Marriott Gift Card Contest

by CajunMama

I’m so excited about seeing all the other Mamas today at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino that I went to check out Marriott’s new forum for rewards members to find what great things there are to do in San Juan, Puerto Rico. One member, CorpTraveler, says, “We were referred to a local Puerto Rican restaurant on Tapia Ave. in San Juan. La Casita Blanca was one of the most enjoyable experiences in nearly three years of travel to the island.  Genuine home cooking, and a gracious host. Located in a seldom visited area of San Juan, it was safe, and parking was available.”

This is just one of the many tips you can pick up on Marriott Rewards Insiders, where members share candid travel advice and informed opinions about the rewards program, along with their intimate knowledge of the Marriott family of hotels and resorts.

To celebrate the launch of the Marriott website and our annual girlfriend getaway to the San Juan Marriott Resort &  Stellaris Casino, we’ve teamed up with Marriott to offer one lucky Traveling Mamas reader a Marriott $100 gift card to put towards your stay at any Marriott property!  To enter, simply leave your favorite travel tip in the comments section below. (We also highly suggest you share your travel knowledge with the folks at the Marriott Rewards Insiders forum, too!)

Contest ends Tuesday, March 31, at midnight (EST). We’ll announce the winner on Winning Wednesday. Normal contest rules apply (US Citizen, none of our mothers can enter, etc)

Good luck and feel free to leave tips about San Juan that we can use during our stay this week. We’re still searching for local restaurants to sample and where to find the hottest spots to dance the night away – hey, no kids to worry about on this trip! We’ll be livin’ la vida loca

Shannon Hurst Lane lives in south Louisiana and loves spontaneous road trips with her family or a solo mama getaway. She's the creator of with a mission to inspire moms to get out there and explore our world. Google+
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1 Sara March 25, 2009 at

My best travel tip is to pack a few outfits for each person in each suitcase you bring. That way if your luggage is lost you still have an outfit or swim suit!! This is one tip I learned the hard way on a trip to Maui and I had no clothes and swim suit for 4 days!! UGH!!

2 Aprille - The Muddled! March 25, 2009 at

Lets see….. when I fly I always check before booking my seat on the plane. You can check all the available seats to find the very best one on your plane. Also, a mom tip, crayola makes triangular shaped crayons – prevents rolling on the plane where you can never reach or in the car.

3 FaithfulPraise March 25, 2009 at

I have two tips. First, always check tripadvisor on a few joints to grab a bite. This will help you get a great meal and not have to ask around for all your restaurants. I have had some great meals from checking reviews before landings in a city.
Second, Bookstores sell those activity books w/ little suction cups and colorful pipe cleaners and punch out cardboard designs to make little creatures. Kids can decorate their window. This came in handy when we sat on the tarmac for 2 hrs. He decorated up a storm and got so many compliments as people exited the plane when we finally got to the gate.

4 Lori_B March 25, 2009 at

My favorite area of San Juan is the Paseo de la Princesa – the boulevard in Old San Juan down by the cruise ships. It is like a meeting places for the locals; everyone is there – it is fun to watch the boys and girls promenade past each other . Food and crafts for sale, music playing. My last visit was just before Christmas, and the decorations added to the ambiance.

P.S. I love the Marriott too – I have stayed there twice, and can’t wait to go back!

5 Susan Lanier-Graham March 25, 2009 at

When you’re traveling, make sure you pack a couple of larger plastic bags in your luggage (small trashcan size). That way, when you buy those bottles of wine (or rum in San Juan) you can tuck each one in a plastic bag before rolling them in your clothes. Then, if something happens to break, you won’t get the wine all over your clothes.

6 Pat Viser March 25, 2009 at

I like to check with the local convention and visitors bureaus, look at the websites for the state or country and also use trip advisor for meal suggestions, especially close to your hotel. Asking friends on Twitter can also help.

7 Sara M March 25, 2009 at

I have a few tips…make several copies of your passport, driver’s license, etc. Stash them in a few different pieces of your luggage. Email a copy to yourself, as well. If all else fails, you can use the copy off of your email account. Before you leave, find out where the US Embassy or Consulate is in the country that you are visiting. Always good to know. Don’t pack anything in your checked luggage that you can’t live without…jewelry, a camera, medication, eye glasses, sentimental items. You may never see them again. Lastly, if you can’t lift your own luggage, it’s too heavy. Especially the carry on. Make sure you can lift it over your head in to the over head bin on your own. Thanks!

8 jeanne williams March 25, 2009 at

My best travel tip for traveling mamas is to always, always solicit help of many kinds from strangers & staff and you’ll often be surprised at people’s generosity! For example, we’ve had: airline personnel go way out of their way to help us get a free, extra seat for our under-two-year-old’s (lap child’s) car seat; hotel staff give us a free upgrade to a larger room to better fit the pack-n-play; waiters get us complimentary small plate of sliced cheese and crackers for the little one; and three strangers help me get all my baby gear onto a plane when I was traveling alone. Be bold! Just ask and you shall (usually) receive.

9 Hanni March 26, 2009 at

When traveling by air, always pack an extra pair of underpants, a toothbrush and some wet wipes in your carry-on. that way, if your luggage is lost or your flight delayed overnight, you will have some creature comforts.

10 Women Who Win March 26, 2009 at

When flying, I always bring a neck pillow. It sucks to start a vacation with an achy neck and back. I also am always careful to bring ziplock bags, a phone card just in a case, and extra room for treasures! :) –Michelle, blogattoday (^-at) gmaildotcom

11 Sharlene March 26, 2009 at

Take the amount of diapers you would normally use during the span of your trip and then double it. I don’t kow why but kids always “go” more on vacation!

12 Nancy D. Brown March 27, 2009 at

My favorite travel tip is to always make time for Girl Friend Getaways. Especially to places like San Juan Marriott Resort. So jealous. Have a mojito for me.

I’m off to So Cal with another mother/daughter duo to check out colleges during Spring Break. Wish me luck! Adios.

13 Greg March 27, 2009 at

When checking into a hotel, always ask the clerk if they can give you a free upgrade. You’d be surprised how often they say yes.

