Happy Thanksgiving! Our offices will be closed on Nov. 27th and 28th. You can still reserve online, make a payment, or contact us via our website. We'll reopen on Monday, Dec. 1st to help with your travel plans!
Have you ever wished to walk among ruins dedicated to ancient gods, lounge on black sand beaches, and lose yourself in a maze of quaint shops overlooking the Aegean Sea? Well you’re in luck. Today we’re unveiling our next Friendly Planet Travel sweepstakes, which will transport two lucky travelers to the birthplace of Western civilization — Greece!
Greece unites the wonders of the ancient past with the beauty of the modern present to enchant visitors and keep them dreaming of this breathtaking destination for years to come. The Greek Isles speckle the Aegean and Mediterranean as pinpoints of paradise. With whitewashed villas and bustling tavernas nestled high on bluffs overlooking the azure sea, these beautiful islands are everything a traveler could ask for in a vacation destination. Meanwhile, Athens, awesome and inspirational, uniquely integrates Eastern and Western influences resulting in a lively metropolis, renowned for its food, music, friendly people, and shopping.
This terrific trip could all be yours for free through our “Great Greece Giveaway.” One lucky Facebook fan will win a free trip for two on our nine-day Athens & 4 Day Greek Isles Cruise group tour. All you have to do is visit our Facebook page, Like us, and enter your information in the Great Greece Giveaway tab for your chance to win this prize, worth up to $6,100. Since this is a brand-new contest, you’ll have to enter your information (whether or not you participated in a previous Friendly Planet Travel sweepstakes) to be eligible to win.
If you didn’t come out on top of our Win Wild South Africa Sweepstakes, don’t fret. We had so much fun putting that sweepstakes together that we’ve got another surprise in store — we’re giving away ANOTHER free trip for two!
This one is a real treat — an 11-day adventure to Malaysia and Thailand on our Exotic Borneo & Bangkok tour. And since we’re conducting this sweepstakes in partnership with Tourism Malaysia and Tourism Authority of Thailand, you know you’ll see the best these countries have to offer. If you don’t need to hear more and want to enter now, simply visit our Facebook page, Like us, and enter your information in the Win Exotic Malaysia and Thailand tab for your chance to win this prize, worth up to $4,900! Since this is a brand-new contest, you’ll have to enter your information (whether or not you participated in our Win Wild South Africa Sweepstakes) to be eligible to win this prize.
Thailand is a beautiful country that’s flush with exotic wildlife, spectacular islands, and rich history. In fact, it’s one of the most visited destinations we offer. On the other hand, Malaysia is an up-and-coming hot spot that offers visitors a fusion of cultures, cuisine, beauty, and adventure that travelers need to see to believe. The lucky traveler that wins this tour won’t be disappointed with all there is to see and do in these countries.
Our grand prize package includes:
Round-trip airfare from Los Angeles or New York including fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees
All intra-Asia flights and ground transportation
Accommodations in deluxe and superior first-class hotels
Buffet breakfast daily and five lunches
Comprehensive sightseeing tours
Professional English-speaking tour guides
So read the full itinerary and then be sure to visit our Facebook page to put your name in the hat! Don’t forget to invite your friends to enter! You’ll 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 November 15, and we’ll announce the winner soon after. To all of our travelers, good luck!
It might be Monday, but I was excited to come into work today. That’s because I got to let one lucky traveler know that she’s going on a free trip to South Africa, on us! It’s been a blast to read your comments on our Facebook page about how much you love South Africa, and I’m sad to see our sweepstakes come to an end — I wish you all could win! And hopefully, some of you who have gotten a chance to learn more about this great destination will be motivated to join us on tour, even if it’s not for free.
But one lucky person will take home this amazing prize. So without further ado (drum roll please), the winner of our Win Wild South Africa Sweepstakes is …
Mary Wood from Oregon!
Congratulations, Mary! I know you and your guest will have an amazing time taking in the beauty, majesty, and adventure of South Africa. Take lots of pictures for us, and we hope you’ll share your South Africa story on the blog upon your return.
But hold on, travelers. If you didn’t win this prize, don’t lose hope! We have a very special announcement that we’ll reveal tomorrow. You never know — we just might be giving away another trip! Come back tomorrow to find out.
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.
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!
