Designer Vaca 2015

I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since I left for Designer Vaca in Palm Springs. The night before leaving I didn’t sleep, had to be at the airport at 5am, was super nervous because I would be flying by myself, loaded up on Gravol, made a connection in Denver, and when I finally arrived in PS I had this overall calm feeling. I knew I made the right decision to go, I wasn’t nervous about meeting other girls, I just wanted to make the best out of my short time there.

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This was my first time attending Designer Vaca. When I first considered attending I searched the internet for past attendees blog posts on their experience. I wanted to make sure that this was going to be worth my time and money. After reading multiple blogs and looking at hundreds of #designervaca photos I knew I had to make it happen. I’m so happy I forced myself out of my comfort zone and went for it. 

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Below are some tips for first-time goers:

01 – If you are considering attending Designer Vaca just do it. Even though you are surrounded by 170 girls you’ve probably never met before everyone is so nice and welcoming. It was such a positive experience for me, before I knew it I was in a group with six other girls, and it felt like I had known them forever. It was so easy to chat about work and life, in such a short amount of time I learned so much from each of them and can now call them friends.

02 – The Designer Vaca conference is only two days so going a day early or staying through the weekend is recommended. Trust me, you won’t want to leave so any extra time there is a plus. I went a day early which allowed me to settle in, get a feel for the hotel and meet a few other girls that came early as well.

03 – Ask to be paired with a roommate or two so you will at least know a few people when you first arrive.

04 – Once you’re invited into the Designer Vaca FB group chat with others. Start getting to know the people you will soon meet. It will be easier to meet people in person when you’ve already chatted online.

05 – Eating at Kings Highway is a must. The avocado and toast is to die for and the big breakfast is heaven, between that and the poolside cocktails it can get a bit expensive. A few of us walked five minutes to a restaurant called, Elmer’s. The food was good and it was cheap which was a nice break. There is also a coffee shop right across the street from the Ace and their cold brew is excellent.

06 – The Ace Hotel is a photographers dream, I was surprised how big the hotel grounds were. Take a few minutes and walk around, explore the area, take a ton of photos and soak it all in. You will have enough #tbt photos to last you a year :p

07 – If you are renting a car or know someone who is, it is highly recommended that you explore more of Palm Springs. The Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium is a short walking distance from the hotel. If you are cactus obsessed like me you will definitely want to check this place out. The people who own it are super friendly and if you are lucky enough to live in the states you can bring some cacti friends home.

08 – Unless bringing your laptop is a must, leave it at home. Bring a notebook and pen to jot down notes from the speakers, you will want to remember some of the amazing stuff they say.

09 – Bring a little bit of cash for cab rides, tipping, etc but for the most part you can use your credit card everywhere or charge things to your room.

10 And lastly, just have fun and enjoy your time there, it goes by quick!

  • Thank you so much for writing this post and sharing your experiences Meagan!! I went back and forth on going to Designer Vaca this year, but decided I would add it to my adventure list for next year! You’ve confirmed my desire + decision to go. 🙂 PS. Your photos are absolutely drool worthy!

    • Thanks Devan!!! I hope I can make it next year, it was sooo worth it. Let’s meet up if we both end up there 🙂

      • Definitely!! It can be SO intimidating to go to a conference alone. I would love to see a familiar face. 🙂

  • Scarlett Ballantyne

    Very nice round up! Palm Springs is really magical with all of its mid century architecture and beautiful views. Nice to read that you had a good time. I loved it too.

    • Thanks Scarlett! It was such a blast, I’m so happy I made the decision to go. Glad you had a good time too 🙂

  • Charrish Ferguson

    Really want to experience this. As I live outside of the US any trip like this would rack up in the thousands for me to attend so I want to be sure it’s worth the gwap. Really thinking about adding it to my 2016 experiences list.

    • If you can make it happen definitely go for it! I roomed with a girl who came all the way from Australia. She stopped in Los Angeles as well and made a whole trip out of it. Hopefully I can make it next year as well 🙂

  • Love your tips! 🙂 I’m so happy I was able to meet you! Your instagram has been one of my favorites and it was great to see you in person! It’s too bad we didn’t get to hang out more though.