Jul 06

Grantourismo Travel Blogging Competition: July

We’re excited to be announcing the fifth contest in our yearlong series of monthly Grantourismo travel blogging competitions. This month, we’re inviting you to produce an inspiring blog post comprised of one (1) stunning photograph* that captures the spirit and colour of a local festival and 250 words* that describe the event and why it affected you.

Your local festival could be cultural or social, exuberant or somber, celebratory or serious, religious or spiritual, gay or straight, an art or music event… you name it, anything festive should fit the category. In your 250 words try to communicate what your image doesn’t show us: what it is, why and where it’s held, when it’s on, why you were there, and how you felt.

If your post also touches on some of our other themes, and motivates people to explore more authentic and enriching ways to travel, get beneath the skin of a place when they travel, learn to live like locals, and travel more slowly and more sustainably, then that’s great too.

It’s important that your story and photograph must be your own, they must be original, they should derive from a firsthand travel experience you’ve had, and they should not have been published elsewhere. *Make sure you do not submit more than 250 words and you only post one (1) photograph, otherwise your entry will be disqualified.

FIRST PRIZES A stay at a HomeAway Holiday-Rentals property of your choice anywhere in the world valued at UK£500/US$750, a Context tour voucher worth US$100, and an Olympus FE-4040 compact camera worth £125/US$190.

SECOND PRIZE a Viator tour voucher worth £100/US$150 and a private half-day tour with a local guide in a destination of your choice anywhere in the world from Our Explorer.

THIRD PRIZE an annual subscription to AFAR magazine.

The winning entry will be featured on GrantourismoHomeAway UK’s Facebook page, and weHomeAwayUKViator and Context will tweet your success on Twitter.

To be eligible to enter
Entry submission is by posting and linking, and communication is through the Comments below and by Twitter, which means:
1. You must have your own blog/site, contribute to a group blogging site, or post to travel sites like www.matadortravel.comwww.bootsnall.com,
2. You need to subscribe to Grantourismo via email/RSS, join our community on Google Friend Connect (sign up from http://grantourismotravels.com/ not from this post’s URL as it will not work); and join HomeAway Holiday Rental’s Facebook page to enter.
3. You need to follow @Gran_tourismo and @HomeAwayUK on Twitter, then alert us on Twitter that you’re following us for the #GrantourismoComp and we will follow you back.

How to enter
1. Upload your original entry to your blog before end of 31 July. The sooner you do it the better it is for you, because we’ll visit your site to read your post, tweet about the entries, and other entrants will also visit your blog for inspiration.
2. Identify at the beginning or end of your post that “This post has been entered into the Grantourismo and HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition” and link to this post (so your entry appears in the Trackbacks below) and www.homeaway.co.uk. Tag the post with ‘Grantourismo’ and ‘HomeAway Holiday-Rentals’ so we and others can easily search for it.
3. Leave your name and link to your post in the Comments below – this serves as your submission. If there is no obvious way for us to contact you to notify you if you’ve won, then please leave your Twitter address below.
4. Tweet us on Twitter @Gran_tourismo and @HomeAwayUK to tell us your post is up, using#GrantourismoComp in your tweet, which makes it easy for others to find your entry also.
5. Encourage your blog readers and followers on Twitter to engage and re-tweet your entry post. We’re keen to hear their thoughts.

Winning Entries
1.We will notify winners by Twitter or email by 3 August.
2.Winners will be required to email us their photograph and blog post for publishing.
3.The winning entry will be posted soon after 4 August.

For more details, read the fine print below. If you have any questions, pop them in the Comments below.

The Fine Print – Terms and Conditions
1. Grantourismo monthly competitions are open to anyone aged 18 years or over except anyone professionally associated with this competition or the sponsors.
2. All information detailing how to enter the competitions forms part of these terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the competitor agrees to abide by these rules. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.
3. Submissions must be original, should not have been published before, should not appear on other blogs or websites, and should not infringe any copyrights.
4. Winners will be chosen by a judging panel consisting of HomeAway Holiday-Rentals staff; Scott McNeeley, Editor of the Viator blog; Context Travel staff; and Lara Dunston and Terence Carter. Judges decisions are final. The criteria used will include creativity, originality and quality of writing and photography, ability to engage an audience, and ability to inspire.
5. HomeAway Holiday-Rentals is offering a prize of £500/US$750 towards a stay in one of their properties listed on the HomeAway Holiday-Rentals website. The stay must be a minimum of 2 nights, although can be longer. The winner must use http://www.homeaway.co.uk/ to book the property. HomeAway Holiday-Rentals will release the funds to the property owner and transfer the remainder to the winner to be used toward the trip.
6. Winners will be required to write about their prizes on their blogs, link back to Grantourismo, HomeAway Holiday-Rentals, and the prize sponsor(s) above, and tweet about the post, using #GrantourismoComp.
7.Property stays and tours must be used within 12 months of notification.
8. While copyright of all submissions to the Competition remains with the entrants, winning entrant grants worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to Grantourismo, HomeAway Holiday-Rentals and the sponsors to feature the winning entries on their websites, blogs, or in any publications or promotional materials connected to this Competition.


