Feb 15

Grantourismo Travel Blogging Competition: February

For our final contest in our yearlong series of monthly Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competitions we have an easy task for you: we want you to create an inspirational list of your 10 most memorable travel moments. The photo above? That illustrates one of Terence’s most memorable moments of our Grantourismo trip, when he got to photograph and meet one of the legends of Mexico’s Lucha Libre (wrestling).

To enter, post a top 10 list of no more than 250 words* in total, along with one (1) photograph*. Your travel moments must be in keeping with our Grantourismo themes of slow travel, sustainable travel, local travel, living like locals, experiential travel, and/or voluntourism or ‘giving back’. Your list could focus on one of those themes or loosely touch on all of them, it’s up to you. You are not required to use the title above either, so feel free to be creative.

It’s important that your story and photograph are your own, that they are original, and they should not have been published in print or on websites other than your own. *Make sure you do not submit more than one (1) photo and no more than 250 words.

Note: you only have 2 weeks to enter. The deadline is 1 March! But this is an easy one, so get your entry in as soon as you can, let us know about it, and we’ll tweet about it and head fellow travellers your way!

FIRST PRIZE 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 a Trourist Moleskine travel notebook.

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

THIRD PRIZE an annual subscription to AFAR magazine and a Trourist Moleskine travel notebook.

The winning entry of our February competition will feature on GrantourismoHomeAway UK’s Facebook page, and we 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 Twitter, which means:
1. You must have your own blog/site, contribute to a group site, or post your blog to sites like www.matadortravel.comwww.bootsnall.comwww.travellerspoint.com,www.travelpod.com
2. You need to subscribe to Grantourismo via email/RSS, join our community on Google Friend Connect and join HomeAway Holiday Rental’s Facebook page to enter.
3. 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 the end of 1 March. We’ll visit your site to read your post, tweet about your entry, and other entrants might visit your blog for inspiration.
2. Identify at the end of your post that “This post has been entered into the Grantourismo HomeAway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition” and link to this post’s URL (so your entry appears in the Trackbacks below) and www.homeaway.co.uk. Tag the post with ‘Grantourismo’ and ‘HomeAway Holiday-Rentals’ so the judges can easily search for it if Trackbacks don’t work.
3. Leave your name and link to your post in the Comments – this serves as your submission.
4. Use Twitter to tweet us @Gran_tourismo and @HomeAwayUK to tell us your post is up, using#GrantourismoComp in your tweet. This also makes it easy to find your entry.

Winning Entries
1.We will notify winners by Twitter or email during the first week of March.
2.The first prize winner may be required to email us a high-res photo and text for publishing.
3.The winning entry will be posted here early March.

For more details, read the fine print below. Any questions, please pop them in the Comments.

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 competition 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, 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 it 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 blog about their prizes, link back to GrantourismoHomeAway Holiday-Rentals, and the sponsor of the prize they’ve won, and tweet about the post, using #GrantourismoComp. We’ll visit your post and tweet about it.
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 entrants give permission 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. Mariellen Ward

    Hi, I have entered your February contest: http://breathedreamgo.com/2011/02/10-most-memorable-travel-moments/

    1. Terence Carter

      Thanks for your entry and good luck. We need to go back to India and really explore.

  2. Amber DeGrace

    I know it went way over 250 words, but I couldn’t pare it down to 250 for 10 entries! I have a hard time doing a top 10 with 500 words. :) If that disqualifies me, I understand, but I had to write what I wrote.

    The link is http://www.amberdegrace.com/2011/02/my-10-most-memorable-travel-moments.html

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry, but sadly, it *will* disqualify you. I’m so glad you enjoyed doing it so much though! :)

  3. Natalie

    Me again!! Hoping to win this time. Here is my entry.


    1. Terence Carter

      Great list. Best of luck this month!

  4. Andrea Wren

    Hi there! Shame to be getting in on this only for the final competition, but here’s my entry: http://www.travellingwren.com/2011/02/10-most-memorable-travel-moments.html

    1. Terence Carter

      A very eclectic and evocative list. You’ve sure done some travels! Best of luck for the comp.

