Euro Alert: Win a Trip to Spain and Morocco from the Travel Channel


The Travel Channel is offering up the chance to win a dream trip to Spain and Morocco.

Here are the prize details:

 The one (1) Grand Prize Winner (the “Grand Prize Winner”) will win a vacation trip package for the Grand Prize Winner and one (1) guest to Spain and Morocco (the “Grand Prize”). The details of the Grand Prize include round-trip coach airfare for two (2), Grand Prize Winner and guest, from winner’s nearest major airport; XXXX (X) nights, XXXX (X) days standard hotel accommodations based on double occupancy at a hotel of the sponsor’s choice, and exclusive access to amazing restaurants and activities (the “Grand Prize”). Exact details of the Grand Prize will be available on the Website and the Travel Channel Facebook Page on or about January 27, 2014.

Sounds like a fantastic prize! Also, the rules state that if you don’t want to claim the prize you can get a check for $75,000 which is probably the better deal!

This sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. who are 21 years of age or older at time of entry.

Limit: Limit of one (1) entry per eligible person, per day via the Website and one (1) entry per eligible person, per day via the Facebook Page, during the Promotion Period.

Deadline: You must enter by March 24th, 2014.


Euro Alert: Win a Trip to Italy

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The International Kitchen is offering up the chance to win a food themed trip to Italy.

Here are the prize details:

PRIZE: One (1) grand prize winner (“Grand Prize Winner”) will receive for winner and one (1) guest (“Guest”) a four-night cooking trip to attend “A Classic Table with Chef Claudio” hosted by The International Kitchen in Tuscany, Italy (the “Grand Prize”). Trip package includes (i) roundtrip airfare for Grand Prize Winner and Guest from the airport nearest the Grand Prize Winner’s residence to Florence, Italy; (ii) ground transportation between the airport and hotel; (iii) standard hotel accommodations for 4 nights/5 days (double room occupancy); and (iv) $500 USD in spending money for the winner (the “Trip Package”). The Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of the Grand Prize is $8,550.

Sounds like a wonderful trip.

This sweepstakes is open to all legal US residents physically residing in the 50 United States and District of Columbia who are 18 years of age or older, as of November 1, 2013.

Limit: One (1) entry per person per e-mail and/or mailing address per day during the Entry Period

Deadline: You must enter by December 31, 2013


Euro Alert: Win a Trip to Venice Italy!

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The Travel Channel is offering up the chance to win a trip to Venice Italy!

Here are the prize details:

Travel Channel is giving away a trip of a lifetime to the floating city of Venice, Italy. The winner and a guest will be flown to Venice where they’ll spend an amazing 6 days and 5 nights enjoying first-class hotel accommodations. This Italian adventure includes a gondola ride for 2, a half-day trip to the islands of Murano and Burano, a day trip to the Dolomite Mountains and $1,500 in spending money.

Sounds like a wonderful prize!

This sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. 21 years or the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence at the time of entry, whichever is greater.

Limit: Multiple entries allowed. See rules.

Deadline: You must enter by November 30th 2013.


Euro Alert: Win a Trip to Italy

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Sierra Trading Post is offering up the chance to win a trip to Italy.

Here are the prize details:

The prize is one (1) trip for up to two (2) adults to Rome, Italy. Trip includes the following: (i) round-trip, coach-class airfare from the major continental U.S. airport nearest prize winner’s residence to Rome, Italy; (ii) lodging for a period of five (5) consecutive nights (one double occupancy room), including transfers to and from the airport, and continental breakfast;(iii) guided walking tours; (iv) one (1) $1000 Sierra Trading Post gift card for the trip; and (v) a loaded Visa® card in the amount of $2,500 for additional transportation costs, meals and select activities. Travel must start and occur either: the week of May 4, 2014 OR the week of May 11, 2014.

Sounds like a wonderful chance to explore Italy!

This sweepstakes is open to entrants 18 years of age or older as of November 5, 2013 and a resident of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia, excluding New York and Florida.

Limit: 1 entry per person.

Deadline: You must enter by December 23rd, 2013.


Win a Trip to Spain for Two

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The Tourist Office of Spain is offering up the chance for you to win a trip to Spain.

Here are the prize details:

One (1) Grand Prize of a round-trip Azamara Club Cruises voyage for two Malaga-Malaga commencing November 16, 2014, Club Interior Stateroom accommodations, subject to availability at the time of confirmation. Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) $3,400 per person, $6,800 total. Prize includes one 11-day voyage on the Azamara Journey® for the winner and one guest sharing accommodations. Prize consists of shared stateroom accommodations and all on board meals.

