Are you that friend who’s always sending texts peer-pressuring your friends to jump on $250 flights to Thailand? Are you the person on the airplane smugly smiling to yourself because you know you paid less than the poor sucker sitting next to you?
When you saw this tool from MIT that shows you the cheapest flights from your home airport, did you bookmark it immediately and use it as your cheap-flight bible?
Okay, champion of cheap vacations. Let’s see how good your budget travel planning skills really are. Escape, the global travel search engine behind that insane flight tool, wants to see who, in fact, is the world’s best at finding flight deals — and it will give $10,000 to whoever comes out on top.
From now until March 15, you can go to Escape’s website and plan a trip that stops in every continent except for Antarctica. The idea here is to plan the trip as cheaply as possible, scouring for the best deals to get you all around the world. The 25 people who plan the cheapest trips will win free flights up to $500, and the grand champion will get 10,000 smackers to spend on their own global adventure.
To add a little sense of competition to your trip planning, Escape also offers a real-time leaderboard, so you can see how your flight search skills stack up. It’s a little like a Peloton class, with inspiration that doesn’t involve a sweat towel.
When March 15 rolls around, whoever has the cheapest six-continent trip planned gets the $10,000. So get your clicking fingers ready, flight-search mavens. The time you “waste” at work daydreaming about travel may pay more than your job if you’re good enough. And even if you’re not, you’ll at least learn how seeing the world is a lot easier than you think.