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Woman says £99 trip ‘felt like a £500 one’ after holidaying in Venice and Paris

Woman says £99 trip ‘felt like a £500 one’ after holidaying in Venice and Paris

Shen opened up about the 'unforgettable experience'

If one of your New Year's resolutions was to save more cash and also travel more then you're in luck, as one woman has proven you can most definitely do both.

We spoke with Samantha Monaghan, from Northern Ireland, all about her experiences with the famous Wowcher mystery holiday including the sights she saw, the food she ate and just about everything else in between.

It's clear the gamble went well as the 22-year-old claimed the £99 trip 'felt like a £500 one' after enjoying what seems like the trip of a lifetime in Venice - and then, as luck would have it, another in Paris.

Samantha, 22, opened up about how she turned her Wowcher £99 mystery holiday into what 'felt like a £500 one'.
Samantha Monaghan

Samantha first found out about the Wowcher mystery holiday deal through TikTok and good old-fashioned word of mouth.

"My mum was always into Wowcher, Groupon and other catalogue services," she told Tyla. "I don't know anyone else that has done the mystery holiday personally but there was some mixed reviews on TikTok and Facebook about them!"

So, after clearly having her curiosity piqued, Samantha took the plunge and hit buy.

She was delighted to find out she was going to be sent to Venice for three days and two nights in May of last year for less than £100.

Samantha brought along her friend for the bargain holiday and definitely got enough bang for her buck, revealing: "Venice for three days was plenty of time for everything we wanted to do since the flight times were so great too we got the most out of our time there!"

The Brit only spent £80 extra for her three-day trip to Venice.
Samantha Monaghan
OK - so we know the price of flights and accommodation, but what about all those other hidden costs?

Well, it seems Samantha was able to stick to budget throughout the getaway, only spending a cheap and cheerful £80 extra for food and museum entries, a canal ride and even souvenirs.

After having such a great experience with the Wowcher £99 mystery holiday deal, it's no surprise Samantha signed up for another just a matter of months later in December just gone.

Clearly on a lucky streak, she ended up getting Paris for three days and two nights as well with the inbound flight landing at a cushty 7pm in the evening, bringing along her best mate this time around.

Now, Paris is a big city with a lot going on so it makes sense that Samantha didn't manage to get everything done that she wanted to do during the duration of the trip.

Samantha loved her trip to Venice so much she did the Wowcher deal again and got Paris.
Samantha Monaghan

"We would have liked to have spent a day at the Palace Versailles and some time shopping but we did spend an entire day at Disneyland so we had to make some sacrifices!" she told Tyla.

Opening up about how much money she spent in total during the Paris trip separate from the flights and accommodation, Samantha explained: "For Paris, we spent a lot extra due to not winning the Paris AND Disney five-star holiday!

"We just won the trip to Paris as the three-star holiday so we spent around £160 each for Disneyland alone since we decided to spend one full day there, in both parks, with the express line tickets.

"Due to our limited time, instead of going into every museum, we bought a £30 hop-on-hop-off ticket and got to see everything once, rather than only 2/3 things in detail around Paris!"

Good little thrifty travel tip, that.

Disneyland was 'easily the best' part of the Paris trip.
Samantha Monaghan

She continued: "The bus stops at each location anyway so we could get all our photos from the top of the bus as well as hop off and the next bus was only eight minutes behind!

"There are ways to do this much cheaper but we paid for our holiday in full as early as possible so we could save and spend as much as we wanted when we actually got there!"

Girl math for the win.

And as for the best and worst parts of the trips?

Well, Samantha says hands-down the best part is 'skipping the hotel and flight search' and 'just getting a phone call/email with your holiday location and just going'.

Samantha enjoyed a picturesque boat ride back to the airport.
Samantha Monaghan

"In Paris, Disneyland was easily the best," she went on. "I've been to LA Disneyland and Paris beats it in a heartbeat."

The best part of the Venice holiday was a tie between the scenic canal trip, the 'amazing' food and the boat back to the airport - talk about travelling in style, eh?

"Italy is my favourite country in the world after that Wowcher trip!" she shared.

The worst parts of the two experiences, however, revolved around some issues with public transport with a stand-out bleak moment being the 'two-hour long' Uber in Paris trying to the leave the city to get to the airport.

Likewise, the worst part about Venice was that all the outer islands that you travel to by boat taxi all close down around 6pm.

The pair enjoyed tucking into some 'amazing' food during the holiday.
Samantha Monaghan

"We did not know this!" Samantha admitted after ending up 'nearly stranded' on one island.

She also warned: "In popular areas in Venice, they pick-pocket too. We had to shout at someone because they tried to steal off the person in front of us!"

As for her general experience with the Wowcher holiday, Samantha said she absolutely 'loved it both times'.

She continued: "I would 100% go again, my best friend has already booked to go again with her sisters and they are going to Frankfurt.

"The only thing I would mention there is that it gets complicated when you start to book it with three people, as it is always two people to a room, so there is sometimes extra fees with odd numbers."

Samantha Monaghan

Samantha is already in the process of booking her next £99 holiday and 'hoping to get somewhere like Amsterdam, Athens or Pisa'.

Offering some further advice to anyone out there curious about the TikTok-viral Wowcher mystery holiday deals, Samantha assured: "Do not worry!

"If you hate the stress and just want to go somewhere and have little care about the luxuries just go!

"With the hotel, you are paying for what you get, do not expect a grand five-star hotel, they are all three or three-star hotels, but the travel agents genuinely do their best to get you in the city centre where you are a walk away from everything.

Samantha urges other curious thrifty travellers to try out the 'unforgettable experience'.
Samantha Monaghan

"The hotels were not new but they were safe, I didn't have any concerns of safety at all, since we were just two females travelling alone."

The jet-setter concluded: "These holidays are usually so hardcore to get everything done in three days, you will be crazy tired the next day but it will be an unforgettable experience!

"You can turn a £100 holiday into what seems like a £500 one!"

Well, that's me sold.

Featured Image Credit: Samantha Monaghan

Topics: Real Life, Life, Travel, Money