I bought a mystery holiday!
So I've been seeing a lot of posts circling facebook and twitter regarding Wowcher mystery holidays and people wanting to book one. Well, I've actually been on one of these mystery holidays so let me tell you a little bit about them...
I'm one of these people who gets an idea in their head, thinks its amazing, and rushes straight into it. No time to waste. That's what happened with the Wowcher holiday. I was scrolling scrolling scrolling through the travel section. Boom, up pops the mystery holiday deal. I didn't even think about it I just clicked "buy" and filled out the details.
For all I knew it could have been one big scam. Meh, oh well.
For £99 you could literally end up anywhere in the world. New York City. Dublin. Bali. Personally I think it was worth a shot, then it suddenly hit me... I was going on holiday and I didn't even know when or where.
So, let me clear this up a little, the holiday includes flights and a hotel but no transfers. When you click to buy you are asked to provide 3 airports you would fly from and confirm different dates/months you can travel on from the list provided. Then all you have to do is wait for a phone call.
That call feels like it takes forever to come. Literally forever. It's only around a few weeks though but you will be checking that phone constantly. In the end I felt I'd waited long enough after the advised date and called them myself. They told me I was going to Milan!! In a months time!! Arrrrrghhhhhhh. Excitement kicked in.
I was flying from London. Marvellous, I love London so I planned a day to spend in the city before I had to head for my flight.
A month went by and suddenly I was catching the 6 hour bus to London. This was not an enjoyable journey. I was sick the entire way. I'm never travel sick either so where that came from I have no idea. Magically perked up once I was off the bus. Ha who would have thought?
I checked in at the hotel then set off to explore London. Jeeeezzzz, I regretted wearing jeans. The weather cranked right up to 30 degree heat and the sun was blazing the more I was melting.
I won't go into what I did in London (that's for another post) but I did the usual tourist stuff, Big Ben blah blah blah.
Getting off the plane in Milan I realised I had no transfer to the hotel. Aimlessly I wandered through the airport hoping to catch a bus and funnily enough, there was one right by the airport door. The bus went pretty close to the centre of Milan and then stopped and a return on any date ticket was only €14. It dropped me by the train station and from here I had to catch the metro to my hotel. Easy enough.
The hotel was nice. It wasn't fancy and was pretty basic but it was in a quiet location and although out of the way of the centre, it was close to public transport and I really didn't find any faults.
Things to keep in mind if you are visiting Milan
1) Around the cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio there are SO many people trying to sell things, such as cotton bracelets. These people will not stop if you feel uncomfortable so be careful! Whilst I was walking through the centre one of these men grabbed my arm and tied the bracelet to my wrist whilst I tried to get away… I paid him to get him away from me and they all continued to ask for money and I ended up eventually getting free and running away. Scariest moment of my life.
2) If you are going in summer, it will be hot! This is a city and gets very humid. You may not think you can catch the sun as you are hidden by buildings but you are wrong. I managed to have a very burnt forehead and the Kaye signature, a bright red nose!
3) I found there was a major language barrier. Any Italian I attempted to speak they didn't understand and any English I spoke they either pretended to not understand or they genuinely didn't understand and this made ordering food quite hard. Directions to places? Well that was another matter and pretty much impossible to ask a local for! Even ordering gelato was a task! I advise learning the basics before you venture out there.
Milan isn’t only about the shopping and the sight seeing! There are many stunning canals which run through the city, lined with cute cafes and bars surrounded by flowers! Around these areas you will see street art on buildings and bridges, so keep your eyes peeled!
This has to be my favourite part of Milan, you can really get lost for the day and if you’re in this area make sure you visit "The Meatball Family". Lovely service and great food based on a menu entirely of meatballs! It’s amazing how many dishes there are!
By the way, your eyes are not deceiving you.. that actually is a meatball salad. I would literally do anything to be able to eat that salad every day. Definitely not a healthy salad, but it tasted damn good.
Milan was a good holiday and I'm glad I was able to tick it off the list. The architecture is stunning and the shopping is bloody amazing. This said, I'm not sure I would return. I do believe if you are on a trip to Italy, Milan is a must and overall I had a really good mystery holiday!
If you are debating a mystery holiday through Wowcher then go for it! You literally have nothing to lose and you could end up somewhere you never expected.
Take the plunge and let me know where you go!
- Kaye xo