Sunday Savings Series: Contests and “Free” Vacations

There could be a catch 

Often on Sundays I will share a contest with you that I think you might want to enter. Often it’s a chance to win a vacation, but sometimes it’s a much smaller prize. Whenever I share a contest there will be a free way to enter, even if it is a fundraiser. If for some reason you can’t enter for free, I will let you know.

Since I enjoy contests, I’ve had a lot of them appear in the newsfeed of my personal Facebook page lately. The problem is, not all of these contests are legitimate. Some are scams, thieves trying to get your personal information.

The first thing that I will do if I see a contest that I am unsure about is to check the source. I will go to the website of the company that is supposed to be hosting the contest. I won’t click the link in the Facebook promotion, I’ll use a search engine. If the company is giving away a dream vacation, chances are the information will be on the homepage. If the contest isn’t easy to find on the company’s website, I won’t enter it and I certainly won’t share the information with you.

Another thing to check when you see a contest is the Facebook page from the ad that you saw. How many likes does it have? When was the page created? What else is on the page? If it’s a new page and not very many people like it, don’t enter the contest.

While not a contest, I’ve also seen a lot of ads for “free” vacations lately. One I’ve seen several times the past week or so states something along the lines of, “It’s not a timeshare, it’s a new way to vacation!” While this could be perfectly legit, tread lightly. What I read from the company that placed that ad sounded a lot like a timeshare to me. I’m not putting down timeshares, I know that many people have enjoyed vacations for years because of them. What I don’t like is the deceptive advertising.

I like to enter contests because I like to dream about winning. Will I win? Probably not. Then again, my sister never thought that she would win a luxury cruise for two several years back, but she still entered and had a once in a lifetime vacation. Life is hard, and we all need an escape from time to time. Dreaming for a moment about winning a trip to Walt Disney World or even dinner for four could be the escape needed to ease up some of the stress of the day.