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Friday’s Friendly Funny: Share, like, and tweet

Check out this week’s Friday Funny from cartoonist Dave Blazek!

Friday’s Friendly Funny by Dave Blazek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License. Based on a work at blog.friendlyplanet.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://blog.friendlyplanet.com.

 

How would you Like to win a trip for two to the sweeping savannahs of South Africa?

If you dream of driving into the African bush in search of the Big Five game or gazing at open grasslands while being treated to warm, welcoming hospitality, then have I got a special treat for you.

We’re giving away a free trip for two on our Facebook page in partnership with South African Tourism and South African Airways to one of the world’s most coveted destinations: South Africa! Breathtaking and magnificent doesn’t even begin to describe the scenery and wildlife travelers experience in South Africa. And you could see it for yourself in person. Just visit our Facebook page, Like us, and enter your information to enter to win this prize, worth up to $5,400!

This prize package includes almost everything two travelers will need as they explore South Africa:

  • Round-trip, non-stop airfare from JFK or IAD to Cape Town Airport via South Africa Airways. This includes fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees.
  • Flights, ground transportation, and transfers within South Africa.
  • Six-night accommodations in a first-class hotel and game lodge.
  • Ten meals total: six breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners.
  • Professional, English-speaking guides and game rangers.
  • Sightseeing in Cape Town.
  • Four game drives at Entabeni Game Reserve.

Are you ready for the trip of a lifetime? Can you already picture yourself on safari in South Africa? Well read the full itinerary of the trip and then enter to win. Don’t forget to invite your friends to enter — and make sure they bring you if they win! You also earn an extra entry for every friend that enters through your invite, increasing your chances of winning.

The sweepstakes will close at 11:59 p.m. on October 11, and we’ll announce the winner soon after. Good luck, travelers!

Recapping our Facebook travel chat with special guest Reid Bramblett

Thanks again to everyone who participated in our latest Facebook travel chat. Reid Bramblett and I had a great time answering your questions, debating travel best practices, and sharing our travel know-how. I want to recap the Q-and-A here on the blog for anyone who missed it.

Q: How is Friendly Planet able to send people to Cuba? Isn’t there an embargo against Americans visiting the island?

Peggy: The answer is a new license called ‘People to People’ which enables us to send American travelers to Cuba to engage in educational and cultural exchanges. This means that in Cuba you get to do all the things that you would long to do in any international destination — meet real Cubans, see how they live, work, study, and generally live their lives — in addition to visiting the important sites on the island.

Q: Hi there, I love history and learning when I travel, what would be some great historical places in Europe to visit that might be a bit off the beaten path or not as widely known as say, Stonehenge or the Colosseum?

Reid: It sounds like you’re interested in ancient sites, and Europe is full of them. For example, the Irish version of Stonehenge is Newgrange, a gorgeous passage tomb just an hour north of Dublin. The west coast of Ireland is filled with Celtic ruins as well. This year is a great time to visit Ireland because of the Gathering. There are many activities celebrating Irish heritage throughout the country. I recommend the Fleadh Nua in Ennis, the most participatory of the Irish music festivals.

As for an alternative to the Colosseum, the south of Italy is filled with ancient Roman and Greek ruins (much of it was once part of greater Greece), from ancient amphitheaters to temples. (more…)

Get even more travel advice about Italy: Enter to win one of Reid Bramblett’s signed Italy travel guides!

We hope everyone enjoyed our Facebook chat with Reid Bramblett today! To keep the information flowing, we’re giving away three of Reid’s books about the most romantic country on Earth – Italy:

These guide books offer dozens of helpful lists about the destination, including the 10 best restaurants, bars, neighborhoods, hotels, local attractions, and much more. They’re great to read before your trip or carry with you while you travel, and even have pull-out maps and guides of city metro systems, useful phone numbers, and 60 great ideas on how to spend your day.

Enter to win your copy below, and stay tuned for more travel chats on the Friendly Planet Travel Facebook page soon!

UPDATE: We’ve chosen the winners! Congratulations to:

Thanks to everyone who entered! 

Join us for our next Facebook travel chat with special guest Reid Bramblett!

Do you have questions about travel, and you’re just not sure whom to ask? Well, why not ask the man who wrote the book? We’re hosting our next Friendly Planet Travel Facebook chat, and this time around, special guest Reid Bramblett will be joining us! This chat will be on Thursday, March 14 at 3 p.m. EST on Friendly Planet’s Facebook page.

