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View Full Version : Mystery travel - would you do it?


tdew
02-15-2012, 09:47 AM
I just read this article about having a company plan your vacation as a surprise to you. It sounds interesting, but I don't think I could do it.

http://www.smartertravel.com/blogs/today-in-travel/destination-unknown-is-mystery-travel-for-you.html?id=10442619

Would you?

jimtbay
02-15-2012, 10:01 AM
Not based on that article, does not really sell me on the program. The overall concept intrigues me but it may be more fun to pick a destination and go it on your own and figure it out when you arrive.

bodega
02-15-2012, 10:23 AM
I am too old to play this game and like control of where I am going and staying. I can see younger peopole doing this if the price is low enough just for the thrill of it.

tdew
02-15-2012, 11:56 AM
I knew one young couple who were getting married - since she had been so involved with the wedding planning, he was in charge of making all the plans for the honeymoon. All she knew ahead of time was what climate to pack for.
That worked out well and I think it would be fun - as long as the planner knew what you liked and didn't like.

TPARick
02-15-2012, 12:57 PM
I know an agent on the east coast of FL that does mystery bus tours for seniors and they love it. She has done one day and a few 3 or 4 day mystery bus tours. In addition to her regular scheduled senior bus tours.

She was thinking of doing a short mystery tour via plane, just tell the clients to bring a passport and pack some clothes. I'm not sure if she ever did it or not. I haven't talk to her in awhile.

tdew
02-15-2012, 01:14 PM
I did mystery day trips with my kids one Summer. Each Wednesday they knew we were going somewhere, but not where. That was fun, but I was on the planning side of the adventures.

Ned
02-15-2012, 01:29 PM
I am too old to play this game and like control of where I am going and staying. I can see younger peopole doing this if the price is low enough just for the thrill of it.

My feelings precisely.

deangreenhoe
02-15-2012, 03:13 PM
I once had a very feisty client we'll call "Carol." Carol spent her entire adult married life doing what husband Roger wanted to do every year for vacation, which was basically camping somewhere in the nearby Midwest in their travel trailer, at best only traveling as far as they could drive in a day. As soon as Roger retired, Carol got fed up, came into my office and flat out told me she was booking a trip by air for both of them and Roger wasn't being consulted, or even told he was going on a fly/drive/hotel vacation out west, until the day before departure. Even then, Roger would have no idea where he was going until they boarded their flight.

It scared the CRAP out of me to participate in the ruse because apparently Roger did not wish to fly anywhere and we were booking nonrefundable tickets. But Carol was insistent, was paying the tab herself, accepted the risks of a possibly uncooperative Roger so I handled the arrangements.

On that first trip Carol had to enlist the help of their two adult sons to get Roger to the airport. As Carol retold the story, the only reason he finally climbed on that plane was that he was too damned cheap to let the tickets go to waste. LOL.

Roger found out that he loved the experience, even agreed he just might want to do something like that again some day.

A few months later, Carol came back into my office to pick up cruise brochures. I told her how impressed I was at how far Roger had come in the travel planning department, but Carol said, "oh, Roger flat our refuses to take a cruise. But he's gonna!" Then she giggled in such an endearing way that here we went again, me participating in sending Roger off on another new adventure against his will, and this one was again a last minute surprise.

After that one, Roger just gave in to the madness. In fact, as far as I know, Carol never told Roger where he was going next or gave him a lick of advance notice until the luggage came out of the closet a day or two before departure. It became their "thing." And that's how Roger came to take to his grave the experience of visiting a huge chunk of the U.S.A., Hawaii, Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico, Western Europe and Australia. Obviously he knew something bigger was up when we took his passport photos and filled in the forms in my office but just grinned shyly when Carol threatened me within an inch of my life to not let it slip to Roger where he was headed next. :)

susanliber
02-15-2012, 03:18 PM
What a great story Dean!!

Once in a while I do Mystery Rides with my ladies....sometimes it is even a mystery to me. They love my mystery rides. Most of the time though they TELL me what they want to do.

