The Deal Mommy

Travel Inspiration


Times Square, Nov 2012


This page contains an eclectic list of trip reports, rants, destination guides, and other fun stuff to help get your travel planning juices flowing. Don’t forget about Pinterest, which is also a great source.

Family Travel FAQ

What do I do with my leftover miles?

How Many Tours is Too Many?

Are all-inclusive resorts a good deal?

Can a family of 4 do a 10 day summer vacation in Europe for $5,000 without miles?

I need a New Year’s Getaway!

Help me Take my Granddaughter to the Macy’s Parade!

Parenting on the Fly

This is what normal people do while we’re hacking Spring Break.

Expediting Deal Kid’s Passport for a Stay Credit

My 2 Word Travel With Kids Mantra

When the News Intrudes

Before you rent a car with a kid, learn from my 60 seconds of terror

Babies, toddlers, and flying: the real poop

Drone Parenting, or why I threw my kids off a mountain in Guatemala

Moms on a Boat

The Choices I make; The choices I don’t

Embracing your inner Griswold

Alanis Morisette, Homework, and Miles When They Matter

Travel and The Deal Kids

Traveling with Kids? Keep These 2 Words in Mind

The Gift They Won’t Forget (That Doesn’t Take Up Space)

Lego Kids Fest Review

Chasing the Amazing Race

Camp Mom Does Vegas

Camp Mom 2015: Asian Edition

Travel Lessons from 1st Graders

Deal Girl’s Christmas Wish

Deal Girl meets the Bidet (Paris)

The Horrid Adrenalini Deal Kids (Ireland)

The Real Reason I do all this (New York City)

When Toys Imitate Art Imitate Travel (Guatemala)

Epiphany, Electrified (Austria)

Deal Kids, meet Pedro: Adventures South of the Border (Carolina)

Up in the Air

How I used 3 Frequent Flyer Programs to get 4 Tickets on the Same Flights to Asia

3 tips that saved me $856 on a plane ticket

Profiling, but not what you think. Would you board a plane with someone who is clearly drunk?

Gotta get on a plane TODAY? There’s an App for that.

Sometimes First Class is Cheaper than Coach

An Ode to Avios

Arrive late for your connection? At least Lufthansa will take care of you!

Turkish Airlines gives kids 1000 free miles. 6 reasons why you should care

Hotel Hacks

Are you caught in the status trap?

Why I decided to go for the Marriott Platinum challenge (hint: not for Marriott).

How $467 gave me status is four programs.

The SSMR (Sanity Saving Mattress Run)

A first in 1,000 hotel nights: What would you do?

Hotel Deals on Parade: Secret Escapes

The unsung hotel status perk

IHG: Points with training wheels

What is this $2500 hotel room really worth? Referral program: $40 off $300

My Thoughts on All-Inclusive Resorts

2 Hyatt Place Hotels that stand above the rest

Jetsetter: a luxury hotel site that hands out credits like candy

3 hotel chains that are suprisingly good overseas

The two magic words (and one quick webform) that get me Hotel upgrades for free!

My 10 stay shortcut to IHG Club Platinum! hint: buy points at .2 cents each

IHG Pointbreaks for Real Life: Sanity Savers

Where Hotels are all the Same, Details Matter

Hyatt BRG: A Big Disappointment

I got charged for a hotel room I cancelled

Marriott Megabonus: 2 nights O’Hare Airport = Free Stay in a 700 year old Convent in Grenada

Here is why I always tip housekeeping

A Club Carlson Gold Benefit No One Talks About

Gilded Cage Syndrome

Honey, Hyatt Blew Up the Toiletries!

Credit Card Faves

Barclaycard Travel Community: 20K miles a month for your status updates

Mastercard Priceless: Freebies and Deals you might not know about!

A Credit Card Bonus I love: concert venue perks

American Express FHR: Hotel Steals!

SPG Auctions: Cirque de Soleil day


Uber with kids

A Trick I Learned to Save on Amtrak with Kids

Megabus: Not just for the Big Apple Anymore

Parking Panda: my 1/2 off no-brainer parking solution

AutoSlash: The Site That Finds Cheaper Rentals For You

Need a taxi to the airport? Rent a car instead!

