Plan a Trip With Your Best Friends

Enjoy time together with your friends without breaking the bank on hotels, plane tickets and pricey activities. What you get: budget fun and close ties that, according to research, can help you live longer. Learn How to Negotiate a Cheaper Hotel Rate! »

women on vacation in mountains

If you have an hour… celebrate with a special lunch.

Get the group together for lunch at a nice restaurant at lunchtime rather than during the dinner rush, which can be significantly more expensive. Hitting your favorite café at an off-peak hour also means you won’t have to worry about laughing a little too loudly, or taking too much time to enjoy your coffee and dessert.

If you have a few hours...organize an affordable spa trip

When you get the head count, call a few spas and ask for a group rate (many offer up to 20 percent off services for big parties). Ask too about free amenities, like access to saunas, hydrotherapy and steam rooms. Then, see if there's room for all to lounge. Most spas have spaces they can provide for no additional cost, and they might even let you bring in food and drink, such as salads and bubbly. 

If you have the night off… find a fun happy hour

Check around town for bars that host trivia nights or other fun activities during the week—they usually also offer drink or food specials for anyone who’s taking part in the fun. Some bars even hand out gift cards to the winning teams that you can use towards your tab at the end of the night, giving your team an even better incentive to play—and play hard!

If you have an afternoon… hit the outlets

Shopping with your friends is so much more fun; after all, who else is going to tell you how great you look in that new dress? Head to the outlets for the day, where your budget will stretch much farther than it would at the mall.

If you have even more time, check out what you can do with a whole day, a weekend, or a long weekend...