How to Surprise a Loved One with The Gift of Travel!

by Nov 6, 2018Uncategorized

Spending money on “experiences over things” is becoming more and more common, and for good reason! Studies have shown that happiness derived from experiences lasts far longer than from anything we can buy – and one of the most formative and joyful experiences is of course, travel. Read on to learn how to surprise a loved one with the gift of travel!

There are three major buckets of travel gifting.

Travel Gifts

Travel gifts are perfect for a holiday, birthday, or anniversary! Wrap up a certificate or coupon that allows the recipient a budget  for planning a trip. Make sure the certificate is as detailed as possible so that it is actually believable to your loved one. Thinking through this gift in advance will go a long way towards making it genuine. Here are some ideas:

  • Work with me to pre-plan the entire trip. We’ll gift your loved one a copy of the proposed itinerary and let him/her provide feedback before booking.
  • If your recipient loves to be involved in planning, gift her a certificate that covers Bell & Bly’s design fee. Then I can work with her directly to plan the trip of her dreams from beginning to end.
  • Go the extra mile and make whatever you’re wrapping look nice! If you’re working with Bell & Bly Travel, I’ll provide you with a cute, personalized booklet that can be wrapped. This is a great way to surprise a loved one with the gift of travel.

Surprise Destinations

This is one of my favorite categories, and is often used for honeymoons. The recipient knows he or she is going on a trip, but doesn’t know to where! For example, plan an anniversary trip for your husband to Paris without telling him the destination, guide him on what types of clothes to pack, and give him a wrapped Paris guidebook after arriving to the airport.

If you’ve planned an epic Safari for your honeymoon – consider not telling your fiancé anything! Guide her to pack for warm weather but also pack a jacket to throw her off the scent. At check in, do all the paperwork with the counter yourself and don’t let her see the final destination ticket. You’ll be able to keep her guessing until you get on your final flight.

Surprise travel also works for family trips – imagine all the fun elements you can add in when surprising kiddos with a destination. We can work together to create a scavenger hunt or a clue game that will keep them guessing for days!

Having a travel advisor makes the surprise element easier. Planning a trip on your own without any feedback can be lonely and difficult, but working with a trusted advisor makes the process fun.

Surprise Events

Surprise events take place when the recipient knows he or she is going on a trip, but doesn’t know that other friends and loved ones will be there to surprise him on arrival! The destination can either be known or a surprise, but either way you will need an accomplice in on the secret to make it happen.

Earlier this year I surprised my dad with a trip for his 70th birthday. At Christmas, my mom (my accomplice!) gave Dad a snorkel and told him she booked them a trip to Mexico as his gift. I then worked with about 15 family members to plan and book their trips for the surprise. My parents arrived first and checked in, while the rest of us came later that evening. My dad was SHOCKED when the rest of us arrived and it was one of the most rewarding trips I have ever planned!


Working with a travel advisor who is experienced in (and LOVES) surprises makes the planning process more enjoyable, more creative, and much easier on you (could save you 20-40 hours of planning time). Of course all the normal benefits of working with an advisor apply – like getting VIP treatment at partner hotels, security that someone can help if anything goes wrong, and true expertise and partnerships in your destination.

As the holiday season gets nearer, consider how to surprise a loved one with the gift of travel and contact Bell & Bly Travel if you need help!


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