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Friendly Planet Travel Winner’s Circle: Taj Mahal Express

LUCKY WINNER: Stacey Foisy will go on a free trip to India!

We still have one more podcast interview to share with you from our Win the World Facebook sweepstakes. I don’t think hearing our winners tell us how it felt to get the call that they won a free trip will ever get old for me.

I asked Friendly Planet Travel blogger Caitlin to chat with Taj Mahal Express tour winner, Stacy Foisy. Stacey told us that she’s been bitten by the travel bug, and was researching other tour options on our website when she stumbled upon our Facebook giveaway. She knew she had to enter for the chance to win a free trip to India.

Listen in as Stacey describes what it was like to win, where she’s traveled to before, and what she’s most looking forward to seeing in India.

                                                                                                             

Thanks so much for sharing with us Stacey! And if you weren’t one of our six winners, I wouldn’t give up hope just yet. We might have a giveaway up our sleeves, coming soon. Stay tuned to our Friendly Planet Travel Facebook page, and you might just see a mirage in the middle of the desert!

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. 

See India for free! Enter to win our final Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes giveaway

WONDER OF THE WORLD: The winner of this free trip will
get to see all India has to offer, including the Taj Mahal!

I love to explore destinations that have an exotic culture, beautiful scenery, and hospitable people. Few places capture these traits better than India, which is why I decided to offer our Taj Mahal Express tour as our sixth and final Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes trip giveaway.

One lucky traveler and a guest will have the chance to win a free nine-day excursion to India –up to a $4,800 value. To enter to win the trip of a lifetime, visit our Facebook page and fill out an entry form. If you’ve already entered to win the trip to Turkey or Ireland, then you will automatically be submitted to win this trip as well.

Looking to swing the odds in your favor? Then start spreading the word about our sweepstakes to friends and family. For every entry into our sweepstakes from one of your referrals, you’ll get an extra entry for yourself.

Our Taj Mahal Express tour explores the “golden triangle” of India, which includes the cities of Delhi, Agar, and Jaipur, all filled with vibrant sights and sounds. Travelers will also have the opportunity to visit one of the eight Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. Experiencing the spiritual and exotic atmosphere of India will surely be an unforgettable adventure.

The prize for the winner and a guest includes round-trip airfare and all intra-India ground transportation. It also includes accommodations at superior and deluxe hotels; daily breakfasts and a farewell dinner; a comprehensive touring program, including entrance fees; a professional, English-speaking tour director; and more. If you’re interested in finding out more information about the Taj Mahal Express tour, check out the detailed itinerary online.

If you don’t believe that you can win, check out these blog posts about our last four winners, who all won a free trip for themselves and a guest!

I’m sad to see our Win the World sweepstakes come to an end, but I’m excited to offer this amazing trip to India to one last winner. This is your final chance to win a free trip with us, so don’t forget to enter on Facebook! I can’t wait to announce our final winner on August 1. Good luck to everyone who enters!

Like Friendly Planet Travel on Facebook to enter to win a free trip to Turkey!

LIKE US AND WIN: Enter our Facebook sweepstakes for
a chance to win three amazing trips!

In the first three months of 2012, we gave away three amazing trips through our Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes — one to South Africa, one to Peru, and one to China. After the excitement of Phase I, and a one-month hiatus to catch our breath, we’re ready to launch Phase II of this amazing program!

Yes, that means the Friendly Planet Travel Win the World Facebook Sweepstakes is back on with three more trips for a winner and the guest of his or her choice over the next three months. The first trip up for grabs? A getaway for two to the crossroads of Europe and Asia — Turkey — on our Best of Turkey program, valued at more than $5,000.

So how can you win? Since it’s the start of Phase II, we’re wiping the slate clean. If you entered your information between the months of January and March, you must enter your information again to be entered in Phase II. The good news is that once you’ve submitted your name, you’re in the running for all three giveaways!

As in Phase I, you can earn extra entries into our sweepstakes by inviting your family, friends, coworkers, Facebook friends, and anyone else who would love to win a free trip to enter. For every entry into our sweepstakes from your referrals, you’ll get an extra entry for yourself.

