Who run the world? (Girls!)

2019 brought on a boom of articles like Taking a Trip With Your Girlfriends is Good For Your Health, According to Science. We talk over and over again as to why you should take a Girlfriend Getaway

We know it’s good for us, we know it’s why we need to getaway. And it’s no wonder that in 2019 the fastest growing demographic for travel was Single Women and Women Only Travel. 

And, here at Serendipitous Traveler, we. are. here. for it. 

When Serendipitous Traveler was founded, it was founded with the ideal that all women deserve a vacation. Women are the caretakers of everyone, even when on vacation.  I mean, Mom’s, when you take a vacation, do you really feel like you were on vacation

NO!

But why don’t we take vacations with our friends?

  • Because women will traditionally put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own. 
  • Because they feel guilty about spending the money on themselves.
  • Because they can’t trust their partners to hold down the fort to get away.
  • Because they don’t have people to travel with
  • Because
  • Because 
  • Because

And to that we say phooey

Because if women practiced real self care instead of superficial self care (i.e. a long weekend away to refresh and recharge versus a bubble bath where someone is knocking on the door every three minutes) then we really could run the world.  

So here’s our response:

Women will traditionally put everyone else’s needs ahead of their own. 

When you put your needs on the back burner, the only thing you end up being is resentful and frustrated. And that serves no one.  Now I’m not advocating for you to flip the switch and become a narcissist. (And if you do, please don’t join us on on of our Serendipitous Squad trips).

But if you are taking care of you, you show up to take care of others even better. And you do it from a happy, wholehearted place, then you are setting the example for your own family to show up happier and more wholehearted as well.

And can’t the world use a little more of that?

NEXT!

Money

Man, people would rather talk about puke before they talk about finances.  And for many years, I was very much the same. Ignoring my finances and putting my head in the sand was really the only safe way to deal with the scariest topic I could think of – money. And spending money on travel can, at times, feel frivolous.

But let me challenge you there.

I believe that we should be living a life by design, not default. And if we aren’t intentional about our lives, including money, then we are letting life happen to us. And, once again, that serves nobody.  When someone stands up at your funeral, I doubt they will tell many stories about how pretty your tchotchkes were. But they will tell a great story about time they spent with you. Quality time, fun moments, endearing conversations – that’s what we want to be remembered for. And we can’t create these moments if we are too afraid to take the time to plan them out and schedule them.

I had a college professor that started every class with the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And nothing could be more true when it comes to our finances and travel.  So plan out your travels. Talk with a good advisor to see how much your travel is going to cost, and figure out and make a plan for what you’ll need to do to make it happen.  Trust me – you won’t regret your vacation near as much as you’ll regret that ill fitting top you bought from the factory outlet.  

They can’t trust their partners to hold down the fort to get away.

Excuse me while I pull out the soap box for a minute (I’m really short, you see).

They. Absolutely. Can. Survive. Without. You. 

Do you know how I know that? Because you are amazing, but if you had to leave this world tomorrow, they would find a way. The problem is that it may not be your way. 

And that’s ok.  

They may flounder a little. They may make cheese quesadillas for every meal while you are gone. They may order out. The house may be a little messy. 

But they absolutely will make it. And they may even find new appreciation for you and all the things you do in the process.  

And either way, it’s not a good enough reason for you to not take care of you. Remember the resentful, burnt out part I mentioned earlier. It serves no one. But the refreshed you. The one that laughed until she cried. The one that talked things out with her friends. The one that slept in and let someone take care of her for a change. That woman shows up and makes her family even better. And don’t they deserve that too?

They don’t have people to travel with.

This was the number one feedback I got from women over and over again as to why they don’t take girlfriend getaways. 

So how can we at Serendipitous Traveler hold up our mission when this is a problem so many women face?

Easy – that’s why we are starting to host Girlfriend Getaways of our own. Because if you don’t have a tribe, then you should travel with ours. You can read more about it here and see more information about our group travel opportunities here. We work hard to forward plan different opportunities to make it easy for you to travel and getaway. We hope you can join us!

 

In a world where time is money, why aren’t we all working to be more productive and intentional? That’s why we encourage every woman to plan her getaway, work backwards to save and prepare, and then take the time to put herself first. Because it makes all her days better, more relaxed, more productive, and happier.  

So in the New Year, we have a new challenge to put in front of our female comrades everywhere. Schedule it. Take time for it. And take time for YOU.

The world needs you to.

Because when we are practicing self care and self love we are showing up for our people in our corner of the world even better than before. 

And then who run the world (even better than before)? Girls!

At Serendipitous Traveler we believe your vibe attracts your tribe, and our tribe is the BEST! If you don’t have a tribe to travel with, then we invite you to join our Serendipitous Squad Travel Community! We host trips for women who need and deserve a Girlfriend Getaway. Click here to join our private VIP Facebook Group! Can’t wait to have you as a part of the squad!

