A HELPFUL ARTICLE
Reasons to fall in love with Surprise Travel
When I opened up my Christmas gift from my husband this year, I was shocked to see a trip. For financial and other reasons, we have not exchanged gifts the last few years, and with his history of photo printers or other practical gifts, I never would have expected this. But there was a twist..the destination would be a surprise. Jigga what??? A mystery trip? I am a planner and immediately felt anxious about the whole thing..until I decided to embrace it. Pack Up and Go (www.packupgo.com) is the company we booked with after a recommendation from a colleague. As I started navigating the website, I began to have a feeling of excitement that I haven’t had in years. Choosing our budget, the dates, the climate, driving or flying, things we like to do, how we like pack, and recent places we have been..it was all so simple, but the element of surprise added a whole new level of fun. Confession, I thought after we entered all of this information and hit “enter” we would find out instantly where we were going….WRONG. As I read more I found out that we would not find out the destination until the DAY of departure! OMG..How could I pack? How could I plan? Where would we eat? Could I workout? Yadayadayada..planner anxiety. Then I started to think back to the days when we didn’t have the “www”. What did we ever do without Google? We lived with a certain element of surprise that has long been lost with ever growing technology. We picked all of these things for a trip and hoped the brochure from the travel agent was accurate or we would wind up with diarrhea and a bad rash. I began to embrace this process and remind myself this was in part possible because of the extra income I have from Coaching. I reveled in the idea that I would not have to lift a finger for this trip and it would allow my husband and I to reconnect after a rough couple of months. It would force me to work on my MENTAL FITNESS. A week before our trip we received an email telling us the weather at our destination, information on next steps, and some tips on what to pack. Walking shoes, clothes for a night out, sunscreen, swimsuits and an appetite (no problem there). They would also send us an envelope in the mail with details about accommodations, things to do, etc..BUT we could not open our information on the location until the day we left. That seriously is like holding a piece of steak in front of a dog and saying don’t eat it. How could I last?! I admit I scowered the US weather map looking for places that might have that exact climate..Texas? Florida? Louisiana? When that envelope arrived, like a dog I was drooling to peek, but I held to the promise I made to myself-Allow my overactive brain to be surprised and embrace the unknown. Finally, after what felt like days of staring at that envelope longingly, the day was here. We didn’t even speak to each other on the ride to the airport we were so excited. Finally we opened the envelope and there it was..KEY WEST! Accommodations were made, a dinner reservation with a gift certificate included, a sunset cruise booked, and a $25 Uber gift card! A comprehensive list of things to do morning, afternoon and night. You would have thought we won the lotto based on our reaction..the thought of a weekend sans kid, sipping cocktails and roaming Duvall Street was a dream come true.
So why did this tried and true planner fall in love with surprise travel?
1- You pick your climate, budget, weekend, and can give them as many details as you like so they can plan accordingly. Budgets per person start as low as $400, so there is really an option for everyone. With this particular company, you are sent to small American cities within 3-4 hours of your departure location. PS you don’t have to FLY..you can do a driving destination!
2- They take care of EVERYTHING. Seriously, they even check you in to the airport and email you the boarding passes 2 hours prior to your flight (if you are driving). No searching for hotels either, they have done it for you.
3- Brings back the element of SURPRISE to your life in a generation where you can literally find out anything online. The unknown leads to a feeling of excitement akin to going to Disney World as a kid..and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want to feel like that??
4- It gives you time to focus on your MENTAL FITNESS… Living healthy is not all about the physical. In fact, data shows that your psychological well-being has a direct impact on your physical fitness. Taking time to focus on your relationships, relax, have an adventure with your partner, no alarms, no kids,& no deadlines is an absolute MUST for your mental and physical health (see my article on Redefining your Identity in Motherhood). Allowing yourself the time and space to do things like this is not giving up or abandoning your goals. It is the perfect way to re-focus your intentions so you can be successful at achieving those big goals.