Categories
Health & Wellness Road Trip

7 Ways to Stay Awake on Long Drives

When you hit the road, don’t rely on rumble strips to keep you alert and on target. Here’s how to stay awake while driving no matter where your next road trip might take you.

Drink Something Caffeinated

Whether you brew your coffee at home or buy it on the road, drink it black if you can tolerate it. The coffee’s bitterness will provide a quick jolt before the caffeine even enters your bloodstream. As a backup, keep something like a 5-Hour Energy drink or NoDoz pills in the glove compartment.

Eat Healthy Snacks

Keep a few snacks within reach, but make sure they’re not just empty calories. Treats with less sugar and more protein tend to distribute energy at a more constant, even pace—rather than a jolt followed by a food coma. Examples include trail mix and protein bars.

Bring a Buddy

A road companion is probably the best thing you can bring with you on a trip. Have your friend DJ or chat with you throughout the ride, but mostly have your pal keep you honest when the sheep want to start jumping overhead. Consider enjoying some audiobooks together as well.

Be Cool

Warm, cozy temperatures are synonymous with the arrival of the Sandman, so keep the vehicle just a few notches below your ideal temperature—though not enough to make it too uncomfortable, of course. Cracking a window open for a burst of fresh air can also help keep you awake.

Do Some Facercise (Facial Exercise)

The original purpose behind facercise is to reduce wrinkles and tone lax facial muscles, but it’s also great for waking up. Here are some techniques to get you started:

  • Hyper-extend your lower jaw, then wiggle it side-to-side
  • Suck in your cheeks
  • Open your mouth very wide, then tightly purse your lips
  • Hyper-open your eyes, then raise your eyebrows
  • Repeat the above or create some facercises of your own

Too silly for you? Consider other small movements such as tapping your fingers on the steering wheel or tightening your thigh muscles.

Get a Vehicle with a Lane-Departure Warning System

For those with extreme road doze, consider investing in a car with a lane-departure warning system, which will notify you when the vehicle drifts out of its lane without a turn-signal indication.

Take a Break

Even if you’re running late and you still have a long stretch of driving ahead of you, make time for a break. When the scenery starts to lull you into a stupor, pull over—at a rest stop, preferably. It’s always better to arrive late than never at all.

More from SmarterTravel:

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2012. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Holiday Travel Packing Pet Travel Travel Technology Travel Trends

The 8 Best Amazon Top Sellers Under $11 (Plus, the Most-Wished-for Item)

Travel inspiration comes in many forms , including the ever-updating list of Amazon top sellers. From stay-at-home games to travel-friendly wallets, these gifts under $11 offer plenty of inspiration and fun at an affordable price. Here are some of our favorite top-selling Amazon items for 2020.

Amazon Top Seller in Calendars

An Amazon best seller in calendars, the 2020 National Geographic Parks & Monuments Wall Calendar is a page-turning source for travel inspo month after month. Continue your journey, each month visiting a new United States national park or monument.

[st_related]The 15 Best Airplane Books for Long Flights [/st_related]

Amazon Best Seller in Toys and Games

jenga-game

Among the best-selling products on Amazon’s toys and games list is the perennial favorite block-stacking (and toppling) game, Jenga. Unplug and gather the fam around this wholesome classic.

[st_related]The Best Amazon Magazine Subscriptions for Any Type of Traveler [/st_related]

Amazon Best Seller in Cell Phones and Accessories

screen-protector

Keeping your phone’s screen scratch-free is so simple it’s silly not to protect it. Yeah, it’s a sound investment to stick an $7 screen protector on your $1,200 phone, and as the second most popular item on Amazon’s cell phones and accessories list, it’s a tried, true, and affordable option.

Amazon Top Seller in Clothing, Shoes, and Jewelry

hanes-sweatshirt

Scandinavians have a saying: There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Perfect for layering—one secret to surviving icy winters—is the Hanes Men’s Ecosmart Fleece Sweatshirt. This best-selling item on Amazon’s clothing, shoes, and jewelry list comes in 28 colors and up to 5XL in size.

[st_related]Best New Travel Shoes for Men [/st_related]

Amazon Best Seller in Accessories

rfid-wallet

Minimize the bulk—and the chance of falling victim to identity theft—with the help of this slimmed-down RFID-blocking wallet. Another item on Amazon’s clothing, shoes, and jewelry list, it comes in dozens of colors and styles.

Amazon Best Seller in Books

An Amazon best seller in books, Where the Crawdads Sing is a New York Times-best-selling title that’s also under-$10 right now. The book has frequented the best-seller charts since it debuted in 2018.

