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What’s your dream USA trip? Win £200 towards your dream holiday

Monument Valley / Photographer: Mark W. Lipczynski / copyright 2015 Mark Lipczynski

Monument Valley. Photo courtesy of Arizona Office of Tourism

Here’s a little treat for you with the opportunity to win £200 in vouchers towards your dream USA trip. I’ve partnered with Brand USA to promote their new trip planner and here’s all you need to do to enter: use the trip planner to plan a trip to your top 5 dream destinations in the US and then leave a comment on this post, telling us a bit about why you’d love to go there. One lucky reader will be chosen to win the £200 voucher for TUI holidays. There is no minimum spend and it’s a £200 voucher to go towards a holiday of your choice.

So what’s my dream US trip?

Steve and I have been dreaming of the trip we’re currently doing in the USA for years. It started with San Francisco and then stretched all the way down the coast to San Diego, even adding trips to Portland and New York on either end. So when Brand USA asked me to write about my dream US trip, my first thought was: I’m already doing it! But then I realised that there are so many other trips we’re dreaming of for the future too: New Orleans; the Disney parks in Florida (I can’t wait for Otis to be old enough for them!); so many of the national parks; and I’m also really keen on exploring the East coast, as well as spending more time in Austin. We’re going to have to keep coming back!

For the purpose of this blog post, I’m going to dream about what I’d do if we had another few weeks for this trip. What places would I add and what would we do there? I’ve used the new Visit The USA holiday planner tool to map it out.

A dream trip to the National Parks

Yosemite, California

One of the biggest compromises we had to make on this trip was not going inland to Yosemite. We wanted to prioritise the coast and couldn’t find a way to include Yosemite in the time we had without adding a large amount of driving time and doing things in a rush. We’ve both been before, so it wasn’t too bad a compromise, but I’d still love to go back with Otis one day. So my dream trip would start with Yosemite, hiking Half Dome at sunset and going deep into the sequoias by day.

Death Valley, California

Next up would be the desert of Death Valley for a chance to experience the expansive dunes of the USA’s hottest, driest and lowest area. On my to do list would be the salt flats, the colourful mountainside at Artists’ Drive, and catching sunset across the valley. O route to our next destination, we’d stop in Las Vegas to break up the journey and take a peek at what it’s all about.

Zion and Bryce Canyon, Utah

I’m desperate to see for myself the otherworldly landscape of southern Utah. The rainbow-coloured rock formations, soaring towers and deep canyons look to be among the most awe-inspiring on earth. Zion Park is at the top of my wish list for this trip, plus I’d love to see the hoodoos (tall pinnacle-like structures) of Bryce Canyon.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

I went to the Grand Canyon when I was a teenager, but I was pretty preoccupied with my own drama at that age, so definitely didn’t appreciate it as much as I wish I had. I think a repeat trip is necessary to take it in properly and I’d also love to do a helicopter trip across the top. On this itinerary, we’d be on the north rim of the canyon, which is a less touristy option.

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

Monument Valley is another out-of-this-world sight that I’d love to see, with its epic crimson towers that dot the barren landscape. I’ve seen it in so many photos and films and would love to experience it for myself. Some days hiking here would be lush.

Canyonlands and Arches, Utah

For a final stop on this trip of natural splendour, I’d go to Canyonlands in Utah. I’d head to the Islands in the Sky district to take in the views of the expansive canyons, mesas and buttes. And I’m also keen to see the sandstone arches of the neighbouring Arches National Park. It’s said to be an easy one to explore with kids. For this part of the trip, we’d likely base ourselves in Moab, an interesting-sounding adventure town where you can recuperate in a hot tub after a long day on the trails.

Boulder, Colorado

And finally we’d finish the trip with a stay in Boulder, a place I may have lived if I’d chosen a different path, studying contemplative psychotherapy at Naropa University (one of the many dream I’ve had on my journey!). It’s a place where fair trade, recycling and meditation are the norm, it gets about 300 days of sunshine a year, and it’s surrounded by spectacular nature. Definitely on my wish list! It’s around six hours’ drive from Arches, so I think we’d need to add a little stop somewhere along the way to break up the journey for Otis.

Here’s a screenshot from the planner outlining the route we’d take

What’s your dream US trip?

So that’s my dream trip, now what about yours? Pick at least five destinations and create your trip with the Visit the USA holiday planner tool. Then leave a comment below with a few words about your itinerary and how you’d spend your time there. Add the hashtag #wanderlustwish

All those who leave a comment will be entered into the competition. The closing date is two weeks from now on Friday 26 October. Read the full terms and conditions below. Good luck!

This post is in partnership with Brand USA but all thoughts and dreams are my own.

Terms and Conditions

Eligibility:

  • The Wanderlust Wish Contest is open to entrants aged 18 and over, who are resident in the UK (Mainland).
  • Employees of the Promoter, its group companies or their family members, or anyone else connected with the Contest are not eligible to enter.
  • Entrants into the Contest shall be deemed to have accepted these terms and conditions.
  • Participation is permitted irrespective of purchase of a product/service. No purchase necessary.

How to Enter

  • Entries must be submitted between the dates stipulated by this post (“Entry Period”).
  • To successfully enter, a person (“Entrant”) must:
  • Use the Visit USA Holiday planner tool and plan a trip to their top 5 USA destinations. The Entrant must then write a few words and submit their entry as a comment on this article with the hashtag #WanderlustWish
  • There is only one entry per person allowed.
  • There is one prize available for the Contest in this post.
  • The winner will be required to respond to the notification from the Promoter within 14 days, confirming where their prize should be sent. The winner will receive their prize within 28 days of providing such postal address (mainland UK only). The Promoter accepts no responsibility in the event that a winner does not respond to the Promoter’s notification or where a prize is not received by a winner as a result of that Entrant having provided inaccurate address details when requested.
  • If the winner fails to provide verification or address information within 14 days of a request from the Promoter or should the Promoter establish that the qualifying criteria was not met, the Promoter reserves the right to award the prize to an alternative winner selected from the remaining entries, with the originally selected winner forfeiting their right to the prize.
  • The Promoter reserves the right to modify, suspend or cancel the Contest without any prior notice.

Privacy and collection of personal data:

  • The Entrant’s email address and personal details will be used for no other reason than to notify a participant if they are a winner.
  • By entering the prize draw, Participants grant the Promoter the right to contact them regarding their entry

General:

  • The Promoter will not be liable if a winner is unable to receive their prize for any reason beyond the control of the Promoter. Prizes are not transferrable or exchangeable and no cash alternatives will be available.
  • The Promoter accepts no responsibility for any loss suffered by an Entrant as a result of entering the Contest or accepting the prize. The Promoter further accepts no responsibility for any damage to an Entrant’s or any other person’s computer arising from their participation in the Contest.
  • The Promoter accepts no responsibility for Entries that fail to meet the entry mechanics, are uploaded outside of the Entry Period or which do not qualify for as an entry for any reason (including where the Entrant does not include hashtag #WanderlustWish)


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