Expedia Mystery FlightsMystery Flights
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Unknown destination Expedia Surprise Holiday
"Sounding like the baddest thing ever," my boyfriend Mel shouted when I told him I was going away for the week-end, but I didn't know where I was going. Though less indignant than Mel, my other buddies expressed similar misgivings when I said that I was paying for a "surprise trip", the new offer of the Expedia website, where clients spend two to four nights on vacation in a mysterious European town.
It is your intention to determine the date and time of your journey and the time of your arrival, but only to find out where you are going about three hour before the plane leaves. Packages include returns (never more than 3.5 hrs one way) and at least 3-star accommodations with transportation to the center of the town.
In spite of some giddiness, I liked the notion at first; I thought it was funny, so I asked the fellow I saw, and he was thrilled too. To ask ourselves where we were going was interesting, as was the thought of improvising and finding out what to do when we got there.
On the other hand, we didn't have much to loose because we didn't really cover the cost of the journey - that was just a test. I am not sure if I can refer to such a poor flood of information that I would decide to buy a tourist agency to hold back the name of my tourist resort until the date of my vacation.
When I stood on the wall over my Surprise Holiday, a catastrophe soon curbed my excitement for the whole thing: I found out that the fellow I wanted to take with me had betrayed me with his ex-girlfriend. So I asked Expedia if I could take someone else instead, but they said it was not possible to make changes to the book.
That seems to me to be a small mistake, because they have to leave their vacation all the times, not only because they turn out to be morons, but also because they get ill, or because something appears at work or in their private lives. When you don't know your goal, you won't be able to dispute with Easyjet about name changes or find another partner to buy a last-minute pass.
Rather than change the name, Expedia tried to appease me by forwarding me the meteorological report for my trip. So I cheated a little and used the wheather and flight times and the airfield to find out that I would probably go to Geneva - a town that I was afraid would be so costly (especially with the currency rate after the Brexit vote) that I couldn't even get quite right.
When I went to the airfield one Saturday at 7am, I tended to agree with Mel: "That was the baddest thing ever. I got an e-mail from Surprise Trips on the tram - I could now find out where I wanted to go. Clicking on the links made me feel anxious, although I was sure that I was going to Geneva and that the vacation was a write-off.
I' d wrecked that part for myself, but I think it would be really exciting and funny if you hadn't betrayed me and you were with someone who wouldn't have let you down, and you were both freaked out to go on vacation. Then Geneva... and left. It turns out that Surprise Trips had outwitted me:
When I got there, the memory of the town came back to me and I felt safer being alone in a town I had already been to. But the break-up of the relationships distorted a really good goal into a sorry thing. And when I got there, I got this sense of sliding door where I saw the vacation through a looking glass like it would have been with him.
Or I could have picked a vacation spot that better suits my moods... like, say, my crib. I had a really beautiful downtown Surprise Trips booking for me, with a king-size berth that I now had all to myself.
It was in a spontaneous mood that I chose to adjust to the changes in destiny and make the most of my holidays. Much happier with myself because I had successfully adjusted to the current environment and was enjoying the days as if I had been on a regular vacation that went according to it.
I was somehow reassured to know that I could fit in and find something to indulge in everywhere. Do you think I'd be paying to go on a vacation again? It would have taken me and a buddy two days to fly and the motel alone for £600. If - like me - you cannot currently spend a week-end in Zurich or Geneva, a surprising vacation may not be the best option, even if you get along well in Poland.
Despite the fact that I could probably go on vacation everywhere, I am nevertheless happy that it was not Luxembourg.