5 Surprise Travel Agency Success Stories [2024]

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Start A Surprise Travel Agency

Are you looking for a scalable side hustle idea and one that allows you some flexibility?

A surprise travel agency is a good option that will enable you to choose a friendly niche market.

Besides, a surprise travel agency lets you gain exposure and experience while it is an opportunity with unlimited income potential.

If you love sharing travel recommendations and always find the best local spots when you visit a new city, this will be ideal for you.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a surprise travel agency:

1. Whisked Away Surprise Travel ($180K/year)

Charlotte Curry McGhee, founder of Whisked Away Surprise Travel, came up with the idea while on a weekend trip in Savannah, GA. As a passionate trip planner, she realized that she could turn it into a business and provide stress-free surprise trips for clients who couldn't decide where to go. After researching and finding inspiration in a similar company, she launched Whisked Away and has seen exponential revenue growth since then.

How much they make: $180K/year
Current team size: 1


How I Turned My Passion For Travel Planning Into A Successful Business

Whisked Away Surprise Travel is a curated travel service for clients overwhelmed by the planning process, with revenue growth exponentially increasing each year since its launch in March 2017.

Charlotte started Whisked Away Surprise Travel about 7 years ago
Charlotte grew the business to $15K/month
Read by 10,051 founders

2. Pack Up + Go ($6.6M/year)

Lillian Rafson came up with the idea for Pack Up + Go during her travels in Riga, Latvia, where she met two women on a surprise vacation with a European travel agency. Realizing there was no similar service in the United States, Lillian decided to become a surprise travel agent herself. With a $50 investment in the domain, Pack Up + Go was born and has since sent over 25,000 travelers to 100+ destinations across the US.

How much they make: $6.6M/year
How much did it cost to start: $250
Current team size: 30


How I Started A $450K/Month Travel Agency That Curates Surprise Vacations

Find out how Lillian Rafson started a travel agency that plans surprise getaways around the United States and sent 25,000+ travelers to 100+ destinations nationwide since launching in 2016, with a business model that takes a 20% service fee for planning trips and earns commission on hotel reservations.

Lillian started Pack Up + Go over 8 years ago
Lillian grew the business to $550K/month
It cost Lillian $250 to start the business
Read by 7,811 founders

So... can you actually make money with a surprise travel agency?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

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3. The Vacation Hunt ($480K/year)

Roshni and Jeffs' idea for The Vacation Hunt came about after they planned a surprise vacation for a friend who loved the concept. They decided to start a business around it, offering surprise vacation packages where travelers fill out a survey and receive clues to their destination over social media. Since launching in 2017, they have been featured in news outlets like the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and rely on word-of-mouth and customer referrals to attract new clients.

How much they make: $480K/year
Current team size: 2


This Couple Makes $40K/Month Planning Surprise Vacations

The Vacation Hunt, run by Roshni and Jeff, is a surprise travel service that has gained popularity through social media sharing and word of mouth, offering unique packages that are created individually for each traveler based on their survey responses.

Roshni started The Vacation Hunt almost 7 years ago
Roshni grew the business to $40K/month
Read by 8,847 founders