Worst Travel Day I Have Ever Had

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Travel is everything to me!

I live for it.

But that doesn’t mean it comes without its hiccups.

  • I have missed visiting important places because I didn’t get tickets in advance.

  • I have overspent on meals because I didn’t understand the menu

  • I have been ripped off by cab drivers because I didn’t negotiate the price before I got in

  • And I have even been held hostage by hotel security because I was trying to leave a spider infested hotel room! (A story for another time)

But my worst day of travel is now one of my best stories that I love to tell.

And boy did I learn a lot from it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

It all started in Paris…

Don’t you wish all your travel stories started like that?  It’s true, child #1 had an internship in Paris and myself and the 2 younger children decided to join her.  We had a great time, even though I ended up at doctor because I ate something that made me itch so bad that no amount of scratching would relieve it.

My insides even itched.

But after that was over, all was good! Really!

  • We had champagne on the Eiffel Tower.

  • We took a cruise up the Seine River

  • We had a picnic at Versaille and rode bikes all over the city.

  • We ate delicious food and visited a few museums.

A great time overall.

(Never mind that we got on the wrong train and that my luggage got stuck in a turn style on the train platform and required surgery from a train worker to get it out)

Then on the day we need to fly out, I misread my return time on my ticket.  We get to the airport right as the plane is boarding but I am unaware of this because I am positive I have at least an hour before boarding. So the kids and I go grab our last Parisian bite.

When we show up to the the gate, there are 2 employees who do not look happy.  They ask my name and when I tell them, one woman starts yelling at me that she has been calling my name for at least 15 minutes over the loudspeakers.  I heard the speakers, but they certainly weren’t saying my name, which is Paige Tyler.

They were saying Paw-shay Tee-ler…. Or something along that line.  It didn’t register with me at all.

The woman really gave me an earful.  She let me know very loudly that I was now too late and that they were removing our luggage from the airplane and that we needed to leave the terminal immediately and go back to the ticketing desk and get new tickets.

UGH! I was devastated! And just upset. How could I be so dumb?

We waited for an hour to be reunited with our luggage and I went to the ticket counter and explained our predicament.  I repurchased our plane tickets and we started over. I felt really bad about having to spend to spend the money again, but thankful that it was available in the account.  Can I get an amen?

The next flight ended up beating the first flight home! And then that evening, I went out with friends and recounted the whole story.

One of my nicknames is now Paw-shay!

I think I earned that one. And I would trade this picnic with the kids for the world.


Do you have a travel nightmare story?  Tell us about it!

5 Steps to Booking Your Big Adventure - A Surprise Vacation!

The Five Step Process of Booking a Surprise Trip

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You have finally decided to jump on the bandwagon and book a surprise trip for yourself and whoever you love most in this life. CONGRATS! You are in for a treat!

You get to just sit back, relax and know that all the details are going to be taken care of.  

Here is what you need to do in order to make the magic happen.

  1. Go to our website and fill out the questionnaire.  This is where you get to tell us all the details about what you like to do for fun, your hobbies, what kind of hotels you prefer, about your previous vacations, etc.   We love when you overshare too. You will also tell us the exact dates you are wanting to travel.

  2. Decide what your budget will be for the trip.  At a minimum it has to cover flights and accommodations (maybe a car rental too).  When there is additional funds, we love adding excursions, especially the ones that sell out early and/or gift cards for restaurants or rideshares.  Those extra touches, when the budget permits, make your surprise trip experience that much richer. We will book dinner reservations for you foodies and drink lovers out there also.

  3. 7-10 days out from your trip, we will drop your travel package in the mail via USPS Priority.  We will also email you the tracking number along with a weather report so you know how to pack. We will give you a hint or two with the clothing.  And no matter what, pack your swimsuit! You just never know. We will also tell you when to arrive at the airport.

  4. When you get your package, it is up to you when to open it--- but we love airport surprises! The day of your trip, get to the airport on time! And get ready for an adventure and see you social media.

  5. We keep the surprises coming!  We will send you a sweet one after your trip as a token of our appreciation for taking an adventure with us.  We hope to see you and your friends and family in the future.

This is the basic of what has to happen to make your next adventure a wonderful one!  There may be a detail or two more that will enhance your trip and we will let you know these in the weeks you are waiting to go.  We will send you additional emails about how to handle the airlines when they are less than perfect, phone apps you should have when traveling, travel insurance options, and more.

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It really is a worry free vacation!  And we are so happy you are here!!

Come visit us on our favorite social media platform, Instagram!

Our handle is @LetsWanderTravel

How To Build A Perfect Itinerary

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You have decided to take a trip to somewhere great, FINALLY and now need to put together an itinerary.  Should you pack your days full of activities or just leave it all to fate?

That can be a tricky question.  And the best answer of course is, IT DEPENDS!

Yes! True.

Since we do this for a living we think we have some really great tips and tricks for putting together a great itinerary.  Here are our best secrets to help you get going.

Use the old school way of working everything out on paper first.

Get a sheet out and put the dates across the top.  Please use dates instead of Monday, Tuesday, etc. because that is where you can easily make a mistake.

Put in the travel time.  Once you land at the airport and the time it will take you to travel to your location in a perfect world (meaning your flight is on time).

