7 More Ways to Gift a Surprise Trip with Minimal Planning

7 More Ways to Gift a Surprise Trip with Minimal Planning

A few years ago I wrote a blog post about how to plan a surprise trip for someone. To this day it is my most popular blog post. That surprise trip post tells you how to keep your plans a secret, how to choose what kind of trip to take or send your special someone on, plus more logistics of planning such as making sure their passport is up to date. Still, I often find that people end up searching this website for even more tips on how to surprise someone with a trip. So, here are some ways to gift a surprise trip with minimal planning!

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Buy Them an Airline Gift Card


This is one of the easiest ways to surprise someone with a trip. You don’t have to plan where to go or when. Simply gift your friend/lover/parent a gift card for an airline and let them choose where they want to go. You could choose to go with them, or send them off on a solo holiday. Some airlines that offer gift card options include Air Canada, West Jet, American Airlines, Southwest and Delta. Many more airlines also offer gift cards or vouchers, you just have to look them up.

Gift Them a Train Pass

Do you live in Europe or want to gift someone a trip that involves a lot of train travel? Another way you can gift a surprise trip with minimal planning is to buy a train travel gift card or pass such as this one from Rail Europe! Train travel is better for the environment than flying plus it’s quite a bit less expensive. Whether you’re sending your loved one off on their own, or accompanying them, you can let them choose their own destination with a rail card.

Surprise Them with a Travel Tour Voucher

Tour companies such as Intrepid Travel arrange group tours in different parts of the world. One way to get your travel-loving friend an amazing surprise trip, is buy buying them a tour gift card. They could put the money you give them towards a safari in Botswana, a food tour in Japan, a sailing adventure in Greece, or so much more!

Get Them a Hotel Gift Card for a Road Trip


Road trips are often a little easier (and less expensive) to plan. You could gift them a hotel gift card and plan to take them to a nearby city that they haven’t visited them before. You don’t have to have the whole trip planned if you don’t want. If you give them a hotel gift card you could get it for a hotel chain so that they can choose where they want to go.  Then just tell them that together you can both decide when to use it based on your work schedules.

Pssst! Want more travel tips for couples? Check out the Walk Beside Me Blog here!  They have some more great tips!

Gift Them a Camping Trip

7 More Ways to Gift a Surprise Trip with Minimal Planning

If your recipient loves camping you could surprise them with a camping trip. Again, you don’t have to have the whole camp out planned already. You could simply purchase a small tent for them or some other camping gear and let them know that when you both can find a time to take a break from work, you will take them camping. This way you can let them choose where they would like to camp.

If you do know what their work schedule is like, you could tell them you’re planning a surprise for them for a certain week or weekend and tell them not to make any plans. If you’re really sneaky, you could just get more of your friends in on it and gently sabotage any plans they try to make for the week or weekend in question (cue maniacal laughter).

To surprise them on the day the trip comes up, you could get one of their siblings, roommates, or yourself to pack a bag for them filled with clothes and things they’ll need for the trip. Then show up at their house, or wherever they are, with your vehicle packed with camping gear and whisk them away on an adventure. This option will definitely include more planning and you’ll have to choose a camp site on your own, pay for it, and be prepared with all the food, firewood, and camping essentials you’ll both need while away.

Surprise Them with an Air BnB Gift Card

An AirBnB Gift Card can be used for a Staycation, or a short road trip away. It could also be used to help your loved one save up for a bigger trip that they have in mind. The thing I love about Air BnB is that you are usually supporting locals when you stay at them versus supporting massive conglomerates when you stay at hotels. I also love that Air BnB hosts tend to know the area you’ll be staying in super well, and can give you tips on what to do and see. If this sounds like a good deal, you can buy an Air BnB gift card here.

Spoil Them with the Ultimate Surprise Weekend Trip from this Amazing Company


Do you want to really surprise your friend, and maybe even yourself? Pack Up and Go is a travel company (operating only in the United States so far) that plans a surprise weekend trip for you! All your friend has to do is fill out a questionnaire about their travel preferences, budget, available travel dates, hobbies, and places you’ve been recently (so they don’t send them somewhere they’ve already been). Pack Up and Go will plan your flights, accommodation, and even send you a specially curated list of activities you can do plus places to check out based on your friend’s preferences.

A week before the surprise trip, your friend will receive an email with the weather forecast of the secret destination, a recommended packing list, and what airport to go to and when. Next, a few days before your trip your friend will receive an envelope in the mail that you’re not supposed to open until the day of the big trip. On the day of the trip, your friend (and you if you’re accompanying them) will go to the airport, open the envelope and find out the mystery destination, directions to your hotel, and a city guide!

Pack Up and Go has gift cards that you can give to your loved one! Just make sure to check out the prices on this page of the different kinds of trips they help plan. Some are for only one traveler and some are for more than one traveler and they also have a road trip option. Make sure you figure out if you want to send your loved one off on their own, or if you’ll be accompanying them so that you can choose the correct amount of money to place on their gift card.

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1 thought on “7 More Ways to Gift a Surprise Trip with Minimal Planning”

  • I never get a chance to surprise someone with a surprise trip, it always super plan and strategies to get the best out of the trip as we really get to chance to get a trip so often, anyways thanks for sharing it would be super useful next time we’re planning Thanks for sharing…

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