Nov 18, 2020

Surprise Trip Planning

How to surprise my husband with a holiday was a question that had been bothering me for a while.

Hi there,

I’m Vicky and telling you here a bit about my experience going a surprise trip last year. Being in lockdown again, I’ve finally got some time to write these few lines. Hope you’ll like what you read! X

“Although I am usually the one who plans our holidays while he nods in agreement, I wanted to have something special for our anniversary. Something thrilling with a real wow factor. And so, I thought of turning this trip into a surprise holiday. Easier said than done to be honest. Soon I felt quite a bit under pressure to make it a real success. Not to mention that we have been to quite a lot of places.

Cool as a cucumber, not

Rome, been. Paris, been. Barcelona, been. Berlin yes, but nor for this one. Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Amsterdam, hm. Maybe something more exotic like Bucharest or Zagreb. What if it’s not good. Krakow, oh, but maybe Lisbon or Madrid after all. Yes, no, maybe, hm and two weeks to go!

While the pressure mounted my time to organise the trip shrunk and panic set it in! I had already told him about this trip. And he was so looking forward it, constantly heckling me to reveal the location. I played it cool as long as I could.

Leave it to the Pros

A soon to be nervous wreck / me then thought sod it! Leave it to the pros. I heard about this company ATO-Tours which organises surprise trips. Though the thought of not knowing where I’d go was not something I’d consider doing. So, I called them explaining them my situation. Soon I was reassured that the destination could be revealed to me but not the hubby. Perfect!

Nice and easy

All I had to do was to fill in the questionnaire in their website. Likes and dislikes, interests, temperature (god, I hadn’t even thought about it), budget, dates etc. Job done in 5min. The next day, after a good night’s sleep, I received their offer and mountains of pressure fell of my shoulders. Evasiveness turned into smirk when thinking about our upcoming trip to Porto! Well done me!

Surprise Trip Reveal

Even though I am not the one keeping a secret for very long, I held it together until 2 days before we left. Then I revealed it to him over dinner. We both like a bit of wine, never been to Porto and like a bit of luxury when it comes to our hotel. It’s a treat after all, so a bit of pampering can’t do any harm.

Off we went

2 days to go, enough time do a bit of research, pack the right clothes, and let the excitement rise. And what can I say we loved it! Porto is easy to navigate, has a beautiful old town, super friendly people and is obviously the home of Port. Really simple if you think, we like walking around, having great food and wine, don’t want to get stressed too much about history and do a bit of shopping.
We stayed at the amazing Intercontinental which is an old palace set right in the heart of Porto. For our big day, ATO gave me some restaurant suggestions and we went to the beautiful Escapo Porto Cruz. The place has amazing views of Porto, the food and WINES are beautiful and the whole atmosphere was just wonderful. It’s just a relaxed and easy on the eye city. We loved it so much.

Thrilling Experience and Full Success

So, what you can say other than yes, I (we) did it and it was fantastic. So next you think about How to surprise someone with a holiday, don’t think too long. Just contact these guys.

Thanks for the great time!


ATO add-on

Below are Vicky’s questionnaire results:

Start date: 05/09/2019
Return on: 08/09/2019
Start time: 08:00am
Depart from: London
Travelling by: Plane
Who’s travelling: Couple
Number of people: 2
Budget per person: £299
Some must haves: Boutiques and shops, Nightlife
Accommodation type: Hotel
Average temperature: 20
Comments: We are looking for something special for our 10th wedding anniversary.

Please make it memorable. Happy to pay more for the hotel!


If you liked the sound of that please contact us here

And if you like what you read about Porto check out our beautiful tailor-made train tour showcasing

Porto + Lisbon + Cascais.

See you in Portugal!