Can You Surprise Someone With a Trip?

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This is always an ongoing discussion among frequent travelers and thoughtful significant others. Is it possible to surprise someone with a trip? And if so, what is the best way?

There’s several schools of thought, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments below.

  • Jeanne and mom in ParisSurprise them with the idea/suggested itinerary of the trip, and then book everything once your know their availability and preferences. I did this for Christmas a few years ago, presenting my parents with a wrapped card good for two first class tickets and 4 nights at the Starwood in Vancouver whenever they wanted to go.
  • Surprise them by switching a planned trip for something better. Jeanne convinced her mom they were taking a trip to Akron, Ohio in order to find out when her mom was free, then told her on her birthday it was actually to Paris.
  • Keep it a secret until they’re at the airport or in the car. Often used for honeymoons, this definitely has far more shock value, but also a great potential to misfire if someone feels like they weren’t able to pack what they needed to fully enjoy it.

What do you think? And if you tried it, how successful were you at surprising someone with a trip?


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  1. Jeanne Marie Hoffman

    December 8, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I can vouch for the packing part ESPECIALLY if you decide to go for an adventure vacation and your only clue is “it’s a warm location”. So many sundresses and heels…. no hiking boots 🙂

  2. Susan

    July 16, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    My hubby surprised me on our 10th wedding anniversary. Told me we were going to Singapore, Bangkok. When we got on a plane for Rome, he told me the routing was the cheapest fare. As I sat in a cafe in Rome, jet lagged and confused, he finally said SURPRISE! We’re actually sailing on a Mediterranean cruise! I was so mad I wouldn’t talk to him all day. I had NOTHING packed for this cruise! I, of course, forgave him. I had a great time and got creative with scarves, but he’s never done that again and we just celebrated our 30th!

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