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How To Go On A Mystery Staycation

by joeheg

When it comes to vacations, I tend to be a control freak. I want to know where we’re going for every moment of each day. When we planned a trip to London with only a few weeks’ notice, I didn’t do well with a spontaneous trip.

It’s no surprise that when I learned of a travel company that planned mystery trips, I was intrigued and terrified at the same time. On my tour of Pike Place Market in Seattle, there was a couple on the tour who said they had no idea they were visiting Seattle until the day before and they found out when they were on the way to the plane. This tour and other activities were all a part of the mystery package they received just a few days before the trip.

That was the first time I heard of Pack Up & Go. They are self-described as a “surprise travel agency.” Their trademark was to plan surprise weekends based on the likes of each group. Once providing your travel dates and preferences, you were booked on a trip. Only a few days before the trip you were told what to pack, and it wasn’t until you were on the way to the airport where you’d discover your destination.

This was definitely a niche market for people who liked to feel like stars of their own reality show. For me, as a control freak, it was the ultimate travel nightmare. Still, I was fascinated with the idea of knowing you’d be going on a trip but not having any idea where you’d be going.

Not surprisingly, COVID-19 threw a massive wrench into Pack Up & Go’s business model. No one wanted to travel on a plane so mystery getaways were out of the question. Places within reach of a road trip became the new dream trip.

So they’ve adapted to the new environment and are offering Pack Up & Go Staycations.

A road trip is the more “classic” surprise Pack Up + Go Trip! Your surprise destination will be 4-6 hours from home and you will drive there yourself! These trips are 2 days and 3 nights.  A road trip budget includes your hotel stay for 2 nights, valet parking, curated itineraries, and customized road trip directions from your home to your destination with some pit stops along the way…. and the best part? You don’t find out where you’re going until the morning of departure!

Destinations are within 4-6 hours of your home. No planes required as you drive to your location for a long weekend. Since you’re not flying, you don’t find out the destination until the morning of your trip. I guess you’d still have time to throw some different clothes into the car if necessary.

We live in Central Florida, so if we wanted to get away, we could be sent to Miami, Tampa. Sarasota, Ft. Myers, St. Augustine, or even Panama City or Savannah.

We’re all getting more acquainted with the tourist locations closer to home due to the novel coronavirus. Leave it to the travel agent who has been planning mystery trips for the last few years to point you in the direction of the best spots located just a few hours drive from your own home.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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