True Stories


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

Next Prize: All-Inclusive Jamaica
The best response that we receive between November 1 and November 30, 2007, wins a four-night trip for two to Jamaica from Air Jamaica (800/523-5585,, the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort (800/465-4329,, and the Jamaica Tourist Board (800/233-4582, The prize includes round-trip air from the Air Jamaica gateway closest to the winner's home and four nights at the all-inclusive Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in Montego Bay.

How to Enter
Send your story to: or True Stories, Budget Travel, 530 Seventh Ave., New York, NY 10018. To view the full contest guidelines, visit

This Month's Winner!
The winner of this month's contest is Lucy Zamary of North Lima, Ohio. Her prize: a seven-night Caribbean cruise from Royal Caribbean International.

In Rome, my son was entertained by a boy playing the violin in Campo de' Fiori. Rather than finish his dinner, he joined the violinist, dancing happily in front of him. As a joke, my husband put a hat near the boys. Onlookers were so entertained that they began to drop euros into the hat. My son earned more than €20 during his 20 minutes of dancing! We gave the money to the young violinist and treated both of the kids to gelato.

Always a Bridesmaid...
My dream wedding began on the deck of a Windjammer ship off the coast of Nevis. I was ready, complete with flowers in my hair, but also apprehensive since I had no maid of honor. Ready to go it alone, I walked down the deck--only to spot a hysterical surprise. Next to my fiancé was a lovely attendant--the fun-loving captain, in a yellow silk dress. My fiancé had convinced him to join our wedding. My bouquet was a perfect match for his dress! Mary Falcon Flores, Las Cruces, N.M.

Making Out With the Thing
Utah's Arches National Park is full of really incredible sights, so I was confused when my husband asked me to stop along a hiking trail, turn my head, and stick out my tongue. I soon realized why--the rock next to us had its "tongue" sticking out too! Allison Castano, Westminster, Colo.

Problem Solved
My sister and I were cruising on the Mexican Riviera when I mentioned that I could use a new hairstyle. Not knowing what I wanted, I started looking at other women on board. Almost immediately I spotted a lady with the perfect hairdo. The final day of the cruise, I approached her, and I told her how much I liked her hair. Her companions seemed to be stifling laughter, but I gushed on. "Is it easy to maintain?" I asked. "Do you have a natural curl?" Very gently she smiled and said, "Honey, it's a wig." Maggie Zeibak, San Clemente, Calif.

But if He Cuts It Off, How's He Going to Return the Coat?
My husband, Ken, is a construction worker with few reasons to wear a suit. Before our Caribbean cruise, he bought a new one for formal night. It was a wonderful cruise made even better by friends we made on board. They had a similar sense of humor and especially enjoyed our Jeff Foxworthy–type jokes (as in, "You might be a redneck if..."). On formal night, one of our new friends said, "I got one! You might be a redneck if you buy a sport coat for your cruise and forget to take off the tag!" Sure enough, a big tag saying 42 SHORT was still on Ken's sleeve. Kim Kelly, Signal Mountain, Tenn.

Prize Report
Last December, Danette Oein won a vacation rental courtesy of, for her story about a nude bicyclist in San Francisco. She recently returned from Reykjavik, Iceland, where she spent five nights. "The apartment was perfect: great size, immaculately clean, centrally located," she says. "My friend and I visited the Blue Lagoon, rode Icelandic horses, and saw amazing natural sites such as volcanoes and waterfalls."

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