Want to plan a surprise vacation?

I’ve got you covered! If you’ve been following along on Violet Roots last week you may have noticed that I jetted off to South Beach, Miami! It was a surprise vacation to celebrate a few milestones that A and I have gone through in the somewhat short time that we’ve known one another. Before I got to the point of packing, or overpacking rather, I spent a lot of time gathering up summer style inspiration and doing a lot of research on exactly how I could pull this thing off. It can be such a daunting task to plan an entire getaway without your partner catching on but if you follow the below tips I’m sure you’ll be off to a great start!

How to Plan a Surprise Vacation - Villa VizcayaLocation: Villa Vizcaya

Know Your Budget! Before you get dreams of Hawaii or Berlin in your head know how much cash you have to work with. This trip is a gift so you don’t have the luxury of being able to rely on anyone else to help subsidize the cost. This will dictate the duration of your surprise vacation, the location, transportation and many other factors.

Know Who You’re Planning For! This is essential. You may have always wanted to spend your time in a new city or off at a ski lodge but maybe the other person would much rather be beachside. When I was planning I knew that anywhere cold was out of the question. I also knew that because of A’s work visa I would keep my search to destinations within the United States. I didn’t want to book a dream surprise vacation to Ibiza (not like I could but a girl can dream) and then not be able to go because of his visa situation. I could probably write a whole post on the little inconveniences of his being a noncitizen but I’ll save that for later.

How to Plan a Surprise Vacation - South Beach, Miami - Hotel Catalina - Rooftop Pool

Research & Pick a Destination! Once I figured out what A would like to do on his time off I narrowed it down to a few locations. My budget requirements made things a bit easier and before I knew it everything else was falling into place. I picked a hotel that offered a lot, nabbed cheaper flights and was able to extend our trip to five days. You might also want to plan out your itinerary but I opted to wait to plan it together once he was in the know.

Book It! Don’t wait too long to book your surprise vacation. You don’t want to be running around at the last minute trying to put the pieces together. Trust me, you’ll be so nervous trying to make sure it all runs smoothly. Do yourself a favor, get organized and plan ahead. This might mean that you have to plan way in advance in order to catch the best deals. Do your research and you’ll know what works best for you.

How to Plan a Surprise Vacation

Outfit: Vintage Dress, Shoes: Steve Madden (similar), Sunnies: Urban Outfitters

Learn to Keep a Secret! This goes without saying but you can’t exactly plan a surprise vacation if you spill the beans. Keep your mouth shut at all costs. In my situation I waited until the night before our flight to let him know he might want to pack a suitcase. In other situations you might need to share a little bit of info but since we were already on vacation that week I didn’t need to. I share everything with him so it was very very hard to not tell him everything about the surprise vacation. In the long run it was well worth it to see his elated reaction at the airport.

Like Santa. . .Check Your List Twice! Make sure everything is in place! Everything. I didn’t sleep until 4am and it resulted in me passing out somewhat early on the first night. Once we settled into South Beach, ate and then spent a little too long lingering on the bed I was a goner haha.

Have any of you planned a surprise vacation? Check back here to see my Miami travel diary and don’t hesitate to share your stories too!

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