When you think of the ultimate travel bucket list, what comes to mind? I’m always thinking BIG: as in EPIC. 40-day overland Turkish delights trip (oh yes, as a solo female). 5 weeks hitchhiking and Couchsurfing throughout the Middle East. What about 31 days trying to get from Vietnam to Portugal — exclusively traveling by rail? Such a journey has a name: it’s the Ultimate Train Challenge and this year’s race is ON!
Teams vs. the rails = the Ultimate Train Challenge
Are you adventurous enough to go across more than 15,000 miles (25,000 km), planning your own route, arranging your own visas, accommodation, and rail passes? This is no organized or guided tour. YOU pick your own countries, stops, cities, and overnights. YOU get to create your own epic itinerary — one that hundreds of travelers may want to follow years from now.
And that’s not all: several other teams will be competing to get to the finish line before you. You may pick any of these routes: Saigon to Lisbon or Lisbon to Vietnam. Not only will great prices be awarded to the winning team either way, but the amazing memories and skills you develop this May will last a lifetime.
Write your own history! You think you got what it takes?!
Ultimate Train Challenge: fees and GRAND PRIZES
Yes, there is a registration fee: US $295 (or approx. £183 / €223) if you register by THIS Friday, Feb 15th. Afterward, registration will go up by a $100 and the fee to join this epic journey and competition will be US $395 (approx. £245 / €298) until April 30th.
HOWEVER: if you use the code MA13UTC you get US $30 off the registration fee! You may use this discount code anytime — all the way until April 30th.
If you still need some convincing to join, just check out the ~$10,000 worth of PRIZES and discounts for UTC13:
– Entry to the kick off party in both Lisbon and Saigon.
– Intrepid Travel is giving at away their 15-day Morocco tour to the faster person from Saigon to Lisbon and their 15-day Bangkok to Hanoi trip to the winner going the other direction.
– Eurail has donated a couple 10-day Global rail passes we will be raffling off to anyone that signs up before February 15th. They are also donating additional passes that we will be giving away for the best on-train photo taken on the trip and also one for the best video.
– Urban Adventures is offering 15% off any of their great day tours to all participants (valid for a time period yet that will be determined in the next couple weeks).
– HostelWorld will be providing 2 night’s free accommodation for everyone prior to departure, in addition to offering some prizes (various monetary coupons) for other contests along the way.
– Real Russia, UK will be giving away two Trans-Manchurian train tickets and a discount on rail ticket purchase through them.
– Non-bloggers will be able to use our YWNR website to blog their trip and there will be a real-time map that everyone can use on the site, so that friends and family can track where they are on their journey.
Trip of a lifetime + fundraising for CHARITY
Still hesitating? What if we tell you that the Ultimate Train Challenge has a CHARITY component? Every participant is expected to raise at least $500 for the selected charity, Blue Dragon’s Children Foundation in Vietnam, in order to have this whole journey help out some needy children.
Moreover, UTC sponsor Intrepid Travel has agreed to match each contribution (dollar for dollar!) up to $10,000. So, in addition to having an adventure of a lifetime, we are all going to help make a small, but positive change in the world.
Need another incentive? Trip planning assistance available, cost-FREE!
Please remember folks: you got nothing to worry about. You are not alone! The organizers of the Ultimate Train Challenge have put together a great trip planning and resources page in order to assist you with arrangements such as getting your visas, recommended rail passes, accommodation, stops, etc.
Got other concerns not addressed on this page? Shoot an email to the Ultimate Train Challenge team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any other questions about this ultimate travel bucket list journey.
Now: are you READY for this? Take the plunge, explore your world, HELP A CHARITY! And don’t forget to use the code MA13UTC to get $30 off the registration fee 😉
JOIN US NOW
This sounds like so much fun!