Can’t Afford a Dream Vacation – Find Travel Contests to Enter and Win a Free Trip

For those of you dreaming about the next opportunity for a vacation but worried that your travel budget is depleted (assuming you kept to a budget in the first place), contests are an excellent place to turn. Every day new travel sweepstakes appear on the Web, TV, magazines, and newspapers and it usually takes just a few minutes to enter your personal details for a (once in a lifetime?) chance to win.  Lately I’ve been noticing that many contests require you to identify a tourist destination from a photo, submit your own creative photo, or answer questions about a destination to qualify.  Unfortunately I have never won a trip in my many years of trying, but that doesn’t stop me from entering contests from time to time, especially when the prize destination appeals directly to my travel preferences.

Luckily I discovered a useful online directory of travel sweepstakes at About.com, the site which is amazing source of knowledge on almost every subject including how to enter and win a free trip. You can browse through the latest list of categorized travel contests and also subscribe to email alerts.
About.com: Travel Sweepstakes – Win Free Trips and Dream Vacations

As for travel magazines, even if you are not a regular subscriber of popular magazines such as Condé Nast Traveler and Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, the online editions tend to promote travel giveaways as well.  Simply visit their websites as well as the website for travel guidebook publishers such as Lonely Planet and Fodor’s Travel Guides to sign up for email newsletters to be notified regularly. Also keep an eye open when perusing the travel section of your local newspaper (find out which day of the week includes a Travel section) and have a pen handy when a contest is mentioned during the morning TV news program or during your drive-time radio show.

Any time the urge strikes you to enter a contest to win a free trip, do your own search on Google or your favorite search engine, even using your iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, or other smart phone device.  In Google you can also create an email alert and receive search results via email daily or weekly using any combination of search terms.  Here are some useful search terms that I find cover all possibilities:

1. travel sweepstakes

2. vacation contest

3. win free trip

4. vacation giveaway

5. enter win trip

One final tip… create a separate email address (try Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail) just for entering travel contests and monitor it for new messages weekly.  Most travel sweepstakes encourage you (or subtly force you) to accept marketing emails from the contest sponsor and it is helpful to separate these from your primary email inbox.

Important Disclaimers: As with all contests in the U.S. or elsewhere, you must be aware of the fine print and tax implications of winning a prize.  You will be responsible for paying taxes on the stated value of the trip plus potentially other fees, and your information may be shared with others as the “winner” of the contest.  Always read the terms and conditions before entering any contest, never share sensitive personal information on the entry form, and avoid entering contests from companies that you have never heard of.  There are many scams on the Web and you want to stick with sweepstakes sponsored by major companies, organizations, and tourism offices that are familiar to you and steer clear of suspicious (too good to be true) offers.  Unfortunately many contests limit where you must live to be eligible to win and are only often limited to people living in the United States or Canada.

Good luck and Happy Traveling…
-Scott

Leave a Comment:

richard lyle says June 9, 2017

My Gf & I want to go on a vacation so bad but we are always working & all of our money always goes to bills we never have time to save to actually plan a nice vacation it would be a dream come true for a nice free vacation hope you guys can help us

Reply
Melissa says June 5, 2016

We never have funds for vacations or fix things at our home for that matter but we feel like we are gonna to explode if we don’t ever get away. We have a 16 ur old daughter and a 9 yr old son who have never been out and seen the world. Please help us.

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