“A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature….Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders—and dangers—of her private world.”—The New York Times Book Review

[st_related]The 10 Best Books of 2019, According to Amazon [/st_related]

Amazon Top Seller in Video Games

PS-gift-card

The top-selling Amazon gift in the video games department is the $10 PlayStation gift card. Your recipient knows the game they want, so why not make it easy on everyone with a gift card?

Amazon Best Seller in Pet Supplies

squeaky-pet-toys

You may regret the purchase when the incessant squeaking starts, but one of the former best-selling items Amazon for pets is this squeaky plush toy. At $9 and without stuffing, it’s at least affordable and mess-free.

[st_related]Flying with a Dog? Here’s What You Need to Know [/st_related]

Plus, the Amazon Most-Wished-for Item

Not under $11: The most-wished-for item in Amazon’s home and kitchen category is currently the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, which moisturizes the air for as long as 16 hours so you can sleep rested and wake up feeling refreshed rather than with a dry, scratchy throat this allergy season.

More Favorites:

More from SmarterTravel:

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña Figueroa writes about travel. Follow her @PatiTravels.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

Editor’s note: All prices were correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

Categories
Active Travel Adventure Travel Arts & Culture Beach Booking Strategy Budget Travel Cities Entertainment Experiential Travel Family Travel Food & Drink Group Travel Historical Travel Island LGBT Luxury Travel Outdoors Romantic Travel Senior Travel Solo Travel Student Travel Sustainable Travel Theme Park Weekend Getaways Women's Travel

10 Best Places to Go in Florida

The United States is home to more than a dozen cities and towns named Florida, but none can compare with the real Florida’s natural fun-in-the-sun appeal.

The Best Places to Go in Florida

From the coolest cities in Florida, like Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, to top theme parks like Busch Gardens and Disney World, these must-see attractions top our list of the best places to go in Florida.

Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida

Disney Magic Kingdom

It’s no exaggeration to suggest that Walt Disney should have named his Orlando theme park Disney Universe—or even Disney Galaxy. The Walt Disney World Resort is so large, in fact, that it’s difficult to narrow down which of the four main theme parks and two water parks to make time for, let alone whether to stay at a hotel within the resort confines or conserve costs with a nearby off-resort stay. Even selecting your preferred theme-park entry ticket can be daunting.

Here is some helpful Walt Disney World Resort information to get you started at this must-see Florida attraction:

Disney World ticketing options include single-day, single-park passes for Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the Magic Kingdom. You can extend your Disney World family vacation with multi-day passes, which reduce the per-day rate significantly. For example, you can purchase two-day passes, three-day passes, seven-day passes, and 10-day passes. All tickets must be used within 14 days of your initial visit.

With multiday passes, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one Disney theme park. Tack on the Park Hopper option (with access to all four parks) to increase your ticket’s flexibility: Admission to Magic KingdomEpcotDisney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios is included.

For some Florida visitors, it’s not a vacation without wild water play or tee time. Disney knows how to round out the visit with two water parks (Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach), a nine-hole golf course, two mini-golf courses, the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park. Access to these extras is included in the Water Park Fun & More pass. You can also combine both the Park Hopper and Water Park Fun & More options for an additional fee.

Budget-minded travelers will easily find an array of accommodations options, with thousands of hotel rooms from “budget” to “luxury” within driving distance of Disney World. Consider a stay at a Disney Resort such as the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin if you want to take advantage of early-morning and late-night access to select theme parks. Guests of Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista also have an added hour of play before the general public is allowed in and three hours after the parks close for the evening.

With so many parades and shows, peruse the Disney calendar to find scheduled events, plan your itinerary, and work around park closings. No matter what, you’ll find there’s plenty to do in Orlando—one of the coolest cities in Florida.

South Beach, Miami, Florida

lincoln road miami beach.

Lovingly dubbed SoBe, South Beach’s reputation as a gregarious scene for the fun-loving is well deserved among young and old visitors alike. From laid-back lounges to racy dance clubs, South Beach is world-renowned for its hot nightlife (many clubs operate until dawn). And while the robust club and dining scene is too caliente to sleep through every night, SoBe also knows how to play “grown-up” during the day.

Actually the southernmost tip of Miami Beach, South Beach is one of the best places to go in Miami Beach and home to many enriching cultural offerings, including Miami City BalletNew World SymphonyHolocaust Memorial of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and Miami Beach Botanical Garden. And you’d be remiss to pass up a stroll along South Beach’s world-famous Art Deco District. This historical part of South Beach is easy to meander along—not only because of its vintage beauty, which is alive with more than 800 candy-colored art deco-style structures, but also because of its concentrated size: a single square mile. Learn about South Beach’s celebrated history by going on a guided art deco walking tour led by the Miami Design Preservation League.

