6 Questions You Need to Ask Before You Build Your Own DIY Scavenger Hunt

It's always best to plan ahead to make sure your scavenger hunt goes smoothly. With Scavenger Box, we make it easy to create a magical adventure for someone by giving you all the tools you need. If you're wondering how to get started building your own DIY scavenger hunt, here are the top 6 questions you might want to ask yourself:

1. How can I best personalize the adventure for my loved one?

This is the most important question of all and should determine your answer to all of the following questions. The key to creating an amazing adventure is ensuring that it is personalized for the recipient. Ask yourself: if they could have a magical adventure built entirely for them, what would it look like? You'll want to take into consideration their favorite things to do, meaningful memories you both share, and what sort of activities/puzzles would make them happiest. Check out some examples of how real couples personalized a romantic scavenger hunt.  

2. How difficult should the adventure be?

You'll want to think carefully about how much your loved one likes solving puzzles, whether they've done a scavenger hunt before, and their attention span. The example set-up instructions that we provide give a low-moderate level of difficulty and usually do not require any additional hints. However, you can decide to add new steps to the adventure or customize particular steps to modify the difficulty level. We always feel that it's safer to have the adventure be a little easier than you think it needs to be. If the puzzles are too challenging then people can quickly become frustrated, lose confidence in their ability to solve it, or frequently need to get hints. The best feeling in a scavenger hunt is the “Aha!” moment when you solve a puzzle all on your own! You want to aim for your loved one to feel some level of challenge with the puzzles, but that it's possible to solve them without help.

3. How long do I want the adventure to be?

The best thing about scavenger hunts is they can be customized however you like. This means you can have a scavenger hunt that is 30 minutes and another that takes place over the span of a couple of hours. The example set-up that we provide in our romantic scavenger hunt kit creates a hunt that takes on average 30-45 minutes to solve. If you decide to customize your adventure by increasing the level of difficulty or adding elements that require your loved one to travel to different locations, then make sure you take that into consideration when you estimate how long the whole hunt will take from start to finish.

4. Do I want to be there while they are doing the adventure?

There are pros and cons to each side of this. For example, there are some benefits to being there in person while your loved one is completing the adventure (other than you having the joy of watching them run around excitedly from clue to clue!). If you're there in person, you can capture their reaction in photographs/video and easily give any hints if your loved one asks for them. However, being there in person may also make it tempting for your loved one to rely on you for hints and they may not experience the same level of excitement or challenge  of fully exploring and solving each step of the adventure if they were doing it alone. Also, not being there in person allows for you to meet up with them and surprise them at a particular point along the hunt (e.g., if you want them to finish the hunt by meeting you at a particular location for the grand finale). Whichever approach you decide to take, make sure that your loved one can easily reach you (e.g., by phone) if they get stuck and need a hint.  

5. What parts of the scavenger hunt could go wrong?

It's always best to plan ahead to make sure your adventure goes smoothly. The more you can anticipate potential problems, the more foolproof you can make the adventure. Is it crucial that your loved one discover a secret message you placed in the park where you had your first date? Better make sure the park isn't closed on the day you're planning the adventure. A successful scavenger hunt requires each clue to flow to the next. So you don't want one step of your adventure to get derailed and then affect the rest of the hunt. Some things you may want to consider and plan for include: the weather if you are having some parts of your adventure take place outside, the potential for people (or pets!) to unknowingly tamper with the clues you have set up, and access to any tools (e.g., a computer) required to solve parts of the adventure.

6. What will the grand finale of the adventure be?

Every scavenger hunt and adventure must come to an end and you should make sure you have a clear purpose for the ending. Is the goal for them to uncover a special prize? Maybe you want the scavenger hunt to end with your loved one meeting you somewhere for dinner or arriving at a specific location for a surprise party. If you have a particular ending you'd like for the scavenger hunt, make sure you keep that in mind when putting together the other elements of the adventure. In our scavenger hunt kits, we've got you covered and give you all the tools you need to give an amazing prize for your loved one as a grand finale to the adventure.