Planning the ultimate getaway with your besties this year? Being in prolonged, confined spaces with your closest girlfriends can be the ultimate test of your friendship. Comedian Carol J. Castillo (from HBO’s Ballers) and iHeart Radio host & pop culture expert Chanel Omari took the risk when they went to Miami in December for Art Basel — and they lived to tell the tale. Check out these two funny gals’ words of wisdom on traveling with your girls, along with some expert advice from relationship expert and matchmaker Susan Trombetti of Exclusive Matchmaking on how to make it work.
Make Sure You Have a “Mama” (And Show Her Some Respect)
“When we were trying to find hotels during Art Basel, the prices were outrageous. My solution was to stay with 'Mama' Affect, my aunt right outside of Miami,” Chanel says. Of course, they had to abide by house rules. “Which meant enjoying fresh bagels, fresh lox and fresh gossip every morning,” Carol laughs.
Susan’s tip: “If you’re lucky enough to have someone put you up, I would make the stay no more than two days. And pitch in as much as you can. Definitely send a thank you note. If it was more than two, leave a bottle of wine on your way out.”
Decide the Best Way to Get Around (And Who’s Picking Up the Tab)
For Carol, having total freedom means, “being behind the wheel, so I decided to be the designated driver on the trip.” Chanel says it was a wise choice. “She was an awesome car DJ, and we let her practice some of her newest material on us. It was a very cool way to get around.”
Susan’s tip: “Make sure you really know the person who’s taking on driving responsibilities. I once had a friend who got pulled over and arrested — and I got left on the street! If someone is doing all the driving, you should be willing to help or pick up the tab on gas and parking. And if it’s going to be a big party night for all — take a ride service instead.”
Pack the Trunk With Clothing and Snacks! (But Nothing Too Fancy)
“We packed light, so it was easy enough to keep our stuff in the car. That way we were always fashionably ready for any occasion,” Chanel declares. Having a change of clothing in the car is smart — Carol says having snacks is even better. “If I’m stuck in traffic with no food, I get hangry! Having something on hand can keep you from being moody and cranky — and everyone loves snacks!”
Susan’s Tip: “Since you’re making fast changes in transit, you may want to leave your most expensive or favorite clothing home. Things tend to get stained or disappear on vacation. If you swap clothes with your girls (a great way to extend your vacation wardrobe) and something you borrowed gets stained, just be ready and willing to have it cleaned.”
Go With the Flow (But Don’t Be Afraid to Branch Out on Your Own)
“Even though we had a planned agenda, we took a few detours,” Chanel reveals. “I say go with the flow. Most of the time you’ll wind up in a new place you never imagined — hanging with Paris Hilton and Rosario Dawson, like we did.” But that doesn’t mean you have to run like a pack 24/7. “When our girl got a call from a guy from town she liked, I told her you don’t have to be with us all night,” Carol shares. “Go on and have a good time!”
Susan’s Tip: “There’s no reason to feel guilty for wanting to do your own thing. Having some “me time” during a trip can create memories that only you’ll cherish, and that’s fine. Just don’t expect your pals to chauffeur you to and from your solo adventures — have that rideshare code ready to get yourself around.”
Confrontation Will Happen (Know How to Diffuse It)
“We did have a few trying moments on our trip. I prefer not to say anything in the moment because it can ruin the moment,” says Chanel. “I like to take a walk and clear my head.”
Carol says that’s usually the best way. “After she calmed down, we went to the backyard, had a cocktail and worked everything out.”
Susan’s Tip: “If someone is really crazy and irrational, you need to take yourself out of the situation for your own safety. It’s impossible to establish boundaries when you are on top of one another. If it’s not that extreme, you can address it later as not to take yourself out of the moment — but make sure you address it at some point. You don’t want ill feelings to fester and destroy your friendship at a later time.”
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