TIPS: 4 Steps on How to Surprise Visit Your Friends Abroad

Guess what?! I went to Seattle! I haven’t even written all about the cities I visited in Europe yet, but now there’s another city on the list…

I surprised my friends. This blog will tell you all the details about my plan… it was pretty devious LOL. I had to be extremely careful because I’ve already surprised some of them before by showing up in Budapest when I was supposed to be in Spain. With social media, it’s pretty difficult to keep something like this a surprise… you have to consider every aspect and keep your posts consistent between accounts. I used Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook.

To start, here’s a video of their reaction.

Context: in August, three of my friends from Canada moved to Seattle for full-time work. Then, three of my friends from Canada decided to VISIT those three Seattle friends. I tried to resist because I’m pretty damn broke after that Eurotrip… but after the third friend announced his flight purchase to the group chat… I just had to buy my ticket. This is another reason why I didn’t think my friends would actually be surprised — how could they think I’d let them have all the fun?! I thought they’d know I’d never miss out on this.

Step 1: sign up for the flight price alerts

This means you’re getting the flight service site to email you when there’s a drop or rise in the price of your flight. There are two reasons for this:

  1. You should buy your flight ticket when the price drops. (Unless it’s already pretty close to the planned travel date… then price drop is rare and you should just buy it ASAP). I bought mine when it dropped from $650 to $585.
  2. If your friends are anything like mine (i.e. suspicious), you can send them a screenshot of a “price increase” randomly and say “ugh if it were cheaper, I would totally go” or “I should’ve bought my tickets when they were cheaper”. (When choosing an email alert to screenshot, make sure to pick one that’s ridiculous.. for example, my flight price increased from $585 to $850).

Step 2: have many valid reasons not to go

I had… so many reasons. They were all true!!! … until they weren’t 😛

  • I work as a server at a pub, and my schedule doesn’t come out until the week before
  • I tutor 6 kids every week and they need help
  • It’s not just the money I’d be spending on the trip… it’s the money I’d be losing by not working that week
  • USD – CAD exchange rate is so shit
  • I have exams

I conveniently didn’t mention that this week is reading week so I don’t even have school.

Step 3: be sad that you can’t join them, but not too sad

Be sad when it’s appropriate. Be happy for them too! Ask them to Skype you in, send you Snapchats, etc. You have to convince yourself that you’re not going so that you can behave as though you really aren’t.

I even sent them photos of my bank account, which had like $4 (LOL just an un-happy coincidence that worked in my favour), and said “wish I had the money to go..” 😦

Step 4 (final): select your sidekicks and social media posts

I had three sidekicks. One in Waterloo to Snapchat my workplace, one in Toronto to snapchat my “fridge” (when really it was his fridge), and one in Seattle to get everyone together for the surprise moment.

I told everyone I had work that evening. On my previous shifts at work, I took a few photos – a selfie with my work uniform, a photo of my dinner during my break, and a photo of Oktoberfest mascots. On the night of my flight, I Instagrammed a photo of me in my work uniform saying “this is my Thanksgiving!”. At the airport before boarding my flight, I got my friend in Waterloo to Snapchat my workplace. A few hours later, I bought wifi on the plane (LOL) and Instagrammed the dinner photo, “this is totally saving my Saturday at work”. Upon landing, my Toronto sidekick and I coordinated the Snapchat he sent everyone of his fridge – which happened to have leftover cake in it (and my brother’s birthday had been the day before). So he snapped that photo to the to-be-surprised-friends with the caption “hmmm.. should I eat my brother’s leftover bday cake for a midnight snack?” I knew I had fooled them because I got responses back “yes girl, do it!” “Kylie (my food baby) needs it!”

You have no idea how satisfying it was to land and know your devious plan was working.

One hour later (when I was well on my way to my friends), my friend in Seattle got everyone together: “let’s have pumpkin pie for Canadian Thanksgiving!”. Upon getting everyone together, he said he needed to quickly grab a package from downstairs and he came upstairs with … ME!

I love surprises, but I love surprising people more. I highly recommend everyone to plan a surprise at least once in their lives. It was honestly such an epic moment! I smile every time I remember it. I’m so grateful for such great friends who are just as devious as I am (if not more).

It was such an amazing evening followed by an even more amazing week. For those of you waiting to hear about the places I went and what I ate – more to come soon! Just so swamped right now, and I started this entry a week ago so it’s easier to finish up.

Much love, Nat ❤

3 thoughts on “TIPS: 4 Steps on How to Surprise Visit Your Friends Abroad

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