Travelogged’s 1st Contest: Win a $50 Gift Certificate From Joy of Spa


I'm launching Travelogged's first-ever contest, and I couldn't be more excited because I have two fabulous prizes to give away. Yes, I have not one but TWO $50 gift certificates from Joy of Spa, each of which is redeemable at more than 3,000 spas in the U.S. Giving the gift of a spa experience has never been easier thanks to Joy of Spa, a new website that has partnered with independent spas across the country that have agreed to honor its gift certificates.


To enter this contest, all you have to do is answer this question in the comments below: What do you find most stressful about traveling? If you have a specific stressful travel story to share, so much the better.

As I mentioned, I am giving away two gift certificates, which have no expiration date as per Joy of Spa policy. One winner will be randomly selected and one winner will be chosen based on their answer to the contest's question. I want these Joy of Spa gift certificates to go to some really stressed out travelers!

The contest will close on Sunday, May 9th, at midnight EST. You can only enter once. I will contact the winners and announce the results on Tuesday, May 11th. (Just like all great contests, this one is void where prohibited by law.)

Good luck! I'm looking forward to reading your entries in the comments below.

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50 Responses to Travelogged’s 1st Contest: Win a $50 Gift Certificate From Joy of Spa

  1. craig zabransky May 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    to be honest, I am most stressed, when I don’t have a next trip in the works / on the books. If I am home and have no next travel plans….it can be quite stressful indeed. I try not to let that happen for any length of time…
    stay adventurous,

  2. Shannon OD May 2, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    I think that travel illness is so incredibly stressful on the road – particularly if it gets to the point where you have to go to a doctor/hospital and try to communicate in a foreign language. The fear and stress of not knowing if you’re going to get the right type of treatment, or even what’s going on makes me crazy sometimes!

  3. Jeremy May 2, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

    Airport and plane travel are definitely the most stressful part of traveling as you have no control over the outcome. Being at the mercy of others really bites. My experience from hell was when I was coming back from Jordan after a 3 week trip. First, a 12 1/2 hour direct flight to New York City next to a jumping kid and near a screaming baby. Second, I had a 11 hour layover in NYC hoping to see the city. Nope, it was raining and I didn’t go into the city since everything I wanted to see was outside. Of course, the day before had even worse rain, so all the planes were fully booked due to the prior days flights being canceled. So after 23 hours I get on my plane for my next connection (stupid itinerary was the cheapest), which was delayed on the runway, literally the next plane to take off, for 3 hours 45 minutes. From there, if it could get any worse, I missed my connecting flight home, and was given a voucher for a discounted hotel for the night that I was told would be free. $55 later and 5 hours of sleep I was back at the Atlanta airport on my way home. I think it was something around 40 hours of total travel time.
    The irony? They offered me $600 to stay in Amman for 2 more days, fully paid, and I said no so I could get home. Got a little compensation for the troubles after I complained to VPs, but, still wins my most stressful part of travel vote!

  4. Gray May 2, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    The most stressful part of travel for me is when my best laid plans go awry. I am an uber-planner, but thinking on my feet is not my strong suit, so it rattles me a bit when I have to make a last-minute shift in my plans. Still, I’d rather put up with any stress involved with travel than not travel at all!

  5. christine May 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    Ha! Funny you should ask this – for me the most stressful part of the trip for me is the actually the airport and the plane ride – I fear turbulence to the point that I probably should be taking something. But I can’t because I travel with a 2 year old, so I have to stay alert. Also, delays in an airport with a 2 year old stresses me out – so we try as much as possible to take morning flights – less likely there will be delays.

  6. Josh May 2, 2010 at 9:03 pm #

    I hate to waste time in airports, train stations, and traffic so when I plan a trip I have a tendency to schedule my layover time so short I almost run after the plane on the runway. I admit this kind of gives me an adrenaline rush and so far I haven’t missed my departures, but…
    …my wife always ends up cursing herself for letting me buy the tickets. This is her ultimate stress during our travels, and I think she might be more apt to forgive me if I can treat her to a nice spa. :)

  7. Brooke vs. the World May 2, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    I’ll second Shannon on the travel illness!

