I’m part of a unique group of friends. We all met online planning our weddings 9 years ago. We are from all over the country and I’m still friends with over 60 women from the bridal forum. Every year, around 12 of us get together and go away for the weekend. We plan months in advance. Actually, our planning has already begun for 2018. Although this time it will be a much warmer venue! We headed to Melbourne for our 2017 weekend away, and had an absolutely wonderful time.
We start off by throwing some dates around, discussing finances and working out who will be bringing little ones or not. Of our immediate group of 20 friends, its usually around the 12 mark who can make it and it changes each year. I couldn’t go last year and this year we had some new faces who didn’t come in previous years. When you factor in everyone’s jobs, children, finances, fears, pregnancies and availability it’s really hard for all of us to make it. One day, all 20 of us will party together. We might be old and grey, but it will happen!
Because we are from all over Australia, we change the state each trip. That way everyone gets a turn at hosting and travelling a bit less. It also helps to have someone who knows the area and has a car if we need it. We also all pay the same amount of money. We factor our flights, accommodation, parking, tolls and public transport. We then pick a figure, for eg.$500. We all have different costs to get where we need to go so we minus our expenses from the figure and whatever is left, gets transferred to the kitty. So if you didn’t have to fly this time, your kitty contribution would be higher then say someone who travelled by plane and had to get bus transfers and taxis. Everyone pays the same amount for the trip. Whatever is in the kitty pays for our group dinners and drinks, nibblies and groceries for our stay. All this is paid into the kitty before we go so we don’t have too many extra expenses while we are gone unless we choose them. We have found this to be a very good way to organise our trips and makes it fair for everyone.
We all have families. We all have young children. We don’t all have husbands. We all have budgets. We all have commitments. But we all need a break. To let our hair down and laugh. Swear and dress up. We want to sleep uninterrupted and shower alone. I definitely don’t think you need a group this size. I have a few small getaways planned with only 3-4 friends. But I think if you have girlfriends and you can somehow organise a few days to recharge and enjoy delicious food together that you don’t have to share with little hands, do it! If you want to stay up all night talking and grazing on a cheese platter, do it! If you want to pack your swimmers and lie on the beach, do it! One friend. One night. Anything.
I know it can sound easier said than done. I’m fully aware that not everyone has support to help them out or aren’t in a position to spare a dollar. We have all been there and only started doing this when the majority of us were at this stage of our lives where we could make it happen. I had my husband and mother in law to take over and help juggle school and sport. I know what every other mother in our group organised, sacrificed and had to do, just to get on the plane. But we do it every year. Because we know we deserve it. We don’t want to look back on our lives after our kids have grown and only remember everything we did for them. Yes we are mothers and wives. But we are women first and we work much more efficiently if we are nurtured too. We put everything into our jobs and our kids and our marriages. Ourselves and our friendships need to be focused on too. They are just as important as everything else we prioritise, yet somehow we always end up last on the list or its been a year since we’ve seen some of our favourite people.
So, if you can, get your girlfriends or your sisters together. Make a plan. Be realistic. Take time for you. Budget the shit out of your pay packet, sell some stuff on Gumtree for extra cash, ask for money as birthday gifts for your trip. We searched scoopon to find the best rates for the accommodation that suited us. Find a way. Trade babysitting favours with your family and friends. Trust that hubby has got everything sorted at home. And even if its not the perfect way you run your house, your kids will be fine. Your husband will be fine. Make it a holiday you wont forget. You don’t have to go out drinking and dancing and eating out every meal. Our first getaway we spent most of the time inside by the fire. We grocery shopped and cooked and rested and played board games. 4 of us even brought little breastfeeding children. There are no rules. It’s your getaway, however you choose.
Just. Organise. Something. You deserve it.
You can check out some of the amazing places we visited on our trip by having a read of PEGASUS | VIC MARKET TATTOO | WANDERLOUD | FONDA | CLUB RETRO | OPERATOR25