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I'm so glad you are here. I'm Elizabeth and this is the blog. This is the space I tend to. The place I share my heart and our stories. I pack these pages full of tips, stories, adventures, travels, outfits, and recipes. It's a little bit of everything and a whole lot of me. My hope is that these words & photos would encourage & inspire you. That being here will brighten things at least a little bit. Please stick around & explore. There is something here for everyone! Click through the categories below for more! 

How to Plan a Friendcation

This is not my first “friendcation” rodeo. My love for taking full advantage of breaks in college resulted in many friend filled vacations with my college besties – London, Florida, North Carolina, Branson, and Louisville just to name a few (and yes, I do wish I had better documentation of those trips on my blog and not jut on facebook ;).)

My love for traveling with friends oozed into my life after graduation. Starting with my honeymoon – I’m mean, vacationing with my best friend ever?!?! So fun! We then convinced our friends to join us to Disney WorldΒ and have attend several years of winter cabin getaways with our small group (here & here!) It was about time that the girls in our Bible Study organized a little Girl’s Weekend of our own since we have been talking about it forever.

Now that I have established that FRIENDCATIONS are pretty much the best things ever, let’s talk about planning them! Because mixing together everyone schedules is not always easy, but it is always worth it!

HOW TO PLAN A FRIENDCATION

SET A DATE
If your group of friends is anything like mine, you might need to set a date months ahead of time! We have eight wives, three mothers, and eight work schedules to work around and plan for. Husbands needed to be warned, baby sitters needed to be lined up, and vacation days needed to be asked off. Setting a date far in advance was key to us all being able to go. We marked our calendars and got set to making the arrangements for such!

FIGURE OUT THE LOCATION
Once you have a date, start talking about where you can go. Maybe you already have a strong idea or maybe you have to google cities to see what is in driving distance. Think about a place that you can all afford to get to and also meets your desired intentions. We wanted a pool, some margaritas, culture, shopping, and warm weather – all within driving distance! Santa Fe was the perfect destination for our end of summer trip! Figure out what your group wants (Mountains? Snow? City Life? Nature? Culture?) and find a place where you can enjoy those things in your budget!

FIND A PLACE TO STAY
Once we knew we were going to Santa Fe, we all started looking for a place to stay. We searched AirB&B, VRBO, and hotels in the city. We ended up going with the Lodge at Santa Fe because we wanted rooms near each other, near the pool, and near all the restaurants & shopping. We also wanted to spoil ourselves a bit and enjoy all the amenities of a nice hotel!

SET UP A GROUP EMAIL AND TEXT
There will be so much to talk about as you get ready for your trip. From fun recommendations from coworkers to times to meet to ride together. Make sure you have a place to organize all your trip talk. That way everyone knows just how much they own for the hotel room and all the giddy texts about the week of the trip can fuel the energy of the group! We set up an email for details, information, and photo sharing and a google chat group for everything else!

GATHER PEOPLES EXPECTATIONS
One of our friends did a great job at this and made everyone send an email with their hopes and dreams for the weekend. Knowing that people wanted to eat good food, sleep in, relax, shop, and walk around was good for planning purposes. We wanted everyone to enjoy the trip and at least get to do one of the things they were hoping for! This is really important for any size of group but you really need to be intentional with it when you have a larger group. Remember, you can allow for splitting up! There was one afternoon that half the group rested in a coffee shop soaking up introvert time while the rest of us walked around town shopping & looking at Santa Fe art!

PS: One or two people (the take chargers in the group) may want to send a packing list including things that people wanted to do. EX: hiking clothes (because several people wanted to hike), a dress for a night out (because some people wanted to get dressed up), etc

PACK EXTRAS
When you are packing for your trip, think of fun things you can bring along to enjoy! We brought some things for a spa night & nail painting as well as some games, bottles of wine, and snacks! You may not end up having time to enjoy everything you brought along, but it is fun to have an option just in case a flash flood kept you coped up in the hotel. We brought food to eat by the pool (like the tequila soaked watermelon below) and the fixing for some summer cocktails so that we didn’t always have to eat out!

BE FLEXIBLE
I can promise you that everything will not go your way even if you are the one planning it all! With a group of friends you have a mixture of personalities and preferences. You may be the only one who wanted to pay to go to the museum or eat at a certain restaurant. Shake it off and let yourself enjoy the choice of the rest of the group. At times splitting up will be a great option but at times you may just need to go with the flow and wake up a little bit earlier than you had wanted. I also included this point after I said expectations should be voiced. Everyone will get to do something they wanted so let yourself be okay with doing the things other wanted to do (because they all did one of your important things too!)

ENJOY IT
It is a gift to all be able to go on a trip together! Take the time to ask the deeper questions and the funny ones too! Laugh together, try new things, and take lots of pictures! Trips like this are good for the soul!

 

Have you ever been to Santa Fe? Have you ever been on a FRIENDCATION? I am so eager to hear about all your friend trip experiences and advice!!Β 


PS: I tried to squeeze in a lot of photos to this post and I still have way more!!! Be excited πŸ˜‰ HAHA!

  • I”m in the midst of organizing a friendcation for this month and I so agree with your tips and suggestions!

    • YAY! So fun! I am proud of you! Where are you all going?!

      • We’ve rented a cabin in Tennessee – some of us are planning a spa, others may go hiking and others may just do nothing at all!

  • I have a group of girls that I’ve been discussing a friendcation like this with for several years, but for some reason we just can’t make it work. I hope to some day, because that would be so much fun!

    • Set a date! And put it in your calendars. That is the hardest part but once you do, you can just do all the rest! Good luck!

  • How fun!

  • You outlined the planning process so well! I’ve never been to Santa Fe but have always wanted to. It looks like you all had a great time!

    • Thanks so much Stacia! It wasn’t easy to plan for eight but we did it!!! Also, this was my first time and I loved it so much!

  • My friends and I went on a girls trip to disneyland this year! IT was so much fun, we did a lot of the things you suggested!

    • YAY! Oh what a great trip! We are currently planning a Disney Cruise Friendcation! So I’ll share all that Disney love!

  • YES MORE PICTURES!!! I mean really, they’re great and I totally agree with all of this. Thank you for these tips, a friendcation is something I hope to do one day and this post will come in handy!

    Ashlee Mae | http://sparklesbyashlee.com | faith, funny, & fulfilling dreams

  • ScribblesFromEmily

    This is inspiring! I can’t imagine all the planning that must go into a trip like this for eight people! It’s clear that you guys are all great friends for a reason πŸ™‚ P.S. Just downloaded your stock photos from the Influence Network, and wow, they’re gorgeous!

    • Emily! yay! It was honestly so fun!

      And thank you so so much! I am so honored to even be a part of it!!!

  • Ummmmm…. this is the CUTEST! And I want to go on all the friendcations! I was thinking that all of my closets friends live all over the U.S. I may have to plan a huge friendcation, haha!

    • yes! You could totally do one where everyone meets back up in a central location!!!

      Also, one day you me and meg will go on a friendcation!