Subscribe to far-flung places
Sign up here
and receive email alerts when this blog is updated.

 Add to your RSS reader

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Departures from the Ordinary

Have you thought about where you're going on vacation this summer?

Yeah, I know . . . the economy.

Some travel companies are trying to sweeten the deal to be more enticing to travelers, but the best offer I've found is with Competitours, a travel competition that offers the chance to win a worldwide travel spree! Most tour companies are too busy tacking on extra fees to offer a deal like this. And with Competitours, the chances of winning are greater than 1 in 24.

Competitours, which is offering several trips this summer, has been called “the Amazing Race for regular people by National Geographic Traveler. Two-person teams visit secret destinations across Europe to vie for the grand prize.

“This is not a cookie-cutter package trip,” says Steve Belkin, Competitours’ president. “This is a chance for you to get off your duff, get into the game and create a lot of unique memories.”

In each location, participants select from a series of challenges, documenting them with a portable digital video camera in an effort to earn points. Judges then score each day’s videos based on the amount of effort, creativity, resourcefulness and daring used to create them. 

The following clip is from a team's recent trip to the beer stein capital of the world:

“Instead of sightseeing,” Belkin says, “participants are ‘sight-doing.’ Anyone can get off a bus, go to the top of the Eiffel Tower and say, ‘I’ve been there.’ How many people can say they’ve gone to the top of the Eiffel Tower and recruited 15 total strangers to do the can-can?”

After all the points are tallied at the end of the trip, one team will win a worldwide travel spree, including airfare, up to 40 nights in any Starwood hotel and up to $6,500 in prize money.

You can read my story about Competitours in the latest issue of CBC magazine and visit for more information. 

I'm currently looking for a partner to do this with me . . . let me know if you're interested!