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Viewing entries tagged
California

Hotel Partner Interview: Omni San Francisco

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Hotel Partner Interview: Omni San Francisco

Head back in time as you step into this 1926 stone building, a former bank, and immediately feel transported to another era. This Financial District property features plenty of historical flare with chandeliers, high ceilings, marble staircases, tall windows, and mahogany paneling. Being in the heart of downtown make this a favorite for business or leisure travelers!

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Hotel Partner Interview: Harbor View Inn

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Hotel Partner Interview: Harbor View Inn

Whether you are hoping for a romantic retreat, a memorable family vacation or a destination wedding or honeymoon, the Harbor View Inn can accommodate. This ocean view property is located by the historic Stearns Wharf + famed beaches and perfect for anyone who wants to feel the tropical escape without leaving the USA.

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

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Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a 2-hour drive from San Diego + is the largest state park in California!   The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza + the Spanish word  borrego , or bighorn sheep.   500 miles of dirt roads, wilderness areas + many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to explore the wonders of the California Desert!   Travelers are given the opportunity to see wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas, as well as golden eagles, foxes + roadrunners!   This is one natural spectacle not to miss on your next West Coast adventure! 

The Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is a 2-hour drive from San Diego + is the largest state park in California! 

The park is named for Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza + the Spanish word borrego, or bighorn sheep. 

500 miles of dirt roads, wilderness areas + many miles of hiking trails provide visitors with an unparalleled opportunity to explore the wonders of the California Desert! 

Travelers are given the opportunity to see wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas, as well as golden eagles, foxes + roadrunners! 

This is one natural spectacle not to miss on your next West Coast adventure! 

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Testimonial Tuesday: Lindsey, Karen, Libby + Jennifer

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Testimonial Tuesday: Lindsey, Karen, Libby + Jennifer

Q: Why did you sign up for your trip? What were you looking to get out of it?

A: A friend of mine posted on facebook about her trip and it looked like fun. So I visited with the ladies in the family + decided we needed to do this.

Q: Did you have hesitations about taking a surprise trip? Were you nervous?

A: No. I was not nervous one bit.

Q: Where did you guess you were going to travel? Were you surprised by the destination?

A: We thought we were going to east coast. Yes, because we never thought of California!

Q: Upon discovery of your destination, what were some perceptions about your city prior to the trip?

A: We were excited to experience the downtown life, visit the beaches, and eat seafood!!  

Q: What made the trip feel unique and tailored to you?

A: We had massages scheduled for us since we were wanting a relaxing weekend. Suggestions were right up our alley. Fit us great!

Q: What did you like most about your travel accommodations?

A: Since we live in a remote area we said we would drive to another city for an airport. We left early in morning and had a nice layover for breakfast and arrived in San Diego early in the afternoon so we could start exploring.

Q: What was your favorite experience that we recommended for you?

A: Oyster bar + massages.

Q: If you could do the trip over again what would you do differently?

A: Nothing!

Q: What did you discover on your own (not on your itinerary) in your destination that you feel is shareworthy?

A: We loved hanging out downtown at little pubs/bars. We stick to the recommendations minus one restaurant

Q: What was your favorite part of your trip?

A: All of it. But the surprise of finding out tops it.

Q: How would you describe Pack Up + Go and your experience to Family + Friends?

A: A MUST-DO!!! I recommend you guys all the time! I can’t wait to do this again!

Q: What did you learn on your trip, or from your trip?

A: Culture.

Q: What would you say to someone who is hesitant to go on a surprise getaway?

A: Don’t be. They tell you how to pack with the hints. Try it. If you decide you don’t like the unknown at least you can say is you tried. This is great for those who always want to travel but don’t know where to go or what to see and do.

Want to get away with your friends to a new place full of culture + fun?!

Sign up with Pack Up + Go and let us do the planning so you can spend more time enjoying the adventure!

Sign Up today: http://bit.ly/FriendsInTheSun

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San Diego is a coastal dream for surfers, beach bums, + sunbathers with more than 70 miles of glistening beaches. 

Here are some of the photogenic shots that Jasmine + Richard captured on their seaside adventure to this Southern Californian beach haven!

Getaway to your own weekend by the wharf: http://bit.ly/LifesABeach17

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Testimonial Tuesday: Charles + Stacy

Q: Why did you sign up for your trip? What were you looking to get out of it?

A: Something spontaneous to a destination on the beach.

Q: Did you have hesitations about taking a surprise trip? Were you nervous?

