Thursday, 22 April 2010

Volcanic Ash Journeys - how epic was your journey home?

Were you grounded by volcanic ash but able and willing to travel home overland? Why not share your epic tale with Travelex and be in with the chance of winning some prize money.

Julian Neal, Director of Travelex comments,
"There have been some absolutely inspiring stories about ways in which travellers have covered thousands of miles and taken the initiative to make their way home against the odds. Travellers have also clubbed together to get home, even using Twitter and Facebook to find unique methods of transport and locate fellow travellers stranded at the same destination. Travelex wants to reward these tales of creative travel plans and sheer determination."

The foreign exchange provider is spreading the word among travellers, asking them to post their epic journeys on their official Facebook page. The winning ‘volcanic legend’ will receive a Travelex prepaid currency card, Cash Passport, loaded with £1000 to spend on their next holiday. 10 runners-up will also receive £100 loaded onto a Cash Passport.

You've got until 18th May to take part in Travelex’s ‘Volcanic Legends’ competition, then fellow Facebook fans will vote for the winning journey.

Tell your story now and bask in the glory of your adventurousness (rather than whinging about getting your expenses refunded by Ryanair) at

Image (Camel caravan)from m_bartosch
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Monday, 12 April 2010

'Luxuriate' no more. Forever 'Escape'.

Next time you flick through a glossy holiday brochure or search for a deal on a travel website, note the frequency with which certain verbs are crammed into the headers, captions and hotel descriptions. 'RELAX and UNWIND', 'BASK' and 'INDULGE', you'll be encouraged. These fluffy verbs may well be overused in travel copywriting, but by tapping into physical factors (stress, warmth, imbibing) they'll probably work their magic and have you heading off to the sun to do just what they suggest.

But can I ask? Am I the only traveller (and travel editor) who can't help but recoil, quickly retracting my credit card, at the sight of that most fiendish of travel-related verbs...LUXURIATE (vb: enjoy as a luxury)? Certainly, we can all 'enjoy as a luxury' a fragrant bubble bath at home on a wet Wednesday evening, or a cheeky glass of champers before catching a train from London St Pancras. But for me, the act of travel deserves more substantive verbs - those that span the breadth of the linguistic spectrum, from the majestic to the downright primal.

Travel for most of us will always be a financial ‘luxury’, but portraying it in bling, diamond encrusted terms alone does a disservice to travel and to the destinations visited. Better to use 'escape' - perhaps a primal verb that rings the truest in even the soapiest of travel copy. Escape from the city, escape from the winter, escape the kids, escape the daily grind, escape the artificially-lit hanger where you work your nine-to-five, or escape the fallout from a very messy break up.

The urge to escape is nothing short of instinctive. Running away often feels like the only available option. Travel is that escape, allowing space to regroup, pick up the pieces and let the infinite opportunities that are available out there, in the big wide world, smack us between the eyes and lift us out of the latest dark, dank pit of despair.

Feeling claustrophobic; incarcerated by your everyday life? Look out for Sandwagon's short and sweet list of classic escapes, picked for those times when getting away is less of a want and more of a need. Coming next.

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