I would argue that it is critical for women to get away together just to yak, eat, shop and laugh. There is something about the perfectly pampered weekend that supports our endeavors the rest of the year. The elements of successful travel with the girls differ greatly from those of family travel or romantic journeys and they vary widely from chick to chick but there are common themes.
1. Chose your hotel for location, service and splendor. In New York City I recently stayed with a gaggle of gals at The Peninsula on 5th Avenue. Greeted at the door by Johnny, the Customer Service Manager and informed that he would remember our names and be at our beck and call, he did not disappoint. Somehow, this professional effortlessly took in the demands and desires of each of us and found solutions to please all. Everyone walked away believing they had won. He suggested restaurants, transportation, spas, Starbucks, rooftops, shopping spots and anything else we threw at him. He spoke into his wrist like the secret service to connect with in-house staff to let them know we were in "need" of something.
2. Schedule fair portions of museum/sightseeing/shopping/theatre or agree in advance to divide and conquer. The pressure of staying together and on the same schedule is unrealistic and unlikely. The only thing you can count on the whole group wanting to do together is get coffee first thing in the a.m. (which may vary in time for night owls and early birds). Scope out your own hotel for secret spots serving free coffee. Often the gym has a carafe that the early bird can hijack for the gang. Or take orders at night so the antsy one has a job.
3. Agree on agile development. The only thing that you can count of for sure is that your plan will change. Chose your method of contact early on since some will need wifi, others will have text plans, some will have the full gamut. One central place to update each other makes changes seamless. Well, less seam-full.
4. Meals are the backbone. Agree on which one to focus on. Try planning one special meal period each day which will please everyone and provide flexibility. Leaving room for that serendipitous stumble into a bistro just as thrilling as making a reservation at a long awaited hot spot.
5. Choose roomies wisely. Early girls together, chatty ones bunk in and snorers alone. It's a rule. Any way you slice it, having a hanger of a plan that can become a mobile opportunity to commune is the way to be sure you come back missing your friends instead of hoping to avoid them for another year.
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