An Exciting Announcement!

No, I am not pregnant. But we are adding to the Get Globetrotting family! Meet LENORE!

 If she can feed a lion, she can probably plan your trip.

If she can feed a lion, she can probably plan your trip.

She's my sister and possibly a more avid traveler than I am. She's going to be planning trips right alongside me as well as handling a lot of the marketing of GG. She's collaborated with me on a few trips so far and let me tell you... you guys are in for a treat!

We are also going to be working together on improving the blog so that there is always something new to see when you visit the site. Scroll down for an introduction to Lenore's trips!

Why Paris

I love learning about why people go on trips. Is it for an anniversary? For fun? Did you get a raise or a promotion? Feeling tired of your life? A reward for something? What spurs people to travel?

In this case, I wanted a reward for completing the first year of motherhood and breastfeeding for a year. I was adding bits of my old life pre-motherhood in bit by bit. The last element that needed to be added was travel. I had also just gotten a new job. Throw in Lorenzo's first birthday and our fifth anniversary and it was time to celebrate! 

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I looked for deals for the whole months of September and October which are my favorite times to travel. It's still warm but there aren't a billion tourists everywhere. 

Little did I know that we would buy our first house before the trip came around! I actually contemplated canceling it because the house buying process was so stressful and expensive. But I am glad I didn't because time away from the house was exactly what we needed. 

We decided on Paris because I had planned a few trips there and was dying to go. I figured it would be a good place to take Lorenzo because it's known for being family friendly and there are lots of parks. We signed up for a fancy credit card and cashed in the points for the hotel. I decided on staying in a super central hotel over an Airbnb this time because our credit card had deals with hotels. I cared less about being in a realistic Parisian neighborhood and more about being close to everything so we could come back if the baby fell apart. So far the only annoyance was that we don't have a refrigerator! Having a 24 hour concierge is super nice however. 

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I planned us a detailed itinerary giving scheduled breaks for naps and wiggle time between activities. We brought our stroller and our baby backpack and I researched each place to decide which will be better for each attraction. I probably prepared what we brought for a good two weeks to make sure we would use every item. We managed to pay no extra luggage fees which I was proud of.

We packed SUPER light. I only packed 5 shirts so we intend to do wash once during our 10 days. I rented warm clothes for myself because I have no use for them in LA. I wish I packed warmer clothes for the baby but we don't really have them and I intend on buying them in Paris. I brought a million snacks to entertain him on the flight. I also bought a bunch of toys at the dollar store and wrapped them each in crepe paper to provide maximum entertainment per toy. Also we can just toss them when we are done. I gave the baby Tylenol which didn't work super well. He wanted to wiggle for the whole fight. He didn't scream for more than a few minutes at a time though so I consider the flight

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The flight there went OK... the baby was teething. He sprouted three new molars that I found a few hours after we touched down. He didn't have any huge meltdowns, but he didn't sleep the whole flight and it was a red-eye! 

What Am I Getting Exactly?

It's been about a month since I launched Get Globetrotting. I have been excited by all the interest so far! Planning trips is so rewarding; I am glad I took the plunge and started doing it for real!

I've had some inquiries about exactly what it is that I do. Here is what you will get for a $40 full-week trip planning service. 

Overview: This is your trip on one page with a brief list of activities organized by day. 

Interactive Map: Everything you're going to see color-coordinated and laid out on a map. This is when it's handy to have a husband who is a Data Scientist. ;)

Booking Checklist: An itemized list of everything to book before leaving on your trip. This includes things such as hotel information, flight information, and any activities that require advance booking. All of the websites and prices for everything are included in this list, so it's easy to get a snapshot of how much a trip will cost. This is one of my favorite things to provide for my clients because it ensures that they don't miss anything important by not planning ahead! One example of an activity that requires advance booking: Da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan. I'm still kicking myself for not getting advance tickets because we didn't get to see it!

 We did get to see this amazing place however.

We did get to see this amazing place however.

Detailed Itinerary: This is the meat and potatoes of your full trip package. Every day is laid out for your traveling ease. I use Rick Steves, blogs, museum websites, Pinterest, and personal experience to craft the perfect trip. All you have to do is tell me the ages and interests of your group. One lady just sent me her Pinterest board and I planned her whole trip off of it. Here is an example of the level of detail for one day in Paris for a couple in their 30's. Of course it looks different than the trip to Paris I planned for a family of four. 