Our Win the World Sweepstakes will give travel aficionados a chance to escape to an exotic destination with included flights, great hotels, some meals, and plenty of escorted touring, all the great features travelers expect from Friendly Planet. The winner will experience visits to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya, Pamukkale, and Ephesus. Check out the detailed itinerary for our amazing Best of Turkey tour on our website to learn more about all that the winner will see.

I’ve written in detail about what travelers should expect while visiting Turkey, so if you want to further explore the facets of this destination, check that out. After the Best of Turkey tour, we’ll be giving away our A Taste of Ireland tour on July 1, and our Taj Mahal Express tour on August 1.

But if you don’t enter, you won’t win. And if you don’t help us spread the word by referring your friends, you won’t get extra chances to win. What are you waiting for? Visit our Facebook page, like us, and fill out the form to win one of three marvelous trips.

Oh, and here’s an important tip. If you already like our page, just be sure to fill out the form again to enter Phase II. Refer your friends for more chances to win, and then be ready on June 1 when the next drawing will take place. Maybe I’ll be calling you to tell you that you’ve won!

Queue the music: We announce the winner of our free trip to India

Attendees entering to win our free trips at the Travel Show

My blog post asking you to check your e-mails and voicemails to see if you were the winner of Friendly Planet Travel’s free trip for two on the Taj Mahal Express worked.

Marybeth Kelman of New Jersey claimed the free trip she entered to win at The New York Times Travel show. Congrats Marybeth!

The Taj Mahal Express is one of the most amazing cultural experiences of a lifetime. Its sights, sounds, and smells are among the most phenomenal in the world. Marybeth, I hope you enjoy every second of your trip!

Head back to my previous post to find out more details about the free trip Marybeth won. And in case you missed the Travel Show, read my recap or bookmark “The New York Times Travel Show” tag to see the latest videos we’ll be posting from the show.

How to get a free trip to Kenya or India

What’s better than the Big Apple? Winning a free trip to Kenya or India while in the Big Apple!

Friendly Planet Travel is heading to The New York Times Travel Show this weekend to give attendees the chance to win a free trip for two on our Kenya Safari Express or Taj Mahal Express.

And that’s not all. We’re also giving away a Nikon S8100 digital camera. To enter to win, stop by Friendly Planet Travel’s booth, #276, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The winners will be randomly selected and announced right here on the blog on Monday, Feb. 28.

In addition to our giveaways, I’ll be presenting “Five Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend” on Sunday at 11:30 a.m. on the Europe stage. Stop by and I’ll tell you all about the exotic spots around the globe that offer your family an unforgettable experience of a lifetime for the cost of the typical trip down the shore.

Back at our booth, we’ll have tour information, snacks, an international slide show with images of the places we visit, and show-only discount coupons valid for many of our tours. You’ll have a chance to win other great prizes just by spinning our Friendly prize wheel!

I’ll also be on hand as well as other Friendly Planet Travel experts to answer all your travel questions. And if you’re ready and find your dream trip while you’re at our booth, you’ll be able to book on the spot using our online booking engine.

As you can see, we have a lot planned for this show. If you still need to buy tickets, you can get them online. Adults are $15 and kids under 18 are free. For just $15, you could win a trip to Kenya, India, or a camera in a New York minute. And that’s in addition to the spectacular performances and activities planned for show visitors.

The New York Times Travel Show is one of the premier travel shows in the country. There are over 300 booths in addition to Friendly Planet Travel’s, but I have a special spot in my heart for booth #276!

But let’s get back to the good stuff — the prizes! Here are more details. The Kenya Safari Express takes travelers to the Masai Mara and Samburu game reserves where Africa’s big five game walks right past you. You’ll experience Africa’s sweeping vistas, teeming cities, and magnificent wildlife. Get the day-by-day details of the trip in my previous posts about Kenya.

Included are roundtrip airfare from New York’s JFK airport on award-winning Emirates Airlines; accommodations at deluxe hotels and superior safari lodges; game-viewing drives with experienced game spotters with a guaranteed window seat and access to a pop-up roof hatch; a boat safari on Lake Naivasha; comprehensive sightseeing tours in Nairobi by local, English-speaking guides; all transfers and land transportation; many meals, and more.

