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May 25, 2012

Get Rewared for Telling Your Best Fish Tale


Fish-post

Avid fishermen (and those who love—or tolerate—them) know the story of the one that got away is part of the experience. And with fly-fishing, which these days mostly embraces a catch-and-release philosophy, all you have to show at the end of the day is your wide smile. But if you’ve been inspired to capture some visual proof to back up those tall tales, here’s your chance to immortalize that perfect catch. 

Scotland’s Speyburn Single Malt Whisky recently announced their search for the “Perfect Catch.”  Upload a photo of your favorite fish, pair it with a 100-word story about the catch, and you could win a professionally framed artist rendering of your photo and a $500 Orvis gift card. Better yet, for every photo submitted, Speyburn will donate a dollar to American Rivers, the leading organization to restore and protect the country’s rivers and streams. In other words, not only do you get to brag about your epic fish prowess, but your (well-intended) vanity also gives back to the rivers that offer you so much joy.

As for the whisky itself? It’s distilled in the Speyside region of the Scottish Highlands, a landscape tailor-made for fishing—as well as paddling, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. The caramel-colored, medium-bodied whisky drinks smooth and easy, and is best enjoyed with only a few drops of water to open up the hints of green apple and vanilla spice. We find it's also best enjoyed after a day spent on your favorite river.

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Related Topics: Food and Drink · Free Stuff · From Around the Web

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

November 22, 2011

Win Two Free Nights at a Courtyard Marriott!


Cy-lobby-zone
Airline travelers get a first look at Courtyard Marriott's new lobby concept.

Heading through Houston, Phoenix, or Baltimore/Washington airports this holiday travel season? You might find an out-of-place hotel lobby smack dab in the middle of the concourse. Courtyard by Marriott is debuting a new lobby concept in the airport terminals of these three major hubs, hoping to introduce business travelers to what it sees as the future of the hotel lobby.

As we've reported recently, there are big changes underway in the public spaces at Courtyard by Marriott hotels nationwide. First, it has overhauled its food and beverage offerings. Now, Courtyard by Marriott is hoping to create a communal and helpful atmosphere for travelers by way of its lobbies. The idea is to allow guests to stay "connected, productive, and balanced." But the concept goes beyond WiFi hotspots. "Media pods" allow guests to hold mini meetings with up to three other people. Communal tables are designed to entice business travelers to enjoy a glass of wine while checking their email at happy hour, and to meet other guests also in town on business. Interactive television screens called GoBoards, developed by Courtyard and FourWinds Interactive, let users send directions to their smartphones or check flight information before heading to the airport.

“We are thrilled to present this new technology to our guests,” said Janis Milham, vice president and global brand manager for Courtyard by Marriott. In fact, the company is so excited to show off the new spaces, it's giving away two free nights in a Courtyard by Marriott to one lucky Away.com reader. All you have to do is answer one simple question:

What is your least favorite part about business travel?

Simply post a comment in the Comments section of this blog post answering that question. We'll pick the most useful comment, and that reader will get a free two-night stay at a Courtyard by Marriott anywhere in the continental U.S. Restrictions apply. Click here for terms and conditions.

For a list of properties with the new lobby, check here. Courtyard Marriott is also providing a free stay to Away.com to check out the new lobbies.

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · Travel Trends · US Travel

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

August 04, 2011

GORP Launches New Outdoor Gear Blog


GEARZILLA
Our partner GORP.com—guide to all things outdoors—just launched GEARZILLA, a fantastic new gear blog. They're running profiles of five new outdoors and travel products a week, each thoroughly vetted by a cadre of in-the-know gear testers, writers, and editors. PLUS: They're holding a contest each month. Just submit a review of your own favorite piece of gear, and the best one every 30 days will win free stuff like Patagonia's Torrentshell Jacket. They've also got great tips on how to navigate the confusing world of outdoors gear (from how to buy a tent to explaining what this whole soft shell revolution is really about), a huge cache of packing guides, and loads more.

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · From Around the Web · Travel Gear

June 29, 2011

Our Favorite Southern Freebies



By Kate Chandler
06/29/2011

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Playing-guitar 
Free music is abundant in the South (Kim Steele/Getty)

A certain southern belle (yours truly) was perusing her favorite southern magazine (Southern Living) when she came across a fabulous article on tons of free southern things to do (101 to be exact). Here are the highlights:

Taste the South
Fried-chicken lovers shouldn't miss the Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum in Corbin, Kentucky. Yes, that's Sanders as in Colonel Sanders of KFC. Spice it up with a tour of the Tabasco plant on Avery Island, Louisiana. Cookies, bread, beer, and whisky round out the rest of the options on the foodie list.
Kentucky Travel Guide; Louisiana Travel Guide

Bask in Nature
Waterfalls abound in North Carolina (see Glen Falls and Bridal Veil Falls), Texas (see Gorman Falls), and Tennessee (see Grotto Falls). Kentucky's Red River Gorge and West Virginia's New River Gorge showcase the awesome power of water carving through rock. Stick around for some rafting and hiking.
North Carolina Travel Guide; Texas Travel Guide; Tennessee Travel Guide

Hear Some Tunes
Whether it's jazz at The Lounge in Kansas City, Missouri, or rhythmic beats pouring out of one of the endless clubs on Frenchman Street in New Orleans, free music is a sure thing in the South. Nashville and Memphis are also obvious must-sees for music-lovers.
Missouri Travel Guide

Get Wild
Manatees grace Florida's waters each winter, while Georgia's waters teem with alligators. Even many zoos are free, such as in Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, Missouri.
Florida Travel Guide; Georgia Travel Guide; Washington, D.C. Travel Guide

See all of Southern Living's picks for 101 Free Things to Do in the South.

