Every Memorial Day weekend, I begin planning our annual pilgrimage to All Out, the All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view live event typically held in Chicago over Labor Day weekend. The three-day break in May gives me enough time to organize a full vacation for up to four members of our family to a big city.

Last year, I took our toddler to see zoo penguins until he was falling down tired, enjoyed a cold beer with my mother-in-law at Margaritaville by Lake Michigan, watched another incredible live show, and ended the day with a nightcap at a speakeasy with my husband. This year, with the event date changing to the week after Labor Day, we can’t make it. So, over this Memorial Day weekend, I took my vacation planning resources and built you a website.

From the ashes of our 2024 All Out trip arose WrestlingVacations.com

Indeed, the annual herculean effort to get our small family in and out of Chicago over a holiday weekend in years past meant that I had amassed a huge repository of data about the city and its venues, which I transformed into a reliable resource for planning this and other trips. The idea was to create a website specializing in complementary vacation planning resources for fans traveling to live pro wrestling shows, like we had been. It ended up being a crash course in entrepreneurship.

The hardest part was figuring out where to start. As a former project manager, I jumped right to a software solution. I dumped my brain into a free Trello board and slowly organized my ideas into cards representing discrete series of tasks. I then wrote ChatGPT prompts relating to setting up websites to figure out what basic steps I was missing.

Trello

Organizing project ideas into task series with Trello

Based on my research, I needed to start with a unique name for this project. ChatGPT suggested a naming syntax and provided some examples. I knew I needed a noun like “wrestling,” “wrestler,” or” wrestler,” as well as an action verb relating to travel or trip planning. I then used GoDaddy to limit potential website names to those with domains available at the lowest price point. Thus, “Wrestling Vacations” was born.

GoDaddy

More like GoMommy

After I purchased the domain, I set up a Gmail account with the same name, which gave me access to Google Drive and its Sites, Forms, Sheets, and Docs tools. Finally, I connected the GoDaddy domain to a free Google Site. With this infrastructure in place, I began building my site.

Google Suite

Building the website using Google Suite apps

To set up the homepage, Google Sites offered free templates, which I used together with my own photography and art for the graphics. MS Paint was used to desaturate the background image in the website header and to draw and colorize the logo. I created two elements that would appear on every page: partners and miscellaneous links.

The first element that appears at the bottom of every page are our partners. Since there are no sponsors or vendors for this project at this time, I posted links to my pro wrestling baby book, my husband’s wrestling movies podcast, and the Voices of Wrestling.




Our partners include my infant son and his ridiculous cat

Below this ribbon of links, then, are miscellaneous links. The Contact Page is where visitors go to submit feedback via a Google Form that sends the data to a private Google Sheet in my Google Drive. I also created pages for my Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. I had ChatGPT review other websites’ examples and provide a generic template for each, which I updated with my own information. I created each page as a Google Doc, and then embedded the Doc on the appropriate webpage of my site. I hid these miscellaneous pages from the main navigation, so that visitors are clearly directed via the main menu to events, venues, and travel planning.

Contact Form

The Google Form embedded in the website for fan feedback

With the basic website ready, I experimented with different architectural approaches to the remaining webpages. The result was, after landing on the homepage, the user gets a brief overview and links to the heart of the site: events, venues, and travel. If you navigate from events, you’ll see the details of the specific event in question, before being offered links for travel planning. If you navigate from venues, you’ll skip right to the travel planning resources. Travel is the link to travel planning. In short, all roads lead to travel planning.

Wrestling Vacations

Travel resources themselves are broken down into transportation, lodging, food, and activities. These links take you out to commercial sites like Google Flights, AirBnB, TimeOut, etc., where you can research, reserve, and book travel. Where possible, these links have been narrowed down to the event city or the immediate vicinity of the event venue. Transportation includes recommendations for flights, car rentals, and public transport options to and within the host city. Lodging offers different types of accommodation, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious, often highlighting places where other wrestling fans are likely to stay. Food options cater to a variety of tastes, budgets, and allergies, with a special focus on local cuisine and eateries. Activities are suggestions for local attractions, wrestling-related events, and other entertainment options. These resources account for differing budgets, levels of ability, and even food allergies, so that any wrestling fan can participate.

The last and most fundamental part of the project was the data itself. There are plenty of general travel resources available online. There are even a few that specifically support WWE and Wrestlemania. To truly provide support to fans, I wanted to fill a known gap in the market. And since I started this project with AEW’s All Out event data, I began my work there. Given that my resources were American/domestic, I further limited the scope to those events only. So this website currently focuses on All Elite Wrestling pay-per-view live events taking place in the USA, with plans for expansion based on feedback from the pro-wrestling community. The data is subjected to both preventative and on-demand maintenance, with a monthly site review for accuracy, alongside reviews triggered by news releases, insider tips, and community gossip.

Wrestling Vacations Events

Wrestling Vacations aims to be the go-to resource for AEW fans planning their event trips. By offering comprehensive travel guides and fostering community engagement, Wrestling Vacations ensures fans can focus on enjoying their wrestling experiences without the hassle of travel logistics. Please check out the site at wrestlingvacations.com. You can submit feedback via the contact page.

Wrestling Vacations Time to Travel