Comping on your foreign holiday

Are you going abroad on holiday this year? Worried about how you’ll cope without your round-the-clock free wifi? If you’re on holiday in Europe you’ll be able to use your mobile data allowance in most countries, but for those travelling further afield you might not be able to get internet access as easily!

But it’s not all bad news, there are lots of ways to keep on comping while you’re in a wifi-free zone. Here are my top tips for offline comping:

  • Search for creative comps before you go. Check comping websites and do Twitter and Google searches and make a list in a notebook or on your mobile’s notes app. Time away from your computer or phone can give you just the inspiration you need for original and creative slogan or photo ideas. There are always picnic, sandcastle and beach photo comps during summer so make sure you get some good photos while away. Action photos with waves on the beach look good! Check my current comps category to see what creative challenges are open.
  • Take inspiring books to read. It goes without saying that you should be taking your paperback copy of my SuperLucky Secrets book (plus sticky bookmarks)! You’ll find some other suggestions – including the amazing PrizeWinner of Defiance, Ohio –  in my post about Essential reading for compers
  • Get writing. Recall your best funny and touching stories – promoters always ask for those! Valentine’s, first dates & worst dates, Mum memories, Dad stories, DIY disaster tales, favourite jokes – edit until they’re perfect and save them into a note or document on your tablet or phone.  You could even try your hand at a poem or two!
  • Organise the photos on your phone. Do you waste too much time swiping through 2000+ photos trying to find a specific snap for a Twitter comp? Go through your album, adding hearts to favourites, putting photos into ‘Comp entries’ or themed albums and deleting poor photos and unflattering selfies.
  • Make a prize wishlist. Holidays are the best time for dreaming – allow yourself to imagine all those magnificent prizes you could be winning on your return. You could also make a list of all the local companies you like (shops, restaurants, bars, venues, etc.) – then when you get home go down the list, joining their mailing lists and checking their Twitter and Facebook for comps.
  • Film and edit videos on your phone. People always tell me they wish they could make videos for competitions – why not create short, fun holiday videos as a practice exercise? Experiment with lighting and angles while filming to see what looks good – then edit using a free or cheap mobile app!
  • Take Compers News magazine with you. Do the puzzles and the slogan comps. And take a handful of postcards with you – or you might find some suitably unusual or cheesy postcards in your holiday resort!

How to comp on holiday abroad

Before you go:

  • Consider using Royal Mail Keepsafe. If you’re away for a while, you can pay £17.00 for up to 17 days and 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. My postman tends to sign for my letters himself now (although I probably shouldn’t be sharing that information, as he might get into trouble!)
  • Check call costs with your mobile provider. You might receive a winning telephone call while away and you’ll want to know how much it will cost you to answer the call, or to call them back! If you miss a call and can access free wifi, google the number to check who it is – if it’s a marketing company or handling house, you could call back or contact via email to let them know you’re out of the country.
  • Update your voicemail message. Let people know you’re out of the country – I usually leave a message to say “If your call is important please text me with the details and I’ll call you back!” – incoming texts are free anywhere in the world, and you can then decide whether it’s worth the cost of a call or text in response.

Finally, if you can get limited wifi access while away, do check emails, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook filtered messages in case you have a winning one – some promoters only give you a few days to claim. If you log on to social media, try to resist chatting too much: you’re on holiday, and it’s good to have time out (although it doesn’t hurt to share a hotdog legs photo to make people jealous!) If you’re on holiday in a different time zone, you could always try some instant wins at 3-5am UK time – you might get lucky! (read my tips on instant wins here).


6 Responses

  1. Patricia Avery says:

    Some good advice but a word of caution re Royal Mail Keepsafe. On returning from a wonderful 3 week holiday in Wales last Thursday I was horrified to find 3 weeks worth of mail stuffed in the postbox at the end of the drive. It should have been held until Friday. I rang and was offered an apology and a full refund. As I pointed out its not the money I’m worried about but the loss of faith in the system. Twice before we have had odd letters put in by relief posties but never the whole lot. Our regular postlady called in on Friday to say that she was puzzled to get a card from her manager to resume deliveries to us as she knew she hadn’t stopped them. I assured her we attached no blame to her and at least she had left a red card rather than a parcel as requested on the box for a recent win of an Apple Watch!

    • Di says:

      How awful! I must admit, the staff turnover for RM these days is much faster than it used to be – I rarely have the same postie for more than a few months, which is such a shame!

  2. Brenda Wilkes says:

    Found The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio quite moving to read how someone needed to win to feed her family. Another great read for compers is “A Prize to Die For” by Jon McKnight.Quite funny – brought back many memories!

    • Did I read about ‘A prize to die for’ in Compers News? It rings a bell!

      I enjoyed the Prize Winner film too, I’m a big fan of Julianne Moore.

  3. Patricia Walpole says:

    Great ideas 🙂

  4. Clare Duiker says:

    Brilliant advice xxx

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