Part-time traveller, Full-Time Brummie

How to Organise a Girls Trip to Alicante…

…aka Dealing with a Control Freak Chief Travel Organiser.

“Let’s go to Benidorm” said Friend A, 12 months before we would be waving our 30s behind and embarking on a whole new journey into a new and frightening decade. “I’m in!” said Friend B.  Although Friend B is technically not leaving her 30s til the following year and has an extra 6 months to adjust to the idea. She is kindly letting me and the Friend A test the waters first.

We’ve been friends since nursery school, and shared most of our primary and secondary school years together. Somewhere along the way we lost touch, but as good friends do it was inevitable that we would gravitate back together. We have so many shared childhood experiences, of roller-skates and bikes and LoLo balls, of secret clubs and label-makers, of dance competitions and living-room shows. And now it’s time to make new memories, growing old(er) disgracefully.

“I’m not going to Benidorm” I say. “But I’ve found us an apartment in Alicante”.

“Where’s Alicante?”

“Next to Benidorm”

“Cool. Book it”

And so I was designated Chief Organiser of all things Alicante-related. To be honest, Friends A and B didn’t exactly try and wrestle the position off me. So here is my first Handy Tip in organising a girls trip to Alicante:

Handy Tip 1: Choose your Chief Travel Organiser very carefully. Your holiday lies in their hands.

Do you want to end up at “Banging-Club-Choons” Hostel if you really want a relaxing break with the soundtrack of champagne corks gently popping? Or booking a swanky 5-star hotel only to find you’ve arrived in the middle of “Naked Twister” night – and they’re after newly-arrived flesh to put left hand on red? Your Chief Travel Organiser needs to be thorough enough to research the destination and make sure it meets everyone’s needs. Of course, if everyone’s needs are quite simply “sunshine” and “alcohol”, and there are no additional demands, it makes Chief Travel Organiser’s job a lot easier. Everyone just needs to know when and where. Which leads me on to:

Handy Tip 2: Make sure everyone knows when and where

WhatsApp. Facebook Messenger. Texts. Set up some kind of group so everyone is in contact with everyone else and everyone is clear on the details. Or, you know, meet up face to face. If Chief Travel Organiser has gone rogue and booked carry-on only (“Look, it’s for two nights, how much stuff do we REALLY need?…), you don’t want Friend A turning up with a 23kg suitcase. And you don’t want Friend B turning up at East Midlands airport at 11:30pm when you’re meant to be meeting at Birmingham airport at 11:30am.

Information and communication is key. Chief Travel Organiser will probably have some kind of itinerary, list or welcome pack, in the manner of a Brown Owl organising a trip for a group of unruly Brownies. Except you don’t need to pack primarily yellow and brown clothes. And whilst we’re talking about packing…

Handy Tip 3: Discuss who’s taking what

Okay, so some things just aren’t shareable (not without risk of disease, contamination or just plain ickiness) but it’s pointless taking three lots of shower gel, hairspray, straighteners, toothpaste etc. Of course, it’s highly likely you’ll have this conversation and still forget who’s taking what, and thus still end up with three lots of shower gel, hairspray etc.

And Chief Travel Organiser will no doubt remind everyone on countless occasions about the 100ml liquid rule, and about the dimensions of allowed baggage. If you do get it wrong, blame the Chief Travel Organiser for failing to tell you enough. She’ll love that. Don’t forget the Chief Travel Organiser is Chief Travel Organiser because she is a control freak. Which makes her a great Chief Travel Organiser, but not great at dealing with people that go “off-plan”…

Handy Tip 4: Have a plan. Albeit a loose, flexible one

Mr Fletche and I took Ma and Pa Lee off to Salzburg a few years ago. I was unsurprisingly Chief Travel Organiser then too. I presented Ma and Pa Lee with a printed copy of their itinerary. I would have had it laminated if I’d had the chance, but a plastic document wallet had to suffice. Of course, when we’d seen all of Salzburg on the first night, we had to come up with a new plan. A Chief Travel Organiser learns from their mistakes.