Sounds like a wonderful prize!

This sweepstakes is open to legal U.S. residents aged 18 years or older. Residents of Puerto Rico, Washington DC and Bermuda not eligible.

Limit: One direct entry per person. No limit on indirect entries. A direct entry is made by a qualified entrant who submits an entry at An indirect entry is an entry automatically entered when you forward the entry form including your referral code to a friend and the friend is a qualified entrant and completes an entry using your referral code.

Deadline: You must enter by Friday, November 15th 2013


Sponsored Post: Compact Cameras – Perfect for Europe

I’m a shutterbug and my favorite part of traveling is taking pictures. For many years, I used a big bulky SLR camera that has become too much work to carry around, especially juggling two kids these days. So, I’m a big fan of the Sony Nex Compact system camera, which has SLR quality but comes in a much smaller package.

We did a lot of research before we purchased our new camera and we were most impressed with the Sony Nex-7, which was the best of them all. It’s small but it packs incredible quality in a small package. It takes gorgeous full resoultion images and also takes 1080p video, which was a big requirement for us so we can film professional looking footage for our online video series.

The biggest selling post of the compact system camera from Sony Nex is that the cameras use a HUGE sensor which captures much more data than other SLR’s. While other SLR’s pile on the megapixels, Sony instead makes a bigger sensor so there’s more image captured to begin with.

Our new Sony Nex-7 will make a great companion on our upcoming trip to Europe. We recommend getting some excellent Sony accessories like a Wide Angle lens which is perfect for shooting some of Europe’s beautiful historical architecture.

There’s a Nex camera for every price point – but our personal vote goes to the Sony Nex-7 and many agree that it’s the finest SLR quality Camera on the market that doesn’t come in a giant SLR package.

Have a look below at the infographic to see just how important it is to fit big ideas into a small package!

Sponsored Post

Quality of Life in the UK Ain’t What It Used To Be – What About Norway?

Mario Vitanelli is a writer and blogger who specializes in international politics and finance, retirement and investment for His areas of expertise include European, Asian and the Med region’s economic policy; SIPP schemes and QROPS. When away from his keyboard, he enjoys photography and appreciates the rest of the Vitanelli family’s endless patience with his football dependence.

To start this thing off, here are a couple of depressing facts for you! According to recent polls, the UK officially rated the second worst place to live in Europe, behind Greece. That’s the second lowest aggregate quality of life on (or near) the continent. (Although I don’t buy it- worse than Denmark?! Lars Von Trier is from there. They’re trying to say that Lars Von Trier is from a place that handily outranks Blighty for quality of life? Unlikely.) Presumably as a result of this national discontent, according to the same poll, roughly one in eight Brits expressed a wish to live elsewhere.

If you’re among these discontented souls, pining for a shinier life elsewhere, and that pining is serious enough to warrant action, what are your realistic options for an alternative habitat? Obviously Denmark is out of the question; and Spain, France and the States have been done to the point that they’re just passé.

OK, what’s the best place to live? According to the United Nations, the country with the highest quality of life according to the “human development” rating is… Norway. That’s not exactly a shocker to the international community either- Norway’s won the top slot in the Human Development Rating from 2001-2006 and 2010-2013. So how great is the Scandinavian utopia? Well, that’s what we’re here to find out. Norway’s pros and cons will be analyzed below and in deference to my own specialty (and the popularity of expatriating with pensioners), their monetary standard of living will include the quality of QROPS (Qualified Recognised Overseas Pension Scheme). So read on, future expatriates.


Perks: Beyond apparently being the best place in the world to live if you’re a human being, there’s the beautiful scenery and natural- majestic fjords, clean and clear glacial lakes, fast-running streams, verdant woodlands, awe-inspiring bluffs below which lay beautiful meadows teeming with wildlife, etc.

Then there’s Norway’s national commitment to equality and dignity- they were the first independent country to legalize adopt women’s suffrage in 1913. You know how the women’s lib movement really blew up in the late 1960s and ‘70s? Well in Norway, women had to wait until ’84 to witness the totally bipartisan (5 prime ministers from both the Liberal and Conservative Party, plus governmental 166 other powerful politicians) formation of the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights. 1884, that is.