The Deal Mommy Guide to Car Rentals

Firefly: Hertz’s discount little sister, and your $9.99 BFF

When NOT to Priceline your car rentals, and my tips for success when you do


Tips and Tricks

This is what 903,376 points looks like

Warning: Last year we Spring Forward twice

The Tourism Life Cycle: Why It Matters (and Finding Your Sweet Spot)

Facing the Fear: Lessons Learned from 20 Years of Solo Travel

4 Takeaways from the 2014 DC Travel Adventure Show

2013 in Numbers: How The Deal Family Traveled, and How We Did It Without Going Broke

Destination Anywhere?

Goldstar: Cheap and free event tickets nationwide

Instant Inspiration: Travel Guides to Anywhere, USA

My secret weapon to slash museum costs

When Politics Disrupt Your Plans

Traveling during Rainy Season? Bookmark this page!

The question I ask before taking advantage of any travel deal

Do you take Oblications? Here are some tips to save!

How I rent excess time share for $249 a week.

When is an experience worth full retail? Here is how I decide.

Here’s how I got 24 nights of summer vacation in 2012 for $2124!

Pack for a Purpose: Doing Good While Living Well

Do good for FREE: give a $25 loan from Kiva to a group you choose.

Travel Tools and Gear

Gift Guide: Traveler’s Edition

Fly with a carseat kid? Spend $14 now, thank me later

My $7 Security Solution

Eagle Creek’s Lifetime Guarantee on my 1995 Honeymoon suitcase.




Aveda Institute Denver Review: My 1/2 off Spa Secret


Trip Report: Hampton Inn and Suites Vilano Beach/St. Augustine

Trip Report: Coconut Palms Beach Resort II

The coolest playground on Earth? The Rocket Garden @Nasa_Kennedy gets my vote!

Angry Birds at Kennedy Space Center: Genius, Idiocracy, or both?

The Deal Mommy Guide to Disney



Sleeping at McDonalds (Hyatt Lodge at Hamburger U)

Is this the Best Museum Store in the World?


Baltimore’s Holiday Gift To You: Miracle on 34th Street

Hyatt Chesapeake Bay: Our Kellerman’s

Holiday Inn Solomons Island Trip Report

Baltimore Aquarium: the perfect two hour tour

Trip Report: Brookshire Suites Baltimore

Inn at Perry Cabin Trip Report


Luxor vs. Excalibur: the MLife Budget Hotel Showdown!

Landry’s Select: Vegas Freebies

Flamingo Wildlife Habitat: Early Morning (Free) Stuff to do with Kids

Hard Rock Hotel Trip Report

TheHotel at Mandalay Bay Trip Report

Mlife/Hyatt Stay Credit: What Counts, What Doesn’t

New York

Hyatt Herald Square Trip Report

Radisson Martinique trip report

Top tips to save on tickets and attractions in New York City

Downtown with Kids: The Strand Bookstore and Peanut Butter and Company

Macy’s Parade for Less!

NYC for the Holidays? Mastercard piles on the Freebies!

KidTooning with the New Yorker and Mastercard: Priceless and Free!


Park Inn, Harrisburg, PA, an Unexpected Treat


Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmastown: Perfect for a winter getaway

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Howl-O-Scream: Should You Take Your Kids?

Hampton Crowne Plaza trip report

Washington DC

Cherry Blossom Viewing Tips from a 20 year veteran

The Spy Museum with Kids: Mission Impossible?


Planning a #vacation during #hurricane season? Here is what you NEED to know!

Dreamin of Atlantis? Here’s a tip that will save you $ and earn you points to boot!

Curious about Cuba? I’ve been There.

Turks and Caicos

Beaches Turks and Caicos Review: Part 1, The Experience

Beaches Turks and Caicos Review: Part 2, Dollars and Sense


Canadian Dollar is down to 85 cents US. Time to head North!

Residence Inn Montreal Westmount trip report

2013 is the year you MUST visit Quebec City: Last summer for free Cirque de Soleil shows!


Urban Adventures Mexico City: AKA My Little Victory at the Pyramid of the Sun

Dia de Los Muertos in Photos

Mexico City layover with kids

Mexico, aqui vengo!

