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Tash's Travel Tips: Want To Plan A Surprise Vacation? Pack Up + Go & Our Seattle Staycation

I don't know if you are like me, but 2020 has thrown a lot of curve balls, but the one that has had the biggest impact on me has been being able to get out and travel.

The thing my family misses most since in our "new normal" has begun, is our ability to get out and go, explore and see the world.

Travel is a huge part of our value system as a family. We generally travel every 4-6 weeks and have made it a habit to go international once a year, so being in the house for the last 7 months had us itching to get out.

Why Do You Need A Staycation?

Because I am six-months pregnant and considered high-risk (depending on who you talk to) cross-country/international adventures aren't the most ideal, but one thing I failed to consider was a staycation. Staycations are incredible and can be ideal for times like these because they allow you to getaway and experience a vacation without traveling too far, while keeping you safe and they also boost the local economy, helping those businesses and industries that depend on tourism to survive and have taken a huge hit.

We recently had the opportunity to have a *surprise* staycation planned FOR US by Pack Up + Go and it was the perfect combination of adventure and getaway. It was so nice to have someone else plan the staycation, since I have so much going on as a busy mama of 2.5, and my only responsibility was to pack our bags and to show up.

How Does A Surprise Staycation Work?

You might be wondering, "How does a surprise staycation work anyway?"

Great question. It's really quite easy.

Step 1: Head on over to Pack Up + Go and "Book Your Adventure." You can choose from 4 different options: Plane/Train Trips, Road Trips, Outdoor Trips or Staycations.

Step 2: Get an idea of your budget. Budgets are determined by your departure date, number of nights, number of hotel rooms, and departing airport (when applicable). Describe your travel history, your interests, your travel preferences and then select your budget per person!

Step 3: Fill out a survey describing your favorite things to do as a couple, family, solo vacationer, dietary restrictions, and needs

Step 4: Watch Pack Up + Go get to work and receive an envelope in the mail one week before departure with all the details of your trip!

If you are a little nervous about being surprised and like a little more control, a staycation option might be a really great place to start because you are close enough to home and it's generally a shorter time period with minimal effort on your part.

My family had an incredible staycation and would 100% opt into doing this again. You can read a bit more about our experience below.

Our Surprise Seattle Staycation Experience with Pack Up + GO and Kimpton Palladian Hotel

We woke up last Wednesday, went about our day as normal and while Ike and the girls went through their normal routine of work and remote learning, I secretly packed our bags up to head out at the end of the day for our surprise staycation. The best part about this trip was not only was where we were going a total surprise but the fact that my family had no idea we were doing it was the icing on the cake.

I gathered my family into the living room, told them I had this surprise staycation planned and shared the envelope that we all opened together at the same time, right before we loaded up the car and departed. The girls were thrilled and we were all so excited to see where we would be staying, what we would be doing and to have a fun adventure under our belt and few days break from our daily routine.

We got to stay at the gorgeous Kimpton Palladian Hotel and when I tell you hospitality was A-1, I mean it. From the minute that we arrived until the moment we left, we were treated like celebrities. I felt seen acknowledge, valued and cared for and that goes a long way right now with all that is happening in the world. As a traveling Black family, it was so nice to be treated so kindly and to be welcomed with so much effortless joy. Thank you so much Kimpton for that rich experience.

The accommodations were stunning and the girls ran through our two-bedroom suite as though we were in Disneyland, but honestly I get it. All they have seen for the last almost year is our house, so running through another space brought such delight... and you guys the suite was absolutely gorgeous - perfect for our family of 2.5.

You can check out more pics below:

The hotel did an amazing job observing Covid 19 protocols and Pack Up + Go included a card in our envelope to make sure we observed and followed Covid 19 guidelines, making sure we stayed safe and were comfortable our entire stay, from start to finish. I felt completely safe and protected the whole time.

We spent the evening exploring the neighborhood that surrounded our hotel. Taking in the energy of a city that we fail to visit on a regular basis, but holds so much rich culture, opportunity to invest in what is happening and passion for what is happening in the world. It was so cool to walk around and be a guest of the city.

That evening we ate at Buenos Aires Grill- Argentinian Steakhouse and had the first meal out at a restaurant we have had as a family since February. It was so fun and full of great food, music, laughter and snapchat filters. The chef even sent out free dessert to us. That was really special and the girls were so excited. They did an amazing job of making dining safe for everyone in the building and the atmosphere was gorgeous!

After a fun night of rest, we woke up and headed out to our next fun activity planned by Pack Up + Go. What I loved about our location, was that it was easy to find breakfast options (since the hotel restaurants aren't currently open). We went with a Seattle favorite an followed the siren....

After breakfast, we headed off to our private and scenic Seattle boat tour with Candere Cruising. There we met Maddie who took us all around Elliot Bay and gave us some fun Seattle facts and history.

We learned so much about Gasworks Park, Bill Gates' yacht he bought ONLY to land his helicopter and so much more. Wisdom got a chance to be captain and drive the boat and Courage LOVED being so close to the water.

We closed out our day supporting local business by eating at a local food truck park and letting the girls run wild at Gasworks Park and honestly, it was just what the doctor ordered. We needed this staycation and I am so thankful to Pack Up + Go for planning such a perfect one for us.

I loved this experience so much and it will forever be a memory of our last family trip as a party of four.

Enter To Win Your Own Staycation with Pack Up + Go Travel

For a chance to win your own staycation, head over to my IG now for a chance to enter to win a fun vacation for you and someone you love through Pack Up + Go. Giveaway starts today and ends 10/15/2020 at 11:59 PST. And if you're already convinced, head over to Pack Up + G and book a fun vacation today.

and to see more of our surprise Seattle staycation, click here and to enter my giveaway with Pack Up + Go, click here

So, tell me, would you ever allow someone else to plan a vacation for you? Why or why not? Tell me in the comments.

With strength, courage and wisdom,


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