A Dream Holiday Win: A Week In Crete

Thanks to the very generous people at Silver Travel Advisor and Simpson Travel, we’ve just spent an amazing week in Western Crete at the GK Beach Hotel.  As you know, I’m a keen comper and I always have my suitcase packed for my next trip, so I was able to combine my travel experience with my comping hobby by adding several reviews onto the Silver Trip Advisor website and I ended up bagging this wonderful prize.

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First thing first.  Let me tell you about the first class pre-departure service we received from Simpson Travel.  A personal booking service, the offer of car hire or private transfer to our hotel, a generous 20kg luggage allowance each, proper luggage labels and meet and greet at Chania airport on arrival with a cool bottle of water.

On arrival at GK Beach we were met by Chris and Sev, our Simpson Travel reps who showed us personally to our junior suite (room 1A) and gave us a run down of the facilities.  It was fabulous to have such a personal touch.  Simpson Travel also provided us with a gift of Cretan honey, lavender oil and some oregano (handy for those Greek salads).  As we were on a B&B basis, they also provided a very generous 50 euro voucher towards dinner and drinks at the hotel.


The hotel is small and friendly.  All the communal space is outdoor and is, in the main, shared with the general public (with the exception of the pool and certain designated sitting areas and sunbeds for Simpson Travel guests only).


Our room was bright and spacious with a mini kitchen area so we were able to knock up a quick lunch…..well, until, that is we discovered the village bakery at Kalyves, then it was pies all the way (spinach, feta, potato and burger!).


Breakfast was an absolute delight and included Greek yoghurt, thyme honey from the owner’s hives, feta cheese, a selection of fruit and veg, a cooked selection (eggs, bacon etc), pastries, excellent quality coffee, freshly squeezed orange juice, PG Tips, and the yummiest sourdough bread.


The location of GK Beach couldn’t be better.  It is right on the beach, five minutes to the local supermarket and 20 minutes walk to the centre of Kalyves with its many tavernas and shops (oh and the aforementioned bakery).

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We dined at GK a couple of evenings. The food is fresh and made to order.  We both had this very tasty sea bream.


We spent our days walking into the town which has a lovely little harbour, mooching about and generally doing nothing.  There is of course much to see in and around the Souda Bay area, but as we are in the process of moving house, we just wanted to chill out.


The evenings we didn’t spend at the hotel, we tried some of the local tavernas.  In Provlita, right on the seafront, I had the most delicious lamb chops I have ever tasted in my life. The Greek salad served there was a jewelled masterpiece too!




My favourite thing to do the whole week, was to sit under this tree in the main square in Kalyves, reading my book, and drinking coffee.


We had a fabulous break!  Thanks so much to Silver Travel Adviser and Simpson Travel for such a wonderful experience.  Crete has worked its magic on us.  We submitted to the gentle pace of life and have come home refreshed and ready to move house!




My Latest Win: Artwork

I was delighted to be the winner of Veggie Desserts competition for £100 of artwork from Desenio


My bathroom needed an update and bearing in mind what’s been going on in my life lately I decided to go for something unashamedly girly (sorry Steve) and uplifting.

The quote ‘Make Your Dreams Happen’ refers to my desire to get on with my travel wish list which includes Marrakesh, Iceland, Berlin and Budapest.

The tutu reflects my wish to see Swan Lake.

All of these things will be achieved I can assure you!  In the meantime, I think the bathroom is looking pretty swish don’t you?


Winning Competitions

I started entering competitions just over two years ago when my heart was playing up, simply because it took my mind off it.  I really didn’t expect to win anything, but after six weeks of entering, I won a lovely lingerie set and from then I was hooked.

Courvoisier Prize
Courvoisier Prize

I’ve been quite successful, winning holidays, beauty products, theatre tickets, books and garden bits and bobs, so I thought I’d share some top tips:

  1. Don’t expect to win.  Just enter and forget about it.   See the ‘entering’ part as rewarding and fun.
  2. Use various entry methods.  I’ve been equally successful with Facebook, Twitter and online.  Not at all successful with postal so I don’t do it any more and just one win on Pinterest.  I never text or pay to enter.  I never do daily or click to win comps.  I do some rafflecopters but some have so many entry methods I get bored and don’t do them all.
  3. Use one source for your competitions so you can track what you’ve entered.  I use Money Saving Expert.
  4. Give back.  If I find a new competition I haven’t seen on MSE, I add it so that others can have a go too.
  5. Don’t think ‘I’ll never win a holiday’. Just have a go.  You have to be in it to win it.
  6. I have no ‘system’.  I just randomly enter competitions when I feel like it.  Just be aware you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you meet a prince.  So enter lots!
  7. I cherry pick things I’d love to win and generally ignore things like TVs, DVDs, computers etc.  as they don’t float my boat.  I enjoy entering comps for beauty products, books, theatre tickets, holidays, clothes and garden things.
  8. My dream prize would be a duck egg blue camper van for me to act out my hippie fantasy life!
  9. I accept that my inbox will be full of marketing emails  Some I read, some I don’t.
  10. I enjoy the challenge of competitions that require skill e.g. having to write something about a product.  Generally these are the most rewarding in terms of success,

I’ve made some great friends through comping and done things I would never have dreamed of.  I never know what will pop into my inbox or what the postie will bring, so life is never dull!  Thanks Angela for introducing me to this fun hobby.

If you would like to have a go yourself and see some of the competitions I enter, you are welcome to follow me on Twitter @flowerpowerlife