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Posts Tagged ‘Giveaways’

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Announcing the winner of Friendly Planet Travel’s FREE trip to Peru

Here we are at the second drawing of our “Win the World” Facebook sweepstakes. If you’ve been following the blog, you heard our interview with Jamie Bartlett, winner of the South Africa giveaway. So you know what it sounds like to win one of these trips.

This time, the winner of our Amazing Peru tour will get an all-expenses-paid trip for themselves and a guest to see all the wonders Peru has to offer. We randomly selected our winner on March 1 from over 13,000 entries and just got in touch with her.

That’s right, Lillian Mayes from Colorado is the winner of our Amazing Peru tour. Congratulations!

Want to be our next winner of a free trip for two to China? Enter on the Friendly Planet Travel Facebook page. We’re giving away a trip per month until the end of June! If you put your name in the running in January or February, your name is automatically entered for our next giveaway to China. But you can increase your chances of winning by referring your friends on Facebook. For every friend you refer who enters, your name gets entered again — you could have your name in there 100 times, or more! So what are you waiting for? Good luck travelers!

Win an all-expenses-paid trip to Peru on Friendly Planet Travel’s “Win the World” Facebook giveaway

I can’t tell you how excited I was to make the call to Jamie Bartlett, the first winner in our “Win the World” Facebook giveaway. Hearing the excitement in his voice as I told him that he’ll be going on a 14-day trip to Cape Town and Johannesburg was a highlight of my year (even if the year is only six weeks old).

Jamie and a friend will be on their way to South Africa, all expenses paid, but we have five more tours to give away until July. The next one up? Peru, a $6,500 value! Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead of Jamie, it was you this time?

It can be! All you have to do to enter is hit our Facebook page and fill out the entry form. If you entered to win the Best of South Africa tour, don’t fret — your name is still in the running to be picked for Peru and our next destination, China. But if you haven’t invited all your friends to enter, you’re missing out on extra chances to win.

For every friend you refer that enters, your name gets added to the list again. You can increase your chances to win exponentially by telling your significant other, family, and everyone you know (over the age of 21, that is) to enter. It can’t get much easier than that!

Our Amazing Peru tour is one of our most visually beautiful and fascinating destinations. The winner of this trip will get to savor the sites, including Lima, Peru’s capital city; the Paracas National Reserve in Paracas; and Cuzco, capital of the ancient Inca Empire. The winner will be able to shop in local Peruvian markets for homemade goods; see ancient sights like Machu Picchu, a mystical stone courtyard thought to be the country retreat for Incan nobility; and plenty more, all while interacting with the locals and taking in the culture of Peru.

The winner of the tour, along with a guest, will get round-trip flights from Miami via LAN Airlines, including fuel surcharges, taxes, and fees; all ground transportation and transfers within Peru; and a deluxe hotel stay with a private bath. The prize package also includes 11 buffet breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners; comprehensive touring, including entrance fees; a Ballestas Islands boat excursion (weather permitting); and English-speaking tour guides and directors.

There’s more where that came from! The full itinerary is available on our website, so you can start dreaming of the exact things you’ll do and people you’ll meet while traveling in Peru. But you have to enter on our Facebook page to qualify!

So what are you waiting for? Hop over to our Facebook page to enter to win a fantastic tour to Peru! Maybe I’ll be calling you in a month to tell you what you’ve won. 🙂

“Win the World” sweepstakes winner for the Best of South Africa tour revealed

Over 9,000 of you entered the “Win of World” sweepstakes on our Facebook page. We’re giving away six trips for two on six different Friendly Planet Travel tours. The first was our Best of South Africa tour. Time has run out to enter, and now we’ve picked a winner!

I know you’re dying to know, so here it goes …

The winner is Jamie Bartlett from Pelham, Alabama!

Congratulations to Jamie, who will go on a trip for two to South Africa for free, courtesy of Friendly Planet Travel. Look out for an email from me soon!

Didn’t win? Don’t worry! We’re giving away a trip a month for the next five months! One entry covers you for the next two trips, so if you entered for Best of South Africa, you’re automatically entered for the next two — Peru and China. If you want to increase your chances of winning, refer your friends on Facebook. For every friend you refer who enters, your name gets entered again. Good luck travelers!

Proof that it’s never too late to travel

Age isn’t anything but a number. That could be the motto of Regina Fraser and Pat Johnson, two friends who travel the world together and film it for their PBS television series “Grannies on Safari.” They’ve combined their love of people, art, and travel to make this Emmy® award winning TV series, sponsored by AARP.

When I heard Pat and Regina were going to be at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show, I jumped at the chance to have a member of our blogging team, Caitlin, sit down with them for an interview. I’m so glad they did and while we were together, we had them sign a few copies of their new book that we’ll be giving away on the blog. Stay tuned for details about that.

Caitlin asked Regina and Pat about their favorite places to visit, why they chose to feature women’s rights in their show, where we can look forward to seeing them next (which I was excited to hear!), and much more. Hit play below.

For more from Regina and Pat, check out some of the articles they’ve contributed to Huffington Post, their AARP blog, and their show website for the latest information on where they’re going next. Thanks so much for your time ladies!