So whilst your Chief Travel Organiser may have done a little bit of research on the best local beaches (Playa de la Albufereta, La Almadraba, Playa de San Juan), where to get the best views (Castillo de Santa Bárbara), the best mojitos (El Coscorron), the best tapas (Taberna San Pascual), which bus (no 22) or tram (no 1) to get into town, and found a local supermarket which sells vital supplies (i.e wine, gin – Mercadona, open til 9:30pm)…Your Chief Travel Organiser will always be flexible. Because the most important thing is…

Handy Tip 5: Have fun!

Yes, your Chief Travel Organiser may be a mini dictator in training, she may be slightly too in love with spreadsheets and Evernote, and she may get frustrated when yet another person fails to remove their coat BEFORE they get to the security check (IT’S NOT HARD PEOPLE…DO IT WHILE YOU’RE IN THE QUEUE!) but trust her. Because when you’re all chilling in your apartment, cold drink in hand, after a taxi transfer that she has thoroughly researched, after a 10 minutes walk to the local Mercadona that she has thoughtfully mapped out, listening to the playlist of cheesy 80s hits she has carefully complied, she will relax. It is up to Friend A and Friend B now. Because it’s another 36 hours before she has to stress about repeating all the travel steps in reverse. 36, glorious, sangria-and-tapas filled, hours.

By the time this blog goes live, we’ll be winging our way to Alicante. And as Chief Travel Organiser, I have no doubts that everything has gone smoothly, everyone has turned up at the right place at the right time, all packing instructions have been adhered to and we’ve already cracked open the first bottle of Prosecco…

Stay tuned to A Brummie Home and Abroad on InstagramTwitter and Facebook for updates!

All gifs from Only Leslie Knope can out control-freak the Chief Travel Organiser…


25 responses to “How to Organise a Girls Trip to Alicante…”

  1. Well done you for saying NO to Benidorm. Em, have lots of fun. Looking forward to the next instalment as we have a few housesits coming up in Southern Spain from mid Nov.

  2. Such a fab post! I always end up being chief holiday organiser and have the cold sweats that something will go wrong and it’s my fault 😂 Hope your having a fab time and enjoy the sun and cocktails

    • emfletche says:

      I can happily report that everything went completely smoothly apart from the return flight delay – and even the best chief travel organiser in the world can’t influence that!

  3. Lisa Orchard says:

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing! ::)

  4. This post made me laugh. This is part of the reason I prefer to travel solo. Only responsible for me.

  5. thebeasley says:

    I’m such a mini dictator in the making haha (I’m also loving all the Leslie Knope gifs). For a girls’ holiday, I’d have to let someone else organise, otherwise everyone would hate me by the end of the holiday & I’d have no friends haha. I’m chief organiser for my family holidays though. I create itineraries and everything too (I fully support your notion of laminating it too), but I think they secretly thank me for it. Secretly.

  6. I love having a plan. You need to organise the fun!!!😁

  7. My first comment wasn’t the greatest, and I do love your travel posts. Organisation is so important and it takes so much of our time though we love the end results 🙂 Enjoyable post Em!

  8. Ritu says:

    Great tips! My hubby is off on a Boys jolly to Prague next weekend, they probably could have used a couple of tips lol!

  9. I have been chief organizer but also have a friend and my sister who I easily hand the “job” over to. I still research and do my “top things I want to see and do”. As hate it when someone says “I wanted to see….” on the plane back but never mentioned it when we were walking past it. Plus fun to have coffee/drinks before hand and see what is on everyone list. Hope you had a great time and looking forward to reading about it.

  10. gemmaorton says:

    Made me chuckle! I don’t get the chance to go away often but when I did go on a girls holiday last year I was nominated chief organiser. I am for day trips too. I do kind of prefer it that way though. I don’t quite trust anyone else to plan as thoroughly as I do!

  11. […] How to Organise a Girl’s Trip to Alicante: In 2017 my lovely friends Ann and Clare helped me kick off my 40th birthday celebrations in style with a quick trip to Alicante. Except in typical fashion I took over all the organisation – here’s a humorous look at how to deal with a control freak travel organiser (spoiler: just let her (me) get on with it!) […]

  12. […] tips and advice – and sometimes not so helpful tips and advice. Like this one on how to organise a girls trip to Alicante (or anywhere) without being a total control freak. And how to pack carry-on when you’re a […]

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