You probably have a lot of questions about your money when preparing for a trip abroad. Do you need traveler’s checks? Will you be able to find an ATM? Can you avoid pesky foreign transaction and other fees while enjoying some off-the-beaten-path destination?
While her book might target younger women, my tips apply to everyone who travels abroad. I’ll share my two favorites with you here.
Never exchange money until you arrive at your destination. You will always get a better exchange rate than if you change money in the U.S.
Let your credit card company know you’ll be traveling and where you’re going. That’s the best way to avoid the embarrassment of an overprotective security policy denying the charge.
To check out all of my tips, as well as the rest of Melissa’s advice for young women, you’re in luck! We’re giving away three copies of her book here on the blog. All you have to do is fill out the form below. One entry per person, please. Good luck!
UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners — Mike Nemecek, Maria Mazas, and Susannah Starkweather! Your prizes will be shipped out shortly. Thanks for participating in our giveaway!
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:
You’re not alone if our podcast with Andrew McCarthy, award-winning travel writer and actor, got you thinking about the transformative power of travel. After meeting Andrew in person at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I dove into his memoir, “The Longest Way Home.” I found it to be a tremendous and moving read from start to finish. So I asked Andrew if we could give away three signed copies of the book here on our blog, and he was happy to oblige.
Andrew’s authentic, intimate memoir is a very personal tale of self-examination and discovery written before marrying his fiancé of four years. Finding he was unable to commit to a marriage he knew he wanted, Andrew embarked on an adventurous journey to explore some of the world’s most exotic, beautiful, and well-known destinations, including Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Amazon, Patagonia, Vienna, Costa Rica, and more. Along the way, he also explored himself through challenging encounters that test him. This soul-searching, spiritual journey traces his transformation from actor to travel writer, and charts the internal conflicts of his life. Andrew’s book is a terrific and inspiring read for anyone who has ever experienced life-changing moments of discovery through travel.
You won’t want to miss reading this book, so enter to win below! I’ll pick three winners on March 18, and announce them right here on the blog. One entry per person, please.
UPDATE: We’ve chosen the winners! Congratulations to:
We’ve contacted all three of you, so look out for an email from me on how to claim your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered, and look forward to more giveaways here on the blog soon!
We’re settling back into our everyday routine after a weekend of fun at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, but we have one more piece of business we need to attend to. We collected names throughout the weekend to gift one lucky attendee a free trip for two to Costa Rica, and it’s time to announce the winner here on our blog.
We have randomly selected one winner, and the anticipation to announce the news is killing me. Drumroll please … The winner of our Captivating Costa Rica tour is Sue Dilella. Congratulations!
Sue, look out for an email from me soon with all the details on how to claim your prize. I’m sure you’ll have a blast. We’d love to feature your trip experience, and we’ll be in touch on how you can share updates and photos that we might post on our blog.
Thanks to everyone who braved the cold weather and snow to come out and see us at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show. We had a great time, and will be sharing more takeaways from the event on our blog in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!
Once the dust settled and we let the reality of her win sink in, I asked Friendly Planet Travel blogger Caitlin to catch up with Elisa to find out a little bit more about her. As it turns out, Elisa has a true passion for traveling, and is extremely well traveled. She has been to 70 countries, and Dubai will be her 71st! Though she’s always wanted to go, Elisa has never been to Dubai — so this trip was a great match .
Listen to the below podcast to get a snapshot of Elisa’s life, including how she felt when she won, why she’s grateful that she won the trip from us, her favorite places she’s been, what she enjoys most about travel, and more!
Elisa, I hope you have an amazing time in Dubai, and I look forward to hearing all about it when you return!
Today, I walked into the office with a bit of a spring in my step, eager to pick a winner for the free trip for two! We chose one winner at random, and called to let this person know they’d won. So who was on the other end of the line when I made that call?
It was Elisa Kotin from Van Nuys, California! Elisa’s reaction when she found out she won was priceless. She couldn’t have been more excited, and her reaction truly made me smile. Hit play below to hear Elisa receive the big news.
Elisa even sent us a few pictures to show us how excited she was!
Congratulations again, Elisa! From all of us here at Friendly Planet, we’re so excited for you to embark on your journey to Dubai with us. We also want to thank everyone who entered. We look forward to doing more trip giveaways in the future, so keep your eyes peeled! You never know what destination we’ll be giving away next.
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