Readers, keep your eyes on this space for our upcoming giveaway of two signed copies of Pat and Regina’s book, “The Grannies on Safari: A Travel Journal,” a photo collection of all the places they’ve been.

The sights and sounds of South Africa can be yours for free

We’re giving away a free trip to South Africa (seriously!) for one of our loyal Facebook fans as the first of six trip giveaways in 2012. For many people, this might be the first time they’ve considered a trip to South Africa. But whether you’ve been dreaming of taking a trip there for a lifetime, or this is your first time considering it, no one should miss out on this fantastic destination.

So I wanted to give travelers a little taste of what South Africa’s like and if this whets your appetite to go on safari, then you’re in luck. Click over to our Facebook page and enter to win a trip for two (a $8,600 value!) to this fascinating and one-of-a-kind destination.

Cape Town is the second most populated city in South Africa and one of the most multicultural and interesting cities in the world.

Located on the Cape Peninsula, the first records of occupation in Cape Town date back somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago.

Baboons are some of the world’s largest species of monkeys and can live for up to 30 years.

A native to Africa, did you know the elephant can pick up an object the size of a marble or a branch that’s a foot thick? That’s pretty handy!

The Greater Flamingo and the Lesser Flamingo both make Africa their home, and it has yet to be discovered why these flamingos often stand on one foot at a time.

Did you know the word “hippo” comes from the term “river horse?” Hippos communicate to each other verbally, so do you think these two are talking or playing?

When the cheetah runs, it can reach speeds of 70 to 75 mph — that’s highway speed for most cars!

Lions are very social creatures, and often travel in large groups called prides, where the females are the primary hunters.

And there’s more where that came from! Enter our Facebook contest for your chance to travel to South Africa, and see all this and more for yourself.

All images attributed to South African Tourism

A trip to The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show could win you a trip to Ecador

You might have thought we were putting all our metaphorical eggs in one basket when we announced that we’re giving away six Friendly Planet Travel tours to our Facebook fans, but we have something up our sleeves for Philadelphia locals too.

If you go to The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show at The Pennsylvania Convention Center this weekend, you have the chance to win a trip for two on Friendly Planet Travel’s Exotic Ecuador tour, a $3,000 value.

Friendly Planet Travel will be exhibiting at booth #416, where you can enter to win our trip to Ecuador. The Friendly Planet Travel team and I will be at the booth answering questions, offering travel tips and advice, and distributing information too, so there will be a lot going on. All you have to do is stop by for your chance to win! This is the second year in a row we’re giving away a trip to travel show attendees. Last year, we gave a trip to China to Larry and Wendy Kleeman. See their reactions!

I’m also honored to be presenting at the show again this year. I’ll be discussing the “Top 10 Affordable Destinations of 2012” on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 12 p.m. I’ll share the must-visit destinations for 2012 that promise to inspire even savvy travelers, without breaking the bank. And I’m proud to be the only local tour operator licensed to offer legal educational tour programs to Cuba, so I’ll delve into how to visit Cuba legally and at an affordable price.

All this, and entrance to the show only costs $10 ($8 if you pre-register)! I’m looking forward to sharing my advice and talking to travelers in person, so I hope I’ll see you there!

Would you “Like” to win 1 of 6 exotic giveaways?

It really is as easy as Liking Friendly Planet Travel on our Facebook page to have a chance to win one of six all expenses paid getaway giveaways. All you have to is go to the Facebook page, Like us, and fill out the entry form.

We asked our fans where our first sweepstakes destination should be. And we were excited to see the tour our travelers most chose was Best of South Africa, a trip valued at $8,500.

Want some help improving your odds of winning one of these trips? Just invite a friend to enter the contest. For every friend you invite who enters, your name will added to the pool again, increasing your chances of winning! The contest will run from Jan. 3, 2012 to Jan. 31, 2012, and we’ll announce the winner on Facebook and right here on the blog on or around Feb. 1.

If you win the first trip, here’s what will await you in South Africa. Johannesburg and Cape Town have become destinations for style, night life, and gorgeous scenery; while the sweeping savannas are home to Africa’s big five game: lions, African elephants, cape buffaloes, leopards, and black rhinoceroses.

The prize includes round-trip flights from JFK via South African Airways, including fuel surcharges; ground transportation and transfers within South Africa; 10 nights in superior, first-class hotels; and 10 American-style breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners. The tour will also include professional, English-speaking tour directors; a comprehensive touring program; and a special opportunity to spend time with the elephants at Elephant Whispers.

For all the details on where you’ll go and what you’ll see in South Africa, be sure to click over and read the detailed itinerary. Travelers will have the chance to experience a real safari and meet the locals of South Africa, along with much more.

Good luck to all who enter! And if you don’t win, don’t be discouraged! This is truly the trip of a lifetime, so you can still go on our Best of South Africa tour at an incredible rate. Check out our website, reach out to me, or contact our reservations team at 1-800-555-5765 with questions or comments about a trip to South Africa.