  8. ayngelina
    Twitter: ayngelina
    May 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm #

    This is completely strange but I am so used to traveling alone that the most stressful aspect is when I’m traveling without someone else without preassigned seating I always get very anxious that we won’t be able to sit together.
    It’s never happened but I always get very stressed.

  9. Ed May 2, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    The most stressful thing about traveling is packing. How am I supposed to know what the weather will really be like in Traveloggedstan a week from now? Will I be in the valleys (temperate) or in the mountains (chilly)? And what if I run out of Tums and Advil?
    Solution: I often pack for trips two weeks in advance, just to get it out of the way.

  10. Heather May 2, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Long lines, TSA screenings and even delays are a breeze compared with the stress of traveling with kids. Take your pick: whining, untimely diaper incidents, spills, which all leads to dirty looks from fellow passengers. On a recent trip, the man in front of us hit the call button to switch seats! What a treat to hear him and his wife bash my parenting skills to the flight attendant. But kids grow up fast, so it won’t be long before I stress over slow drink service or something like that!

  11. Monkey Named Cornelius May 2, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    I would echo the airport stress but something that is equally if not more stressful is when others try to plan my trip for me, insisting that I do this or that. I’m an over planner but then I like to go with the flow, I’m not against tips but when people insist I go here or stay there and go as far as reserving tickets or stays for me I start to feel like I’m on some over organized tourist package trip to Disney land or something. In my travels I try to reduce the stress in my life so when someone puts me on some kind of time schedule or gives me a 5 minute window to make a decision I feel like the journey begins to loose it’s purpose.

  12. Partyaficionado May 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm #

    It stresses me out to not be able to bring water on the airplane, then when I get to a hotel, the first bottle of water i see costs $7.00.

  13. Janine May 2, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    To be honest the funny thing is that what stresses me out the most when I travel is my husband when we travel. It is both a good and bad thing. He is Type A personality and I am Type B so that means he likes to get to the airport atleast 2 hours early, I have to have my ID ready 10 minutes before security check-in, I have to make sure I am a pro at taking my shoes and belt off efficiently and nothing is enjoyable about flying. The good thing is that I never miss a flight with him or forget something on the airplane, the problem then becomes hard when I have travel by myself and I end up either being late or leaving something on the plane. It always ends up being a great trip in the end but it has a stressful start.

  14. Barabra @ Hole In The Donut Travels May 3, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    I’ve racked my brains and I absolutely cannot think of anything about travel that stresses me out. I go solo, travel about 85% of each year, and never have reservations. The latter can result in some difficulties if I happen to arrive in a city during a major holiday (like yesterday in Veracruz, Mexico, when I arrived during the weekend of Cinco de Mayo without reservations), but I always seem to figure things out. Maybe I’m a type A who thrives on challenge and change, but I just don’t get stressed out over travel.

  15. Bethany May 3, 2010 at 12:43 am #

    Not being able to find a place to sleep. I am a non planner and some times this gets me in trouble. The worst is arriving late in the day and then not finding a place. Ultimately I end up spending more than my budget simply because I didn’t take care of it beforehand.
    Honestly it doesn’t happen often but when it does it is a major pain.

