Is it your SO’s birthday? Are you celebrating an anniversary or wanting to blow your best friend away with the best Christmas gift ever? Above all else, do you and your special someone love to travel? Then perhaps it’s really time to treat them (and maybe yourself too) to a surprise trip! Here’s some surprise trip planning hacks along with how I planned a trip for my fiancé.
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My fiancé, Arturo, had his birthday on August 31. I wanted to give him a gift he would never forget. We spent the past summer in Mexico City visiting his family. While there we missed seeing the Northern Lights four times in my hometown, Kelowna, BC. This was kind of disappointing for us because neither of us have ever seen the Northern Lights before. Yes, even though I’m Canadian I have yet to see them. My hometown of Kelowna is located in South-Western Canada and the Northern Lights are not a common sight there.
For his birthday I decided that we needed to see the Northern Lights. Since we are moving to Mexico indefinitely next June we might as well make the most of this winter in Canada. I’m excited to say that in November we will be going on a road trip to Jasper and Banff, Alberta. Hopefully we will be able to see the Northern Lights, go snowshoeing and visit some hot springs. So how did I plan this trip without letting him know until his birthday? Here’s how I did it and how you can plan a trip for someone you love as well.
This was probably the hardest part. Arturo is back in school at UBC Okanagan this fall and I’m not so I wasn’t sure when the long weekends were going to be for him. I ended up finding UBCO’s academic calendar for this year online. Through this I was able to see that there would be a long weekend for Remembrance Day* (Nov 11).
There’s a few questions you need to ask yourself when planning a trip for someone else. First of all, are you going to go with them or are you going to send them away with a friend of theirs?
If you plan an international trip for someone or with someone it’s going to be a little bit trickier. You will have to do the following things and may need to tell the person a little sooner than planned about the upcoming trip so they can do the following things.
Has your friend been talking non-stop about a country they really want to visit? Maybe you and your SO met in a city that neither of you have visited in a while. Or perhaps your special someone’s favorite band is playing in a distant city. For Arturo and I it was that neither of us have seen the Northern Lights before, we missed seeing them while in Mexico, and we both really want to see them together.
There’s two times that you can reveal a surprise trip to someone. If you have planned it so that the trip starts on a birthday or anniversary you could surprise them that same day. The other option is to plan a future event and gift them something they can have to look forward to the trip on their special day. Since we were in Mexico for Arturo’s birthday and it was in August, I planned a future trip to celebrate his birthday in November.
On his actual birthday I gave him a collage of a starry and colorful night sky with cut outs of snow shoes on top. This picture got him a bit confused but I told him it was a clue. Then I gave him a card that had the outline of Alberta surrounding a message letting him know that I was taking him to Jasper and Banff to see the Northern Lights.
I hope this post has helped to answer any questions you may have about planning a surprise trip for someone else. Have you ever planned a surprise trip for someone else? Has someone ever surprised you with a trip? I want to hear about it! Let me know in the comments.
April is the founder and main author for Just Leaving Footprints. She has written for numerous blogs and publications such as Explore Magazine and Snow Pak. April loves writing about sustainable tourism, and promoting other sustainable travelers on her Facebook Group and Instagram Community, Ladies for Sustainable Travel. Currently, April is living and teaching English in Mexico City with her husband Arturo and they don’t plan on stopping their travels anytime soon.
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