Have you ever thought: “I’m in the mood for a trip, but I don’t feel like organizing anything”? Or: “I want to go on a city trip but I don’t really care what city I’ll be visiting”? Then Mystery Travel’s Mystery Trip is just the thing for you.
Who or what is Mystery Travel?
Mystery Travel is a Belgian company that offers three different kinds of Mystery Vacation Packages. They have a Mystery on the Road package, a Surprise City Trip Package and a Full Surprise Infusion. Each package comes at a different price, offering a trip of a certain duration with a certain amount of features and activities included.
A while ago, Mystery Travel contacted me to ask whether I’d be interested in trying out their Surprise City Trip package. And I was!
Now, this was a pretty big deal for me as I normally try to organize and plan as much of my trips as I can myself and in this case, I would give it all out of hands, not even knowing what my destination would be until a few days before take-off.
It was exciting and thrilling and, honestly, so much fun.
Booking a Mystery Trip: how does it work?
1. Choose your Mystery Trip
The three Mystery Vacation Packages with all they include are listed on the Mystery Travel website. As the site is only in Dutch or French, I’ve listed the information that’s given for the Surprise City Trip I did here below:
- 4 days/3 nights (I ended up going for 3 days/2 nights)
- international flights there and back from a nearby airport
- personal welcome upon arrival
- transportation from the airport to your hotel and back
- 3 nights of accommodation, including breakfast
- at least 2 activities planned based on your personal preferences
- a travel guide for your destination
- a bit of Mystery Travel magic
2. Fill out the questionnaire
Once you’ve decided whether you want to do a road trip, a city trip or a longer trip, you click on your selection and a form opens.
This form is the key to a kick-ass Mystery Trip
It asks you a few practical things, like what airport you’d like to leave from, what dates you want to travel and who you want to bring. But it also asks you a bunch of stuff to figure out what your “traveler profile” is so that Mystery Travel is able to fully customize your Mystery Trip to your travel preferences. Most of these questions come in a multiple choice format, which means it takes very little time to answer them and still allows you to tell them exactly what you like and don’t like.
It asks you about what travel means to you (Adventure? Discovery? Relaxation?), what kind of activities you like to do and whether you like to visit things with a guide or solo.
Another neat thing, for me, was that Mystery Travel gives you the option to exclude a few cities from your possible destinations. I, for example, excluded Londen, Berlin and Paris because I’ve been there plenty of times already.
At the bottom of the form, you simply enter your details and payment information and once you’ve done that, you’ll get a confirmation email saying that the Mystery Travel team has started working on your trip and that you’ll start receiving some clues as to where you’ll be going soon.
Clues? Yes, clues!
3. Try to guess where you’re going
In the weeks leading up to your Mystery Trip, Mystery Travel sends you some clues in the mail. Because I wanted to share mine live on Facebook to let you guys guess where I was going as well, I saved up my clues until the week before I was due to leave. I didn’t struggle too hard not to touch them at first as I was on a trip to Canada, but then when I got home I just couldn’t wait to open up those envelopes!
The first envelope was a rather big one and that’s because Mystery Travel had included some presents. They sent me a selfie stick to use on my Mystery Trip, as well as a little bear called Marco Polo to join me wherever I was going. I thought this was a really good idea and had great fun taking photos with Marco while I was on my trip.
But of course, most important were the clues in the envelope. They consisted of three slightly blurry photos taken at my destination. It was a bit of shame that I and some of my Facebook followers recognized one of the places on the photos and so I already thought I knew where I’d be going after the first clue, but nothing was certain yet!
I was so curious to see if we guessed right, but I had to wait until the next day as I was opening one clue per day in the lead-up to the trip and I told people about it on Facebook, so I couldn’t cheat. Aaaaargh, the tension! 😀
Envelope number 2 consisted of another clue and some practical information presented in a creative way. It held a word puzzle on which I had to scratch off a bunch of words and the remaining letters formed a phrase saying what time I needed to be at the airport the day of my departure.
First of all, I thought it was a really fun way to present this information and secondly, I also appreciated that they let me know my departure time a bit in advance so that I could make arrangements, without revealing my destination.
