5 Ways to Surprise Someone with Travel

Updated June 1, 2020.

I was watching one of my favorite shows, Home Town, on HGTV the other day, and they always include a special surprise for the homeowners. And I love that. I love to be surprised, and I love to surprise the people in my life, and it made me think about the best surprise anyone ever gave me, when Steve came to “pick me up” at the Burbank airport when we were newly engaged! He flew across the country just to surprise me, and that memory prompted me to give you some ideas about how to incorporate surprises into your travels!

Go Pick Someone Up

When my then-future husband said he’d pick me up at the airport after my trip to California to visit my girl friend out there, I never in a million years thought he meant in California! It meant so much to me, and I had the best travel buddy for the long flight back home across the country! If you have the opportunity, go “pick someone up” to bring them home with love.

I could kick myself for not getting a photo of us together on the plane, but here’s a shot from our honeymoon a few months later!

Want to do that but not sure about the cost? Get creative! Use miles, points, and look for deals!

Read on: Beginner’s Guide to Using Airline Miles for Travel
and Beginner’s Guide to Using Credit Card Points for Travel

Go Visit Someone

Sometimes the best gift is just being there in real life! If you know your best friend or a family member has a performance or special event coming up, a birthday, a surgery, a baby shower, a wedding, or a holiday, plan to show up! I went home to surprise my mom for her 50th birthday, and I’ve never seen her so surprised!

She might kill me for this, but look at that surprised face!

Bring Them to You

Can’t get away but can afford a plane ticket? Offer to bring someone to you! Show them around, spend time together, and give them the opportunity to travel! I paid for my brother’s train ticket to came to visit me in D.C. while he was working in Philadelphia, and I got to play tour guide in my adopted home town!

My brother and me with our close, personal friend, George Mason.
Not sure what to do when someone comes to visit? How to Love Your Staycation

Give the Gift of Travel

This is one of my favorite ways to surprise people—with a trip of a lifetime! I’ll go anywhere, and I do take suggestions. So when my “little” brother (who’s taller than me) turned 30 last year, I knew a Titanic-themed trip to Belfast and the UK would be special for him. So we went!

My younger brother got to live his dream of visiting the Titanic museum in Belfast, Northern Ireland!

Plan a Special Experience on Travel

A special trip can be even more memorable with a fun surprise experience! My husband recently delighted me in Zurich when I was feeling under the weather, and he took me to a cute cafe for coffee and a sweet! Another example is my dad: he comes to visit every fall, but we’ve pretty much done everything in D.C. a few times. So one weekend we took him up to Gettysburg! This was special for him because he used to do Civil War re-enacting. He got such a kick out of seeing the battlefield and finding the Tennessee monument!

Major Daddy-o calling in the troops!

Ready to make travel a pleasant surprise? Tell me in the comments section below!

Need a little help planning? Check out all my resources on the Travel Planning Page!

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6 responses to “5 Ways to Surprise Someone with Travel”

  1. A few years ago the husband flew back to England for his grandma’s 90th birthday party without telling a soul except me. (His whole family lives there.) We still have the video of his brother opening the door and the shocked look on his face. He definitely wasn’t expecting his brother to fly from middle-America for a 4-day weekend. Priceless. (The video AND the memories.) Great post.

    1. quickwhittravel Avatar

      SO PRICELESS! I love it! Travel surprises are the best surprises. Love that he was able to do that for his family!

  2. Let the record show your brother bought you ice cream at that store on the Potomac. 🙂

    1. quickwhittravel Avatar

      That’s true!

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