PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–It’s a lot of work to plan a vacation. How about letting someone else do the planning? The catch: your destination is a surprise. Rahel Solomon found a woman willing to roll the dice on a surprise weekend getaway.
We first met Alysia Lee a few years ago teaching choir to at-risk girls through her non-profit, Sister Cities Girlchoir.
“We combine the power of music with the power of girl connectedness,” Alysia explained.
We decided to pay it back, inviting Alysia to take her mom on a trip with a twist through Pack Up + Go.
“Pack Up + Go is a surprise travel agency,” said Lillian Rafson, CEO & founder. “We plan 3-day weekend trips around the United States, but your destination is a surprise until the day you depart.”
For more than a year, Pittsburgh-based Pack Up + Go has shipped adventurous travelers to surprise locations all across America.
Want to drive yourself? Pack Up + Go will book a 3-day getaway starting at $400 dollars per traveler.
Prefer to take a plane, train, or bus? Pack Up + Go will book two or more people starting at $650 a person. A solo trip starts at $1,000.
“I think it’s really exciting to have this adventure,” Alysia said.
All Alysia had to do was fill out a quick form: When you can leave? What cities have you visited recently? Check off what you like to do on vacation.
Alysia likes “going to a theatrical production, or going to a museum, or learning about a cultural tradition that’s unique to that place.”
A few days before departure, Pack Up + Go emails a weather forecast and packing tips. “The packet said definitely pack very comfortable walking shoes!” Alysia said.
Then a final envelope arrives with your surprise vacation spot. “We’re basically just trying to provide an easy, fun, stress-free vacation with that added element of spontaneity and excitement,” Lillian said.
Alysia whooped as she opened the envelope: “Charleston, South Carolina! And my mom said, ‘Oh, I’ve never been there! It would be my first choice!’”
Pack Up + Go had already booked them at the Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, paid for an Uber, and scoped out sites and restaurants Alysia and her mom would love.
“It really feels like, instead (of) ‘I’m going on vacation. I have all this work to do,’ it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m going on a trip!'” Alysia said.
Selfie stick in hand, Alysia and her mom were off on an adventure in historic Charleston.
“There were tons of options for food, for lounging,” Alysia said. “It just feels like a quaint little beach town, but it has so much history, and the cobblestone streets make you feel like you’re in a different place.
“It was the best trip. I just felt like I wasn’t going to miss out on anything that I really needed to see. They gave me a really detailed list of all the really top attractions that matched my interests,” Alysia said. “I really felt like I was able get a really incredible experience, and I didn’t have to put in any of the work. I just got to enjoy.”
Lillian of Pack Up + Go said, “We want it to be the easiest vacation you’ll ever plan.”
Looking at the pictures, would Alysia do it again?
“Absolutely!” Alysia said.
To learn more about Pack Up + Go, CLICK HERE.