Archive for the ‘Contests’ Category

#MyFreeNight in Vegas

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.25.58 sent “improvisor, actor and delicious treat,” Robert Bacon to Las Vegas to kick off #MyFreeNight. All that ensued was the stuff of legend.

We’ll walk you through all the Bacon was able to accomplish during his #MyFreeNight experience  - check it out:

First, Bacon checked in to the MGM Grand Hotel on the Vegas strip. After a trip to the  MGM Grand Spa, where he played in the water fountain on the wall, he stopped at the MGM Grand Buffet for a quick breakfast.


After a relaxing morning, it was time for a bit of excitement at the Mandalay Bay pool & lazy river. Bacon made himself comfortable and enjoyed a nice drink on the lazy river.

But there wasn’t much time for lounging about… Bacon quickly climbed the stairs to the water slide and slid down wearing his #MyFreeNight helmet and GoPro!

Next up was a trip to Vegas Indoor Skydiving!

“Is it natural to be scared of a giant fan?”

He had no choice but to get over those fears quickly because moments later he was flying.

As if he hadn’t spent enough time in the air, Bacon’s next stop was at the Stratosphere Skyjump, where he jumped into a free fall from the 108th floor – about 1,149 feet up!

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.36.22 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.38.18 PM

All that excitement can really work up a guy’s appetite – so dinner came next.

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.37.11 PMAfter  dinner at the Shibuya Restaurant at MGM Grand, he made his way backstage at Jubilee! at Bally’s Las Vegas, where he learned what it takes to be a Jubilee dancer… with his top hat and cane in hand, Bacon realized his dream of joining the show.

About five minutes in, however, it became apparent that a career as a professional dancer might not be in the cards, and decided to head out to enjoy the bright lights of the Vegas strip.

On the strip he made some new friends, saw the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas and went off in search of his next big challenge…

…Which he found immediately upon strolling into the PBR Rock Bar & Grill and spotting a mechanical bull.

“I’m going to predict that I rip my pants.”

 Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 6.11.55 PM Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.26.44 PM

His wild ride on the mechanical bull lasted a matter of seconds and therefore he walked away unscathed with his pants and his pride intact.

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.28.52 PMExhausted from the effects a long day and an angry bull, Bacon made his way to the Fountains of the Bellagio. Singing along to Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” he held up a lighter and really soaked in the moment.

As he watched the sunrise, Bacon grabbed ‘breakfast’ at the Tao Las Vegas - where his 24 hour #MyFreeNight day came to an end.

Think you can top Bacon’s #MyFreeNight excursion in Vegas? Check out the full video here, below!

Where would you go and what would you do with one free night? Let us know in the comments!




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Win with #MyFreeNight!

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 10.49.17 AM

A free night can mean a lot of things. A night free of obligations and responsibilities, or a night spent in your favorite city for free. As part of the “My Free Night” campaign, is asking travelers how they spend their free time, while rewarding them with free nights through the Welcome Rewards loyalty program.

The campaign rolled out this week with a TV commercial that informs viewers they can win a free night by simply making sure they are a Welcome Rewards member. From now until the end of the year, all current and new Welcome Rewards members will be automatically entered to win daily drawings for a free hotel night valued at $200.

The new TV ad also prompts viewers to join the social conversation by using the #MyFreeNight hashtag. Whether you would use your free night to try a new restaurant with a friend or take a road trip to see a concert, we want to hear about it! Share your photos with us via the @hotelsdotcom Twitter handle and use the #MyFreeNight hashtag. Also, check out the video below to see how one man attempted to complete his 24-hour bucket list of activities during his free night in Las Vegas.



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Check-in to the Kid’s Fantasy Suites by Omni Hotels

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013










photo 1My kids are great travelers. They are even becoming quite the discerning travel critics. So on our recent adventure to San Antonio, we put the new family suites by Omni Hotels to the test.

Families visiting with Omni in San Francisco, Texas, Boston and Mount Washington can stay in the Kid’s Fantasy Suites, which are exactly that down to the bean bag chairs, art table, books, games, movies and video games, and toys plus a connecting room for the parents.

