I’ve always wanted to show up at an airport with no idea where I’m going, and get on a plane to nowhere in particular. It would be exciting, to travel just for the fun of it and go anywhere and make the most of it. However, I’m pretty sure if I actually showed up at any airport in the UK and asked to go wherever the next flight abroad would take me, it would end up costing me a few hundred pounds, plus the logistics of organising where to stay when I got there, and potentially having to pay a lot for the last minute booking.
Luckily, you can actually experience a mystery trip without that kind of stress and headache. Just let someone else organise it for you! And no, I don’t mean a friend or a family member, I mean, take it completely out of your own hands and pass it over to a surprise trip company that knows what it’s doing. For me, that was WowTrip, who plan mystery trips from four European countries (the UK, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland) to other destinations all around Europe.
What is a surprise trip?
An organised surprise trip is where you book with a company who will take care of all the logistics like flights and accommodation for you, and all you have to do is show up at the designated time and take your trip. A mystery trip can be within your own country, but in Europe, it’s so easy and quick to travel between countries that taking a mystery trip abroad is much more exciting!
How do you plan a mystery trip?
You don’t! You can have your say on when you want to go, and WowTrip allows you to exclude destinations you don’t want to go to, but other than that, it’s out of your hands. Sometimes you might want to exclude somewhere you’ve already been, or have absolutely no interest in going. However, I’d encourage you to leave it to chance! The point of a mystery trip isn’t really about the destination, it’s about the whole experience.
So why should you take a mystery trip?
I’m a total planner when it comes to travelling, and definitely not the kind of person who would normally leave it all to someone else, or even use a travel agent to help me book a trip. However, a mystery trip is a great thing to do as a couple, or with a friend. For my husband and I, it meant not having to agree on a place to go for a weekend or figure out who was going to do all the planning. We got to book it and forget about it until it was time to go!
There was no worrying on my part about fitting in all the things I would want to do, both since I didn’t know where we were going and because it was only a short weekend so I figured if it was somewhere we really wanted to go, we’d come back anyway.
You should book a surprise trip if you want to get away for a nice break without doing the planning or worrying about it. Realistically, it doesn’t even matter if you go somewhere and spend a lot of time relaxing in the hotel and just going out for a wander and finding a nice place to eat! The point is just to be away and spend some quality time together.
What to pack for a mystery trip
You’re probably wondering, how will I know what to pack for a surprise trip?! Well, WowTrip send you the weather forecast 2 days before your trip, so you have a clue as to where you’re going and can pack appropriately. There was a cold snap in Europe when we travelled on our mystery weekend abroad, so we were a little thrown and wondering if we were going to end up somewhere far north! We didn’t, but it was good that we had packed accordingly since it was freezing!
Just remember, even if it shows the weather is cold, there might be hot pools or a spa where you need your swimsuit, or if it shows the weather is warm, you might still want to bring a light coat or something warm in case it changes or you venture somewhere else close by.
You can also find out the destination of your mystery trip the day before you go if you really can’t wait. But I think you might as well find out at the airport since it’s more fun that way!
My mystery trip experience with WowTrip
When WowTrip contacted me and asked me if I would try out their service I was SO EXCITED. Like I said, I’ve always wanted to do something like this, but for some reason, I had shied away from actually booking it. I think because I was unsure how it would really work out and if I would enjoy the experience. Well, after having just returned from my first mystery trip abroad, I can definitely say I would do it again.
We decided to go the ultimate surprise route and find out at the airport where we would be spending our surprise weekend abroad. Our information said the flight would be at 5.10pm, and it was difficult to stop myself from looking up flight times online, and then when we got on the bus from Edinburgh to the airport they were showing all the flights on the TV screen so we had to avoid looking at it for our whole trip! After arriving at the airport, we got off the bus and I looked up where we were going and discovered we’d be spending our weekend in BRUSSELS!
Now I’m going to be honest here, and say that Brussels wouldn’t have been my first choice. I was hoping for somewhere a little more romantic I guess! However, I’d never actually been to Belgium, but it wasn’t at the top of my list either since it’s pretty close to the UK. I had sort of got into my head that our surprise trip was going to be somewhere in Germany or Poland, or maybe even Switzerland or France, so I was a little bit thrown when it was somewhere I hadn’t even considered!
However, that’s the whole point of a mystery trip, and it actually worked out amazingly! Of course, we could have ended up in any of those other places, but the point was to have a weekend away together… anywhere! Brussels always seemed to slip off the list of places we could go whenever we were looking, so it was great to finally be able to go. And realistically, it was exactly the right sort of place for us to spend a random weekend away! I’d now be much more comfortable about not excluding locations and just going wherever, since at the end of the weekend I realised how happy we would have been wherever we went, just because we got to spend a lovely weekend away together.
After finding out our destination, we spent our time at the airport reading up on what to do in Brussels, and finding out how to get from the airport to our hotel. That night we went out for dinner close to our hotel, which was near the centre of Brussels. Saturday we wandered around the city taking in all the main sites, and Sunday we took the train from Brussels to Bruges, a fairy-tale medieval town just an hour away.
In the end, our mystery trip experience with WowTrip was a great success. And how much does a surprise trip cost you might wonder? Trips start from £150 each for 2 nights, which includes flights and a 3 or 4-star hotel. You can even book for less than two weeks time, which makes it a great option for a last minute trip away!
So would I go on a mystery trip again? Definitely, and you should too!
Read more about our experience in Belgium:
Our mystery trip was in collaboration with WowTrip, however as always, all opinions are my own!
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