The Taj Mahal Express tour take you on expert-guided tours of the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikhri, Jaipur (known as the “pink city”), and the Amber Fort, with an ascent on elephant or a Jeep. You also get a one-day tour in Delhi that takes you to its most important sites, such as the Laxmi Narayan Temple, Raj Ghat, the Red Fort, and more. There’s much more, but you can read about it in my recent posts.

The tour includes roundtrip airfare from New York on Emirates; superior first-class hotels; daily buffet breakfasts; an authentic Indian farewell dinner in Delhi; expert guides throughout the journey; fuel surcharges, transfers, and much more.

The Nikon S8100 features a 3-inch, high-resolution clear color display. It has 12.1 megapixals with a 10X wide Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens, covering 30-300 mm. It also comes with Optical VR Image Stabilzation, high ISO sensitivity to 3200, and a new flash control system. Plus, you can record full 1080p HD movies with stereo sound.

I hope to see you this weekend! And if you can’t make it, we’ll be recapping the whole show right here on the blog.

Reminder: Friendly Planet Travel is giving away a trip to China and India at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show

Before the weekend officially starts, I wanted to remind you that Friendly Planet Travel is giving away an extraordinary trip for two on our Taste of China tour or the Taj Mahal Express tour at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show this weekend. In addition, we’re also giving away a Nikon S8100 digital camera.

All you have to do is stop by Friendly Planet Travel’s booth, #514, on Saturday or Sunday to enter for your chance to win. On Monday, we’ll announce all three winners right here on the blog! Besides giving away amazing prizes, I will be giving two presentations.

“7 Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend” is slated for Saturday at 12:15 p.m. and “How to Compare Travel Offers for the Best Value” is scheduled for Sunday at 11:15 a.m. Flip back to my previous post to get all the details on our prizes and my presentations.

Friendly Planet Travel bloggers will also be on the show floor interviewing attendees and members of the media to find out the hottest trends in travel and much more. Keep your eyes peeled to the blog next week as we post videos, podcasts, and more from The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show.

Hope to see you at the show!

A trip to The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show this weekend could send you to China or India

Philly’s more fun when you win a trip to China or India! If you go to The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show at The Pennsylvania Convention Center this weekend, you have the chance to win an extraordinary trip for two on Friendly Planet Travel’s Taste of China tour or the Taj Mahal Express tour. And those two trips aren’t the only prizes attendees can win. We’re also giving away a Nikon S8100 digital camera.

Friendly Planet Travel will be exhibiting at the show at booth #514 where attendees can register to win. It’s that simple. The winners will be randomly selected and announced right here on the blog on Monday.

If you do make it to the show, please stop by booth #514 and say hello! I’ll be there all weekend. I’ll also be giving two presentations. “7 Exotic Locations for the Price of a Vegas Weekend” will reveal the exotic spots on the globe that offer your family an unforgettable experience of a lifetime for the cost of the typical week down the shore or a long weekend in Vegas. That’s slated for Saturday at 12:15 p.m. on the entertainment stage.

And “How to Compare Travel Offers for the Best Value” will teach you how to compare different packages and uncover hidden fees to slim down your cost without slimming down your experience. That’s scheduled for Sunday at 11:15 a.m. And I’ll be answering your travel questions after each presentation.

If you haven’t bought your tickets yet, you can still do so online. Adults are $10 and kids under 18 are free. So for just $10, you could win a trip to China, India, or a pretty snazzy camera. Not a bad deal, right? And that’s in addition to the abundance of travel information and fun planned for show visitors.

There are 63 booths in addition to Friendly Planet Travel’s, although I personally have a preference for booth #514! We will have lots of material, an international slide show with amazing images of the many places around the world we visit, and special, show-only discount coupons valid for many of our tours.

Here are more details on our prizes. The Nikon S8100 features a 3-inch, high-resolution clear color display. It has 12.1 megapixals with a 10X wide Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens, covering 30-300 mm. It also comes with Optical VR Image Stabilzation, high ISO sensitivity to 3200, and a new flash control system. Plus, you can record full 1080p HD movies with stereo sound.

