A birthday gift doesn't have to be an object. Whether the birthday person is your significant other, spouse, friend or child, a surprise getaway is often a welcomed gift. Build anticipation by informing the birthday person that you've planned a special surprise for her. Then, give her tantalizing clues about the destination.
Don't come right out and tell the birthday person that his surprise is a getaway or he may find the clues too easily and guess the destination. Instead, begin by giving him clues that the gift is a trip. If the birthday person is a child, start simply by using a model car, camper or plane to provide a clue that the gift is a destination. If the birthday person is an adult, you can make the clues more difficult to guess. For example, give him a framed poem about travel, travel-size toiletries, luggage tags or travel postcards.
Once the birthday person understands that the present is a getaway, the next clue should provide a hint about the place. For example, an obvious clue for a getaway to Hawaii or a destination in the South Pacific is a lei or a small ukulele. If the getaway is a trip to a well-known theme park, a stuffed toy of theme park mascot is a good clue. Another appropriate clue is a product for which the destination is famous, such as a bottle of green chilies for a trip to New Mexico.
If your trip includes a special event, give the birthday person clues about the event as well. For example, you can give a child a toy fishing rig to hint that he will be fishing, or give the birthday person a swimsuit if it's a beach getaway. Give an older child or adult a CD to hint about a concert, or a compass to indicate a hiking or camping trip. Make the hint more difficult, if you prefer, such as by giving the birthday person a labeled picture of a rare species found only at the destination.
Placing the Clues
You can give the birthday person the clues directly, or put them where he will find them. If you place them around the house, make sure you choose an area where he will see them within a few hours and label them as "birthday clue," so he doesn't miss them. If he misses a clue, the treasure hunt may not make sense and he won't be able to put the clues together so he can guess the surprise getaway.