In the last couple of year I have had quite a string of wins when it comes to travel competitions. I’ve been to Denmark, UAE, Zanzibar, The Seychelles, South Africa and America, on top of three month’s free membership at my local health spa and various smaller prizes such as a bracelet and magazine subscription… all from winning competitions. Wowser! Quite a feat. Some might say it’s luck, others would say it is hard work, determination and maybe a little bit of being in the right place at the right time?!
Here are my top tips on how to win travel competition.
1. Enter them!
This may seem obvious but it is surprising how few people actually enter competitions they see online or at events, generally thinking ‘oh I won’t win so what’s the point?!’
Well I am here to change that thinking because you know what… you might just win! so go on… enter that competition, enter all of them!
2. Enter the competitions with more complicated entry requirements.
The more complex the entry requirements, the less people who will enter. Now the whole ‘just enter them’ idea doesn’t quite work when it takes a fair chunk of time to enter. However… if the prize is something amazing, something you love, you can’t stop thinking about… then put in the effort. You have as much chance as everyone else.
I entered the DoubleTree by Hilton competition which involved creating a video about a local tourist site and then when I was shortlisted I had to create another video! It was a lot of effort… but I won and boy was it worth it! 3.5 weeks of travelling across Africa and the Middle East for Hilton… a dream gig I tell you!
I have since entered other similar competitions that I haven’t won, but I don’t regret the time I have spent on them as I ‘know’ it will only be a matter of time before I find another competition I can win!
3. Enter competitions at events
Whatever the event, the chances are they will have some kind of competition, whether it is a holiday or a box of chocolates. These competitions are often only for attendees or are only open for the duration of the event, so with that in mind your chances of winning are infinitely higher.
You might find some event competitions are only mentioned on Twitter or only by a certain stand or in a particular session. Though you don’t want to spend you entire event searching down competitions, keep you ears and eyes close to the ground and see what you could apply for.
I’ve won lots of competitions at travel events and often the entry has been quite simple.
3. If at an event, talk to the company who are hosting the competition
Now this one isn’t a proven tactic, but assuming the competition isn’t a ‘chosen at random’ prize then chances are if you make yourself known to the company, say hello, smile, introduce yourself, they might just remember you when they come to reading your competition entry and be more likely to pick you.
I know if I was organising a competition for most inspiring/innovative entry (or something) at an event and I remembered meeting a lovely smiley face and it was a close call between the smiley face and another I don’t remember… well which would you choose?
4. No competition is too small
Though you want to be positive, you want to believe you can win that dream gig travelling across the world for a year, there are only so many of the big prizes to be won. So enter a few simple competitions and see if you get lucky. Maybe it will be the start of your winning streak?
5. Some competitions are actually jobs!
Now this one is important and I still haven’t decided how I feel about it. Truth is the competition with DoubleTree Hilton I entered was really a job… an absolute dream job, but I had to sign a contract, got paid and had set things I had to achieve. Therefore I saw it more as a job! I think had this been advertised as a normal job I probably wouldn’t have applied, so I certainly don’t mind that they didn’t They probably wanted someone different to be involved, however at the same time organisations should maybe be more specific up front.
Look at the extent of the prize and if things are expected from you in return, and if so treat it as a job from the offset, get serious, show them your best side and win win win!
6. Think outside the box
If the competition involves tweeting about your dream trip or taking a photo of some kind, try and think outside the box. Don’t do the obvious as often the most creative will win.
For a competition by Trek America you had to take a photo using all the American style props they had. I was the only person who got more people than just me involved in the photo putting on pretty much all the props… and guess what… I won!
5. Don’t get annoying…
Now there is more to life than winning competitions. Don’t live your life by it, don’t enter competitions at the detriment of your work or social life, don’t make every tweet about entering a competition and don’t brag about all the prizes you’ve won after following my rules… well don’t brag too much! Got it!
Now go WIN WIN WIN folks!
Now to start you on your way here are a couple of competitions I think you should enter…
- My current competition on the blog to win a copy of The Year of Living Danishly
- This great travel writing competition with Rough Guides where you can win £2000 towards a GapYear adventure.
Good luck everyone… let me know if you win any travel competitions. My fingers are crossed for you x