How to book a holiday without knowing where you're going - News & Advice - Travel - The Independent

How to book a holiday without knowing where you're going

Would you trust a 15-question survey to identify the perfect vacation for you? It may sound like a leap into the unknown, but travel and finance giant American Express is betting that's what some people like - and it's set up a new travel agency in the US to prove it.

Nextpedition is the US company's plan to encourage young professionals in their 20s and 30s to take a walk on the wild side by allowing them to sign up for a holiday without knowing any of the specific details.

By going to the brand's website, travelers can take an interactive questionnaire which Amex believes can identify the type of travel to which they're most suited.

Answer the questions, and the service will assign a "travel sign" based on your hobbies, interests and social media habits - according to the firm, these include types such as "adrenalista" (outdoor adventurers that love to travel), "tasteblazer" (foodies always out to explore new places and flavours), "technologian" (travelers who explore the world with high-tech toys) and "trengineer" (style gurus who seek inspiration from their travels).

After being profiled - and this is where it gets fun - consumers consult with a Nexpedition specialist who plans a trip according to the travel sign, budget preferences, personal interests and travel history.

A few days before the traveler is set to leave, Nextpedition delivers a specially-programmed loan smartphone, preloaded with the traveler's itinerary, guidebook content from Lonely Planet and restaurant recommendations, meaning all that's left is to pack and go.

Although the program offers the same sense of mystery as the "opaque" sales pioneered by travel booking sites such as Priceline, where travelers pay for a hotel without knowing its exact location, that's about the only similarity.

For a start, with opaque sales you can select the city, amenities and comfort level, but there's none of that here, just a lot of faith in the person at the end of the telephone (ironic for a company which offers cards with the tagline "don't take chances").

American Express is offering Nextpedition as a tool for premium travelers, so there aren't any budget deals either - domestic trips in the US start at $1,000 and international trips at $2,500.

There's also considerably less flexibility, as each trip lasts at least seven days and must have two participants, with the firm saying that limited trips will be available in the initial months ahead of a bigger rollout later this year.

Despite all that, it's a unique idea, and for consumers who fancy venturing into the unknown, it could be just the ticket.

http://www.nextpedition.com

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skies as 007 for first time
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Steven Gerrard celebrates after his late winner
champions leagueGerrard and Balotelli ensure victory
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week