Never schedule something important on the day you travel because airlines can’t be trusted to get you where you need to go on time and its not worth being stressed over.  Travel days are also long and tiring in nature, so its best to plan as little as possible. We encourage our clients to get to know the block they are on and have dinner reservations somewhere that won’t fault you if you don’t make it.

That really makes the best first day: travel, close-by exploration and dinner somewhere that is ultra cool or indigenous to your location.

Each of the following days, you should have at least one activity scheduled.  If you do more than this, you will find the constant running around and trying to keep a schedule exhausting and not really vacation like.  If you have 2 activities in one day, ensure they are scheduled as far apart as possible so you don’t feel rushed.

Here is an example of what we think is a perfect itinerary of my adoptive city, Annapolis.

Day 1

Arrive at BWI and Uber to Annapolis

Check in to waterfront hotel

Walk and window shop Main Street, Maryland Ave and West Street.

Grab a drink at Stan and Joe's

Dinner at Middleton’s for a crabcakes

Day 2

Take a boat trip to the Bay Bridge

Lunch at Vida Taco

Afternoon tour of the Naval Academy

Dinner at the Chart House

Day 3

Go the First Sunday Festival

Shop the stores you saw on Day 1

Stop by the State House

Do a Ghost Tour this evening

Day 4

Stand Up Paddle boarding trip

If there is time, take the water taxi guided tour

And this would be the perfect itinerary. Plenty to do, but also time to do nothing.

Part of the charm in a vacation is just to sit down and do absolutely nothing except sip an Orange Crush (Annapolis famous).

So how do you find all these fun things to do?

There are several ways.

The first thing you should do when going to another city is to get on Facebook and do a search under events in that city with the exact dates.

Go to events on the left hand side of your page and click

Then on the right, it says find events

Pick the option that says exact dates and put them in

Once it pops up in your location, change that location back on the left side.

Once you do this- all the events in that city will populate

Another way to find fun activities is to go to Airbnb.com and type in your city and the word “experience”.  This will bring what the locals are willing to do to entertain you. I have seen everything from a hat making class to a bar crawl.  Check it out and schedule something that interests you. I really like this because you are dealing directly with the person who is doing the tour.

And the last one I am going to share with you is Viator.  Have you heard of them? They are an aggregator of thousands of excursions in every major city all over the world. Just put in the name of the city and see all the many choices you have.  Viator.com

So there you have 3 ways to find fun stuff to do in your city of choice and can fill in some time while you are visiting.  Facebook events, Airbnb Experiences and Viator.

Our best advice though is to make sure you fit in plenty of leisure and people watching time.  There is something magical about finding someone playing an instrument on the street, sitting nearby and just enjoying it.

Are You A Good Candidate for Surprise Travel?

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Hey, my fellow wanderers!

Have you been thinking about Surprise! Trips lately and how much fun it would be? If not, that is OK too. It is definitely not for everyone. But how do you know if you would like it or not? Here are some traits that we think are great to have in order to enjoy the unknown.

1..Can you give up control just for a long weekend? There are some people on this earth who think this is the worst thing that could happen to them, and they would not be a good fit for us. We love busy people who make a million decisions and just need to give their mind a rest while we fill in the blanks. Have you ever suffered decision fatigue? If you have, then you know exactly what I am talking about. Some days the thought of trying to figure out what we are going to eat for dinner is just too much because we have already had a LONG DAY making a million little decisions. One vacation where you don’t need to decide all the details would be like a dream come true for you. And so exhilarating!

2. Do you enjoy surprises? Most of us love a surprise every now and then especially when they are pleasant and not like a surprise bill that is due right now or surprise visit from a family member you are not crazy about. Surprise! Trips give you something to look forward to as in, you know you are leaving town, just not sure where yet. And you won’t be flying by the seat of your pants only because we give you just enough information so you won’t be caught without. And we always say, if you forget something or just didn’t bring it, buy it. Just buy it!

3. Do you like to explore new places? We think exploring new places really slows time and helps you savor life. Do you ever feel like days, weeks, months pass really quickly? They do when you do the same things every day. Get up, go to work, come home, start over the next day. When you see and experience new things, time really does slow down as you savor the new locations, foods, people, and culture. If you are one of those people who can’t believe its almost 2019 or how fast this month flew by, then Surprise! Trips are right up your alley.

No one ever says, remember last Tuesday when you went to work? NO! We don’t. But I remember when I went to the coast with a couple of friends for St. Patrick’s Day weekend and we all wore costumes and went to the local parade. In fact, we will remember that for years to come.

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4. Are adventures important to you? You don’t need to go far for an adventure- in fact, you can find them in your own town if you are willing to look. But if you want to do something epic and really memorable that you will recall for your entire life, it’s great to get outside of your element and maybe even comfort zone. Pick your favorite people to have an adventure with because let's face it, not everyone is cut out for exploring the unknown. You will have stories to tell your grandchildren.

5. What are you waiting for? When the laundry is calling your name and your To-Do list is a mile long, the fun you love to have is easy to put off. We are all busy but make certain things a priority. It behooves you to make your bucket list Surprise! Trip a priority also. Pick a long weekend 3-6 months from now and MAKE IT HAPPEN. Be one of those people!

Oh, the stories you are going to collect! And talk about and share forever...

Go fill out the Questionnaire HERE

Came hang out with me on Facebook HERE