True Stories


Proving once and for all that travel is stranger, funnier, and more heartwarming than fiction

New prize: Singapore! Malaysia!

If your True Stories submission is the best one Budget Travel receives between February 1, 2007, and February 28, 2007, you'll win a four-night trip to Singapore and Malaysia, courtesy of Sayang Holidays which specializes in travel to Asia. The prize included roundtrip airfare for two from San Francisco to Singapore, two nights at the Hotel Royal @ Queens, flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, two nights at the Crown Princess hotel, two half-day city tours, breakfast daily, and airport transfers. Valid May 1, 2007, to April 30, 2008. Blackout dates (in June, July, and December); other restrictions apply. Taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner. Blackout dates may apply. The prize is subject to availability, nontransferable, nonnegotiable. No purchase necessary. Open to residents of the 50 United States and its territories, except Arizona--sorry folks! And this contest is otherwise void where prohibited. Only one prize will be awarded, and your chances of winning depend on how may entries we receive, and whether yours is the best. For more on Sayang Holidays: 888/472-9264,; for more on Singapore and Malaysia:


E-mail or mail to True Stories, Budget Travel, 530 Seventh Ave., 2nd Fl., New York, NY 10018. Sorry, we can't return photos. Read the full guidelines.


This month's winner is Stacy Dungan, of Warren, Ohio. Her prize: a four-night cruise to Nassau, Bahamas, and Castaway Cay, courtesy of Disney Cruise Line.

To keep costs down, our family took a vacation in our home state. We toured the northwestern region of Ohio, seeing Marblehead Lighthouse, Lake Erie Islands, and a minor league baseball game in Toledo. While snapping pictures during the game, I managed to catch my son "eating up" the experience. We now have a new hobby of taking trick photographs. The kids are always on the hunt for opportunities to snap a unique one!

As are we, just reading about it

In Thailand, I was having a few beers with a friend when one of the locals asked to try my chewing tobacco. I happily agreed, explaining that he shouldn't swallow, but spit into a Pepsi can like I was doing. When I turned around a few minutes later, I saw that he was about to drink from the same can that I'd been spitting into. "Pepsi mai dee (Pepsi no good)!" I told him, but it was too late, and he was quickly running to the bathroom. Bobby Hayes, Fort Collins, Colo.

Solvesthe problem of what to buy him for Father's Day

As a single mother who finally graduated from college, I needed some family time with my daughter, so we took a western Caribbean cruise on Carnival with a few of my coworkers. After touring Dunns River Falls, we rode a bus to a shopping area to buy souvenirs. "My daddy collects these!" I heard my daughter yell while we were inside one of the shops. She was standing in front of a rack of smoking paraphernalia, holding up a pipe for all to see. The entire store became very quiet. "I guess that explains why you're a single mother," said one of my coworkers. Karla Anderson, Des Moines, Iowa

It happens in L.A. all the time

It was a stormy week in Virginia Beach, Va., so my family was glad when the sun finally came out. When we went to the beach, however, people were screaming and running away from the water. We cautiously walked over and discovered lots of clear, round disks in the water. "Jellyfish!" we exclaimed. But after taking a closer look, we noticed that their tentacles were missing and they were all dead. Even stranger, the lifeguards were sitting at their posts as if nothing had happened, so we asked one what was going on. With a big grin, he said that during the storms the rough seas had caused a freighter to tip some of its cargo overboard--and what everyone thought were jellyfish were actually breast implants. Leilani Shepherd, Willard, Utah

What's thepoint of hot-pink underwear if no one sees it?

While in Yangshuo, China, a friend and I rented bikes to explore the nearby karsts and rice paddies. About nine miles outside of town, we stopped to take photos. As I squatted to fit the mountain into the frame, I heard a horrible sound--the ripping of my pants! My friend fell onto the ground with laughter. My pants were split from the waistband to the middle of my right thigh, and my hot-pink underwear was in full view. There was no way to fix anything, so we kept riding. On our way back, men and women, young and old, turned and stared at my hot-pink undies. As soon as we saw a shop, I hopped off my bike to buy something to wrap around my waist. When the salesclerk saw my pants, she cracked up and gave me a great deal on a tablecloth. Caitlin Yerkes, Miami Shores, Fla.

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