New Mexico Tourism launches Billy the Kid-themed scavenger hunt featuring $10,000 reward

billy the kid, new mexicoThe Land of Enchantment just became the Land of Advancement. “Catch the Kid,” a new summer travel promotion launched by New Mexico Tourism Department, has turned the entire state into a “real life video game,” with the prize being $10,000 in cold, hard cash. “The Kid” in question is one William H. Bonney, aka “Billy the Kid.” Participants (it’s geared toward families) try to track down this most iconic of New Mexico outlaws by finding clues hidden throughout the state.

Now through September 24th, you can register your family online at to create a “posse profile,” as well as gain access to exclusive New Mexico travel deals and weekly vacation giveaways throughout the summer. The reward money is the inflation equivalent of the $500 reward offered by Governor Lew Wallace in 1881 for the Kid’s head.

If you have a smartphone, you can download the “Catch the Kid” smartphone app. Alternatively, you can play by taking pictures or you or your family posing next to clue posters placed throughout New Mexico, and upload them to your profile page. Designated locations around the state will unlock clues that lead to the Kid’s New Mexico hideout. The more clues you collect, the more information you’ll gather on when and how to capture the wily criminal. The first posse to present the Kid with an arrest warrant will win their handsome reward.

Players using a smartphone to play can unlock additional New Mexico travel deals and win prizes, because the app allows players to find Billy’s money bag loot which is virtually placed and hidden in every county in New Mexico. You’ll have the chance to use this loot to buy vacations, deals, or meals online in the general store section of the “Catch the Kid” website. Good luck, pardners.

Watch New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez announce contest details, below

How tos for understanding travel promotions and other deals

When finding the best travel deals the options can seem overwhelming. Sometimes the math may not add up. A supposed deal isn’t a deal at all.

Linda Zavoral’s article, originally published in San Jose’s Mercury News, outlines the vocabulary of various travel savings to help travelers make better decisions before opening their wallets.

For example, a package does not have to offer savings. All it means is that you’re purchasing more than one service bundled together.

If a hotel is offering a package deal where tickets to an attraction are connected to a room, shop around for cheaper options. Sometimes the package deal is for more expensive rooms in the hotel, and you can find inexpensive tickets to the attractions elsewhere.

When booking a tour package, Zavoral also suggests that you check the deals a travel company may offer against what you might be able to book yourself. In many cases the travel agency’s price may be cheaper because the agency is buying up blocks of airplane seats and accommodations, but check anyway.

Another saving might come from checking out various places for the cheapest hotel room rates. Find out what the cheapest available rates are by looking at the hotel’s website and other travel sites.

If a hotel says its offering a freebie like free breakfast– or some other amenity as part of a package, check to see if this is a regular offering at other times, or truly a for now only deal.

When booking a room, make sure you’re clear if the rate is per person or per room.

Also, check to see if phone booking or online booking is cheaper. Sometimes the person on the phone may not be aware of a deal. In that case, check the website. This holds true whether its a hotel, a cruise line or a tour group.