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Ship Log

Travel Contests Not for Everyone

Exclusive casa in Playa del Carmen goes to a lucky winner of the Mixed Blood Theatre raffle.

Exclusive casa in Playa del Carmen goes to a lucky winner of the Mixed Blood Theatre raffle.

Friends ask me why (on earth!) I enter to win trips to places all over the world, when I’m already a world traveler. Right now I’m in the running for an 8-day river/canal cruise in Europe from Emerald Waterways, a week in Australia from Virgin Australia airlines and Tourism Australia, and a week in Mexico as a raffle prize from one of my favorite non-profits, Mixed Blood Theatre of Minneapolis.

The answer is simple. My bags are already packed, my schedule is flexible, and I enjoy supporting the sponsors of these trips. I’ve entered plenty other contests for travel, through airlines and tourist bureaus mostly. (I’ve never won. If I had, it would have been in the lead of this story.) But I’m perennially optimistic, and it seems the more time I invest, the more confident I become of my upcoming luck.

The Emerald Waterways River Cruise requires travel bloggers to write a story about why they want to win. That’s easy, as my friend and I have been talking about barging through Europe for years on end.

The Australia contest, now closed, required reading clues and pinpointing destinations. There were 52 possible entries and prizes, one for each week in the year, and the contest was open only to U.S. citizens. I did as much as I could, and tried to cover all the weeks available after January 1, 2015. I hope *when* I win this trip I can extend the round-trip air schedule so I can stay in Oz longer. Whether I win a week in Canberra, or a week in Perth or Melbourne, I really don’t care, because I hope to make a much longer trip out of it.

I prefer the contests which require something more than clicking ‘like,’ but maybe that’s because I believe fewer people will make the effort, thereby increasing my odds. Twice, I’ve tried my hand at video production to win trips. It’s time consuming, but my second effort got us into the final three. Mind you, that had nothing to do with the video, and everything to do with begging friends to “like’ our entry. That is the least fun part of contest entries.

If you dig around, you can find plenty of contests like these, especially by checking tourism pages for your favorite countries or island destinations. I won’t tell you more. It will only hurt my chances.

Must close now to go buy my raffle tickets for Mixed Blood, the easiest sort of contest. What? No online entry? Maybe not as easy as I thought, but then again, perhaps I’ll win a (booby) prize for the furthest flung entry. Playa del Carmen, here I come.

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