Disappointment & delight: the perils of Blind Booking

So after weeks of almost doing it, then not doing it and constantly talking about doing it, I finally did it: I booked blind and it was… good.

So after all the build up and excitement, I can officially announce that I will be heading to…

Destination unveiled

Destination unveiled

MILAN

So how did I feel?

I’ll be honest; I was a little disappointed. But after what happened when we tried to book, that was probably inevitable.

The process

When we sat down to book, the dates we had originally picked from Düsseldorf were unavailable, presumably due to increased demand since the last time we’d checked. So instead, we checked our options from Cologne/Bonn airport for the same dates; less convenient but far more appealing destinations: Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Lisbon, Rome… However, after crossing off the cities we had already been to, the price starting to stack up…

In the end, we opted for a later weekend so we could fly from Düsseldorf and we got Milan.

Themes and flights available from Cologne/Bonn

Themes and flights available from Cologne/Bonn

The disappointment

With the destinations from Cologne fresh in my mind, Milan felt like a bit of an anticlimax: as I’ve said before, I am far more at home in Eastern Europe then Western Europe. My friend felt the same – she was hoping for Lyon or Barcelona. Admittedly, this is the risk that blind booking carries.

I knew (and still know) very little about Milan, but knew enough to know it was no Budapest.

But then I realised that this is a fantastic opportunity.

Sure, Prague or Warsaw would have been great, but these are destinations I know I will go to one day, because they are places I will make sure to visit. In contrast, Milan isn’t in my top 10 – not even close. It’s possible without blind booking I’d never have made it there.

In fact, the more I thought about it, the more the situation reminded me of my first trip to Italy, when I headed to Venice – a city I had never thought much about. And it turned out, I loved it.

Venice: a city I fell in love with

Venice: a city I fell in love with

Of course Blind Booking is risky, and of course there is an element of disappointment, but in the end I do think it worked out perfectly – I will now be heading off to a city I otherwise would’ve have seen, and to a country I might not have gone back to this year.

Most importantly, this gives me a great chance to throw myself into some research (#planning)! And as always, suggestions are more than welcome.

Over to you: any tips, comments or things to avoid?
Comment below!

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13 responses to “Disappointment & delight: the perils of Blind Booking

  1. This sounds brilliant, I’ve just read the original post too. I know that in the UK we have Secret Rooms, which is hotel rooms around the country that you choose a city and book within your price range and only once you’ve booked you find out which hotel you’re going to, you can end up with anything from a 5* to one that matches your budget. I’m going to have a look if there’s anything similar to this Blind Booking in the UK!

    • Ooh, I hadn’t actually heard about SecretRooms before – sounds nice! I really like the idea of blind booking and I bet it is a good way for GermanWings to sell off seats on less popular routes, too. Shame Ryanair don’t do the same…

  2. Haha, this is where you and I are different. Being born and living in the East I am fascinated about Western Europe (it’s a whole different world than Romania) and would much rather go there any chance I get. Sadly, I haven’t been to Italy at all, I’m hoping this will change. I hear Milan is a beautiful destination and I’m sure you’ll like it 🙂

  3. This Blind Booking sounds so much fun! I wish there was something similar available in the UK. Although, when I went to Milan myself we booked a lastminute.com Top Secret Hotel & ended up in the plushest, poshest hotel I’ve ever stayed in – I guess that’s along the same lines. We didn’t find masses to do in Milan but it is nice for just a couple of days. The Duomo is unbelievable. There was a really great restaurant that we ate at twice in 3 days, I’ll try to find it for you.

  4. Pingback: My Summer travel plans | Continental Breakfast Travel·

    • Great post – will definitely be hitting up some of the places you mentioned – particularly the nice neighbourhood. I think it will be a busy two days trying to fit everything in, but I’m really looking forward to it 😀

  5. Pingback: The elusive trams of Milan | Continental Breakfast Travel·

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