Knowing how to reveal a surprise trip is always a difficult situation to be in. The stakes are high for you, because you don’t want your loved one to give you a lukewarm response to your reveal or – even worse – disappointment at their lack of excitement.
The Pressure of Organising Surprise Trips
And disappointment is the last thing you want to hear. You’ve already had to go through a lot of stress in order to plan your surprise trip.
Just the act of scheduling your trip has been a major headache. You had to find a date in both of your diaries, by checking their schedule, all without letting them know why. You might’ve felt anxiety throughout the entire booking process, hoping your friend hasn’t changed their dates.
You’ve also committed money and time into securing your train or plane tickets, your vacation digs, and itinerary, that you can’t back out now. You might’ve gone through doubts surrounding the vacation you’ve chosen, if he/she will enjoy your idea.
You’ve survived all of that and yet still the journey isn’t over. Now you have to figure out how to reveal a surprise trip so the answer you hear is a resounding yes.
A surprise trip is a gift like any other and should be treated in the same way. To help someone want to “open this gift” you want to create an experience that leads up to the reveal. Before we get to those tips, there’s one thing you need to think about first.
When Should You Reveal Your Surprise Trip?
Deciding how to reveal a surprise trip is one thing, but picking the right time is do so is another. You want to reveal close enough to the departure date that the excitement of going is palpable for both of you; but also far enough away so that if you had to postpone, you can get your money back.
Why could a surprise trip be postponed? Well, plans could change for the recipient of your trip. Perhaps they forgot to add things to their schedule/diary. Perhaps they were invited to something only just recently and forgot to mention it.
You want to time your reveal to also give your friend enough time to prepare for the trip. Even if it’s just a weekend away, they will still want to clear their diaries and make sure they have no pending interruptions. You also need to give them time to pack and get travel insurance (unless you’re gifting that as well.)
Ways To Build Up To Your Reveal
As I mentioned before, you want to prime your friend into “open the gift” of your trip, so that when you do the reveal, joy and enthusiasm is the response you get. Here are some ways you can lead into that moment.
Knowing how to reveal a surprise trip well is all about sly games and teasing. If you’re going to a particular location, consider dressing up in clothing items related to the destination. For example, if you’re planning a hiking weekend, wear your hiking gear before meeting your friend. Got a beach setting in mind? Put on your flip flips and shades. Going to Disneyland? Get those Mickey Mouse ears on.
This reveal idea is something that can take place over a few days. If you live with your friend or loved one, you can leave little clues about your trip throughout your house, e.g., destination photos in the bathroom, semblance of a packed bag, photocopies of tickets somewhere. If you don’t live with friends, you can message them with clues or send them sounds and music from the destination you’ve planned; or slip something into their bag.
Cook a meal
Invite your friend to a dinner featuring some of the local cuisine you will be encountering. If you’re not great at cooking, then consider going to a restaurant that specialises in these dishes. You can tell them about your upcoming trip after you’ve both ordered your meal.
Hand them a travel guide
Deciding how to reveal a surprise trip can be as simple as presenting the destination upfront. Find a travel guide for your future trip and fill it with highlighted pages and folded-down corners, before handing it over. Use the guide as a casual talking point before going in with the reveal.
Get them a travel gift
We’re talking something small and affordable here, for example, a neck cushion, a daypack, or clothing items suitable for your vacation.
After you’ve primed your loved one using one of these techniques, casually present your tickets in an envelope by using a line such as like, “Oh, the mailman passed me this urgent letter for you,” or “I got concert tickets for us,” or “is this letter yours?”
Deciding how to reveal a surprise trip is all about subterfuge. Try and relax and have fun with it. I wish you luck with whatever happens.