Hi, listeners and happy holidays! In the mood for a holiday vacation? Today’s episode will be all about exploring your dreams, adventure and discovering your “aha” moment. Let’s talk travel. Picture this. The start-up Pack Up & Go wants to plan your 3-day weekend. The catch? Your destination is a surprise. This innovative idea and business was conceived by Lillian Rafson. Lillian, CEO and Founder of Pack Up & Go, wants you to embrace the unknown and as an entrepreneur, she’s quite spontaneous herself! Listen below to learn more about Lillian’s start-up story, her go-to advice and her own “aha” moment.
Lillian quit her job to discover what she wanted to do. She traveled and back packed and ran into to two women who were on a surprise vacation. She realized that the “surprise vacation” market wasn’t as prominent in the U.S. (1:10).
She launched Pack Up + Go within the 6-8 weeks left in her trip in 2015, researching and interviewing the locals and tourists along the way. On January 1st, she launched her Squarespace account and let her friends and family know. At that point she planned only a handful of practice trips. A friend featured her launch within Business Insider and the rest…is history (3:00).
How you find capital or fund for your big idea? Lillian’s biggest costs at the beginning were the domain name and Squarespace account. The best part of Pack Up + Go is that it’s a cash flow positive organization, full owned by their team without venture capital assistance (5:50).
Lillian was always inspired to study what made her happy in school. She went to NYU for gender studies, marketing and French. She values her hands-on experience that internships provided her while in school (7:00).
She believes that traveling forces you out of your comfort zone and gives you the ability to explore new things. She loves that her travelers are willing to let that control go and explore new things and push their own boundaries (9:19).
One of Lillian’s favorite customer stories highlights a woman that was celebrating her 70th birthday that was traveling alone. She came home from her trip and sent 50-75 pictures from her trip and that she had the best time on her trip (11:10).
Curious as to which cities are the most popular to travel to this year? Nashville and Charleston are both booming. Lillian’s favorite cities to travel to? Savannah, New Orleans and Chicago (13:16).
Let’s talk travel must-haves. Lillian’s top 3 are: a rolling suitcase, a pair of comfortable and cute sneakers, and an external battery pack for your phone (14:30).
Lillian’s go-to message and source for inspiration, an Israeli term…”YALLA” (16:30).
Next steps for Pack Up + Go is to expand domestic city trips and to continue to support small business in the U.S. while creating multi-city trips for customers (18:35).