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How to start a Trip Idea and make it happen

 

Ana, Thelma & Louise’s community manager, tells us all about the website’s popular Trip Idea tool – and how you can use it to make your own Trip Idea become reality.

When people ask me what Thelma & Louise Club is about, I always give them the same answer: ‘It is a club where women, friendship and travel come together.’
 
There are stories of inspirational women, postcards from past trips, travel talk (and chat about worldly things too), a tool to find a travel buddy, but the thread that stitches it all together is Trip Ideas. It is the most popular place on the site and the first stop for many newcomers.

“It is the most popular place on the site and the first stop for many newcomers.”

Some of you find it instinctively easy to add a Trip Idea, engage with others and make it happen. For others, it is a bit daunting to put themselves forward and get their trip idea started.
 
As a club, our purpose is to help you connect with other women, get inspired, find travel buddies, plan meetups and trips, go travelling, share your experiences and inspire each other.
 
No matter if you already have a trip idea on the go or you’ve been thinking about starting one, here are some simple steps to make your trip idea happen:
 
To start with, Trip Ideas is available only to members. If you are not a member of our club, you can still see the trips, but no member details or comments and you cannot engage with them. So please register and join us to have full access to Trip Ideas.
 
1. Complete your profile and upload a profile picture
Fill in as much detail as you can about your travel preferences. People want to know about the person they might be travelling with. Let your personality shine through and tell them where have you been and what you enjoy doing to give potential travel buddies a taster of what it’s like to travel with you.
And upload a profile picture! Without one, you won’t be able to chat to other members. Remember, you’re 12 times less likely to be contacted by other members if you don’t upload a profile picture.

“Upload a profile picture! Without one, you won’t be able to chat to other members.”

2. Check if there is already a similar trip idea
Chances are that someone has already started a similar trip idea to what you have in mind. Use the Search tool or the Filters on the right-hand side to find trips by destination, type, budget or age range.
Once you find a trip you are interested in, comment and let the others know you’d like to be part of it. This is still worth doing even if the trip isn’t planned for a time that suits you – if it’s a similar destination or style of trip, you never know what interesting people or conversation – and future trips – may surface from your comment.

3. Create your Trip Idea
If you don’t find an existing trip idea that works for you, it’s time to create your own.
 
Whether you already know where you’d like to go and when, you’ve spotted a good deal or you just feel the need to have a break, start by telling everyone why you’d like to go. It might be because you like to cruise, you’ve always dreamed about seeing the Northern Lights, or simply because you can take holiday for that particular week.

“Imagine that your perfect travel buddy is sitting next to you. What would you say about your trip idea? What is so exciting about your trip?”

4. Get your trip noticed
You’ve just added a trip idea and you hope people will join in. Some trips take off straight away, but most trip ideas need a bit more encouragement. We help you promote them on the site, in our weekly newsletter and on our Facebook and Twitter, but it’s your idea, so the more you talk about it, the more likely people will find out about it and want to join in.
 
Here are a few ways you can help your trip get noticed:

• Engage with people that have been there before you on the Forum or through Private Messages. They might have some top tips for things you shouldn’t miss out on – safety tips or practical tips, like telling you which side of the train has the better view, where to find the best ice cream or a quiet place to get away from the crowds. These are the people who could really make a difference to your experience. Besides, this sort of information will help spark interest in people to join your trip. 
• Do the same for other people planning trips. Share your knowledge about places you’ve been to and by helping others plan their trip, you will help yourself find a travel buddy.
• Use the Find a travel buddy tool and directly approach women you think you’d like to travel with. We’ve got thousands of members from every corner of the world. Use our travel buddy search tool to find sisters in travel and beyond with interests like yours, talk on the forum, or send private messages.
• Share some postcards or a trip review from a past trip. A picture is worth a thousand words. Share postcards from your past trips to give people a taster of what it would be like to travel with you. Show people what you enjoy on your travels. If pictures are not your thing, maybe you can write about one of your trips. You can read about other members’ trips here. As well as sharing your experiences, postcards and trip reviews are great ways for people to connect with you. If this seems exactly the sort of thing they’d like to do as well on their holidays, it could be a great conversation starter with a potential travel buddy. Plus, if anyone else is planning a similar trip, they’ll know they can ask you for travel tips.
 
5. Write updates to your trip
As you start researching the place you’d like to travel to, share that in the comments or main description of your trip idea. We all get excited about new discoveries and a hotel with a pool might be just the trigger for someone to become curious about your trip and join in.
 
6. Get together with people in your area
Use the meetup tool to get together with people in your area who might be interested in your trip idea. Arrange a meetup and make friends with other like-minded Thelma & Louise women near you. Who knows, you might find a new travel buddy or two for your trip idea. At the very least, you’ll have a great time talking travel!
You could also plan a meetup with members in the area you’re planning to visit and pick their brains for insider travel tips once you arrive.
 
7. Plan it together
Remember that you are not alone. You are part of a large community and we are here to help each other. From helping to plan the itinerary, organise the trip and find more travel buddies, everyone joining the trip can get hands-on at the planning stage. Ask your new travel buddies to help out at this stage and they’ll feel more involved and you are not left to do all the work.

Feel inspired? Kick off your trip idea today and we’ll coach you through these steps to make your trip happen. Send me a message or email me at ana@thelmandlouise.com