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10 September 2014

of late I’ve been invited to enter a number of travel competitions via email offers and in my magazines. Now, I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, (In case you’ve ever wondered, you check a horse’s mouth (the teeth) so see how old the animal is. Horses have a ‘useful’ lifespan and an old horse may not be that useful for that long.) but considering the listed items you get has left me wondering if it’s worth entering many travel competitions. Many of them refuse to allow you to transfer the travel to deserving friends or family members. And then too – the last one, where I looked at exactly what I’d get, noted that I would have to pay for…flights from where I live to a main airport and that can be $300 per person. Most of my meals at very expensive resorts where I’d be staying. And every incidental as well with no daily allowance given.

In short, I could have a nice 6 day trip to Australia – if I paid out a night’s accommodation at one transfer point, 12-14 expensive meals for me (and anyone with me,) very expensive taxi fares to the airport in several places, and a few other bits and pieces which would be essential to the trip. I estimate that should I take the trip on my own, the ‘free trip’ I won would cost me something over $1,000NZ (and that’s not counting that most don’t cover travel insurance either.) I’ve therefore decided to enter a different competition for a car – that will be delivered to me. Okay, I can’t drive. But if I win that I can at least sell it, donate it, or learn to drive. And everything is paid for, registration, petrol vouchers, and AA membership for a year. It seems to be a far better and much less expensive deal. And reminds me of advice I was given a long time ago. “You should look a gift horse in the mouth, otherwise it may die of old age and you’ll have to pay out a fortune to dispose of it.”

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