On South Beach, both locals and tourists know how to share the sun, sand, and the occasional pickup volleyball game. Expedite a speedy hangover recovery with yoga lessons from 3rd Street Beach Yoga. Generous instructors facilitate donation-based “yoga from the heart” near the beach’s lifeguard hut.

Always a popular tourist destination, South Beach experiences its biggest influx of visitors in March (spring break), April (Pride festivities), and over Memorial Day Weekend (Urban Beach Week).

Everglades National Park, Florida

everglades national park

A visit to Everglades National Park isn’t just a must-see Florida attraction or one of the top things to do in Florida—it’s an adventure traveler’s dream. The Everglades offers canoe and hiking trails, airboat and tram tours, bird-watching expeditions, and camping.

Also a mecca for those seeking out wildlife sightings, the Florida Everglades’ ecosystem is one of the top attractions in Florida because it’s like no other in the world. Alligators, crocodiles, falcons, turtles, and even panthers are but a few of the many animals you can spot in the Everglades.

Not to be missed, Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge lies on the western edge of the Everglades. This 35,000-acre national refuge comprised of mangroves and islands provides refuge to endangered wildlife, among them West Indian manatees, bald eagles, and Kemp’s ridley sea turtles. There’s some debate about how many islands are actually in the Ten Thousand Islands area. Conservative estimates have it in the hundreds, while more robust assessments estimate at least 17,000 islands during low tide. The Everglades National Park as a whole spans about 1.5 million acres.

Fort Lauderdale

canals with large boats in florida

Ft. Lauderdale is known by many nicknames, among them the “Venice of America” (for its vast system of canals) and the “Yachting Capital of the World” (because locals collectively own 50,000 private yachts). Regardless of what you call it, there’s no disputing that this Florida must-see is a dream destination for boaters. For more than 50 years, Ft. Lauderdale has hosted the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show—the largest such event in the world.

But boaters aren’t the only ones docking in this local scene. Countless spring breakers flock to the city for hedonistic fun each March, beach bums bask on Ft. Lauderdale’s 23 miles of beaches, and snorkelers and divers seek out underwater adventures among the 75-plus artificial reefs.

Key West, Florida Keys, Florida

Key West Florida street.

The final stop on the Eastern Seaboard’s 2,369-mile Route 1, Key West really is the be-all and end-all. Geographically, Key West sits at the southernmost point within the continental U.S. and is closer to Havana than it is to Miami. In spite of its tropical climate (Key West boasts an annual average temperature of 77 degrees) and its low-lying land, Key West is hit by hurricanes less than other coastal regions.

While Key West is enthralling in and of itself, be sure to make it out to sea when in the area. Just a few miles off the coast is the third-largest coral-reef system in the world, the Great Florida Reef. Snorkeling, diving, and deep-sea fishing are popular area adventures. Man-made reefs offer wreck diving just a few miles offshore, too.

Key West was once home to Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, among other celebrities of yesteryear. These days, its most famous residents come in a more natural variety: iguanas, feral chickens and roosters, and a clutter of cats, the latter of the excessive-toe variety, nestled in Hemingway’s former home.

Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida
(Photo: Universal Orlando Resort)

Just like Walt Disney World Resort on the other side of town, Orlando’s Universal Studios can hang with the big boys. And planning a visit in advance yields major savings.

Multiday tickets purchased online offer as much as $20 off gate rates. For single-park, single-day passes, you can choose between Universal’s Islands of Adventure or Universal Studios Florida. Single-park, multiday tickets are available two days, three days, and four days. Multipark, single-day passes are also available. Multipark, multiday options are available for two days, three days, and four days.

You can skip the lines while at the Universal Studios parks with the Universal Express Pass. A multipark, single-day Universal Express Pass option is also available; as are multiday and even annual pass options (with select blackout dates). Season passes are available that offer “red-carpet treatment.”

With so many theme parks, resorts, and other top attractions to choose from all in one place, it’s easy to see why Orlando is one of the coolest cities in Florida—not to mention one of the best places to go in the entire Sunshine State.

Sanibel Island, Florida

Sanibel Island

The beaches of Sanibel Island are revered around the world as one of the best places to go in Florida by conchologists (shell collectors). The practice of shell collecting is so popular on Sanibel Island’s shores that locals have nicknamed the act of bending down for a shell “the Sanibel Stoop.”

Sanibel Islanders celebrate the seashell with an annual three-day exhibit and festival that typically runs in March. Shell enthusiasts can also learn about shells and mollusks by visiting The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum. The biggest prize on the beach is the junonia shell, which can land you in the local newspaper.

