Take a Nextpedition to Somewhere

By Kerry M. Flynn

Nextpedition, a new program based out of the American Express Travel Office in Harvard Square, brings mystery and convenience to traveling by offering customized trips to an unknown destination.The program aims to appeal to travelers of the "digital/social media savvy Millennial generation," according to American Express spokesperson Marisa S. Schneer, by also incorporating social media to share your adventures and smartphone technology for providing your itinerary throughout the trip.

"It brings [travelers] the excitement of not knowing where they are going or what they are doing, while adding the comfort of both the mobile device and the help of an American Express travel specialist," Schneer said.

The program begins by taking an online quiz that asks 15 questions and generates a travel sign. The signs include "Adrenalista" for the outdoor adventurer, "Tasteblazer" for the food obsessed, and "Disco Trekker" for the late-night partier.

From there, you can just show off your travel sign by posting it to your Facebook page or you start planning the trip by calling the Harvard Square office and speaking to a specialist. The specialist designs a trip based on your travel sign, budget, and travel history. The rest of the planning, including flights, hotels, and excursions, is left to the specialist.

Three days before your departure, you receive a smartphone in the mail that reveals your destination, a packing list, and your boarding pass. Each trip includes two destinations either in North America or Europe.

Each day, the device reveals your itinerary that can also be shared on Facebook to your friends back home. The specialists plan authentic activities for each destination, such as cooking in a French kitchen or learning how to ride a gondola in Italy.

The rest of your trip is free time, but the device includes activity and restaurant recommendations along with a guidebook for each city. American Express specialists are also available 24-hours a day for assistance during the trip.

Specialists ask that the travelers book their trips at least three months in advance, so if a Nextpedition piques your interest, better take that travel quiz now.

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