We've all been there.
It's summer, your leave has been approved and it's time to pack your bags to hit the beach, the strip, or wherever that long-awaited girl's trip is this year. And with all the adulting you've been doing — work, kids, family and more — it's well deserved.
Girls trips are nothing new to Black women. Taking our sister circles and tribes with us as we experience the world is a invaluable part of friendship. Whether that experience is across the Atlantic Ocean, down by the equator, a short drive upstate or a staycation in your hometown, these trips are a reminder of why sisterhood is so necessary to the growth (and sanity) of women.
But, there can be ups and downs. If you've ever been on a trip with your favorite girls, you might recognize some of these stages. But don't be deterred, these all make for an epic girls trip and you'll surely be back the next year.
The 'I Miss My Girls' Stage:
You know this moment. It usually happens midway through the year, when you realize you haven't had more than a brief text exchange with your bestie, and your tan from last year is long gone. It's time to pick up the phone and round up the troops.
The Planning Stage:
Everyone is in, but now you have to find the perfect vacation. Bahamas? ESSENCE Festival? Vegas? It's time to get on the internet and do some real research. This exciting stage is usually followed by some frustration, as you know there's always going to be at least one dissenter:
See what we mean?
The 'Packing' Stage:
AKA, the stressful part. What to pack? What are we going to be doing? Do I need seven swimsuits for a four night stay? I'll for sure need that ballgown I bought on sale at Nordstrom for no apparent reason. Listen. Pack what you want. Anything can happen when your crew gets together.
'Time To Travel' Stage:
It's here. Time for all the girls to meet at the airport and get this show on the road. Also, the starting point of the vacation, and there's always one friend who will let you know what time it is.
You've made it to your destination and it's fit for all of your queens. Officially time to turn up!
The 'I Need A Nap' Stage:
Day one, hour three and you're already pooped. So much for going all night.
But there is that one friend...
You know who she is.
The 'Brunch' Stage:
Bound to happen every single day between noon and 2pm. What's vacation without a girl's brunch?
'So-and-So Needs To Calm Down' Stage:
Also bound to happen throughout your trip. There's always one friend that's the most. You love her, but damn she's extra.
'Tell Her To Lighten Up' Stage:
Much like Jada Pinkett Smith's character in the highly anticipated sisterhood comedy Girl's Trip, this friend is nervous, anxious, and hasn't had a good time in a while. By the end of the trip, however, she's guaranteed to be the one who had the most fun.
'We're Too Old For This' Stage:
You're used to going to bed at 9pm. This isn't freshman year of college and you can't hang. These are the facts of life and it happens to the best of us. Deal with it.
The 'I've Never Had This Much Fun' Stage:
There's always that moment where you're doing something so ridiculously normal with your girls — dancing, having a drink, watching a movie or lounging on the beach — but you can't remember the last time you laughed this hard. Why don't you guys do this more often?
'I Don't Want To Leave' Stage:
You know this dreaded stage. It's after you've remembered why you love your girls so much, after too many mimosas and maybe a sunburn, after you've argued with at least one over something silly and told yourself you couldn't wait to get home. This is the moment you realized what you shared with these women over the course of the vacation is something you'll cherish forever.
The 'So Grateful For My Friends' Stage:
The trip is over, you're headed home and back to your regular schedule. But you couldn't imagine life without these women in your world. One epic girls trip down, it's already time to start planning the next one.
You can find tips to plan your next girl trip, here.