The real clue was a little card with packing tips. It told me to bring warm and comfortable clothes, but also something fancy for the evenings. Now I was getting really curious! Warm clothes matched with my assumption that I’d be going to Stockholm, but what would I need fancy clothes for?
I wouldn’t find out just yet.
The next day, it was time to open my third and final envelope. I’d expected that it would hold all the information about my trip in one letter, but I was in for yet another surprise.
While there was indeed a letter saying I’d go to Stockholm (woohoo, we got it right!) and letting me know what hotel I’d be staying at, it didn’t tell me about my activities. Mystery Travel had planned three activities for me in Stockholm but they wouldn’t be revealed unless I opened up the three little envelopes included.
I loved that they presented everything this way. It means that you have the choice to find out about your destination whenever you want (whenever you open the envelope) and then you still get to decide whether you reveal your activities immediately as well, or keep that for later.
Each activity envelope had a time on it for when you were supposed to open it if you wanted to wait as long as possible. For example, the first one told me to open it upon my arrival in Stockholm, to find out what my activity for the first evening would be. How cool is that?
I was a bit of a bore here and opened my three activity envelopes before I left, though, because I wanted to make sure I packed appropriately (fancy clothes, what were they for?) and also because I wanted to plan my days a bit around where my activities would take place.
Before I reveal my activities – but you’ll already know what they were if you follow me on Facebook – I need to share what else was in that final envelope:
- my flight details
- a Time-to-Momo guidebook for Stockholm
- a return ticket for the Flygbuss from Arlanda airport to the center of the city and back
4. Find out about your activities
If you’ve read about my #Anydaysgood project, you’ll know that going to the ballet abroad was one of the 30 things I wanted to do while I was 30 and now I was going to be able to check off that experience within two weeks after turning 30. How great was that?!
The best part of it all was that I hadn’t even launched #Anydaysgood yet when I filled out the questionnaire and Mystery Travel started planning my Mystery Trip, so I don’t think they knew this was on my list.
In other words: thank you, universe!
I’ll tell you all about that experience in a next post but first: my other two activities.
ABBA The Museum! That was where I’d be going on the morning of my second day in Stockholm. So cool.
I wouldn’t say I’m a major ABBA fan, but I like their music and I love the kind of kitschiness of it all, so I was really curious to see what the museum would be like.
And then the third thing I’d do in Stockholm was… have dinner at Michelin-star restaurant Volt! I certainly hadn’t thought that was even an option when I marked “food” as one of my travel interests on the questionnaire. What a delicious surprise.
5. Go on your Mystery Trip!
I was surprised not only by the quality of the activities booked for me (they definitely weren’t the cheapest options!) but also by the guidelines included with them. The little notes I got didn’t just say what my activities would be, they also included detailed information on how to get to them and back from my hotel, including how long it would take me and at what time I’d definitely had to leave the hotel. So practical!
When I was in Stockholm, everything went effortlessly. My Flygbuss ticket worked just fine, my ballet ticket got me a front seat on the highest balcony, my ABBA The Museum ticket got me learning about ABBA for over an hour and my reservation at Volt was perfectly in order. My activities were booked in such a way that I still had ample free time to explore on my own and my hotel was centrally located, right by the popular Gamla Stan neighborhood.
For balance’s sake, I’m trying to find something negative about my Mystery Trip and the only thing I can think of is that the hotel I stayed at didn’t have tea supplies in the room – a pet peeve of mine – but that’s it, really.
If you’re even just a little bit adventurous (chocolate knows I’m not the biggest daredevil), I recommend you give Mystery Travel a go. I had such good fun opening my clues and felt so stressless leaving on a trip where everything was arranged for me and all I needed to do in my free time was wander around.
Where to stay in Stockholm
I stayed at the Mälardrottningen Yacht Hotel which is a boat hotel docked at Riddelholmen Island, right next to Gamla Stan. It offers a breakfast buffet and also has an on-site bar and restaurant. WiFi in my cabin was great – a bit to my surprise and personnel was friendly.
I stayed in a two-person cabin with a bunkbed which was small but cozy and really all I needed for two nights in the city.
Have a look:
Pin for later
I was invited by Mystery Travel to try out their Surprise City Trip concept and tell you honestly about my experience with them. Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you’d like to support Wonderful Wanderings, using these links would be a kick-ass way to do so. Thanks!