A: Just a bit. Not wanting to go to a city that we have explored before.

Q: Where did you guess you were going to travel? Were you surprised by the destination?

A: Yes, we checked the weather to various places you had sent others on the website.  

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Q: Upon discovery of your destination, what were some perceptions about your city prior to the trip?

A: We had been there before, so we tried to do new things that we did do and eat at new restaurants.  

Q: What made the trip feel unique and tailored to you?

A: We had room service waiting on us. There was a sailing package arranges and uber service as well. Things we would not have done by ourselves and enjoyed it.

Q: What did you like most about your travel accommodations?

A: Ease of it all.  We had some plane delays due to weather, and we didn’t make a call.  Pack up & Go took care of the rescheduling and kept up well informed.

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Q: What was your favorite experience that we recommended for you?

A: Sailing and the restaurants.

Q: If you could do the trip over again what would you do differently?

A: Not looking for the destination.

Q: What did you discover on your own (not on your itinerary) in your destination that you feel is shareworthy?

A: We enjoyed the ease of getting to the locations. Some were 20 miles away and uber was willing to take us.

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Q: What was your favorite part of your trip?

A: Sailing.

Q: What did you learn on your trip, or from your trip?

A: We enjoyed the spontaneity.  

Q: How would you describe Pack Up + Go and your experience to your friends and family?

A: Loved it, easy!

Q: What would you say to someone who is hesitant to go on a surprise getaway

A: Go and take a chance.  It is just three days, but you can do a lot in three days if you want.

Sail away on your next adventure: http://bit.ly/TTSanDiego17

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The Great PNW Road Trip

Guest blogger Corinne Hogge takes us into the details of her recent trip to California, Oregon, + Washington

The Great American Road Trip has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, life happens and plans fall through, but that does not mean that I do not seize the opportunity to take trips whenever possible. Already in 2017, I have managed to travel from my home base of Pittsburgh to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Cape May (NJ), Lorton (VA), Atlanta, London (England), Brussels (Belgium), multiple camping trips around Western Pennsylvania, and most recently the Pacific Northwest.

What began as a simple trip with my boyfriend, Nick, my best friend, Deven, and myself to Seattle evolved into a 16+ hour trip – starting from the Sacramento airport all the way to the Seattle train station. The California landscape that met us was dry and barren – far from the lush scenery from my “California Dreamin”. We drove through the desert for the first several hours of our trip until we stumbled upon Clear Lake. A remote town, frozen in time with retro signage and unassuming docks along the highway. It was an oasis for us tired travelers and reminded us of the joy of surprise and why we choose to travel in the first place.

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Our first stop on the journey was Burlington Campground in Humboldt Redwoods State Park – about 5 hours from Sacramento. We ventured here because I was determined to see the Redwood trees first hand and Humboldt is home to some of the oldest + largest trees in the region. As a 6’1” woman traveling with a 6’2” man and a 5’10” woman, it is not often that we get to feel small, but heck does a 300’ tree make a girl feel insignificant. Our favorite fact that we learned in this park was the phenomenon of “fairy circles”. When a “giant” starts to die, it creates a circle of smaller trees around it that spring up from its roots and use the energy from the passing tree to grow strong. Eventually, these smaller trees will grow to be giants in their own right. The renewal of energy and the witnessing the circle of life is one of the wonders of travel.

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The second stop was Mill Creek Campground in Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, 4 hours north of Humboldt. The journey to the campsite brought us passed black sand beaches with massive, jagged boulders protruding from the ocean floor to remind us of the passage of time and the flexibility of nature. Our campsite itself was unlike one I had ever seen – up a flight of stairs. It felt like our own little tree house, hidden away from the road by ferns and Sequoias.

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The third day took us into our second state of the road trip – Oregon. We traveled North passed ranches, mountains, and small towns unbothered by the busy nature of modern life. Our destination was the majestic and breathtaking Crater Lake – a crystal blue lake formed by melting glaciers after the devastation of a volcanic eruption some 7,000 years ago, yet another example of nature’s forgiving evolution. It took us two hours by car to traverse the cliffs of Crater Lake and see the freshwater waterfalls that outline the road.

