FUN AND EASY WEEKEND TRIPS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I just heard about a fun and easy new way to take a 3-day weekend trip. I don’t travel very often for one simple reason – I hate the planning process. Too many choices! So much research! Too many logistics and details!

A company called “Pack Up & Go”  (https://www.phillymagicgardens.org) has solved this problem for everyone. Not only do they do all the planning for you, but they add an exciting element of surprise to the enterprise.

My son, David, and his fiancé, Katie, recently used this service and had a wonderful experience. Here’s how this service works. You give the basic parameters for the trip, like budget and how far you are willing to travel. Also where you have been recently so they don’t send you there again. Then you decide if you primarily want action, relaxation or culture on your weekend.

The main part of the Pack Up & Go questionnaire narrows down your interests and preferences, for food, entertainment and activities. For example, do you prefer fine dining or hole in the wall restaurants? Vineyards or breweries, or neither? Do you like to go to museums and galleries, historical sites, parks and nature, all of the above? Do you like to shop? Flea market or thrift shop?

You also have to list your favorite forms of entertainment, like live music, dancing and clubs, theater, movies, comedy clubs, etc.

David and Katie decided to embrace the surprise element of the service, so they didn’t open their package of trip information until the day of the trip. In case you choose to be surprised on the day of your trip, the service gives you packing tips in advance to prepare you for the weather where you’re going and for any activities that need clothing or equipment, like swimming, hiking or tennis.

David and Katie live in northern Connecticut. When they finally opened their travel package they discovered that they were being sent on a four-hour drive to Philadelphia. The hotel they were sent to was fabulous and they loved the surrounding area. They were also pleased to find that their package didn’t just include suggestions about things to do or places to eat, which was what they expected. It turns out that all the decisions are made for you so you just have to relax and follow your itinerary. The package contained dinner reservations and tickets for one show each night!

The first night they were sent to a theater production of “Noises Off”, a slapstick comedy which they loved. David said it was laugh out loud funny. The next night they went to a comedy club with top-notch performers. And David is an aficionado of Comedy Central, so he knows good comedy. These were too excellent choices for David and Katie.

The restaurant choices were just as spot on. One of the restaurants they were sent to is owned by an Iron Chef from the Food Network, Jose Garce. Iron Chef is one of David and Katie’s favorite shows, so they knew about Garce and were thrilled to be going to his restaurant. It was a fantastic meal and they might never have found the restaurant on their own.

For the afternoons, the package included suggestions for lunches and for activities in the area. David and Katie ended up going to an amazing, unusual and unique ‘museum’. It is an indoor and outdoor space encompassing several rooms and courtyards. They are all covered, from ceiling to floor, in mosaic art, sculptures and other design elements, like bicycle wheels and colored bottles. As you walk through the spaces, you are literally surrounded by the art.

This magical place is called “Philadelphia’s Magic Garden”.  https://www.phillymagicgardens.org.  It took the artist fourteen years to complete it! I wish I had seen it in person, but David’s photos are phenomenal (so are the ones on the website). The You Tube videos on the website are also worth watching. They allow you to immerse yourself in the rooms and get the experience of what it feels like to be there in person.

We were all amazed at how appropriate and high quality the Pack Up & Go picks were. The package was really tailored to David and Katie and to their interests. I was very impressed.

I’ve never written a blog singing the praises of a particular product or company. But this seems like something that many readers could use and enjoy. So check out the website and treat yourself to a work free, stress free weekend away from home! Go for it!

2 thoughts on “FUN AND EASY WEEKEND TRIPS – BY ELLIN CURLEY”

  1. That’s an interesting concept.
    When we were in our travelling days we used to buy a return ticket to our starting point and the rest was up to us. It had to be in a place where they didn’t speak English and had a completely different culture. We stayed in one-two star hotels and ate with the locals. It was an adventure of a lifetime.
    Leslie

    Like

  2. Ellin, sounds interesting. Since we’re “direction challenged” maybe this would help. Also, maybe it could assist on our limited budget, health concerns (no long distance walking) and entertainment suited for folks our age and interests.

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