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Destination Unknown: The Pros And Cons Of Booking A Mystery Holiday

Money-saving websites and specialist companies are intermittently offering return flights and hotel stays from as little as £99 per person, but there's a catch - you won't find out where you’re going until after you book the holiday.

It's incredibly tempting to take the gamble, but before you risk it, make sure you're clued up on all the pros and cons that come with booking a mystery holiday so you don't get caught short.


The Pros

  • You Might Get Lucky

  • There are usually a mix of premium and standard locations and durations available, so you could end up anywhere from Venice or Amsterdam to Dubai or New York for up to 7 nights, but you'll have to wait until after the dedicated prize draw to be told where you'll be heading for your mystery holiday and for how long.

  • Local Departure Airports Available

  • Although the £99pp price tag on the money-saving websites is based on departures from London, you can normally choose to fly from a more convenient airport at a supplement.

  • All Decisions Are Made For You

  • On a mystery holiday, you can relax, enjoy and simply seize the day. In some cases, you don't even have to research what time you should be at the airport or the maximum measurements of your luggage as the provider will pass this information on. Better yet, they'll send you your boarding passes or tickets, the hotel description as well as some useful information about the destination.


The Cons

  • You May Not Be Protected

  • Without knowing which company created the package holiday, you may not be able to confirm if your holiday is ATOL protected before purchasing. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) say the best way to avoid this is to ensure your travel company is ATOL protected and to take out travel insurance straight after booking to cover the rest.

  • It Takes Two

  • It's worth noting that the price is based on two people sharing a room so you'll usually need to buy two vouchers and find somebody willing to be as adventurous as you are.

  • You May Not Be Getting The Best Deal

  • Although you'll be getting a bargain if you end up in one of the premium destinations for a week, you may be able to find the standard 2-night destinations cheaper. Here at icelolly, we normally have city breaks on offer from as little as £89 per person, all of which are 100% ATOL protected and handpicked by our travel experts so you know you're getting great value.


Have you ever been on a mystery holiday or considered being spontaneous and booking one? Tweet @icelollyholiday and let us know!


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