The winner of the Taste of China tour visits three of China’s most dynamic and culturally awe-inspiring cities: Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai. Included are roundtrip airfare from Los Angeles via Air China including fuel surcharges; all ground transfers; all intra-China flights; deluxe and first class hotel accommodations with private bath; many meals; comprehensive sightseeing with a local, English-speaking expert guide; and more. Jump back to my previous posts on the tour find out all the sights you’ll see in each city.

The Taj Mahal Express tour includes roundtrip airfare from New York on Emirates; superior first-class hotels; daily buffet breakfasts; an authentic Indian farewell dinner in Delhi; expert guides throughout the journey; fuel surcharges, transfers, and much more.

While in India, we take you on expert-guided tours of the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikhri, Jaipur (known as the “pink city”), and the Amber Fort, with an ascent on elephant or a Jeep. You also get a one-day tour in Delhi that takes you to its most important sites, such as the Laxmi Narayan Temple, Raj Ghat, the Red Fort, and more. Your tour concludes with a rickshaw tour through Old Delhi’s most popular street market, Chandni Chowk. There’s so much more, but you can read about it in my recent posts.

I hope to see you this weekend! If you can’t make it, you’ll have another chance to see us at The New York Times Travel Show where we’ll be exhibiting on Feb. 25 to 27. But more to come on that in a future post.

Friendly Planet Travel tours featured in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and more

Take a break from assembling your Halloween costume and catch up on some of the tours that are catching the eyes of travel editors. Thanks to all for including Friendly Planet in your roundups!

The Taj Mahal Express answered The Washington Post’s question: “What’s the deal?”

Los Angeles Times was captivated by Costa Rica in its Travel section.

The Taj Mahal Express was the “Smart Deal of the Week” according to Frommer’s.

Budget Travel thought our Taste of China tour was a “Real Deal.”

Put India on your list for 2011 with our Taj Mahal Express tour

Start seeing more of India’s Golden Triangle for less green in 2011. Today we announced 22 new departure dates starting in April for Friendly Planet’s Taj Mahal Express tour.

Earlier this year, I told you how I discovered several opportunities to make the best tour of India even better. Now we’re giving you more chances to experience them and more for only $999.

The Taj Mahal Express takes you on expert-guided tours of the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikhri, Jaipur (known as the “pink city”), and the Amber Fort, with an ascent on elephant or a Jeep.

You also get a one-day tour in Delhi that takes you to its most important sites, such as the Laxmi Narayan Temple, Raj Ghat, the Red Fort, and more. Your tour concludes with a rickshaw tour through Old Delhi’s most popular street market, Chandni Chowk.

New to the Taj Mahal Express in 2010 was a guided tour of an authentic farming village. It was a favorite of travelers, and is included again in the 2011 departures. Meet the village elder of Barara Village, and interact with the villagers who live and work there. The entire tour was developed exclusively by Friendly Planet Travel to give you the richest understanding of life in India.

But jump back to my previous posts on the Taj Mahal Express to hear how we’re able to give you all of this and more for $999. Also, read what travelers have to say about the tour and what it’s like traveling with a group to India.

Although the price for this tour is incredibly low, the accommodations are incredibly high. Our package price includes roundtrip airfare from New York on Air India; superior first-class hotels; daily buffet breakfasts; an authentic Indian farewell dinner in Delhi; expert guides throughout your journey; fuel surcharges, transfers, and much more.

If nine days just isn’t enough time for you, an optional three-day extension to Nepal is available. It takes you to Kathmandu to visit Durbar Square, the city of Bhadgaon, the famous five-story pagoda temple of Nyatapola, and local bazaars. You also get the opportunity to end your trip on a high note with an optional flight over the Himalayas and Mount Everest. You’ll fly over the highest peak on Earth.

I promise you, the Taj Mahal Express is one of the most amazing cultural experiences of a lifetime. The past few years have proven that these departure dates sell out quickly, so book the nine-day Taj Mahal Express by Dec. 8.

For the full itinerary, visit our website. And if you have any question write to me or call 1-800-555-5765 and speak to our reservations 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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