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March 22, 2012

Winter Is Dead! Long Live Winter!



By awayblog
03/22/2012

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February-dream-destinations-contest-winner
Snowboarder admires Grand Tetons from slopes of Grand Targhee, Wyoming (Michael Petrik)

Although winter's a fading memory—or barely a memory, if you had weather like we had in balmy D.C.—we're offering one last chance to admire the chilly majesty of Old Man Winter here on Away.com. Last month, we asked you to enter your most inspirational photos in our Winter Dream Destinations Contest, and you obliged with an avalanche of your favorite snow- and ice-covered moments. The chill set in from Alaska to Antarctica, Lake Tahoe to Lapland, but the one that captured our frosty hearts was the above shot of the Grand Tetons doing a wintery "striptease" in front of skiers and snowboarders at Wyoming's Grand Targhee Resort. Makes us want to brew up a cup of cocoa and watch the rest of the show! Congratulations to Ohio-based reader Michael Petrik, who wins a $100 VISA gift card for his entry.

Have a great photo that captures your love of travel? This month we're asking our readers to send in their most inspirational Caribbean scene. Or stay tuned in April for our National Parks Dream Destination contest!

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Photography

February 17, 2012

Announcing Monthly Photo Contest: Win a $100 VISA Gift Card



By awayblog
02/17/2012

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New Zealand Snowboarder(iStockphoto,Thinkstock)
Our Winter Inspiration: Snowboarding in New Zealand (iStockphoto/Thinkstock)

Someone wise once said that a picture is worth a thousand words and here at Away.com, we wholeheartedly agree.  A photo can capture our imagination and inspire us to pack our bags and hit the road. And because we're all about inspiration around here, we've debuted a monthly photo contest that gives you, our loyal readers and trusty travelers, a chance to stir that worldly desire in someone sitting at their desk thousands of miles away. 

This month we want to see some of your best winter destinations. The most inspirational photo will win a $100 VISA gift card!

Continue reading "Announcing Monthly Photo Contest: Win a $100 VISA Gift Card" »

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Free Stuff · Travel Photography · Trip Ideas

January 20, 2012

Dream Destination Photo Contest: And the Winner Is…



By awayblog
01/20/2012

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Mcway-falls-big-sur-california
McWay Falls, located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur (Heidi Haas)

From sunrises to sunsets, mountains to marketplaces, we've winnowed down the hundreds of entries in our Dream Destination Photo Contest to the winning shot: this photograph of California's McWay Falls, taken by reader Heidi Haas. In our quest to find the most inspirational travel photograph, the judges felt this image, featuring an 80-foot cascade dropping into restless Pacific Ocean swell, captured travel's sense of wonder as you round that bend to discover something new and unexpected. It also shows a moment where childhood memories of past vacations converge with the present—in her caption entry, Heidi details how she visited Big Sur as a child on a family vacation and was inspired to return 13 years later to check off the one place they'd bypassed on that trip.

For those of you wishing to trace Heidi's footsteps, McWay Falls is just one scenic highlight along a road, California Highway One, packed with a lifetime of iconic twists and turns. The waterfall is located at the end of an easy half-mile trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Other trails in the park include a 4.5-mile hike through stands of towering redwood trees and a short mile-long path that cuts through rock onto a quiet cove frequented by sea otters.

Read Away.com's Pacific Coast Highway Vacations Guide

Congratulations to Heidi, who wins a pair of round-trip airline tickets, plus a big thanks to everyone who took part. Stay tuned for our next great photo contest at the beginning of February—keep those cameras at the ready!

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Travel Photography

December 21, 2011

Photo Contest Update: Traveling Around the World in the Footsteps of Our Readers



By awayblog
12/21/2011

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Photo-contest-tag-cloud

Having just closed Away.com's inaugural Dream Destination Photo Contest, we're now thrilled to be traveling vicariously via your fantastic submissions in the quest to pinpoint our winning entry. Look out for an announcement in the first week of January. During our month-long search for our readers' most inspiring photo, we received entries for pictures taken on every continent except Antarctica. Of the over 80 countries and 37 states that were represented, the most-photographed destinations were Paris, Oahu, Rome, Santorini, and Venice. Other locations were as far-flung as Afghanistan, Burma, and Iraq. Mountains, seascapes, and sunsets/sunrises were your favorite compositional subjects. Here at Away.com HQ, we've loved indulging in some primo armchair travel throughout the month, so thanks to everyone who took part—and here's to more great adventures in 2012! Safe travels over the holiday season.