They were pioneers in not only women’s rights but LGBT equality- they were the first country on Earth to pass an anti-discrimination law protecting gays and lesbians, the second country in the world (the UNIVERSE maybe) to legalise same-sex unions in 1993, 20 years ago! In 2009, they became the sixth nation to grant full marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples. In 1990, they were the first country to recognise the UN-endorsed ILO-Convention 169- the first international indigenous peoples protection convention.

Finally, they have a social safety net that’s virtually unrivaled in the world, protecting their citizens at virtually every stage of life. That cradle-to-the-grave protection does necessitate a high tax rate. However, the fact that Norway has the world’s fourth highest per-capita income, the third best social mobility in the world and is ranked by Forbes as the fourth richest country (a GDP ranking) probably takes the sting out a little bit. And from 2010-2012 (so far), Norway ranked first place on the Democracy Index. Not to mention their reputation for hosting some of the world’s most beautiful people.

Downsides: Well, there are the high taxes, which could probably be a burden if you aren’t lucky enough to be among the middle-class, well-off and/or socially mobile. Perhaps the chief drawback though, the one that must keep everyone familiar with this information from zipping of to Norway in an instant, is the country’s sun and snow. Close as they are to the Arctic Circle, from late May to late July the more northerly portions of Norway never see the sun set at all. In southernmost Norway during those summer months, there are 20 or more hours of sunlight a day. Although that sounds more palatable than the converse stretch between late November and late January when the sun doesn’t rise at all in the North and only for a few hours in the south.  Plus there’s snow, and lots of it.

QROPS: Not to keep harping on this thing but Norway does have high taxes. However, with the right QROPS package, pensioners living and/or working in Norway can benefit from Norway’s policy of applying no tax at all to pension income. It also guarantees that any remaining pension funds are inherited by family. However, the size of one’s pension and other combined savings should definitely be considered as the cost of living in Norway can be as much as 40-60% greater than the cost of living in the UK. Obviously, all QROPS choices should be looked into with a professional, like those at, and if a Norwegian package doesn’t appeal, there are always opportunities to invest elsewhere (Malta, Guernsey, etc.) while living the good life in Scandinavia.

Euro Alert: Win a Trip to Chianti Country in Italy


Saveur Magazine is offering up the chance to win a dream trip to Italy to visit Chianti Wine country.

Here are the prize details:

Round-trip airfare for two to Italy.
Hotel accommodations.
Access for two to a guided tour of Antinori’s new winery, the Antinori nel Chianti Classico, including a wine tasting.
$100 stipend for in-country transportation.
Lunch and wine for two (up to $100 value), at Rinuccio 1180, located inside the winery. Gratuity not included.

Sounds amazing!

This sweepstakes is open to individuals, twenty-one (21) years or older at time of entry, who are legal residents of the United States, excluding residents of the states of California, Kentucky and Utah, and the Territory of Puerto Rico.

Limit: Entry is limited to one entry per household, regardless of the means of entry; no automated, photocopied or reproduced entries will be accepted. Multiple entries will result in disqualification of all submitted entries.

You have until October 31st, 2013 to enter.



Article: Rick Steves – Eating on the cheap in expensive Europe

Oslo recently overtook Tokyo as the most expensive city in the world. That doesn’t surprise me in the least. The last time I was in Oslo, a plain cup of coffee cost $4. Beer, while very good, was $8 a glass.

Whether you’re in an outlandishly expensive country or just want to save money, there are plenty of strategies for stretching your food budget in Europe. Here are some tips:

Read more here.

Euro Alert: Win a Trip to Italy from Michael Angelo’s Italian Food


Michael Angelo’s Naturally Italian is offering up the chance to win a trip to Italy.

Here are the prize details:

PRIZE: TRIP TO ITALY. There will be one (1) Grand Prize winner. The Grand Prize winner will receive a trip for two to Italy. The Grand Prize (“Trip”) includes the winner and a guest. The trip will be for 8 days / 7 nights and will include: i) Two (2) round-trip coach airfares between a major U.S. airport closest to the winner’s residence and the Austin (TX) airport, and then to the closest airport to the initial location in Italy, ii) One (1) hotel room accommodation (double occupancy) for seven (7) nights in various locations and iii) meal and excursion costs while visiting the following locales in Italy: Tuscany, Castello Banfi and Rome.

Sounds like a wonderful and delicious prize!

This sweepstakes is open to to all legal United States residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia who are at least eighteen (18) years of age at the time of entry.

Limit: Limit one (1) entry via the registration page per person during the Promotion Period.

You have until November 24th, 2013 to enter.