  5. Keith

    Better late than never … usually, I have trouble identifying ’10 things’;, here, I had to cut it down to 10!


    1. Terence Carter

      A fine and eclectic list. Best of luck!

  6. The Dropout

    Hey guys, here’s my entry. I must admit I shed a tear writing it. I hope you like it!


    By the way, I read your interview with Traveling Savage and I’m just blown away. You’ve had an amazing year but only after reading the article can I see how much work you committed to. I thought you had a backup team! Good luck for the future. I hope I can find a way to follow you on your next big adventure.

    1. Terence Carter

      Thanks. I really like your approach to the list! Best of luck.

  7. Casey Siemasko

    Here’s my top ten! Writing these and hearing everyone else’s makes me incredibly excited to start traveling again this summer–especially since the fiance will be with me :-)


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry! There’s just something about lists to get us inspired, isn’t there? Good luck!

  8. John

    Is this really the last competition? I’ve enjoyed your posts and photos over the last year.
    My entry (Delightful decimal serendipity) has been posted here:

    1. lara dunston

      Hi John – it is the last HomeAway Holiday-Rentals sponsored competition but we will hold other competitions in the future. Good to see you enter! Best of luck!

  9. Amy Whitley

    Here’s my entry:


    Enjoyed the challenge!

    1. lara dunston

      Thanks, Amy! Much appreciated! Good luck!

  10. jeannie

    one entry per person?

    1. Terence Carter

      No, you *can* enter more entries, but I would have thought this one would be everyone’s best of… but go for it, particularly if you’re taking a different approach between the two entries.
      Good luck,

  11. Kim Petersen

    Hi Lara and Terence–Great to connect with you! Was searching for international food blogs and found your post/contest and on a whim decided to enter. Loved reading about your adventures and here are some of ours….

    1. Terence Carter

      Excellent. Best of luck with the comp!

  12. Sabrina

    This was fun :) Here is my entry:

    1. lara dunston

      Good luck, Sabrina! Glad you enjoyed it :)

  13. Jeanette Vieira

    I hope y’all enjoy our list as much as we’ve enjoyed all of yours. Thanks for the great post topic. I think we have more lists brewing… like Top 10 Heart burning moments or Top 10 Motorhome Road Bloopers. Top 10 things I Never Imagined myself doing. Etc.

    Here’s our link.

    <3 Jeanette & Dennis Vieira, riders of the Cheddar Yeti

    1. Terence Carter

      Cheers. Really want to see the photo with the bear ;)
      Good luck!

    2. Jeanette Vieira

      We wish we would have asked for a copy too. At the moment getting away was top priority!

  14. jeannie

    Here’s my submission for this last contest! I enjoyed writing this and thinking differently in response to the essay topic.


    1. Terence Carter

      Excellent! Good luck.

  15. Stephen Chapman

    Great work running these competitions over the past year. Another entry…


    1. Terence Carter

      Thanks! And thanks for entering.

  16. Tim L.

    Consider the Cheapest Destinations Blog now entered! Memories and images from being a Mexpat for many months: http://travel.booklocker.com/2011/02/23/images-and-memories-from-guanajuato-mexpat/

    BTW though, if you find people aren’t following the many instructions properly, it may be because we can’t cut and paste anything from your page, including all those twitter handles and hashtags. It’s maddening!

    1. lara dunston

      Excellent! Thanks for entering! Good luck!

      People tend to follow the instructions, which aren’t that complicated – just need to cover all bases as far as competition rules go, hence all the text above – but essentially you need to:
      * follow us on Twitter – so we can RT your entries, head people your/our way
      * follow the sponsor on FB
      * leave a comment here to let us know how to find your entry – we explain how to link so it appears in backlinks (easy for judges/admin folks) but not all backlinks work for various reasons.

      Unfortunately we’ve had too many people stealing our stories and pics, which is why we don’t want people being able to copy. Hoping you understand. :)

  17. Camels & Chocolate

    I’ve read the competition entries for the past year and finally decided to join in myself. Here’s my list!


    1. lara dunston

      Great stuff! Good luck!

