Traveller pays £485 for three-day mystery holiday – but isn't impressed | The Sun

A TRAVELLER who paid hundreds for a mystery holiday was shocked by where she ended up.

Many Brits who are looking for a spontaneous but planned trip are turning to mystery holiday operators to book their holidays.

Travel writer Lucy Thackray shared her experience of a recent surprise trip she took with Journee – a surprise holiday planning service.

In an article in the Times, the seasoned traveller detailed how her mystery holiday was a "poor fit".

Before her mystery trip was revealed, Lucy filled out a questionnaire where she described her travel interests.

Lucy wrote: "I said I’d prefer somewhere warm and I got to set parameters: I’d spend three nights away, somewhere within four hours’ flight of the UK, at a maximum budget of £850. "

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One month before she was due to travel, she was sent a trip proposal that included features like flight times, excursions, and a final total.

After a debacle over the airport of choice, Lucy arrived at London Luton ready to find out where she would be going on holiday.

Despite wanting to go somewhere warm, Lucy's mystery holiday would take her to Sofia in Bulgaria.

Journee had briefed Lucy to expect temperatures of around 15C, which would be slightly warmer than the UK.

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But when she touched down in the Bulgarian capital, Lucy was met with snow.

She added: "I'm suddenly aware that I’ve packed one leather jacket and two jumpers (plus, mercifully, gloves).

"My heart sinks as I realise that I’ve missed a more detailed weather forecast tucked away in my Journee Passport.

"It’s 2C now, but will drop as low as -4C during my visit."

For the next few days, Lucy tried to make the most of her time in Sofia where she visited the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, St Sophia Church and dined out at Shtastlivetsa.

But being freezing cold in Sofia wasn't a perfect holiday for Lucy who described the entire tip as a "poor fit".

Not only that, but the three-day trip cost her £485.

Journee told the Times: "Lucy’s experience was extremely uncommon. She asked for an inexpensive, navigable destination with photogenic sites.

"Sofia is a wonderful combination of these things, but if you feel your proposal isn’t for you, it can always be changed before booking.”

Ed Tribe, one of the founders of Journee, told the Sun Online Travel: "For the weather question in our detailed questionnaire, Lucy selected that she would prefer warm weather but did not select 'it has to be warm or I won't go'.

"We know that weather is often important when people travel, so we make sure there is an option to specify that warm weather is essential, but Lucy didn't select this.

"Even so, Sofia typically experiences highs around 15-17C in April. The weather in Sofia was unusually cold, but we also send a live weather forecast and packing list 3 weeks before departure detailing the expected temperatures and precipitation, but she didn't look at either until she was already in Sofia.

"While we can empathise with wanting sunshine while travelling, we do everything we can to prepare Explorers for unexpected conditions.

"It's a shame that cold temperatures had such an impact on her enjoyment of a lovely city with so much to offer!"

Lucy isn't the only holidaymaker who didn't enjoy their mystery holiday as much as they'd anticipated.

A woman slammed Wowcher after paying £99 for a Mystery Holiday package – only to have to fork out £400.

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Gaby Young shared a number of videos on TikTok explaining what happened when she bought the well-known bargain deal and revealed how her costs quickly mounted.

Back in 2019, a lad who bought the £99 Mystery Holiday managed to get a four-night trip to Dubai.

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