Travel writers' auction offers dream trips and experiences around the globe

From Abu Dhabi and Petra, Jordan in the Mideast to resorts in Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii and other desirable vacation spots in the United States, dozens of travel getaways are up for grabs this month in an annual online travel auction sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers.

As a longtime member of SATW, I’ve won some bids and lost some over the years in the auction, currently running through 11:45 p.m. Dec. 30 at

My winning bids inspired family trips we might not otherwise have taken to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Washington, D.C. (Too bad the latter occurred a few winters ago when a rare, paralyzing blizzard brought the city to its knees. But at least it was cozy in our auction-won hotel room where we were forced to chill for a day and watch the capital’s “Snow-pocalypse” on TV).

I have friends who’ve won memorable getaways in this auction that included golfing at the famed St. Andrew’s course in Scotland, as well as spa and cruise experiences in the Caribbean, Toronto, Virginia and elsewhere around the globe.

And I’ve found that even if you don’t win — or don’t even bid — it’s fun to browse the catalog, drool over the photos and descriptions, and dream about your next great getaway.  There’s nothing like an auction to get the travel juices flowing.

Susan R. Pollack
Globetrotting journalist and former Detroit News staff writer Susan R. Pollack has covered travel since 1985, visiting scores of countries on five continents, 49 states, six Canadian provinces and hundreds of cities, islands and outposts along the way. From Alaska, the Galapagos and New Zealand to South Africa, Thailand and Wales, she has suffered the occasional lost luggage, jetlag and Montezuma’s revenge but still delights in sharing travel adventures with readers. In addition to The Detroit News, her award-winning stories and photos have appeared in major newspapers including the Dallas News, Toronto Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Chicago Sun Times; and magazines including Delta Sky, Midwest Living, Long Weekends, Experience Michigan, Jetsetter, Home & Away, Hour Detroit, Prevue Meetings and Group Tour. She has contributed to several books including "Rand McNally 2008 Ultimate NASCAR Road Trip Guide," and is the copy editor for She also has written for websites including and