True Stories


Readers' anecdotes prove once again that travel is definitely stranger, funnier, and more heartwarming than fiction.

New Prize: Five-Night Trip to Egypt
The best response we receive between Sept. 1, 2007, and Sept. 30, 2007, wins a five-night trip for two to Egypt from Foreign Independent Tours. The prize includes round-trip airfare on EgyptAir from New York to Cairo, five nights' accommodations at the Hilton Pyramids Golf Resort, a full-day tour of Cairo, airport transfers, and breakfast daily. For further information on Foreign Independent Tours: 800/248-3487,

How to Enter
Send your story to: or True Stories, Budget Travel, 530 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10018.

For full contest guidelines, visit

June Winner!
The winner of this month's contest is Becky Gresham of Franktown, Colo. Her prize: four nights at the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort.

To celebrate my son's graduation from high school, our family went to Europe. In Corniglia, Italy, we were delighted with our hotel room, which had a bay view and a Murphy bed for my two teens. As we settled in, one of my sons listened to his iPod on the top bunk. Suddenly there was a loud thud: The Murphy bed had folded up with my son inside! We asked if he was OK, and his response was a muffled chuckle, so we knew that he was all right. After we pulled the bed open, we made sure it was locked into place before we called it a night.

Hey, a Party's a Party
While driving around Aruba, I came upon a detour that took me off the main highway. As I followed the detour signs, I found myself in areas less commercial and more residential. Although I knew that I was definitely lost, I took solace in the fact that I was within a long string of traffic that seemed to know where it was going--so I continued following the other cars. Eventually, the car ahead of me stopped abruptly. A rather large Aruban man got out and approached my window. "Just thought I'd tell you that you're driving in the middle of a funeral procession," he said. He smiled broadly, gave me directions, and even held up the other cars so that I could turn my car around. Mary Logothetis, Hobart, Ind.

What's the Shiv of the Day?
My daughter and I spent a morning immersed in the ancient ruins of the Acropolis. Making our way back to our hotel through the side streets of Athens, we approached a small restaurant with a sign that read "Socrates' Prison." After a lovely lunch, we ventured back to the kitchen to ask about the restaurant's name. The owner laughed when we asked if Socrates had really been imprisoned there. "No, no, no," he explained. "My name is Socrates, and when I can't be out on my boat, this kitchen is my prison." Donna Witherspoon, Latrobe, Pa.

You and Your Weary Ass
In Morocco, my daughter and I were persuaded to take a day trip to the falls of Ouzoud. We shared a taxi with a couple of backpackers, and when we arrived, we were so impressed by the falls that we decided to follow our fellow passengers and rough it by staying overnight in a dormitory-like place near the falls. It looked clean enough and was dirt cheap, but there were no doors and the beds were in full view of passersby. But the biggest surprise came in the morning when we woke up and found someone's donkey tied to a pole between the beds. Nahed Hamdi, Milpitas, Calif.

Please. We All Know That He Prefers "the Pomp"
During a recent trip to Rome, my 5-year-old daughter, Emily, was particularly excited to see the pope since she was learning about the Vatican in school. We had tickets for the general audience, so we had to leave the hotel around 6 A.M., and my daughter fell asleep in a stroller on our way there. After much fanfare, the pope came out and said a beautiful Mass. I tried waking Emily, but she just wouldn't budge. Right before the event ended, she woke up groggy--and asked if she had missed "the pimp." Madeline Sweeney, New York, N.Y.

Prize Report
In September 2005, Sam Leming won a 17-day trip to Thailand, courtesy of Djoser, for his story about how he purchased (and then released) a 50-pound sea turtle in Panama. Along with his pals Frank Holbrook and Jerry Carter, he recently returned from his trip. "When we were planning our trip, 17 days seemed like an eternity to spend so far from home," he says. "Now that all is said and done, we wish we'd stayed longer. Djoser did a great job of coordinating our adventure, and we'd definitely book another trip with the company."

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