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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Top 10 tips for planning a great Girls' Getaway

Given our expertise in all things travel, we recently wrote a story for Style Magazines on tips for organising the ultimate girls’ getaway and we thought we’d share our advice with you here too.
At the start of the New Year, many of you will be starting to make plans to spend quality time and adventures with your friends for a fun-filled year ahead. If you are the chief organiser, here are a few tips to make sure the weekend gets underway without a hitch!
Here’s our top ten tips for planning a great girls’ getaway:

1. Choose your crew

This sounds obvious, but choosing the right mix of personalities is an important factor for a harmonious weekend getaway.  Get the mix of personalities right, too many big personalities won’t work, but choose a blend that will work harmoniously for a fun & respectful break that doesn’t end in tears. Ask yourself: who shares my interests, has a similar energy level and makes me laugh? That person is likely an ideal travel companion!

2. Commit to a date and plan

Send a proper invite with set dates and details; otherwise if you keep it vague (“Hey, was thinking of going to Noosa in May, who wants to come?”) the response will be equally vague.

3. Decide on a budget

Be honest and upfront about how much each person can spend and pick an amount that works for everybody. Next, discuss how costs will be divided and aim for fairness. Ask everyone to pay for the accommodation in advance to gain commitment; otherwise even your best friend might leave you high and dry.  For everything else, our advice is to pay the lot and then divvy it up in one go at the end.

4. Divvy the duties

Decide who will do what right from the start. Look at everyone’s experience and connections and nominate perhaps your foodie friend to find great restaurants, the culture vulture to suggest entertainment etc. Keep everyone in the loop by creating a Facebook group or other online centralised system.

5. Make it an event

If the lure of relaxation isn’t enough give your trip meaning by scheduling around a special event such as a milestone birthday, food & wine festival, sporting event or music festival.

6. Find the perfect accommodation

Choosing a holiday house over a hotel room will make a huge difference to your getaway experience. By having everyone under the one roof, creates a fun atmosphere and shares the cost rather than each person getting a hotel room. Make sure there is a decent kitchen, a deck to slouch around on and plenty of living quarters if people need to find a quiet corner.
Some great options to check out are: Vantage over Byron, Byron Bay – with wow factor glass lift, 5 stylish bedrooms & infinity edge pool, Mountain Whispers, Blue Mountains – we love Vareena’s three bedrooms with cosy fireplace and private onsite day spa studio.  The Vintry, Hunter Valley – 4 bedrooms all with ensuites, gourmet kitchen, fireplace and surrounded by cellar doors to explore. Seven Surfside, Sunshine Coast – 5 bedrooms, sleeping 8 girls in style with your own pool and ocean views. Or, check out these girls’ getaways from for some inspiring ideas.

7. Plan…but not too much

If you’re going out for dinner, make your reservations and scope out the nightlife in advance, so you’re not all traipsing around and wasting precious dancing and drinking time. Depending what destination you choose, you might like to organise a cooking class, chocolate making or get back to nature and all go for a walk or run and see the destination to its fullest! In Noosa, we recommend Balance Noosa and in Byron Bay try Byron Bay Massage. Whatever you do, don’t over plan, the best weekends away are the restful ones, when you can just relax and connect with your friends…usually over a cocktail!

8. Settle on sleeping arrangements

If you opt to rent a holiday house, work out who’ll be sleeping where before you go. If there is a master bedroom, perhaps reward the organiser or birthday girl for example. Don’t do first-come-first-served as it may annoy people. If there is a snorer, restless sleeper or late night TV watcher, discuss how to comfortably cater to everyone’s quirks.

9. Food, glorious food

You’ll want to organise some delicious food for your group.  If you’re all escaping the city on a Friday afternoon, inevitably someone will be late. Don’t sweat it and organise catering for a girls’ night in for the first night so it doesn’t matter what time everyone turns up.  Platters of antipasto and canapés are great for sharing with friends over a bottle (or two) of Champagne!  In Noosa, we recommend Belmondos for great, delicious quality canapés that won’t break the budget. Keep costs down by cooking breakfast at the house & create a roster for each meal so everyone knows what they are responsible for and everyone chips in to help.

10 . Break from technology

This might be a tough one, but agree to limit phoning, texting, emailing and social media.  Work can wait; your family know how to get in touch with you if any emergency arises so focus on being present for one another.  You can always post that selfie later...#latergram
Finally, there is an unwritten rule about girls’ getaways. What happens on tour, stays on tour – now enjoy!
What do you love to do most on a girls’ getaway? Where is your fave places to escape with your girls? Any stories to share?
To celebrate the New Year we have an exclusive offer at Lavender Manor, Blue Mountains. Book and stay in Jan/Feb and save $710! Our friends at Lavender Manor have reduced the minimum number of guests required from 6 to 4, so grab your pals and go!
  • Exclusive use of Lavender Manor for two nights
  • Full body and scalp massage for each person (allow 60 mins per person) on site (Facials available as an alternative on request)
  • Complimentary use of the six person hot spa
  • Blue Mountains Gift Hamper on arrival 
  • Robes and slippers to use during your stay
  • Chocolates and bath treats
  • No keys to collect for check in so you are free to arrive anytime after check in time, taking the pressure off and allowing your group to arrive individually when they can
  • Free Wifi

$355.00 PER PERSON

London Lavished
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7 Tips On How To Afford Luxury Items

I'm pretty open about the fact that fashion wise, my weaknesses are designer handbags. While I don't buy as many anymore, when I do I usually know exactly what I want to get and try to make sure I don't get side-tracked by purchasing other random things.

Below, I've put together some tips on affording high end pieces to help you stay focused that work for me.

7 tips on how to afford luxury items

Tip #1 Save first

Make sure you are consistently saving for your future first before you think about any shopping. This means putting money aside for retirement, your long term and short terms goals and also paying all your monthly expenses.

Tip #2 Buy quality over quantity

You'll find yourself becoming a lot more picky. Think about all the times you've purchased something cheap that after a few wears fell apart. Completely not worth it right? It's better to buy 1 item of quality than 5 items that won't last.

Tip #3 Wait for your "must have" pieces to go on sale

Although classic pieces from designers rarely go on sale, if you are patient, you can find a lot of seasonal items with a classic vibe in the annual or bi-annual designer sales.

Tip #4 Save for the big ticket items

These are the items that you must have regardless of whether they are on sale or not, as opposed to slapping them on a credit card. While you save, it helps you decide if you really still want the item and then once you do get it, you'll value it more and regret it less. (You can create a designated saving account - your purchases will be 100% guilt free).

Tip #5 Stay away from fast trends

Stay away from expensive things that are overly trendy - that's what stores like Zara and H&M are for if you must. If you are spending a ton of money, it should be on timeless pieces. So ask yourself, "Will I want to wear this a year from now?" and use your response to make your purchase decisions.

Tip #6 It's not a competition

Buy what you like and what you can afford because you like it and not for anyone else. Don't get caught up keeping up with the Jones or with the social media fashionistas; You have no clue about their financial situation, focus on yours, buy what you love and what you can afford.

Tip #7 Mix it up

There's nothing wrong with wearing a $10 dollar tank top with a Chanel handbag. Absolutely nothing. Determine what your style is and mix it up. Not everything you wear has to be super expensive.

A lot of people might not understand expensive handbags or other high end fashion purchases but as long as you are doing it the right way with no debt and you are planning for your future self, occasional splurges are allowed.
London Lavished
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