We used to do these fun getaways with our students when I worked in the dance business, and I thought that this would be a fun idea to modify and share with you as a family event.
The whole idea behind this was the fun and adventure and the thrill of signing up for a trip where the destination was a surprise. We promised that it would be 5-star service, sight-seeing and lots of dancing! Our students enjoyed doing these – nobody wanted to miss out and be the ones who stayed home when everyone else went galavanting off for a good time!
It occurred to me that this idea is perfectly suited for a family! You could plan it within your budget: you could do anything from a staycation in your city, to a road trip, to a trip across the country or overseas to a resort.
Here are the keys:
- If traveling by air, plan in advance – THIS article suggests purchasing 60-days out for the best prices on airfare. (check it out for other money-saving tips, too)
- If you are going the resort route, plan to visit a resort in the off-season. They usually run specials to lure visitors during their slow time. It’s an added bonus for us living in Phoenix – the 5-star resorts run great deals over the hot summer months – many are doable with a modest budget if you are willing to visit in July or August.
- If traveling by car or train, plan around your Sweet Peas sleep schedules. If they can sleep through drive/ride time, it makes for a quieter road trip with less stops, and it keeps the destination a surprise a little bit longer. Added bonus: quiet talk time for you and your partner!
- Another tip shared in the article was to arrive in the evening – this is especially beneficial if you are traveling with Sweet Peas. Giving them a full night’s sleep before taking off for sight seeing makes for better travel anytime!
Once you plan your trip, it’s time to build the suspense! About a week to two weeks before the event (you know your Sweet Peas breaking point on suspense!), start dropping hints about the Destination Unknown. You can make a collage, make a playlist, show them the bags you are packing (if they are readers, you can write them a packing list!), read stories about activities you will be doing at your destination, if you know someone who has been there before, you can borrow souvenirs to share at mealtime…the possibilities for creative clues are endless.
When it’s go time, blindfold your Sweet Peas as you get into the car. They probably won’t keep them on until you get to your destination – the suspense is fun while it lasts, though! And then take lots of pictures, and incorporate them into a memory box with all the clues you dropped before the trip.
The Destination Unknowns we did with our students were definitely among the most memorable. I can imagine it would be even more fun with the people that you can share the memories with for years to come.