14 Amy March 27, 2009 at

Well, my weird little tip is to pack enough underwear for each day, if not enough to have 2 pairs for some days. I always pack more pairs than actual clothes, and so maybe you wear a few outfits once or twice, but having fresh underwear each day (that you didn’t have to take time out on your trip washing) makes all the difference. Plus they take up so little room in the bags that you’re saving space instead of packing tons of outfits.

Also, if I’m checking a bag, I pack the cheap clothes/workout pieces in the checked bag, and roll up the nice clothes and stick ‘em in my backpack. Just me being paranoid in case the bag gets lost. I’d rather lose lots of cheap clothes than my nice shirts!

15 Shawna March 27, 2009 at

My best travel tip is to pack some different sized ziploc baggies. I’ve used them for things like keeping a passport & train tickets from getting wet from the rain, putting a wet bathing suit in, protecting a camera from rain and putting some food in from the free hotel breakfast (shh!). I usually put about 3 of these in my suitcase when I travel and I always find a good use for them!

16 Jenn March 27, 2009 at

I always pack a few new books for my kids & also hit the dollar store for some things to keep the kids occupied. Also, I put some old home movies on my laptop. Kids always seem to like to watch themselves.

17 Carol Margolis March 28, 2009 at

I never eat at a chain restaurant during my travels that can also be found at home. I love to eat local foods, meet local people and wander a bit off the tourist venues (keeping safety in mind). I like to keep my journal with me so that I can write down the exciting things I discover on each visit. I have found that when I focus on gratitude for being able to travel, and joy in finding out local tidbits, that any travel ‘issues’ tend to disappear or be very manageable.

18 Amber's Crazy Bloggin' Canuck March 28, 2009 at

I always, always, always pack an extra change of clothes for my kids and me. Without fail, one of us has some disaster strike en route! I am also a big fan bringing new, inexpensive toys from the dollar store. By the time the novelty wears off, we are usually at our destination.

Another big one is be flexible. I always thoroughly research my destination but since having kids, I play my itinerary by ear. If someone is tired, we’ll skip that museum and stay closer to the hotel. Or if there is a new activity we stumble upon and had not planned, we definitely go for it.

Also, plan age-appropriate activities. When my kids were 3 and 1, we went to Mexico. Before having kids, I would want to see and do it all. But when they were that little, we rarely left the resort and it was marvelous!

19 susan bowman March 30, 2009 at

My tip is to research as much as possible for a smooth trip.

20 Ellen L March 30, 2009 at

Make sure you pack enough food to bring on your flight. Many times the airline will run out of food before they get to your row.

P.S. Marriott bed are awesome!

21 Rose O. March 30, 2009 at

I always pack plastic trash bags to use for dirty laundry or wet items like bathing suits.

22 Dawna Schneider March 30, 2009 at

This is a great place to stay. All the neat things to use and have.

23 Serge B March 30, 2009 at

Try to fly with just carry ons for short trips, its much easier to get out of the airport, and no one loses your luggage.

24 Nanette Olson March 30, 2009 at

I try to pack clothes for different kinds of weather that could be experienced at my destination. I pack some for warm weather and some for cold and rainy weather.

25 LindaD March 30, 2009 at

Learn as much as you can beforehand about what is within walking distance of your hotel. Study a map and try to remember as much as possible so you are not walking and fussing with a map at the same time.

26 Laura March 30, 2009 at

My tip is that with all the lost luggage these days, split your clothes between suitcases. That way if one bag goes missing you still have things to wear!
In San Juan we love, love Danny’s International. It is a short walk from the Marriott and has yummy food.
Also, if you are a rum drinker, Don Q is what the locals prefer over Bacardi.

27 SANDY March 30, 2009 at

double check all reservations, send yourself the information along with important numbers of cc, and copies in case something happens so you can pop it can also send a copy to an immediate family member or close friend you trust that way if something happens. have an extra bag insode the suitcase to put dirty clothes and extras so its separate.

28 Angie P. March 30, 2009 at

Lots of travel tips, but my personal favorite is to split clothing among all suitcases for all people, so when you luggage doesn’t make it to the destination, you still have clothes for everyone.

29 Lynda C March 30, 2009 at

I pack an outfit for each person in each suitcase and anything I might think is essential (like swimming suits and an extra pair of underwear) in the carryon. If things get lost, at least you have clean underwear!

30 Elizabeth S. March 30, 2009 at

My tip (for warm weather vacations) is to throw some ice, and a wash cloth, into a double plastic sandwich baggie and use the wash cloth to wipe your face or lay it on the back of our neck to cool off. That wash cloth was a blessing after walking those steep hills of San Juan.

By the way, our favorite spot in San Juan, PR was Senor Frogs.

Thanks for the chance

31 Cynthia Hagood March 30, 2009 at

My tip for warm weather is dress in light weight clothing and open toe shoes. Carry water with you.

32 Emilie S March 30, 2009 at

My tip is don’t keep all of your money/traveler’s checks/ credit cards in the same place!!! Keep something hidden away, in the horrible case the rest of it goes missing…

33 SoulMomma March 30, 2009 at

I always make an Itenerary, with all important, information. reservations, telephone #’s to hot spots, to keep us on task, it helps out so very much. It is like having Conceriege at your fingertips, I always give a copy to my travel partner.

34 Carol March 30, 2009 at

My husband is home ill today, and it works out great because I want to enter this contest and he has been to Puerto Rico many times! He says the Chart House has a beautiful view of the ocean. He also suggested this website, he accesses it for events!:

35 Lisa Schroeder March 30, 2009 at

My favorite tip is to always pack ziplock bags, in every size. With toddlers who never fiish a meal, then ask for a snack 10 minutes later, the leftovers are much neater in a ziplock rather then a styrofoam box!
The ziplocks also come in handy for wet suits, towels, etc, etc!!!

36 Heather m March 30, 2009 at

I don’t travel too much, so I really don’t have any tips, but Would love to win this for a weekend get-a-way somewhere!! Thanks

37 Kelly March 30, 2009 at

My tip while traveling is to take along a emergency radio. You can buy one that is very compact in size works great and inexpensive. It’s better to be prepared in case the need for it arrives.

Thank you

38 hetal g March 30, 2009 at

keep plenty of health foods like fruits, smoothies, juices on hand. Also be prepared to listen to same CD over and over again if you have kids in the car:). I haven’t been to San Juan but have fun with your friends.thanks for the great give away. I can use it at our next vacation.