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From there we traveled against the traffic of the Solar Eclipse 4 hours to Portland to return our rental car. We got in with 2 minutes to spare, thank you very much. Here we were met by our friend, Donovan, who flew out to spend the remaining city days of our trip with us. Our one day in Portland gave us the opportunity to check out its downtown area, food trucks galore, and biggest bookstore I have ever seen, Powell’s City of Books. We spent our evening at the DIY bar – a place that combines crafts + cocktails. For a flat fee, you are given the tools and access to a myriad of paints and dyes to bring your creation to life.

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We then took the Amtrak train from Portland to Seattle. I am often disappointed by the lack of a high-speed railway system through America, so it was a welcome opportunity to take a relaxing ride through the countryside of Oregon + Washington. We gave ourselves 3 days in Seattle to really take in the sites and decide whether it should be a contender on the list of “great cities we move to next”. We were lucky to have our friend, Andy, who lives in the city, be our tour guide for our time there!

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Our first day we enjoyed a Savor Seattle food tour of the Public Market. This was a worthwhile excursion that allowed us to try some of the most famous stops – like Beecher’s Handmade Cheese + Pike Place Chowder – in the market without having to wait in line (I HATE waiting in line). The public market is home to one of the more odd sites we came across on our trip: the gum wall. An alley in the market entirely covered in bubblegum. We learned that the Market community regularly removes the gum and that it always ends up growing again. We ended the evening exploring the many restaurant and bar options of the hip Ballard neighborhood north of the city.

Our second day we allowed ourselves to have a full tourist day, going from the Chihuly Glass Museum to the Space Needle to the Museum of Pop Culture (AKA MoPop). I enjoyed all three, but was notably exhausted afterward and remembered how much being a tourist takes out of you! On our last day, we stopped by the Fremont neighborhood for Brunch at a French-Korean fusion restaurant called Revel and we stomped our full bellies around to see the Fremont Troll, Statue of Lenin and ended our afternoon with a trip through the Theo Chocolate Factory. Seattle is without a doubt the hippest city I have every been too with so many amazing food options that I wonder if you could ever hit them all – I cannot wait to return!

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I walked away from this trip with a resounding renewal of love for traveling, an immense appreciation of the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and a fascinating new obsession with donuts. I highly recommend the Great PNW Roadtrip to anyone that wants the thrill of a road trip but only has a short time to take it!

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Pack Up + Went

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“The point is to quite literally pack up + go, to be present in the moment, and enjoy new experiences without much thought. That’s exactly what this weekend did for us. My soul is completely refreshed!”


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Check out these beautiful pictures from a recent, refreshing, San Francisco sisters’ trip!

Plan your next surprise trip today: http://bit.ly/2xGaRrm

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Testimonial Tuesday: Trish + Daniel

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Q: Why did you sign up for your trip? What were you looking to get out of it?

A: I didn’t want us to go to the same old place doing exactly the same things we always do.

Q: Did you have hesitations about taking a surprise trip? Were you nervous?

A:   My husband was nervous and concerned, he was worried about using a company he didn’t know anything about and was nervous we would be staying in less than desirable accommodation.

Q: Where did you guess you were going to travel? Were you surprised by the destination?

A: We weren’t completely surprised it was one of the locations we had guessed it might be.

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Q: What made the trip feel unique and tailored to you?

A: The amazing accommodation was definitely tailored to our personal likes. And the attractions available to us were completely suited to our interests.

Q: What did you like most about your travel accommodations?

A: We loved the elegance of the hotel and its history.

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Q: Upon discovery of your destination, what were some perceptions about your city prior to the trip?

A:   We were simply excited to explore somewhere new.

Q: What did you discover on your own (not on your itinerary) in your destination that you feel is shareworthy?

A: We loved the old town trolley service but didn’t see it on our itinerary. We used the old town trolley service to and from the hotel.

Q: What was your favorite part of your trip?

A: That Pack up & go is the best way to get out of town.

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Q: What did you learn on your trip, or from your trip?

A: It was fabulous! It was so easy, so much fun, and takes all the hassle of planning a quick trip away. Definitely, the way to go.

Q: How would you describe Pack Up + Go and your experience to your friends and family?

A: Just do it! It is so well put together from the travel to the accommodation to the sightseeing options. You won’t be sorry, you’ll love it.

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Q: What would you say to someone who is hesitant to go on a surprise getaway

A: Just do it! You will not regret it!

So much to see, so little time, sign up today: http://bit.ly/2xUVuMM

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Testimonial Tuesday: Amanda + Scott

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Q: Why did you sign up for your trip? What were you looking to get out of it?