Upon arrival, you would have thought it was Christmas morning by the level of exuberance that was pouring out of my children. My greatest concern was how I would get them to leave the room to go experience all the great activities San Antonio had to offer.

photo 2What I noticed? The little details such as boy/girl specific bedding and books, the welcome note written to the children, and cold milk and warm cookies were simple and subtle touches that help to make a place memorable.

Yes, my connecting room was lovely. But what made it really nice was having the kids enjoy a space tailor-made for them. And, it was SO EASY to get them to go to bed at night!! On that note, it was equally nice to not have to go to bed with the kids because we weren’t exactly sharing a room.

A standard hotel room is definitely the more affordable and the usual route when a family is traveling.

photo 2 (1)However, the Kid’s Fantasy Suites by Omni Hotels are worth every cent of the extra expense!

I’d like to thank the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade for a fun-filled stay. Not only did we enjoy the room, but also the float-in movies in the evening, the kid’s welcome packs upon checking and the always-helpful (especially when mom couldn’t work the Wii) staff!








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Sleep. Dream. Win. Twitter Chat!

Monday, August 19th, 2013


Join @Hotelsdotcom for their Sleep. Dream. Win. Twitter Chat taking place Tuesday, August 20 – at 3 P.M. EST. 

We’ll be using the hashtag #dreamshare & talking about dream-worthy travel, destinations, and of course some tips on catching some z’s while on the go!

During the chat we’ll be giving away one free Welcome Rewards night to a lucky participant, and there’s also still time to enter the official Sleep. Dream. Win. contest - where ten lucky participants will be chosen to receive one free night, and any participants whose dreams are reenacted by our team of improv actors will be upgraded to Welcome Rewards Gold. We’ll also be giving away some bags and flipcams during the chat as well!

So chat with @Hotelsdotcom, @TravelwithTLC and our improv team using #dreamshare, tomorrow, August 20 at 3 P.M. EST!

Hope to see you there!



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Kidcation Sweepstakes Winner!

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

And the winner of the Kidcation Sweepstakes 2013 is:

2012-05-26T22-09-17_4Liz Newsome! 

Congratulations to Liz and her family!
They’ll be enjoying -

1)  A voucher for a two (2) night hotel stay for a family of four in a Luxury Double Suite at the Hotel Contessa – Luxury Riverwalk Suites in San Antonio, Texas!

2)  $500 USD VISA or MasterCard cash gift card for use toward travel expenses!

3)  Four (4) passes to The Witte Museum in San Antonio!

4)  Four (4) passes for the City Tours Inc. “Reflections Tour” in San Antonio!

5)  Four (4) passes to the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum and Texas Ranger Museum in San Antonio!

Liz and her family will be vacationing between August 12-18 for Kidcation Week in San Antonio!

Congratulations again and thanks to everyone who participated!




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Sleep. Dream. Win!

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Sleep Dream Win

Are you ready to win your dreamiest vacation yet? wants you to submit your most thrilling, perplexing and downright absurd dream as part of its Sleep. Dream. Win. sweepstakes, which is now open for entry to all those who want to go on a dream-like vacation of their own!

From now until August 29th, you can share your craziest dream on to be entered to win a stay at a dreamy hotel of your choice, courtesy of the Welcome Rewards® loyalty program, and other great prizes. Ten winners will each receive two free hotel nights, up to $250 each. In addition, will select five submitted dreams to be brought to life by a zany group of improvisation actors for the world to see in videos on If your dream is selected for reenactment on the site, you will also be upgraded to Welcome Rewards Gold status, granting you access to exclusive deals, early access to promotions on, and more.