39 ella dick March 30, 2009 at

i have three tips to share. probably not earthshattering but stuff i always follow. 1. i always pack extra undies in my carryon. that way if something gets lost, well you know. 2. i always put all my toiletries, like shampoo and shower gel (anything liquid) in a ziplock/freezer bag. that way if they burst or spill i don’t have shampoo covered clothes. and 3. i always pack a plastic shopping bag to put my dirty clothes in.that way when i am going home they aren’t rubbing against whatever is clean in my luggage. thanks for the chance to win!

40 Stevey March 30, 2009 at

Always have extra plastic bags packed for dirty clothes and have wet wipes handy to keep the whole family to keep them germ free.

41 Elizabeth S March 30, 2009 at

My favorite travel tip is to double bag your toiletries! Even before we were required to pack them in a quart-sized bag, I always carried toothpaste, hair spray, etc. inside a plastic zipper bag and preferably two. It’s saved me more than once from a big mess inside my bag when my hair spray leaks because of pressure changes on the flight. (And I had to learn that the hard way.) It’s also a good idea to bring along a couple of spare bags because they tend to get beat up when you’re carrying them around, and bags with holes aren’t much more good than no bags at all.

42 Steven Rupp March 30, 2009 at

Absolutely must pack a small travel iron – because no matter how neat of a packer you are, and how careful, your clothes WILL get wrinkled!!!

43 Nicole Blair March 30, 2009 at

I have 2 traveling tips:
Always pack a change of clothes on your carry on if you have a connecting flight. I learned the hard way and went 2 days with no luggage or the car seat. Luckily, the airline provided a car seat. My other tip for HAVE FUN!!!

44 Doug March 30, 2009 at

I always roll all of our clothes to reduce wrinkling.

45 Laura G March 30, 2009 at

Always pack a change of clothes for each person in each suitcase and small iron when you travel.

46 j w larkin March 30, 2009 at

I always go online and check out the city where I”m going. If there’s time, I like to go to the convention/visitor’s bureau and get stuff from them too. Why waste time when you’re already there getting the lay of the land when you can be ready to hit the streets running as soon as you arrive?

47 c. clemens March 30, 2009 at

my tip is always bring some extra cash, or a credit card. in case of emergency expenses.

48 cathi rushing March 30, 2009 at

take extra cash and hide it well!

49 Kelly Jones March 30, 2009 at

my tip: i always pack light no matter where i go. this way i have extra room for souvenirs. i figure i can always wear something i buy and if i have to, i can always have the hotel do laundry for me.

50 Angela J March 30, 2009 at

Bundle a days wear together for easy unpacking, and pack some eassentials in more than one bag so you’ll have what you need if one bag gets lost.

51 Tammy Darling March 30, 2009 at

Pack extra medication in a seperate bag, if one gets lost or stolen, you still have your meds.

52 Krystle March 30, 2009 at

My favorite travel trip was driving from Florida to Alaska. Seattle is my favorite city!!

53 Gail Zambie March 30, 2009 at

Have a change of clothes in your carry-on bag and do some research of the area prior to the trip. You can request free brochures and review them before the trip.

54 Denise March 30, 2009 at

I always scour the web for deals. Some of the best places to look are blogs (like this!).

55 Miranda Allen March 30, 2009 at

My tip is dont worry to much have fun

56 PJ Coleman March 30, 2009 at

Check the price for mailing (UPS, USPS or FedEx) your clothes ahead to your hotel. With all the FEES airlines are hitting you with it’s often cheaper and then you also do not have to wait for the plane to be unloaded. Your luggage is waiting for you at your hotel.

57 Kaye Knight March 30, 2009 at

I try to take extra wet ones that you clean your eyeglasses with…they are great for cleaning your hands, lens on a camera, window so you can see out of the plain.

58 Deb K March 30, 2009 at

My favorite travel trip is make sure that you have all your meds in your carry on as many times the airport has lost my luggage and I had to scramble to get replacements.

59 Suzila March 30, 2009 at

Take a power plug with you…you never know if your destination has enough electrical outlets.

Thanks for offering this contest!

60 Jennifer Jones March 30, 2009 at

Always make sure someone who is NOT traveling with you knows where you are at all times. Make sure you have phone or email check in times with this person while you are away. That way, if you don’t check in at your specified time every day, that person can start to look for you to make sure everything is ok.

61 Joe P March 30, 2009 at is the BEST place to find cheap airfare, hotel and car rentals. It takes all of the online travel agecies (Orbitz, Travelocity, etc) and finds the best rate.

62 Lisa L March 30, 2009 at

The best tours in old San Juan.
If I went with you ladies, I’d like to do this :o )
You will have a blast if you do it!

63 susan varney March 30, 2009 at

space your clothes out in more than one case . in case some of them get lost

64 Ann Fantom March 30, 2009 at

Place a mix of everyone’s clothing in the family, in each suitcase (Including carry on). THat way if a suit case gets lost, every one will have some clean underware and something to wear.

65 wendy wallach March 30, 2009 at

always carry small, travel sizes of anti-bacterial cleansers; you never know when you may need to clean your hands!

madamerkf at aol dot com

66 Danielle March 30, 2009 at

Always have a carry-on with an extra change of clothes!

67 Elaine March 30, 2009 at

When traveling always take ear plugs and eye mask in case you get a noisy, sunny room to get a good nights sleep and always remember to take your phone charger when you check out as that is the most common item left behind in a hotel room.

68 adrienne Gordon March 30, 2009 at

Don’t pack any hba, it will be provided when you get to your hotel, just ask.

69 she March 30, 2009 at

1. ALWAYS use to learn about the hotel and area you’ll be staying in.

2. Always bring $1.00s and small toys for the maids to give to their kids. They appreciate it!

70 JudyZ March 30, 2009 at

I always roll my clothes. They take up less room and they don’t get as wrinkled.

71 Gayle March 30, 2009 at

Ziploc bags always come in handy when travelling, especially with children.

72 desiree kelley March 30, 2009 at

I bring a first aid kit

73 Theresa Shafer March 30, 2009 at

Have current photos of each other, it helps when traveling in foreign country.