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Related Topics: Budget Travel · Free Stuff

May 30, 2011

Spring Back to Vail Contest Winner Writes About Her Experience



By Guest Blogger
05/30/2011

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Spring Back To Vail_Train Concert
Train performs at Spring Back to Vail in Vail, Colorado (Laura Parrington)

The Away.com Spring Back to Vail contest winner has accepted her prize and returned to tell the story. This past February, Away.com users were eligible to win by writing a review of their favorite ski/snowboard resort in Away.com's Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide. Our winner, Laura Parrington, wrote the best resort review and in return attended Colorado's premier end-of-season event, Spring Back to Vail (April 15-24). In addition, she received two round-trip flights to Vail (provided by Away.com and Orbitz), two nights at RockResort's The Lodge at Vail, and two days of lift tickets provided by Vail Resorts. Here is what our winner had to say about her days spraying powder in Vail, Colorado. 

People didn't believe me when I say I won this trip to Spring Back to Vail all by submitting a travel review online. But that's exactly how it happened. Away.com was holding an online contest that entered you to win a trip to Vail if you submitted a review of a ski resort. I wrote about Winter Park, one of my favorite resorts. Several weeks later, I was notified that my review won. It was that easy.

Continue reading "Spring Back to Vail Contest Winner Writes About Her Experience" »

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Related Topics: Free Stuff

May 16, 2011

The Great Gear Scavenger Hunt: The Final Days


Lovers of all things gear-related, please take note: you’ve got two weeks left to follow the clues that lead to a Sylvan Sport Go trailer filled with gear. Find it first, and it's yours. We're talking about more than $15,000 in products from Sylvan Sport, Yakima, SPOT, Kelty, Niner Bikes, Emotion Kayaks, Grand Trunk, Black Diamond, and Keen. The nation-wide treasure hunt started on April 4, and for the last eight weeks video clues and geo-coordinates have been posted on www.findthego.com, leading participants closer to the final location of the goods. So far, six clues have been revealed—which narrows things down from almost all of North America to…well, we won’t offer our guess. You’ve got till May 26 to get in on the action.

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · From Around the Web · Travel Gear

April 04, 2011

Spring Back to Vail Contest Winner is Announced!



By awayblog
04/04/2011

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Winter park
(Winter Park Resort)

The Away.com Spring Back to Vail contest winner has accepted her prize. Away.com users were eligible to win by writing a review of their favorite ski/snowboard resort in Away.com's Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide. Our winner, Laura Parrington, wrote the best resort review and will attend Colorado's premier end-of-season event, Spring Back To Vail, April 15 through 24th. In addition, she will receive two round-trip flights to Vail (provided by Away.com and Orbitz), two nights at RockResort's The Lodge at Vail, and two days of lift tickets provided by Vail Resorts. She'll also have the opportunity to write a review of her trip of a lifetime, so be sure to check back to read about her adventures at one of the biggest parties in the Rockies. Here is Laura's winning review:

Winter Park has everything you want in a ski resort. It's a favorite of Coloradans as well as out-of-towners and has a good vibe that caters to both types of people. It doesn't feel touristy, but if it's your first time to the area people are very welcoming and it's easy to get around. Prices are decent—though it was a steal ten years ago! It will only take you about 1.5 hours to get there from most areas on the front range (Denver). The slopes are always great, and there are plenty of trails to choose from for every level of skier or snowboarder. Great warming houses too. There is one on the mountain where you can opt to serve yourself or eat in their sit-down restaurant, ski boots and all, which is surprisingly well-priced. The base has a great little coffee shop as well. You can stay at the resort base, or venture into the town of Winter Park just down the road, where you will find a good variety of restaurants, bars, and B&Bs. It's definitely for those that want to experience a real home-grown Colorado ski town. BOTTOM LINE: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · Skiing & Snowboarding

February 14, 2011

Spring Back to Vail: Two Free Vouchers, Nights, and Lift Tickets



By awayblog
02/14/2011

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Ski little Spring is on its way and one of the best parts of the coming season is making use of the last remaining signs of Old Man Winter. End-of-season skiing is the chance to ride jacket-less under a mountain sun—and you can't do that for free anywhere but here. Enter for a chance to win our Spring Back to Vail contest for a shot at two round-trip flight vouchers, two nights at The Lodge at Vail, and two day lift tickets to Vail Ski Resort. To win, you must go to Away.com's Ski and Snowboard Resort Guide and write a review of your favorite/least favorite resort. Submit your best review between now and February 28. Come March 7, we'll read the reviews and pick a winner.

Official terms and conditions here.  

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · Skiing & Snowboarding
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