Final weekend to bid on dream trips in travel writers' annual online auction

The clock is running down for the Society of American Travel Writers’ annual online auction, which ends at 11:45 p.m. Sunday at

And while there has been some action, savvy bidders know it’s best to wait ’til the final minutes before casting their bids to avoid a possible early bidding war that could boost the final price higher than they’d like to pay. But savvier bidders know it’s best to get on the site and try a few bids just to get the feel for how it works before the final crunch time when your computer — along with your fingers and brain — potentially could freeze and let that dream trip slip away.

Besides, most bids under the posted value could be considered a bargain experiencewise, at least, especially if they get you off the daydreaming couch and out into the wide world of travel.

From Abu Dhabi and Petra, Jordan, in the Mideast to resorts in the Caribbean, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and other desirable vacation spots in the United States, dozens of travel getaways are up for grabs in the auction. Proceeds go toward professional development for members, such as myself, of the Society of American Travel Writers.

My winning bids in past SATW auctions inspired family trips we might not otherwise have taken to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Miami 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 rather than explore the International Spy Museum and other sites on our list).

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