One of the most difficult parts of travel is visiting a less-developed country, seeing a need, and wishing there was something you can do to help fill it. So four travel bloggers from the Seattle area got together and decided to raise some money and put it to use on a particular project. This year, that project is building a school in Cambodia, and they’ve been joined by over 50 additional travel writers, bloggers and travel websites in raising the funds.
The effort, dubbed “Passports with Purpose” started with a goal to raise $13,000 by December 21. But they weren’t just asking for donations out of the goodness of your heart – those who contribute will be entered to win in drawings for some pretty cool prizes like Flip cameras, Shutterfly gift cards, travel gear, and even free stays at hotels around the world. Each entry costs $10 and you can enter to win the drawing for the prize of your choice. Each prize will be valued at $75 or more.
As of yesterday, the group met their $13,000 goal, but rather than stop there they’ve decided to go even bigger. Now they’ll try to raise an additional $13,000 to staff the school with a nurse, install a water filer, and plant a vegetable garden.
The deadline to donate and win a prize closes December 21 and winners will be announced on January 5. All proceeds from the entries will go directly to American Assistance for Cambodia, an independent nonprofit organization formed in 1993, which works with the Cambodian government to build school in rural villages.
San Antonio is celebrating 15 days of holiday giving by giving away 15 great trips to explore San Antonio. The contest started December 1, but there are still 12 more days to win a prize package for a trip to the city.
Each day, a different themed trip will be awarded. Each trip includes a three-night stay at a different San Antonio hotel, plus activities and extras like spa treatments, cooking classes, meals, gift cards, horse-drawn carriage rides, magazine subscriptions and rounds of golf.
For example, December 9th’s prize is a three-night stay at the Omni La Mansion del Rio on the Riverwalk, a $500 VISA gift card, dinner at Biga on the Banks, and a day at Enchanted Springs Ranch and Natural Bridge Caverns.
For every entry, the San Antonio CVB will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio. To win, all you need to do is enter using the online form. Entrants must be 21 years of age or older and be residents of the US. Winners will be notified by email within five days of the prize drawing and will have ten days to claim their prize.
Does misfortune seem to follow you when you travel? Ever been delayed on the tarmac for 10 hours, arrived to find your luggage was lost, your hotel had burned down, and you’d misplaced your passport? If you’ve got the mother of all travel disaster stories, Travel Guard insurance wants to hear from you.
On December 1st, they’re launching a contest to find the worst travel tale of woe, and the person deemed to be the “World’s Unluckiest Traveler” will be awarded a $10,000 dream vacation.
Every month, one winner will be chosen (by votes) to receive a Flip MinoHDTM camcorder. Another winner will be chosen at random from among the people for voted for that story as the worst. Each month’s “worst” winner will then be entered to win the fabulous grand prize, a (hopefully disaster-free) trip worth $10,000.
So if your travels have left you broke or beaten down, get your story ready and turn your travel disaster into something positive.
I love a good travel contest, especially one that requires little effort to enter. So I’m excited about the jetBlue and Hertz Jet & Drive Giveaway, which runs now through through January 31, 2010. To enter, all you need to do is surf on over to the website, complete your free registration and then enter your email address. Easy, peasy.
For that minimal effort, you could win some pretty cool prizes, depending on the number of entries for the day. Yes, that’s right – the prizes will vary according to how many people have entered for the day, and you can enter every single day of the contest. If 2,500 people or less enter on a given day, the winner gets a $100 Hertz rental card. With 2,500 or more entries, the card’s value goes up to $250. But if 5,000 people enter, the lucky winner gets a $500 jetBlue gift card!
There will also be up to five grand prizes given away, one each time the total number of contest entries reaches another 50,000 milestone. The grand prize includes airfare to one of five destinations, Hertz rental car, and accommodations at a designated Starwood or Marriott hotel for two people. Destinations include New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Aruba.
Have a great sustainable travel story? Travel website 52 Perfect Days is looking for submissions for their 2009 travel writing contest, which has a theme of sustainable tourism, ecotourism, agrotourism and voluntoursim.
The first place prize is a three-day vacation in Kauai, Hawaii, including accommodations, tours and activities (but not airfare). The second place winner will receive a custom-designed website and third place gets a Kelty Day Pack.
Submissions should be less than 1000 words of original, unpublished work. The contest is open to residents of North America who are 18 years of age and older and there’s no fee to enter. Entrants will be judged on how well they convey a sense of place and engage the reader while telling a story that relates to the theme.
Entries are due by Saturday, October 31 and winners will be announced by December 31.