Hey. Hello. Howdy. Nice to meet you!
Whether you have been following Pack Up + Go for years (we celebrated our third birthday in February!) or just a couple of days, you might have some questions about what kind of trips are even possible with one of our surprise packages and we’re here with answers.
Pack Up + Go has sent travelers to more than 85 cities across the United States, and each destination is unique. We have sent travelers to the third largest city in the country, Chicago, to smaller spots that are more easily accessible by cars (hi, road trippers!) like Whitefish, Montana and Santa Fe, NM, and everywhere in between. You may have seen photos of our trips on our social media pages--these come directly from our travelers! These images are meant to offer an idea of the many different trips that are possible with our company, but because all of our travelers are different (as are their trip types, budgets, home cities, and travel dates), these pictures do not explicitly guarantee what your trip will look like or include.
What is included with a trip:
Airplane + Train Trips:
Each trip includes curated itineraries, which include suggestions for restaurants, hikes, entertainment, sites, museums, etc, in your surprise destination. These recommendations are built on the interests you chose to tell us about on your pre-trip survey. We include more recommendations than you might necessarily need for a 3-day, 2-night trip so that you are still able to choose your own adventure in your destination city.
The budget you choose for your trip is guaranteed to cover your travel + hotel accommodations (we book in stellar 3, 4, and 5-star spots), meaning that your selected budget may not cover additional activities. If you have extra funds left in your budget after we book travel + accommodations and take our 15% service fee, they can go toward a gift card or tickets to an attraction that aligns with your interests, like museum admission, a comedy show, or a food tour! If you are interested in having activities included in your trip, we recommend selecting a higher budget (remember that starting budget may look different for those of you flying out of smaller airports or choosing to travel on busy weekends) and including as much information about the type of activity you are interested in on your pre-trip survey. In the case that activities have been requested and there is not enough money left in the selected budget, our team can always reach out to see if you are interested in adding more money for activities.
With a road trip, we will create a bespoke road trip from your departing location to your destination city with stops along the way that are inspired by the information you tell us on the pre-trip survey. We will also provide you with many recommendations in the itinerary for your destination city as with the plane/train option. We guarantee that we will purchase your hotel or Bed and Breakfast accommodation and parking. As with the plane/train trips, if there are extra funds in your budget after we purchase the accommodations and take our 15% service fee, we will purchase you add-ons for the trip.
Specifics on Hotels:
Are you the type of traveler who only uses your hotel room to shower and sleep? That’s also helpful for us to know! All of the hotels we choose are highly rated, as we want to be sure that you can rely on clean, comfortable, and convenient lodging in your destination cities, so no matter your budget or where we send you, you will not be staying in sub-par accommodations. That said, if we know that you’re not interested in or going to use that fancy whirlpool or in-room espresso machine, we might look for a hotel that leaves a bit more in your budget for outside-the-room fun! And for those of you who are looking forward to that fluffy bathrobe and memory foam mattress, we’ve got you covered.
Please tell us that a nice hotel is important to you - we’ll do our best to put you up in style!
Want to read more about the type of hotel you might stay in on a Pack Up + Go trip? Check out our Hotel Partner Interview Series!
What Kind of Trips are Even Possible?
The most popular type of Pack Up + Go trip is our plane option. If you are hoping to go as far as possible on your surprise vacation, this is the option for you. The average travel time is 4 hours, but the trip to your surprise spot can take up to 6 hours. If you have specific time restrictions for your trip, or if you’re just not interested in being on a plane for that long, be sure to include that information on the pre-trip survey for our Travel Team. There are a couple of factors to keep in mind when thinking about your Pack Up + Go airplane trip that we detail below!
The first is the pesky reality of time zones. Most of our surprise vacations take place within the 4 major time zones in the United States - Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific. With those in mind, it is not always practical to send a traveler across the country for a 3-day, 2-night trip, as the first or last day would be lost entirely to travel.
Flight Types - Nonstop vs. Indirect:
Whenever possible, our Travel Team books direct flights for our travelers. Sometimes the only direct flights are at tough times. If you are traveling from a smaller airport and are comfortable leaving very early and returning very late to open the destination possibilities up, please include that information on your pre-trip survey! For example, if you are flying out of Omaha, Nebraska and are hoping to have California cities as a possible option, it would be important to let us know on your survey that you're able to depart early in the morning (before 7AM) and that you don't mind getting home late (midnight to 1AM), as flights at these times may be the only way to get you there. Some adventurous travelers are even open to red-eye flights (taking off after 9PM and arriving by 6AM), so tell us if that works for you! If leaving early or returning late won’t work, a nonstop option may not be available, and indirect flights might have you traveling too long.
When direct flights are not possible due to limited offerings or prohibitively expensive ticket prices (or, for our more traveled friends, because you’ve already been to all the cities you can travel from your home airport on a nonstop flight), our Team makes it a priority to reduce the number and length of layovers. Again, with the tight timeline of a 3-day, 2-night trip, we don’t want your entire trip to be spent waiting in the airport for your next flight!
For our road trip option, you do need to have your own car or will need to rent a car for the journey. Pack Up + Go does not have a car fleet for these trips nor are we able to rent cars on behalf of others. One important consideration for road trippers: how far are you willing to travel? We’ll try to get you somewhere great within 3-4 hours of your house, but if you’ve been to most of the hot spots within reach of your hometown, let us know that you’re willing to go a bit further. Some of you have a car karaoke playlist that will last you for 6 hours or more, while others want to be off the road by lunchtime--tell us what works for you!
Types of Trips We Do Not Currently Offer:
Pack Up + Go plans 3-day, 2-night surprise getaways to urban destinations across the USA. We operate as a surprise travel agency, meaning that if you have a specific destination in mind, we probably aren’t the best choice for you! We don’t want anyone to be disappointed and we are never able to guarantee a specific destination. Additionally, we do not currently offer trips that include cruises, all-inclusive resorts, or tickets to Disney World. While all of those are amazing experiences in and of themselves, they do not fall under our current offerings.
Our team is full of adventurers who love to get outside, and we are excited to see that spirit of environmentalism in our travelers.This said, we do not currently offer specific camping, fishing/hunting, beach resort, and National Park trips. True, if you’re in San Diego, we’ll tell you about our favorite waterside spots, and we’ll recommend a hike or two in the Rockies if you’re in Denver, but you’re still going to stay downtown and have an itinerary focused on the city’s attractions. Wondering why we can’t offer these things? Your trip is only three days long! Many National Parks are hours away from even the closest airports, and these airports are often small with few flight options. Similarly, many beach resorts are a long drive from airports, or require flights that involve multiple layovers. Fishing and hunting trips pose a specific type challenge, in that many states require a fishing license to participate in those activities, and we cannot obtain these for travelers (it can take more than three days to get a license, at which point you’re already back home!). If you do love the great outdoors, do let us know on your pre-trip survey, and we will recommend our favorite green spots in and around your destination city.
Too Long, Didn’t Read?
Pack Up + Go does not offer the following types trips:
Trips to Vegas/New York, NY/Los Angeles
Pack Up + Go does offer:
3-day, 2-night urban escapes