COLUMN: Destination unknown driving latest travel trend

COLUMN: Destination unknown driving latest travel trend

In this week’s Everything King, Wendy wonders who’s adventurous enough to embrace these magical mystery tours

Do you have to know where you’re headed?

I heard about this travel trend where people are booking mystery destinations. Literally, these companies plan your entire vacation and keep it all a secret until you’re at the airport.

This is either the most exciting or most frightening idea ever. I can see this being a thrill for adventure seekers and those who love being spontaneous. revealed a surprising travel trend with 52 per cent of travellers keen on these surprise trips.

This year is poised to become the year of “surrender seekers.” I guess that means releasing the need to plan every detail and just live in the moment.

According to the website, these mystery vacations are all the rage. The excursions are somewhat tailored to the traveller in that you fill out a survey of preferences and select a price point.

That makes sense.

If I have a Michigan-type budget, they won’t be flying me to California.

If I report I hate the heat, they won’t ship me off to a jungle.

But what I can’t understand is how a person would pack for a surprise trip.

What footwear do I need? Flip flops, hiking boots, mukluks? Windbreaker or parka? Casual or evening gowns? Cross-body bag or fancy clutch? Suntan lotion or hand warmers?

So many questions and it all just seems like horrible stress. I’m going to require Tums.

It must be for people who can just go with the flow. You know, the folks who don’t need much prep time. Men — those are called men.

I’ve heard of people who can just take one carry-on piece of luggage. I could never be friends with those people, but I can admire them.

I’m the one who had seven suitcases coming home from England, so perhaps I should not judge others.

There were similar excursions years ago and they promoted them as “magical mystery tours.” It was a set price for a one-day excursion to an unspecified destination by bus. It was usually like a trip to a shopping mall or to an out-of-town play. Meals were included.

That seems more doable. It’s obviously not far from home, so there’s no overnight stays involved. I could do 24 hours of the unknown, but not much more.

If those creepy Lifetime movies have taught me anything it is not to go off with a bunch of strangers with no destination. Can you say hostage situation?

Just imagine that emergency call!

“Hello, 9-1-1? I think we are missing. I’m not exactly sure where I am and not clear where I’m going. Nobody in our group knows the destination, so we’re not sure if we’ve arrived. We just paid some money to some people and got on a plane and got off and here we are or aren’t. Can you track us?”

The author of The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad says it reflects a deeper shift in tourism.

Emily Thomas explains: “It’s not just the novelty — it is bringing back the essence of exploration and discovery that has been central to travel for centuries.”

The plus side of these adventures is that it might encourage travel to locations we might not otherwise consider. In that way, it is seen as helping local economies.

That’s a great idea. There are always hidden gems in every town that we rarely know about.

Is the idea of somebody else taking over all the planning so all we do is pack a bag and show up at the plane tempting? Maybe.

Maybe I might sign up. Maybe not.

That’s also a surprise!

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