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Bachelorette parties can be wild and crazy and wasteful, but they definitely don’t have to be. Read on for more about a really great weekend without all the hassle including where we stayed and what I packed, including some greener alternatives like this lavender deodorant that we definitely needed for our vineyard hike.
There’s nothing like attending your younger sister’s bachelorette party in Malibu chock full of mid-twenty somethings having a grand old time to make you feel old.
A couple of weekends ago, I showed up as the ‘wedding-ring-wearing mom of two boys who works in compliance for her accounting firm’. Let’s just say I never expected to be the life of the party or be dubbed ‘the cool one’ at the party.
My sister, however, the bride-to-be, is far more fun than me, as is the group of friends she’s compiled over the years. I surely didn’t want to put a damper on her big fiesta by being a boring party-pooper. But I had three days without my kids. As much as I love my boys, I wasn’t wasting away the weekend with sleepless nights and too much partying. I put on my big girl party pants and packed my bags for a weekend with a bunch of girls a decade my junior.
I asked another of my sisters, a yoga instructor, to lead a yoga session on Saturday morning. I had a private yoga class on one of the balconies overlooking the canyon and the ocean. No complaints from me about a series of vinyasas with this view.
I even baked a batch of chocolates chip cookies. Seriously, I’m such a mom.
Renting a Home For Travel is So Great (and Better For the Environment)
We rented a large house on the cliffs that overlooked the canyon and the ocean, and I enjoyed every minute of our luxurious digs. We hung by the pool, jumped on the trampoline like little kids, played jumbo Jenga and Connect Four, and took a relaxing guided hike through a local vineyard.
I know home rental for travel is becoming far more popular, but if you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend it. In addition to this trip, we also rented a home in Palm Springs for a family gathering earlier this year. In both cases, we loved that our large group could all stay together.
Additionally, I think renting a home is a more socially conscious option.
When we rent homes, we eat fewer meals out at restaurants (which tend to waste more food and materials compared to eating at home), and we use the utensils, serving ware, and coffee mugs provided by the host instead of disposable items.
We stay in a home that already exists and reduce the need for large hotels to overtake or over-commercialize a beautiful area.
Homes also use less energy than most hotels. With lights always on in hallways, active elevators, and air conditioners that seem to run incessantly in hotels, home rentals generally are a greener alternative to hotels. In our house rental, we turned the air conditioning on for only a few hours a day.
All those benefits also tend to come with a lower price tag, something about which I suspect no one will complain.
Packing for A Girls Weekend in Malibu
Packing for the affair proved a little more difficult than most weekend trips. We had several different types of activities on our tentative agenda, so I had to pack for all options. I also knew those activities would leave me pretty sweaty in the California sun, so I wouldn’t be wearing anything more than once.
Nonetheless, I’m a bit of stickler about checking luggage when I’m traveling alone and it’s not absolutely necessary. I was determined to pack what fit in my carry-on while still having enough gear for the weekend activities.
Beyond the standard items I’d bring on any trip (I’m looking at you t-shirts, jeans, undergarments, and a toothbrush), there were a few things of particular importance because I was spending the weekend in the scorching California sun with a group of ladies up for anything and that I was traveling alone (I love my kids but… insert hands in the air emoji).
Beauty and Accessories
Aluminum-Free Deodorant ~ I’ve tried a handful of natural and aluminum-free deodorants to no avail. Many don’t work and one even left me with quite a bit of irritation. My sister mentioned that Tom’s of Maine® Long Lasting Deodorant had worked for her, so I tried it out and completely agree.
Tom’s of Maine uses botanical ingredient hops to inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria as an alternative to aluminum, which some studies say can lead to breast cancer and other diseases. They also use no artificial colors, flavors, fragrances or preservatives, nor are they tested on animals, and the packaging is recyclable through TerraCycle.
We had plenty of sweating (gross but true) on our agenda between the hike, the heat and the pool, so I packed up my Tom’s of Maine deodorant. I really like the lavender (and am a lavender fan in general). My sister, however, prefers the the unscented. If you’re interested in checking it out, it’s available at Walmart and you can use this Ibotta offer to earn cash back on your purchase..
Dry Shampoo ~ Especially when I travel, I aim to wash my hair as infrequently as possible. Home or away, dry shampoo means fewer hair washes, shorter showers, and less hair drying. Not only does this save me time, but it’s also good for the environment.