  16. Ali May 3, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    I travel carry-on only because I don’t like the hassle of checking luggage. I also don’t want to take so much stuff with me that I have to check luggage. My backpack is just barely small enough to pass for a carry-on sized bag, so I get really stressed out about making sure it will fit in the overhead of a plane, and I get stressed out when checking in for a flight. Recently while in Australia, I was checking in for my flight from Ayers Rock to Cairns. The ticketing agent made me weigh my backpack, and it was 12 kilos, 5 heavier than the allowable 7 kilos. So I rearranged and redistributed the contents of my backpack into my new knock-off Jimmy Choo purse (purchased in Hong Kong the week before) to get the weight down to 7 kilos. Once I got through security, I started putting everything I had taken out back into my backpack, because my purse with all its contents spilling out was not easy to manage. While I was doing that, the ticketing agent came through security to hand me a tank top I had accidentally dropped. She must have noticed what I was doing and told some other employees because when it was time to board, one of those agents stopped me to weigh my bag again. Not satisfied with my reply that it had already been weighed, I had to rearrange again. The excuses I was given were 1) from the ticketing agent – that my “heavy” bag could fall out of the overhead compartment and injure someone (I don’t think 5 kilos makes much difference in this scenario), and 2) from the boarding agent – that it was a weight and balance issue. I had to bite my tongue to stop from telling her that I have taken ground school, and I know that 5 kilos in the overhead or 5 kilos on the floor makes no difference to the weight and balance of the plane.

  17. Meridith May 3, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I am chronically late so I’m always stressed about missing connections. I’ve run through airports more times than I care to remember. It has the annoying effect of counteracting the (hopefully) relaxing vacation. Then it takes that much longer to unwind.

  18. Nicolemn6 May 3, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Going through airport security with a baby is pretty stressful — you have to do everything in the exact right order, or you end up juggling the infant (who has to come out of his carseat/stroller so they can X-ray the gear) while trying to deal with your shoes, laptop, coat, liquids, etc. Also, every TSA agent seems to have a different way of dealing with the baby’s bottle! (Sometimes it’s OK as long as it’s under 3 ounces or frozen, sometimes it needs to be lasered, etc.) I also feel stressed out about holding up everyone else in the line, though people have been pretty understanding, and I’ve avoided flying at especially busy times of day…

  19. Juniorhogan May 3, 2010 at 2:11 pm #

    Hello Liz, just popped by from Blogsherpa to have a look see and that’s a great 1st contest you are running here and congrats on doing so. All the best and have a lovely day there.
    David @ Malaysia Asia

  20. Traci May 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    Half the fun of traveling is the planning which precedes it. I thoroughly research the options for an itinerary which will suit my family, and my wallet. The stress comes from the worry that the trip won’t meet the high expectations that I’ve set for it. I fear that something will affect / change our plans, like weather or illness. In the case of the trip we’re currently on, the engine of the boat offering dolphin-sighting cruises is under repair…for several weeks! If I were traveling solo, it wouldn’t be such a great concern. But I want my children to enjoy travel and build fond memories, and that’s a lot of pressure for a parent!

  21. nancy stahl May 3, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    The packing before a trip and getting everything set up at home before I leave tend to unnerve me the most when I travel. I also don’t like to arrive at a hotel and be told that, although I had made a reservation, the hotel is overbooked. This happened in Spain at a leading hotel. I arrived late at night after an upsetting day when my husband had had to cancel his trip because his mother had fallen ill. When I arrived at the hotel I had booked at, I was told that the manager wanted to talk to me. His opening line was: “I’ve got bad news I’m afraid” to which I said “I’m getting used to it today, give it to me”. So he continued: “I’m sorry we don’t have a room for you. This never happens but we have overbooked tonight…and I’m not sure we’ll have a place for you tomorrow night either. We have however booked a room for you at Hotel…..” I replied that as this was indeed a holiday and I was expecting my daughter to join me, I had done a thorough search on the Internet for my hotel and had decided on HIS hotel. I knew from the search I had done that I did NOT want to stay at Hotel…. and that they were doing me no favor. He was actually very polite and dealt very fairly with my bad temper. The next day my daughter arrived at our chosen hotel and asked for me to which they replied: “Your mother is not staying here.” To which she replied: “That isn’t possible, if my mother says she’ll be someplace, she will be.” They then found me at Hotel ….. and I joined her for breakfast. I checked in at the desk that morning again and asked them if they had found rooms for us. They had indeed and said we would be very happy with the room. I was quite suspicious when he said they were giving us a suite, saying “but my daughter needs a good rest and I will not be pleased if she is sleeping on a sofa bed.” He rei-iterated: “you will be very pleased with the room.” And he was right. It was a beautiful suite with two bedrooms, three baths, full kitchen, dining room, you name it. And beautiful views. My husband joined us that night. All’s well that end’s well…with some stress in between.

