This Mystery Travel Company Will Send You on a Top-Secret Honeymoon
For months you've been planning every single wedding detail—and while you may be dreaming about your honeymoon, a time for you and your new spouse to finally relax and reconnect, more decisions regarding airfare, lodging and excursions may have you considering a staycation instead. But before you skip the much-needed first trip as newlyweds, let someone else take hold of the vacation planning reins.
Enter Pack Up + Go, a start-up travel business specializing in mystery trips. Your vacation is so top secret, in fact, you don't know where you're headed until you get to the airport.
"Planning a honeymoon can be stressful—from choosing a destination to making all the travel and accommodation arrangements," says Lillian Rafson, founder and CEO of Pack Up + Go. "Especially considering they've just gone through the whole wedding process, the last thing they need is another planning migraine. Pack Up + Go makes the whole process as easy as pie. They newlyweds can just tell us what they're interested in, and then all they have to do is show up at the airport. The rest is taken care of."
"Where Am I Going?"
At first, you have no idea. That's right, you know nothing about where you'll be vacationing until you show up to jet off to your destination. Pack Up + Go uses your per-person budget, your travel dates, some traveler preferences and your traveler information to book a trip somewhere within the continental United States.
"Americans are so quick to overlook domestic destinations and immediately search abroad, but there are so many fun, hidden gems to explore right here in our own backyard," Rafson says. "So much of current American travel pivots on a few major metropolitan destinations, homogenizing the domestic travel experience. I wanted to challenge the status quo to make travel exciting and unique."
The week before your departure, Pack Up + Go will send you an email letting you know the weather ahead for your mystery trip, recommended items to pack (winter coats or flip-flops), any luggage restrictions, and where to go and when. Then days before your trip, a letter will arrive in the mail not to be opened until the specified date and time. Inside are directions to your high-quality accommodations and your city guide, as well as a curated list of activities, restaurants and sites to see—all researched for you.
Letting a stranger plan your trip may seem crazy, but when you let the excitement of a complete surprise settle in (especially when clues pop up like little gifts during what's likely the most hectic week of your life), it's kind of amazing.
"Newlyweds may be nervous about relinquishing control and putting their trip in the hands of someone else," Rafson says. "But for those honeymooners with an adventurous spirit who are willing to get out of their comfort zone and try something new, Pack Up + Go is the perfect option."
In addition, Pack Up + Go is great for those who don't have a lot of time for their honeymoon. "If newlyweds are looking for a three-week trip, we're not the solution. But if they've got a few days to get away, we can fit snugly into their busy schedules," Rafson says.
If you have your hearts set on a very specific type of honeymoon in a very specific location, or if you're a total type A control freak who's all about the details, then skip Pack Up + Go. But if you're like a majority of this start-up's clientele, where the one commonality is "a wanderlust desire to explore the United States from an angle of spontaneity, ease and adventure," then you've found your travel planners.
"Plus, how many times in a marriage can both spouses be surprised?" Rafson adds. "Usually it's one surprising the other with something. This way, everybody gets to enjoy the excitement!"