Free Travel Contests

One of the methods we discuss in our book, How To Travel For Free (or pretty damn near it!) is travel contests as a means of winning free travel. There are a lot more of them than you might think, and it isn’t always so hard to win. I have personally won a 3-night vacation in New Orleans for two (that included airfare and hotel), free hotel stays and other things through travel contests.

USA Today recently reported on this, with a link to a number of contests. So we thought we would pass them along – good luck! Also, we are starting our own travel giveaway on Monday, for a 2-night hotel stay at Hotel Max in Seattle. Stay tuned!

Use your American Express card in February at Dunkin’ Donuts and get a shot at a number of prizes, the tops of which is a year of free flights on JetBlue.

Submit a short video detailing your idea of the ideal Cactus League Major League Baseball spring training day and upload it to the Arizona Office of Tourism’s Facebook page by Feb. 15, and get a shot at a $1,600 spring training vacation (game tickets included, of course).

If shooting a video is too much hassle, the Phoenix suburb of Tempe is offering its own four-day spring training getaway, valued at $1,424, by simply entering on its website by Feb. 15.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation is giving away nine first-prize trips to nine regions in the state. A grand prize winner of the Follow Your Heart to Virginia contest can chose elements from the nine trips to create a custom vacation. Enter through Aug. 25.

Got a heart-warming tale of how you met your significant other? Share it on LAN Airlines Facebook page by Feb. 28 (click the Share the Love tab to upload) and be eligible to win two round-trip business class tickets to Buenos Aires.

Or maybe you have a not-so-heartwarming tale of how you botched Valentine’s Day. If so, share it with Choice Hotels for a chance to win one of three vacation packages at a Cambria Suites property of your choice. The grand prize in the Valentine’s Day Redo Contest is airfare for two, a three-night stay at the hotel, a $1,000 Visa gift card and a $150 dining credit. Enter on the chain’s Facebook page between Feb. 15 and 28.

Aspiring travel writers have a shot at accompanying a Rough Guides author for three weeks in June as he updates his Istanbul travel guide. And before going to work, the winner will get a “Turkish Delight” adventure tour of the country. Enter by March 28 by visiting

Students ages 8 to 18 can win a three-night stay for four in one of 13 national parks, plus some gear to help enhance the visit, by entering the National Parks Traveler Take Your Family to the National Parks essay contest. Students in three age groups are asked to submit parks-related essays on a specific topic by March 1. Winning essays from each group will be chosen by NPS director Jon Jarvis and announced in April during National Parks Week.

STA Travel is looking for two interns (under age 26) to blog, tweet, shoot video and take photos across 16 countries including Italy, Croatia, Nepal and Australia. Submit a one-minute video about why you deserve a World Traveler Internship. Eight finalists will travel to Europe to shoot their final application video. The entry deadline is Feb. 25.

Travel Well,

Shelley & Keith


About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."
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3 Responses to Free Travel Contests

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Free Travel Contests | How To Travel For Free (or pretty damn near it!) --

  2. Julie says:

    I’ve been entering travel giveaways for years and never won one! so i don’t think that’s a really good way to travel for free…


    • I agree it shouldn’t be the primary or only way to plan for free travel! But I have won some, and I know many other people who have as well, so it certainly is a valid and potential way to travel for free!


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