74 Margaret Smith March 30, 2009 at

When traveling, I find it easy to first have a list for packing. Then, it’s great to get info before traveling about site seeing places, maps, etc and have a little idea of what you really want to see.
Thanks so much and please enter me.

75 Denise March 30, 2009 at

I begin making a list of things to take weeks or months ahead of time, so I can’t possibly forget anything.

76 Stephanie V March 30, 2009 at

When traveling with babies and toddlers, try to fly during the night when they would naturally sleep. Makes for easier flight.

77 Dawn S March 30, 2009 at

My travel tip is when you are looking online for the best price you must make sure you clean out your browsing history and cookies because even if there is a cheaper price you may default to one previous looked at that is a higher price.

78 christopher h March 30, 2009 at

its hard to replace prescription meds while on vacation, so pack double, half in your bag, half in your spouse’s

79 Michael Oelrich March 30, 2009 at

When we took a cruise out of San Juan we arranged to take a tour of the El Yunque rainforest before our return flight. It was like stepping into Jurasic Park! Enormous bromeliads shrouded with mist made one feel that a T. Rex might be around the next corner!

80 Heather S March 30, 2009 at

Leave room for the souveniers you will bring back.

81 laurie j March 30, 2009 at

always take your medications in your carry on so that they don’t get lost

82 marci p March 30, 2009 at

As someone who lives in Florida, don’t come down here in the summer if you want to go to the parks. It’s too hot and lines are long. Come in Feb-April (before spring break). Lines are shorter and prices are MUCH cheaper and our weather is great

83 Tammy March 30, 2009 at

Oh my favorite travel tip….make sure you always take your own pillow and blanket for the car rides. And remember to charge your camera batteries, have snacks and drinks in the car. This makes traveling cheaper.

84 Geoff K March 30, 2009 at

I hate opening a suitcase to find my clothes a wrinkled mess, so my favorite tip is something my mom taught me long ago: the “interlocking method” of folding clothes. Overlap two items of clothing and fold them into each other so that each piece cushions the other. Placing a piece of tissue paper between each layer of clothing will also help prevent wrinkling. I also like to think chronologically, so I pack items I’ll need earlier on the trip on top and my return flight clothes at the bottom. Have a great time!

85 ron March 30, 2009 at

great prize

bring the rum back tax free

86 Jennifer Elliott March 30, 2009 at

Neat thanks for the chance! this may sound simple, but is quite important-If you are a sitter, get a window seat, if you are a walker or small bladdered person, get an aisle seat!

87 HOPE TEICH March 30, 2009 at


88 ky2here March 30, 2009 at

Wear loose fitting clothing and shoes. Don’t eat or drink too much before flying.

89 Lisa Kielas March 30, 2009 at

I always make a “fun bag” for my kids to take on plane rides. I put a few healthy snack options in there, like raisens or a granola bar. I get a few dollar store stores. I also buy a few new books for them. Having toys & books that are new to them seems to really keep their attention. I also add a pack of diaper/hand wipes for their hands and mouths.

90 jayne March 30, 2009 at

Make sure you double check your reservations AND bring comfy shoes~~

91 Kiki March 30, 2009 at

My tip is to always over-pack just a little. An extra change of clothes to make you feel like you have a “choice” in what you wear for the day can make all the difference in the quality of your vacation!

ParkingGoddessFTW at gmail dot com

92 Andrea March 30, 2009 at

Flushable toddler wipes are the best for small messes and can be flushed so they are easy to discard. I keep them in my car and purse.

93 Melanie W March 30, 2009 at

My favorite travel tip is to pack a change of clothes, underwear, and a bathing suit in a carryon just in case your bag is missing or late. That way you can still enjoy the sun and not be stuck inside waiting for your bag to arrive! Have a great trip and thanks for the contest! piggymel85 at yahoo dot com

94 Sandy M March 30, 2009 at

Comfortable shoes … make sure they are shoes that support your feet (flip-flops are a bad idea).

95 hazel hunt March 30, 2009 at


96 Marcia Goss March 30, 2009 at

We keep a tote bag packed for car trips with a blanket, first aid kit, binoculars,plastic bags,and other stuff we may need on a long car trip.

97 Annie Pennella March 30, 2009 at

Might as well make your $15 dollar check bag fee worth it… Pack liquor or a bottle of wine to bring with you for the room!

98 Lindsay March 30, 2009 at

Look for FREE or pay what you want admission days at museums. I always find great deals, and you actually learn something on vacation

99 Pamela S March 30, 2009 at

My favorite travel trip is to pick two or three colors and pack clothes in that color combo so that you can mix and match!!

100 Kathleen C March 30, 2009 at

If hubby and I are traveling to a family member, we put that address in our luggage in case luggage tag gets lost.

101 Holly March 30, 2009 at

If you wear perscription glasses, bring a copy of your prescription, just in case you lose or break yours1

102 Catherine copeland March 30, 2009 at

My travel advice would be to make sure you pack things to distract young travelers. bring extra diapers and formula just in case there are unexpected layovers

103 Carlo March 30, 2009 at

I always pack an extra change of clothes, including socks and underwear, in my carryon when I’m checking in luggage. This way, if the checked-in bag is “misplaced”, I can at least have a clean outfit on while I wait for the bag or go shopping for new clothes!

104 Kendra March 30, 2009 at

it’s been so long since I have traveled lol !! but the handy travel size items are great and the dramimine for travel sickness if needed and they have natural ones at the health food stores with no drowsy side effects

105 Jim March 30, 2009 at

Always, always be nice to people. (Cab drivers, airport workers, taxi drivers, desk clerks, etc.) You’ll be surprised how a few kind words can open people up to help you when you need it. Also, they have a lot of tips on where to go and where to eat.

Second, check on the cost of a limo vs a cab. I have had a lot of occasions when the limo service has been cheaper. And it is always a more pleasant ride.


106 chris v March 30, 2009 at

drive at night if you have kids

107 Pam T March 30, 2009 at

I always take some instant coffee and make my own in the room. Some rooms don’t have coffee makers and if you drink alot of coffee it can get expensive at usually 3-5 dollars a cup from the hotel.

108 Debbie March 30, 2009 at

Leave the kids with the grandparents and enjoy some much need couple time with the Marriott Bed n Breakfast program.

