How to Plan a Bachelorette Party
Sand, surf, and a setup that allows you to make your own mojitos are just a few of the draws of a weekend at a beach. If there's no beachhouse in your extended circle of family and friends that you can tap for the weekend, try an online vacation rental service like zonder.com, rentalo.com, and homeaway.com. All have search features that let you choose everything from the number of bedrooms to particular amenities.
Dive in by determining what's most important to you. For the house: Is there a private pool or hot tub? How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need? For a group of women, assume that no one wants to share beds and figure on one bathroom for every four people. For the location: Keep in mind you'll need a break from the sun, and zero in on communities where you can walk to shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars, or join a lively boardwalk scene.
Beachhouses in high season are generally rented by the week, so you'll find a better selection of weekend rentals in shoulder season (May or September in Cape May, N.J., or April in North Carolina's Outer Banks, for example). Locales with lots of housing stock also work well for a weekend rental; you may not be able to find a weekend rental in Martha's Vineyard in July, but you probably can nab a lovely place in Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head, S.C.
Work out how you're going to handle chores like cooking and cleaning ahead of time. Many rental services build in a cleaning fee or let you add a cleaning service for an additional charge. If none of you are inclined to spend time in the kitchen, look into hiring a personal chef or assign a team to breakfast, another to lunch, and agree to eat dinners out.
Have some activities like beach volleyball and Frisbee on standby for those who can't sit still and, in case the weather doesn't comply, be ready with board games, a poker set, or guilty-pleasure movies and popcorn.
Something Extra Hire a yoga instructor to lead a group class on the beach. There's nothing like doing sun salutations in the sand while facing the wild blue yonder. Call a local yoga studio or try yogafinder.com.
Lisbeth Levine is co-author of The Wedding Book: The Big Book for Your Big Day (Workman Publishing), available in mid-April.