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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

The Best One-Tank Road Trips For Summer

(28) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 3:25 PM

Nothing says "summer in America" like a road trip. But you don't want to blow your whole vacation budget on gas, so we've rounded up the best destinations that you can get to (and back!) on just one tank of gas from major cities around the country.

Whether you're...

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10 Secret Spots in America's Top National Parks

(0) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 3:06 PM

America's National Park Service runs more than 405 sites, including national seashores, recreation areas, historical sites, and national parks. Collectively, these sites receive about 70 million visitors a year -- with more than 10 million of them heading to just one national park in particular (Great Smoky Mountains).


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10 Ways You're Sabotaging Your Ability To Sleep On A Plane

(1) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 1:33 PM

When boarding a plane, you have the purest of intentions: You're going to use this rare empty stretch of time to catch up on much-needed sleep. You'll land at your destination bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and ready to take on the world!

But things aren't ever that simple, are they? In...

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Tiny Travel Gadgets You Didn't Know You Needed

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 2:52 PM

Having the latest technology at your fingertips doesn't have to mean weighing down your suitcase. We've found eight can't-travel-without gadgets you never knew existed (until now), and best of all, they're all pocket-sized.

VoltReady Dual Output Portable Battery

Charge your iPhone 6 and your Kindle at the same time, using...

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Here's The Real Way Checked Bags Get Loaded on a Plane

(4) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 11:15 AM

Does checking a bag early mean it will be last off the plane? Does checking a bag at the last minute mean it will be first to the carousel?

I had some time to ponder this recently as I was waiting for a bag while connecting on an international Delta...

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9 Gadgets That Make It Easy to Travel Without a Bag

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 10:02 AM

Camera, water, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, tissues, etc. It can be hard to travel light without sacrificing the essentials that keep you comfortable and healthy on the road. But hauling around a backpack or purse all day can be a (literal) pain in your back and shoulders, too. So maybe it's...

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4 Very Good Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance

(0) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 9:50 AM


For some trips, travel insurance is a virtual necessity; for others, it's worthless. The question boils down to a matter of risk. A basic purpose of any insurance is to mitigate financial risk.

So when you have a travel risk, travel insurance can...

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Travel Gadgets You Should Always Splurge On

(1) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 3:17 PM

Some travel items you can splurge on, some you can skimp on. (We learned this the hard way after having one too many cheap suitcases fall apart on us.) Here are our picks for the essential travel products that are worth spending a little bit more on.

A Good Suitcase

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6 Insanely Cheap Summer Trips for 2015

(166) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 2:51 PM

McWay Falls, Big Sur, California (Photo: Mark Newman/Getty Images)

This summer, why not go where the prices are unusually cheap and the dollar is unexpectedly strong? By weighing hotel rates and airfare prices alongside industry trends and local currencies, we've come up...

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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

(3) 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

(5) 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

(3) 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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