Travel has always been a source of wonder, excitement, and inspiration for many people. But after the pandemic, which disrupted and restricted travel for nearly two years, travelers are looking for something more than just a vacation. They are looking for a surprise.
Surprise travel is a concept that involves booking a trip without knowing the details beforehand, or adding elements of mystery and unpredictability to the journey. It is a way of embracing the unknown, the unexpected, and the adventurous, while also enjoying the benefits of convenience, flexibility, and personalization.
According to a recent survey by Skyscanner, a leading travel platform, 62% of travelers said they are more likely to book a surprise trip in 2024 than before the pandemic. The survey also found that 68% of travelers are interested in immersive and interactive experiences, 66% are keen on personalized and customized travel, and 64% are open to new and emerging destinations.
These trends reflect the changing preferences and expectations of travelers, who are seeking more than just a destination, but a story, a challenge, and a transformation. Here are some of the reasons why surprise travel will be the next big thing in 2024.
Mystery trips: The ultimate adventure
Mystery trips are a type of surprise travel where travelers book a package without knowing the destination or itinerary until the last minute. They can either choose a theme, such as beach, city, or nature, or leave it completely up to the travel company to decide.
Mystery trips offer travelers a sense of adventure, spontaneity, and discovery, as they embark on a journey without any preconceptions or expectations. They also reduce the stress of planning and researching, as the travel company takes care of everything, from flights and hotels to activities and meals.
Mystery trips are not a new phenomenon, but they have gained popularity and visibility in recent years, thanks to social media and word-of-mouth. Some of the leading companies that offer mystery trips are Pack Up + Go, Magical Mystery Tours, and Blind Experiences.
Immersive and interactive experiences: The ultimate challenge
Immersive and interactive experiences are another type of surprise travel where travelers participate in activities that involve solving puzzles, finding clues, and collaborating with others, while also learning about the local culture and history. These activities can range from escape rooms and scavenger hunts to role-playing games and murder mysteries.
Immersive and interactive experiences offer travelers a challenge, a thrill, and a fun way to engage with their surroundings and fellow travelers. They also stimulate creativity, curiosity, and problem-solving skills, as well as fostering social connections and teamwork.
Immersive and interactive experiences are not only popular among travelers, but also among locals, who can join in the fun and share their knowledge and stories. Some of the leading companies that offer immersive and interactive experiences are The Escape Game, Secret City Trails, and Adventure Rooms.
Personalized and customized travel: The ultimate choice
Personalized and customized travel is another type of surprise travel where travelers can tailor their trips to their preferences, interests, and needs. This can include choosing the type of accommodation, transportation, activities, and food, as well as adding special touches and surprises along the way.
Personalized and customized travel offer travelers a choice, a control, and a satisfaction, as they can design their own trips according to their budget, schedule, and style. They can also enjoy a more authentic and meaningful travel experience, as they can focus on what matters to them and avoid what doesn’t.
Personalized and customized travel are not only possible, but also easier and more affordable than ever, thanks to technology, data, and innovation. Some of the leading companies that offer personalized and customized travel are Tripadvisor, Airbnb, and Travelocity.
New and emerging destinations: The ultimate discovery
New and emerging destinations are another type of surprise travel where travelers can explore new cultures, landscapes, and wildlife, that are not yet on the mainstream tourist radar. These destinations can offer travelers a discovery, a diversity, and a beauty, as they can experience something different, unique, and inspiring.
New and emerging destinations are not only attractive, but also accessible, thanks to improved infrastructure, connectivity, and safety. They can also support local communities and economies, as well as promote sustainable and responsible tourism.
New and emerging destinations are not only abundant, but also varied, from the ancient temples of Myanmar and the tropical islands of Madagascar, to the lunar landscapes of Iceland and the wildlife reserves of Namibia.
Surprise travel is not only a trend, but also a mindset, a lifestyle, and a philosophy. It is a way of embracing the unknown, the unexpected, and the adventurous, while also enjoying the convenience, flexibility, and personalization. It is a way of reconnecting with oneself, others, and the world, and appreciating the diversity and beauty of life. It is a way of living in the moment, and making every moment count. It is a way of traveling in 2024, and beyond.