What do you get when you combine a ladies’ trip with a milestone birthday? The perfect mix of luxury X adventure.
Cyn and I have always felt it was important to honor ourselves on our birthday, so for our 40th, we went ALL OUT. We invited our best girlfriends from junior high to come together for an epic trip to celebrate the fact that we were all turning 40 that year. Did I mention that we planned it and took off within 2 weeks?!
We thought we’d share our favorite tips for planning a trip like this, to help you and your besties have the time of your life.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION:
Figure out what the group consensus is on weather and travel time. Seeking warm, easy to get to, but with an international feeling? Go with Mexico! We ended up in Punta Mita and loved every second. Like I said, if you and your girls are all turning 30 or 35 or 40, suggest that instead of celebrating everyone’s birthday, take one collective trip to celebrate everyone. You can splurge a bit more on location (hello, it’s your birthdays after all), and all the tips that follow.
WHERE TO STAY:
Depending on how many girls there are and what you feel up for, you can go with a hotel or rent a vacation home through a site like Airbnb. Given there were quite a few moms in our group, we didn’t want to have to deal with making our own food or cleaning up (that is exactly what everyone wanted a break from). The Four Seasons, Punta Mita was the perfect place for us — The hotel was beyond gorgeous, and we were treated so well by the hotel staff. Cyn had a real chance to take a break from 3 kids, and our friends could hit up the spa (when not relaxing by the beach).
Aside from the fact that Cyn and I had different ideas of “fun”, girls’ trips are always a bit of a compromise. Here are some ideas for your next trip that’ll satisfy everyone in the group:
• Stay somewhere that will satisfy the “loungers” (aka Cyn), but with access to a ton of options for activities (tequila making, anyone?). It’s fair to say we spent plenty of time making Cyn’s birthday wishes come true by relaxing, drinking cocktails, and laughing by the pool (so hard that we couldn’t breathe). Cyn also researched all these awesome stores in Punta Mita and Sayulita that were total hidden gems. We picked up some of the most amazing local souvenirs. Cyn and I both love collecting home décor items from places we have traveled, and I snagged these gorgeous pillow cases and dream catchers on this trip. Every time I look at them, I’m reminded of our awesome 40th birthday trip!
• Try something new! Push yourself out of your comfort zones as a group, and you won’t regret it. I was in the mood for adventure, so I signed us up for surf lessons. Biggest surprise of the trip…more on that later. We also decided to surf in Sayulita as opposed to the Four Seasons — That way we got to see another (adorable) town, and save a few bucks by not paying hotel prices for the lessons.
• Soak in the culture, food, and style (leave the hotel!!) of wherever you are. We were in Mexico and highlights included: making tequila, shopping in local air markets, and like any proper tourist—taking selfies in front of local landmarks.
• Working out on vacation? No, thank you. Incorporate some physical activity with fun to make the most of a girls trip. And, by that I mean dance into the night at local hotspots, swim in the pool, or plan some “active” time, like the surf lessons. Our Hotel DJ played some early nineties jams that got us moving AND taking a trip down memory lane.
• Personalize the trip. Who says personalized t-shirts are only for bachelorette parties? Our bestie brought along the cutest (not tacky at all!) matching tees so we could all celebrate in style. T-shirts aren’t the only way to go, though. There are so many websites for customized hats, water bottles, and towels (hello etsy).
With these tips, I am sure that your next vacation is one you and your girls will never forget. For us, the mix of self-care and adventure created life long memories and at the very least, helped me take pleasure in getting older. Here’s to 40 and many more!
TRIP HIGHLIGHT FOR US: Surf’s up! I don’t want to pat myself on the back too much, but the surf lessons I suggested ended up being everyone’s favorite part of the trip. We were like kids again. We loved that feeling of fear and freedom when you catch your first wave. While I felt like I was forcing the group to go in the beginning, we rode the high of those surf lessons for weeks. I can’t remember the last time I've seen all of us so excited! There was an extra element of bonding because we were all out of our comfort zone, plus memories to last a lifetime.
Tag #TheSweetLife so I can see how you all do an epic girls trip!
The Sweet Life By Brittany + Cynthia Daniel