Wanderlust Explorations is for travelers with a yearning to conquer their bucket list. Whether you're travelling solo, with a group of friends , or with your partner, there is an adventure that will makes you say WOW! Each Wanderlust adventure has a physical fitness guide with an activity schedule so you can decide if the trip is right for you. No special skills are required but you must have a sense of humor, love of travel, and desire to connect with the culture and ambiance of our locations. Many people who come are not photographers but I can teach you how to be one for the trip. My goal is to connect people over a common love of travel and exploration.
Um what is group travel and why should I do it?
Well , the purpose I find in group travel is to connect to like minded people. There is a mix of people ages 21 and up who will join in these adventures. You will be amazed at the power of the human connection. Many that come are solo travelers who may not have friends or family who like to travel. Many like the affordability and the practicality that comes when someone (me) plans an awesome trip for a fraction of the cost and all you have to do is show up. Most trips will be small sizes of no more than 14 people. We will always have 2 groups one will be led by myself and one will be led by designated volunteer if the group size is over 10.
Does going on a tour mean I am a prisoner on the trip?
Well if you feel that way about it, I would probably look to not do group travel haha. But in all seriousness, when you are on any guided tour the itinerary is set. However, at each location there will be time limits given so people can branch off by themselves or in small groups. Some nights we will have group dinners and others will be free for all. I truly understand the need to have space but also connect with people. I have gone on my fair share of tour trips which helped me learn how to best lead mine.
Why should I do group airline travel?
You do not have to but if you hate flying alone this is a good way not to. Also many times things happen and you do not have the money up front to buy the airfare. Honestly, booking airlines and ensuring you get your bags included can be a pain. So I endure this pain to make sure you can add it into the cost of the trip and really sit back and just answer my emails.
Where can I find all my resources?
Each trip page has the basic itinerary, trip highlights, what is included and not, weather, gear to pack, and fitness level. Plus I love pictures because then you get a visual. I will also send out any pertinent information over the duration from booking to departure so as long as you do not send Wanderlust Explorations to spam you will be over communicated with.
Can I make any changes to the itinerary of my group trip, either before or during the trip?
Please make sure you are read through your group trip itinerary before booking because I cannot change something for one traveler. I also cannot add things after a trip is already planned. However, you do have designated down time where you are free to explore. But if you and a group of friends or family want to have an awesome trip where you call the shots but simply do not want to do the logistics and plan it, I am happy to set up your own private trip with or without a tour guide. Just let me know.
Will you do a trip more than once and do you always go?
Sorry you are stuck hanging with me for awhile. Right now I am a small business and my love of travel means my list is too big that I will be doing all the trips for the near future. Down the road , I am sure I will grow, teach, and train others to rock these trips like me, but for now each trip is unique. I am living my dreams through taking each of you on these trips. I am planning my own bucket list adventures and inviting you to join. I am not ready to duplicate my awesomeness yet.
What is our lodging like with prices so cheap?
If you wanted a 5 star hotel, then I am NOT the person to travel with. Will I stick you in a hostel? UM not unless I tell you in the trip description. My goal with lodging is to connect with small businesses. I like to know the stories of the owners. Some adventures will be air b n b's because it is much cheaper to cook for ourselves but it will say that in the description. The majority of lodging is local bed and breakfasts, Inns, small hotels, and unique accommodations. I believe in immersing ourselves within the culture of a location. Besides I look at lodging that I am there to sleep not spend the time in there. If I have you in your room to much then shame on me for not planning enough. I believe and will continue to support local businesses.
Food, what if I am allergic or I have preferences?
If you have allergies it is important to inform me on the medical paperwork. In terms of special food preferences, I cannot promise I can find what you are looking for. Part of the adventure is diving into rich cultural food. I pick out locations that would have a good variety for everyone but it will be very difficult to accommodate individual food preferences with this many people. You are more than welcome if the restaurant we pick doesn't fit your need to do your own thing for the night.
How do you pick your locations, vendors, lodgings, and more?
There is a lot of planning that goes into every trip. I believe in the power of connection. As a photographer I have connected with a lot of people around the world. I use my little black book of connections to help find the right people to work with. I also have to use my intuition to ensure that I am picking the people that will fit my ideas and expectations for each trip. I personally connect with, chat with, skype with, and more any vendor or guide I work with. Sometimes I will not be driving the vehicles because trust me I know when to trust a local. This part of the planning process is part of the integrity I have of myself to support local businesses. I believe I have to feel that connection in order to work with someone. I work off references and while it may take a lot more leg work to plan, this practice means I am not a cookie cutter travel organizer. I know a trip will never be perfect and something will always go wrong, but when I am planning a trip for others I want to make sure I plan a trip I can enjoy and will be proud of. I also believe in being out and connecting with nature and I am not one for tourist trap vacations.
What does un recoverable expenses mean?
Many times when booking things for groups, deposits aren't always refundable. As I have learned in 2020, many local vendors I work with cannot afford to return money when deposits are the overhead they work with. While I will work to keep the unrecoverable costs down to your non-refundable deposit, if there is a situation like Covid 19 , that may not be the case. Travel is a risk and my goal is to minimize any large financial losses to you. As I learned in 2020 it is very difficult to reschedule a trip because it impacts that year's schedule, and I had to personally watch some of my close networks close their business for good. With airlines, please note on group travel, if anything happens like Covid 19 and it is within 90 days of the trip, I do have to be at the mercy of the airline and a portion of your trip may be added to the unrecoverable costs.
Is there cell phone service and Wi-Fi?
We all know that there maybe someone you may need to contact at home or things to take care of while you are away. Please make sure you contact your cell phone provider to ensure you have the necessary international plan for calls and data. While we do our best to get Wi-Fi at our locations (because if you are like me when I cannot sleep at night Instagram and Facebook call my name) it may not always be feasible. Expect to be off the grid with texting being your best friend. (international calling isn't cheap) Remember traveling is a good time to unplug but make sure you have responsible communication practices for your friends and family at home.
When you say traveler's responsibility what is that exactly?
As a traveler there are many things you need to do for yourself. Some of these include researching clothing options, making sure your travel paperwork is up to date as well as any physicals or shots needed for travel. Unless you are a preferred member (check out our membership page) you will need to research the adaptors used because if you don't your cell phone won't charge and you can't use a hairdryer. Please read. Many times everything you need to know is in your trip page and in supporting emails so please don't delete them. Make sure you pack what you need. It is not always available or accessible to replace your forgotten items. Have a fun attitude. If you go in expecting everything to be perfect you will be highly disappointed. We may hope for sun and it rains. You may break your shoes and walk in flip flops (I have done this), you may have a room mate who snores (but I will give you ear plugs) but in all honesty when things go wrong it adds to experience. The biggest thing is have an open mind, try new things, and live life.
Have you changed your business practice since Covid 19?
One thing I have changed is who I do business with and how I book things. More than ever, I support local small businesses that truly are the heart of a community. I understand that in 2021 things will cost more as the travel economy is starting to grow. My level of service will not change, my groups will still be no more than and 10 to 1 ratio. If there are any safety guidelines still in place for 2021 I will review them and communicate them with everyone. I have delayed booking some lodgings or have gone with slightly higher costing lodgings that will allow a full refund up to 30 days to ensure I reduce the un recoverable cost. I am trying to the keep my financial output to be no more than deposits (except for airline costs) up until 90 days of a trip. This will mean a lot more leg work right before a trip takes off, but if it minimizes the financial impact to you as the traveler, than I will take on the work load.