What it’s like to win an epic Europe vacay- and how you can too

Published November 23rd, 2017

Natasha and fiance Tyler were the lucky winners of our 2016 Bucket List Giveaway holiday and travelled all across Europe with Intrepid. The epic once in a lifetime trip took the pair to cities and towns like Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome.

That’s great you say, but why are you telling me this? Because we're doing it again, giving you the chance to WIN like Natasha and her fiance, a share of $30,000 in prizes for you & a mate!*

Check out Student Flights latest travel deals here, warning tho, you're going to wanna book asap...

We had a bit of a chat with Natasha to see what it was like winning (omfg right) and going on the trip of your dreams...


Where were you when you found out you had won the trip, and how did you react?

It was close to Christmas and I was getting ready for work and got a phone call from a number that I didn't have on my phone. I was actually debating whether or not to answer it because usually, those phone calls are from telemarketers and at that time they were all trying to sell me gifts and other things for Christmas which was super annoying.

When I was told that I had won a free holiday I thought the caller was just another telemarketer, completely forgetting that I had even entered. She finally convinced me that she was telling the truth and I freaked out and had to check my emails before I really believed her.

I then called my fiancée to tell him and even he took some convincing before he believed we had won a trip!


What was it like planning the trip in-store?

Not much planning was done in store. It was pretty much all done through email or text message with my travel agent. The Intrepid itineraries were very detailed and their website was super easy to navigate with heaps of info!


What was the biggest pinch-me moment of the trip?

There were so many but the first one was Paris. You see Paris and France in general in so many movies and I just couldn't believe I was at the Louvre and I was standing in front of the Eiffel Tower like so many well-known people before me.

The next was Italy just for its beauty, and the last pinch-me moment was Greece because my family are originally from there and I was over the moon that I was seeing my heritage and where they are from.


Can you describe some of the best food you ate?

The best we had was in Italy. When visiting Venice, the hotel is a bit further away from the touristy area so we went out for lunch and dinner on our first day in a small town only locals really knew about. The food was amazing!

We found throughout the entire trip that if you take a few back streets away from all the touristy areas you'll get the best, most authentic food of the country.


What was a moment that made you laugh out loud?

The love sex show in Amsterdam! We probably shouldn’t say anymore.


What was your favourite outdoor adventure?

We hiked in Cinque Terre from one stop to the next rather than catching the train. The views were absolutely amazing, totally worth getting all gross and sweaty in the heat. Plus we had this amazing crushed lemon drink at a tiny cafe at the halfway point. We've been meaning to try to make it ourselves!


Which was the best city to dance the night away in?

We had great nights out everywhere we went but one of the highlights was Amsterdam. Their nightlife there is so crazy and completely different from home. The red light district is something you hear about but until you're there you don't realise just how wild it is. The shows that you can see, the coffee shops, bars, everything is such an experience and eye opener and so much fun.   


Favourite thing about each of these cities/countries and list one word to describe each:

Barcelona: Architecture. I studied interior architecture at uni and absolutely loving seeing everything I had learned about right in front of my eyes. My Instagram page looked like a textbook the whole time we were in Barcelona.

Paris: Louvre. The biggest "omg I can't believe I'm here" moment was when I saw the Louvre museum. That's a feeling I won't forget.

Luxembourg: Landscape. Our stay here was short but the beautiful landscapes were definitely something to remember.

Brussels: Chocolate. Belgium chocolate waffles, Belgium chocolate ice cream, Belgium chocolate everything. And of course, a beautiful city and statue of a little boy peeing which we didn't realise was so well known. (Ed's note: this was the Manneken Pis)

Amsterdam: Red light district. As I've said already, such an experience being there!

Berlin: History. So crazy to see all the remnants of the Berlin Wall and all the stories we heard about the camps and Hitler. Our tour leader was amazing and explained everything in such great detail.

Venice: Burano. The tiny little island/part of the city with bright coloured buildings and cute little canals.

Cinque Terre: Scenery. We got to explore the 5 different areas that make up the Cinque Terre and all were so different but equally as beautiful.

Florence: Sunset. We climbed up to a lookout and watched the sunset over the city with probably a hundred other people.  

Rome: Colosseum. Seeing such a well-known structure that's a huge part of Italian history was incredible. I was so interested in Roman history at school so I was in my element. Our guide was awesome at answering my thousand questions.

Greece: Water & weather. We loved this part of the trip because it was so relaxing and a great way to end. The weather was perfect and the water was beautiful to swim and admire.


If your trip were a Hollywood blockbuster, which would surmise it best, and why? Roman Holiday, Harry Potter, Under the Tuscan Sun, James Bond, Amelie?

It definitely doesn't compare or relate to any one movie. We saw so many places and had so many awesome and unique experiences, creating our own real-life movie moments a few times each day.

Student Flights

Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.