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SUPRISE TRAVEL

When was the last time you went somewhere without a plan?

No detailed itinerary.

No idea where you’re staying.

No information on your destination.

The above might sound like the worst idea if you’re a Virgo or a type-A personality.

Giving away absolute control? No thanks.

But to the adventurous souls, it’s a thrilling, new way to travel that goes against our rigid plans.

A surprise trip sounds like the perfect way to delegate the admin of travel to someone else and experience pure spontaneity.

Sound like your idea of a good time? You’re not alone.

According to a 2024 Booking.com survey of 27,000 travelers in 33 countries, 52% are “keen to book a surprise trip where everything down to the destination is unknown until arrival”

What is Suprise Travel?

Surprise travel is the perfect solution to decision-making paralysis.

Instead of booking your flights, planning an itinerary, and researching hotels, you hand over all that work to someone else.

Bespoke travel agencies will decide where you’re going, what you’re doing, and where you’re staying. You only find out the details when you arrive at the airport to board your flight.

It gets rid of the pre-trip stress, and it’s a new way to see the world.

How Does Suprise Travel Work?

Here’s how booking a surprise trip generally works: 

  1. Fill Out a Pre-Trip Questionnaire.

You’ll answer basic questions like how long you want to go, your vacation package or budget, what you want to avoid, dietary restrictions, and activities you enjoy. 

  1. Get Ready for Your Trip

After booking your adventure, you’ll get cryptic hints about your destination. 

For example, the weather forecast so you know what to pack and what time to arrive at the airport. You might also receive a training regime if you’re doing something more adventurous.

  1. Head to The Airport

Once you arrive, you’ll open an envelope revealing your surprise destination. You’ll usually get a suggested itinerary with restaurant reservations and hotel details. 

  1. Explore Your Destination

With all the pre-travel planning out of the way, the only thing left to do is enjoy your trip!

The Best Suprise Trip Companies

Keen to give surprise travel a whirl? Here are some of the top surprise trip companies.

Pack Up + Go 

Want to explore more of the United States? Book a surprise trip with Pack Up + Go.

The company specializes in domestic US travel and creates personalized trips based on a pre-trip survey and your budget.

The result?

You get a tailored travel experience without any of the admin. Your flights, accommodation, and restaurant reservations are all booked for you.

All you need to do is show up at the airport and follow the suggested day-by-day itineraries.

The Vacation Hunt

For a surprise travel honeymoon, look no further than The Vacation Hunt.

Founded by  Jeff Allen and Roshni Agarwal, the company will plan your surprise trip across the U.S., Europe, and other international destinations.

Do you have some special requests? No problem.

The Vacation Hunt can book you into an adults-only resort, luxury hotels, or plan a multi-destination romantic getaway.

Black Tomato

If you’re looking for something more adventurous, Black Tomato’s “Get Lost” trip is the ultimate surprise travel trip.

Travelers are taken to unknown, uncharted destinations, and it’s up to you to explore your way through them. 

The only input? You can select the type of environment you want to Get Lost in (polar, jungle, desert, mountain, or coastal), and that’s it.

Would You Go on a Mystery Adventure?

It can be terrifying stepping outside of your comfort zone.

That’s exactly what makes surprise travel such an exciting experience.

It takes you back to how travel was centuries ago when there were no guidebooks or the Internet to help you plan and tell you what to expect.

The only certainty you had was that you were going on an adventure.

Here’s a recent reel I shared on the topic:

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A post shared by Sarah Dandashy, Travel + Hospitality Expert (@askaconcierge)

Would you ever go on a surprise trip? Let me know in the comments below!