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December 16, 2010

Holiday Horror Stories Contest: Winner Announced

By awayblog

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(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: News · Christmas Vacation · Free Stuff

November 22, 2010

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


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. 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: News · Free Stuff · Holidays, Events, & Festivals

November 15, 2010 Unveils Free Travel Apps for iPhone and Android

By awayblog

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Orbitz-mobile-app, an online travel agency (OTA) and's parent company, has just released a pair of free travel apps for iPhone and Android. To date, it's the first native application for iPhone and Android phones that allows customers to shop and book a comprehensive selection of air, car rental, and hotel options. Other cool features include offline access to your "My Trips" portfolio, flight-status alerts, and real-time airport updates. You can also browse the app for available hotels near your current location automatically. Download it now and bring the power of mobile travel booking right to your fingertips, whether you're planning six months in advance or need the best-priced hotel near you now after that freak snowstorm shuts things down. Oh, and did we mention it's free?

Download the Orbitz app for iPhone
Download the Orbitz app for Android

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · From Around the Web · Travel News · Travel Tips

November 11, 2010

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

By awayblog

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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 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: News · Free Stuff · Hawaii Vacation

October 11, 2010

Clowning Around the Capital: Kids Euro Festival in Washington, D.C.

Slovakia's Captain Pantho (Kids Euro Festival)

And you thought the pols were the only clowns in town. Starting Thursday, October 14, Washington, D.C.'s month long Kids Euro Festival will showcase over 150 free family-friendly performances from acts around Europe. Staged in partnership with 27 European embassies in the U.S. capital, artists will include clowns, mimes, puppeteers, acrobats, dancers, and more from Eurozone countries like Austria, Lithuania, Sweden, and the U.K. All performances are free, although many require registration. Free public performances will take place at easy-to-access venues including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' Millennium Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Free Stuff · Travel News

September 10, 2010

If You Love Winter in the Mountains (and Getting LOADS of Free Stuff), Enter This Contest

Living Large at The Canyons (Nathan Borchelt)

In what will certainly swallow a few hours of every outdoor enthusiast's day with just thinking about the possibilities, The Canyons Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah, introduces the How Do You Mountain contest. This ain't your grandma's traditional giveaway. This one is the monster of winter-centric contests. The winner will receive a four-month gig as the resort's mountain ambassador, a position that pays $40,000, puts you up in a suite at the Waldorf Astoria, and comes with a season pass to the mountain, head-to-toe ski or riding gear, avalanche training, first track and heli-ski access, spa treatments, and VIP credentials to all Canyon events—they even fly you in and out of Salt Lake.

Continue reading "If You Love Winter in the Mountains (and Getting LOADS of Free Stuff), Enter This Contest" »

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August 16, 2010

Climb Kilimanjaro—For Free!


Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa, is widely considered the easiest climb of the seven summits—which isn't to say that the climb is a cake walk. But now you have a chance of at least getting to the base of the famed mountain—for free—thanks to a new sweepstakes brought to you from Polarmax and Backpacker Magazine.

The winner (and one guest) will receive round-trip airfare, ground transportation, four nights at a Tanzania hotel (meals included), and a six-day guided round-trip trek to the summit with author Macon Dunnagan. You also get a cache of technical base layers from Polarmax, featuring their new TransDRY wicking cotton fabric, a revolutionary move on the gear front that aims to bring all the tech-savvy features buttery soft cotton apparel.  (Editor's Note: We've tried the stuff—and this kind of cotton doesn't kill; it wicks and dries like the best of the synthetic varieties out there.)

Enter now through October 11, 2010, by visiting Polarmax.

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Related Topics: Africa Travel · All Inclusive Vacation · Free Stuff · From Around the Web · Outdoor Adventures

August 05, 2010

Travel to Bhutan with a National Geographic Photographer

By awayblog

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Bhutan(Christopher Potter)
(Christopher Potter)

WorldNomads (in partnership with the National Geographic Channel and JoJo's Adventures Bhutan) is offering the chance for one exceptional individual to go on assignment with renowned wildlife photographer Jason Edwards to the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Photograph the deeply spiritual and mystical Bhutan as it slowly opens to the modern world, maintaining a strong balance with its ancient traditions. Nestled in the Himalayas, bordering India and China, 65 percent of Bhutan is under forest cover, making its pristine ecology home to rare and endangered flora and fauna.

To help the winner take the best photos, the scholarship recipient will receive $1,800 worth of Pentax photographic equipment of their choice.

The best photos will be published on the National Geographic Channel's website, where they will be viewed by thousands of travelers worldwide.

Continue reading "Travel to Bhutan with a National Geographic Photographer" »

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Related Topics: Asia Travel · Free Stuff · From Around the Web · Travel Photography

July 30, 2010

Rosewood Celebrates 30 Years by Giving Back

By Lacy Morris

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Rosewood Mayakobá, Riviera Maya, Mexico (Rosewood Hotels)

To celebrate its 30-year anniversary, Rosewood Hotels is giving back to the 20-somethings who have made a difference. The 30 Under 30 competition will choose 30 finalists who exhibit the values that the company strives to uphold:

-Mindful of the community
-Leadership with integrity
-Passion of conviction
-Dedication to preserving our natural environment
-Strong sense of life balance

On December 1, 2010, Rosewood will announce its finalists, who will receive a $100 donation to the charity of their choice and a dinner for two at any Rosewood property. The judges (Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor, Jason Binn, CEO of Niche Media, and Pamela Fiori, Editor-at-Large of Town & Country) will then choose a final winner who will receive a $1,000 donation to their chosen charity and a free three-night stay at any of the Rosewood hotels or resorts in the world. Rosewood has property in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Middle East.   

Do you know a young person who has strong moral values and wisdom like an owl? Nominate them here.

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June 24, 2010

Summer Giveaway: Chaco Tan Photo Contest

By Lacy Morris

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Win a free river-rafting trip and a new pair of kicks just by showing off your summer gams and tans on those adventurous feet of yours. Running now through August, the Chaco Tan Photo Contest is collecting photos from loyal Chaco customers who wear their sandals in "exotic places and out-of-the-way spaces." The person whose photo receives the most "Likes" by 5 PM EST on July 2nd will receive a prize, and the photo will become a finalist in the river-rafting trip grand prize contest. Chacos are built rugged and have the heart of a true adventurer, so be creative with your photos—the more exotic locale the better. Click here for the full details and contest rules.

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Related Topics: Free Stuff · From Around the Web

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