Five steps to free Mexico and Caribbean travel from Marriott and Renaissance

Need a little sunshine in your life this holiday season but can’t get out on the road? Hey, I get it: we all shell out enough cash this time of year. There are gifts for the kids, unavoidable family travel and those Christmas dinners that get expensive pretty quickly. These costs can sneak up on you, depriving you of a little mental health time out on a beach somewhere.

Well, a travel contest hit my inbox today that can make the whole situation much easier for you to deal with.

How does the Marriott and Renaissance brand sound, especially down in the Caribbean or in Mexico? Yeah, I figured that would get your attention! Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts and online travel agency CheapOair are kicking off a “12 Days of Travel” holiday sweepstakes that could leave you sprawled out on the sand under the warm sun this winter, while the neighbors and family are breaking their backs with shovels full of snow.

Okay, this is a social media contest, so it helps to have Twitter and Facebook open frequently during the contest, which kicks off Wednesday, December 1, 2010 and ends Monday, December 13, 2010 (12 days … get it?). There are five steps you’ll need to follow:1. Start by following @CheapOair and @MarriottResorts on Twitter. If you aren’t among the 175 million people on Twitter, now’s the time to get on board!

2. On each of the 12 days of the contest, check out the CheapOair contest page for the day’s tweet (a designated phrase): you’ll need to use this.

3. Head over to Twitter and unleash the tweet of the day. Remember that this is your entry in the contest, and you can only do so once a day.

4. Be (a little) patient … there will be a winner announced every day, with the grand prize coming on the last day.

5. Get more chances to win by visiting the Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean & Mexico Resorts Facebook page and following the bouncing ball: “like” Paradise by Marriott and CheapOair on Facebook, post a comment during the “12 days” period on the CheapOair blog saying which of the nine resorts you want to visit and why and then cross your fingers for the win!

What’s up for grabs? Take a look at the day-by-day prizes below!

Day 1: Three-night stay at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino*
Day 2: Three-night stay at the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino*
Day 3: Three-night stay at the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort*
Day 4: CheapOair $75 gift certificate
Day 5: CheapOair $75 gift certificate
Day 6: Three-night stay at the Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort*
Day 7: Three-night stay at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa*
Day 8: Three-night stay at the St Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino*
Day 9: Three-night stay at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino*
Day 10: Three-night stay at the JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa*
Day 11: CheapOair $75 gift certificate
Day 12/Grand Prize: Three-night stay at the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort and roundtrip airfare for two

*Each hotel giveaway will also include a $25 gift certificate from CheapOair

[photo by gerriet via Flickr]