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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

How to Tell if a Vacation Package Is a Good Deal

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 10:14 AM

The all-inclusive vacation package that just popped into your inbox seems like an amazing deal, and it's limited-time only, so you better book it now, right? Not so fast. Before you commit to that package deal, follow these steps to make sure it's really a bargain.

Run the Numbers

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Locals Tell All: The Most Annoying Things Tourists Do In Their City

(2) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 9:24 AM

(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

We envy the people that live in the dream destinations we visit. But we understand it can be hard for locals to deal with crowds of tourists day after day. We asked our readers: "What are the most annoying things...

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5 Worst Behaviors We've Seen on Planes

(6) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 4:35 PM

2015-05-05-1430857798-1202808-badbehaviorsplanes.jpg(Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

Flying's not exactly fun -- you're trapped in a small place with lots of strangers, after all -- but most people at least follow the social contract and keep to themselves. Then there are the inconsiderate few who throw niceties to the...

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How to Plan an Insanely Cheap Trip That Feels Expensive

(1) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 3:05 PM

2015-05-05-1430852682-5504114-cheapexpensive.jpg (Photo: Images)

You don't have to spend a lot of money to feel like a jetsetting boss while traveling. The trick is a combination of knowing how to get expensive amenities for cheap, while also adopting the mindset that indulgences do not...

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Your Summer Flight Just Got Cheaper -- Here's Why

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2015 | 4:07 PM

Finally, a small sliver of good news for air travelers: Summer airfares are falling.

According to a report from the Airlines Reporting Corp, domestic airfares are $2.01 cheaper compared to last summer; that's a less than 1 percent drop. The average price for a plane ticket in the U.S. this...

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The Shocking Secret of the Green Tea Kit Kat

(4) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 6:09 PM


Before leaving on a recent trip to Japan, friends and family kept asking me the same question: "Will you bring me back a Green Tea Kit Kat?" They could have asked for anything -- beautiful paper, handmade ceramics, cutting-edge electronics -- but all they...

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10 Foods You Should Never Eat Overseas

(28) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 2:33 PM

Memories, souvenirs, and photos are all great things to bring home from a trip. Less wonderful are E. coli, Hepatitis A, typhoid fever, and other byproducts of tainted food. As counterintuitive as it may seem, you may have to say "no" to some foods in order to say "yes" to...

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5 Caribbean Destinations You Haven't Considered (But Should)

(5) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 2:20 PM

(Photo: Silhouette of Woman at Beachside Hammock via Shutterstock)

Most people only think they know the Caribbean. Geographically speaking, the true Caribbean expands all the way to destinations in Central and South America. Expand your thinking—and your vacation possibilities—by considering...

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12 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Crossing the Street in Vietnam

(2) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 3:52 PM

2015-04-15-1429123365-7479950-vietnamstreet_vendor_waiting_to_cross_busy_streetdd.jpg (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

In cities like Hanoi or Saigon where pedestrian crossings are merely something to speed over, stoplights are practically non-existent, one-way streets are laughed at, and thousands of motorbikes speed past without stopping, crossing the street can be an intense experience. The...

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You Should Always Know The Kind Of Plane You're On, And Here's Why

(41) Comments | Posted April 15, 2015 | 3:51 PM

(Photo: Shutterstock/hxdyl)

Always know your plane. The type of aircraft on which you're flying can have a big effect on the quality of your trip.

The most important time to "get to know your plane" is when you're selecting a flight and...

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호텔 룸메이드는 당신의 소지품을 뒤질까?(동영상)

(0) Comments | Posted April 14, 2015 | 3:06 PM

사람은 누구나 혼자 있을 땐 적절치 못한 행동을 한다. 그런데 지난 11월에 공유되어 SNS로 퍼진 비디오를 보면 가끔은 호텔 룸메이드도 그런 짓을 하는 것 같다. 고급 호텔 체인에서 일하는 어느 룸메이드가 손님의 소지품을 뒤지는 모습이 포착됐다. 손님의 태블릿 컴퓨터를 이용해보려고 몇 번 누르고 랩톱을 사용하려고 시도한다. 아무것도 없어진 건 없지만,...

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5 Totally Amazing Europe Trips Under $500

(26) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 1:06 PM

The process of picking one place to visit in Europe, with its wealth of stunning travel destinations, isn't easy. But for budget travelers, we have a few excellent ideas for planning an unforgettable vacation that's both marvelous and within your means. These ultra-cheap vacation recommendations command a price of around...

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Does The Hotel Maid Look Through Your Stuff?

(9) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 11:53 AM

(Photo: James Doberman/Getty Images)

Sometimes people do inappropriate things when no one is looking. Sometimes those people are hotel housekeepers, as was indicated in a hidden-camera video that went viral last November. A clip filmed at a "well-known American hotel brand" revealed...

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10 Secrets to Ultra-Cheap Travel

(6) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 10:40 AM

(Photo: Woman with Elbows on Overflowing Suitcase via Shutterstock)

Seasoned budget travelers aren't "cheap" in the traditional sense of the word -- they're just good at stretching every dollar. Here are 10 secrets every budget traveler should know about seeing...

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Love Wine? Sonoma's Grape Camp Is Your Dream Vacation

(2) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 4:20 PM

(Photo: Sonoma County Winegrowers)

During the harvest, Sonoma is a universe unto itself. The sweet aroma of grapes swirls in September's warm air. Under stars and into the early-morning light, grapes are picked -- one bucket at a time -- among the...

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The 2 Cheapest Days of the Week to Fly

(49) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 2:10 PM

(Photo: Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images)

Be a little flexible with your flight itinerary and you could save some cash; that's because some days are cheaper for flying than others. There are three days specifically that are cheapest for air passengers. Those days...

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6 Packing Tips for Hoarders

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 1:58 PM

(Photo: Fuse/Getty Images)

Does the hoarder within take over when it's time to pack? You're not alone. Overpacking, triggered by the fear of leaving something important behind is quite common. But it's curable. The key to letting go of all that excess stuff...

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10 Vacations to Take Before Your Kids Turn 10

(4) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 1:59 PM

(Photo: Silhouette of Family at Beach/Shutterstock)

They may not appear so at first glance, but kids are the perfect travelers. Sure, they're more prone to meltdowns and jet lag, but they see the world with pure amazement, a skill many of...

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7 Secrets To Ultra-Cheap Europe Flights

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 12:23 PM

As the euro falls against the dollar and the weather warms, now is the time to book a trip across the pond. But a favorable exchange rate won't help you get there for less. That's where we come in. Here are seven tried-and-true booking strategies for nabbing the absolute cheapest...

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The Sneaky New Way Airlines Are Raising Fares

(2) Comments | Posted March 23, 2015 | 12:22 PM

2015-03-23-1427127548-6717834-airportfrustratedbusinessmanwithheadinhandsatairportdd.jpg(Photo: Frustrated Businessman with Head in Hands via Shutterstock)

Fare bundling is the increasingly common airline practice of offering different levels of economy fares that provide different combinations of features at different prices. And like so many changes to the...

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