AGMA loves to travel; ya’ll know that.
At some point last year, I declared on AGMA that I was done traveling for a spell. I’d lost the joy of the planning to the stress of the planning.
Hubs and I used to take overseas tours that didn’t involve any planning with a value tour company. They were normally no brainer, whirlwind tours with mornings often staring at 6 AM, but you got to see a whole lot of wherever you were. And while the tour groups were larger (38 to 42 people), 98% of the folks were delightful and fun to be around. The hotels were lovely and we found the tour guides excellent. And we ALWAYS bought the tours when they were “on sale”.
Interesting factoid…did you know that travel goes on sale on Black Friday like everything else? Sometimes you can snag an amazing travel bargain.
But alas…we can go on these types of value tours no longer. Hubs genetic condition in his legs is slowly progressing and, although he can still walk slowly with a cane, he’s at the point where he needs a wheelchair or scooter to go any distance.
We have this awesome portable electric scooter (Ralph) that Hubs uses to get from here to there when we travel. The seat comes off and the handle folds down to make it incredibly easy to stow and gate check. And at 39 pounds, even a weakling like AGMA can lift and carry it.
It turns out that Ralph or a portable wheelchair are not welcome on traditional tour company tours. WTF??
They say it’s because there isn’t room on the tour bus for mobility devices, but with a portable wheel chair that folds up flat and our offer to only take one suitcase between the two of us, we kinda figured out that “room” wasn’t the issue.
And tour companies that cater to those with mobility issues are priced way out of our price range.
Most of our trips since 2016 have been AGMA planned and executed.
And they have been good. Real good.
Because AGMA is an excellent travel planner.
Yeah – I said it.
I’m a left brained, ADHD, OCD detail oriented person who, despite having no Scottish ancestry, is as thrifty as they come.
So of course I plan fabulous trips that won’t break the bank!
But it is precisely because I’m a left brained, ADHD, OCD, detail oriented person who LOVES a great bargain that it takes many, many days to plan a 2 week trip. Which is fine if you have nothing else to do…
That isn’t normally the case in my or most everybody’s life, so sometimes – most of the time – trip planning ends up being kinda stressful.
Total first world problem.
AGMA’s become a bit famous with her family, friends and acquaintances for her travel planning acumen.
I’ve had quite a few offers to “come along” on trips with friends/acquaintances to destinations I’ve already visited. Seriously?
AGMA didn’t fall off the cotton truck yesterday…
I know the “come along” offer translates to “we expect you do all the planning and then be our tour guide when we get there.” In the case of folks who are normally delightful, but would be absolute nightmares to travel with, I politely decline and offer to give some ideas for their trip.
With a smile.
They say you never really know anybody until you travel with them. But with some people, AGMA knows absolutely for sure, for certain, even before setting one foot on a plane, that we would NOT be good travel companions. Like oil and water.
Or more like gasoline and a flame thrower.
Some have suggested that I should hang a shingle out and help others plan their travel for a fee.
But honestly, AGMA can’t think if anything more nightmarish than travel planning for paying clients. Well – I probably can, but this would be a close second.
It’s one thing to give friends and family pointers and tips on planning the perfect trip, and even some booking help now and then. But when $$ gets involved, people tend to get a little cray cray. They become unreasonable, demanding and just plain nuts.
Honestly, they couldn’t pay me enough.
With today’s technology, I’m sure I could figure out some way to leverage what I’ve learned so far about travel planning into some sort of business in the future. That doesn’t involve dealing with the general public.
(shivers run down AGMA’s spine)
Right now, I think I’ll be keeping my day job.
There are 4 international jaunts AGMA’s trip hopper for 2019. My head is spinning like the pea soup girl in The Exorcist.
So much for not traveling…
Two trips are easy peasy – short, and hotel/airfare/car pre-booked through an independent trip package. These are packages booked through a travel operator but are not tours – the book your airfare, hotel and car (if you need one), but you are on your own for day to day activities. And both are revisits to familiar places so we pretty much know what we’re going to be doing.
The other two trips are more challenging.
So while AGMA is in the throes of planning these two trips, I thought it might be fun to give you a view into the convoluted, demented and intensely OCD time consuming process I go through to end up with a fantabulous travel experience.
Not sure fun is really the word.
Tune in next week…