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Pack Up + Go, a two-year-old Pittsburgh-based travel company plans surprise vacations and waits until the last minute to reveal a traveler’s destination. (Image: Rebecca Mongrain/Seattle Refined)
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Do you LOVE or HATE the planning part of traveling? This goes out to the haters...

Heading out on vacation is full of excitement for the adventure ahead. But before you can go, there is the planning. Where do you want to go? Where do you want to stay? What will you do while on holiday? Some people love the planning portion of a trip and then there are the rest of us. This is where Pack Up + Go steps in.

Pack Up + Go, a two-year-old Pittsburgh-based travel company plans surprise vacations and waits until the last minute to reveal a traveler’s destination. Eric Johnson, Pack Up + Go’s Director of Business Development shared a bit of the company’s secret.

“We tap into a combination of spontaneity and wanderlust while encouraging people try out new spots within the U.S.”

The company started after founder & CEO, Lillian Rafson met a couple in Europe traveling on a surprise trip. When she returned home to New York, she realized there was nothing similar in the U.S. and decided to start her own surprise travel company.

Here is how a trip with Pack Up + Go works: It’s fairly simple. Start by entering your budget (anywhere from $400 a person and up) along with your travel dates. The budget is always guaranteed to cover your airfare and a hotel stay. Any additional money left over goes to trip activities but activities are not guaranteed to be covered by the initial fee. Just give the company 4 weeks to plan your trip!

Next, you take a quick survey which asks about your interests along with future and previous travel plans. At this point, Pack Up + Go takes over and begins planning your trip. Johnson said they love verbose travelers who share specific information. All trips are 3 days, 2 nights somewhere within the United States. One week before your selected departure date, an email is sent with three pieces of information - 1) a tentative weather forecast, 2) a list of recommended items to pack (i.e. swimsuit, hiking boots, etc) and 3) Where to go and when.

An envelope containing all your travel information is also mailed at this same time. Travelers are encouraged to keep the envelope sealed until it is time to head out on their trip. The envelope contains important information like airline tickets, if traveling by air along with lodging information and recommendations on how to spend your perfect three days at your destination. The information is carefully curated and designed specifically to what you told Pack Up + Go about your interests.

"What an incredible experience to travel somewhere unknown & just relax & enjoy the ride. I want all my friends to take a trip like this at least once in their lives,” said Meredith, a Pack Up & Go traveler. “It's not so much where you go that matters but your attitude & willingness to go with the flow that matters, on this trip & any trip.”

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