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Today:

*** Free International Calls, Here’s How…
*** Success Story Contest: Win a Trip to Florida this Winter
*** Practical Writing Prompt of the Week: Your Favorite Restaurant for Travel Post Monthly
*** Writers Wanted: Copyeditor and Copywriter

Dear Reader,

Here’s a tip for you if you ever need to call outside the U.S…

There’s a company – FuturePhone.com – that’s giving away free international calls for the next three years. You don’t have to change your phone service or sign any kind of contract.

You just dial their bridge number in Iowa (712-945-1111), press 1 for English, and then dial 011 and the international number you’re trying to reach. You’ll only be charged the normal long-distance fee to Iowa. (And if your cell phone plan includes free long distance, even the call to Iowa is free.)

I’ve used this number a half-dozen times from three different states calling two different countries and I haven’t had a problem or seen a charge on my cell phone bill yet. And I’m not the only one who’s discovered this freebie – it was also featured in the New York Times and on ABC News.

Eventually, FuturePhone is going to add a recorded advertisement you’ll have to listen to before you can dial the international number you’re trying to reach. But right now, there isn’t one. Simply dial 712-945-1111 and listen for instructions.

They plan to keep the service in place through 2010. So if you’ve got friends outside the U.S. or you need to speak with the tourist board in Dublin or a hotel manager in Peru, you’d do well to keep this number in your address book.

And speaking of travel tips, here are a few more I’ve mentioned recently, just in case you’ve missed them…

** How to find the best hotel deals

** How (else) to use a quart-sized Ziploc bag

** Why every traveler should pack a straw, a pillow case, and a garbage bag twist tie

** Why you should pack Vaseline and tea tree oil in an old contact lens case

And if you have a tip to share, I’d love to hear it: lori@thetravelwriterslife.com.

Stan Sinberg, one of our expert freelance travel writers, sent me one on getting flights overseas for less than $20. ITWPA members can find his tip archived on the ITWPA website. January’s password is at the bottom of each twice-monthly ITWPA Insider issue (Stan’s dedicated newsletter for ITWPA members only).

Steenie Harvey also gave us a good travel tip for writers — she said that when you’re traveling, don’t just look for one story idea on each trip, look for 3-4. Is the hotel a great destination for budget travelers? If so, write it up for a budget travel publication but also ask if they have any interesting ghost stories about the place or if they do anything special for Valentine’s day or other holidays.  You might be able to turn the same hotel into a special event or holiday article.

As always, keep me up-to-speed on your travel-writing or photography success. If you have a story to share, send me a quick note at lori@thetravelwriterslife.com.

— Lori
Lori Appling
Director, Great Escape Publishing

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK
Eat out lately?

The Travel Post Monthly is looking for dining recommendations and hotel pieces in particular, so if you know of a place you can write up this weekend, send it their way. You’ll find a link to the writer’s guidelines and submission instructions at the bottom of the main page:
http://www.travelpostmonthly.com

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