While shelling is serious business on the island, so is conservation. More than half of Sanibel Island is part of a designated wildlife refuge.

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine isn’t nicknamed “Ancient City” for nothing. Juan Ponce de Leon first explored the area in 1513 and claimed it for Spain. It was later turned over to Britain, then back to Spain, and finally ceded (with the rest of the Florida Territory) to the United States in 1819. Today it’s one of the coolest cities in Florida.

You can see much of its rich history infused into St. Augustine’s architecture in places like Ft. Matanzas National MonumentCastillo de San Marcos National Monument, the oldest wooden schoolhouse in the country, the Hotel Ponce de Leon (once a regal hotel, now part of Flagler College and also a designated National Historic Landmark), and, of course, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. (Folklore says that Ponce de Leon was searching for the elixir of life when he stumbled upon St. Augustine.)

St. Augustine is also home to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. The park opened its doors in 1893 and now houses more than 20 species of crocodile as well as other reptiles, a bird collection, and many mammals.

Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida

Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida
(Photo: Busch Gardens, Tampa, Florida via Shutterstock)

For those seeking an up-close look at safari wildlife without the high price of an airfare ticket to Africa, Busch Gardens is one of the best places to go in Florida. Among the 2,700 animals that call the 335-acre zoological-themed park home are elephants, cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, kangaroos, meerkats, and lemurs.

Busch Gardens Tampa also features an adjoining water park, Adventure Island. Seek out some water-filled fun on the twisting Aruba Tuba, the 55-foot-drop Riptide, and the 700-foot-long Key West Rapids. Adventure Island closes from November through February and reopens in March; see the current calendar for more information.

All theme-park tickets provide complimentary round-trip shuttle transportation from several Orlando pickup/drop-off points.

Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island, Florida

Among the southernmost of the Sea Islands, Amelia Island is an easy drive from Jacksonville and only about five hours from Atlanta. Two bridges connect the island to the mainland.

Amelia Island’s seashore provides plenty of adventures for all. Scallop digging, snorkeling, and horseback riding are all quintessential Amelia Island activities. Watch for the shoreline’s playful dolphins and (if you’re lucky) perhaps even a right-whale sighting.

Amelia Island offers upscale resorts, spas, championship golf courses, a variety of festivals, and of course beaches. Amelia is routinely recognized among the top 10 U.S. islands in Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards.

More from SmarterTravel:

Editor’s note: This story was originally published on March 1, 2013. It has been updated to reflect the most current information about the top attractions and best places to go in Florida. 

Categories
Packing Travel Technology Travel Trends

7 Travel Electronics the Least Tech-Savvy Travelers Will Love


Not all travelers are packing high-tech travel electronics or plugging in every chance they get, but there are plenty of everyday items that travel better when they incorporate some technology. These travel electronics provide low-tech solutions to common travel challenges like staying in touch, easily sourcing potable water, and protecting your personal property while traveling.

These are the best travel electronics, ranging from those with charge-free simplicity to low-tech gadgets that require little to no tinkering.

RFID-Blocking Wallet or Purse

 rfid-blocking-wallets

Safeguard yourself from electronic pickpockets looking to lift personal data from chips inserted in passports, IDs, and credit cards. Simply put those important documents in RFID-blocking wallets like this spacious women’s leather clutch or this men’s passport wallet, which makes room for cash and cards, too.

Water-Filtering Bottle

 LifeStraw go water filter bottle

A low-tech solution to sourcing clean, potable water, a filtration water bottle means you can hydrate at just about any water source. The LifeStraw Water-Filtering Bottle claims to filter out 99.9 percent of water-borne bacteria, making even the grossest water drinkable. That includes water from questionable sources such as ponds and lakes when you’re camping, and tap water in destinations where you’d normally not drink from the faucet.

[st_related]12 Things You Should Never Pack[/st_related]

Universal Power Adapter

 BESTEK universal travel adapter 220v

It’s time to upgrade your universal power adapter. Today’s adapters simultaneously perform prong-adapting and power-converting duties, so your gadgets don’t get fried in nations with different voltages. Amazon’s most popular power adapter/converter is the Bestek Universal Power Adapter, which can charge seven items at once. 

Charging Phone Case

Lonlif battery case for iphone

You can map your destination, stay in touch with everyone, and keep your entertainment accessible while traveling—but you can only do that if your phone has battery life. The best way to keep your phone charged without having to carry all those cables is by popping your phone in a charging phone case. Make sure to get a charging phone case that fits your particular phone’s model, and one that’s waterproof, to boot.

