Lillian Rafson was traveling through Europe when at just 23-years-old she came up with the brilliant idea to start a travel company with an element of surprise. Within just a short time, the idea behind Pack Up + Go has really taken off. While Rafson expected to plan around 50 to 100 trips a year, within just 6 months of launching her company she had already handled around 250 trips.
You simply fill out a quick questionnaire that goes through all of the things that you like, you pick a budget range, and then Pack Up + Go does the rest of the work for you. They plan your trip, reserve your plane tickets and book your hotel. They even create a pre-planned itinerary for your 3-day weekend.
The company provides a list of things to pack so that you arrive prepared. They also send you a sealed envelope that reveals your destination. You can open up the envelope as soon as it arrives in the mail, but in order to experience the full thrill and excitement Rafson recommends waiting until you get to the airport to discover your destination.
"A lot of people have said, 'I opened my envelope and wasn’t sure what to expect,' but they had a great time," says Rafson.
Most trips are 3 days and 2 nights. The company tries to pair you with a destination that’s within 4 hours of where you live, either driving or flying. That way you don’t waste half of your weekend on travel time. As of now, Pack + Go plans trips in the US only. Rafson aims to send most people to parts of the US that they might not venture to alone, like Portland, Maine or Burlington, Vermont.
Rafson explains, “We do send some customers to bigger cities like Chicago or Miami, but my favorite trips are to mid-size or small cities.” She adds, “Every city has a lot to offer. We're giving cities that people aren’t necessarily seeking out organically a chance to shine."
Road trips start at $450 per person, while trips that require a flight start at $650 per person.