It’s time to announce the winner of our travel photo contest – one more way we hope to inspire you to start checking off your travel bucket list sooner rather than later.
We had all kinds of photos submitted from places all around the world and we were inspired to see some of these fantastic places. As we laid out in our initial contest announcement, we evaluated each photo and ranked them – not according to photographic expertise, exposure quality, or any variable other than how bad it made us want to go there.
All of the photos invoked the wanderlust, but the three top photos according to our ranking were: 1) Iguazu Falls by Keith, 2) Yosemite for One and a Half by Rachel, and 3) Eiffel Artistry by Kyle.
Many of our viewers placed their votes by commenting on the photos and each photo was given points for each unique commenter (some duplicates were discounted).
In the end, the photo that rose above the others, and the winner (so long as we can confirm the entry by email within 5 days) is: “Eiffel Artistry by Kyle.”
We really appreciate everyone who participated by sending in photos and by commenting on each of these. Hopefully by now each of you have received your prize for entering.
Now that Kyle has helped us capture your attention, let us tell you how you, too, can lay lazily in the shade of the Eiffel Tower.
How to Get to Paris for Free
As we’ve told you on our Using Airline Miles page, getting to Europe will usually run between 40k-120k points – depending on the program and the time of year. The lowest level, of course, usually requires the greatest amount of flexibility, but it’s something that is totally feasible. The only airline that will take you to Europe with 40k points is American Airlines – and you’ll need to do it in the off-peak season – generally after October 15th and before May 15th.
Now, here’s the great news – getting 40k AA miles is remarkably easy. All you need to do is use this link to sign up for the Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World Mastercard. Then you’ll need to use it responsibly to make only normal expenditures to spend $3000 in the first three months of having the card.
Once you’ve met those simple requirements, the free flight fairy will drop 40k ff miles in your account and you’ll be on your way.
How to Stay at Least 3 Free Nights in Paris
Now, I’ll start by saying that there are lots of ways to stay for free in thousands of other cities – Paris is among the tougher challenges when it comes to using points. That’s why we’re going to cheat. You already know how to get a cheap hotel – Priceline, right? Now, let’s talk about how to make a cheap hotel a free hotel.
You’ve heard us rave about the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard – $89 Annual Fee Card. We love it because the annual fee is waived for the first year and it is so flexible and simple to use. Once you spend $1000 on it, you wind up with 42,000 points which you can use to reimburse $420 in travel purchases on the card (then with a 10% point-kickback, you get $42 more in reimbursements). Now, we combine the value of Priceline, and it’s time to get excited.
I like to use www.betterbidding.com to see how cheaply I can get hotels in specific cities on Priceline. It’s a little like having the answers to the test. Looking at their Paris Forum, I can see that someone recently booked the 4* Le Meridien Etoile for $115 a night. Someone else recently booked the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel And Conference Center for $94 a night – also a 4*. I think either of those places would suit me and if you keep your standards high and try Priceline a few times, you might land something even nicer.
And that’s what WorldWanderlusting is all about – making your travel dreams come true. Thanks for joining us!