[st_related]10 Waterproof Travel Tech Accessories That Could Save Your Next Trip[/st_related] 

E-Reader

amazon prime perks reading

Who has space to spare in their luggage when we’re all just trying to avoid paying bag fees? Lighten your load by trading in paperbacks for an e-reader. The latest iteration of the Amazon Kindle holds twice the amount of content, is waterproof, and starts at $129 (check for sales during the holiday shopping period).

Tracking Device

tile key finder

Ever get distracted by the sights and suddenly realize one of your valuables is gone? Quickly locate lost items with a tracking device like Tile. The tracking device will ring when in range of a member of the Tile community, and its location will be shown on the Tile app even if you’re out of range. Attach a tracking device to your luggage, camera, keys, phone, wallet, purse, or anything else you’d be hard-pressed to replace.

[st_related]How to Check for Hidden Cameras in Your Hotel Room[/st_related] 

Fitness Tracker

Use a fitness-tracking device such as the Fitbit to keep key health metrics such as heart rate, spent calories, and sleep patterns at your fingertips. Achieving weight-loss goals is easier thanks to fitness trackers that help you count steps while you’re on the road. Fitbit Pay on newer models also now offers the ability to pay on-the-go. If you’re willing to go a little more high-tech, Smartwatches can also be used as fitness trackers.

Travel in Comfortable Style

No matter where you’re headed on your next trip, comfort is key during travel. Show off your high-tech gear with a cozy yet fashionable style to pair.

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

More from SmarterTravel:

Patricia Magaña refuses to succumb to travel electronics like e-readers and instead makes room in her bag for a good book. Follow her on Instagram @PatiTravels.

Categories
Booking Strategy Budget Travel Fashion & Beauty Holiday Travel

The Best Cyber Monday Deals for Travelers


Black Friday has come and gone, but you get a second chance at discounts on travel gear, hotel stays, trips, and more on Cyber Monday 2019. Here are Cyber Monday 2019 bargains perfect for travelers.

When Is Cyber Monday 2019?

Cyber Monday this year falls on December 2, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Expect pre-sales before Cyber Monday, but note that the steepest discounts will be posted early in the day on December 2. As is the case at brick-and-mortar stores, popular items that are deeply discounted will be the first to sell out online, too.

Cyber Monday 2019 Travel Gear Deals

ADAY: Designed to be classic and durable, ADAY has built a following with its capsule and a la carte women’s wear. This Cyber Monday, ADAY is offering 20 percent off three or more items, or 10 percent off one to two items (select items).

Aer: This backpack is one of our finalists for our editors’ choice awards this year, and you can take 20 percent off sitewide with code THANKS20.

Amazon: There are more deals than we can list on Amazon, so keep checking its page of HoliDeals, curated Gift Guides, and Best-Selling items by categories. 

Amour Vert: Sustainable fashion brand Amour Vert is offering 20 percent off everything online and an extra 30 percent off sale products through Cyber Monday. 

AMY O Jewelry: AMY O Jewelry is handmade and perfect for travel, since most pieces are lightweight and not too flashy. Take 25 percent off site-wide on all jewelry from Cyber Monday to December 9. Code: cybermonday2019. 

Artifact Uprising: Take 10 percent off everything, including custom frames and photo books. Other deals include 15 percent off $100+ orders and 20 percent off $175+ orders. Use promo code: VERYMERRY.

Bloomingdale’s: Take 25 percent off regular-priced and sale-priced items labelled “CYBER TAKE 25% OFF,” and take 50 percent off clearance items labeled “CYBER TAKE 50% OFF.”

Bonobos: Take 35 percent off everything. Use the collection of men’s clothing to build the perfect travel uniform.

Brooklinen: Get that hotel linen feel at home with the Luxe Hardcode Sheet Bundle. Save 20 percent on all orders with no minimum spend.

Cole Haan: Up to 60 percent off all-things-Cole-Haan, including shoes, bags, accessories, and outerwear, plus an extra 10 percent off between December 1 and 3. 

Dagne Dover: Shop our “best personal item of 2019” winner at 20 percent off!

Dear Frances: This company focusing on celeb-favorite designer shoes and boots is offering 25 percent off site-wide until Tuesday, Dec 3rd. Use code BF25 at checkout to claim.

Delsey Paris: French luggage brand Delsey Paris is a longtime traveler favorite, and this Cyber Monday, is offering 43 percent off the Delsey Paris Helium Aero Hardside

DSW: On Cyber Monday, take 25 percent off everything, or buy two pairs of shoes or two handbags to get 30 percent off your order.

