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Planning a summer vacation?  Save a few dollars when you select one of the following hotel brands.

Photo: Jim Twardowski

Photo: Jim Twardowski

It pays to stay at IHG

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) may not be an immediately recognizable name, but you know their hotels. The parent company to all the Holiday Inn brands, Staybridge Suites, Crown Plaza, Hotel Indigo, and Candlewood Suites is giving $50 to guests who stay two consecutive weekday nights. The Rules:

  • Before your stay, register online for the promotion.
  • Two consecutive stays must occur on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
  • The offer is from April 16 through August 2, 2012.
  • Maximum of four rewards (up to $200) may be issued per household.
  • To receive the $50 — a $50 Travel Bonus prepaid MasterCard — you must submit rebate documentation.

Escape with Westin

Book a two night stay or more at select Westin hotels and receive a third complimentary night. Simply mention “Complimentary Night” when calling 1.800.937.8461. Arrival day must be a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, and the offer is valid through December, 31 2012.

Free Breakfast at Courtyard

Courtyard by Marriott hotels are giving guests complimentary breakfast nationwide. Book the “Stay for Breakfast” package using promotion code S4B online or by calling 1.800.834.7015.  Offer includes accommodations and breakfast for two (kids 12 and under eat free), and the promotion is valid through December 21, 2012.

Live It Up with Loews

Who doesn’t enjoy a long weekend? Loews luxury hotels — located in 16 destinations including Coronado Bay, California, New York City, New York, and Montreal, Canada — is giving 20% off your three or more day stay at all their properties (excluding Orlando hotels) from now until December 31, 2012.

Based on availability and some black out dates may apply; good for arrivals Thursday-Saturday. Visit the Loews website or call 1.800.235.6397.

Embassy Suites Sweepstakes

The “366 Days of More Sweepstakes” is giving away free lodging at the Embassy Suites Hotels every day until February 29, 2013. The brand that gives guests more through 2-room suites, free cooked-to-order breakfast, and nightly manager’s receptions is offering a chance to win a free night’s stay, plus a night to gift to a friend.  Enter the sweeps on Facebook at facebook.com/EmbassySuitesHotels.

Jim Twardowski, BSN, RN, CMSRN, is a travel writer based in Louisiana. His work has been featured in AAA Home & AwayGlobal Traveler, and QUEST magazines.

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Photo: JoeyBLS Photography via Flickr.com

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be blind? The exhibit Dialog in the Dark takes participants on a one-hour journey through the streets of New York City in a completely dark environment.

Led by guides who are blind or visually impaired, participants’ senses are heightened as they haltingly navigate across busy, simulated streets, to a subway station, and into Times Square.

Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Dialog in the Dark is located at the South Street Seaport next to BODIES the Exhibition. Adult tickets are $23.50 and can be purchased at the exhibit box office, on Ticketmaster.com, or by calling 1-888-926-3437.

More than 15 million people worldwide have experienced BODIES the Exhibition, currently open to the public in New York City, Atlanta, and Las Vegas. BODIES the Exhibition features real human bodies, preserved using mortuary science, standing in an array of athletic poses. Unlike idealized models, the more than 200 respectfully displayed specimens provide a far more accurate understanding of anatomy.

Open seven days a week in NYC, adult tickets are sold on Ticketmaster.com for $28.50.

Where to Stay

Seven New York City hotels are offering buy one get one free admission to Dialog in the Dark.  The hotels participating in this promotion include:

  • Hilton Times Square
  • Hilton New York Fashion District
  • DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Times Square
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan Hotel
  • Hampton Inn Manhattan Times Square North
  • Hilton Garden Inn New York/West 35th Street
  • Hilton Garden Inn Times Square

The NY Super Sale Package includes a reduced rate accommodation, buy one/get one free admission to Dialog in the Dark, and a $5 off coupon to Madame Tussauds from now through December 31, 2012.  Use code NX or NX1 at the Hilton online, or mention it when calling 1-800-HILTONS.

Jim Twardowski, BSN, RN, CMSRN, is a travel writer based in Louisiana. His work has been featured in AAA Home & AwayGlobal Traveler, and QUEST magazines.

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Photo: Michelle Meiklejohn

What began as a group of friends playing music and eating potluck suppers on Friday nights, soon evolved into the Tucson Kitchen Musician’s Association. Now with more than 300 members, the nonprofit organization sponsors the annual Tucson Folk Festival. Celebrating its 27th year in 2012, the festival will be held May 5 and 6.

About the Festival

Drawing more than 10,000 viewers annually, the free festival attracts people from all walks of life with the promise of live acoustic music performed on five stages. Other activities include a song writing contest, and workshops ranging in topics from native flute making to Hootenanny.

Headlining the festival on Saturday, May 5, is BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, a band that has received 11 Grammy nominations during its 30+ year career. In 2009, the band won a Grammy for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album for “Live at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.”

Where to Stay

In celebration of Arizona’s Centennial, the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa is offering guests a two-night stay at the best available rate, and a third night for $19.12, in recognition of the year Arizona became a state.

Guests can also receive 25% off the following resort amenities:

  • All resort and food beverage outlets including: AZUL, Janos, and J BAR
  • Red Door Spa products, an Ultimate Facial, and any 80-minute body treatment
  • Green fees for golfers
  • Regular priced items at La Paloma Country Club and Racquets
  • The Essentials Gift Shop and the Sunsations Shop

Reservations can be made online or by calling 866.716.8137. For the above discounts, use promotion code ANW (valid through Dec. 31, 2012).

Other Tucson Tourism 

Receive two-for-one admissions and discounts at popular attractions when you purchase a Tucson Attractions Passport for $18. The Passport can be bought online, and is good for 45 attractions including the Biosphere 2, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Fox Tucson Theatre, International Wildlife Museum, Colossal Cave Mountain Park, Titan Missile Museum, Tucson Museum of Art, and more.

Jim Twardowski, RN, is a travel writer based in New Orleans.

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