Sunday, January 31, 2010

Share And Share Alike

If you're more than an armchair traveler, you know what works and what doesn't when you're on the road. Share your opinion with Travel and Leisure, and you could win a $10,000 dream trip. It's all about choices. Choose to enter.

Voilà - the link to Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards Survey and $10,000 Dream Trip Sweepstakes:

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Born to Run

WSJ Travel, which stands for Wall Street Journal, offers unique experiences. I prefer the kind you can't schedule. One summer, Bruce Springsteen was playing in Paris when I was there, but his concerts were sold out. If I couldn't hear Bruce, I was determined to check out a trendy club at the time called Les Bains Douches. Too bad the doorman claimed it was closed for a private party. "No" is not acceptable answer when this may be your only opportunity. With some American cajoling, he finally let us sneak inside. "Have fun with your compatriots," he added as he opened the door. The place was crowded. (If you watch Frantic, you can see Harrison Ford run through it.) My European friends watched me zigzag to the bar, where a dark haired guy in a black leather jacket was holding court. His arms were draped across the counter as he smiled and surveyed the scene. Then he moved a bit, so I could order drinks. "Who was that scruffy guy at the bar?" asked my snobby friend. Only she could reduce him to a vagrant. "That scruffy guy at the bar was Bruce Springsteen!" Okay, he didn't sing, but I'll never forget it.

Want your own unique experience? WSJ Travel is giving away a trip to Paris that includes 5 nights at the Saint Honore Hotel, a 1/2 day sightseeing tour through the city in a vintage French Citroen 2CV convertible, breakfast daily, and 2 dinners. Make it happen and enter.

Voilà - the link to the WSJ Travel Sweepstakes:

Friday, January 29, 2010

Gondola Garnish

Valentine's Day is nearly here. Sure, celebrating it in Paris is romantic, but Venice is a close second. One of my favorite journey mags, Travel and Leisure, is pairing up with Santa Margherita (They make wine.) for a quixotic Venetian Getaway contest. You'll fall in love with a round trip ticket for two, 4-nights at the Hotel Gritti Palace, and dinner at The Hotel Danieli. Whet your appetite with A Little Romance, Summertime, The Comfort of Strangers, The Italian Job, Don't Look Now, and Just Married. Then, finish that bottle of pinot and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Venetian Getaway Contest:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bon Appetit

Dining is an essential component of traveling. Since you're only there for a short time, you have an excuse to splurge. Why not make it memorable? Some of the restaurants on my Paris Wish List are: Ducasse in Hotel Plaza-Athenee (The food is as striking as the price.), Taillevent (a French classic), L'Ambroisie (It's tucked into a romantic 17th century townhouse.), Le Cinq (It looks like something out of Rembrance of Things Past.), and La Tour D'Argent (a historic culinary landmark that's been open since 1946). Food & Wine is giving away $5,000, which should cover a few exquisite meals. Put down your fork and enter.

Voilà - the link to Food, Wine & Win Daily Triva and $5,000 Giveaway:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Winging It

According to the dictionary, "aerie" means the nest of a bird of prey, as in an eagle or a hawk; a lofty nest of any large bird; and a house, fortress, or the like, located high on a hill or mountain. For you Aerie means another possible free trip to Paris. Yes, this American Eagle Outfitters division is giving away one lofty adventure - 2 round trip tickets to Paris, 5 nights in a yet-to-be-named chic hotel, and a pre-trip undie spree, so you can prepare to fall in love. Remember how Mom always warned you how important it was to wear pretty underwear? Now, you know why. "Under"-stand and enter.

Voilà - the link to Aerie's Paris Sweeps:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Baring It All

After the horrific earthquake in Haiti, you can't help but rethink what matters. Continue the pondering on a lighter note with Bare Escentuals. Answer 5 multiple choice questions, and you may win a trip for two to Paris, along with 7 nights at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme, a double decker bus tour of the city, some meals, and $1,000.00 spending money. Every week 500 women will receive free bareMinerals goodies just for participating. Start rethinking and enter.