Eagle Creek: Eagle Creek’s luggage and packing accessories are great for travelers looking for adaptable and rugged travel gear. This Cyber Monday, save 19 percent on Eagle Creek’s Pack It Starter Set: Packing Cubes & Garment Folder.  

Forsake Shoes: Score stylish hiking boots and shoes for less: Take 25 percent off Forsake Shoes online.

Franco Sarto Shoes: Take 40 percent off the Italian-inspired shoe brand’s shoes and boots. The Cyber Monday sale is site-wide (with some exclusions) and includes free shipping.

Frank And Oak: Frank And Oak is offering 30 to 50 percent off everything (excluding gift cards, Style Plan, and outerwear) with code CM30 through December 3 at 9 a.m. EST.

Fuse Reel: Fuse Reel is offering 30 percent off charger winders for all Apple chargers. 

Glossier: Travel-friendly beauty company Glossier is offering 20 percent off site-wide. Snag this: Glossier’s Milky Jelly Cleanser, which comes in a TSA-approved two-fluid-ounce dispenser. 

H&M: H&M is offering 30 percent off everything site-wide on Cyber Monday. 

HelloFresh: Transform your next vacation rental experience with delivered you-make-’em meals from HelloFresh. Deals vary, but we’re seeing up to $90 off first-time meal plans.

Horchow: While mostly focused on homegoods and furniture, Neiman-Marcus-affiliated Horchow has a whole section devoted to travel items and luggage as well. Save as much as 25 percent off site-wide, plus free shipping on orders over $50 with code HOLIDAY. The offer is valid on December 2. 

Huckberry: Sitewide deals, like 25 percent off stretch flannels, 30 percent off select shoes, and up to 50 percent off select jackets and sweaters.

JLab: Audio manufacturer JLab is discounting its Bluetooth audio gear between December 3 and December 4. Find the Epic Sport discounted at $50 (regularly $149.99), Epic Executive at $50 (down from the regular price of $99.99), and the Epic Air Elite at $75 (normally $188).

Lifeproof: Save 25 percent off site-wide at Lifeproof on Cyber Monday. Our pick: a portable power pack to keep your devices juiced when you’re on the move. 

L.L.Bean: Stock up during L.L. Bean’s Thanksgiving Sale. Use code THANKS20 for 20 percent off your order.

Lo & Sons: Shop select bags, like our favorite O.G. 2, at up to 60 percent off.

Lululemon: Check out new additions on the trendy Athleisure brand’s  “We Made Too Much” page for all its Cyber deals.

Nordstrom: The mega-retailer has a dedicated page for all Cyber Monday deals. Check it out here.

Nordstrom Rack: Save as much as 30 percent off Nordstrom Rack’s already-reduced clearance rates.

OGIO: Take 20 percent off all sale items and get ready for your holiday travels with OGIO’s durable and stylish backpacks, duffels, outerwear, travel accessories, hats, and more. 

Old Navy: Everything is 50 percent off. Think ahead to warm weather getaways with a Tie-Front Halter Swimsuit

Osprey: Save 25 percent off select popular travel bags, including Daylite, Daylite Plus, Skimmer, Porter, Transporter Carry On, Transporter Wheeled Carry On, Transporter Duffels, and more. 

Otterbox: Take advantage of Otterbox’s Cyber Monday sale discounting 25 percent off site-wide on December 2 and 3. Though there are a few exclusions, most phone cases, coolers, drinkwear, and duffels will be on sale. 

OstrichPillow: Take up to 20 percent off site-wide and on Amazon.com, no code necessary.

Paravel: Shop leather goods, carry-ons, packing cubes, and more packing accessories at 25 percent off using code DOMINOFRIDAY.

Public Rec: The travel-friendly clothing and accessories brand will be offering the following: Get 10 percent off $100 or more with code Black10; 15 percent off $150 or more with code Black15; and 20 percent off $200 or more with code Black20.

quip: Shop the travel-toothbrush brand’s only sale of the year! Take 15 percent off orders over $55 and 20 percent off orders over $145. Use code HOLIDAYSALE at checkout.

prAna: prAna’s stylish performance-wear geared to adventure, travel, and yoga is on sale this Cyber Monday. Save 30 percent off select items through December 3.

ROAM’s Cyber Monday Sale: ROAM luggage is offering $50 off for one case, $125 off for two cases, $250 off for three cases.

Rockland Luggage: The Melbourne 3-Piece Luggage set is $110 (regular price $169); that’s a Cyber Monday savings of 35 percent.

Saje Natural Wellness: Saje Natural Wellness, which makes (among other things), great travel-sized roll-on oils to treat a variety of travel ailments, is offering 20 percent off everything online for Cyber Monday.

