different ports around the globe. Bring your passport along just in case to explore new countries during port stops too!

Sign up for the cruise line’s email to get notified of their discounts. If you are a wholesale club member, BJ’s, Sam’s, and Costco all offer travel discounts on cruise lines.

Not a member? Get a discount to each wholesale club HERE.

If you are new to cruising check out CruiseTok!

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Music Festival Road trip

Nothing quite beats loading your car with friends and hitting the open road toward adventure! Explore local music festivals nationwide while laughing over memories made along the way.

If driving isn’t an option, consider taking public transportation or splitting gas costs to ensure minimal cost coverage per person.

Festival tickets themselves don’t have to be expensive either if you keep an eye out for discounts or student/military discounts offered at multiple events throughout each year.

How to Plan a Girls Trip on a Budget

Beach Getaway

This has been my favorite girls’ getaway. ( I am trying out the cruise next year though!) The beach gives you its sandy beaches, soothing waves, and beautiful sunsets, a beach retreat is a perfect destination for a weekend of relaxation and fun.

Whether you’re looking to build sandcastles, go swimming in the ocean, or just lounge in the sun, there’s something here for everyone. With so many coastal towns to explore, you’ll never run out of things to do on your beach vacation – from shopping and dining to outdoor activities like kayaking and sailing.

So grab your friends and head to the beach this weekend – it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience!

Indoor Movie Marathon

If the above ideas make you more upset about cost, consider this staycation idea. An Indoor movie marathon.

Just because you don’t want to break the budget doesn’t mean that cozy nights in won’t be any less fun! Put together a homemade snack platter together like popcorn seasoning packets or chocolate-covered pretzels.

Then settle down for a marathon night with all your favorite movies – whether it is classic rom-com, animated movies, or action flicks – have pizza delivered or order delicious meals online, such as Indian cuisine to maximize fun while minimizing costs.

If someone is celebrating a special day, make it extra special by preparing decorations like confetti poppers utilizing items found around the home, like toilet paper rolls filled with tinsel pieces!

A girls trip is an amazing way to celebrate friendship, build lasting memories, and experience something new. By taking advantage of affordable accommodation options, free or budget friendly activities and creative meal planning you can make the most of a girls trip on a budget.

From saving on transportation costs by carpooling to packing snacks and utilizing your resources wisely, there are simple and effective ways to have a fantastic time while minimizing spending.

And speaking of minimizing spending – don’t forget when it comes to shopping for souvenirs that bargain hunting can yield some pretty awesome results! So, pack your bags ladies, grab your most adventurous gal pals, and hit the road – you won’t regret it!

Check out more frugal living tips here to help you plan your own budget friendly getaway with your girls.

I think our next girls trip will be trying out a cruise! What do you think?

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