One of the most fulfilling parts of travel is telling people about what you found. And that's what we'd like you to do. Our True Stories section is for your finds.
Maybe it's a great hotel, or a terrific restaurant, or a quirky shop. Maybe it's just a good story, a funny anecdote the likes of which only seem to happen when you travel. Maybe it's a photograph. Maybe it's a poem, although I kind of hope not.
A few things to remember:
If your response is the best we receive before September 13, you'll win a three-night vacation to Rome courtesy of Monograms. The prize includes round-trip airfare for two from a New York gateway airport to Rome; three nights in premium hotel accommodations; a half-day group walking tour; buffet breakfast daily; a welcome drink; and a local host to help plan your excursions, secure tickets, and provide insider information on happenings and events. Valid for departures from December 1, 2005 to November 30, 2006. Subject to availability, nontransferable, nonnegotiable. Blackout dates apply. For more information on Monograms: 866/270-9846, monogramstravel.com. How to enter: TrueStories@BudgetTravelOnline.com or True Stories, Budget Travel, 530 Seventh Ave., 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10018. Sorry, we can't return photos.
Tip: The majority of submissions we print have photos, so send us the best pics you've got.
Write it like you were telling it at a party. That is, keep it brief and lively (250 words max). We regret that we won't be able to include everything we receive, and we reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. And once you send it in to us, it becomes our property--intellectual and otherwise. (And that includes the photo.)
Include a phone number for any establishment you mention. If we can't verify the place exists, we won't be able to print your story. Besides, imagine how frustrating it would be if we raved about something and never told you how to reach it.
If you, your relative, or a friend of yours owns said establishment, you should seriously consider running an ad instead. And if you or a relative of yours works here at BT, don't even think about it.
Send photos, but try not to go crazy. Edit them down so we only get the good ones. If you're sending digital pictures, shoot them at 300 dpi at 3" by 5", and send them as a JPEG, TIFF, or EPS file. If you're sending prints or slides, don't send originals; we will not be returning them.
We don't mind if you or your companions are in the shots, as long as you tell us who (and what) is in the photo so we can write a nice caption. And we need to be able to get in touch with you, if need be, so include your daytime phone number.
Unfortunately, we won't be able to pay you. For the June issue, however, the reader who sends in the best combination of story and photograph, as determined by us, will win the 15-day First Class Eurail Flexipass as described above.
You don't need to have gobs of money to travel well--you just need to have the right knowledge. Together, we'll be the smartest travelers out there.