109 Valerie March 30, 2009 at

I pack one suitcase with snacks I can enjoy in room in the Marriott. Then on the way home I pack the suitcase with items to take home for gifts.

110 Pamela Brigance March 30, 2009 at

We always book ahead and Courtyard Marriott is our favorite — THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY !!!!!

111 Jacob LaFountaine March 30, 2009 at

Don’t be so busy. Let things happen and enjoy yourself

112 nicole March 30, 2009 at

My favorite tip is for people who will be staying for a few days somewhere with big family..check and see if that city offers the go pass. It enables you to pay a blanket price per person and you can visit the tons of attractions on the list as many times as you want. We found we save A great deal of money this way.

113 james mabry March 30, 2009 at

My favorite is Anaheim-Marriot

114 mitchell h March 30, 2009 at

my travel tip is that if you are checking luggage – always pack some clothes in your carry on, in case your luggage gets lost. thanks! (

115 Renee C. March 30, 2009 at

A few suggestions: 1. Be prepared to barter, it is the custom 2. Learn a few key spanish phrases, they usually know a bit of English but they will be less likely to try to take advantage if the gringos make an effort… i.e. Habla un poco espanol… donde esta una restaurante bueno, or cuantos pesos… A great website 3. You will find the restaurants that are “off the beaten path” to have the most authentic food, go to these during the afternoon for lunch and stay at the closer more touristy places after dark.

Good luck, and thanks for the contest!

116 shannon Baas March 30, 2009 at

Don’t overpack.

117 Chrysa March 30, 2009 at

Stick to one color theme for your clothing so that you can mix and match your outfits.

118 stephanie fuller March 30, 2009 at

My travel tip is to pack your medications, expensive electronics, IDs, toothbrush/basic toiletries, and change of clothes (or at the very least, change of underwear) in your carry-on. If all your luggage is lost (as mine was once) at least you have your most necessary items.

119 Isaac A. March 30, 2009 at

My travel tip is, I always pack my own sheets and pillow cases. Even if you stay in a 5 star hotel, sometimes the used sheets can be gross. I saw a story on 20/20, they used a black light on the sheets.

120 Karen M March 30, 2009 at

Travel trip – if you are flying call the airlines before you leave for the airport to check your flight.

121 Djp March 30, 2009 at

this would be so wonderful

122 Jillian Veit March 30, 2009 at

I always make sure I eat before I leave for the airport…it can be very expensive to buy a meal there.

123 Pamela Ray March 30, 2009 at

Research your trip before going to make everything stress free.

124 Steve Scott March 30, 2009 at

I always search for coupons for activities and dining before leaving home.

125 Felicia Shapiro March 30, 2009 at

Always pack light!

126 kay wolter March 30, 2009 at

Have not gone anywhere in 21 years but if I did I would pack super light there are Walmarts and others like it everywhere…smile a trip a vacation SMILE WOW

127 Rawson Coleman March 30, 2009 at

For long term trips, shop at a thrift or consignment store, and leave clothes behind after wearing them.

128 sunchicka March 30, 2009 at

Plan out you’re outfits and if possible reduce them by half.

129 Kathy S March 30, 2009 at

I go to a store like Target and buy travel size necessities like antiseptic wipes or gel, toothpaste, deoderant, a sewing kit, etc. When I’m returning home, I usually dispose of them at the hotel so I don’t have such a heavy bag to check at the airport because there’s always the dirty laundry and souvenirs.

130 Jessica Maurer March 30, 2009 at

In your carry on luggage, pack an extra outfit or two just in case your check in luggage gets lost. Just having an extra shirt or two helps. Also, I bring sample sizes of detergent & such on the trips to help save space.

131 Roxann March 30, 2009 at

Make sure you put all of your lotions, shampoos, conditioners, etc. into zip locking bags. This way if one of the bottles should come open in your suitcase you won’t have a mess to deal with before you can have any fun!

132 Angie O March 30, 2009 at

When traveling with kids, always be sure to have plenty of snacks!!

133 Edna March 30, 2009 at

I ALWAYS travel with a money belt. I treat it like a safe deposit box. My pockets/backpack only have the amount of cash I think I’ll use that day.

134 Christina W. March 30, 2009 at

Oh, this is too much for words!

135 Mir March 30, 2009 at

Have an open mind, take it easy and don’t overplan your time. It is nice to just relax and enjoy where you are at.
On the practical side – always have a photocopy of your passport (separate from the passport itself of course!) when travelling abroad.

136 Mia J. March 30, 2009 at

Always have a change of clothes in your carryon. When packing put your nicely folded t shirts in a gallon size ziplock bag and it keeps them wrinkle free.

137 Julie March 30, 2009 at

Before going on any trip, we google the destination and find out as much as possible. We make a list of what we may find on our trip. When we arrive at our destination, we turn one outing into a scavenger hunt. We take our list and divide into groups of 2 or 3 and mark off our finds as we go! The winner doesn’t have to pay for dinner! For our NYC trip, items on our list included famous buildings or sites, taxi, I heart NYC tees, a copy of The Voice, and neighborhoods (Little Italy, Chinatown, ect. Digital photos served as proof! It was a great way to see the city and get great photos!

138 Darcy B March 30, 2009 at

If you’re checking your bag put any must have items in your carry on -a change of clothes –if it takes you months to find a bathing suit put your suit in your carry on bag. Lost or delayed luggage can be a huge vacation killer. If you at least have a change of clothes and your necessities it won’t ruin your trip.

139 Michael Oelrich March 30, 2009 at

Carry sunscreen and take the time to actually read the directions on the back. A buddy of mine didn’t read the directions and ended up too sick to enjoy what was left of our vacation.

140 Michelle March 30, 2009 at

I always pack a few pairs of underwear in my carry-on in case my luggage goes missing. I also make sure I pack plastic bags for dirty laundry on my trip and a few safety pins for those clothing emergencies while I’m on vacation.

141 Autumn H. March 30, 2009 at

make sure you remember to put your meds, contacts, etc in your carry on!

autumn398 (at)

142 Rebecca Graham March 30, 2009 at

The week before you leave for your trip, clean up your house. Then when you come home tired from your vacation, you will have a nice clean house to come home to and won’t have to worry about cleaning up when you get back.