If you aren’t sure how to use it, I shared an in-depth post for beginners about how to use dry shampoo. I also included tips about what you might be doing wrong if it’s not working and a few other uses for dry shampoo.
Hair Ties & Bobbi Pins ~ Between hiking and yoga, the California heat, and hanging out at the pool, my hair spent the entire weekend tied up on my head. It spent so little time down, in fact, that just a week later two of my sisters commented on how long my hair was in a photo I sent them, despite seeing me so recently.
Face Cleansing and Make Up Remover Wipes ~ I didn’t bring my standard face soap but brought facial wipes instead. They’re so much less of a hassle and also sneak through airport security more easily than liquid face soaps.
Swimsuit & Coverup ~ I brought a one piece and a two piece suit. One piece suits are quite trendy right now (and a few girls wore them). Among a crowd of twenty-somethings, however, I didn’t want to wear anything that made me feel more like a “mom” than I already did. You should have seen the looks of shock/horror I received when I mentioned I had a five year old; that made me soooo old. Separately, I don’t get a chance to wear two-piece suits often, so I took full advantage.
Yoga Gear ~ One of my sisters is a yoga instructor, as I mentioned above. I knew it would be good to start the day off with an energizing yoga practice. Although I’m not nearly as good at it as I’d like, I’ve been making a concerted effort to take better care of myself (exercise, a little more sleep.. the usual suspects). And really… I’d do yoga everyday if done on a balcony overlooking the ocean.
Hiking Gear ~ We planned to do a hike of some sort on our trip, so I brought a comfortable outfit and a pair of hiking boots. We ended up choosing an easy guided hike through a vineyard. The area offers lots of hiking through the canyons and around local vineyards, depending on how difficult you’d like your trek to be. I really loved that the weekend included an opportunity for us to get out into nature and enjoy the peace and serenity of the area.
Water Bottle ~ I always, always bring a reusable water bottle with me when I travel. It’s good for the environment, the most obvious benefit. It also makes it easier to stay hydrated and saves me a fortune not having to buy over-priced water at the airport. Additionally, I like packing around it before I leave instead of having to jam up my perfectly-packed carry-on with a condensation-collecting plastic bottle after everything else has a nice and tidy home.
Reading Material ~ Some people hate crowded airplanes. While I don’t love them, I do love having distraction-free hours on end to cuddle up with a book. On the flight to Malibu I finished two books, one physical book and one audio book (both from my local library). I also started a third on my Kindle. I had plenty of time to relax and read on my cross-country flight, which more than makes up for being packed like sardines into a small space for five hours.
Camera ~ I bring it almost everywhere, so no surprise it accompanied me to California. I wanted to document all the good times, especially because it was such a big event for my sister. Aside from her wedding, it’s unlikely she’ll have all those friends together again for many years (if ever). I ended up making a video for her documenting all the events as well as including a snippet from each friend describing their favorite thing about her. I loved it (though I’m probably bias).
Phone & Charger ~ Do I ever leave home without these? Enough said.
Towel ~ We rented this amazing house for the weekend, but I wasn’t sure what they would supply, so I brought my own. Turns out I didn’t need that, thanks to our awesome rental home hosts, but I was happy to be prepared.
Small Chalkboard and Colored Chalk ~ I had grand plans to do a photo series of each guest in attendance with a chalkboard sign indicating how they met my sister. But.. that fell by the wayside when I instead decided to make a video including a testimonial from each person about their favorite thing about my sister. I suspect she liked the video better.
More Conscientious With Age
It’s funny how getting older and having kids has made me more conscious about so many things (and certainly more appreciative of a weekend without parenting responsibilities). Particularly since having children, I’ve had to be more thoughtful about self-care because I just don’t have the time I used to to fit it all in with ease.
I plan ahead for fitness more often (as opposed to assuming it will all fit into a day’s schedule). I focus on making the best use of time for myself (like on a plane) by doing something I love that I don’t often have a chance to squeeze into my schedule (hello reading). I seek out better beauty products that not only do the job but are cleaner, greener, and better for me. After all, my health impacts more than just me now.
Many people say we all get more boring with age. Is that really true? Are we getting more boring or are we just being more thoughtful about spending time for ourselves wisely because there’s so much less of it to go around?
A few hours of partying ruins the whole next day. An hour of yoga in the morning makes the day great. As parents, we don’t get many days to ourselves, so do we want to spend them recovering from nights not taking good care of ourselves? I know the answer is different for everyone, but at least for me, I’ll almost always take the cleaner, greener, simpler option.