Funding friends across the globe: Friendly Planet Travel supports entrepreneurs through Kiva

I believe that giving back to the places you visit is a significant part of the travel experience. As a life-long traveler and president of Friendly Planet Travel, I have met and talked with people from all over the world who make our tours possible.

This includes tour guides, bus drivers, hotel concierges, and more who serve us and our travelers. Many of them are my friends.

It’s painful to watch how volatile economic and political difficulties have become, not just here at home, but everywhere, and how much of it has negatively impacted my friends around the world. That’s why I’m so happy to be a Kiva partner.

As travelers, we encounter wonderful sights, sounds, culture, beauty, history, and people. We also discover things that are less wonderful, like how difficult it is to make a living and support a family in many countries.

Too many hard-working people simply don’t have the resources or opportunities to prosper. This is especially heart-breaking to me, because in many cases, it takes a very small amount of money to fund a project.

So, motivated by a Friendly Planet team member who had recently joined the micro-lending bandwagon, Friendly Planet Travel started working with Kiva to help make a difference. Since partnering with the organization in April 2009, we have raised $36,975 to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses.

We’ve given out 1,281 loans and have been able to help motivate people including the Sr. De Malta Group of Bolivia, the Cloche Plus Group of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Mrs. Cathy Ndiaye of Senegal.

This is quite an accomplishment, since the bulk of the loans have been donated in sums as low as $25 per loan. Considering that Kiva aggregates the small loans into larger amounts that borrowers can use to fund a business, it means that every one of us who can afford to lend $25 is able to help.

The cherry on top is the money is almost always repaid with interest, and the repaid loan can be used to continue lending. That means the $25 investment can reach many more recipients and help many more entrepreneurs. That, to me, is quite incredible.

We are inspired by the ability to help others through micro-lending, and we want others to join us. We plan to give away some $25 Kiva gift cards to get you started with Kiva micro-lending. If you win, you’ll be able to choose among the many worthy entrepreneurs on the Kiva website. Then, when your loan is repaid, you can donate your $25 loan to another entrepreneur.

If you’re like us, you’ll soon find another $25 of your own to add to your loan fund. But even if you can’t, you’ll still enjoy the thrill of helping someone to rise out of poverty to a better place in the world.

Stay tuned for our announcement on how to enter this giveaway. And if you bookmark our Kiva tag, you can follow all of our updates about our involvement with Kiva.

Oh, and if you absolutely can’t wait and feel ready to make your first loan without our gift card, just hop onto our Kiva group and get started right away. Either way, I promise that once you make your first loan, you’ll be hooked on this good deed, just like all of us at Friendly Planet!

How you can win a Hotcakes Ceramics travel mug

I just announced the winner of our RAGGEDedge Gear toiletry bag giveaway, so it’s time to post a new travel goodie that one lucky reader can win! Here’s what we have up next — a handmade travel mug courtesy of Hotcakes Ceramics. I love the mug because it’s perfect for the everyday traveler.

This lime green mug (keeping with Friendly Planet Travel’s color scheme) is decorated with a butterfly design, and holds 16 ounces of your favorite drink.

It comes with a locking lid to prevent spills, and is dishwasher safe and microwavable. Jump over to the Hotcakes Ceramics Etsy page to learn more about the mug or check it out on the Hotcakes Ceramics website.

Here’s how to enter to win. Leave a comment on this post telling me where you’ll be traveling with your Hotcakes Ceramics travel mug.

To be eligible to win, you must include an e-mail address where we can contact you! The commenting contest starts today and we’ll pick a winner on Friday, July 29. The winner will be randomly selected from the pool of comments and announced right here on the blog.

Thanks again to Hotcakes Ceramics for letting us give away one of their beautiful travel mugs. Good luck and start commenting! I look forward to reading all of them.

UPDATE: Congrats to our winner Prairie Moon! You didn’t leave your e-mail address (actually, no one did) so please e-mail me with your name and shipping information so we can send your prize.  Thanks for playing! 

Enter to win a RAGGEDedge Gear toiletry bag!

It’s your lucky day! It’s time for another Friendly Planet Travel Giveaway!

Our item today is a carbon fiber and Kevlar travel toiletry bag from RAGGEDedge Gear. This bag is perfect for the adventurous traveler. It’s 100 percent waterproof; has a marine-grade, non-corrodible zipper; and has inside pockets to keep your toiletries in place through bumpy travel.
I fell in love with the carbon and blue bag because it looks like something out of a James Bond movie! If you want to see more of RAGGEDedge Gear’s modern designs, travel over to its Etsy page.

To enter to win, leave a comment on this post telling me some of your travel toiletry necessities.

We will randomly select the winner from our pool of applicants and the winner will be announced right here on the Friendly Planet Travel blog. To be eligible to win, you must include your first name and an e-mail address in the comment so we can contact you if you win.

The commenting contest starts today and ends on July 22. Make sure to get your comment in by then to be entered into the drawing.

Thanks so much to RAGGEDedge Gear for letting us give away one of your awesome toiletry bags. Good luck and start commenting!

UPDATE: Congratulations JMH400 (at) You’re our winner! Look for an e-mail from us asking for your shipping info. Thanks everyone who entered!

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