And the Winner of the 100,000 Starpoints Travel Giveaway Is …

After a long week of waiting, we finally have a winner in our 100,000 Starpoints Travel Giveaway!

Excited Young Girl
Not a Giveaway Entrant, But Extremely Excited Nevertheless © Alexandre Normand

[insert dramatic drum roll here]

The Vagabondish.com judges literally spent hours carefully reading each and every one of the more than 300 entries we received. We laughed, we cried, we thumb wrestled, and fought hard over our personal favorites.

We were floored by the generosity of many who said they’d give every last point to charity, their spouses, or their parents:

If I won the 100,000 starwood points, however, I would take my mom on a tour of India. My mom is a public school teacher and also runs a non-profit, the Mtaala Foundation (supporting education for former child soldiers, orphans, and vulnerable children in Uganda), in her “spare” time.

I would love to give HER something since she is always giving to everyone else: and that something would be the colors, culture, and vibrance experienced in a once-in-a-lifetime trip to India. She has always wanted to go to India, so I would start our trip at the gorgeous Le Meridien Jaipur. I certainly know that she deserves it!

– Alison Seibert

… the creativity of some:

Mike Richard must be crazy
To think that I could choose
Just 1 Starwood out there
For this contest I wish not to lose.

Vietnam, Sydney, or maybe I’d choose Crete
I’ve never been to any
But they all sound rather neat.

I’m sitting at my desk at work
I hope doing this doesn’t get me fired.
Then again I’d have lots of time
To travel and admire.

Mike, I can knit a decent scarf
But unfortunately not a hat
Which I believe to be just as good,
Perhaps I can bribe you with that?

– Amy

And the unexpected heartbreaking stories from others:

My wife is on active duty with the Army in Afghanistan for the next year, returning home in July 2012 (maybe if they dont extend her). She will get a 2 week rest & recuperation (R&R) leave sometime around Feb 2012.

We plan on meeting in Dubai, UAE and spending time together after being apart for the first time since we have been married for more than a week. We will want to just have a relaxed time together and will want to have her feel special and pampered.

So my plan is to use the points to pay for 4 nights at the Grosvenor House in Duabi. SInce this is a Category 6 hotel it will cost 20,000 points a night and therefore 4 nights @ 20K a night = 80,000 SPG points total.

The remaining 20,000 points I would transfer to the American Red Cross who was instrumental in assisting in the notification and assistance to a family and parents of a fallen soldier that we both knew and counted as a friend. They do a great job and service to our military and military families all over the world. So I would transfer 4,000 points x 5 times = 20,000 SPG points for a total of $200 to the American Red Cross.

– Doug

In the end, our decision was a photo finish and went to the heartfelt, poignant story revealed in Eric Pease‘s succinct comment:

My dream vacation would be to fly myself and my girlfriend (of the last 2 years) to Paris and get married. I’m still single at 50 and she’s the woman I’ve been waiting for all my life.

Congratulations, Eric! We wish you and your bride-to-be an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime ceremony and honeymoon in Paris.

Thanks to everyone who entered! This was truly a difficult decision for us and we appreciate everyone who took the time to throw their (travel) hats in the ring.

But Wait … There’s More!

In case you haven’t already, there’s still time to take advantage of this fantastic offer from American Express. They’re offering new cardmembers the opportunity to sign up and earn up to 30,000 Starpoints with the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card.

American Express Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card

Benefits include:

  • Earn up to 30,000 Starpoints. Earn 10,000 Starpoints after your first purchase and an additional 20,000 Starpoints when you spend $4,500 in 3 months — enough for 3 free nights at a Category 4 hotel.
  • Choose from free nights or free flights. Redeem Starpoints for free nights at over 1,000 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries and for free flights on over 350 airlines — all with no blackout dates.
  • Get more Starpoints for stays. Receive up to 5 Starpoints for every eligible dollar spent at SPG hotels & resorts — 2 Starpoints per dollar spent on the Card in addition to the 2 Starpoints you can get as an SPG member. Plus, 1 more Starpoint with SPG Gold or Platinum status.

Get a move on though! This limited time offer is only available for one more day (ends August 22, 2011), so check out the full program details or apply now and get a decision in 60 seconds.

Disclaimer

American Express has provided us with 100,000 Starpoints® in return for the launch of this contest.

About The Author

Founding Editor
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Mike Richard has traveled the world extensively since 2008. He's camped in the Jordanian desert with Bedouins, tracked African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss shark attack in Mexico. He loves the great outdoors, good bourbon, and he (usually) calls Massachusetts home. He also enjoys speaking in the third person.

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