Tomorrow, I'll be presenting my youngest sister with her secret trip at her graduation party. Two weeks later, we'll meet up with my best pal and her sis in a top secret location.
Seeing as how this will be my third surprise vacation gift, I figured y'all might like some tips, in case you too would like to trick an unsuspecting sibling or boyfriend into a quick jaunt somewhere exotic.
- Pick a good spot! Seriously, as awesome as it is that you get to tag along on this rad little journey, it's a gift. So don't gift your cranky Uncle Elmer* with a summer of following your favorite metal band. Unless Uncle Elmer is in to that, which is cool. I like when people are surprising.
- Pick a good cover! Even more fun than picking the actual vacation spot if picking a cover spot, so you can refer to the vacation and strike fear into the hearts of your giftee. All three times I've given a surprise trip, the giftees knew they were going on a trip and they knew when - people have jobs and stuff they need to plan around, you know? Personally, I like to pick the exact opposite of what the giftee would like, so I would tell Uncle Elmer to lace up his boots, dust off that dancing lady tattoo and get ready to mosh. He knows you're joking, but it's still fun. Currently, I have my sister stocking up on flannel and moose repellent for a camping trip in Alberta.
- It's OK if you slip. For hubs' trip, I couldn't make it until his graduation to let him know where we are going. The day after I booked the plane tickets, I squealed on myself. Being a real sucker for historical side trips, he totally didn't mind and he spent the next few months researching the area, happy as a clam.
- Consider all the costs. Nothing's worse than giving someone a present wherein they have to drop $500 for a rental car. Now of course, I've never made this mistake, but I imagine it would suck.
- Craft a magical reveal of the location. Assuming you can hold off on spilling the beans, make it worth it. For tomorrow, I've got a delightful bounty of clues wrapped up and ready to lead Little Sister to our ultimate destination. She's a history major, so I tried to find weird historical facts about the place.
- Keep it fair. Growing up with two sisters, my mom always made everything fair. We wore the same dresses in different colors, and even that would get heated if she got the pur-ple and I HATE teal. We got the same Barbies. Christmas presents were counted and recounted to ensure total equality. I apply that same philosophy to surprise gifts. It's just safer that way.
*I don't have an Uncle Elmer. He's a work of fiction. Sounds cool though, right?