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    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Heather – thanks for your entry! Good luck!

  1. Keith

    My entry live at http://travelrat.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/semini/

    (Be travelling from now till end of August, so probably won’t be able to enter August comp.)

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Keith! Love it!

  2. Leverne


    Thx for a great competition!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Leverne – love your pic! So colourful! People either loved or hated the vuvuzela but think they’ll love your pic. Thanks! Best of luck!

  3. Beverly

    So happy to submit a post for your July “local festival” topic: http://travelmaestro.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/shiver-me-timbers-it%e2%80%99s-blackbeard/. Fingers crossed you like it!
    Cheers – Beverly, aka @TravelMaestro

    1. Terence Carter

      Thanks Beverly, good luck!

  4. jeannie

    Wow! Such great stories and photos!
    Here’s my submission to this month’s contest. http://somewherethereisjeannie.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/chinese-new-years-in-nyc/

    Good luck everyone!!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Wow! A really vibrant pic of Chinese New Year in NYC! Thanks, Jeannie!

  5. Matt

    Ok, I finally found a suitable pic! Hope you enjoy. :)


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for that, Matt! Love that feeling of stumbling onto a festival accidentally, don’t you? Best of luck!

  6. Kristen

    I got to use one of my favorite photos for this one! Thanks!

    Kristen (@kristenjoerger)


    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Kristen – nice to see you here (and it was nice to have a drink with you in New York too and meet you in person!) – thanks for your entry! Good luck!

  7. Rebecca Kinsella

    Enjoyed reading the entries. Here is my piece:


    Thank you!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hey Rebecca – thanks for your entry! Lovely stuff! best of luck!

  8. Laura

    Lots of great photos this month, best of luck to everyone!

    Here’s the link to my entry:



    1. Terence Carter

      Thanks for your entry – now that’s something I’d really love to see! Good luck!

  9. jiffer

    i love this one – being part of a festival or ceremony is such a remarkable experience for a traveler.

    Here is my entry http://smashandsniff.blogspot.com/2010/07/tabaski-1418.html

    I think ash will have one up soon too!

    Hope you are enjoying NYC! We were there in late June – too bad we missed you!


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks so much for your entry – love that pic! Shame we couldn’t meet. Looking forward to seeing Ash’s entry too!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Took me back to festivals in San Sebastian and Mallorca – thank you!

      And thanks for entering our little contest – buena suerte!

  10. mvmaithai

    My entry is at

    I have a stupid question. How do I join the HomeAway Holiday Rental FB page?

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry! I’ve also answered your question in the comment on your site. Good luck!

  11. Mariellen Ward

    Thanks for your comment on my blog, Lara. I am entering the competition, as you suggested:


    But more importantly, I hope I am entering into a connection with you and Terence. As a fairly new travel writer and blogger (less than two years), I really admire you and all that you’ve accomplished — and hope to learn from you! Cheers, thanks so much for contacting me.

    1. Lara Dunston

      I’m so glad to have discovered your blog – and love all your images of India and Indian festivals, so I’m pleased you entered.

      Thanks for your kind words too. It’s wonderful to connect. Looking forward to you dropping by! We’ll be visiting BreatheDreamGo too!

      Good luck!

  12. Stephen Chapman

    Reading your stories from Bali got me reminiscing. I found this photo hiding in my album so thought I’d share something again this month – The Kecak dance, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry! So pleased we got you reminiscing as we loved the Kecak dance too, so glad to see you enter that one.

      best of luck!

  13. Ashley Hooker Jons

    Another fun topic! So hard to choose, so I went with the most recent feastival- Darby Logger Days! Enjoy!


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry, Ashley. So nice to see so many regular entrants returning each month! Best of luck!

  14. Grace @ Sandier Pastures

    Hi Lara and Terry, I finally wrote a post for this month’s theme. :-)

    Here is my post: http://www.sandierpastures.com/blogging/write-away/wasshoi-wasshoi-to-the-festival-we-go.html

    Photo and story taken from a summer festival in a small town in rural Japan (Niigata Prefecture).

    1. Terence Carter

      Cool! About time ;-)

  15. Sophie

    Here’s my entry on a local kid-friendly jazz festival:


    1. Terence Carter

      Thanks for your entry! Good Luck!

  16. Lola

    Hi all

    Here is my entry into this month’s contest.

