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In Las Vegas, the Price is Right

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I recently went to Las Vegas for the first time, for my best friend’s bachelorette weekend. Now before you get carried away with visions of sheer hedonism that you think must have ensued, keep in mind that none of us drinks or gambles, and some of us are easily scandalized. So what do a band of tame, teetotalling girls do in Sin City, you ask? We managed to find plenty to keep us occupied, from the bountiful buffet at our hotel, the fabulous Bellagio, to Cirque du Soleil’s dazzling water spectacle O, to an over-the-top feast at Alain Ducasse’s Michelin-starred Mix, at the top of Mandalay Bay (our closest encounter with debauchery came when our waiter confessed he was a former Chippendales dancer). We wound up having a fabulous—if somewhat low-key—time, but the highlight of the weekend was, shockingly, testing our luck at the Price Is Right Live!. Yes, as in that Price Is Right.

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Contest Watch: Blockbuster Movie Means Blockbuster Giveaways

In this super-sized edition of T+L Contest Watch, we’ve scoured the globe to find mega-awesome 3-D Imax-scale sweepstakes. Hurry, these are leaving theaters soon.

20104-b-greekislands-istockjpgClash of the Titans Sweepstakes,” Greek Islands (ends April 19th)
In celebration of the new 3-D movie, Clash of the Titans, Fandango, Variety Cruises, Warner Brothers, and Greek National Tourism have teamed up to give away a 7-night/8-day Greek Island cruise. Visit www.discovergreecenow.com to enter—seems simple but those who chose to receive more direct-to-consumer mail get more entries into the grand prize drawing (just keep that in mind). Losers can take comfort in co-stars Liam Neeson and Ralph Fines in 3-D.

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Contest Watch: Ireland + Student Specials

201003-a-sceptre-5jpgParents and kids alike will appreciate this roundup of spring contests. Now if only they could agree on appropriate clothes to pack. 

Sceptre Tours “Luxurious Ireland Vacation Giveaway”

Win a 6-night 3-city Irish vacation with airfare and rental car  (Mercedes 200 E series) from Sceptre Tours. Enter here to be eligible. Careful, the contest  automatically signs you for to receive the Sceptre newsletter but for 2-nights each  at Adare ManorAshford Castle, and the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, we think it’s worth it.

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Contest Watch: Is it Spring Break Yet?

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Seems like everyone’s midwinter morale is down. What better way to usher in spring (maybe prematurely) than with the promise of free getaways ? Here, a compilation of this month’s contests, enter now—the hot toddy can wait.

Frommer’s “Cover Photo Contest”
In honor of the reputable guide series' new full-color editions (launched in September 2009), Frommer’s is giving away $5,000 and the opportunity to have a photo featured on the cover of one of their forthcoming guidebooks.

From now through March 31st, contestants  can visit www.frommers.com/go/photocontest to enter and upload their best travel photos. A panel of travel  and photography experts will judge the entries. Four runners-up will receive guide books and Lug travel accessories worth $300. The winner is responsible for all taxes associated with prizes.

Netherlands Board of Tourism “Just Be in Holland” Contest
As part of a new Holland marketing campaign, the Netherlands Board of Tourism unveiled a fulled wrapped subway train (the shuttle from Times Square to Grand Central Station) in New York City and a cool contest to boot.

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Contest Watch: Beat the Winter Blahs

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Have the short cold days got you down? These sizzling contests may just sweep you away.

201001-small-yapta-01jpgYapta’s “9 Months of Paradise by Marriott Sweepstakes”
Since June, Yapta has been giving away a trip a month. There’s one more month left and February’s prize is a 5-night, 6-day hotel stay at the Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort in St. Thomas. To enter, use Yapta.com's flight tracker to monitor the price of a flight; each flight counts as an entry into the drawing (maximum 25 per person). The drawing is Februay 28th, so go ahead and track spring break plans—it might end up being free! Other prizes include Bose headphones and Starbucks cards—both certain to help with the winter crankies.

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Contest Watch: Holiday Edition

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Tis the season for toys and presents, but what about getting your 2010 travel calendar in line? These three contests might make for one heck of a New Year.

Ultimate Fiji Adventurer
Now – January 1st
Make your New Year’s resolution to be more adventurous. Tourism Fiji has launched a video contest to give away a pair of roundtrip tickets to Fiji on Air Pacific (from Los Angeles) and seven nights—with meals—at Sonaisali Island Resort. Contestants must submit a 2-3 minute video explaining why they are an Ultimate Fiji Adventurer at www.fijime.tv/videocontest. After entries close on January 1st, it’s up to the public to vote on their favorite submission. We could not confirm at publilcation time, but contestants shoudle expect to pay taxes and fees.

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Contest Watch: Win a Cali Hotel Stay, Luxury Cruise, Sydney Trip, and More!

Excuse my flurry of posts but there has been a huge surge of late-breaking contests that I just had to share. All you need to do is enter:

200910-b-hotelbelamarjpgLarkspur Hotels "I Need a Vacation Because!" Contest (closes Nov. 17)

Facebook fans of the Larkspur Hotels page can enter to win a two-night getaway to one of the Larkspur Collections’ eight hotels (one winner per hotel) in California and Oregon. Contestants must post why they need a vacation in 50 words or less. Entries will be judged on originality, creativity, humor, and substance, and from what I’ve seen on the Facebook page, TravelandLeisure.com’s savvy and creative readers have a pretty good shot. The prize includes $150 voucher for Southwest Airlines and a $100 to the hotel restaurant. Winners do not have to cover taxes or fees. Visit www.facebook.com/larkspurhotels to enter.

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Tweet Yourself to Hawaii

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It seems like everyone—and every company—is feeling the power of social media these days. In celebration of Hawaii’s 50 years of statehood, Marriott Resorts Hawaii is hopping on the e-bandwagon with a two-part sweepstakes geared toward Twitter and Facebook users, offering 25 all-expense paid trips for two to Kauai, Oahu, Maui or the Big Island and a trip for one lucky tweeter and 11 guests.

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