25 trips for under £250: last five places!

15 November update: last five places remaining!

Back in the summer, we challenged you to come up with ideas for the most adventurous and interesting trips you can take for £250 per person, all in. The best ideas would be paid for by Wanderlust and feature in the magazine next year. We've had a brilliant response, and already 20 travellers have taken budget breaks – or are about to – paid for by us.

We now have a final five trips available, which must be taken by end January 2012. So, for absolutely the last time, we're inviting entries from anyone who has so far not been successful. (Yes, you can re-enter with a new idea if you've not heard from us so far.) It's first come, first served, so get those ideas coming fast – we'll be signing our last few cheques by the end of November 2011!

The 25 best ideas will each receive £250 to make them happen. In return, all we ask for is a souvenir from the trip (the cheaper the better), some pictures, and a report from you on the trip, so we can feature your experience in the magazine and online.

The winning trips must be taken any time before the end of January 2012. 

What kind of trips are you looking for?

We’re looking for ideas which will inspire other travellers to follow in your footsteps, not just demonstrate how frugally you can travel. This is not about starving yourself for a week and sleeping in bus stations; we want you to have an adventure and come home safe and healthy with a great tale to tell. We want to be surprised, too – so a city break to Paris is unlikely to score as highly as one to, say, Palermo. Check who's already won to see where we've already sent travellers.

The rules

  • Trips must start and finish in the UK, last a minimum of two nights, and include accommodation that’s available to anyone. Beyond that, the sky’s the limit. Find a cheap flight and stay in a B&B. Take a ferry and go couchsurfing. Jump on the Eurostar and work on an organic farm. The further you go, and the longer you go for, the more impressed we’ll be.
  • You must be aged 18 or over to enter.
  • Trips must be taken by 31 January 2012.
  • Trips must start and finish in the UK.
  • Trips can be in the UK but must involve travelling at least 100 miles. Priority will be given to longer, further, and more adventurous trips.
  • The £250 must be the total cost of transport (flight/train/ferry/petrol etc), accommodation, food & drink, and any significant on-the-ground expenses, not put towards a higher budget. Travel to and from a UK airport / ferry terminal is not included in the £250 budget.
  • If you’re driving, your budget must include the cost of petrol, toll roads and so on, split out between passengers. Trips using your own camper van or motor home are not allowed; although you can hire one from your £250 budget.
  • You are not allowed to stay with family or friends – accommodation must be available to anyone. Camping, hostelling, couchsurfing, overnighting on trains, and so on, are all welcome.
  • You can travel with a companion(s), but you both have to pay your own way – they can’t subsidise you. Only one member of a group can win a £250 prize.
  • You must have adequate travel insurance for your trip. The cost of insurance is not included within the £250 budget. Wanderlust accepts no liability for your trip, and no additional funds or support are available if your plans go awry. In the event that you have to cancel your trip once you have received funds from us, those funds should be reimbursed.

The prizes

  • The 25 winning trips will be selected by Wanderlust on merit. The editor’s decision is final.
  • 25 winners will be named in advance, and will have to sign an acceptance of terms and supply proof of identity. The £250 will be paid half in advance, and half on return, when we receive a souvenir of the trip proving you’ve made it back!
  • Each of the 25 winners will receive £250 exactly: £125 in advance, £125 on return. If a winner spends less than £250 on their trip, they may keep the balance. If a winner spends more than £250, for any reason, they must cover additional expenses themselves, or through their insurance if appropriate. Wanderlust will not be liable for more than the £250 prize money under any circumstances.

How to enter

Send us a short outline of your proposed trip, under the headings below. NB this is not a writing competition – we’re after great ideas not perfect prose. Prices will be checked so make sure your budgets are realistic. 

I want to go to… [50 words max]

I’ll get there by… [50 words max] 

I’ll stay in… [50 words max]

I’ll stay x nights 

I plan to go in [month(s)]

I deserve £250 to do it because… [50 words max]

Email your proposal to under250@wanderlust.co.uk, and we’ll be in touch. Got a question? Post it here on the forum.

Who's already won?

Here's a list of trips we've already approved. Please avoid duplicating these destinations – we're looking for variety.

Albania and Greece
: five days exploring the archaeological ruins of Butrint National Park before crossing the straits to the island of Corfu.

Bulgaria: a three-day wine pilgrimage through the vineyards of the Bessa Valley, Southern Bulgaria.

Croatia: island-hopping between the beautiful islands off the coast of Croatia, via Zagreb and Split.

Gibraltar and Morocco: a journey across the strait of Gibraltar to the historical cities of Tangiers and Marrakech.

Ireland: 4 nights exploring the monastic island of Skellig Michael

Israel: four days exploring a different side to Israel - Tel Aviv’s architecture and museums.

Jordan: three nights discovering the ancient rock city of Petra on foot, sleeping under the stars.

Kosovo: six nights exploring the Peskovi mountain region of Kosovo, staying with local families and discovering 14th century architecture.

Moldova: three nights off the beaten track on a cultural discovery of Transnistria, Moldova’s breakaway territory.

Morocco: seven nights trekking through ancient Berber towns in the southerly Anti-Atlas mountains.

Poland: three nights experiencing the cultural and architectural delights of the Polish city of Krakow.

Romania: trekking from Brasov across Mount Tampa and into the Transylvanian town of Sighisoara, where the legend of Dracula was born.

Romania, Moldova, Ukraine: seven days backpacking around three of the fascinating Danubian states of Eastern Europe.

Scotland: six nights island-hopping between the remote Hebrides of Arran, Islay and Jura.

Scotland: two nights wildlife-watching on the remote Fair Isle, staying in a lighthouse.

Slovakia: five nights hiking in the High Tatras Mountains, Slovakia’s cheaper rival to the Alps, via the capital Bratislava.

Spain: seven nights cycling along the famous pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago.

Sweden: a boating adventure around the islands comprising the Stockholm archipelago. 

Turkey: to Istanbul and on to Konya for the world famous whirling dervish festival

OK – now tell us your dream under £250 trip. Email your proposal to under250@wanderlust.co.uk