Compers on holiday!
I’ve just returned from my longest trip abroad since 2008! An incredible 16 night family trip to Sri Lanka. And before you ask – no, this time I didn’t win it! My sister lives in Colombo and I’ve been planning to go for years – unfortunately prize holidays to this part of the world are few and far between, so this time I paid for the flights using my own money (gasp!). Don’t panic though, I certainly won’t be making a habit of it – my next holiday will definitely be a prize!
This holiday was always planned to be a break from comping; I finished working for Accolade (PrizeFinder and Compers News) on 28th March and knew it was an opportunity to have some time away from the hectic world of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest comping. And you know what? I didn’t even take any competition photos while I was away! Shocking, isn’t it? (mind you, I can never resist posing with a postbox…)
So, although I wasn’t comping as such – I did read a handful of inspirational e-books about positivity and organisation. I also jotted down lots of ideas for my blog, and created a new prize wishlist. I’ve come back to Brighton refreshed and ready to start winning!
Last month I was excited to hear from fellow creative comper Gill that she too was in Sri Lanka at the same time as me. I always jump at the chance to meet fellow compers (ask Wen Dalby about our brief hug outside Salford Quays Coasta Coffee!) so I knew I wanted to meet up with Gill and family.
On the final day of our holiday we drove to Gill’s super hotel, Coco Bay, in the South Coast resort of Unawatuna. It was brilliant to have a good comping chat whilst we stood knee deep in turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean! It motivated both of us to get to work on winning our next trip abroad. Here we are enjoying the April issue of Compers News (maybe Gill will be emailing this shot to the Editor for the Letters page…)
Here are my tips for what a comper should be doing to prepare for a holiday abroad:
- If you get lots of comping post and deliveries, consider using Royal Mail Keepsafe (£12.80 for up to 17 days) – they will hold on to your post and deliver the day after you get home. Or tell your postman and regular couriers you’re on holiday and could s/he ask a friendly neighbour to take any ‘signed for’ post.
- Take your mobile phone with you – you should receive a text from your network when you arrive to let you know call costs. In my case, with O2 it was £1.25 per minute to receive a call in Sri Lanka – so it’s not cheap! If you miss a call and can access free wifi, google the number to check who it is. I missed 3 calls from Diss Promotional Marketing Solutions but when I called the number back they said they couldn’t help as I had no clue which promotion it was about – so it looks like I missed out on that prize!
- Update your voicemail message to say (for example) “I’m out of the country until April 20th. If it’s urgent please text or email me with the details and I’ll call you back” – incoming texts are usually free, and you can then decide whether to call them back.
- Check comping sites and do Twitter/Google searches for effort comps before you go. A break can give you just the inspiration you need for original and creative slogan or photo ideas.
- If you subscribe to a comping mag like Compers News, take the latest copy with you. You can do the puzzles and slogan comps or even write a few postcard entries!
- Some magazines – try Family Traveller and of course Compers News – will send you a prize if they print a photo of you reading the magazine. Look for an iconic or unusual setting for the best results!
- When you’re away, use free WiFi whenever you can to check your emails, Facebook notifications and Twitter DMs for news of a win – I got 4 winning messages and emails in total this time. Frustratingly, some promoters only give you a few days to claim a prize so if you don’t check for a fortnight you could be really disappointed! Try to avoid chit chat on social media: you’re on holiday and honestly, the break really WILL do you good!
- If you do have internet access and can’t resist a quick comp, why not try some instant wins? Check the time difference and try for 3-5am UK time – you might get lucky! (read my tips on purchase and instant wins post).
I hope these tips will be useful for those of you who have already won a holiday for this year. As for the rest of us – we’d better get some serious comping done!