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Contest Watch: South Africa Safari, Los Cabos, Vikings Football Experience, and More!

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While you finish up your last-minute online shopping, why not slip a little something in for yourself? Enter these contests and sweepstakes to find yourself on a wild safari, an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico, or even a New Year’s retreat to, er, Minnesota, for some pro football. Good luck and happy clicking!

“Monkey See, Monkey Do” African Safari Contest, South Africa

Enter Now – January 31st, 2013

Do you have a secret talent for animal impressions? Submit a video of your jungle call on Facebook to win a 10-day family safari for four (two adults and two children under 12) to South Africa. The itinerary includes airfare, a stay at Cape Town’s Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, two days at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, and a stay at the Etali Safari Lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve. The Top 25 video entries selected by online voting will be available for viewing February 1-8, 2013, and a panel of judges will determine the grand prize winner based on quality, creativity and humor. The grand prize safari winner will be announced in mid-February.

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Contest Watch: $12K Papua New Guinea Trip, Dubai + more

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The contests this month ask just a little more from their entrants. Snapping photos, discovering kinship in Papua New Guinea – you know, just a little effort. Tap into your creativity and you could win some big prizes: a weeklong cruise, $1500 in cash, and a whopping $12,000 trip to the South Pacific.

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Contest Watch: Asia Trip + $12,500, Los Cabos, London

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Fancy yourself a travel personality? CheapOair is looking for a budget travel correspondent to share the thrills of affordable travel, with up to $12,500 in prize money and travel credits. Not so extroverted? Three other sweepstakes take little more than a few clicks to whisk you away to London, Los Cabos, New York City, or Texas.

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Contest Watch: Your Travel Slogan for Cash + More

201207-b-catskillsjpgWhile we’re all for the experiential value of travel, sometimes some liquid assets are a welcome change. Pad your bank account with some cold cash from these summer contests. Prizes include first-class airfare to Hawaii, a $5,000 jewelry spree, and plain ole cash money.

Capture the Catskills Slogan Contest  (Enter Now – July 15, 2012)
Have a way with words? Your clever Catskills catchphrase could earn $1,500. Submit your new slogan for the Catskills area by 11PM on July 15 to be eligible to win. A panel of judges will pick the final five to be judged by popular vote. Visit www.cprando.org to enter.

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Contest Watch: Hurry! Sweepstakes Ending Soon

201205-b-travaasa-hanajpgI’m not one to use multiple exclamation points in a single headline, but these are desperate times. This month’s giveaways require so very little time—you could enter all three over lunch and still have time for take-out. The payoff? An all inclusive resort vacation to Hawaii (pictured above), a VIP tour around Virginia (including a sleepover inside an aquarium), and a weeklong trip to Rome. So get clicking, time’s ticking!

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Contest Watch: $15,000 Cruise, Top Chef Getaway, More!

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Think Facebook and television are for nothing more than procrastination? Be sure to plug in for this month’s Contest Watch, full of social media contests and sweepstakes . The stakes are high with a $15,000 trip on Crystal Cruises, a $4,000 vacation to South Africa, or a brush with fame during a Top Chef-inspired trip to Canada. The only hard part is choosing just one friend to take along. And if you win, be sure to tag us in the pictures!

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Contest Watch: $26k Antarctica Trip, Lake Tahoe Vaca + More

Embrace the winter with a roundup to awesome cold-weather retreats. Ski in Lake Tahoe with a spare-no-expense getaway from Southwest Airline Vacations or take it even further with a two-week trip to Antarctica, valued at a whopping $26,000. Warm up with whiskey and a trip to the Glenrothes distillery in Scotland. Good luck and stay warm!

Vintage Moment Contest, Speyside Scotland
Enter Now – January 31st, 2012

Scotland's Glenrothes whiskey distillery is giving away a trip to Speyside to help create their Vintage 2012. To enter, select a pivotal moment in your life, visit Theglenrothes.com, and submit a 1000-character (not word) statement about your “vintage moment,” then upload a photo or video. Winners should plan to travel in May 2012.

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Damien Hirst Exhibit Opens Today...In a City Near You?

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The prolific YBA artist, Damien Hirst, is continuing his successful career at being…well, prolific. Today, the Gagosian Gallery opens "The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011" in all of their 11 locations. That's 3 in New York, 2 in London, 1 in Paris, Rome, Beverly Hills, Athens, Hong Kong and Geneva. If this is still not enough Damien Hirst for you, the gallery is offering people to take on "The Complete Spot Challenge." Register at their website, jet to all 11 locations, and you'll get a personally signed Spot Print from the man himself. While you're in New York, stay at Le Parker Meridien or the Gramercy Park Hotel, where you'll find his work on their walls. In London, spend the night at 45 Park Lane and eat in the lobby, at Wolfgang Puck's CUT. There, you'll be greeted by even more of his pieces. Hong Kong? No problem. W Hotel, Hong Kong often exhibits his art in their lobby as well. Just make sure you bring some extra cash. A Damien Hirst doesn't come cheap.

Where: Gagosian Gallery (Worldwide)
When: Opens January 12, 2012 (Closing dates vary)
More Information: gagosian.com

Joe Harper is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Credit: © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011. Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates

Contest Watch: Galapagos, Shopping Spree, More!

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For some, the holidays can be joyous, delicious, and restful. For everyone else, there’s Contest Watch! If you need something to look forward to during these short days and cold nights, hit up these contests for solace and excitement. Can’t get far enough away from Aunt Milly? How about the Galapagos (above)? Need a daily fix to get you through a long stay with prying in-laws? Click on ever-changing giveaways from Design Hotels. Of course, if you love your family and need more quality time, there’s always the kid-friendly ski vacation from Virginia Tourism.

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Contest Watch: Paris, Mexico, Reykjavik + More

201110-b-hoteljules-1jpgThis month’s contest watch is a study in contradictions. Have a romantic escape to Paris or take the family to LEGOLAND. Indulge in a escape to Mexico, or help bring fresh drinking water to communities in Rwanda. It may be hard to chose, but entering is easy.

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