Here are a few of the most unique, dream-like hotels at which you could choose to stay, whether you win or not:

  • Featherbed Railroad Company – All aboard! Nine decorated antique railroad cabooses comprise this old-fashioned California hotel on wheels. Caution: may induce murder mystery dreams.
  • The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas – Wake up in a world of luxury. With five bars, three pools and a swanky casino, this hotel in the center of Las Vegas is like a dream within a dream.
  • Pod 39 New York – Modular furniture, colorful, stenciled walls and a rooftop bar with a view of the city lights will make you wish you could stay up late every night!
  • Montelucia Resort & Spa – When you gaze out your window and see the other-worldly terrain of Arizona, you’ll have to pinch yourself as a reminder you’re not dreaming, and then again after you experience the utopic spa.

Good luck and sweet dreams!





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Kidcation Sweepstakes 2013

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013 is sending a family of four to San Antonio, Texas to attend Kidcation!

Kidcation Week, which is brought to you by the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau takes place August 12 – 18, 2013, in San Antonio, Texas. With dozens of activities and events planned for the kids, it’s bound to be a blast for the whole family!

The winner of the Kidcation Sweepstakes will win:outside

1)  A voucher for a two (2) night hotel stay for a family of four in a Luxury Double Suite at the Hotel Contessa – Luxury Riverwalk Suites in San Antonio, Texas. The voucher is only valid for stays during August 12 – 18, 2013.

2)  $500 USD VISA or MasterCard cash gift card for use toward travel expenses.

3)  Four (4) passes to The Witte Museum in San Antonio.  

4)  Four (4) passes for the City Tours Inc. “Reflections Tour” in San Antonio. 

5)  Four (4) passes to the Buckhorn Saloon & Museum and Texas Ranger Museum in San Antonio. 

To enter the Kidcation Sweepstakes:pool

Leave a comment on this Kidcation Sweepstakes 2013 blog post, about the one thing you and your family would most want to do at San Antonio Kidcation week.

To leave a comment, you must provide your first name and email address (your email address will not be published).

In order to win, you must meet all of the eligibility requirements as mentioned in the Official Terms & Conditions.
Click here to see the full Official Terms & Conditions.

For more information, visit the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau –
and for more on Kidcation Week, visit -

The sweepstakes ends on August 2, 2013, so be sure to comment on this post by then!

We’ll see the lucky family in San Antonio! Comment below and pack your bags for Kidcation Week!



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Kidcation in San Antonio, TX

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Have you heard about Kidcation?
It’s a week-long vacation in San Antonio, Texas, that’s designed with the kids in mind!

My family and I will be heading to San Antonio from August 12 – 18 to enjoy all of the
events and activities that Kidcation offers.

As we get ready for our week of vacation, I thought it would be a great idea for the kids to do some
research on Kidcation and San Antonio - so my son and I put together a quick video about it!

Be sure to tune in later this week – I have some amazing news to share!
I’ll just say it might be a good idea to start packing a few bags…

Let me know your thoughts on Kidcation or the San Antonio area in the comments below!



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Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Langham, BostonLast night, the rich and the famous walked the red carpet at New York City’s Lincoln Center for the premier of the highly-anticipated film adaptation of The Great Gatsby.

With much excitement in the air around one of America’s most famous literary jetsetters, it seems as though the Roaring Twenties is experiencing a comeback for a new generation.

To help Gatsby and Daisy wannabes find their perfect place, has cultivated a lavish listing of top-rated hotels that exemplify the magnificence of the 1920’s. From properties offering exclusive flapper era specials to those with iconic art deco décor, there is something for everyone looking to upgrade their next trip, Gatsby-style:

The Inn at Great NeckGreat Neck, N.Y.

  • Located in the popular Long Island town that actually inspired the setting for the iconic novel. The hotel itself features art deco period murals depicting scenes from the book in the lobby and has a highly acclaimed restaurant on-site.

The WillcoxAiken, S.C.

  • Hosting Gatsby-inspired celebrations throughout May, including soirées with live jazz music and themed cocktails, along with a special Gatsby Package, which includes a copy of the novel, poker chips and a deck of cards, a three-course tasting menu for two, and a special Gatsby cocktail at turndown.

