Pack Up + Go: A Surprise Travel Agency. Would you?

Ivylad and I like to take what we call Magical Mystery Tours. We get in the car, drive until we get “lost”, then look for something to look at. We’ve found a deserted nature trail, a craft fair at an RV park, and had lunch at a lovely lakeside restaurant.

This looks interesting. You give them your available dates, your interests, and your budget, and they book a surprise weekend trip for you. You don’t know where you’re going until the last minute.

We have a big trip schedule to West Yellowstone later this year, but we might give this a whirl after.

How about this? - Heineken Departure Roulette HeinekenUSA - YouTube

Would you push the button?

Absolutely no offense intended to the OP but kudos to Pack Up & Go’s social media guy. I’ve been hearing about this thing everywhere for the past week or so. Someone’s earning their check.

I’d consider it. I’d probably want to wait to hear some experiences from other people but the concept is interesting and it eliminates the “I dunno, what do you want to do?” aspect. Anyone know what sort of minimum budget they work with? The website didn’t seem forthcoming and I didn’t want to do the dog & pony show of the survey just to find out.

The smallest city I noticed in the testimonials was Grand Rapids, MI so I guess you’re not going to get anything too bizarre like the world’s largest staple puller museum in Nowhereston, Iowa.

I don’t think so. If I’m at the airport I already have plans. If they reimburse me for my missed trip/hotel/rental car I MIGHT consider it, but not at the airport.

Back in the late 70s, early 80s, my parents belonged to a travel club that offered mystery trips. I’m not certain, but I recall that they short duration. Either day trips or one overnight at most.

They’d board the jet, the pilot would take a circuitous route designed to confuse people trying to work things out by landmark, and they’d only be told where they were once they got off the plane.

There would be tours and activities planned for them, so it wasn’t a case of, “Welcome to Kalamazoo! Meet back here tomorrow. Good luck!” Meals and hotels would be arranged too.

I know they went on a couple of these, but I have no memory of where they went.

When my mom was in her 70s, she would sign up for mystery tours with bus charter companies. They would be gone for about 3 days, and had no idea what the itinerary would be. She quite looked forward too them. They would go to places like Amana and Galena and Frankenmuth and Holland and Amish country and winery tours.

My mom’s AARP chapter used to have an amazing travel chairwoman. She would plan all kinds of interesting trips - both day trips and up to a week long. Some were mysteries, and my mom loved them all.

Sadly, the new travel chair is lazy. The trips are planned by an agency and they cost more than before. Mom has quit traveling with them, but that leaves her more time to take cruises, so it worked out.

I think they provided you with everything you needed at your destination, plus something like $2000 to buy clothes, etc. Depending on the trip I was on I’d certainly give it a go. I might miss my nephew’s college graduation coming up if it meant I’d be headed to Cyprus, Portugal, Thailand, or Laos. Love you Karl, but Laos!

My husband, kids, and I used to do those ‘just go and see where you wind up’ road trips on weekends, too. We found lots of fun things like a farm that raised and sold 100 different varieties of popcorn and a taxadermy museum.

I would definitely go on a mystery trip as I have always been a spontaneous traveler. In my younger days I kept a small overnight bag with absolute necessities in the trunk of my car for any spontaneous travel opportunities that might arise.

@jtur - my mother used to work as a tour guide on those trips your mother took. She did it for the free travel. Your mother and mine must have lived fairly near to one another. My mother did tour guiding duties to all of those destinations you mentioned. Galena was her favorite.

I’d do it, sure. As long as I knew the dates and the general clothing needs.

I usually have fun anywhere I go, and maybe sometimes it’s too overwhelming to choose something when all I really want to be is “not here.” I could have just as much fun chilling next to a remote lake as I could in a high-rise hotel in the middle of a big city.

Also having travel, hotel, meal and tour plans made ahead of time seems cool too.

I’ve never traveled without any plans of destination at all, so I guess the closest I’ve come is on a whim, following the signs to the Tippecanoe Battlefield in Indiana.

I had a great time, and the scenery was beautiful along the way. Interesting museum too.

Yeah, I’d do a mystery tour thing, where I wouldn’t be told where I am until my plane landed. I think that’d be fun.

Unless it was somewhere I’d already been. Then I’d be pissed.

Are there any independent reviews available?

I can’t get to anywhere from where I live.

The survey asks about your last five vacations, plus there’s a place for additional comments. So if you REALLY don’t want to go to a certain place again you can tell them.

In theory, I would do it.
In practice, every company I’ve seen with one of these has a “catch” that I made it less than worth it for me. (e.g., American Express Travel had something like this a while ago, but required that you post everything on facebook. This one has a questionable solo supplement - and even after that, it seems like they’re not getting great prices).
I’m totally fine with “go on a mystery trip” part, though.

The cynic in me is screaming that you can’t possibly be receiving full value for what you pay to this place, because their profit has to come from somewhere, but maybe they have deals worked out with resorts or whatever. I’d have to know more before I committed to such a thing.

How is that possible? Do you live in an alternate dimension that is somehow unreachable from ours? If so, how do you manage to post to this board?

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I don’t think I’d do it. I think part of the fun of travel is the anticipation, and you miss out on that with a mystery tour.

That said, my parents and I took a roadtrip this past summer where we had motel reservations for each night (almost all of them in different places) in advance, but not a lot of planned activities, and that was pretty awesome and relaxing. If I could go back in time and tweak the journey, I know where I’d insert my extra day (or two . . .), but it was nice to not have a lot of long driving time along the way.

We’ve kinda done the same thing with geocaching. We’ll plan a cache run for an entire weekend, then take off hunting. Some of the places we have found have just been incredible and we would never have gone there otherwise.