Collect Marriott freebies with “Trick or Tweet” promotion

As Halloween approaches and the weather gets cooler, we realize that winter in the northern US, with its short hours of daylight and negative wind-chill factors, is just around the corner. Suddenly, it seems like there’s no better time to book a tropical vacation. If you’re thinking about a trip to a sunny island paradise, log in to Twitter and start following Marriott Resorts.

Now through the end of October, the company will be giving away daily coupons for perks at Marriott Resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico. Even if you aren’t planning on traveling until the temps dip a little lower (or even until next year), you can still take advantage of the freebies. The vouchers are good through December 20, 2010.

All you need to do is follow Marriott Resorts on Twitter and watch for their “Trick or Tweet” tweets. Click the link and download your voucher, which will be good for deals like free drinks, free rounds of golf, discounted spa services and more. Each voucher is good at a specific resort, so follow along and collect the deals that work for you.

Free drinks in Grand Cayman or a cheap spa treatment in Aruba? I’m feeling warmer already.

Tweet yourself to Hawaii!

Talk about a sweet tweet deal: Marriott Resorts Hawaii is running a social media contest where 25 lucky winners will receive all-expense paid trips for two to a designated Marriott resort on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, or Hawaii’s Big Island.

You can enter the contest via Twitter, Facebook, and email. The winners are announced on Twitter, so you’ll need to sign up to follow @MarriottHawaii to see if you win.

Here is what the lucky winners will receive:

  • Roundtrip for two on Hawaiian Airlines from any of its ten U.S. West Coast gateway cities: Seattle, Portland, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.
  • A five-night stay at one of Marriott resorts in Hawaii: JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa, Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa or Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
  • Rental car, courtesy of Hertz.
  • $100 per day resort dining credit.
  • Access to fun activities and attractions on all islands.
  • Please note: All trips must be completed by December 20, 2009. Winners will be announced on Facebook and Twitter, and also will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize, or a new winner will be randomly selected.

If that’s tweeting sweetness, here’s an even sweeter deal: Submit a video on why you love Hawaii for a chance to win a TweetUp Trip for TWELVE! To enter this contest, submit your YouTube video link to by December 20, 2009. The public will be asked to judge their favorite from a selection of finalists. The one with the most votes will receive:

  • Roundtrip for winner and 11 friends/family, courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines from any of its U.S. West Coast gateway cities
  • Seven-night stay at any two Marriott resorts in Hawaii
  • One luau dinner and show
  • A commemorative Hawaii state quarter
  • A keepsake group photo
  • 25,000 Marriott Rewards Points for the winner

The winner will be selected in January.

I’m loving all these “tweet” trip giveaways! You all know I’m from Hawaii, so it wouldn’t be right for me to enter, but I’m rooting for you all to join me in my tropical paradise!’s Tweet Your Trip contest

Hooray for vacation giveaways! is sponsoring six weekly “Tweet Your Trip” contests through the end of October, and it’s such a simple contest that, if you tweet, you really should enter! All you have to do is describe your perfect getaway in 140 characters or less.

There are two ways to enter:

  • Via Twitter: To enter via Twitter, you must be a registered user of Twitter and a follower of @voyagetv. Once you have completed registration and elected to follow, send a Tweet to @voyagetv describing your dream trip.
  • Via Website: To enter online, visit the web site, complete the entry form with the information requested, follow the instructions to enter your Submission and click “Submit Entry”.

Entries will be judged based on creativity, originality, feasibility, and adherence to the week’s theme. You need to “Tweet Your Trip” by Thursday, and winners will be notified on Friday.

So get tweeting — and good luck!

Twitter to win free MatadorU tuition

Last month, Brenda announced the Matador Network’s new travel writing curriculum, Matador U. The 12-week course is geared towards travel writers at all levels in their careers, from those who are just dreaming of a getting their first piece published to writers with years of experience.

The course covers topics like crafting the perfect pitch letter, using social media to promote your work, honing your voice, working with editors and going on press trips. Students also have access to exclusive market leads and forums where they can discuss what they are learning with other students. I’m on week two of the class and finding it to be very helpful and motivating.

The course isn’t cheap at $225 (for the first 100 students, then it goes up to $350) but if you can’t quite afford it, you may still be able to participate. Every month, Matador will award free tuition to one of its Twitter followers. The rules are simple. Just follow @MatadorNetwork and send them a tweet saying you want to win free tuition. If you are selected, they’ll contact you with details on how to register for the course free of charge. If you’ve ever considered a career as a travel writer, or if you are already getting published and want to move to the next level, here’s your chance to take the course for free.

Motel 6 goes for younger image, offers free stays to rock bands

When you think of edgy, hip places to stay, I’d venture a guess that Motel 6 isn’t the first place that comes to mind. But the budget lodging chain is hoping to change that with a new promotion – providing free rooms to a few up-and-coming touring rock bands. The marketing gurus at Motel 6 have asked the bands to blog and tweet about their stays, hoping that the buzz will build brand recognition and positive association among younger customers.

The bands, which were chosen by a music promotion company called Primary Wave Music, will receive six weeks of accommodation at Motel 6 locations along the tour routes. The bands aren’t being told what to say about Motel 6, but the company is obviously hoping for positive press. Even the budget motel has been hit hard by declining travel, with occupancy rates down 5-7% over the last year. Jeff Palmer, VP of marketing, is hoping the promotion will help get Motel 6 back on track, and earn the company some new, younger customers. “If they stay with us young, maybe they’ll remain brand loyal,” he said.

Rock on, Motel 6.