By Rachel Moss
If seeing the world is top on your list of priorities for 2019, there’s now a subscription travel service that automatically books holidays for you.
Membership to BRB, (short for ‘be right back’, MSN-Style), costs £49.99 per month for one person or £89.99 for two, which in turn gives you three surprise holidays per year.
One month before you travel, the website will “unlock” the details of your three-day trip, telling you where you’re going, with flights and accommodation sorted. You’ll also receive a guide providing tips on what to see when you get there.
Tempted? So were we, but we also had a lot of questions…
Firstly, can you choose a date?
The good news is you won’t have a random date sprung on you when you can’t book annual leave. When you sign up, you’re asked to specify dates you can do. You’re also able to detail whether you want morning, evening or afternoon flights, and if you leave this blank, the experts will pick the best flights to optimise your time.
Okay, so are the trips actually any good?
Full disclosure: we don’t have first-hand experience. But the site guarantees you’ll stay in 3*+ central accommodation and all hotels will have at least a 3.5 rating on TripAdvisor, so we’re pretty hopeful.
You also get to specify the “types” of holiday you’re looking for when signing up, from options including culture, romance, action, beach and #4theGram (which means Instagram-friendly), meaning you’re more likely to find something to suit you. You’re also able to create a travel bucket list board, which the website will consult when assigning your trip. If there’s somewhere you’ve already visited (and don’t want to return to), you can also remove this from your bucket list.
Can you go with your mates?
The £89.99 for two package essentially means you and a plus one, so you don’t have to go with the same person time and time again (unless you’re splitting the cost, that is). If a group of mates fancy joining you on a trip, you can arrange for them to come along by paying an extra one-off fee on the site.
Will you be sent to a shitty airport?
Short answer: no. You can select your preferred airports when signing up, meaning you’ll never be sent to Luton if you live in Scotland, for example.
Can you cancel the subscription halfway through the year?
Yes! If your situation changes, you can cancel your subscription at any time, (meaning you’re not obliged to fork out the full £600 per year), provided you don’t have a trip already booked in your calendar. Any months you have paid and not used for a trip are fully refundable.
But is it actually a good deal?
The million dollar question. Under the one-person deal, you’ll pay just under £600 for the year, which will give you three trips at roughly £200 each.
You could, of course, book a cheaper holiday yourself, but you’d have to be pretty savvy – keeping an eye out for good bargains. But what BRB does offer is spontaneity and a healthy dose of convenience. If you hate trawling travel sites for deals, it might be worth paying someone to do it for you.