Holidaymakers could pay just £99 per person and win a seven night trip to Antigua – or two nights in Dublin – depending on what location they are drawn in Wowcher’s mystery getaway offer.
For under £100 customers are able to get a holiday abroad, they just don’t know where and thanks to the low price point, these types of draw have proven more popular in recent years.
Most taking part will hope to win big and get a seven night stay in Thailand, as opposed to a two night stay in Europe.
However, the deal may have a catch, with customers flying from several airports including Manchester, Liverpool and East Midlands having to pay £40 to £60 per person more for their flights.
Wowcher is offering mystery getaways where a consumer could end up on holiday anywhere (pictured: Antigua)
This significantly increases the amount some will end up paying for their trip. Which may not be so much of a problem if you get seven nights in the Caribbean for £99 but might be more annoying if the draw delivers two nights in Dublin.
Others may also be wary to take part in the offer given the ongoing pandemic with foreign travel currently banned and refunds proving potentially difficult to get hold of.
This is Money takes a look at how the mystery getaways work and what customers who have taken part think of the scheme.
How does the getaway work?
To take part, customers pay a set amount of money to Wowcher, knowing they will get a holiday, however they do not know where it might be.
Prices are relatively low with consumers either paying £99 per person for September 2021 to March 2022 dates or £129 for August 2021 dates.
Included in the price are flights and a hotel stay – although customers will not know how highly rated their hotel will be until their getaway is drawn.
This means some customers end up at four star locations whilst others are given two star accommodation.
Locations range from Thailand and Dubai to Disneyland Paris and Lisbon with holidaymakers winning either a seven night, five night, four night or a two night stay.
However, just Thailand and Antigua are offering a 7 night stay with the majority of getaways available only a two night trip.
It is not clear how many holidays are available to exotic locations such as the Far East or Caribbean.
Trips you could win
Long-haul getaways: Antigua, Thailand and Dubai.
European city breaks: Budapest, Nice, Marseille, Naples, Barcelona, Krakow, Paris, Milan, Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn, Perugia, Warsaw, Verona, Lisbon, Athens, San Marino, Florence, Pisa, Valencia and Dublin.
Beach holidays: Turkey, Crete, Bari, Rimini, Sicily, Tenerife, Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, Costa Del Sol, Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Lake Garda, Lake Como, Venetian Riviera, Italian Riviera, Algarve and Malta.
Holidaymakers can also win a two night stay to Dublin or other European city destinations
Will I be protected if it gets cancelled due to coronavirus?
While these offers are usually very popular, only 437 people had paid for a holiday on Wowcher at the time of publication with the deal closing on 31 March.
This is likely due to the ongoing coronavirus as travel abroad is currently not allowed for recreational purposes and people may be wary of parting with their cash.
Wowcher said, however, if customers are drawn a destination which is added to the UK quarantine list, they will be offered a suitable alternative.
The holidays themselves, which are provided by Weekender Breaks via Wowcher, are financially protected under ATOL.
This cover means if the ATOL protected company fails and your holiday can no longer go ahead you will be entitled to a refund if you are yet to travel, and hotel costs and flights home if you are abroad.
Wowcher added that once the customer has confirmed their travel arrangements with Weekender Breaks they are in a contract with them and are subjected to their terms and conditions.
If Weekender are unable to fulfill their holiday due to travel restrictions then customers are entitled to a refund or change of holiday with no change fees, however, they will need to pay any change in fare if the new date is more expensive.
It is important to consider that the dates and locations you are given are final so if you are unhappy with the draw there is very little you can do about it.
Do other sites offer mystery deals?
Wowcher is probably best known for its mystery getaways, other websites have also offered similar deals including voucher site, and Wowcher’s competitor, Groupon.
They are usually very similar in practice and price.
Wowcher said their mystery deals usually run for a period of three weeks and are very popular.
Across Black Friday, the voucher site had mystery electronics deals and will soon be launching a mystery garden deal.
Wowcher is partially owned by DMG, This is Money’s parent company.
What do customers say about their experience?
A number of Wowcher customers have taken to social media to give their take on the mystery getaway experience.
Some were pleased with their locations and hotels whilst others said they struggled to get their money back after their trip was cancelled due to Covid:
This user said they were due to go on holiday in Italy but they were never told it was cancelled
One customer was happy with their destination but had to pay £69 for travelling alone
Another Twitter user was very happy with their purchase of a 3 night stay in Venice
Another customer has been waiting for a refund for a cancelled holiday for over 12 weeks