Tips For Your Next Girl's Trip

A friend and I flew to Savannah for four days last month, and it was perfect.

We tried planning this trip last year, but for several reasons, it just wasn’t working out on my end.  We hadn’t actually gotten to the planning part, but we had discussed it several times.

However, in January of last year, we found out my daughter would need her tonsils out and had a few other personal investments to make.

I’m a “cash is king” kinda girl.  So when I saw these expenses adding up, as terrible as I felt, I just knew it wasn’t the right time to put even more funds into a vacation.

So we put the trip off until this year, and I’m so glad we did.

Personally, I felt so much more comfortable leaving my daughter at home as she was one year older, and the all of the sickness of the prior year was behind us. Financially, I was able to relax and enjoy the trip without the anxiety of over-spending. Not too mention, we both turn 30 this year, and it just felt like such a great way to celebrate this new season of life!

I love living life in the moment, but sometimes, you also have to trust the timing of things.

 
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We were blessed with unseasonably warm weather, were able to see Savannah’s spring flowers in full bloom (think gorgeous Azalea bushes lining the streets!), smooth flights, and some more time to plan our trip out perfectly.

While I would love to do a full blog post JUST about Savannah, I’m not sure I got to know the city quite well enough for that ;) Heck, I could barely navigate the streets even by day four.  Let’s just say directions are not my forte. Thank goodness for my friend and her navigational abilities.

I thought instead, I will show you some of the beautiful places we visited, and share some tips for planning a short girl’s trip of your own!

If you’re planning a trip in the future, I can’t recommend Savannah more. There was so much to do in and around the city, 3 1/2 days was hardly enough.

 

We saved BIG on our flights thanks to the American Airlines credit card. I just made sure I had cash set aside in advance for ALL expenses on the card.

We also lucked out with our apartment through Lucky Savannah Vacation Rentals - highly recommend!

 

Plan Your Trip Dates With Purpose

This girls trip was MEANT for relaxation.  So when it came to finding dates that worked best, I knew that I wanted to travel during the calm season of my business. I edit photos for wedding photographers, so anytime between April-November can be a little bit chaotic, with a small break in July and August.  However, I have a business retreat scheduled in August, so I didn’t want to overwhelm my travel schedule for the year.

So we knew we were shooting for early Spring.  Once I looked at the calendar, I found a long gap in my husband’s work schedule, so we planned for that week to avoid any babysitting situations while I was out of town.  Would it have been that big of a deal? Eh, maybe not, but less stress on my end, so why not?

  1. Map out your year with major dates

  2. Plan around work and upcoming commitments as much as possible

  3. Let your family know of your selected dates in advance, this will be helpful for babysitting, house sitting, pet sitting, etc.

 

Our vacation rental was located on Jones Street, The Prettiest Street In America.

There were a few great places nearby including Savannah Coffee Roasters and Crystal Beer Parlor. We grabbed a beer to go almost every evening while we walked the famous city squares.. The perks of an open container city!

Treylor Park is a must visit for food and drinks! We laughed a lot about our confusion with kinda-sorta accidentally ordering shots with our to-go beers, but when in Savannah :)

 

Check Your Destination’s Peak Season

We KNEW that these dates in March were our best option. Because of this, there is one thing we did NOT do, but I would recommend. We didn’t check on when Savannah’s “peak season” was.  This may not influence your decision one way or another - but as it turns out March is prime tourist season for Savannah. It’s beautiful weather, their flowers are in full bloom and Oh yeah, it just happens to be the month of St. Patrick’s Day and Savannah boasts the second largest St. Patricks’ Day Parade in the country.

This was almost a major fail on our end. Lodgings ended up all being significantly more expensive due to the dates we chose, and we were VERY CLOSE to booking our “relaxing trip” over one of the busiest weekends this city sees all year.  Hundreds of thousands of people flood Savannah’s street for St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe that’s your idea of a girl’s trip, but it definitely wasn’t ours. Phew, close call.

  1. Double check ALL holidays surrounding your trip dates and research if there’s any holiday specific events in the area. It may be fun, but it may also draw a LARGE crowd like Savannah.

  2. Book your flight and lodgings as far in advance as possible

  3. Check for any non-peak season specials! You may just save quite a bit of money if you can be flexible by just a day or two and find a weekend special booking.

 

We really loved visiting Wormsloe Historic Site - the ruins of the original home are the oldest standing structure in Savannah.

 

Create a Flexible Itinerary

Sometimes planning what you’ll actually DO when you travel can be a bit tricky.  Essentially, we had three and a half days while in Savannah. While we wanted to use our time well, we also wanted to rest.  Savannah is a BIG city, with a small town feel to it. There is a lot to do, and often not quite enough time. Not too mention, we knew there were several options immediately outside of the city as well.

Prior to our trip, we really only decided on two main “to-do’s” - that we would spend our first evening in the city, walking, familiarizing ourselves with the area our apartment was in, and that we would take a trolley tour the morning of our first full-day.

