We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

Which Playa del Carmen hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,975 posts
45 reviews
Save Topic
Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

Okay, I know this is going to sound like a really strange question to put on the forum, but I really need some umbiased opinions....

We are thinking of surprising another couple with a free trip next month, and are wondering if this is appropriate, and won't cause any hurt, embarassment or bad feelings.....

This couple are our dearest friends, and our children's god parents. They have not been on a real vacation for at least 10 years, nor are they financially able to do so right now. This is me and my husband's last chance to get away without the kids (my parents will be moving into a retirement residence, hence no more babysitting).

My husband and I have already booked a short 4 night stay and we can think of nothing better than to have a great trip with our dearest friends.....we would love their company and we know that they would love a vacation.

If we don't do this now, then it will be at least a decade before our kids are old enough to stay home for a weekend alone, so would really like to do this now.......

I was all ready to book the tickets, had already planned how we were gonna surprise them with the tickets (inside bubba kegs for fathers day)....... and then I got cold feet....started worrying how they are going to feel .....will they be thrilled, or might they feel uncomfortable or embarrassed?

Told you it was a strange question......

Any feedback will be appreciated...

Burleson, TX
Level Contributor
1,635 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

Let me be the first (of many, I'm sure) to say that if your friends aren't thrilled, WE will be your friends!

Halifax, NS
Level Contributor
1,025 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

Of course you know these people better than anyone on the forum does, but I think it's a wonderful gesture. How easy would it be for them to get away on such short notice? Do they have children that they could leave for a few days? What about their employers, could they get the time off? I'm sure you've thought about these questions, any many more. Good luck with your decision, and have a great trip.

Tolland, CT
Level Contributor
472 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

I think it is wonderful, they should be lucky to have friends like you. For a couple of years in my life things were really hard and my best girlfriend and her husband would do kind things, once she surprised me with a girls weekend away and her husband stayed behind and babysat my kids. They did not have any children so he loved it. We were only gone for about 30 hours but it was something I will always remember. They also paid my car taxes at Christmas time once so I would not have to worry about that at the holiday, they wrapped the receipt and gave it to me on Dec 1st, to "lighten the load" as they put it. At first I felt alittle weird but when I realized what a great idea that was I was so happy. I didn't need another sweater. If it is possible to them to get away from kids, jobs, etc, I say go for it and enjoy!! Let us know how it works out...bubba kegs...great idea!!

Stowe, Vermont
Level Contributor
7,084 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

What a wonderful friend you are!

One question: do these folks have valid passports? Or, can they get them on short notice if need be?

Dallas, TX
Level Contributor
292 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

Awesome idea! My best friend is significantly wealthier than I am, and there are moments that are a little awkward. But if you tell them the way you've said it here, how could they not be thrilled? You aren't just giving them a gift, you are asking them to give YOU the gift of accompanying you. I hope it goes well.

Davie, Florida
Level Contributor
11,187 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

its more appropriate to give a complete stranger like me a free trip.

Springfield...
Level Contributor
9,502 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

Do your friends know they have the BEST friends in the world? How nice of you. It sounds like a very appropriate (and generous) gift. I'm sure they'll be thrilled! If not, I can have my bags packed in about 5 minutes :-) :-)

Lemmon, South Dakota
Level Contributor
364 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

Katzger - you are too funny.

I would give them the "idea" of the gift before purchasing the tickets. You know talk it over and stuff. Then you aren't out anything and if they have to say no for some reason they won't feel guilty.

My concerns would be other summer schedules, kids schedules/babysitting needs, and work time off.

This is a terrific idea and I bet they would be thrilled once they get over the uncomfortable 'we can't afford it' feeling.

Hope it all works out.

new jersey
Level Contributor
713 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

I think you should go for it! You (and hubby ) are great freinds! Love the idea .......they will love it ! soooooo thoughtful and nice!

Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
284 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Is it appropriate to surprise friends with a free trip?

I think it's a wonderful gift. Like most the only thing I would be concerned about would be if they need to make arrangments to leave. How much notice will they have until the trip?