  22. Jeremy B May 3, 2010 at 6:05 pm #

    For me, it’s getting lost and jet lag. The two are a horrible combination. After flying many hours to your destination, you arrive tired and a bit out of it. Being a more frugal traveler, I like to take public transportation to my hotel. Bad directions, getting off at the wrong stop, or not finding my hotel is very stressful after just arriving. I admit that it’s not the side of me that I like people to see but being in a different place, with luggage, and not knowing where you are going can be stressful – especially when you are already a bit tired.

  23. Jessica, WhyGo Italy May 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

    Most stressed while traveling? That’s easy – air travel. I don’t fear flying, I’m just no longer able to get comfortable or sleep on planes. I used to be able to do this, and I hate that I can’t now. The bottom line is that when air travel is involved, although I *love* the “being there,” I kind of hate the “getting there.”

  24. Marla May 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    Easy question to answer — the most stressful part of any trip for me is getting to the airport on time. No matter what I do, I seem to get there just in the knick of time every time (with few unpleasant exceptions) and sweat bullets on the way there. The worst was a trip to Italy where I had booked on an European booking engine and so the flight times were listed using the 24 hour clock. My flight at 21.00 was translated by me as 11pm. At 6pm, I realized my mistake, but my husband wasn’t even home yet, and we had to get to JFK from NJ during Friday rush hour. On the way there, I called the airline, which quoted me a price for another flight which was prohibitively expensive. So if we didn’t make it, we weren’t going. To make it worse, my parents were going to be meeting us in Rome. I cried all the way to the airport convinced we weren’t going to make it. But — the flight was the only one that airline was checking in that night so there was no one at the counter when we got there and they were able to get us on. It turned out to be an amazing trip. I still haven’t learned my lesson about leaving with enough time to spare though I have learned to read a 24 clock!

  25. Sarah May 4, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    I get most stressed about exchange rates and language barriors. I can never keep track of new coins and values and making sure I don’t over pay or look like a tourist trying to figure out how to pay!

  26. Jessica May 4, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Oddly enough, the thing I find most stressful about travel is the return trip home. Whether you have spent one hour or one year planning a trip, there has been such an incredible amount of time and energy spent planning and then actually taking that trip. Whether the trip was all that you expected or a total flop, it’s always a memorable experience—something different than everyday life at home. So, for me, returning home is stressful because it’s the getting back to normality (and a flood of unanswered emails and phone calls). It’s a continuous peak of excitement planning a trip and traveling during a trip, then a sudden drop to reality. That’s what makes traveling so special…and why I’m always planning another trip!

  27. Amy May 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm #

    travel stress is all manageable, it’s the decompression depression that sets in when i return home that is the most stressful. i love planning trips, i love packing, i love the airport (even when the TSA lines are long), i don’t love take-off and landing–but otherwise flying is fine, and traveling anywhere new or old is the best part of life. but the coming-home, getting-back-to-reality part? that stresses me out and makes me long for the next trip… where to?

  28. Julie Gilley May 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Medical emergencies have proven to be the most stressful for me. Everything else I take in stride. Example: On a recent trip to Prague, a Spanish-speaking girl was hit and seriously injured by a motorcycle driven by a Czech-speaking guy right before my eyes. Trying to assist both parties (and the authorities once they arrived) with the language barriers proved to be quite stressful!

