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SmarterTravel is one of the largest online travel resources of independent expert advice for the budget-conscious traveler. SmarterTravel's experts guide travelers with unbiased information on the best deals, destinations, and money-saving tips. SmarterTravel is part of Smarter Travel Media LLC, a TripAdvisor, Inc Company.

Entries by SmarterTravel

10 Best Small Towns for the Holidays

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 2:34 PM


Town squares lit with strings of sparkling lights. Christmas carolers in bonnets and tails. Horse-drawn carriages and snowcapped roofs.

If you want a holiday experience straight out of It's a Wonderful Life, then you need to find a small-town celebration this year. From...

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Caribbean Adventures Worth Leaving Your All-Inclusive For

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 2:23 PM


Sometimes you need an adventure that gets your heart thumping, a thrill to remind you that deep down inside you're still as fun and gutsy as you were when you were 20. These Caribbean adventures are the adrenaline-awakening experience you're looking for. They'll...

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7 Gadgets You Should Never Use on a Plane

(1) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 5:15 PM


There are some things you just shouldn't bring on a plane: smelly cheese, inappropriate clothing, porn. But gadgets that annoy, intrude upon others, or foster in-flight conflict are at the very top of the list. Here are seven that should be prohibited—but, at...

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Destinations to Watch in 2015

(2) Comments | Posted December 9, 2014 | 4:47 PM


With nearly 200 countries in the world, choosing your next destination is no small task. Luckily, some cities and countries are setting themselves apart in 2015 with brand-new service and developments, big birthdays, yearlong festivities and global events.

Ready for a vacation...

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Best Beach Destinations in the Florida Keys

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 5:11 PM


While residents of cold-weather climates are shivering indoors by the fire, the lucky folks who visit the Florida Keys are snorkeling, splashing, and fishing in still-temperate waters. The shores of this island chain—with dazzling coral reefs and an abundance of wildlife—are recognized as...

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10 (Almost) Free Travel Deals, 2014 Edition

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2014 | 4:40 PM


"Free." It's everyone's favorite four-letter word, and one especially dear to travelers the world over. Want to get something for nothing? Check out these 10 no-strings-attached travel offers.

Third-Day Free at Universal Studios

Buy a two-day Universal Studios admission ticket...

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Soak in These Amazing Geothermal Hot Spots

(1) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 4:43 PM

Termas del Rincon, Chile (Photo: Turismo Chile)

For an invigorating escape, one that renews your body and soul, head to a gorgeous geothermal hot spot. These destinations, where the earth's crust breaks open with bubbling mud, gushing hot...

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Top Five Off-Peak Destinations for Winter 2014/2015

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 4:38 PM

Four Seasons Denver (Photo: TripAdvisor, LLC)

Don't let fear of cold weather cloud your vision of the perfect winter vacation. Low-season trips to spots where winter weather reigns are where it's at, for many reasons. An off-peak destination...

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Travel Back in Time to These Amazing Ancient Cities

(12) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 2:26 PM


The world's oldest cities are once-in-a-lifetime destinations, places that effortlessly inspire awe and put you in the shoes of a time traveler. To walk labyrinthine streets, marvel at crumbling fortress walls, or see kings' tombs that have endured thousands of years is to...

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A Night at the Museum: Sleepovers in Unusual Spaces

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2014 | 2:05 PM

When Airbnb collaborated with IKEA to offer accommodations in a Sydney furniture store last summer, we were pretty excited. How fun would it be to spend the night in a warehouse maze of colorful model kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms? Sadly, the IKEA lodging was a limited-time offer....

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Unexpected Airline Offerings Free With the Cost of Your Ticket

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 3:41 PM


Surprise! We lost your luggage. Surprise! Your tray table is broken. While it seems like most airline surprises end in disappointment, a few bold airlines are delighting passengers every day with pleasing perks to make flying just a little better. Some—like traditional sweets...

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10 Shameless Ways to Get a Free Drink

(0) Comments | Posted November 11, 2014 | 1:23 PM


Whether you're drinking beer, Champagne, or the "Champagne of beers," one thing we can all agree on is that booze tastes even sweeter when it's free. But how can you score free drinks (both alcoholic and nonalcoholic) without compromising your morals? Why, with...

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10 Places You Shouldn't Go If You Have Phobias

(5) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 5:31 PM


Afraid of clowns? We suggest you steer clear of Baraboo, Wisconsin. Can't stand bats? Maybe Austin isn't the city for you. In this, our most macabre month, we're taking a look at 10 places known for the kind of spectacles that many people...

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Delicious Airport Fare That Will Make You Love Your Layover

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 5:31 PM

As a general rule, I hate airport food. But once in a while, a culinary gem appears between the Starbucks and the Burger King, elevating terminal eating with the fresh, the organic, the artful plate garnished with sweet tomato chutney and a sprig of mint. I'm happy to report that...

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Six Warning Signs Your Hotel Is Not What It Seems

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 3:27 PM


It has probably happened to everyone at least once: That charming B&B or upscale hotel turns out to be not quite as advertised when you see it in person. To avoid that kind of disappointment in the future, watch for these six warning...

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This Year's Most Popular Destinations for Fall

(2) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 12:17 PM

Fall travel has a lot to recommend it: mild temperatures, fewer crowds, and shoulder-season rates. So what are the most popular destinations for autumn escapes? We asked, which gets more than 2.5 million daily search queries from more than 175 aggregated hotel booking sites.

Trivago analyzed searches from U.S....

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Incredible Free Museums Around the World

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 3:40 PM

2014-09-30-stm542074d89752620140922.jpg(Photo: The British Museum)

Jetting around the world isn't free, but cultural enrichment can be. We uncovered 10 incredible museums—from Paris to Beijing—where cultural discovery is rich but admission is free for all.

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

When we rounded up

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7 Shameless Ways To Get An Upgrade

(9) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 11:15 AM

Want an upgrade? The key is availability: All upgrades are based on it. They're also, largely, based on loyalty status. But even if you do belong to your airline's or hotel's loyalty program, you're still competing with countless other travelers for the same upgrade. To rise above the pack, it'll...

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10 Signs You're The Worst Person On Your Flight

(187) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 3:04 PM

Are you a candidate for most-hated passenger on the plane? If you're guilty of any of the following bad habits, you'll likely be the subject of disdainful glares, sanctimonious whispers, and violent revenge fantasies on your next flight. Here are 10 signs that you're the human embodiment of all that...

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10 Belly-Busting Buffets from Around the World

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 2:29 PM

Are there any words more glorious in the English language than "unlimited buffet"? Do you see the phrase "all-you-can-eat" as a challenge rather than an invitation? Then you'll love these 10 gluttonous, outrageous, belly-busting buffets from around the world.

Bacchanal Buffet, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

It's known as the $100...

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