Le Méridien Dallas, The StoneleighDallas, Texas

  • Recently underwent a $36 million renovation which included marble pillars, hand-blown glass chandeliers, and an original ironwork Art Deco-designed staircase.

Vanderbilt GraceNewport, R.I.Langham Lounge

  • Offing a “Grace Gatsby Package” which includes a two-night stay complete with a five-course meal, sunset sailing cruise, daily champagne breakfast, the guest’s choice of five historic tours, and more.

Ambassador HotelKansas City, Mo.

  • Offing a “Gatsby Package” (through May 15), through which guests can garner extra perks such as champagne and strawberries in-room, late check-out, and luxury transportation around town – perhaps to visit the many jazz clubs the city is famous for?

If staying at a Hotel like one of these sounds like a dream come true to you – you’re in luck! In celebration of the lavishness of the 1920s, is launching a modern era contest to help one lucky winner live like Gatsby via a two-night stay at the sumptuous Langham, Boston, along with a copy of the book that made Mr. Gatsby a household name.

For a chance to win the Gatsby-esque getaway for two, tweet @Hotelsdotcom about the little luxuries you enjoy while traveling with hashtag #GreatGiveaway between May 6 and May 9.

The winner, who will be notified on May 10, will feel like they’re rolling in dough when they claim their prize at The Langham. Originally built in 1922 as the Federal Reserve Bank, the hotel now exudes affluence in other ways, from its marble lobby with ornate gold-leaf ceilings to its six-story glass atrium where live jazz ensembles play on Sundays.

See Rules, Terms & Conditions here: United States | Canada

Good Luck!




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Hotel Hook-Up: Scents of the Season with Milliken Creek Inn & Spa

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Milliken Creek Inn & Spa

Happy New Year! Have I got a gift for you! So a few weeks ago, you read about Giving the Gift of Travel and that’s exactly what we want to do today! Travel Smart Blog and the amazingly hospitable Milliken Creek Inn & Spa want to give one lucky Travel Smart Blog reader an amazing gift….keep reading!

Nestled on the banks of the Napa River in the heart of Napa, California’s esteemed wine country, you’ll find the luxurious Milliken Creek Inn & Spa. Originally an 1857 stagecoach inn, Milliken features 12 individually designed, spacious suites with thoughtful touches such as plush king-size beds with the finest linens, oversized hydrotherapy bathtubs, flickering fireplaces and private balconies with charming views.

Like most of the Napa Valley wines that improve with age, Milliken is a cherished retreat that continuously offers enhanced levels of serenity and relaxation to its guests.

Now is the time for you to experience the hotel that redefines luxury, intimacy, charm and the authentic Napa experience.

Now through the end of January 2013, Milliken is offering a “Scents of the Season package” for just $199.  This special accommodation includes:

  • One night’s accommodations in a Milliken room
  • L’Occitane gift bag with sample size products of Citrus Verbena Eau de Cologne, Effervescent Revitalizing Sugar Cube, Pillow Mist, Cade After Shave Balm for Men and Mains Shea Butter Hand Cream
  • Harney & Sons tagalong of Hot Cinnamon Spice and Holiday Blend teas
  • A $50 spa credit to use towards a decadent peppermint massage treatment or any other Milliken Creek Spa offering
  • Gourmet breakfast for two each morning served in-room or anywhere on property
  • Concierge assistance in planning Napa Valley outings including winery visits and dinners
  • Two guest passes to Synergy Wellness and Fitness Center
  • Daily sunset Magic Hour wine and cheese reception
  • Late-night cordial bar

Here’s the best part – Travel Smart Blog is giving away a Scents of the Season Package* to a lucky TSB reader!! Just comment on this post “I love the Scents of the Season from Travel Smart Blog and Milliken Creek Inn” and a winner will be randomly chosen, and announced here on TSB next week! How’s that for a little New Year magic?

*The contest ends Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 11:59pm EST. The winner will be announced the week of January 14, 2013.

**The Scents of the Season package is valid for stays Sunday through Thursday through January 31, 2013. For complete package details or to reserve your stay please visit or call 800.822.8418.



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