    Twirling in the rain – http://lolaakinmade.com/2010/07/27/twirling-in-the-rain/

    1. Lara Dunston

      Loved your entry, Lola! Good luck with it!

  17. Travel'n'Stuff

    Hi Lara and Terence,

    Would love to live like the both of you for a year too!

    Here’s our entry:


    1. Lara Dunston

      We’re having a lot of fun, that’s for sure – staying in beautiful homes and meeting amazing people!

      Thanks for your entry – best of luck!

  18. alexandra Cram

    Hello! I am working very quickly to try and enter your july competition from my little terrace in croatia – but cannot subscribe to twitter, it keeps saying over capacity! will this hinder my contest entry?

    1. Terence Carter

      Still time to enter, but the reason we like you to Tweet is that other people can see your story and photos. Plus we’ll retweet it to our followers…

  19. Tiffany Weber-Stahlbaum

    Just one more entry… so many quirky festivals in Spain.


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry! I hadn’t heard of that festival. Looks like fun! Good luck!

    2. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry! I hadn’t heard of that festival. Looks like fun! Good luck!

    3. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry! I hadn’t heard of that festival. Looks like fun! Good luck!

  20. Laura

    I hope I’m not too late. Here’s my entry:


    1. Lara Dunston

      Got it! Thanks! Good luck, Laura!

  21. alexandra Cram

    hi guys this is such a great idea! I just discovered it…trying to wade through contest details..! but here is my attempt to enter last minute.

    re #GrantourismoComp

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry, Alexandra. For some reason the link is not working above, so I’ll add it here for the judges, below – hopefully it will work:


    2. alexandra Cram

      thank you Lara! I was having some issues with the link…whether it was me or the croatian connection hehe. cheers.

  22. alexandra Cram

    I managed to get onto twitter, the connections in croatia are a bit iffy..thanks for the reply. also tried to join HomeAway but luddite me couldnt find join button! he he. thanks for all the great inspiration!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Alexandra – what is your Twitter address? Can you tweet us at http://twitter.com/gran_tourismo as that’s how we notify winners initially if you’ve win.

    2. alexandra Cram

      malivrag1 is my twitter…i sent you a tweet, not sure if it is croatia….having a hard time with it.!

  23. Dena Rowlands

    Talk about the last minute. But it’s up, finally! Was hard to keep to 250 words!

  24. Globetrooper Lauren

    Hey guys,

    Right on the cusp! But just in time. Here’s my submission for the July contest:

    The Summer City of Festivals

    Hope you enjoy it!

    1. Lara Dunston

      That looked wild! Thanks for entering. Good luck, Lauren!

  25. Simone Gorrindo

    My entry is up. Thanks for such a great competition! Happy to be entering again.

    Here’s my post about a gory yet sacred funeral in the mountains of Indonesia’s Tana Toraja:

    (I chose a somewhat quieter, gore-free photo, as I did not want to offend anyone.)

    1. Lara Dunston

      I would have loved to have seen the wide-shots actually ;)

      Thanks for this entry! Best of luck!

  26. Simone Gorrindo

    Oh, and you may already have this, but here is my Twitter handle: @SimoneGorrindo

    1. Lara Dunston

      Yep, following you – thanks! :)

    2. Simone Gorrindo

      Yep, I know. The decision was also made a bit out of circumstance, as those wide-shots are not with me at the moment. C’est la vie…

  27. Michael Hodson

    posted my entry in the nick of time. Hope everyone enjoys “Ramadan: the County Fair Feeling”


    1. Lara Dunston

      Love Istanbul, and I’m probably one of the rare people to love Ramadan too – in the UAE where we were based from 1998, the days were dead but the evenings had a really festive spirit about them.

      Thanks for your entry! Good luck with it!

  28. Mary

    I hope I didn’t just miss the deadline date for this… I wanted to go ahead and try anyway- because I just attended one of the most amazing festivals I’ve ever been to TODAY, and I’m still on a high from it!

    Here is the link to my description of it…

    I am going to follow, friend, and all that now too…

    Sorry if my entry is late…

    1. Terence Carter

      Mary, thanks for your entry – it’s not too late. Can you put a link back to the contest at the end of your post? Thanks & good luck. We are massive fans of Japan, so glad we could include it on the tour this year.

    2. Lara Dunston

      Hi – is this your entry below? Can you confirm?


      I’m guessing it is as it’s on a festival, but it doesn’t say on the post, so just want to confirm so our judges know what they’re judging. Thanks! Good luck!

  29. Mary

    Yes, that is my entry.
    Thank you! I’ve linked back to you on it now…

  30. Lola

    My linkback doesn’t seem to be showing up in the list above. Weird.

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