143 Lori Z. March 31, 2009 at

If driving and going with kids, leave after bathtime at night and drive all night. You may be a bit tired the first day, but it’s a very peaceful and much faster drive sans potty stops!

144 Jay F March 31, 2009 at

We just returned from our first car trip with Nintendo DS’s. No fighting between our kids for the first time. Yay.

145 mitchell h March 31, 2009 at

To keep your suitcase light, pack your most versatile clothes – the items that can mix and match easily across several different outfits. thanks! (

146 Christie March 31, 2009 at

I put all liquid or otherwise leak-possible items in big Ziploc bags so if they do leak the stuff is contained.

147 Erica C. March 31, 2009 at

I always have a change of clothes in my carry-on…just incase!

148 Connie G March 31, 2009 at

I always pack an extra fold-down bag inside our luggage. There is always more to bring back that we started with.

149 Pamela Callahan March 31, 2009 at

I always request travel information (maps, brochures) from the area I am visiting. These can usually be provided by the Chamber of Commerce or in larger areas, a tourist council.

150 Jen gersch March 31, 2009 at

roll clothing instead of folding while packing. It saves room

151 Carol March 31, 2009 at

My husband and I emailed the Visitors Bureau and got tons of great info….free!

152 angelface0821 March 31, 2009 at

I’ve never been to San Juan, but when traveling I always double-check that my boyfriend and I have our prescription medicine with us, as well as check ahead to see where we could fill one, should we lose one. And I make sure we have our medical cards in case of an emergency — I call the plan to see what we would do when out of state, or out of the country. Luckily we’ve never had to use this ‘benefit’, but I feel better knowing what we should do in case it pops up. Thanks!

153 Belinda March 31, 2009 at

I haven’t been there but I would suggest tucking tea and hot chocolate mix in you luggage. You can use the hot water from a coffe maker and make a in-room beverage instead of buying it.

154 marci p March 31, 2009 at

As bad as it sounds, if you are going overseas, read about any alerts from the gov web site. Many countries that folks think are ‘friendly’ such as Greece, have serious issues.
And never give kids money that are on the street.

155 susan bowman March 31, 2009 at

Pack light, we go to Europe with one rolling carry on and backpack each.

156 Sylvia Belle March 31, 2009 at

I keep a set of cosmetics, shampoos etc packed at all times. This speeds the packing process. Also I save clothes that are getting old to take on the trip and throw them away to make room for the gifts I buy.

157 HOPE TEICH March 31, 2009 at


158 Ben March 31, 2009 at

Make labels with the names and addresses of friends and family members. Bring them with you, stick them onto a postcard you like, and mail it. Don’t be stuck not having the addresses with you!

159 Lmay March 31, 2009 at

Bring one of those portable battery-powered chargers for your cell phone and keep it in your suitcase – you never know when you might forget or leave your charger!

160 pat March 31, 2009 at

roll the clothes in your suitcase and you will not have all the wrinkles

161 hetal g March 31, 2009 at

hide name and address tags in the bags.that thing helped catch a bag theif out of DFW.thanks

162 galena penrod March 31, 2009 at


163 Shelley Mitchell March 31, 2009 at

Roll clothing it saves tons of room when traveling.

164 LynnC March 31, 2009 at

I travel monthly for business and at least three times per year with the family. My best travel trip is plan carefully….don’t just throw things in the luggage at the last minute. Careful planning makes the trip so much easier.

165 Christine V March 31, 2009 at

ask if they can give you a free upgrade.

166 Andrea March 31, 2009 at

Research,Plan,Organize, and don’t stress out about the small stuff. Make traveling enjoyable!

167 Kelly March 31, 2009 at

gimmi,i got a hot date!

168 Angela in Ohio March 31, 2009 at

Don’t underestimate the power of the plastic zippered bag! They’re great for wet swimsuits, or keeping your toiletries from spilling into your suitcase. I always pack extras and find a use for them.

169 LindaD March 31, 2009 at

Leave a copy of your iterary, your passport data, and other important info with a family member at home in case of emergencies.

170 Nanette Olson March 31, 2009 at

My best tip is to plan your daily activities, but be flexible because some good opportunities can arise and you would miss some good things if you stick completely to your pland.

171 Laura March 31, 2009 at

Whenever we travel, especially outside the U.S., I always bring Charmin To Go toilet paper and toilet seat covers. They are compact and don’t take up much room, and have been a lifesaver at more than one rest stop.

I would also recommend checking out the San Juan Museum of Art. You can walk there from the Marriott (about 2 miles) and you encounter some lovely homes along the way.

172 Sheila March 31, 2009 at

My favorite travel tips is to definately learn about where you are going. Find things to do before hand and be prepared! Also I take 1-2 extra sets of clothes for each person going, I always end up a mess sometime during the trip!

173 Stephen Saunders March 31, 2009 at

Better to carry too much rather than too little.

174 Cynthia C March 31, 2009 at

Best advice I can give is to pack your bags, then remove about half of what you packed. Always travel light. Thanks for the giveaway.

175 Jennifer Jones March 31, 2009 at

Make sure you’ve made photocopies of your drivers license and credit cards. Leave them with a friend when you go on your trip. If you loose your purse or wallet while you are on vacation, you can call your friend for all the information.

176 Shae Dunton March 31, 2009 at

Do as much research as possible…have a ‘loose’ plan but leave yourself room to stray from the itinerary!

177 Michelle March 31, 2009 at

I pack dried food goods, like crackers, packaged cookies, granola bars etc, so that we can maybe have a light breakfast, a snack for lunch and then only really buy our dinner. I’d rather use our spending money on entertainment than super expensive meals.

178 Suzila March 31, 2009 at

Always take a power strip with you. You never know how many extra electrical outlets there will be at your destination.

179 Holly March 31, 2009 at

I also photo copy my passport and any credit cards I take and leave it with my son, just in case something happens I have the numbers!

180 Michael Goldberg March 31, 2009 at

Leave nothing to chance. Triple check everything!

181 connie s. March 31, 2009 at

Always keep clothes in your Carry on luggage!!

182 reeva March 31, 2009 at

Bring snacks with you!