  29. jessiev
    Twitter: WanderingEds
    May 4, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    great contest! most stressful to me? dealing with accessibility issues. often, no wheelchair access. so no seeing things i’ve longed to. or, having to walk a bit and then injuring myself so much i have to have surgery when i get home. or, dealing with more pain from traveling in inaccessible areas (i can’t walk more than a block)…UGH. why do i travel,though? there’s nothing like learning about others, and despite the limitations of my body, worth it. :)

  30. Allison May 5, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    Feeding my VERY picky 4 year old boy! Amazingly, he can live on french fries alone for extended periods of time.

  31. Ashley Bryan May 5, 2010 at 6:56 am #

    Traveling with kids is the most stressful thing ever. Try traveling with the pack n’plays, booster seats, toys, diapers and who knows what else…your baggage bill is higher than the cost of your tickets. If you can get through that try getting on the plane with two toddlers and all the crap you need to keep them quiet during the flight without hitting every person in the aisle. Then one is kicking the seat, the other won’t sit at all. Ever try changing a diaper in one of those tiny bathrooms during turbulance? It is not a pretty sight! After all that you get to your layover to find out your next flight is delayed and the other toddler goes poop and you are out of diapers!!
    I have been taking more staycations recently….

  32. Alyssa May 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    I think delays are the most stressful part of traveling. While on our way to Europe, my family’s plane was delayed five hours… by the time we got to London and across town to the Chunnel station, we had missed our train into France, had to fight with Continental to tell the Chunnel people why we had missed our train so they would not charge us a lot of money to change over our tickets, run across the station and through security to catch the next train leaving five minutes after we picked up tickets for it, and were escorted to the wrong section of the train where we did not have seats because they looked at our old tickets instead of the new ones. All while my mom had a broken foot. It was the definition of stressful traveling.

  33. Adooling May 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    For me, the most stressful aspect of travel is who you bring with you! I’m a lover of “girl trips” even though I’m engaged and have really gone through amazing friend lengths to allow my less fortunate friends to come away with me (everything from footing the bill to planning the whole trip).
    The last time however, it all went so, so wrong when I caught pneumonia while being in Europe! Even though I had put out extra cash and planned the entire trip- and was the only one in the two of us who did research, my travel partner was less than sympathetic when I couldn’t sleep, speak, or move because I was SO sick!
    She was so mad that I moved at a slower pace, stopped at a million pharmacies, and generally was ready to collapse that when we got home our friendship dissipated. As punishment shes holding all the photos we took with her camera of the entire trip (I couldn’t carry mine because I was so weak). It was ridiculously stressful and I’ll keep it in mind forever when choosing a partner.

  34. Andi
    Twitter: andiperullo
    May 5, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Such a great giveaway!!!
    I find even the stressful parts about traveling to be fun actually…I look at them as adventures. But, if I had to to choose 1 thing, it would be the flights. It seems like every time I go to take a flight its either delayed or canceled. That definitely stresses me out!

  35. Jen Laceda May 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    I hope I win!! I’m going to NYC in August and maybe I can use this? I need a spa treatment! Baby no.2 is keeping me very busy AND sore all over! I’m exhausted!
    By the way, I have a giveaway on my NEW blog that you or your readers may like:

  36. Robin @ MyMelange May 5, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    I am with Jessica, hands down the most stressful is the air travel. Can’t get comfortable, anxious about being delayed, bumped, cancelled or my bag being overweight, no room for my carry-on bag in steerage…etc. The airlines have made travel a nightmare.

  37. Guy and Girl Travels May 5, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    The most stressful thing for us about traveling is our GPS, Janice! Janice just loves to ding at the very second you are supposed to turn instead of giving us a heads up! Crossing over two lanes of traffic to avoid missing an exit is crazy stressful, especially when we are in a new city/town!
    Janice, we love you! But girly, you stress us out 99.9% of the time! Ding!

  38. Emily @ Maiden Voyage May 6, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    For me, the most stressful part of travel is getting lost, especially when you don’t speak the language! When I went to France for the first time, I was alone (first solo travel experience). I got off the train, and I got hopelessly lost — the hotel’s map was awful. I asked so many people for help, but nobody spoke English or understood where I was trying to go. My backpack was so heavy, and it was Sunday so most places were closed. I hailed down taxis, but most wouldn’t help me because I was too close to the hotel (but couldn’t find it!). I was in tears, lost for about 2 hours — the worst part was that I knew the hotel was closeby, but nobody would help me get there! After a while I FINALLY managed to find it, but it was awful!

