What do you do when you love to travel? Start a travel company!
Once upon a time there were three girls. One from Utah. One from Missouri. One from California. Two were related. Two were friends. Two barely knew each other at all. One loved sports. One loved to shop. One loved the outdoors. They were as different as could be. Except for one thing, they all loved to travel. The word love might be a bit of an understatement. They were obsessed with travel. Whether it was a road trip to Alabama, a cruise to the Mexican Riviera or even a short jaunt to Vegas, these 3 were always ready to go. There was just one problem. None of them were independently wealthy. Who, they thought, is going to pay for all of this? “Let’s start a business!” They’d done it before. Started a fairly successful accounting and tax firm. How hard could it be to start a travel business? Not very hard at all as it turned out. Their first trip was a success. A seventeen-person group trip to Cape Town, South Africa. And the rest as they say was history.
In 2017, my 2 business partners and I started The WonderList Tour Company. We came up with the name because Norma thought a “WonderList” was much more appropriate than a “bucket list”. I mean who wants to make a list of things to do before they die? WonderList is a tour company that arranges international group trips. We arrange small group trips for travelers who have previously been apprehensive about international travel. Each of our tours is a mix of sightseeing, cultural experiences, and free time. Our tours are limited to just 15 to 25 guests. This ensures that our travelers experience the freedom, flexibility, and the camaraderie that small groups offer. Our goal is for every guest to enjoy a more personal, authentic and memorable travel experience that encourages a love a travel for many years to come. The WonderList Tour Company creates travel experiences for people who want to travel but don’t have the time or the desire to work out the logistics. Our travelers have ranged from the experienced to people with no international travel experience whatsoever. One person booked their trip before applying for their passport.
I still get bent out of shape when someone acts all surprised when I go on a trip. They act like I must have some secret stash of cash or it’s a really big deal if I go to Vegas. I’ve been having discussions with my friends and family about this lifestyle change for almost 5 years now and they still don’t get it. We like to travel. We started a company. End of story. My mother told me a long time ago that people spend their money the way they want to. I want to spend my money on travel and not a mortgage. That is my prerogative. “I can do what I want to do.” Now that being said, there are different levels of travel. I’d love to fly first class on Virgin to London and stay at the Dorchester. But right now, that’s not going to happen. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t find a really good fare off season and stay at a great hotel near Euston Station. Travel is not expensive if plan, research and just go!
Our goal has always been to show people that travel does not have to be expensive, and you don’t have to wait for a friend or family member to travel with you. I’ve done solo travel, which I love, but I will say that having a group of people to travel with is a lot of fun. In our four years in business, we’ve planned trips to Cuba, South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, Jamaica and Europe. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic put a wrench in our 2020 and 2021 itineraries, but we are planning for a strong come back in 2022 with a trip to South Africa. We love to travel and surprisingly, we love opening up others to the wonders of international travel. There are so many beautiful and intriguing places to see in this world. We don’t want to keep them all to ourselves!