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Travel Photography

November 10, 2011

Win a Pair of Round-Trip Tickets in Our Dream Destination Photo Contest



By awayblog
11/10/2011

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Cook-islands-dream-destination-photo-contest

Do you have a photograph that captures your love of travel in a single moment? A scene of a treasured place where the promise of that dream vacation transformed into the trip of a lifetime? We want to hear from you! Introducing Away.com’s Dream Destination Photo Contest, a month-long effort to find the most inspirational travel photograph from among our world-roving readers. The winning entry will win two round-trip tickets with a value of $550 each, courtesy of Orbitz.com. What are you waiting for? Start combing through your desktop photo archives to find that killer shot (to get your creative juices flowing, here are some picks from among Away.com’s staff).

Click here to read more about the contest and submit your entry!

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Exotic Escapes · Free Stuff

February 08, 2011

Chicago-to-Yellowstone National Park Family Road-Trip Advice: Announcing Our Next Travel Q&A Flight-Voucher Winner!



By awayblog
02/08/2011

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Sylvan-lake-black-hills-sd
PERFECT PIT STOP: Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills region of South Dakota (Stefano Salvetti/Photodisc/Getty)

"We are planning an extended family road trip in June from Chicago IL to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 6 children ages 11-2yrs. What is the most scenic route and how do we plan for it?"

Away.com reader Sue M. of Springfield, IL, stepped up to the plate and offered her own detailed insights to the above query from one of our readers. And to thank her for her efforts, Sue is the winner of a free Delta Airlines flight voucher ($1,000-plus value!), the third of four that we’re awarding this year for the best reader-submitted advice on the Away.com Travel Q&A. Here is Sue’s answer :

"This is a great trip! I would take a route north and go through South Dakota and make a stop at Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills. Custer State Park is a must see! Don't miss Sylvan Lake and the Needles. Lots of easy hikes with great payoff! You only add about 75 miles by going the Northern Route and it is well worth it, because the southern route through Iowa and Nebraska offers little for sightseeing. Then you can go on through Yellowstone and down into Jackson Hole. Rapid City is about 13 hours from Chicago, so if you leave early you can do that in one day, and then it's an easy 7 1/2 hours onto Yellowstone. The kids will love Yellowstone and June is a great time to beat the crowds that come in July and August. The earlier in June that you are able to go, the fewer people and the more animals you will see! Jackson's Hole is only 2 hours south of Yellowstone and you will drive right through the Grand Tetons by going this way!"

For your chance to win our next airfare giveaway, share your best travel advice with your fellow travelers today! For more information about this giveaway, check out our contest-detail page here.

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Family Vacation · Road Trips · Travel Tips

December 16, 2010

Holiday Horror Stories Contest: Winner Announced



By awayblog
12/16/2010

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Passport-flickr
(Ryan McFarland/Flickr)

"While traveling to the UK, I stored our passports in the seat pocket on the airplane. I ran 1-2 miles through hallways that were packed before I realized that I had no hope of getting back. An airline employee told me that I should go to the connecting flight counter. They discovered that the plane was to be cleaned and was still at the airport. One employee offered to fetch our passports. Thankfully he returned with the passports and we were able to enter the UK and celebrate Christmas with no problem. Mommy is no longer in charge of passports!"

We're pleased to announce that the above entry from Jessica S. of Minnesota is the winner of our recent Holiday Horror Stories contest. The judges felt her entry captured that spine-tingling moment when we discover something's gone awry on our journey. And that mad dash through an airport with hope slipping away, not to mention the daunting consequences of "what if...?" filling frantic minds, encapsulates the emotional downsides of travel. Happily, Jessica's ordeal also reminds us that airline and airport employees are there to help and do good in small but hugely important ways every day. Certainly something we should all keep in mind as we take to the skies this holiday season. Jessica is the winner of two round-trip flight vouchers on Delta to help salve the trauma of Holiday Travel Nightmares Past. Congratulations, Jessica, and thanks to everyone else who took part!

Need some help planning your next (non-dramatic) vacation? Sign up for our new Travel Insider newsletter, packed with the latest travel features, tips from our editors, and money-saving deals.

