Mystery Trip

Mystery Trip

Join the next trip in 2025

The best adventures in life often lie in the unknown. Imagine not knowing where your travels will take you until arriving at the airport.

When you sign up for Rustic’s Mystery Trip, you’ll get a duffel bag in the mail filled with subtle hints about your team and upcoming adventure. You’ll also get a packing list about a month before you leave. That’s it.

Even when you arrive in country, mystery looms. There’s no planned itinerary. There’s no set list of to-dos. Instead, you’ll wake to clues each morning. Your group must decipher them to unravel that night and day’s adventure.

Join Rustic’s Mystery Trip. Explore iconic sites. Discover the remote villages of some of our most beloved staff members. Blaze a trail for future students by exploring new destinations.

Are you willing to take the leap?

About the Mystery Trip

Rustic Pathways pioneered the Mystery Trip in 2017. Within weeks of its release, students grabbed all the spots for this epic travel experience. These leaders understand that some of the best adventures lie in the unknown. This isn’t our typical trip. There is no itinerary—each day you’ll awake to clues and it will be up to your group to decipher them and unravel that day’s surprise travel adventure.

You’ll explore iconic sites, discover the remote villages of some of our most beloved staff members, and blaze a trail for future students by exploring destinations Rustic hasn’t yet visited. You haven’t seen personalized trips like this one.

Your experience will begin one month before your departure date. We’ll send you a Rustic Pathways duffel bag filled with subtle hints about your upcoming adventure and a list of items to pack. After that, all you need to do is show up in person at the airport ready for an adventure you’ll never forget!

Mystery Trips: A Surprise Trip Becomes Such An Amazing Experience

Students might want to take a trip without knowing where they are going for various reasons. Some want the thrill and excitement of spontaneity. Or maybe they seek new experiences and adventures?

Others might like a form of escape. Others want the challenge to step out of their comfort zone and embrace uncertainty. Some like organized mystery trips or travel programs where the destination is a surprise, adding an element of surprise and mystery to their journey.

Have you taken a road trip without knowing what road? Can you imagine embarking on a magical week without knowing where you’re going?

Mystery trips, also known as surprise trips or magical trips or mystery tours, are the latest trend in travel. It’s like a vacation hunt where you let Rustic Pathways plan every detail. We handle everything from your destination to surprise stops along the way.

How do magical mystery tours work?

Here’s how it works. You book your mystery trip with the service of a company like Rustic Pathways, and they take care of every last detail. We fill your personalized trip with fun activities and surprises, ensuring that every moment is exciting.

On the day of your trip, you arrive at the airport packed with your luggage, not knowing where in the world you’re headed. That’s part of the thrill! You’ll receive a sign or clue revealing your first stop, and from there, the surprise travel magic begins.

Whether it’s a road trip to a nearby city or booking a flight to a far-off destination, mystery trips offer a unique way to explore the rest of the world. You’ll hear stories, meet new people, and spend your days discovering hidden gems in each location.

With the complete weather forecast and other details taken care of, all you have to do is relax and enjoy the journey. It’s the perfect getaway for those who love spontaneity and want to escape the routine of everyday life.

Are you ready for the fun of a mystery trip experience? So why not pack your bags and embark on your next adventure? You never know where the mystery trip might take you. You might be founding small businesses in Korea or working at a black tomato canning plant in Italy. You may be taking a car through Argentina or telling stories in Limerick, Ireland.

Program Profile
Program Profile

Wall Street Journal: Why Even Control Freaks Are Opting for ‘Surprise Vacations’

The Wall Street Journal featured Rustic Pathways in a recent story about the growing popularity of mystery trips.

“Shanna Bober, a 17-year-old high school junior from Boca Raton, Fla., signed on for a guided mystery trip with Rustic Pathways last summer. She had to fight the urge to scour images on the company’s website for clues as to where she was headed. “It was hard,” she said, “But it was actually more rewarding. Learning everything there, in the moment, was so much cooler.”

Packing the right gear (and the right amounts) is the first step to an incredible travel experience. Follow these tips to pack like a pro:

Travel light. Pack only the essentials. You’ll need less than you think!
Consider no checked bag. We strongly recommend that you consider packing only a carry-on size bag. This prevents your luggage getting lost or separated from you, keeps your bag manageable, and helps you be more mobile on your travel day.
Bring the right clothes. Pack clothes that are culturally appropriate for your destination and acceptable for service projects. This means bringing long shorts (think Bermuda and basketball shorts), t-shirts with sleeves to cover shoulders, and appropriate footwear.
Leave your valuables behind. While traveling, it’s easier for things to get lost, stolen, or damaged. Keep any prized possessions safe at home.
Check with TSA. Make sure your luggage complies with TSA regulations, especially your carry-on. Useful tip: Pack an empty water bottle and fill it up after security.
Extra paperwork? If you need additional forms filled out to get credit for your service hours, no problem! Bring these forms with you so they can be completed in-country.

Important Notes About Your Luggage

Try your best to pack light. Everything should fit into one checked bag and one carry-on since you will be moving around and will be traveling by car, bus, foot, etc. A medium sized duffle bag or a backpacking backpack work best. We strongly recommend that you do not use wheeled bags as they are unwieldy and take up lots of space. There are also very few paved surfaces in country that you can wheel them on.