Would you play a game of travel roulette? If your answer is no, I think I can change your mind.  

If you are an individual who loves to travel, but just can’t seem to decide on a location, a surprise destination could be up your alley! 

The options are endless when committing to a surprise trip. This can include flying to the undisclosed destination, taking a road trip with nothing but hints, or maybe you just need a staycation. Simply put, you would just have to fill out a survey, choose the time of year you would like to travel, set your budget and let an experienced professional do the rest! 

Eliminate Decision Fatigue and Burnout

We live in a world where decisions bombard us every day, from choosing what to wear to picking a restaurant for dinner. With a surprise destination vacation, you can bid farewell to decision fatigue and planning burnout. Simply pack your bags and embark on a journey where every twist and turn is carefully curated to surprise and delight.

Stress-Free Travel

At times, planning a vacation can be quite stressful, especially if you are responsible for a group. Some nuances can include making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to location, activities, budgets, etc. It’s not easy! Trusting an advisor with planning a surprise trip can eliminate 100% of that pressure.  

Stick to Your Budget

When providing a set budget to a professional, they stick to it. Whereas if you are planning, you may justify additional activities that cause you to exceed your budget, possibly creating future financial stress. We don’t want that! Vacations should fill your soul, not empty your bank. Moreover, travel advisors possess exclusive privileges to a diverse range of activities, all at discounted rates, which are sure to feature on any traveler’s must-do list!

Unleash Your Inner Adventurer

A surprise destination vacation ensures that every day is a fresh opportunity to be amazed, making sure you return home with a heart full of unforgettable memories and a newfound appreciation for the beauty of life’s surprises.

POV from a Travel Advisor

One of MAST Travel Network’s members, Maureen Guy Schommer of Yonder Travel, recently planned a surprise destination for a group celebrating a 40th Birthday. We asked her a few questions to learn more about her process and execution!

Q: Did the client reach out to you requesting a surprise or did you suggest it?   

A: I was in a conversation about a 40th birthday trip with the birthday girl and as we chatted, she said that it would amazing if it could be a surprise, but she didn’t think that was feasible. I told her I could make it happen, and within about 2 weeks, we had some parameters worked out, along with her explicit desire to keep it a complete secret until the day they were leaving. 

Q: What kind of questions did you ask her to determine the location and activities? 

A: We set the following parameters (which could change for future trips): 

Per-person budget:  It was set at $1400 to include flight, airport transfers and resort stay (not-all inclusive).

Dates: The dates were set around her 40th birthday, but we had a cushion on each end to find the best flights 

Must Haves: Not all-inclusive, not touristy, tropical, must be out of the country, fun atmosphere 

Absolutely Nots: She gave me a list of places she’d been and didn’t want to return for this trip – this made it a bit harder as there were some fantastic options that she has seen and said would have been perfect, but they were in the “no” list destinations.  I think making sure that your clients understand that there is much more to a destination than the well-traveled area can help to add to destination options.  I think in the future, I’ll leave this question off the list and really concentrate on the Must Haves. 

Q: How did you decide on Honduras?  

A: Finding the perfect fit was a little difficult at first due to the list of “will not go” places, but I ended up with three great options; Costa Rica, Belize, Roatan Honduras.  From there I checked on flights and resort availability to make sure we could accommodate the group.  I wanted to make sure there was airport transport available, plenty of dining options in the area, and lots of activities for my group.  It ended up being perfect – someplace none of them had been before, so that was a huge bonus. 

Q: Did you have the client’s complete extra paperwork to agree to a surprise? 

A: No, nothing specific.  They all understood that it was a surprise, and that they would not know where they were going until the day they left.  I did give them some packing tips, information about currency and document requirements, but other than that, they didn’t even know what airline they were flying.  We built a private Facebook Event Page for the group to ask questions, and communicated through that channel which brought the excitement up as well! 

I took care of all the pre-departure immigration paperwork, which required having access to their passports, but other than that, all they knew was that they had to be ready to fly out of ORD at 7:00 am on the departure date. everything was pre-paid so all they needed was money for food/drink and play. I presented the documents in a sealed packet to the birthday girl two days before they left.  They opened the packet and discovered their destination at their hotel in Chicago the night before they flew out. “


Maureen received a very enthusiastic message from her client the night before the group departed. 

“Best Surprise destination EVER!!! Maureen Guy Schommer @ Yonder Travel Lounge, this is a vacation I could only dream of and you made it happen!! I am beyond excited for these next couple days!!  THANK YOU!!”  

Ready for the trip of a lifetime?

Even if Rome isn’t your next destination, CARPE DIEM! 

Contact a local travel advisor – they’d love to hear from you!