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Win a $5000 HomeAway Getaway vacation

If you’re anything like me, you need a vacation after the winter “holidays” (and yeah, it isn’t much of a winter “break” either, is it?)

All of that running around, usually with at least a road trip thrown into the general insanity, if not a flight or two….and traveling with kids through TSA checkpoints = what fun!

What if you really could take a true vacation?

I’ve written here before about finding value in vacation home rentals through Ciao Bambino; depending on the property and the time of year, you can spank those high hotel and food costs pretty well by staying in a residence rather than a bland hotel.

There’s also an excellent article about how to rent a vacation home in a recent issue of Budget Travel: Rent by Number.

Stir up your creative juices and start thinking “escape,” because a new contest just kicked off today (it runs until January 7, 2009) called the HomeAway Getaway, sponsored by the HomeAway vacation home rental site.

To enter, you submit either:

  • a blog post, or
  • a photo essay on Flickr, or
  • a video on your YouTube channel

….explaining why you need a week away and where you want to spend it.

Starting January 8, 2009, the entries will open up for voting by anyone until January 15. The winner will be announced Friday, January 16.

What does HomeAway get out of such a Web 2.0/social media-based outreach effort to digitally-creative types? Here’s what they say:

“First and foremost, we want to introduce more people to the benefits of vacation rentals–especially for family and group travel…..We have run traditional sweepstakes in the past, but we chose to create this contest specifically for bloggers, vloggers and new media mavens because (a) we are beginning to adopt social media to communicate the value of vacation rentals; and (b) we noticed many of you are already talking online about your vacation rental experiences, so this contest is a small way to thank you for sharing.”

Where could you spend such a getaway vacation?

Consider five family-friendly winter escapes or these top 10 vacation rentals for families.  Or, fire up that keyboard/camera/video camera and escape with just your sweetie to 10 of the most romantic vacation rentals.

Locations are available worldwide, from beachfront homes in Key Largo, Florida to waterfront homes in London.

Sure, you deserve that getaway, so tell us why – click here and give it your best shot!

Note: unfortunately because of assorted legal restrictions, the contest is only open to residents of the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Canada (but not Quebec.)  We did TRY to argue with the lawyer-types….

(Disclosure: Austin, TX-based HomeAway is a client of mine through Every Dot Connects, a social media consortium through which I offer consulting and workshops.)

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