Updated: Aug 30, 2020
Nothing can beat that fuzzy, happy feeling you get on surprising a loved one! Ah, that shocked expression on their faces, followed by delight as they open the gift so lovingly selected by you – pure bliss, isn’t it? If you want to plan a fail-proof surprise gift that will guarantee truckloads of happiness, how about gifting a surprise trip? Research has proven that gifting an “experience” instead of things has a much more emotional, long-lasting and positive impact on the recipient. And there is no experience as enriching as travelling to a new place!
Putting together a surprise trip as a gift sometimes ends up being more fun for the gift-giver than for the gift-receiver. These are some reasons:
• It is such fun choosing the destination, fixing the schedule, planning the itinerary. And doing all this in secret adds to the thrill!
• Planning a surprise trip for your beloved is the best way to learn more about their likes and dislikes. You end up knowing them better!
• After you book the surprise travel package, there is nothing more exciting than thinking up creative ways to reveal the surprise vacation and enjoying the look on their faces!
A win-win situation, we say.
If you are looking for ideas for a surprise vacation, look no further. After having planned so many “blind experiences” for our friends, family and happy customers, we can safely call ourselves the “surprise travel experts.” 😉 Unlike gifting material things, a surprise holiday requires meticulous planning, especially if you want to keep it a secret till the last minute. So here are some tips to help you plan that secret trip as well as some creative ways to give a surprise vacation that will sweep your beloved off their feet!
How to plan a surprise trip as a gift - 4 steps!
1. Choose your holiday destination wisely
When we planned the surprise honeymoon for the adventurous, nature-loving Kyle and Kristen, we chose Costa Rica!
There are two questions you need to ask yourself while choosing the destination, to be certain that the recipient(s) of your gift love it. If you get these two important factors right, you would have cracked the code to zeroing in on the perfect surprise vacation!
i. For whom are you planning the surprise trip?
It is so essential that you know the likes and dislikes of the person who is going to get this surprise holiday and customize the trip accordingly! You would NOT want to take a mountain-lover to a beach holiday 😂
The destination you would shortlist while planning a surprise trip for your husband/ wife would be quite different from the location you would choose for a surprise family vacation. If you don’t know which places are on your partner’s travel bucket-list, try asking casually (or better still, get a friend to ask on your behalf to avoid raising any suspicions).
This can get a little tricky when the surprise is for your entire family (children, grandparents et al). You could choose a destination that you’re sure no one in your family has ever visited. Like the surprise family vacation to Namibia we planned for Marianna, Mario and their two children, because the travel-loving family had never been to the continent of Africa.
ii. Why are you planning a surprise trip?
Sometimes the occasion is just as important while planning the surprise. If you’re newly married, maybe you want to gift your wife/ husband a surprise honeymoon after weeks and months of hectic, wedding planning! It would be ideal to choose a destination that is the perfect mix of luxury, romance and relaxation like the stunning islands of Maldives, Seychelles or Mauritius.
Or maybe you want a meaningful vacation with your son or daughter, spending more time with them, doing something you both enjoy. You could try what we chose for an adventure-loving father-son duo when we planned a surprise holiday to Switzerland full of activities like canyoning in the Roc Coupé Canyon in Chavalet river and cycling on electric bikes around the panoramic mountain paths and trails of the Swiss Alps!
Or maybe you and your family want to escape the cold, dreary winter with a surprise beach vacation to somewhere warm and sunny! If you’re still running short of ideas to plan the perfect surprise holiday, worry not, we can help you choose the perfect destination!
2. Plan the surprise trip’s schedule smartly
Planning a long weekend getaway as a surprise is easier, but checking schedules is important for a longer trip. Before you block the dates for your surprise holiday, you may have to indulge in some detective work and figure out their work/ university/ school schedule to ensure that they can afford to take time off. If its practical, you can even reach out to their colleagues or manager and take them into your confidence.
3. Go that extra mile to keep your surprise vacation a “surprise”
You will have to decide whether you want to keep the entire idea of a vacation as a total surprise or just the destination remains a surprise. Because the former route will be a lot trickier! You will have to consider ensuring their passports are valid or buying travel insurance which requires some amount of paperwork. Too much of a hassle?
The second option is more practical i.e. you just keep the destination as a complete surprise and announce the surprise trip some days in advance. Now, to ensure that the destination remains hidden, make sure that you don’t use a common credit card while booking the flights and stay (they’ll end up getting the details on their mail and phone number too…oops!) Another rookie mistake to avoid is using their frequent flyer account/ points/ miles. You’ll end up exposing your itinerary details – careful!
If you find it hard to keep a secret and are the type that ends up with a stomach ache trying to keep one, we’d suggest you let someone else do the planning for you! If you do not know the trip details, your partner/ spouse/ family won’t find out either 😉 This is where a surprise travel agency like Blind Experiences would come in super useful. Not only can we chalk out the prefect surprise vacation tailored to your preferences, we are also great secret-keepers!
4. Decide the right time to reveal the surprise vacation
If only the destination is going to be a surprise, you would want to announce the trip in advance! You could choose a special occasion to do the big reveal for e.g. announce your surprise family trip at your son’s/ daughter’s graduation party. If you’re planning a long trip to a special destination, it would be good to reveal it a few days or even weeks in advance so that your loved ones can plan their packing, indulge in some holiday shopping or finish up any pending, important work, so that they can enjoy the vacation to the fullest!
Follow these four easy steps to put together the perfect surprise trip for your spouse/ partner/ family/ best friend and gift them a lifetime of memories. If you still feel the process of planning a surprise travel overwhelming, we are always here to help you out!