When Dena Espenscheid addressed an ad via social media offering an end of the week excursion to an unknown destination, her sister cautioned her she would get seized.
Incidentally, not exclusively was the offer legit, Espenscheid said she “had a blast.”
The West Virginia Division of Tourism organized the free trip in October to advance the state as an ideal fall destination. The main pieces of information: Show up in layered clothes and hiking boots and have a feeling of experience.
500 individuals applied; 33 were picked. They were advised to appear at a Washington, D.C., bus stop at 7 a.m. for the outing that would return them the following day.
The following pieces of information came when they saw the transport, which was named “Destination Unknown” yet had a West Virginia tag. The sides were shrouded in a photograph of red, orange and yellow fall foliage, “and we’re heading west,” Espenscheid said.
That gave them a general thought, yet at the same time, what was there to do?
Bounty. What’s more, that was the purpose of the excursion, which was available to inhabitants of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
“I had never thought, ‘Hey let’s go to West Virginia for the weekend.’ Outside of Harpers Ferry, I did not know what West Virginia had to offer,” Espenscheid said.
Mystery trips have developed into their very own industry, both for individual and group travel. In the case of going by transport, prepare or plane, these excursions change generally long, cost and goal.
Regularly, customers are given a general thought where they’re going. Others aren’t told until they land at the air terminal. A few trips are even purchased as presents for other people.
Mystery trip coordinators can help customers who make some hard memories settling on a choice, are overpowered with where they need to go or have accomplished such a great deal investigate that the fervor is gone, said Denise Chaykun Weaver, who began Magical Mystery Tours almost 10 years prior after she organized an outing for a companion spontaneously to San Francisco. Her firm presently books many excursions every year.
“There’s this magical thing about a mystery trip in that you don’t have control. You don’t know where you’re going,” she said. “Surprises are really fun.”
Numerous companies offer trips dependent on customers’ inclinations, so there’s no arm winding. Travelers won’t be sent on a skydiving trip on the off chance that they’re apprehensive about statures.
“We definitely get a lot of ‘I want a beach, I want something warm,'” she said.
Pink Bus Mystery Trips of Fargo, North Dakota, began in 2007 as a fundraising occasion for ALS research and now designs excursions for ladies. It took bunches on sold-out outings to Michigan in June and Texas in October and plans a fourteen day outing to Scandinavia next September.
Espenscheid, an open speaker from Quantico, Virginia, said the West Virginia trip was particularly alluring on the grounds that her bustling work routine is as of now mapped out and includes a dress and high heels. She as of late went to Miami for talking commitment and had another underway to Nashville.
“How nice would it be to travel on a weekend and not have to plan it?” she said.
A couple of hours into the West Virginia mystery trip, her gathering halted at Blackwater Falls for a gourmet lunch.
“Something out of a dream,” Espenscheid said.
There likewise was horseback riding and climbing to Seneca Rocks that took them about 900 feet over the valley floor.
The group appreciated dinner, poking around shops, cafes, bottling works and other nightlife in the previous coal mining and timber towns of Davis and Thomas. They watched melodic acts at a general store-turned-bistro and show setting, and went through the night at Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center.
By the following night, Espenscheid was back home – her sister didn’t need to stress any more.
“I would absolutely do it again,” Espenscheid said. “It got me out of my comfort zone. If I can sign up for another destination unknown where I’m not planning anything? It’s part of the adventure.”