Guys, I’m so excited. I’m going on holiday in a couple of weeks!
‘Again?’ I hear you cry. Yup! Can’t keep me away from a plane for long. The difference is, this time I have absolutely no idea where I’m going.
Usually I’m pretty militant when it comes to travel planning. I like to take my time researching the best places to go, the cheapest ways to get there and the yummiest things to eat and drink. For me it’s part of the magic of going away and I luxuriate in it almost as much as the act of travelling itself.
But I recently heard about a new company called Surprise Trips (part of the Expedia group) whose entire goal is to keep you in the dark right up until the last minute. And I mean the last minute. You give them a budget, a date of outbound travel and the amount of time you want to stay away, and they book you a trip… But they don’t tell you where you’re going.
So all I know is that on the 6th May, I’ll be heading to somewhere in Europe for a 3 night break with my mum. The last time she went away was to Sydney for my 30th birthday last October so she’s pretty much chomping at the bit to get away for a girly weekend!
There are 77 destinations to choose from (or not, as the case may be!), and you get to ‘blacklist’ 3 of them. So if you’ve been to a lot of European cities before, you can veto those ones so you don’t end up going back there again.
So you have no idea where you’re going? How do you plan anything?
Dunno! I guess I could plan a 3 day itinerary for each of the 77 destinations on the list. But that seems a bit mad. I reckon I’ll download a city guide via the Spotted by Locals app once I know where I’m headed. Hopefully they have that city on there, otherwise I’ll probably pick up a Lonely Planet at the airport. I’ll also be asking you for your tips, and hopefully you can help me find some great places to see too!
When do you find out where you’re going?
Surprise Trips already sent me an email with a time to be at the airport. That’s it so far, but when I arrive at Gatwick on the morning of the 6th, they’ll send me an automated email telling me where I’m off to! I’ll then need to make a mad dash to the check in desk and through security, ready for my flight to somewhere.
The trip includes international flights and three nights accommodation. Everything else, including transfers to and from the airport, all meals, excursions and other bits and bobs will be at my own leisure when I arrive.
How do you know what to pack?
Two days before my trip, I’ll get another email from Surprise Trips giving me a rough weather forecast for the weekend. I can then work out what I’ll need to pack, whether it’s wellies and a weatherproof, or sandals and a sarong!
What I do know is that I’m only travelling with carry on luggage, so whatever I end up packing will have to fit in the aircraft cabin with me. Of course I could always pay for bags to be checked in, but where’s the fun and spontaneity in that? I’ve got my cabin bag from American Tourister all sorted in advance with the largest dimensions I’m allowed for most UK airlines’ on board allowance. Stay tuned for a post on what to pack for a trip to somewhere!
What currency are you going to travel with?
You would think that you’d be pretty safe by ordering yourself a load of Euros, considering that all of the destinations on the Surprise Trips list are within Europe. BUT you might be forgetting all those lovely countries who elected to stay out of the Euro. There are more than you might think (Sweden, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, etc) so I’m not feeling confident enough to go for Euros.
Instead I’m going to load up my ICE international currency card with GBP and use that to withdraw cash abroad with no transaction fees. I used this card for over a year whilst travelling and it’s definitely one of the best ways to get a fair rate and avoid those withdrawal fees which really stack up!
Can I follow along?
Of course! I’ll be uploading the ‘reveal’ video at the airport to my Facebook page on the morning of Friday 6th May. It’s an early start so be prepared for some scary looking ladies!
I’ll then be live blogging the best bits of the weekend via SnapChat, so make sure you’re following me @ALifeOfMore.
As I have NO idea where I’ll be heading I’ll be asking you all for your travel tips via Facebook and Twitter across the weekend. If you’ve been to the surprise destination I’ll want to hear from you!
Disclosure: I’ll be travelling as a guest with Surprise Trips. All opinions are my own (as if you’d expect anything less).