There’s the weekly girl’s night out and the girlfriend’s weekend getaway, but then there’s the destination bachelorette party — that last blowout holiday for you and your group before the big day and a ceremonial occasion to wave goodbye to the single life. And while having your BFFs chip in on the expenses can make this vacay possible, not everyone in your party is likely to be able to afford luxury accommodations and five-star dining. But minding a budget doesn’t mean you have to give up the girl’s getaway — it just means you have to be smarter with your travel plans.
Take Advantage of Affordable Transportation
One of the largest travel expenses is the cost of the transportation itself, which also makes it one of the best places to save. Start your budget planning by looking for value destinations based on where you’ll be traveling from. You may find less-expensive opportunities by staying local, finding direct flights to nearby destinations, or taking advantage of train routes that travel to outlying cities.
The trick to finding deals on transportation is to keep an eye out for airline and rail ticket discounts. Websites that comparison shop a number of travel sites, such as Kayak and CheapAir, make this easier than ever and you’ll be able to shop by deal or destination.
While Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Daytona Beach during summer break may seem like the perfect parties for your girlfriend getaway, traveling during peak times means paying more for expenses. By scheduling your trip during the off-season, or even during the week on low-trafficked days, you can book your arrangements for up to 50 percent less. So while you may not get to stroll Bourbon Street on Fat Tuesday, you may be able to choose a more exotic or desired locale for the same cost.
Avoid Hotel Suites
While doing it up Hangover-style may seem like the ultimate in luxury, it will cost you (and your bridesmaids) a pretty penny — and funds that could be put to better use seeing and exploring the sights. Especially if you only have a few days to enjoy your locale, there are better things to blow your budget on than the inside of a hotel room that you’ll probably spend little time in.
Instead of booking a hotel suite, consider an Airbnb or a rental property for your crew. You’ll probably save even more than you would with a budget hotel, and instead of being separated, you may find that sharing an entire home is more budget-friendly than that swanky resort.
Stock the Kitchen
While no one wants to cook while they’re on vacation — and you and the girls will no doubt be looking forward to sampling the local cuisine — if you’re traveling on a budget, you can easily cut your dining expenses by stocking up on snacks, quick bites, and grab-and-go breakfasts. The same goes for booze. Instead of running up a bar tab, why not warm up where the drinks are cheap — your room. Buy your own bottles and enjoy cocktails while you get ready for your night on the town.
Go in Together on Accessories
When you head off on vacation, it can be tempting to purchase a bunch of new gear just for the occasion. And while that’s not a great way to keep your budget from imploding, you can still grab some new stuff by going in on these items with your friends. For example, pool your resources to pick up a great hairdryer, an affordable lighted travel mirror, top-of-the-line hair rollers, or anything else that will help you and your squad looks feel gorgeous during your trip.
Before You Leave
Nothing ruins a trip faster than coming home to disaster — but there are some simple safety precautions you can take before you leave to ensure your home is secure while you’re away. To keep your place from looking deserted, schedule a hold on your mail, a lawn service company to mow or shovel, install timers on various lamps so they turn themselves on and off, and ask a neighbor to park their car (or take turns using different cars) in your driveway.