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Morning: Orangerie Museum. Either follow the tour or just go in and experience Monet’s Water Lillies for yourselves. (RS tour p. 191)

Directions: Metro stop Concorde or bus #24. The museum is in Tuileries Garden where you will be spending the day.

 Inside the Orangerie Museum.

Inside the Orangerie Museum.

Midday: Reservations at Angelina. This place has the best hot chocolate in all of Paris! Their pastries are also delicious. Some of their food can be overpriced, so you may want to find some lunch elsewhere and then come here for the pastries and hot chocolate.

Address: 226 rue de Rivoli 

(reservations: https://module.lafourchette.com/fr_FR/module/53361-93fc5)

Note: There is also another macaroon place worth knowing about near here. If you can stand it, maybe visit is after the Tuileries Garden. It’s called Laduree boutique and the address is 14 Rue de Castiglione.

 While researching this trip, I found there is a Laduree in Beverly Hills! Except I would rather fly to Paris than get on the 405. 

While researching this trip, I found there is a Laduree in Beverly Hills! Except I would rather fly to Paris than get on the 405. 

Afternoon: Tuileries Garden: Go find the toy sailboat rentals and the Ferris wheel. Make sure to get a nice break outside between museums. Wander over and check out Pont des Artes, a bridge over the Seine where lovers put a lock on the bridge and throw the key into the river. Other option: go home and rest before your night at the Louvre.

Evening: Louvre. Fantastically huge museum with the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo. Open until 21:45 on Wednesday nights only. Museum passholders can enter through the group entrance in the pedestrian passageway (labeled Pavilion Richelieu) between the pyramid and Rue de Rivoli. It’s under the arches a few steps north of the pyramid; find the uniformed guard at the security checkpoint entrance, at the down escalator. Allow about 2-3 hours here at least, so arrive around 6 pm. (RS tour p. 131)

 I can't look at this pyramid without thinking of the Da Vinci Code. 

I can't look at this pyramid without thinking of the Da Vinci Code. 

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And there is your peek into how GG works!

What I've Been Working On

Here are three trips I've been working on this week. I love thinking about what the families will want to do, perusing travel books and blogs, and then finally writing it all up. I've been working hard to tailor the trips to the interests and ages of the people going, while also keeping costs low. It's not as easy as you might think! 

 Hunchback not included.

Hunchback not included.

10 days in Paris for a family of four. This trip has been SO fun to plan. I'll be honest, I am scanning flight deals for my family to go to Paris and follow this trip because it looks so fun. This family is interested in art, pastries, strolls, and flea markets, so I put together an itinerary that has all of these things! I also peppered the busy days with some leisurely park days so that their children don't get too exhausted. Alex has been doing some fancy computer coding to get an interactive map for this trip, something I hope to be able to offer for all trips eventually. ($35 for 10 days and the interactive map.)

 This place looks unreal!

This place looks unreal!

5 days in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This trip is for a mom and her three adult daughters. They are really adventurous and wanted a trip filled with waterfalls, hiking, temples, and animals. So I spent a while researching ethical animal parks and amazing hikes around Chiang Mai. They are also going to the most famous temple at dawn to watch the sunrise. That will be an unforgettable day! ($25 for 5 days, airfare, and hotel.)

4 days in Branson, Missouri. This trip is for two retired couples. Apparently there are a crazy amount of shows in Branson! One challenge with this trip was actually getting them to Branson. It's not a huge city with a big airport hub, so finding flights at a reasonable price was very challenging. I had to use a lot of different price scanners to nail down the best fare. I also found them a hotel within walking distance of all the shows! ($15 for a weekend getaway.)

Hopefully this gives you a bit more of an idea of what I do. So far, I am loving travel planning. The deal for February is half off all travel planning. Get your spring and summer trips all planned now! There are some great summer travel deals going on. Ask me for more details!

How Does it Work?

One of my friends just posted: "Every time somebody tries to sell me something on Facebook, an angel loses its wings." I laughed. I agree, there are far too many people trying to sell you stuff you don't need on all forms of social media! Disclaimer: I buy a lot of it, marketing works on me.

 Hyde Park. I've spent many an afternoon here wandering about. 

Hyde Park. I've spent many an afternoon here wandering about. 