Voilà - the link the Rethink What Matters conversation:

Monday, January 25, 2010


Most of the contests I enter require nothing more than filling in the blanks, but this one is different. For over a decade, I worked the Pledge Drives at the local, public radio station, KCRW. One of my colleagues was a woman named Fortune (Seriously!), who started volunteering there after she won a fantastic trip for subscribing to KCRW. Every day, during the drives, someone wins something. I know because I used to call our 100,000th subscriber to inform them they just won 10 CDS. Part of the reason so many people win is that the odds are good. The fewer number of entries, the better chance you have of taking home a prize. This 2010 Winter Sweepstakes includes a chance to win a trip to Florence, an Australian Adventure, or a Ford Hybrid,. Since the last sweepstakes closes March lst, you won't have to wait long to find out if you got lucky. Yes, you're going to make a donation, but it may be tax deductible. If you've ever listened to 89.9, you know it's worth it. Radio your support and enter!

Voilà - the link to KCRW's Winter Sweepstakes:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Book It

Part of the fun of traveling is planning a trip. Contemporary travel memoirs and novels set in a city I'm planning to visit are my favorite entrée. I dread being a tourist, so I prefer to experience a place as a resident. Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life and Love in Paris, Paris Hangover, Capturing Paris: A Novel, and Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris are a few of the books I've used to transport myself to France. You can find my reviews of these and others on - if you ask me to add you as a friend. Anytime I see an article about a place I intend to visit, I also put it in a file for that destination. That way, everything I need is one place. Need to get organized? Better Homes & Gardens is giving winners a $1,750 Staples gift card to do just that. Staple this to remind yourself to enter.

Voilà - the link to The Better Homes & Gardens Gift of Organization Sweepstakes:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wild Oats

In honor of Conan O'Brien's final episode of the Tonight Show last night, it's time to pay homage to an Irish staple - oatmeal. I was raised on Quaker Oats, but McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal is my favorite. Over the years, my uncle and my cousin perfected the perfect blend of raisins, nuts, and fruit to mix with McCann's, so I think of them whenever I tuck into it. My twist? A dash of brown sugar. No matter which way you like it, chances are you'll want to win McCann's 7-night trip for two to the 5-Star Heritage Golf & Spa Resort in Killenard, County Laois, Ireland. Included are one full body massage per person, one spa experience per person, 2 rounds of golf per person, and a check for $500 to help you enjoy your stay. Sounds like a great place to recover from jet lag before zipping over to Paris. Sow your oats and enter!

Voilà - the link to McCann's Irish Oatmeal Body and Soul Sweepstakes:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Watching The Detective

It's elementary my dear Watson, London is only a chunnel away from Paris. Visit Britain is running a contest to unlock the mysteries of London in conjunction with Robert Downey Junior's film, Sherlock Holmes. If you've done your detective work, you probably discovered the prize includes 2 airplane tickets to London, 4 nights at a Radisson Edwardian hotel, a walking tour of Sherlock Holmes' London, dinner for two at the Sherlock Holmes Pub, and 2 tickets to the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Bone up before you go by watching The Hound of the Baskervilles, Young Sherlock Holmes, Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Return of Sherlock Holmes, Murder By Decree, and Without a Clue. There's no mystery when it comes to entering.

- the link to Sherlock Holmes' Unlock the Mysteries of London Sweepstakes:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Snow Business

Whenever I hear the word "alps," I think of Julie Andrews twirling around at the top of a mountain in The Sound of Music or the movie, Heidi. Wrong alps when it comes to the France Guide. This helpful French government site is running a contest to win a trip to the French Alps, specifically Courchevel, during ski season. Included are 2 nights at the luxuriously charming hotel, Les Airelles, which is located on the edge of the slopes. Never heard of Courchevel? This royal celeb haven has hosted Prince William, Armani, Clooney, Elton John, and Salma Hayek's baby daddy, Bernard Arnault. When nanny-gate broke, David and Victoria Beckham holed up there to resurrect their marriage. "Chalet" I say more? Put down your poles and enter.

Voilà - the link to France Guide's French Alps Contest:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

La Dolce Vita

If you've seen Rob Marshall's dazzling new film, Nine, you may be as eager to visit Rome as you are Paris. Lonely Planet and Nine are teaming up for an extraordinary Italian Getaway Sweepstakes. Spread out in Alitalia's Magnifica class (that's business to you), then enjoy 3 nights at a hotel on the Via Veneto. If you're a fan of Kate Hudson's, check out her favorite restaurant in the Eternal City, Dal Bolognese. Don't know your way around? One Lonely Planet Guidebook pack, a Rome City Guide, an Italian Phrasebook and Audio CD are included. Want to get in the mood before you go? Roman Holiday, Three Coins in the Fountain, Gidget Goes to Rome, Rome Adventure, Sabrina Goes to Rome, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, and both the Olsen twins film and the new Josh Duhamel romantic comedy, When in Rome ,all feature seductive scenery. Once you've had your fill of Rome, Paris is just a train ride away. Prepare for the good life with the classic La Dolce Vita, then enter.