A: I randomly saw an ad for it scrolling through Facebook and loved the idea. I couldn’t stop thinking about the concept over the next few days so I got on and booked a trip…we had been wanting to go somewhere but never got around to actually choosing when and where.

Q: Did you have any hesitations about taking a surprise trip? Were you nervous?

A: No hesitations here…my boyfriend probably thought I was crazy because I talked about it 24/7 leading up to it but as it got closer I think we were nervous and excited all at the same time!

Q: Where did you guess you were going to travel? Were you surprised by the destination?

A: I totally thought we were going somewhere in the Northeast and Savannah GA also kept popping in my head…I was completely shocked to go to San Diego because I had a trip to CA planned for the end of that month.

Q: Upon discovery of your destination, what were some of your perceptions about the city prior to your trip?

A: We were both really excited when we found out the location. Neither one of us has ever been there prior to this trip and we were excited to get out of the Midwest and to see a beach!

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Q: What made the trip feel unique and tailored to you?

A: Everything!! I mentioned in the survey that it would be cool for us to go to a harbor town, and that we loved trying new and different foods and drinks….I also mentioned that my boyfriend had a huge sweet tooth and there was the cutest cupcake shop right across from our hotel.

Q: What did you like most about your travel accommodations?

A: I loved that we had an early flight out and late flight home because it gave us the most time possible to explore. Our hotel was AMAZING!!! Hotel Z…it is just the cutest little boutique; they have a free shuttle service, give you robes and slippers and the beds are SO comfortable!!

Q: What was your favorite experience that we recommended for you?

A: Coronado Island is where we had the most fun I think…we ended up spending an entire day there. We took the ferry over after lunch and stayed until late evening walking the beach, stopping in little shops, getting ice cream and visiting the Hotel Del Coronado which I think everyone should experience! There is so much history there, we ordered two books about the place off Amazon because we were so intrigued! :)

Q: What did you discover on your own (not on your itinerary) in your destination that you feel is share-worthy?

A: We spent a lot of time walking through Seaport Village which was really fun to both of us. It goes through the harbor which we loved the vibe, we got souvenirs in the shops, did a wine tasting and had lunch nearby.

Q: What was your favorite part of your trip?

A: All of it!! The hotel was amazing and in a great location, Coronado Island was at the top too but we both truly loved it all. We did a Harbor Tour on the last day and that was really interesting too!

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Q: If you could do the trip over again, what would you do differently?

A: Probably nothing! We waited to open the envelope until we got to the airport which I was set on!! The only downfall is that we wish we had more time there!

Q: What did you learn on your trip, or from your trip?

A: That I actually enjoyed not having to plan any of it!! I like to be in control and have details figured out so it was a nice change. Aside from that, we learned a lot about the city while we were there.

Q: How would you describe Pack Up + Go and your experience to your friends and family?

A: So. Much. Fun. It was the first trip my boyfriend and I took together in over 3 years so it was really exciting for us, it took the pressure off of us having to agree on a place to go and we got to have a good time together without having to hammer out all the details of it!

Q: What would you say to someone who is hesitant to go on a surprise getaway?

A: Just Do it!!! And when you get home plan to do it again!! They definitely know what they are doing and really make the experience personalized!

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Looking for your next seaside adventure? Look no further than Pack Up + Go: http://bit.ly/2f81lD0

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Testimonial Tuesday: Justine + Nathaniel

Q: Why did you sign up for your trip? What were you looking to get out of it?

A: A surprise trip with my boyfriend before I started Veterinary School.

Q: Did you have any hesitations about taking a surprise trip? Were you nervous?

A: I was extremely nervous but excited. It was an adrenaline rush. Also very romantic.

Q: Where did you guess you were going to travel? Were you surprised by the destination?

A: Based on the weather information, we guessed somewhere on the west coast… So we were right!

Q: Upon discovery of your destination, what were some of your perceptions about the city prior to your trip?

A: I was pumped! I had heard so much about San Fran.

Q: What made the trip feel unique and tailored to you?

A: All the specific food recommendations and list of places to go. We were also staying in a really cool part of the city.

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Q: What did you like most about your travel accommodations?

A: The hotel was very nice. I loved the location and everything.

Q: What was your favorite experience that we recommended for you?

A: We loved the Science museum in Golden Gate Park. That was amazing.

Q: What did you discover on your own (not on your itinerary) in your destination that you feel is share-worthy?

A: Dolores Park was a really fun time. It was there that we met some local people that told us where to go out at night. That was a blast.

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Q: What was your favorite part of your trip?

A: My favorite part was the surprise! But other than that, I loved hiking by the Golden Gate bridge and seeing the sites.

Q: If you could do the trip over again, what would you do differently?

A: Nothing! I had the best trip ever.

Q: What did you learn on your trip, or from your trip?

A: I learned that I love to not plan trips. I wish I could be surprised on every trip!

Q: How would you describe Pack Up + Go and your experience to your friends and family?

A: It was an incredible trip. It was planned well and it was stress-free.

Q: What would you say to someone who is hesitant to go on a surprise getaway?

A: What’s the worse that could happen?

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Wanna get away without all the stress and mess? Pack Up + Go will plan your whole trip for you! Sign Up: http://bit.ly/2ypcZls

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Testimonial Tuesday: Cole Egger

Q: Why did you sign up for your trip? What were you looking to get out of it?

A: This was a birthday present to myself, and it sounded like a lot of fun. Plus, I’ve been meaning to be more adventurous, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. I was looking to have a great experience, and I did for sure!

Q: Did you have any hesitations about taking a surprise trip? Were you nervous?

A: I was nervous because I’m pretty paranoid in general. I wasn’t sure if my plane tickets would get to me, or even be usable. I wasn’t sure if my hotel reservation would be waiting for me when I got there. I wasn’t sure this was a real company, since you always hear about the scams on the internet.

Q: Where did you guess you were going to travel? Were you surprised by the destination?

A: I really had no idea where I was going, but it was a very pleasant surprise, since I had never even been to California before!

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Q: Upon discovery of your destination, what were some of your perceptions about the city prior to your trip?

A: If I’m being honest, the first thing that came to mind when thinking of San Francisco was the ever-present LGBT community (no offense meant). But it also brought to mind the ocean, beaches, and sunglasses.

Q: What made the trip feel unique and tailored to you?

A: It was unique because I didn’t have to worry about getting there or my hotel reservations. That was a completely new experience. It felt tailored to me because there was a lot of walking around the city to experience natural locations (parks, community gardens, etc.).

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Q: What did you like most about your travel accommodations?

A: The staff of the Grand Hyatt were INCREDIBLE. The bed was enormous, and I had it all to myself! Being in a family of eight, I was never alone, so having the bed to myself - no, having the ROOM to myself - was absolutely phenomenal. It was also a higher-quality hotel than I’m used to because we couldn’t afford something like this growing up.

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Q: What was your favorite experience that we recommended for you?

A: The Golden Gate Bridge. I wasn’t able to get to everything (I would’ve liked to get to Alcatraz), but the Golden Gate Bridge was by far the best part.

Q: What did you discover on your own (not on your itinerary) in your destination that you feel is share-worthy?

A: Honestly, I was too busy trying to hit points in the itinerary to do much personal exploration. I would recommend using Uber, though!

Q: What was your favorite part of your trip?

A: One of my favorite parts was simply the fact that if I ever had a question, Lillian answered IN A FLASH. It really put my mind at ease. My favorite part of being in San Francisco had to be the Golden Gate Bridge. Walking across was pretty surreal, and being able to look out across the bay at everything (Alcatraz, the city basically wrapping around the water, exclusive clubs/wharfs, etc.) was breathtaking.

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Q: If you could do the trip over again, what would you do differently?

A: I didn’t wear the right shoes while exploring the city. I had comfortable shoes with me, and the shoes I wore were OK, but I went more for style instead of comfort. I would also walk around the actual city a little less and just get to the sights I want to explore.

Q: What did you learn on your trip, or from your trip?

A: A weekend - even a long weekend - isn’t enough time to explore a city like this, but it’s enough time to have a life-changing experience.

Q: How would you describe Pack Up + Go and your experience to your friends and family?

A: I haven’t stopped raving about Pack Up + Go since the moment I got back. I e-mailed everyone at work and made my family sit through my picture presentation. Everyone seems to like the idea. Hopefully, some of them will explore this option. I know I will keep coming back!

Q: What would you say to someone who is hesitant to go on a surprise getaway?

A: I was hesitant, too. Is it a scam? Will my plane tickets work? Will my hotel reservation be waiting for me? What if I don’t like the destination? IT’S TOTALLY WORTH IT! There will always be things to do and experience no matter where you go. And yes, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. Take the trip!

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Solo or with others, surprise traveling is always a blast, sign up now: http://bit.ly/2ypcZ4W

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