183 allyson March 31, 2009 at

always make sure you have sun sceen

184 Heather S March 31, 2009 at

Bring lot and lots of water with you!

185 Frank Winter March 31, 2009 at

Have a check list of the things need to be done.

186 alicia wallace March 31, 2009 at

Best travel tip is to always pack outfits you can mix and match, in case you get stuck longer than expected.

187 Jennifer B. March 31, 2009 at

I always check previous reviews of hotels before I book. Also, when packing, put extra empty plastic ziploc bags in you luggage. They always come in handy. You can keep things dry and sand free at beaches and pool or protect your luggage from potential leakages of your cosmetics.

188 jackie passerini March 31, 2009 at

Plenty of snacks, diapers, toys for the kiddies. If they’re miserable, we’re miserable. Also make frequent stops and let them run like mad!

189 Susan C March 31, 2009 at

My travel tip is to pack healthy snacks so you don’t have to eat the salty airplane food. Also take a good book to pass the time.

190 Carol March 31, 2009 at

There is a wonderful Marriot resort near Petoskey Mi. on Lake Michigan This would cetainly make it more affordable.

191 Linda March 31, 2009 at

Check ahead of time on line at the visitor & convention site for the city you are going to. When traveling by car be sure to stop at the visitors center for that state or city , you can find some good material and sometimes coupons for the area you will be visiting.

192 Katharine D March 31, 2009 at

My travel tip is to book the earliest flight you can in the day. That way you can usually get in the air and out of the way of the delays and cancellations that can build up during the day. This is especially true in the warmer months when thunderstorms build as the day heats. Also if you are there early you know if there will be a total shut down of flights and you can grab a hotel room at the airport instead of being stuck.

193 PJ Coleman March 31, 2009 at

Check for restaurant websites where you’re going and sign-up for their memberships. Often they email you coupons for free items.

194 tanya March 31, 2009 at

Pack every necessity and at least one change of clothes, plus beachwear in your carry on. That way of your main luggage is lost or delayed, you won’t have toi spend your forst day of vacation shopping for replacements. Also leave a copy of your passports with someone at home and stash an extra copy in your luggage.

195 Trisha R. March 31, 2009 at

When I travel I pack everything that could possibly leak in gallon size zip lock bags, even if we’re just driving. All it takes is one leak to ruin a whole vacation!

196 Amber G March 31, 2009 at

My favorite travel tip is to always have water and snacks on hand! You never know when somebody wil be hungry/thirsty.

197 JudyZ March 31, 2009 at

If there’s enough time, I like to request info from my destination, such as maps, brochures, coupons, etc.

198 Shelley Mitchell March 31, 2009 at

My daughter is in competitive cheerleading. This gift card would really come in handy since we have to travel alot. My best tip would be to roll your clothes in your suitcases – you can save a lot of room this way.

199 Terri L March 31, 2009 at

I would suggest that if you are checking bags to either use luggage that is not blue, black, brown, red or green OR put something bright on the luggage to quickly identify it. It will make the baggage claim process much quicker and easier.

200 Linda Haberman March 31, 2009 at

pack some snacks for the room.

201 steadycat March 31, 2009 at

a good tip is to always allow extra time for unknown delays, both good and bad. this keeps the stress level down!

202 Xiomara S. Reina March 31, 2009 at

First tip, you must visit el Moro and wear a high SPF sun block. Most of the great overlooking areas are out int he sun. Do not forget a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes.

Second, dine out at El Viejo San Juan whent he sun is going down to enjoye the sunset and cool breeze. have a mojiot while you wait for your food-you are on vacation.

203 Joannie March 31, 2009 at

Here are my travel tips:
1. I only travel with a combination of red/black/white clothes so that every item can be worn with the other items. I lay everything out on the bed and make sure that the jacket goes with the pants, goes with the skirt, etc. By mixing and matching everything, you can have many combinations and options with very few items.

2. Always carry extra copies of your prescriptions with you in case your medicines are left behind in a hotel or your purse or tote bag gets lost or stolen.

3. Photocopy your credit cards, driver’s license, passport, etc. and place copies in a couple of safe places so you can prove your identify.

4. Stash an extra, different credit card in a safe place so you will be able to pay hotel bills, etc. in case your purse is stolen.

My purse was stolen while traveling in Alaska, and I learned some of the above the hard way!!

204 Maria March 31, 2009 at

Always keep a few freezer bags in case you need to store wet items or organize random small tidbits in your luggage.

205 paul haddock March 31, 2009 at

I travel with some clothes as carryon as my lugae always gets delayed

206 Kathy Scott March 31, 2009 at

Splurge – Life is short. Enjoy your vacation.

207 Denise Bentley March 31, 2009 at

ALWAYS pack a portable DVD, fully charged with multiple disks!

208 Susan Smith March 31, 2009 at

I use the internet to help plan my trip. I go to website of the city I’m going to so I can find information about sites to visit and maps of the area. They will answer any question you have and send you broshures to plan you trip.

209 Tiffany March 31, 2009 at

I’ve never been there and don’t travel often. My best tip is too not overpack, take mix and match outfits and save room for souveneirs and HAVE FUN!

210 Teresa L March 31, 2009 at

My travel tip is always do your research on the area restaurants. Check their ratings and reviews. Last thing you want to do while your away is get sick! Thanks for the awesome contest!!! :)

211 Angela J March 31, 2009 at

Pack light, even with wheels a heavy suitcase is hard to lug around.

212 Ann March 31, 2009 at

My favorite traveling tip to always remind others is to bring zip sealed sandwich baggies in various sizes including a few gallon ones. This has saved me time and time again from leaking bottles or to save papers/passport/tickets from getting wet. Some times you like to take a dip in the pool before you leave but don’t want a wet suit, you can put it in the bag until you get to the next place and let it dry out.

Also I pack a few grocery store plastic bags for bigger items.

213 Dawna Schneider March 31, 2009 at

put all your shampoo, conditioner in a plastic bottle and that way if they leak you are covered. also, save the bottles that they give you in the hotel and you can always re-fill them and save some money.