Voilà - the link to Lonely Planet and Nine's Italian Getaway Sweepstakes:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Chances are you made some New Year's resolutions that involve your appearance. There's more than a caloric difference between talking and doing. Lip service can only get you so far. Ziploc's Fresh for Success Sweepstakes turns that makeover musing into a reality. By the time you've won a trip to New York, a pro make-up and hair consult, and sifted through the racks with a personal shopper, you'll look as fashionable as Coco Before Chanel. Spend some of the cash you pocket for a trip to Paris to show off your new look. Time to get fresh and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Ziploc® Fresh for Success Sweepstakes:

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Write The... Blogs

Barry Manilow songs aren't on my iPod, but who isn't familiar with "Mandy," "Looks Like We Made It," "I Write The Songs," and "Can't Smile Without You"? Still not tinkling your piano keys? You must have danced to "Copacabana" at some random wedding or high school reunion. Feeling nostalgic? Now, that's the ticket. And speaking of billets, you can win 2 of them to see Barry live in Paris -- the Paris Las Vegas® Hotel Casino, that is - this spring or summer. The prize includes 2 round trip airline tickets, 2 nights at the Paris Las Vegas® Hotel Casino, and dinner for 2 at The Eiffel Tower Restaurant. It's not France, but then again, you won't have to learn the language.

"Ready to take a chance again?" Join, then, enter!

Voilà - the link to's contest to see Barry Manilow:

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Golden Ticket

My favorite awards show, The Golden Globes, airs tonight on NBC. Since champagne flows beforehand, the speeches tend to be more, um, lively. Who can forget: Mary-Louise Parker's shout out to her new baby for making her boobs look better? Waiting for Christine Lahti to emerge from the bathroom? Sacha Baron Cohen's tale of seeing the ugly side of America while filming Borat, specifically the nether regions of his co-star, Ken Davitian. Tina Fey's reminder, "If you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the internet." And even though he had that not so Divine incident, Hugh Grant consistently delivers some of the funniest speeches I've seen. Let's hope there are more memorable laughs this evening!

In honor of the main event, Radar Online is giving away a $5,000 swag bag packed with goodies the stars receive - a $1,500 Croton watch, membership to the House of Blues Foundation Room, Live Nation concert tickets, and a host of other treats. No, it doesn't have anything to do with Paris, but when you're traveling, you can wear that belt, underwear, perfume, and other items you win. Don't bag it, enter!

Voilà - the link to the Radar Online Golden Globe Celebrity Gift Bag:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Project Runaway - Part Deux

New Year. New you. New round of Project Runway. To kick off the 7th season on Lifetime (I still can't get used to the fact it's no longer on Bravo!), Project Runway is running a New York, New You Sweepstakes. And yes, this is different than the last one you entered. As Heidi Klum would say, at stake is $10,000, a trip to New York for 2, a make over, and a fashion consult with Nina Garcia from Marie Claire. Who doesn't want to up their game before going on vacation? Plus, it's just a jump across the pond to Paris when you're done. Project yourself down this runway and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Project Runway New York, New You Sweepstakes:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

From Paris With Love

Oh to be signing postcards with that phrase! John Travolta's new thriller, From Paris With Love, opens February 5th. Expect to see Paris in a whole new light since Luc Besson, who gave us the riveting La Femme Nikita, wrote the script. Ooh la la - there's a From Paris With Love Sweepstakes running in conjunction with the film. The Grand Prize includes 5 nights in a hotel, round trip airfare, and a look at the city that made the film possible! Get those weapons ready and enter.

Voilà - the link to the From Paris With Love Sweepstakes:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fantasy Talk

Claire's Knee, Pauline at the Beach, and An Autumn Tale are a few Eric Rohmer films that originally fueled my fantasies of France. Yesterday, Rohmer died of an unknown cause at the age of 89. Unlike his chatty films, which often ended abruptly, Rohmer's influence remains. My favorite twist on Rohmer's subject matter is Jackie Oudney's 2008 comedy, French Film, which deftly explores the difference between the French and the English when it comes to relationships. Is French the language of love? See for yourself. Redbook is running a $100,000 Fantasy Fund Sweepstakes, which should cover all the films you'll ever want to watch as well as a trip to Paris. Stop fantasizing and enter.

Voilà - the link to the Fantasy Fund Sweepstakes: