My Dad Guesses Our Next Destination!

Filed Under: Travel

I’m presently taking my dad on a surprise round the world trip to celebrate his “round” birthday. Even now the trip remains a surprise, as he’s just finding out what we’re doing and where we’re going on a day-by-day basis.

Here are the previous posts about the trip:

On Tuesday morning (or Monday night, depending on how you look at it), we had a 3AM flight out of Dubai. As you guys know by now, this is a total surprise trip for my dad, and he’s learning our plans day-by-day.

Monday morning when he woke up he came up to me and said “Benny, I know vhere ve are going next.”

He was oddly confident in his guess, to the point that I wondered if he learned how to use the internet overnight.

So he proposed an idea — he’d write his guess of our next destination on a piece of paper, and he’d reveal it to me the same time that he gets the boarding pass.

Of course I wasn’t going to make it quite that easy. He thought he was going to get his boarding pass at check-in, but I extended the suspense a bit longer.

Here’s a video he filmed before check-in:

At check-in I explained the situation to the agent — “I’m taking my dad on a surprise birthday trip and he doesn’t know our next destination. When he gives you his passport could you please not tell him where we’re going? Just give me his boarding pass.” They laughed at the idea and were happy to play along.

We cleared immigration and security, and headed towards the A380 concourse. There we visited the first class lounge, where the big reveal happened. I again explained the situation to the lounge staff as we entered the lounge, as I know they usually tell remind you of your departure gate and boarding time as you enter.

So before I post the video of the “reveal,” let’s make it a bit of a game for you guys (that way my dad isn’t playing the game all by himself). 😉

What destination did my dad have written on the piece of paper? Where did he think we were going next?

He was caught completely off guard when he found out we were flying from Los Angeles to Dubai, as he was convinced we were going to Asia or Australia based on the fact that we were flying from west from Tampa to Los Angeles.

Let me know below where you think my dad thought we were going, and I’ll randomly give one commenter a fresh pair of Emirates pajamas and a Bulgari amenity kit (glass of Dom and pre-used slippers not included).


The deadline to enter is whenever I post the video revealing the next destination to my dad. And you don’t actually have to guess to be eligible to win, but rather just have to comment.

And worry not, it’s the first of many sets of amenities on this trip that I’ll be giving away.

Thanks again for reading, guys!

  1. I’m guessing Beijing or Shanghai? Since China seems like one of the big icons currently for travelling I guess?

  2. First I was thinking Melbourne, but its not on the list… So I’ll go with Singapore… Because they you can pick up an A380 from there elsewhere.

  3. I would say, he thought Sydney was the next destination. I am really enjoying this, even more that I’m freezing in my office here in the Midwest, while you are in warm destinations!

  4. Tokyo, Shanghai, or Hong Kong, but those are on the board 🙂 Anyhow glad to see your dad is having a blast!

  5. the birthday surprise of a lifetime. And we are all sharing it. Wherever you’re going , it will be an amazing adventure.

  6. I will guess Singapore. Amazing trip so far. Really enjoy the videos and your father. Thanks for including all of us.

  7. I’m guessing he thought you were headed to Sydney–let me know when you need my shipping info to send me those PJs and amenity kit. So stoked to win.

  8. I think he chose Tokyo. Mostly because not a lot of people who haven’t gone there understand Narita is the name of the airport there (along with Haneda, the other Tokyo airport).

  9. I think he guessed HKG as it is your favourite city. On a separate note this is a great read. Your father is a very lucky man and you are an amazing son!

  10. I think he guessed HKG as its a favourite of yours. On a separate note this is a great read/watch. your father is a very lucky man and you are an amazing son!

  11. I think he guessed HKG as its a favourite of yours. On a separate note this is a great read/watch. your father is a very lucky man and you are an amazing son!

  12. Its got to be something that is not on the board 🙂 Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Indonesia 😉
    But its awesome that he didn’t guess it right ( since the true destination WAS on the board, and you made sure to show us 🙂 He is still kept being surprised. Very exciting for your dad!

  13. I think he chose HKG as its a favourite of yours. on a separate note this is a great read/watch, your father is a lucky man and you are an amazing son!!

  14. I think a fair guess would be Sydney, I hope one of these days I can organize something like these for my mom, but I’m guessing it will take me a bit longer to get those miles

  15. where did my post go? 🙂
    anyway, it has to be something that was not on the board:) and looks like he didn’t guess it right 🙂
    the true destination WAS posted on the board.
    There can be either Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Indonesia written on his paper.

    I will say BALI 🙂

  16. Hi ben,

    Wish your dad a happy birthday from me! I think what your doing is so great for your dad and us readers. My guess is Australia or new zealend maybe sydney or Auckland?

    Oliver 🙂

  17. I’d say HKG since you love it so much and would want to share it with your dad! I would think CX might just be on your RTW tour since they’re also a favorite!

  18. For what your Dad guessed, versus where y’all actually headed, and assuming he didn’t miss seeing his guess on the boards, I’d say either Johannesburg, or maybe Seoul (if he didn’t realize Incheon = Seoul), since you’ve raved about the Park Hyatt more than once.

  19. It makes me so happy that your doing something this special for your dad, one day I hope to be able to do the same for mine. Since he said its not on the board I’m going to go with Cape Town, South Africa.

    Safe travels and I love the videos you should definitely do more!

    Kyle F

  20. Sorry It seems even though my webpage crashed wash time it has posted my comment multiple (each one slightly different) times. Apologies

  21. His educated guess told him you were going east. I know you’re going to singapore but he probably guessed Tokyo or Hong Kong!

  22. My guess is Auckland

    But more importantly: sorry Ben, but you’re not my favorite blogger anymore. Another guy stood up and took your place. His genuine happiness and excitement give me a warm feeling. The look on his face so much reminds me of my dad when I take him out. Yep, I’m talking about your dad. What an awesome person, adorable and sweet. The pride he has for his son is amazing, this is how a dad should be.

    You’re very lucky to have such a loving family, your mother included of course! They remind me so much of my own parents! Enjoy your trip, where ever you go. Traveling is fun, traveling with someone that truly and absolutely loves you any minute, is priceless. Not going to say there’s MasterCard for everything else, since probably you’ll reply with a card that’ll give you more miles 😉

  23. I don’t have a guess. But can I reiterate how awesome this is and that there should be even more videos?! 😀 You’re a good son Benny and your father is making this by far my favorite series to follow… on the internet.

  24. I’m going on the basis that your father (who is quite adorable) is smart enough to know that he is going in an ‘easterly’ direction, to be more precise, Australia/ Asia, as he was thrown off the LAX-DXB route, plus the board did not indicate his destination. So I am going to make an educated guess to say that he guessed Sydney.

  25. We already know you’re going to SIN, but I’m guessing your dad thought you might have been going to somewhere exotic like MLE?

  26. SYDNEY , Thanks for sharing your experience . I’m feeling like maybe it’s time for a First class adventure .

  27. St. Petersburg!

    Confession: I guessed St. Petersburg only because I wanted to give a shout out to my wonderful ancestral home.

  28. Just watched the departure board video! Could there be anything more orgasmic to an aviation buff then that departure board?

    I am fascinated that Mr. Schlappig’s guess wasn’t on the board. I believe the Sydney flight leaves earlier then most of Emirates’ other late night departures. And I don’t remember seeing Cape Town on the departure board. Maybe Cape Town?

  29. Going with Singapore. Perhaps he surprised you just as much as you were trying to surprise him. Regardless, I’m sure he was thrilled.

  30. Ben,

    I am just here to live the excitement with you and your pops as you both travel the globe – This is epic man and its been super seeing the play by play of the journey slowly unfolding. I am guessing your pops had written down SYD. Looking forward to seeing his excitement on the next installment.

    HAVE FUN!! 🙂

  31. I guess maybe Singapore, but mostly I’m just really enjoying these videos with your Dad. What a special trip.

  32. HKG. By the way, I love that you planned this trip for your Dad and being able to follow along with his video trip reports. He is quite the character. 🙂

  33. We already know it is Singapore, but my guess is that he guesses either Johannesburg or Dhaka or maybe Seoul.

  34. Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland. (Sorry, am I allowed to have multiple guesses? hehe).