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Christmas Vacation · Free Stuff

November 22, 2010

Tell Us Your Holiday Horror Stories for the Chance to Win Free Airfare!


Holiday-horror-stories

Just in time for the busiest travel period of the year, the Transportation Security Administration's latest enhanced screening procedures have got travelers all in a lather. This got us thinking about holiday travel and all the headaches, cancellations, delays, and other things that could go wrong. In fact, it's a travel genre all on its own: the Holiday Horror Story. From David Carroll's "United Breaks Guitars" to Steven Slater's angry JetBlue flounce-out, the topic is too good not to mine for laughs. After all, laughter is the best medicine for those all-too-common travel meltdowns, right?

Which is where you come in. Away.com wants to hear your Holiday Horror Stories. In the comments section here, tell us, in 100 words or less, about the moment when your vacation plans went off the rails. But don't stop there: tell us, too, what you learned from the experience and how it's made you a better traveler. We could all do with some hard-won tips for coping in adversity! The best comment will win a pair of Delta Airlines flight vouchers (redeemable for travel on Delta routes in 48 contiguous U.S. states and Canada; value $350 each, other conditions apply) to make the holiday-travel magic happen again. Click here to download the complete contest rules and conditions.

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Free Stuff · Holidays, Events, & Festivals

November 15, 2010

Passports with Purpose 2010: Donate and Win Great Travel Prizes!


Passports-with-purpose-2010 
Smiling women in rural India (mckaysavage/Flickr)

Today marks the kickoff of my favorite holiday fundraiser, Passports with Purpose. Started three years ago by a group of travel bloggers who wanted to give back to the world which they cover and explore, this year's online event is seeking to raise $50,000 to help build an entire village in southern India for that country's impoverished caste of "untouchables."

How can you help? Donate any amount in $10 increments to the fundraising effort, which will not only go toward the work of this year's charitable partner, LAFTI, but also put your name in the hat to win a swag bag of great travel prizes, including airfare, gear, consumer electronics, and more. The prizes have all been donated by members of the travel community, including two Delta flight vouchers for round-trip travel anywhere in the contiguous U.S. states and Canada from Away.com! Any other questions about PwP, feel free to drop me a line at: awearmouth 'at' away 'dot' com. And please, please open your wallets, purses, hearts... ahem... Swiss bank accounts for a very worthy holiday cause!

Click below the jump for the fine print.

Continue reading "Passports with Purpose 2010: Donate and Win Great Travel Prizes!" »

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Travel News · Travel Websites

November 11, 2010

Hawaii for the Holidays? Announcing Our Next Travel Q&A Flight-Voucher Winner!



By awayblog
11/11/2010

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Hanauma-oahu 
Hanauma Bay on Oahu, Hawaii (Robert Coello/Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau)

"Taking two boys (4 and 2) to Oahu along with my wife. Where's the best town in Oahu for being close to the attractions (zoo, snorkeling, aquarium, etc.) but far enough away from the madness of Honolulu? I am thinking North Shore."

We're excited to announce the second winner in our year-long flight voucher giveaway for the best travel advice submitted by the readers of Away.com. In response to the above question from reader 'sdjase' of San Diego, Cristina W. of Washington, D.C., offered the following spot-on advice:

"The attractions you mention, plus renowned and not-to-be-missed protected snorkeling spot Hanauma Bay, are located in or near Waikiki on the southeastern end of Oahu. Depending on where you stay on the North Shore, which is northwest of Waikiki, you'd be about an hour or more drive from Waikiki and its attractions. A better bet would be Kailua, which is about 30 minutes drive north of Waikiki (if you avoid rush hour), on the other side of the Ko'olau mountain range that cuts through the island. Additionally, Kailua Beach is a great family-friendly beach with activities/gear such as kayaking and windsurfing as well as snorkeling. From Kailua you could also readily access the North Shore and its surroundings, within 30-40 minutes."

To thank her for sharing her Hawaii expertise, Christina is the recipient of a free Delta Airlines voucher for round-trip travel anywhere in the contiguous U.S. and Canada! For your chance to win our next airfare giveaway, share your best travel advice with your fellow travelers today! For more information about this giveaway, check out our contest-detail page here.

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Related Topics: Away.com News · Free Stuff · Hawaii Vacation
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