Tell your best travel story and win a voucher

Think you have the ultimate travel story? is celebrating its 10th anniversary and wants to hear about your best travel adventure of the last decade. Tell your inspiring, amazing, crazy or hilarious tale and you may win a €500 travel voucher.

Stories must be between 500 and 1500 words and be accompanied by a photo. The writer of the story selected as the best will receive the grand prize voucher, while nine other winners will be awarded a €50 Amazon card. Contest winners will be announced on October 7th.

Entries must be submitted by September 30th, so get writing!

Cell phone down toilet. It happens. A lot

This was a stay-in-the-car-until-the-last-line-was-finished type story. I was listening to “All Things Considered” on the radio on my way home. The theme was cell phones dropping down toilets and what people will do to get them back.

Several phones that made the big splash were dropped in a toilet while the owner was in transit. Airplane toilets, train toilets, bathroom stalls, port-a-pots. . .name a toilet-type and it’s a guarantee that a cell phone has landed in one.

One story involved a train in France. The owner went after the phone when it dropped down the train’s toilet. Instead of retrieving the phone, his arm became stuck. To get him out, the whole toilet had to be removed from the train at a later stop.

Another guy dropped his phone in an airplane toilet and was able to get it back. Unfortunately, even though he cleaned it, dried it off and then washed, and washed and washed his hands, there was a slight problem when he showed up at his business meeting. You see, after the plane landed, he made a phone call and unwittingly deposited a blue streak across his face. He found out about the streak when someone at the meeting asked about it.

One story that brings to mind Mike’s post about the Babykeeper Basic that hangs a baby from a wall of a door stall is the one about the woman who lost her phone while she was changing her baby in a port-o-pot. She could see the phone, but there wasn’t any way she was going to go after it.

Here’s the link to text of the NPR story. Along with being entertaining, it’s informative. Cell phones down toilets are considered to be acts of negligence by insurance companies. I call it bum luck. I’ve never had a cell phone land in a toilet, but I still have a vivid image of my car keys catapulting out of my hands on their own volition.

Gadling Take FIVE: Week of October 12- October 17

This week Gadling picked up another blogger Mike Barish who considers Lunchables unusual food.

When I browsed the week’s offerings, money popped out as one of the prevailing themes. With the stock markets doing a roller coaster act, forgetting that the ups give riders a reprieve, it’s no wonder.

  • Scott’s post on American Airlines possible plan to do àla carte pricing offers great suggestions for getting the most umph out of the dollars you fork over for flying.
  • In another managing your travel money venture, Grant outlined how a person can take a short cut to Gold status for Hilton Hotels. Gold status offers more perks and deals.
  • When it comes to traveling in Europe, Jeffery delved into how the current financial crisis might be making European jaunts a cheaper venture for Americans. Considering that I’m heading to Denmark in December, that’s happy news.
  • Aaron wondered just how rich he is and found out that he’s the 730 millionth richest person in the world. His post points out how you can find out your own financial standing in the world. Perhaps the news will give you the feeling that you can afford at least a mini vacation to the next town over.
  • And to round it off, although there is more, Jerry is on the quest for cheap travel in Iceland. He’s already scored a $400 RT ticket. Not bad, Jerry.

Also, for anyone who is looking for some Gadling glory, check out our series Catching the Travel Bug. We’re looking for your stories and will publish our reader submitted favorites.

Seven Kinds of Travel Stories You Should Be Able to Tell Before You Die

Here’s a cutesy travel piece out of the San Francisco Chronicle. I missed the first installation, but the author John Flinn sets the premise that it’s not enough to just go, do, and see all the wonderful places found in the New York Times best seller 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. In order for your travels to have some type of street cred, you’ve got to come back with some cold hard traveler’s tales. I’m almost certain Mister Flinn isn’t suggesting you go out searching for tales to tell or to create them. They should just sort of happen. In last’s week edition he talked about the first two which were Third World bus stories and bathroom stories. This week he adds scary air and animal stories while sharing two of his own. I have to admit the scary air tale he told tops many that I’ve heard and I don’t know where he got the balls to get in a plane with a pilot like that.

What do I know? If you’ve got to be some place bad enough I suppose you’d take chances with any pilot. Go take a peek and see if you’ve got some real travel stories of your own to tell. If not, maybe it’s time to take a ride on the wild side and look out for next week when he goes over a hotel story, a food story and a guide story.

P.S. The sheep in the bag in the back of the jeep is from an animal tale of my own, but really, it wasn’t that eventful.

Outside Magazine Preview: Miracle in the Andes

Nando Parrado’s story on the 72 days spent in the
Andes and the long trek home may not have hit book shelves yet, but it has most certianly hit my heart. Outside magazine has an exclusive excerpt from Miracle in the
in their current issue with only a small fraction of the piece available online. For me the story is still
fairly new, others may vaguely remember, some might find it hard to forget, but Outside names it one of the greatest
epics of all time. The year was 1972 when a plane carrying a young Uruguayan rugby squad crashed in the Andes leaving
the survivors stranded and forcing them to subsist on the bodies of their friends. Nando Parrado, hero of the saga,
tells the awe-inspiring tale 34 years later in his book Miracle in the Andes to
hit shelves on May 9, 2006. If the piece found online isn’t enough for you make sure you scoop up the latest Outside
for more or check out the Q&A
with the author who touches on his recent return to the crash site, the book & movie Alive, as well his strange attraction to ice axes and