Would you pay a company to send you on a surprise destination vacation? We did and here is my unbiased, honest review!
Scroll to the bottom if your just here for the pictures!
How does it work?
The process of booking couldn’t be easier! You will fill out a survey which contains just a few questions such as your hobbies and interests, and if you prefer Action, Relaxation or Culture when you travel. They also ask you about your budget and places you’ve visited recently! This was very important to us because we have both recently been to Chicago, Connecticut, New York, New Mexico, Colorado, and Las Vegas. We really wanted to visit somewhere new together!
Where did we end up?
We let them know while booking that we were “not beach people,” and we’d be celebrating our anniversary. We were sent to….drum roll, please… SEATTLE!
Y’all. When we opened up our envelope we were both FREAKING. OUT! We have been wanting to go to Seattle FOR-EV-ER! Coffee + rainy weather = our happy place.
When we arrived at the Palladian Hotel the sweet gal at the front desk let us know that they had upgraded us to a suite for our anniversary! When we got up to our (gorgeous) room, they had a bottle of champagne waiting for us on ice and some Seattle snacks, along with a sweet note. I was already blown away! Once we had a second to sit and go through our itinerary we were even more ecstatic. They had made us reservations for that night at The Purple Cafe and Wine Bar, and included a $100 gift card to use on our dinner! For Saturday, they had purchased our tickets for the Sky View Observatory on the 73rd floor of the Columbia Center building. That evening, they booked us a 2.5-hour sunset sailboat cruise.
We both kept saying that if we had gone on a trip without someone planning it for us we’d end up talking ourselves out of activities. Knowing we had already paid for these things, we did them. I have no regrets about any of the activities they planned! The Purple Cafe and Wine Bar was a BLAST, our waiter was the best waiter we’ve had. Ever.
The itinerary had a TON of things to go do and lots of good places to eat. We did a lot of what they recommended, and also wandered on our own as well.
How do you know what to pack?
The week before your departure you will receive an email with the weather forecast for your destination! They will also give you hints like “wear comfy shoes because you’ll be covering a lot of ground!” This hint came in extremely handy, we walked ten miles in one day and didn’t even realize it.
How much does it cost?
It depends on how much you want to spend! The options include multi-traveler and solo traveler and you can choose to do a road trip, plane or train trip! We went with the Multi-Traveler Plane or Train: 3-Day Getaway. This plan has budget options starting at $650 per person and they max out at $5,000 per person. We decided to splurge a little since we were celebrating our 6th anniversary and went with the $1,000 per person “Whisk Me Away” trip.
Would you use this service again?
We were only one day into our weekend and decided we’d be using this company again. No doubt about it!
Pros + Cons
No stress. Literally, fill out the survey, enter your credit card information, receive your destination envelope in the mail and show up to the airport. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
No need for compromising with your travel partner on where to go.
Zero hours spent searching the internet for things to do, see or places to stay.
You don’t have to deal with the airlines and book your flight.
I don’t have a con list. The only thing I can think of at all is the pressure of not knowing what to pack and how to not overpack your carry on. Even that isn’t a problem because Pack Up & Go tells you the weather for where you’re going. Truthfully though, this took the pressure off that I usually put on myself when I’m packing, and I wasn’t able to pack my entire closet.
Obviously, if you aren’t comfortable with surprises this probably isn’t something you’d enjoy. My husband and I are the kinds of people who have to plan everything and have to know exactly what’s going to be happening. This was a huge adventure for us and may be the only way we travel from now on!