The Vacation Hunt

There is a stretch of land along the Yucatan Peninsula that is defined by its pristine beaches and clear warm Caribbean waters. Elle, from Cambridge, wrote : “Absolutely DISGUSTED with weekender breaks, booked the mystery holiday through @wowcher phoned to find out our destination and was told Brussels. It’s a quaint New England town with beautiful beaches and harbors, especially at sunset.

Here are seven secret Mediterranean islands to book a trip to if you’re looking for a European getaway without the crowds. Many property owners use it to offload unsold holiday dates, especially at the last minute. They itemize some of the top island targets for family vacations: familiar places that everyone has heard about.

The holiday rental section on TripAdvisor collates 800,000 listings from several letting sites including, Holiday Lettings and FlipKey The majority of those sites’ listings are there, but for belt and braces you may want to check those directly too. A personal welcome to your holiday home from your housekeeper.

While getting an all-inclusive resort and lying on the beach all day sounded relaxing, we wanted more adventure and authentic experiences (and food). Head to the 990-foot Juno Beach Pier for scenic views and good saltwater fishing; the Pier House rents poles and sells bait (plus snacks if the kiddos get hungry).

With live music, live glassblowers, puppet shows and other holiday entertainment it makes a perfect Christmas holiday for you and your family. These mystery trips were road trips from Michigan (favorites included Nashville, Louisville, and Charleston) rather than far-flung locales, but the excitement about hitting the road toward an unknown destination was all the same.