Build your travel squad! In March myself and 15 other people took a quick trip to Florida to celebrate my brother’s 21st birthday. We made it a four-day weekend/vacation. The group consisted of family and friends from different parts of New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. This trip was in the works for many months (the idea came about in August of last year, and the Airbnb was booked in December). I will not sit here and lie and say it was all smooth sailing with the planning, because planning anything with a big group is stressful.
We stayed in Hollywood, FL at a beautiful 5-bedroom villa with an outdoor underground pool and spacious backyard. Our original plan was to stay in South Beach Miami, but by the time we got a decent head count all of the good places in South Beach that would accommodate our group size were already taken. Hollywood, Fl is about 30-35 minutes from South Beach. Because I knew that we wouldn’t be staying in South beach I was determined to find a place that had a pool (for our late night/early morning fun).
Coordinating a group trip is very difficult and time consuming, especially a group of this size. It was originally 14 people, which worked out to everyone having to pay $108 for their stay in the house (the total was $ 1512 for 4 days, 3 nights). Then somehow we ended up with 16 people (the more the merrier right!?). Once everything was resolved with the house, we had to move on to finding flights. I made it absolutely clear that we were not booking flights together, I would provide information when I found deals or cheap tickets; but I was not waiting to book with everyone.
Okay, so fast forward most of us arrived in Fort Lauderdale between 9-11 am and we met up at the airport picked up the rentals; got a bite to eat then received a call from the Airbnb host that we could check in early at 1:30pm. The house was only about 10 minutes from the airport. When we got there we were just in awe and ready for the turn up to begin. The girls and I went grocery shopping and the guys did the liquor run. Later that night we went to Wet Willies on Ocean Drive, it was insanely packed (Spring break week); long lines everywhere.
Saturday morning, we planned to do brunch (we were looking for places for weeks, none of the restaurants in South Beach were able to accommodate our group size). We found a placed called Bistro 1902 (about 10 minute walk from the house) on Hollywood Blvd. The weather was so beautiful and perfect for outdoor seating; the restaurant was able to put all our tables and chairs together without any issue. The food was okay nothing spectacular…I was really there for the unlimited mimosas. For a full food review on Bistro 1902 check out my friend and fellow blogger’s restaurant review at Tishakitchen.
After brunch went to South Beach; once again the line for Fat Tuesday’s was long but we stuck it out. The only thing was once we got our drinks they weren’t allowing people to leave with full cups. This is when the New Yorker survivor mode comes into play. We found someone who had a book bag, asked if we could put our drinks in it then walked up the block with him so we could get back on to the beach. Later that night some of the group ended up going back out the strip. All of the popular places on the strip were shut down due to a shooting (the reason why I hate when it’s too crowded and rowdy).
Sunday we threw a BBQ pool party, and this may be my favorite day of the whole trip. There is just something about being in the comfort of your own space, warm weather, good food, drinks, great people and vibes. Most of the food was cooked my fellow blogger and friend; once again check out her recipes on Tishaskitchen. After the pool party some of us wanted to go out since it was the last night there. We didn’t want to go to LIV because of all of the craziness that was happening that weekend, so we decided to go to a small low-key spot in South Beach called Purdy lounge. It was a nice spot, it was hip-hop music night; from the 80’s, 90’s up until today’s hip hop and it is free entry.
Monday morning after we checked out of our home for the weekend, we checked into the Ramada Hotel by the airport (because out return flight was later in the evening) we needed somewhere to put our things. Though half of the group already left to go back home we has so much fun; we went to Dania Beach in Fort Lauderdale and OMG this beach was so beautiful and clean (better than South Beach honestly).
Overall the trip was amazing and well worth all of the planning, and ehhh a little of the stress. It amazes me that I went away with 15 other people and there was no drama or craziness….well minus one little situation lol but I’ll hold it down 🙂
1.Always plan ahead for group trips (especially if you’re the one coordinating)
2.Research as much as possible, even if you’ve been to the city/country before (traveling with a group is a different experience)
3.You will never be able to get everyone to do the same thing at the same time (don’t stress)
4. Sometimes going with the flow is good! Some of the best moments are unplanned.
To see a glimpse of our Florida trip click here