    Hope you and your dad have a another Faaaabulous flight with Emirates =).

  35. I think your dad may have guessed Australia, New Zealand, or Asia East (China, Japan, Thailand, etc.) since you were departing out of LAX.

    Enjoy the Emirates A380 — they are an amazing airline with a wonderful product enhanced by great service

  36. Wishing you and your dad a most epic and memorable trip. You’ll both remember this for the rest of your lives! What an awesome idea. I hope that I can do this with my kids someday! Kudos to you and your dad for being so spirited and adventurous!

  37. So, if “system is broken/incomplete”, Lucky Dad might guess Australia. I am expecting he will also surprise us with learning how to use internet overnight.

  38. Johannesburg? I love his enthusiasm and how you keep extending the reveal to him! I would love to travel in such style with my parents someday.

  39. I honestly don’t have a clue about your dad’s guess but I just wanted to interject that these posts are truly bringing a smile to my face. They are a refreshing spin on the typical daily blog updates (which I still love) and the reason I’ve continued to come back day after day to your site. I can’t wait for the day when you take both your parents, together, on an adventure of a lifetime! Maybe the next round anniversary? 🙂

  40. I love the videos of your dad you’ve been posting from the trip! It’s so fun to see his excitement and enthusiasm! I’m going to guess he thought you were going to Tokyo but got thrown off by the listing of Narita on the board.

  41. I’ll guess he wrote Sydney. Happy birthday, Mr. Schlappig! So excited to see more of your “Adventures with Benny!

  42. I think your dad guessed Sydney. Also, this trip report series has been great, I’m glad you allowed us to join you and your dad virtually on this journey you’re on! 🙂

  43. I’m going for Sydney! Your dad is so game in this RTW surprise tour , must be a joy to travel with!

  44. Judging by how surprised he was about the backtracking, my guess would probably have to be a Eurppean destination like Paris or judging by the long haul you just did, maybe Auckland via Sydney/Brisbane/Melbourne

  45. Your dad guessed SYD but doesn’t know you’re going via SIN, which is the next destination, right?
    I’m loving it!

  46. My guess is that your Dad guessed Sydney.

    Happy Birthday to him, and hope you both enjoy the remainder of your trip!

  47. Cape Town.

    Remember the clue folks: He did not see his guess on the board. That eliminates a LOT of places including FRA, SYD, CDG, PEK, PVG, NRT, SIN, BKK, LHR, ICN, KUL, …

    Unless dad is bluffing!

    The departure screens that really turn me on are the ones with more unusual or exotic places. IST and BKK had me imagining places that would be fun to just buy at ticket on the spur of the moment and go, money and time permitting!

  48. Antonio made a solid bet that he would not recognize “Narita” as Tokyo. Tokyo was my first thought but I may have outsmarted myself. 😉

  49. You’ve done such an incredible job to make this entire thing happen Ben, and reading your updates make me simile every time. I’ve already planned my mom a First Class trip to Europe thanks to you, and I know where to aim in the future.

    And by the way I think it’s Hong Kong since that’s your favorite city and EK operate A380 service there.

  50. Hong Kong, by the way….I live in Hong Kong, so you can simply give the gift to me when you arrive 🙂 Yeah thanks~

  51. Hong Kong? I’m a terrible guesser. This is also the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen and I’ve almost cried about 4 times.

  52. Shanghai.

    This is awesome – I just had a daughter and I can only hope we have this kind of relationship as she grows older.

  53. He guessed… Back to LA! “Benny, I know you often go somewhere far away and then turn around and come back. I think we are going from here to Oman via Los Angeles!”

  54. Sydney, South Africa or Tokyo!

    Your dad does say he does not see it on the list. SIN and a lot of the other destinations were on list. Sydney and South Africa were not on the list. Narita was listed but your dad may not recognize that as Tokyo.

  55. Tokyo!? Love these trip reports Ben! I look forward to taking a similar trip with my Dad for his next round bday!

  56. Mumbai! *I’ll admit that I “guessed” this after seeing the following video but seeing as nobody else guessed…

    Hope the trip is still going swimmingly!

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