Can a travel advisor save you money?

Usually when I tell people I’m a travel agent, the first question I get asked is “Can you save me money?”

The answer……probably not. At least not the way you are thinking.

It’s not the answer people are looking to hear. Sometimes people walk away right away. Sometimes people look at me incredulously and wonder how/why I’m in business at all. Well, let me take a minute to address those concerns.

I don’t save you money, but I do save you in a multitude of other ways.

No – I probably won’t get you a $50 flight to France. Nor can I get you an all inclusive to Mexico for $300 for the week (and by the way – no one can – at least not at a resort you want to stay at). But this is what I do save you.

  1. I save you time – you know that thing you can’t make back. I work in a network of suppliers and other advisors to save you from spending hours upon hours online researching where to go, what to do, etc. Because I already know how to ask those questions and, more importantly, who to ask.
  2. I save you from yourself – The biggest mistake I made as a traveler was when I was visiting Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy. We were at the tail end of our vacation and made the decision to save the money and not go inside the monastery. What a mistake we made! All for the sake of saving $100 on what was already a $10,000 vacation. Now it would cost us another $10,000 to go back to Normandy. Between that and the time, we will probably never go again. It is a missed opportunity all for the sake of saving a few dollars. A travel advisor takes their knowledge, their mistakes, and their wisdom and extends it to their client, making sure such mistakes are not repeated and that you don’t miss out on experiences worth spending the money.
  3. I give you realistic expectations for your budget – most people have no idea what travel really costs, and it keeps them from even trying. Or they immediately assume that they can only afford to travel on the cheap. I completely disagree. Luxury travel is not just the Four Seasons with butler service. Luxury travel is what you want when you want it. And a travel advisor can accommodate. And give you reasonable expectations of how that can be accomplished. I always tell people that if they have an an anniversary, a reunion, or a special occasion coming up in the next few years, talk to an advisor now. They can tell you what it would cost to get you what you want, so you can adequately plan.
  4. I make your money go further – I spend a good amount of time working and developing relationships with suppliers in my industry. This allows me to do things like upgrade your room, provide you extra spa credits, or give you free breakfast during your stay. Ask an OTA (online travel agency) to ask for that on your behalf, and see what happens.

Travel – at least travel worth spending your money on – costs money

It’s like the difference between McDonald’s and Mortons Steakhouse. Both can feed you. Both can give you what you want – to eat out and not cook – but both are satisfying very different needs.

There are some people in this world who are thrilled to eat out at McDonalds and happy that they saved money not eating anywhere else. Those people probably do not need to hire a travel advisor.

On the other spectrum there are others who understand the value of their dollar and that not all meats are created equal. Who understand the difference between a hamburger patty and a filet mignon. They love the atmosphere of a white table cloth and are willing to spend more for quality.

And then there is a completely different kind of traveler – the one who would never eat at a chain anything and wants the local farm-to-table experience provided by Nona in the middle of Tuscany and the only way you can order is through an entertaining game of charades.

The same goes for travel. You can DIY and stay in a Motel 6. And maybe you are happy to do that – you do you, boo. But if you are one who is looking for a unique and custom experience, who wants to immerse themselves in the culture, and wants to be comfortably accommodated along the way, hire a travel advisor to help maximize your experience.

What is the difference between a $100 room and a $200 room besides the cost? The answer is – it could be a lot of things like location, service, cleanliness, accessibility, dining, amenities; or, it could be absolutely nothing. But you can’t know that just by reading a hotel description. Your travel advisor knows and can make sure you are being pointed in the right direction for the right reason.

The bottom line is that you get what you pay for. And traveling across the world costs money. But it is absolutely worth every penny, especially if you…

Bring with you knowledge so you are adequately wowed

This is where a good travel advisor comes in.

They don’t just purchase your plane tickets, book your hotel, and send you on your way. They arm you with a plan – a detailed itinerary to make sure that you are seeing what you need to see. They get to know you – your travel style, your interests, your hobbies, your travel dreams – and they interweave those things into your travel experience. They give you the practical information to navigate a place you have never been before. And they make sure that you are armed with all the information possible to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Because 9/10 times if you didn’t enjoy something, it simply means you don’t know enough about it. Understand it and it can be fun. It is the best and only budget tip I can offer – if you understand what you are looking at, you will get twice the experience.

At the end of the day, travel costs money. You have to pay for the experience. A good travel advisor will provide you a service and experience that you can not find anywhere else; and, more importantly, it will be an experience worth paying for.

Girlfriend Getaways are what cures your soul

Google “girlfriend getaways” and you will be hit with a myriad of articles telling you that it’s been scientifically proven that time away with your girlfriends makes you happier, healthier, and can lead to a longer life.

And women everywhere read that and let out a collective, “Duh.”

Because we know it. And we feel it every time we get together. The camaraderie. The community. The laughter. All of it.

