Summer was always a time of great memories for me as a kid. As I got older and entered the work force, summer was just a hotter drive to and from work and a lot less traffic in the DC area. It took having kids to really remember how great summer can be. I’ve teamed up with MommyPoints and Points, Miles & Martinis to serve up a great summer giveaway to help you make your own fun memories this year.
But first, I wanted to share a few of my memories. We grew up as the poor family in a rich town where everyone had memberships to the local country club and yacht club. We certainly didn’t have a yacht and I never really understood why it was called a country club if it was right there in our city. For us, a little shack on the Jersey Shore was our getaway. Even though it was old and small, my father spent years fixing it up to make it a great place to spend summers.
Sure, the drive from New York to South Jersey could be trying at times but the Jersey Shore has so many memories for me as a kid. Riding the roller coaster at Seaside Heights. The Log Flume. Water Works, the local water park. Banging on the pay phones so they spit out quarters for us to play video games (sorry about that, AT&T). Riding our bikes everywhere. Swimming and surfing.
Heading out on the morning of the 5th of July to collect all the fireworks left behind by people the night before, enough to fill up buckets and buckets. Being a teenage pyro wizard the next few nights until those buckets were empty. The perfect sub sandwich from Ebby’s deli (extra oil and vinegar, of course). Crabbing with my dad and sister in the early morning, complete with a box of Hostess donuts. Doesn’t everyone finish a whole box of donuts in the morning when they go crabbing?
Watching movies on the big screen on the beach. Yeah, summer as a kid was pretty darn awesome.
Those are a good chunk of my memories, though I suppose I could spend the rest of the day writing down everything that engaged us as kids. But, now it’s your turn, and for prizes. Share your summer travel memories (either now or when you were a kid) for a chance to win a summer prize package. What are the particulars, you ask?
What Can I Win? Hyatt and Hertz were nice enough to sponsor this giveaway. One winner will walk away with all of the following:
So, first, from Hyatt, a free night at any Hyatt House, valid through 12/31/2014. Hyatt House is a great product for families for a number of reasons. My biggest reason for enjoying the chain is that all the properties are either new or recently renovated. I have yet to have a bad room at a Hyatt House. You can get multiple bedrooms attached to a kitchen and living area which makes family travel super easy. And, they’ve rolled out some new changes, including a complimentary omelet station to go with a pretty good free breakfast already.
Hyatt House also generally offers reasonable prices for families. I frequently see Hyatt House rates in big markets that are more affordable than full service properties and generally speaking it’s not much more money to add on a second bedroom to make sure you have plenty of family space to spread out. Hyatt House is my first choice of extended stay brands in any market I travel to, and I sometimes choose it over full service properties because I know my room will be clean and new and the service will be consistent every time.
I’m sure the winner will be able to put this to good use. And, to go with that, Hertz is throwing in 1200 Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points. That’s enough points for 2 free weekend days and it’s halfway to a free weekly rental. Not too shabby. I wrote recently about some of the better values you can find in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards account, so you can count me as a fan. Hertz also brought a couple of new items to my attention that they’re rolling out. And, while I generally don’t find new product announcements all that exciting, I see value in both of these new items for families:
· Looking for the closest, safest beach? Hertz has partnered with Waterkeeper Alliance to offer the first-ever “Waterkeeper Swim Guide,” accessible to customers via the in-car Hertz NeverLost GPS unit. The “Waterkeeper Swim Guide” is a new data source that will tell users where beaches are located, which are safe for swimming, and what’s unique about each beach.
· Looking to apps to help you explore? Hertz is also expanding its NeverLost My Explore™ mobile app to include five new city guides for the following locations: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Detroit and Napa. The app allows users to maximize their travel experience in or out of the car with customized voice narratives and text descriptions for must-see sites, tours, shopping, neighborhoods, favorites and restaurants.
o Additional notable features of the NeverLost My Explore™ app include augmented reality to turn a camera phone into a live map at the touch of a screen to show surrounding attractions, map view to let users find their way by car, foot, or public transportation, live weather updates for help pre-planning activities, social media integration so users can share travel adventures using Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, and free download codes to integrate seamlessly with any NeverLost® GPS device.
o NOTE: The first My Explore™ app is available for download for free; additional city guides are available for $0.99 each.
I’m actually interested to try out the My Explore app. I’m one of those old-fashioned guys who like to buy a Fodor’s or Frommer’s guide for a city I’m traveling to. But, those don’t necessarily translate well to my iPhone. So, I’ll definitely be giving My Explore a try.
Lastly, I’m also throwing in an airline club pass, valid for a one-person, one-time trip to an airline club.
A pretty decent prize for someone this summer!
How to Enter: Just leave a comment on this thread with your favorite travel memory. As I said before, it can be from recently or your deep past. It doesn’t have to be very detailed, but keep in mind that your idea might help someone else plan the perfect summer vacation.
I’m teaming up with MommyPoints and Points, Miles & Martinis for this giveaway, which means you actually have 3 chances to win. You can enter on each of our blogs once a day until 11:59pm EDT on Saturday, June 8, 2013 for a chance to win. You need to be 18 to enter, and if this type of contest is illegal where you live, well, you can’t enter.
All of my decisions are final and there’s no compensation of any kind from Hyatt or Hertz for this giveaway. But, they happen to be my favorite hotel chain and rental car company, so I couldn’t be happier giving away free stuff from and telling people they make my travel experience easier every time I travel.