Surprise vacations are a new exciting way to travel.
The other day, I stumbled upon a travel company located in the UK that offers a unique approach to travel. Specifically aimed for Millennials who are tired of making decisions and would rather enjoy life as it comes without spending time researching, comparing, and stressing over planning a trip.
There’s a stereotype that says that Millennials are indecisive. While this may not be true for all Millennials, it is true for this one. I admit that I hate making a bunch of decisions. I learned this about myself during my time working in management. Am I capable? Absolutely. Will I step up? You got it. But the idea of going on a trip that has been designed for me, based off a few precursor questions, sounds perfect. Plus it helps that I love surprises.
Here’s how it generally works:
They ask you some preliminary questions to learn more about what you’re looking for in order to design a personalized trip for you.
How long you’d like to be gone?
What is your budget?
What star rating of accommodations would you prefer?
Which general area of the world are you interested in traveling to?
Are there are any specific areas or cities you don’t want to go to?
After receiving this information, the company designs your trip.
Your only clue before your departure is a weather forecast that arrives on your doorstep, to help you know what to pack. Along with the forecast, you will receive a scratch-it card.
Srps.Me books your flights and even checks in for your flight for you. This way your trip stays a surprise until you arrive at the airport. Once you arrive, you can reveal a scratch-it to find out where you’re going.
This totally sounds like something I would love to do. I got so excited while reading their website that I showed a few friends who are around my age (25 – 35 years young) and every single one of them loved the concept.
Since they are a UK based company, I reached out to Srprs.me to find if they work with American’s as well as Europeans. I received a friendly and timely response (given our time difference) from Mitzi who explained, that since they are based out of Holland, they don’t currently do business with Americans. Their client base is primarily local Europeans. Some from the Netherlands while others live in Belgium and the UK.
Mitzi clarified that while they don’t currently send American’s on trips, “We really like the freedom of choosing the best options for our travelers, and most of the time it is different for everyone and it is possible they go to the States.”
But the idea was so intriguing, I started looking for American based companies to see if anyone else was offering surprise vacations.
Excitingly, I found a few! You don’t have to be a Millennial to enjoy these trips either. They seem to vary in terms of travel options, lengths of vacations, and pricing. Below you will find a few of the ones that I found that I thought were pretty amazing.
Magical Mystery Tours
Magical Mystery Tours arranges mystery vacations all over the world. Although you don’t have to opt for a surprise travel vacation. You can choose to know everything you are doing while working with one of their travel consultants.
If you are feeling more adventurous and think the mystery tour would be as cool as I think it is. Then you fill out a survey that asks about your budget, and length of trip you’d prefer. Along with destinations, you would be interested or not interested in going.
Since I’ve worked as a travel consultant, I became curious if they have restrictions about where they can send people for mystery vacations. I reached out to them on their website to ask if there are any locations they don’t send people and got an answer from Denise within hours.
Denise explained to me that due to logistics they can’t send anyone anywhere that requires a visa. She stated further, “We don’t send people to destinations that would be dangerous. There’s certain places we would never send folks. But then there are also certain places that may be a good fit for some of our more adventurous travelers, but would make some of our other travelers uncomfortable.”
Jubel provides the option to have your trip a surprise or not. They work in a similar way as the others. Jubel creates a trip based off a preliminary survey, but they don’t include pre-arranging activities during the trip to allow you more flexibility to spend your time the way you want. (They do include options you can do once you’re there.)
Providing 3 levels of “surprise vacations” sets them apart from the others I have found. Some people may opt to have their entire trip a surprise, others may want to know which continent they are going to but nothing else, or the passenger can choose to know which country they are going to (but not the cities).
While Black Tomatoes offers a variety of travel options, their Get Lost selection provides travelers a unique experience to not just be surprised about where they are going, but they actually don’t know where they are going while they are there.
The idea is to explore on your own in the wilderness. Depending on your answers to their survey, you could be sent to any of the following:
Upon arrival, you’ll need to find your way around on your own. Or at least it feels like you’re on your own. There is actually a team of experts watching you to make sure you’re okay and on the right track. I don’t know about you but I would definitely need a team of experts to survive. Sounds crazy but actually, their reasons for designing trips this way makes sense.
During a Black Tomatoes surprise vacation, you can expect to overcome obstacles (mental and/or physical) and see what you’re truly capable of. Disconnect from life and focus on what’s in front of you. Not to mention, experience places that few others get to see. Sounds pretty amazing to me.
No matter which option you consider, not knowing where you are going could be a little daunting. There are people who prefer to know every detail of their trip before they leave. My experience in the travel industry has shown me (repeatedly) that people tend to get nervous causing them to micro-manage every aspect; often making changes all the way until mere days before they leave.
There’s something to be said about arriving into a destination that you’ve never been to before and allow yourself to be immersed in the experience.
Surprise vacations can help you live more in the moment and enjoy life as it comes to you. It gives you the ability to explore new cultures, food, and landscapes that differ from your own.
It’s amazing how easy traveling has become. I truly believe that an increase in travel is going to eventually (hopefully) bring the world together. An entire blog post could be written on this concept alone, but for now, I am just excited to see all the new ways we are coming up with to encourage people to travel.