Ned
02-15-2012, 03:20 PM
Wonderful tale Deano. Thanks very much for sharing it.

tdew
02-15-2012, 04:06 PM
Great story Dean. Glad to hear that Carol's plan worked out so well.

deangreenhoe
02-15-2012, 04:36 PM
Great story Dean. Glad to hear that Carol's plan worked out so well.

Thanks. Carol and Roger became two of my favorite clients (among many) from my general trade days in the storefront agency.

After the second trip (the cruise) and each and every subsequent trip, Roger would send Carol in with a fifth of Jack Daniel's for me. I never did have the heart to tell them that I couldn't stomach J.D., or any whiskey for that matter. So I just thanked them profusely and slipped the bottle into my office credenza, which explains why eventually I had a fairly embarrassingly large supply of it in there. LOL.

I always figured that Roger was slipping me a bribe in hopes I wouldn't agree to participate in booking anything too far off the beam. ;)

bodega
02-15-2012, 09:28 PM
I did mystery day trips with my kids one Summer. Each Wednesday they knew we were going somewhere, but not where. That was fun, but I was on the planning side of the adventures.
I use to put together mystery day trips for my kids, too. My oldest hates secrets and they drove him nuts, but he enjoyed them when we got to the destination.

bodega
02-15-2012, 09:36 PM
I put together a trip that wasn't what the wife expected. Hubby came into the office and asked me to book at trip to Kauai for them. I did and had the itinerary for him to take home before he left. Next day he came in and said the trip was exactly what his wife wanted but would I cancel it and book them a cruise instead. Fortunately these were friends of mine and I knew the wife would enjoy any trip, so I canceled the Hawaii trip and set them up for the cruise. She loved it! BUT, she had told everyone at work they were going to Kauai and had even set up a meeting with a fellow coworker. When my friends didn't show up, the coworker paniicked and call into work to see what had happened. Oops. Hubby had taken care of the packing, not something I would trust mine to do:p We still chuckle about it and she questions me each time they get away now.

tdew
02-16-2012, 09:50 AM
I use to put together mystery day trips for my kids, too. My oldest hates secrets and they drove him nuts, but he enjoyed them when we got to the destination.

Ours started as a result of one child who couldn't handle the anticipation. After a few unpleasant experiences, we realized that it wasn't a good idea to tell her ahead of time where we were going...

Loonbeam
02-24-2012, 02:42 PM
Back in 2005, I won a charity auction for a mystery vacation, where they would not tell us where we were going until 2 weeks before we left, only that we were not leaving the continental US.

The destination ended up being San Francisco, which we loved and where we discovered our favorite hotel there (the Argonaut) and the Kimpton brand in general, which I may have never stayed at otherwise.

If the provider was reputable, as it was in that case, I'd have no problem with it. If we didn't have such a large destination wish list I'd probably let my TA do one of these, still might one day, just give her a budget and tell her to surprise me :)

bodega
02-24-2012, 05:14 PM
Back in 2005, I won a charity auction for a mystery vacation, where they would not tell us where we were going until 2 weeks before we left, only that we were not leaving the continental US.

The destination ended up being San Francisco, which we loved and where we discovered our favorite hotel there (the Argonaut) and the Kimpton brand in general, which I may have never stayed at otherwise.

If the provider was reputable, as it was in that case, I'd have no problem with it. If we didn't have such a large destination wish list I'd probably let my TA do one of these, still might one day, just give her a budget and tell her to surprise me :)
I forgot that our local Rotary club use to put on what they called Suitcase Night. Everyone had to come prepared to depart from there on a trip as one couple was leaving at the end of the party. It was a huge success for many years. If you had kids, you had to have the babysitting set up. Pets care had to be arranged and house stuff, too, just 'in case'. I think there were clues to the destination for packing purposes, but I can't remember...and I never went to it. The agency I worked with at the time was the one that handled everything so none of us could accept the prize if we attended and won.

tdew
02-24-2012, 05:57 PM
What a bummer that would be if you weren't the winner though. I think I'd have to continue with it and go somewhere just because everything was set up.