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Are you game for a surprise holiday?

November 01, 2019 15:13 IST

All you need to do is pack your bags and reach the airport, bus terminal or train station, as the case may be, on the day of departure.
Amrita Singh reports.

Photograph: Kind courtesy sarahbernier3140/pixabay

As Krishna Rai held her first pay cheque, the 25-year-old company secretary toyed with various ways to spend her money on something meaningful.

Finally, she decided to take an all-girls' trip with her mother in the summer of 2018.

Call it fate or the devious (read clickbaity) manner in which the internet operates, Rai stumbled upon TripSurpriser while scrolling through Instagram.


The Mumbai-based travel company, which started in 2017, keeps the destination a secret as it takes on the responsibility of planning a trip for both solo and group travels.

Currently, it is the only company that offers such a travel experience.

All you need to do is pack your bags and reach the airport, bus terminal or train station, as the case may be, on the day of departure.

So Rai logged on to their website, chose her package and filled out a form.

Within a couple of days, someone from the company got in touch with her for an in-depth discussion on her likes and dislikes, previous travel experiences, expectations and so on.

The company takes a minimum of three weeks to plan a trip after which Rai and her mother were on their vacation.

You can choose from four packages: three- or five-day solo trips and three or five-day multi-traveller trips -- with Rs 15,000 as the minimum budget for a solo trip and Rs 25,000 for a group trip (this includes only travel and accommodation).

Based on the information provided by the traveller, TripSurpriser then curates a list of things to do and places to see, which can be experienced at an additional cost.

For instance, you can choose between an adventurous, romantic or cultural trip, decide your dates and time for departure and arrival, and select things that you would like (culinary delights, walking tours, live music, water sports, historical museums) in the online form.

The package with the tickets and itinerary arrives about three days before the date of travel.

TripSurpriser suggests not opening the package till the departure day to fully retain the element of surprise -- but the temptation to take a peek, says Rai, is too strong.

"When the package came home, I just had to open it. It was like opening a birthday present. I just couldn't wait to see my adventure unfold." she remembers.

TripSurpriser's surprise packages have so far found around 5,200 takers, mostly people in their 20s and 30s.

Rajasthan, Thailand and Dubai are some of the destinations it has sent travellers to.

While planning domestic travel is easier, foreign trips too are planned where there is the option of visa-on-arrival.

Diana, a 20-year-old student from Mumbai who prefers not to use a surname, was pleasantly surprised when she learned that they were going to Thailand for her sister's 25th birthday.

"We didn't expect to be flying to a foreign country within the budget we had mentioned," she says.

Similarly, the team asked Rai if she and her mother had a US visa and sent them to Dubai (Dubai gives visas on arrival to Indian passport holders who have a US B1/B2 visa).

Organising a trip this full of surprises is, as one can imagine, fraught with risks.

There is a good chance that the surprise might not go down well with the traveller.

Shrutti Rajgarhia, co-founder of TripSurpriser, is, however, not worried.

"We're a team of travel freaks and travel geeks," she says, adding that they know how to offer a "spectacular travel experience".

While Diana and her sister received a birthday cake in their hotel room without asking for one, Rai and her mother got to see the Burj Khalifa and do the desert safari -- something, she says, they wouldn't have done left to their own devices.

Amrita Singh
Source: source image