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Marriott Gift Card Contest

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 TravelingMamas.com 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

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  1. 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. Lets see….. when I fly I always check seatguru.com 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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!

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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 open..you 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

  28. 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

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

  30. 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…

  31. 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.

  32. 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!:


  33. 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!!!

  34. 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

  35. 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

  36. 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.

  37. 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!

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

  39. 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.

  40. 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!!!

  41. 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 traveling..is HAVE FUN!!!

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

  43. 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?

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

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

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

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

  49. 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.

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

  51. 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.

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. kayak.com 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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

  58. 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.

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

  60. 1. ALWAYS use TripAdvisor.com 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!

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

  62. 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.

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

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

  65. 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.

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

  67. 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!

  68. 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

  69. 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.

  70. 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!

  71. 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!

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

  73. 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.

  74. 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

  75. 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.

  76. 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

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

  78. 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.

  79. 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!

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

  81. 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!!

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

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

  84. 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!

  85. 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

  86. 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.


  87. 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.

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

  89. 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.

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

  91. 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.

  92. 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! (freaaa@gmail.com)

  93. 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 http://www.smartphrase.com/Spanish/sp_general_words_phr.shtml 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!

  94. 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.

  95. 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.

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

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

  98. 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

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

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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!

  103. 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.

  104. 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.

  105. 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.

  106. 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!

  107. 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.

  108. 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.

  109. 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.

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

    autumn398 (at) yahoo.com

  111. 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.

  112. 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!

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

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

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

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

  117. 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.

  118. 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!

  119. 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.

  120. 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.

  121. 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.

  122. 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!

  123. 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!

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

  125. 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.

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

  127. 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.

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

  129. 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.

  130. 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.

  131. 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!

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

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

  135. 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.

  136. 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!

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

  138. 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.

  139. 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!

  140. 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.

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

  142. 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.

  143. 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.

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

  145. 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.

  146. 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!

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

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

  149. 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.

  150. 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.

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

  152. 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.

  153. 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!!

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

  155. 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.

  156. 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!

  157. 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!!! 🙂

  158. 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.

  159. 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.

  160. 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

  161. 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.

  162. 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!

  163. 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.

  164. 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!


  165. 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!!

  166. 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.

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

  168. 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.

  169. 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. 🙂

  170. 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!

  171. 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!

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

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

  174. 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.

  175. 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

  176. 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 .

  177. 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.

  178. 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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