Reid Bramblett has authored or contributed to more than 30 guidebooks, and has worked as a travel editor at Frommer’s, Budget Travel, and MSNBC.com. He’s also appeared on various news and cable television shows; spoken at the Smithsonian; and is the man behind ReidsGuides.com, a comprehensive travel advice website. With all these credentials, Reid is the perfect person to join us for our next travel chat!

I’ll be chiming in with Reid to help answer your questions and share travel advice. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some questions that we’ve gotten in the past:

  • When is the best time of year to visit Italy?
  • What types of things should I do in my spare time in South Africa?
  • Is there any way to avoid single supplement fees when booking a cruise?
  • If I want to get the best deal on airfare to Europe, how far in advance should I book?
  • Is it possible for me to visit Cuba legally?

Make your list of travel questions and join us for answers, insights, and more. We can’t wait to see you there!

Your free trip to Dubai is just two clicks away on Friendly Planet Travel’s Facebook page

WIN WITH FRIENDLY PLANET: A free trip to Dubai!You might be asking yourself: Is Friendly Planet really giving away another free trip? The answer is yes!

That’s right — we’re pleased to announce we’re giving away another tour to our loyal fans on our Facebook page to a destination that is bigger, grander, and more lavish than any other: Dazzling Dubai!

There is absolutely no place in the world quite like Dubai. Found in the middle of the desert at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, Dubai is the world’s mecca of luxury. The city has every amenity possible and no expense is spared in showing it’s a city of unparalleled extravagance. But you don’t have to be rich and famous to enjoy this amazing destination for yourself. All you have to do is visit our Facebook page, Like us, and fill out the entry form.

In true Friendly Planet fashion, the “Be Dazzled by Dubai” giveaway includes round-trip airfare from New York (JFK) via Emirates, one of the world’s top airlines, as well as fuel surcharges, airline taxes, and fees. It also includes arrival and departure transfers; buffet breakfast daily; city tour, including the Burj Khalifa; professional, English-speaking tour director; and accommodations at the deluxe, centrally located Fairmont Hotel. Several optional tours are also available.

This VIP giveaway takes you and a friend to Dubai to explore the unparalleled luxury, superb cuisine, and outstanding architecture that define this city. For all the details on where you’ll go and what you’ll see while in Dubai, be sure to read the detailed itinerary of the trip on our website.

And for more chances to win, be sure to keep your eyes on our Facebook page. We’ll be offering additional entries for participating in surveys, answering questions, and sharing posts. Good luck to all!

Recapping Friendly Planet Travel’s first live Facebook travel chat

CHAT AWAY: I was happy to answer your travel questions
during our first live Facebook chat!

Having traveled both professionally and personally for over 30 years, I am often used as a resource for a wealth of travel questions. So you might have seen that we held our first-ever live chat on Friendly Planet Travel’s Facebook page. I answered many of our fans’ travel questions in real-time, and had a great time doing so. I wanted to share some of the biggest takeaways with those who missed it.

Q: What are the benefits of booking with a travel agency versus booking on my own?

A: The benefits are various, but mainly, you’ll save money. We spend a lot of time getting great deals for our passengers and we pass those on to you. Also, you’re getting plenty of expertise. All that research you’ll need to do, we’ve already done it.

Q: Out of all the cruises you’ve taken, which is your favorite and why? 

A: Honestly, the very best cruise I have ever taken was on a small ship, part of the Cruceros Australis fleet, in Patagonia. I loved this cruise because it was an amazing adventure, not just fancy food each day — we visited some of the most pristine places in our hemisphere. Also, the size of the cruise was very conducive to making new friends.

Q: Do you save any money planning a trip far in advance? 

A: It doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes, especially with airlines and cruises, the best rates are not always available far in advance. However, with tour companies like ours, if we see opportunities to reduce cost, we always pass along the benefits, even at the last minute. The main reason to book early is to be sure you get the trip you want. If you wait, you might not get the space at all.

Q: Do you have any recommendations for traveling abroad, specifically to Ireland? 

A: If you are traveling on your own, perhaps with a rental car and some basic hotel arrangements, you’ll want to check in with the Irish Tourist Board. It has a tremendous amount of information, plus plenty of recommendations for restaurants, pubs, and fun events, many of which are completely for free. Since there isn’t a language problem, you’ll meet plenty of warm and friendly people among the Irish who will share their personal favorites regardless of where you travel. Ireland is one the most accessible destinations for Americans.