Mexico City Salvation

Cielito Lindo

Extreme Slugbug, World Peace, and Chickens


The Airport Where Everybody Knows Your Name


The World’s 10th Best Hotel is a Bargain on Points


Traveling through Europe with Kids 15 or Under? Use this Trick to get ALL of them around for free!

Planning a Trip on the Eurostar? 4 Mistakes I Made So You Don’t Have To

Plus Size in Europe? Here are my favorite stores!

Before you book a train ticket in Europe with kids, you MUST ask this question!

Driving with Kids 12 or Under? Read this Post to Avoid a Nasty Surprise

Camp Mom 2013: 11 days in Europe for $1420

$112/night abbey hotel near London


Provence on Points

Radisson Paris Blu Bologne Trip Report

Hyatt Paris Etoile Review Part 1, Part 2 Part 3


Top 5 reasons Belfast is better than Dublin

Ireland Car Rental: A Nasty Bit of Fine Print that Could Ruin Your Vacation

Poppin’ Tags in Belfast

Dromoland Castle trip report

How we got from Boston to Dublin for 25K miles round trip!

The Best Meal We Ate in Dublin Faced the Bedding Department


Our $84/night Austrian Castle

Charlemange’s Strudel


Breakfast at the Vatican by City Wonders: The access is worth every penny

4 reasons to visit Matera: Italy’s (Insert Cliche Here)

The 5 Star Crypt on Rome’s Via Veneto

The OTHER Roman Colosseum

Luxury Link: Here’s the one I picked.

My worst taxi ride

Canary Islands

Ritz Carlton Tenerife review


Camp Mom reality check: what a 30 day luxury trip to Asia really costs

Camp Mom Asia Recap


Tokyo Disney 101

My favorite Tokyo garden is hidden inside a hotel

Tokyo Robot Restaurant review

Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay Review

Wanna Save on a Disney Vacation? Grab Your Passport!

A baseball game in Tokyo

The joys of overseas drug stores

Pay with a Kit Kat on a Japanese Train

South East Asia

How I made Hanoi work for the Deal Kids

Hong Kong Disneyland Tips

Vendoming Vietnam

My $18/night Bangkok Apartment, AKA Why are you using points in South East Asia again? (Thailand)

Centara Grand Beach resort in Hua Hin, Thailand

Bali? No Way! (Indonesia)

Does Bali deserve a 2nd chance?

Souvenir Stories

Gas Station Football Glass (Spain)

Garrett’s Popcorn

The Mexican souvenir I use to stay warm

Magic Man (Vegas)

My love for Vietnamese Coffee

Ortigia Sicilia: My Italian Aromatic Discovery

I’m a Bag Lady

Misha Bear (Poland)

My Favorite Souvenir from Bangkok (Thailand)

The Joys of European Newsstands

The Scent of Ireland is NOT Found on a Bus Tour


Speculative miles are worth a penny each. Sometimes less.

The more you know: Points sales earn bloggers commission

Top 5 reasons the listicle needs to go away

Travel is NOT free: The Bonnie Rule

Is there a difference between travel and vacation (or am I just a snob)?

Embracing the Suck

Would you fly around the world in 4 days just because it’s cheap?

What’s the “Deal”? Not this clunker to Hawaii, Washington Post Travel!

The Mid Atlantic Beach vacation is a total waste of money.

When 1 Euro is just too much

Get over yourselves, haters!

Coca Cola Promotion goes horribly wrong, prints slur on bottle cap

True Deal Mommy Confessions

I think Uber is creepy

Vendoming Vietnam

On Solo Travel as a Mom and Wife

Eis Capades (Germany)

Geography Fail

Camp Mom 2013 Recap: Holy Crap, it worked! (Europe)

Hopeless! (Tenerife)

On Children’s Day, Sweet Potatoes, and a Trunkful of Cocaine (China)

Missoni, a Love Story

I wish I had known…

The Deal Mommy Origin Story, or how Points Saved my Sanity

The Real World” and The Real World

There will never be another 22 (or 32, or 42…)

Lessons learned from 2 years of blogging


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