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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

12 Things You Should Never Do in Hawaii

(288) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 4:20 PM

Just as there isn't one single best way to vacation in Hawaii, there are many ways to do it wrong. To have a great trip in the Aloha State, avoid these 12 pitfalls.

Then again, if nothing says vacation like speeding tickets, painful stings,...

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Barcelona: An Insider's Guide to 24 Hidden Gems for Travelers

(1) Comments | Posted July 21, 2015 | 4:12 PM


Want good advice about a destination? Find a local. Want great advice? Seek out locals who love their home so much they've made it their life's work to help visitors fall in love with it, too.

Offering visitors unrivaled expertise on Barcelona,...

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8 Secret Places in China That Tourists Haven't Discovered Yet

(1) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 2:08 PM

Don't get us wrong: We'll never stop being impressed with the Great Wall or the Forbidden City. But China is a vast country, and as more North Americans turn their sights eastward, we jumped at the chance to...

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The 10 Best Coach-Class Airlines in the World

(8) Comments | Posted July 15, 2015 | 11:32 AM

You see a lot of "best airline" stories, but many look suspiciously like they were based on business- and first-class. For most travelers, however, what happens at the front of the plane stays at the front of the plane—it's something to fantasize about, but...

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The Best One-Tank Road Trips For Summer

(40) 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

(1) 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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