Is ‘Cabineering’ The New Glamping?

Love the outdoors but roughing it, not so much? A new movement called cabineering might be for you. The term was coined by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, which operates historic and scenic properties throughout North America and Australia, to describe its new Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone.

The upscale 50-cabin property is scheduled to open July 1 in West Yellowstone, Montana; the units will provide the “comforts of home and the perks of a hotel for adventurous travelers.” The overarching goal of Explorer Cabins is to “provide a unique vacation experience by combining several lodging movements, including cabineering, “generational travel” and dog-friendly travel…in a remote area.”

To celebrate the opening, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts will host the “Cabineering℠ Cook-off presented by Pepsi” contest on July 17. Contestants must submit an original recipe, which must be created using only the appliances offered at Explorer Cabins, and prepared in 30 minutes or less. Recipes, along with a photo or video of the dish, will be accepted starting June 25 through July 3. Participants must “like” the “Visit Yellowstone Park” Facebook page to enter their submissions.

Three finalists will be selected and flown, along with three family members, to West Yellowstone to prepare their recipes before a panel of judges (Can you already hear the, “Please pack your knives and go.”). The winner will have his or her recipe added to the Branch Restaurant and Bar menu, located at Explorer Cabin’s sister hotel, the Holiday Inn West Yellowstone. The winner will also receive a trip for four to Explorer Cabins for three nights. Details are available on Facebook.

Student Travel Writing Contest Offers $500 For Best Essay Of Student Life Abroad

Are you a student who is aspiring to be a travel writer? Now’s your chance to strut your stuff and perhaps win $500.

Transitions Abroad has announced their 2013 Travel Writing Contest. It’s billed as “the only student travel writing contest to cover studying, working, interning, volunteering and living abroad.”

The contest is open to all “currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students, students who have graduated within the past year, and students currently on leave from school.” The judges want to see essays of 1,000-2,000 words that offer solid advice for adjusting to student life overseas. Check out their guidelines carefully before putting pen to paper.

First prize is $500; second prize is $150; third prize is $100; and runners-up get $50. All get published in “Transitions Abroad” print and webzine. Deadline is April 15.

It’s always a good idea to check out what won in the past. Last year’s winner was “A Foreigner in the Middle Kingdom: Living, Working, and Studying in China.” My personal favorite was the practical and insightful “A High School Summer in Egypt Studying Arabic: Practical Advice and Tips.”

Thanks to the excellent online writing newsletter Writing World for bringing this to my attention. Check out their site for tons of free advice of value to aspiring and experienced writers.

[Photo courtesy Sarah Rose]

How Would You Like To Name Thomas Airways’ New Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

For those who have ever dreamed of naming a commercial airplane and having their creativity being broadcast in the sky for all to see, you may want to enter Thomson Airways’ new contest. The airline is reaching out to Twitter users for help naming their brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Britain. Beginning in May 2013, Thomson will become the first British airline to operate the plane.

Using the hashtag #nameourplane for entries, the airline is asking voters to tweet a suggested name for the aircraft, along with their reason for choosing it. Of course, this needs to be done in 140 characters or less. Additionally, if you happen to spot the contest’s signature hashtag-adorned plane (shown right), you should attach a photo to your tweet for “special consideration.”

According to The Age, entries will be judged by a panel that includes Thomson managing director Chris Browne, and the airline’s head of training and 787 test pilot, Captain Stuart Gruber.

“The arrival of the 787 Dreamliner will be an exciting time for Thomson Airways and our customers,” said Miss Browne. “It was only fitting to name one of these revolutionary aircraft in an equally innovative way.”

And the best part? The winner will also receive a free flight on-board their personally-named aircraft.

Click here to go to Thomson Airways’ Twitter page for updates.

Win A Trip To New Orleans With Sandeman’s Summer Sangria Challenge

Port enthusiasts will be familiar with the Sandeman brand, but this summer, the distinguished producer wants you to think of their fortified wine in a new light: as a mixer. For their Sandeman Summer Sangria Challenge, participants must submit a photo and original sangria recipe that incorporates a bottle of Sandeman Founders Reserve Porto.

Anything else goes ingredient-wise, but it’s helpful to remember that true sangria is a red wine punch from Rioja, Spain. Traditionally, it combines Rioja or another varietal of regional wine with Brandy and fresh fruit. It’s hard to improve upon a classic, but in my experience, Port makes everything better.

The winner will receive a trip for two to New Orleans to attend Tales of the Cocktail – the world’s premier cocktail festival – in July. To enter, visit by June 1. Recipes should yield one pitcher of sangria.

[Photo credit: Flickr user divya_]

Lomography launches travel photography competition

Lomography has teamed up with Virginia is for Lovers for a new photo competition that will award the most talented camera-toting travelers the chance to win limited edition cameras and vacations in Virginia. Called “Love Unexpected,” the year-long competition marks the first time Lomography has partnered with a tourism office for a special promotion.

The competition combines the analog philosophy of Lomography with the nostalgic vibe of Virginia’s small towns, which are full of places such as chromed-out diners, drive-in theaters, and other roadside wonders. Playing off of Virginia’s age-old tagline, “Virginia is for Lovers,” all entrants have to do submit photographs of things that they love that go along with a monthly theme. Ten winners a month will win a camera branded with the Virginia is for Lovers theme, and from those shutterbugs four grand prize winners will be chosen to partake in themed vacations in Virginia. Themes include a “Roadside Wonders” trip, the “Wines Brews, and Spirits” trip, an “Old School Seaside Eats” trip, and the “Music Jams” trip, where the winner will be dubbed the “official event photographer for Virginia is for Lovers” at the 2012 Floyd Fest.

More information on the contest, which runs through December 2012, can be found at If you’d like to purchase the limited edition camera, they are on sale for $109 online.

Image courtesy Virginia is for Lovers / Lomography.