It’s difficult to get a feel for what a city will be like through Travel reviews and blog posts alone.  We just became acquainted with popular spots in town, and decided we would create a more rigid itinerary once we arrived and could have a better feel of how to best manage our time.  It actually worked out really well. We had pretty relaxing first day, a hustle and bustle second day, and our last full day was spent touring all the places we hadn’t had the chance to visit yet.

  1. Don’t forget to check dates and times of places you’d like to visit - Most of Savannah’s homes, museums and shops closed by 5 PM, making it tricky to fit everything into a day

  2. Read in-depth reviews online - We almost visited a well known Museum in the city, but opted for a lesser known historical home instead that had great reviews. It was a good choice!

  3. Stop by the Tour Center to get a first hand approach on some of the best places to visit and eat.

 

Simply walking the city and enjoying the scenery, buildings, flowers and spanish moss was half of the fun!

We made sure that anytime we walked somewhere we would pass through one of the 22 city squares - small gardens that are so peaceful and add so much charm and character to Savannah.

 

Set A Rough Budget

Savannah was my first ever girls trip, so I knew that I wanted to experience all the city had to offer, without going too crazy. That being said, sometimes it can be really tricky to manage a budget while on Vacation. Because I wasn’t traveling with my husband, I wanted to have open communication with my friend about saving when and where we could.

We spent almost two full days booking our hotel and lodgings, but we did an AMAZING job saving money upfront. This allowed more flexibility with our expenses in the city.  Once we had initially settled on our dates, I plugged the dates into Google and “tracked flights” so that I could price monitor!

We originally checked out Bed & Breakfasts and Hotels, because many of Savannah’s hotels are located in Historic Downtown District and several are historic!  However, due to our travel dates, hotel prices were definitely on the pricey side. Our next option was checking out local AirBNB’s, but surprisingly we really didn’t see anything great.

That’s when I stumbled across Lucky Savannah Vacation Rentals.  If you ever travel to Savannah, I promise this is the way to go!  It’s similar to AirBNB’s but the rentals are managed through one company.  There were over 150 options of beautiful homes and apartments and the price was absolutely right.

Even with the mandatory renters insurance, we still managed to come out under the cost of a hotel for our stay.  Not too mention, we had an entire apartment, all to ourselves and it was located on a quintessential street in Savannah; Jones Street or “The prettiest street in America” as it’s commonly referred to.  We couldn’t have selected a more peaceful, beautiful location.

A lot of our trip costs went to day to day expenses.  We did several tours, ate out for every meal and purchased drinks.  While the cost was high, it was OK because we knew up front that we were in the city to enjoy it. Cooking meals was definitely not on my to-do list, but I also didn’t partake in any shopping.

  1. If you need to, set a spending limit up front.  Try to keep your flight and lodgings as low as possible to save money for your “Travel To-Do’s.”

  2. Set aside the cash, but use a credit card for travel points!  We saved $200 upfront by using a flight credit-card, and I earned enough points to pay for my business retreat flight in August.  We also each checked one bag for free. Triple-win! I then paid off the card as soon as I was back home.

  3. Don’t forget about the cost of travel insurance. This was a necessary expense we hadn’t planned on, but definitely paid for.

 

Forsyth Park was beautiful during the day, and night! Though it’s hard to see, every fountain had green water for the following weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

The Cathedral of St. John The Baptist was just incredible. The detail, and thought put into this building is amazing. So thankful we were able to walk through!

 

Be Fully Present

I’m so excited to share some of the pictures from our trip, and while it may seem like there’s quite a few - I didn’t capture even half of what we saw and did.

Honestly, it was sooooo enjoyable tucking my phone away in my purse and not worrying about e-mails, social media, taking pictures, or answering calls. The absolutely most enjoyable part of the trip was just being in the moment.

Savannah is a city MADE for walking and we logged 20,000+ steps every day we were there!  It was the ideal place to just walk, talk, and enjoy the scenery. We were incredibly blessed with what the locals kept referring to as “unseasonably warm weather” and while initially we saw a lot of rain on the forecast - we ended up with sunshine and 70+ degrees all three days.

While it’s fun to look back on the pictures, I’m so glad I didn’t miss a moment worrying about taking just the right picture, being in every picture, or being distracted by anything on my phone.

It was a perfect trip to learn a little history, spend some much needed with a friend, laugh, relax, enjoy a few drinks and some southern hospitality.  We’ll be back Savannah!

  1. Every time I was headed into a tour, I texted my husband so he was aware, and I didn’t have to stress about “checking my phone” and missing something.  

  2. I was 100% off of social media throughout the day and didn’t post anything in real-time.  It makes it that much more fun now to share the pictures and our trip, after the fact!

  3. Without distractions, we could make the most of our time and soak up everything Savannah had to offer.

 

A few randoms of the good views, good food, good drinks and proof of the miles we put in ;)