Sanuk Shoes: Select items for women, men, and kids are up to 60 percent off on Sanuk.com, along with “Gift with Purchase” deals throughout the week.

SCOTTeVEST: SCOTTeVEST is marking down its entire line of pocket-filled products by 30 percent (excluding RFID travel vests and Outlet items) through December 3.

Sennheiser: Upgrade your headphones with deep discounts on Cyber Monday from Sennheiser

Sephora: Stock up on your toiletries and beauty essentials with up to 50 percent off (in store and online; exclusions apply).

shopDisney: The online store is running a sale offering 40 percent off.

Solgaard: Solgaard, which specializes in sustainable luggage, is offering 10 percent off the Carry-on Closet plus 22-inch luggage on Cyber Monday. 

State Cashmere: Take 25 percent off your entire order from this brand specializing in cashmere essentials for women, men, and kids. Use discount code 2019THX25.

Stow: Gift luxe travel accessories with 20 percent off site-wide, with select styles reduced to 45 percent off. Use code: BF2019.

SUAVS: The sneaker brand is offering a $15 discount on your first pair of shoes, $20 off each pair if you buy two (total $40 off), and $25 off each pair when you buy three (totaling $75 off). 

The Grommet: The online retailer of unique gifts will be offering 20 percent off everything all day.

The North Face: Shop The North Face Cyber Monday sale to stock up on the best adventure-gear gifts for friends and family. Enjoy up to 25 percent off select products, like this fleece zip-up jacket.

TOMS: Stock up on comfortable travel shoes. Save up to 50 percent plus an extra 10 percent when you subscribe to the TOMS newsletter. 

Trtl: The entire range of travel pillows and accessories is 30 percent off. Be sure to check out the new packing pods.

Tumi: Select styles, like the Osona Compact Carry-On, are up to 40 percent off.

Ulta Beauty: Dozens of offers on travel-friendly beauty products and toiletries, including free gifts with select purchases. Shop the deals page here for offers up to 50 percent off, plus free shipping on orders over $35. Take $10 off all orders over $50 with code CYBERMON19.

Vasque: Use codes GIVETHANKS or BLACKFRIDAY between November 28 and December 8 for 25 percent off full-priced outdoor shoes and boots, or 10 percent off sale items. 

Zappos: Widespread sales across the site, with a section full of $50 steals.

Cyber Monday Travel Deals

Abercrombie & Kent: Find savings between 33 and 44 percent on private trips to Vietnam, India, Peru and Machu Picchu, Botswana, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Chile, Kenya, and Paris and Amsterdam. The booking window is open from 8 a.m. CST on December 2 to 4 p.m. CST on December 6.

Access Culinary Trips: Reserve three bookings and get the fourth one free on all 2020 bookings reserved November 28 through December 2. Enjoy small-group culinary-themed trips to Italy, Croatia, Alaska, Peru, Cuba, and more destinations.

Air France/KLM: Flying Blue loyalty members will earn triple miles on Air France or KLM flights to Europe booked between November 22 and December 2 on qualifying routes. Travel between December 7, 2019, and March 31, 2020.

Avis: Amazon Prime members who book a car rental on Cyber Monday can get up to 15 percent of the reservation’s value back in the form of an Amazon gift card. Prime members must log into Amazon and pay in full at the time of booking. Non-Prime members or those who wish to pay later can get an Amazon gift card for 10 percent of the cost of their rental.

Azores Getaways: Special deal alert: For the price of $499, travelers receive round-trip flights from Boston to Terceira (Azores) and seven nights at a hotel with daily breakfast included.

Booking.com: Deals start at 40 percent off. Stay by/travel by dates extend until March 31, though stay dates and availability vary by property. 

CheapCaribbean: Dreaming of a tropical getaway? Take up to 70 percent off all-inclusive 2019/2020 bookings. The online travel agency hosts more than 600 properties in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. 

Contiki: Save up to 30 on select trips when purchasing on December 2 and paying in full by December 18.

Emerald Waterways: Guests who book any 2020 European river cruise on Cyber Monday will receive free round-trip airfare, plus a complimentary Premium Drink Package worth $378 per couple, per week.

Exodus Travels: Save up to 15 percent on small group and self-guided tours with Exodus Travels. Find among the adventure options an eight-day trip to Marrakech and the Sahara Desert and a four-day excursion to Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone. Use promotional code Adventure20USA to get the discount.

Expedia: The booking giant is offering a variety of Cyber Monday deals, including some coupon codes that will only be offered on its app. Savings opportunities include 95 percent discounts on hotels and $100 off packages of $750 or more.

G Adventures: Select group tours are 35 percent off, including the Burgundy River Cruise, Machu Picchu in Style, and Sailing the British Islands – Tortola to Tortola. Discounted tours depart by April 30, 2020.