Get Globetrotting is not trying to sell you something you don't need. I started this service for a few different reasons:

1) I recently quit my nursing job to be a stay-at-home mom. I enjoy staying at home with my baby, but now I have some extra time I didn't have previously. I loved being able to serve people every day as a nurse. Becoming a travel planner will help me continue to serve people AND use my brain.

2) I noticed that friends and family were spending too much money when traveling because they didn't have the time to properly research and find deals. I've made something of a hobby out of finding great deals on self-planned trips for my husband and I. 

3) I also noticed that when I got back from my trips, people would say things to me like: "I could never afford to take a trip like that," or "I have too many kids so I can't travel," or "I could never figure out how to work Airbnb," etc etc. I want to help people solve these problems because I believe travel is important and affordable if you are organized!

 Sagrada Familia. It has been under construction for its whole life. Me too, Sagrada, me too. 

Sagrada Familia. It has been under construction for its whole life. Me too, Sagrada, me too. 

The idea is that I will actually save you cash in the long run by using GG's services, not take your hard-earned money for things you don't need.

Additionally, I am giving away a lot of services this month so that you can see what GG is all about! That's right, free stuff!

So what is it that I am giving away?

 Do you think the family will be able to fit me in their suitcase?

Do you think the family will be able to fit me in their suitcase?

Get Globetrotting plans either complete trips or portions of trips tailored to the group's budget and interests. For example, I am currently working on activities for a family of four who are going Paris in April. They submitted their travel dates and interests, I sift through travel books, blogs, and Pinterest to give them a day-by-day itinerary that's perfect for their family. 

Other services include: airfare research, accommodation research, cruise and tour information, weekend getaways, and advice on a pre-existing travel itinerary.

I am not a travel agent

While coming up with the idea for this company, I had a lot of people ask me if I was going to be a travel agent. I respect travel agents and what they do. In fact, I interviewed quite a few before starting this endeavor.

 Apparently this is a big problem for travel agents. But this is exactly what I want you to do! Gain independence and feel confident booking your own trips.

Apparently this is a big problem for travel agents. But this is exactly what I want you to do! Gain independence and feel confident booking your own trips.

The difference between travel agencies and my business model is where their incentive comes from. Most travel agencies make money off commissions. For example, they book you a cruise and the cruise pays them a percentage of that booking. The cost is the same for you with or without a travel agent, except you get a more personal experience than if you had booked the cruise yourself.

Get Globetrotting is different. First, I don't plan on booking anything FOR you. You are perfectly capable of filling out credit card information. My strength lies in recommendations. You pay me a small fee and I look everywhere to find you the best option. I don't have any partnerships with anybody paying me anything so my only motivation is to score you a great deal!

Additionally, many travel agents are used to working with people with disposable incomes. My aim is to work with real people with normal jobs and possibly kids who still want to travel. I want to help you maximize your time and your money when planning your trips.

Soooooo let's get planning!

Why I Started Get Globetrotting

I thought long and hard about what I wanted my Mombby to be. You know. My Mom Hobby. I wanted to make it something that: supports itself financially, something I can do from home while my baby naps, something creative, but most of all I wanted to do something that MATTERS. Travel matters to me. 

 In Milan at 8 months pregnant. Baby's made of gelato, so we gave him an Italian name.

In Milan at 8 months pregnant. Baby's made of gelato, so we gave him an Italian name.

Time and time again I am blown away by how much more affordable travel is getting and continues to get. If you time it right and you know where to look, it's cheaper to travel outside the country than inside it! I'm amazing at finding those deals, if I do say so myself. I want to share that skill with others. 

Travel is more important now than ever. The news makes us think that everything is a disaster all the time. The media trains us to hear certain places as synonymous with DANGEROUS because that's what makes a good news story. Yet when I've gone to these places, I find normal people who are trying to find happiness. We have more in common with others than we think we do. Travel is the cure for ethnocentrism, something that is plaguing this country. 

 I have a castle problem.

I have a castle problem.

I want to remove people's barriers to travel. Money constraints? Let me show you a trip that ACTUALLY fits your budget. Too many kids? Travel is the best education there is! Let me show you some countries that offer free things for children. Not enough time to research a foreign destination? Let me do it for you. Can't navigate all the confusing travel websites? That's what I'm here for!

Welcome to Get Globetrotting. I'll help you become an informed, brave world traveller.