Want to Travel for Free? Enter These Travel Contests to the UK, Portugal, Greece and More

A mother and daughter vacation in Greece.
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Let’s face it: We’re all clamoring for a vacation. Who among us doesn’t want a little respite from the office, a getaway to a new place that will make us see our current reality in a different light?

There’s just one small problem: Vacations are expensive. And they’ve only gotten more so since the pandemic. In fact, a round trip flight to Europe from the United States is roughly 20% more costly than it was in 2019, per reporting from CNBC. That’s likely driven in part by increased demand. American travelers predicted they would take 3.5 leisure trips over the next year, up from 2.9 a year ago, according to a study from Destination Analysts.

All that means that it may be time to start looking for an alternative way to fund your next big trip. Here’s our humble suggestion: apply to a travel contest. No, it’s not just something your grandparents listened for on the radio, submitting their information in the fruitless hope that they might, for once, be successful. These sweepstakes contests still very much exist and can reap some real benefits. Read on for a list of some of the best options currently open to you.

Want to Travel for Free? Enter These Travel Contests

The Great British Holiday Competition 

If your idea of a vacation is less beachside and more countryside, then this competition is likely for you. You’ll get a five-star holiday to London and the Cotswolds, perhaps one of the most idyllic places on Earth. Included in your win will be free international flights and a pass to Blenheim Palace, the site where Prime Minister Winston Churchill was born. 

You’ll start your dream trip with a one-night stay at Middle Eight, a luxury hotel in London’s Covent Garden, a central area. That night, you’ll have a Michelin-starred dinner at restaurant Galvin La Chapelle. The following evening will be spent at The Guardsman, a boutique hotel not far from Buckingham Palace. History is also on the menu, with tickets included to Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace and the Tower of London. You’ll also spend four nights in the Cotswolds, partially in a former millhouse and partially at a quaint country inn. 

To enter to win, you’ll have to answer a trivia question and input your contact information. Make sure you do so by July 31, 2023, in order to qualify. Check discoverbritainmag.com on August 7 to find out if you are the winner. The vacation has to be taken between September 2023 and May 2024.

Spend Two Nights in Portugal 

If you’ve had Portugal on your travel list for a while, this may be one way to cut back on expenses. Win a two-night stay at The Lodge Porto Hotel and get breakfast and one night’s dinner included.

Porto, Portugal, is a popular tourist destination, in large part because it is the founding home of Port wine. At The Lodge, you can tour more than 15 wine cellars that are for public consumption. The good news about this contest is that there’s plenty of time to use it: you must enter by June 30, 2023, and use your stay by June 1, 2024. Just know that there are blackout dates, so if you have a pre-existing vacation in the works, be warned.

To enter, answer a competition question and submit your contact information.

Ready to Go to Barcelona? 

If Barcelona isn’t your dream city, then where have you been? It’s the home of Gaudí, Las Ramblas and the Picasso Museum. And if you’re looking for both a historical and tropical vacation, it’s the perfect city. After all, it’s situated right on the beach.

Given all that, you’ll definitely want to enter Barcelona Obertura’s contest, sponsored by three of the city’s most prominent classical music venues. Included in your trip will be a free economy class flight to Barcelona from your country for two people. You’ll also get a two-night stay — and breakfast! — at Grand Hotel Central and be able to choose between a concert or opera at one of the city’s three famous music halls. You’ll have lunch in front of the sea and tour Casa Batlló, one of Gaudi’s modernist works.

To enter, all you have to do is answer the contest question and input your personal information. You have until July 16, 2023, to enter. And if you should win, you’ll have to use your stays between September 15 and November 15, 2023.

You Choose Where You Go — Business Class

BusinessClass.com’s competition is the perfect option for someone who doesn’t quite know where they want to go but at least wants to be able to choose the destination.

The winner of the contest will receive two complimentary tickets from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world. The company will determine the routing and airline, but where you go is completely up to you. That said, there are some limitations: the two passengers must be traveling on the same flights throughout the entire trip. The tickets also cannot cost more individually than 2,500 euro with taxes and surcharges. This means that you likely cannot travel literally anywhere in the world.

This contest does offer you a little more time to enter; the deadline is December 31, 2023. You have to be registered as a member of BusinessClass.com to compete. Click here to enter.

Start Your Holiday in Crete

Sign us up. When we think of summer, we think of Greece, and this travel competition will give you four nights for two at a beautiful resort in Crete: St. Nicolas Bay.

Not only will you get a complimentary stay in a classic junior suite with a sea view, but you’ll also have a one-hour spa treatment for each person and a candlelit dinner at an a la carte restaurant. Your flights to and from your home will also be included.

The resort itself has a lot to boast: it’s been completely renovated and has a 25-meter adults-only pool. Multiple on-site restaurants mean you’ll always have someplace to eat. And the Poseidon Spa will pamper you long after your one-hour treatment. All you have to do to enter is answer the question at the end of this article and submit your contact information.

Not feeling lucky? Check out our guide to alternative travel for tips on traveling the world for less.

Win the Trip of a Lifetime — Literally

Who wouldn’t want $15,000 to spend on the trip of your dreams? It almost sounds like too much. Almost.

Well, Dotdash Media is giving it away in their official spring sweepstakes. The contest has been going since January 1, 2023, and will end June 30, 2023. The winner will be selected around July 10, 2023, meaning the time to enter is now.

This is the contest with the least restrictions possible. The winner will receive–literally—a $15,000 check made out to their name. We suppose you don’t have to use it on a trip, but why would you use it on anything else? Enter here.

Get Some Money Toward Your Next Outdoorsy Trip 

Okay, so this won’t fund you a full trip necessarily, but Outdoorsy.com is running a contest that will get you $1,000 towards your next outdoor excursion. You won’t just get cash: you’ll also get a prize bundle with things like trail mix, hiking boots, coffee and a fire pit.

Here’s what you need to know: you have until June 30 to enter. There are four possible winners. And the $1,000 credit can only be used on Outdoorsy.com. Click on this link to enter.

Let the Hallmark Channel Pay for Your Santorini Vacation 

Yes, we already said it: Greece really is the ultimate summer destination. So why not let someone else pay for your vacation there? And let that someone else be the Hallmark Channel.

The rules are as follows: you have until June 30 to enter, you must be living in the United States and you cannot be a convicted felon. The winner will be announced in a random drawing on July 14.

Now for the fun part: you will win a trip for two to Greece and its islands for 15 nights and 16 days, including hotel accommodations, round-trip airfare and a tour by Collette Tours. The prize is estimated to be worth roughly $11,600. It must be taken before June 30, 2024. Enter here.

Get The Beach Vacation You’ve Always Dreamed Of

Get your tropical beach fix at any Sandals or Beaches resort that you choose. This contest offers you 4-days and 3-nights at an all-inclusive hotel. Your entry will come with restaurant dining and “unlimited premium spirits.”

You will have to enter by June 30, 2023, to qualify. Enter at this link.

Writer Elizabeth Djinis is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder, often writing about selling goods online through social platforms. Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Smithsonian Magazine and the Tampa Bay Times.