  18. Rebecca Kinsella

    Hi Terence & Lara,
    Here is my latest entry for your comp:

    10 memorable slow-travel moments in Ireland http://wp.me/pL6Ja-5B


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Rebecca! Wishing you luck!

  19. Marcy Gordon

    I entered, because it’s February! go here for the post: http://comeforthewine.posterous.com/10-most-memorable-intensely-local-italy-trave

    1. Terence Carter

      Hilarious story about Venice. Best of luck.
      Yes, Feb is the month of the cool kids.

  20. Ashley Erdman


    This is my first entry into the competition, hope you enjoy it :)


    1. Terence Carter

      Thanks Ashley, best of luck!

  21. neha

    It’s been a year already?

    My entry – http://nehasweb.com/2011/02/25/places-and-people-%E2%80%93-ten-memories-from-the-road/

    1. Terence Carter

      Excellent entry. Best of luck.
      Yep, the year was both the longest and shortest of my life!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Well perhaps you should make lists of memorable moments more often then?! ;) Thanks for your entry, Jessie.

  22. cindy espinoza

    Hello. Finally entered one of your monthly contests! better late than never:)
    Check out my post: “Travel is….making memories” @ http://cindyjespinoza.blogspot.com/2011/02/travel-ismaking-memories.html

    thank you

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Cindy! Best of luck!

  23. Ann B. Erickson

    “10 Travel Memories; A Lifetime of Experience”

    I may be young, but travel has given me so many wonderful memories. And I can only imagine how many more are waiting just around the corner!

    Happy trails!

    1. Lara Dunston

      You probably can’t imagine how many are waiting out there for you! ;) Thanks for entering and good luck!

  24. Ana O'Reilly

    Hi there! This is the first time I enter a contest here. This is my entry: http://wp.me/pRSCC.cu

    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Ana – we’re glad to see your entry! Best of luck!

  25. Larissa

    Hi, here is my entry for the competition:

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks for your entry, Larissa!

  26. Shannon

    Here is my post for the Feb. competition: http://twowhotravel.blogspot.com/2011/02/ten-most-memorable-travel-moments.html. Loving reading the other posts here-makes me want to keep traveling (of course, didn’t really need inspiration for that!)…

    1. Lara Dunston

      I always love reading all the entries too – it’s almost as if we’ve got a special travel magazine written just for us each month. Good luck, Shannon!

  27. Ben Alcock

    Hey guys,

    Here’s my entry for the FEB blogging competition:


    It was a great trip back through the memory-files.

    Nice one,


    1. Lara Dunston

      So glad you enjoyed the process. Nice to see you here!

  28. Nicole

    Hi Lara and Terrence, here’s my entry!


    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Nicole! Good luck!

  29. Suzanne

    Hi guys,

    What a great challenge, I look forward to more of your comps in future.



    1. Lara Dunston

      This is our last HomeAway Holiday-Rentals competition – they’ve sponsored 12 this year! But we will be holding more contests in the future. Thanks for entering!

  30. jeannie

    Here is my 2nd entry. I hope I’m not too late! This was fun!


    Thanks for this great opportunity!

    1. Lara Dunston

      You can never enter too many entries as far as we’re concerned. Best of luck!

  31. aliya

    This is rad guys! I enjoyed the process of thinking about my most memorable travel moments. Way to follow your heart! Peace Aliya

    1. Lara Dunston

      Fantastic! But where’s the link to your entry, Aliya? If you see this, can you please pop it in a comment here? Thanks!

    2. Lara Dunston

      Aliya – I think this might be your entry, which I got from Twitter -> @BrooklynBoston (Aliya Caler)
      @gran_tourismo @HomeAwayUK #grantourismoComp http://amc28.tumblr.com/post/3577850000/food-folks-work-and-play-around-the-world-my-top

  32. The Turkish Life

    Here’s my entry — like so many others have said, it was a great opportunity to reminisce.


    1. Lara Dunston

      We’ve felt the same as we’ve reflected about the last year in our recent posts.
      Thanks for entering!

  33. Mara Gorman

    Loved this contest, especially the discipline of keeping it short. Here’s my entry: http://www.motherofalltrips.com/2011/02/mondays-are-for-dreaming-ten-dream-worthy-travel-moments.html

    1. Lara Dunston

      Discipline is good :)

  34. Tiffany Weber-Stahlbaum

    Travel has afforded me so many beautiful moments, that it’s hard to choose just ten. Making this list has made me thankful that my only challenge is choosing which ones out of such a wealth of people and places.


    1. Lara Dunston

      Agree and that’s good to hear. My heart breaks for those who never get the chance to travel as all the well-travelled writers here do.

  35. Mike

    Sad that this is the last competition! Thank you so much for doing this each month. I’ve loved following your travels around the world.



    1. Terence Carter

      Lovely entry Mike. Best of luck.
      We may do more competitions in the future, but this is the last of the HomeAway comps, sadly.

  36. Kristin Mock

    Hi Lara and Terrence! I have officially entered the contest. And I just have to say, Whew! 250 words for a writer is NOT an easy feat!

    Here’s to *fingers crossed!*

    –Kristin :)


    1. Lara Dunston

      Well, we’re glad you made the effort, as challenging as it was – best of luck!

  37. Liv

    My last minute entry – 10 Chinese moments compelling a return

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks! Can’t wait to go read this one!

  38. jiffer

    Hi guys,

    you didn’t think i would pass this one up, did you? It may be over the limit – the Word Count on my computer has gone out (sounds like a totally pathetic excuse – but true) so I have no idea if it is accurate or not. I could edit it down. Or I could just submit for fun.

    Hope you guys are enjoying Bangkok!

    x jiff


    1. jiffer

      and btw terry, that photo of you and the wrestler is ah-ma-zing. love it.

    2. Terence Carter

      Yes, but how’s my tan? I actually used to train hard at the gym, kinda sad…LOL

    3. Lara Dunston

      Let’s hope it’s not over the limit! Good to see you here again! :)

  39. Nicole Acrey

    Hey guys, thought I’d try my hand at this competition as it’s right up my alley! I had a blast narrowing down my top ten, but it wasn’t easy. Enjoy!



    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Nicole – thanks for your entry! Will go check it out now. Best of luck!

  40. Natalie

    What a great way to reminisce about traveling memories…so excited to have entered the competition!


    1. Lara Dunston

      Excited to get your entry! Good luck!

  41. Jill Starley-Grainge

    I finally got my act together to enter one of your comps! First version was around 1,200 words, but here’s the shortened version: http://uktraveleditor.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/10-most-memorable-travel-moments-2/

    1. Lara Dunston

      We’re so pleased you did! Good to see you here!

  42. Jenna

    Thanks for the fun contest and hope you enjoy my entry (I sure enjoyed the things that comprised it!). Looking forward to getting to know you better online!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Jenna. Lovely to see you here. Best of luck!

  43. Nikki Hodgson

    I confess. I’m sad that this is the last contest. They’re so much fun! Hope you’re having a good time in Thailand…I’m drooling at the thought of Thai street food.


    1. Lara Dunston

      Hi Nikki – don’t worry – there are more contests to come – we’ll announce details soon! :)

  44. Camden Luxford

    Still the first in my part of the world! Slipping in at the last minute…

    Postcards: http://brinkofsomethingelse.com/2011/03/postcards/

    1. Lara Dunston

      You made it! Congrats!

  45. Christin V.

    Finally got my entry in, just in time! Hope you enjoy it, I know I did! Thanks a bunch!

    The In-Between: http://christymemos.blogspot.com/2011/03/in-between.html

    1. Lara Dunston

      Plenty of time! There’s about 5 hours left if you live on the west coast of the USA – well, wherever you live in the world in fact. We said ‘end of the 1st’ but didn’t stipulate for who! Good luck!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Great to see you entering! You must be so tired too now that you’ve just finished your epic adventure! Congrats & best of luck!

  46. Nicole Sharkey

    Thank you for the opportunity to revisit these memories! Best of luck to everyone!

    1. Lara Dunston

      Thanks, Nicole! You were the last one! Well that *was* lucky wasn’t it?! :)

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