So why don’t we do it more?

There are a lot of reasons, but most of them center around the same idea. We are the caretakers. Of our jobs. Of our families. Of our marriages. Of our homes…..the list could go on and on.

But every once in awhile, we need to lay it down and be the caretakers of ourselves. Which is why I do what I do. I get to be the caretaker of other women who work so hard to take care of every one else.

So what kind of girls trip are we planning in the next year? Here I’ve listed a few of my favorites:

The Wellness Trip

2018 Advisor Contest

Wellness vacations are on the rise for 2019, and there’s no wonder why. Its a vacation in the truest sense. A chance to recharge in all the right ways, whether it’s via a swim up bar, a spa retreat, or a yoga and fitness escape. Wellness travel focuses on the whole individual – from spa resorts on land or at sea, to fitness camps, to full wellness retreats travelers have a treasure trove of options to create the perfect wellness getaway with your girlfriends.

The Culinary Experience

Culinary travel is an industry that is really coming up these days. Travelers looking for well-rounded culinary experiences that are immersive, interactive and educational needn’t look very hard. Itineraries for culinary experiences are a fun, interactive way to travel with your girlfriends, taking it a step further from traditional wine and dine options. Options can include dining with a local, taking a food-centric city tour, and actively taking part in food-sourcing and preparation.

The Wine Trip

You know that Napa was listed as one of my top destinations for a Girlfriend Getaway in 2019. But your options for wine don’t have to end there (although it wouldn’t be the worst place in the world to end up). A Bordeaux River Cruise through France, experiencing local vineyards is another option. Wine tourism is on the rise all over the world, and I bet you anything your favorite travel advisor can point you in the right direction for the best options wherever you want to go.

The options are certainly not limited to what’s listed here. There is hiking and adventure and so many more options. However you decide to spend your vacation, I hope you are taking the opportunity to do it with the ones that really know you – your girlfriends. For your own health and wellbeing. And if I can help you, you know where to find me friends.

Paris – the Perfect Girlfriend Getaway

I know – when people conjure up images of Paris, they are usually immediately flooded with all thoughts amoré, BUT what if I told you that Paris was more than one-love-dimensional? If you are not considering Paris for your next girlfriend getaway, you are missing a HUGE opportunity!

If you are trying to plan a girls trip this is why Paris NEEDS to be at the top of your list:

The city’s charm and magic doesn’t stop for the romantics.  In fact, people watching on the steps of Sacre Coeur is a task best reserved for you and your BFF.  There is nothing like watching the sunset over the city while sharing a baguette and watching the hoards of tourists try to not get caught by the friendship bracelet trap. People watching is better with friends!

There are no shortage of ways to see the city with your friends.  I have taken a lot of tours in Paris over the years. Different things with different friends and family and I always manage to learn something new. From free walking tours, to a bike tour, to a hop-on-hop-off bus, to a segway – there are no limits to how you can experience Paris.

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There are photo opportunities that are just more fun with friends!

Circa 2010
Circa 2010

The opportunities for activity and fun are endless in this beautiful city! I recommend signing up for a cooking class and try your hand at making some tasty macrons! 

Then when you are done, head out to Versailles and rent some bikes to explore the grounds!

Heading out to Marie Antoinettes “farm”

So what are you waiting for? Let’s start planning your next Girl’s Vacation to Paris! Fill out my trip planning form to get started or contact me for more information!

Passion Play in Oberammergau

The year was 1633 and the plague was sweeping across Europe.  And despite the small Bavarian town’s best efforts, Oberammergau was not able to stave off the disease.  So they made a deal.  If God spared them from the plague, they would in turn put on a play depicting the suffering of Christ for all of their existence. Miraculously, no more citizens died from the plague. True to their word, in 1634 the first Passion Play was put on, and is continued to be presented to this day.

So what do you need to know about attending the Passion Play?

  • The play is put on in German, but you will have no problem understanding what is taking place. The powerful music helps give you a sense of what is taking place throughout the play, bringing everything to life.
  • The event only takes place every ten years. Put on during years that end in “0” now, the play is presented from May to October. 2020 will be your next opportunity to attend the Passion Play. After that you won’t have another opportunity until 2030.
  • It is a full days event, starting at 2:30 pm and ending at 10:30 pm with a three hour intermission where dinner is served.
  • The first play was performed over the graves of those that had died of the plague.  Nowadays it isn’t quite as macabre of a production. The theatre was constructed in 1820. It is outdoors with a dramatic view of the Bavarian Alps as a backdrop.  It is something that is absolutely not to be missed.

Don’t miss your opportunity to attend the Passion Play in 2020! I am here to help you plan a memorable trip! Fill out our form for a free trip consultation and soon you’ll be well on your way!

Until then, Happy Wanderlusting,

xo-K

Attending the Passion Play in oberammergau