Q: What would you recommend for a good girls’ getaway trip, one with lots of sightseeing but also some relaxation? 

A: Go to Tuscany. It’s amazingly rich in touring opportunities; it’s gorgeous, friendly, with great food and plenty of opportunities to relax.

Q: Is it safe to travel to Greece right now? 

A: You bet it’s safe. There is no problem with safety in Greece today. Not a bit. The Greeks have their issues with their economy. Tourist are not only safe, they are major personas MUY GRATAS. The Greeks will treat guests like royalty, and there is no reason at all not to consider visiting Greece this summer.

Q: When is it best to exchange dollar for Euros? 

A: Never exchange money in the U.S. before taking a trip abroad. Your best exchange rate will be in the country you’re visiting. You can exchange some money when you arrive, usually right in the airport. That will get you started with local currency for tips or small purchases. Then you can check the local exchange places you’ll find everywhere or at the banks. You should check Travel.State.gov for information regarding specifics of customs, health requirements, alerts, and lots of other information. The site is for U.S. travelers, and it is very helpful.

I want to thank everyone who participated in our first of many live travel chats. If you missed it, we are holding our next chat on Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. EST. Join in and ask me your biggest travel questions. Just remember, it’s better to know before you go!

Announcing the final winner of our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes

WORLD TRAVELER: Congratulations to
Stacey, who has won a trip to India!

Giving away free trips to travelers from all over the U.S. has been one of the most entertaining and exciting things I’ve done in Friendly Planet Travel history (and I’ve done a lot things in my 30 years since starting the company!).

But before we get to the end, we still have one more winner to announce in our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes. This lucky person will win a free trip for two to India on our Taj Mahal Express tour. So who was our last lucky winner?
It was Stacey Foisy from Oregon! Listen in as I tell her what she’s won.

                                                                                                             

Congratulations to all of our winners – Jamie, Lillian, Shari, Stephen, Laurie, and now Stacey. We’ll be speaking to each of them once they return from their trips to hear how it went, what they enjoyed most, and what exciting things they saw while abroad.

This brings our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes to a close. Awarding six all-expenses-paid tours to exotic destinations worldwide has been a fantastic experience for all of us here at Friendly Planet Travel, and we’d like to thank everyone who participated.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page, as well as right here on our blog, for more giveaways in the coming months.

Do you have an idea for a future Friendly Planet giveaway that you’d love to see be brought to life? Leave a comment below with what you think we should give away next. 

We’ve given away six international trips and now millions in discounts — Have we lost our minds?!

SHARE TO WIN: Get coupons for
helping us reach 20,000 fans on Facebook

Since January, we’ve given away five amazing trips to exotic destinations worldwide — and we’re getting ready to give away our sixth and final trip to India. Now we’re ALSO GIVING AWAY MILLIONS in discounts. We’ve set a goal to reach 20,000 fans by August 6 (we’re only 500 fans away!). If we reach our goal, every fan of our Facebook page who has entered the contest will receive a coupon for $100 off any new trip booked with Friendly Planet.*

So, how can you help us reach our goal and get a valuable $100 discount coupon for yourself? Just share the link to our sweepstakes on your wall. For every one of your friends who enters our sweepstakes, you’ll get an extra entry into the contest for yourself, and thanks to you, we’ll be another friend closer to the 20,000. Once you’ve entered the contest, you can use the “invite friends” feature or simply share our Friendly Planet Travel page using the drop down option under our cover photo.

We’d like to thank you for your help towards reaching our goal and wish you good luck in our sweepstakes. And knowing that you love travel as much as we do, we promise to bring you more exciting giveaways, special deals, and other ways to help you see the world for less. Keep traveling, friends!

P.S. We won’t fall into a deep depression if we actually exceed our goal. :-)

*Coupon for new bookings only. Expires 8/1/2013. Coupon is per booking and cannot be combined with any other coupons, discounts, or offers.

Facebook update: The Friendly Planet Travel Facebook page is currently down

Our apologies to everyone who’s trying to visit to our Facebook page. We discovered this morning that the page is down, and have requests into Facebook to correct the matter. We believe this is an issue on Facebook’s end.

The Win the World Sweepstakes has been momentarily paused, as we are not able to receive any additional entries. However, because the application is run by its own software, everyone who has already entered will still be entered to win when we resume the contest.

We appreciate your patience, and we’ll continually update our blog until the issue is resolved. Keep your eyes here, and we’ll let you know as soon as the page is back up.

-Peggy and the Friendly Planet Travel team

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About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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