  39. janelle May 7, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    I am IN! Oh what to choose, what too choose… nasty hotels. We rode bike across Europe last summer, and were decidedly on a budget. Since we are a family of four we were always looking for a place to rest 4 heads instead of 2. Which is usually more expensive; ideally we never had to rent two rooms…
    … anyway. For the most part places were fine, some above average. But there were A FEW that were nasty or ‘everything gone wrong.’ Like after a long ride where little fly larva were stuck all over your ‘I’m wearing a target’ body and you ran out of water and all of this little french city was closed because it was Bastille day… and you had just rode 60kms… and then you land, you land at this nice person’s home and their dog is jumping on springs like a circus dog jump, jump, jump, up to your shoulder, up to your shoulder and this same lovely old woman is a chain-smoker and smokes inside and keeps all windows closed and you (as in I) am allergic to smoke and it is all I can do ALL I can do to smile while my throat swells up and my eyes begin to itch and can I please just take a shower? ;).
    OR there is having a box sent to you in Italy. Postal service or servicing postal?

  40. Sarah Sekula May 7, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Packing is hands-down the most difficult part of traveling, especially if I have back-to-back trips. Even worse if one is to a cold-weather destination and the other a tropical one.

  41. Felicity May 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm #

    What do you find most stressful about traveling?
    My husband. He’s a fusspot.
    How do I avoid stress?
    I travel without him.

  42. Camden Luxford May 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    Just wrote a blog post about the stress of travelling and studying by distance – information overload combined with the obvious lack of time and resources. Right now I’d also have to add the fear of missing the boat on the creativity explosion in the blogsherpa community due to other commitments! Back in my less masochistic days, I was most stressed out by busy public transport on travel days – nothing like pushing your way onto the Tube with the backpack on and hundreds of angry commuters glaring at you for having the audacity to save money on a cab.

  43. Jill May 7, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    Getting lost can be quite stressful. On a road trip to Asheville, North Carolina, last weekend, we took a wrong turn in South Carolina, and ended up miles away from where we wanted to be. It was late, we were all tired, and my kids were crying and yelling in the back of the car that they wanted to go home.
    But we got to Asheville in the end, with the help of some friendly local fast food employees who knew the area well. The drive took us five hours (it was supposed to take three and a half), but we had fun once we arrived. So it was a worthwhile trip!

  44. Zipporah Sandler May 8, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    For me it’s the air travel. I hate feeling cooped up in the plane and can’t wait to get to my destination.

  45. Scene by Laurie May 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    My biggest nightmare is having a flight connection and only a little bit of time to make the connecting flight…trying to figure out the terminal and how to get there the fastest and running through the airport to make it is very stressful :-(

  46. Goldmedal May 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    Unfriendly staff and poor customer service is what I find most stressful about traveling.

  47. Boomergirl May 9, 2010 at 5:27 pm #

    Am I in a legal cab or not? Twice- once in Mexico City, once in Cuba, in a cab, all set to take off from curb and suddenly driver gives the okay to male passenger (s) to join me in cab the cab. In Mexico City, I was headed to airport from Norta bus station and the driver got off the main route and took back city streets. I was traveling alone and scared. Definitely a better command of Spanish would have been helpful.

  48. stacey walker May 10, 2010 at 1:30 am #

    The most stressful thing about traveling is trying to see everything and not having all the time! I need to learn to slow down!

  49. Emily May 10, 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    I used to think the most stressful thing about traveling was figuring out what to pack, but now that I have a one-year-old, I definitely think it is all of the planning that is necessary to make sure that we make our flight on time!

  50. b May 19, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    I think the issue for me is just getting all of the travel details in order!

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