214 Simone March 31, 2009 at

Since you have children, I would suggest investing (about $15) in a pair of noise canceling headphones for kids. They work great when the little ones get stressed out – calms them right down. Thanks! thebubbledies(at)gmail(dot)com

215 April March 31, 2009 at

Trip advisor, Seatguru and Yapta…I highly recommend all three of these website when planning any trip. Make sure to pack laundry bags/trash bags for dirty clothes. Packing cubes work wonders for staying organized too and can be had cheap at ebags.

216 Christina G. March 31, 2009 at

My favorite travel tip is to pack light. Thanks for the giveaway!

217 Christina Gleason @ Cutest Kid Ever March 31, 2009 at

My best travel tip is to pack anything liquid or semi-liquid in plastic zipper bags. That way, when something leaks, it only leaks on the other toiletries in the bag… not everything in your suitcase. This has saved me a lot of trouble over the years!

218 Linda March 31, 2009 at

When road-tripping with your family, pack suitcases by day, not by person, and then have one toiletry bag that comes in each night. That way, you only have to drag two items into the hotel instead of four or five or six.

219 Randall Shirley March 31, 2009 at

My tip has to do with where you Mamas are right now, Puerto Rico. Here’s the tip:

Ask a local where you can eat the region’s most-unique gourmet cuisine, and then try it…no matter what it is.

In San Juan I found one of my all-time favorite restaurants that way, and I’m recommending the four of you go eat there. It’s called Ajili Mojili, and I’ve been back several times over the years to verify the quality. Phenomenal!

220 Justine March 31, 2009 at

My travel tip is to fly Virgin Airlines if you can, each seat has a touch screen and you can keep little ones and yourself easily occupied! Be sure to take headphones or you can pick them up on Virgin for only $2!!

221 Pamela Ray March 31, 2009 at

Don’t let your husband for get his socks!

222 Cara March 31, 2009 at

I always travel with some bare necessities in my carry-on. Underwear, toothbrush, makeup, etc. But now I also take a small neck pillow and lap blanket. I learned this lesson the hard way after a connecting flight was cancelled due to weather, and the airline put us in a rat trap hotel for the night. I ended up in a room with a bloodstained floor (I am sure of it) and a wet bed. when I called to get a new room, it was completely full so I ended up sleeping in the bathtub. If I ever have to spend another night in a bathtub, I’m at least prepared.

223 dianne Martinez March 31, 2009 at

Oh I need a vacation. I love marriott.

224 michelle robbins March 31, 2009 at

I like to pack empty garbage bags so I can keep my wet/dirty laundry away from everything else (and stinking up my suitcase)

225 Betty C March 31, 2009 at

I like to bring clothes that I am no longer happy with. When I use them the first time they can be donated thus leaving extra room in the suitcase for souvenirs or anything else I have purchased.

226 Florence Bellamy March 31, 2009 at

Travel at night when your kids are asleep.

227 Tammie March 31, 2009 at

Always allow plenty of ‘freetime’ in your schedule for those unforeseen activities. Even if its as simple as taking a walk, the concept of vacation is to relax from the daily routine. :)

228 Kathy H. March 31, 2009 at

I always make sure I have a sturdy cloth bag in my suitcase for carrying my lotions, etc. to the beach and also a couple of plastic bags just in case your bathing suits are still wet when leaving!

229 Sarah Z March 31, 2009 at

Roll your clothes when packing and you will have less wrinkles!

230 Dawn S March 31, 2009 at

Always pack an extra bottle of water and snacks

231 Cindra March 31, 2009 at

Put any liquids such as shampoo, etc in plastic bags in case the caps work loose in flight or travel.

232 Renee T March 31, 2009 at

These are great travel tips-I’ve learned alot. My best travel tip, assuming you have a flight, it to pack a few essentials in your carry-on. That way if your luggage doesn’t arrive – your vacation isn’t totally spoiled. Thanks for the giveaway and GLTA!

233 Rose O. March 31, 2009 at

I make an extra printout of important telephone numbers and place it in my suitcase in case I would lose my cell phone.

234 Dan March 31, 2009 at

Pack lightly and keep important things in separate compartments

235 Alecia Gibson March 31, 2009 at

Roll up your socks to save room in your suitcase.

236 ronb March 31, 2009 at

allways crosspack, and cary as much as you can.

237 Gianna March 31, 2009 at

Bring snacks and drinks for traveling so you don’t have to stop so often on over-priced junk.

238 Lolli April 1, 2009 at

My travel tip? Pack essentials in a backpackthat way if you are ever separated from your luggage, you have what you need to get by on hand.

239 cagedbird April 6, 2009 at

Take some thank you notes to give to hotel staff or those who performed special services for you while visiting!

240 jaimee May 3, 2009 at

This goes out to all the parent’s when traveling with the little ones.

1.) Make sure you pre make snacks for the trip this will do 2 things get the kids excited about there future trip and keep them very happy while traveling and they get to eat there fav. snacks..

2.) Print off travel activities from the web there are numerous sites you can get these free just google -kids travel fun- etc…

3.)If you can afford it I recomend you find a reliable travel asst. that goes with you and helps with the children threw the whole trip.usually posting a add on craigslist and alot of the younger girls just want to travel in exchange for helping out or you can post that as a option…hope this helps

241 Julie January 20, 2010 at

Always carry your medication on board with you so in case your luggage is lost you won’t have to try and get medication from somewhere you don’t know . Also try and put at least a change of
clothes in your carry on because you just never know even if its just a tshirt and a pair of leggings .

242 katmandoo February 22, 2010 at

Always pack a couple of water bottles for the hotel room and pack a package of disposable coffee cups with lids, can be used for drinks in or out of room, or for coffee fill ups in hotel lobby instead of their tiny cups.

243 Eric March 10, 2010 at

Found this website and thought I would share it. Traveling by plane with kids, there is a safety harness for children. More info can be found at

244 eileen marie March 24, 2010 at

We love to travel, & we do so a lot! My favorite travel tip is to prepare a skeleton itinerary for each day using travel books (we love DK and Lonely Planet). Find some recommended restaurants in the books and go to ones that are near the sight-seeing locations you’ll be hitting that day. There is a lot less confusion and disorganization, and we usually get to see (& eat!) everything on our list that way. Also, never forget to pack TP, sunblock, hand sanitizer, and a bandanna (use it for your hair, as a little towel when restrooms don’t have any-the possibilities are endless!). Happy traveling!

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