Glamping Hub: Every gift card purchased on the glamping site between November 28 and December 4 will be worth an additional 20 percent.

Hotwire: On Cyber Monday, save 11 percent extra on $100 Hot Rate Hotels with promo code HWHOTDEALS.

Hurtigruten: The biggest sale ever takes place from November 27 to December 4, 2019; take up to 50 percent off select cruises to destinations like Antarctica, Norway, and South America.

Iberostar Hotels: From November 29 through December 2, save 20 percent on stays at Iberostar Hotels across Mexico, the Caribbean, the U.S., Brazil, Europe, and Africa using promo code FRIDAY19.

IHG Hotels & Resorts: Save at least 20 percent on hotel stays at IHG hotels across the globe, for stays from now through May 31 2020. The sale is eligible on all brands including, Kimpton, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, EVEN Hotels, Crowne Plaza, avid hotels, InterContinental, and Hotel Indigo.

Insight Cuba: The tour operator will offer savings up to $500 per person as well as free round-trip airfare from Miami on four of its Cuba tours. The sale starts at 12:01 a.m. ET on December 2 and will last for 48 hours.

Insight Vacations: Save 15 percent on all Insight Vacations trips to Ireland, France, Scandinavia, and Russia departing between April 1 and October 31, 2020. 

Intrepid Travel: Take advantage of Intrepid’s biggest sale of the year, with 20 percent off all trips for 2020. The sale ends on December 5.

Megabus: Starting at 9 a.m. ET on Cyber Monday, Megabus will give away 200,000 free tickets for travel nationwide between January 8 and February 29, 2020. Tickets will be available until they’re gone.

MSC Cruises: Guests booking select Caribbean Cruises aboard MSC Meraviglia, MSC Seaside, MSC Divina, or MSC Armonia in the Caribbean will enjoy more than $700 of added value per stateroom (based on a seven-night cruise), including free drinks, Wi-Fi, and included gratuities. The booking window ends on December 4, and is available on select sailing dates from January 5, 2020 to April 2, 2021.

Outdoorsy: Save 10 percent off any 2020 RV or campervan rental with promo code CyberMonday (on December 2) or TravelTuesday (on December 3).

Quark Expeditions: Major discounts on Antarctica expeditions ahead! Take up to 50 percent off for the upcoming ‘19/20 Antarctic season for trips departing between December 2019 and March 2020.

Peregrine Adventures: Take 15 percent off all 2020 departures booked by December 5.

Priceline: Priceline will launch a new Flash Sale every two hours on Cyber Monday. Each Flash Sale will be unique, but expect offers like 50 percent off Express deal hotels, flight deals, a chance to win free cruises, and more. Sign up here to know when a new deal hits.

Princess Cruises: The cruise line is offering guests up to 40 percent off select voyages from February 2020 to May 2020. Running now through December 10, the sale includes cruises to scenic destinations like the Caribbean, Mexico, Panama Canal, Hawaii, California Coast, South Pacific, South America & Antarctica, Japan, Asia, and Australia & New Zealand.

Red Roof Inn: Save 20 to 30 percent off stays on select hotel rooms. Purchase on December 2 and stay between December 2, 2019 and February 29, 2020.

Scott’s Cheap Flights: Take 20 percent off a Premium Membership. 

STA Travel: To celebrate the student travel company’s 40th anniversary, it’s offering 40 percent off G Adventures and Contiki Tours, as well as $100 off flights to Australia and New Zealand with Fiji Airways.

StudentUniverse: The student travel booking site will offer flight discounts up to $200 on Cyber Monday.

Tourradar: Save up to 60 percent on select multi-day tours when you book by December 3.

Trafalgar: Save up to 20 percent on more than 40 Trafalgar vacations in various locations around the world. 

Travel Zoo: Get ready for Cyber Monday deals on flights, stays, and more. 

Uniworld and U River Cruises: Save up to 30 percent on select river cruise sailings when booking between now and January 3.

YOTEL: Through December 3, YOTEL NY is offering 40 percent off stays booked through New Year’s Eve as part of its annual sale.

[amazon_native_ad]

More from SmarterTravel:

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Packing

Top 10 Items from Oprah’s Favorite Things List (Plus a Tip for Even More Discounts)


Use Oprah’s Favorite Things list as a cheat sheet so you can be done with your “nice list” holiday shopping in a flash. Items suggested by the beloved icon are sure to sell out, so be sure to buy goods before all that’s left to give is coal.

Oprah’s Favorite Things, in its entirety, can be seen here. Here are 10 of our travel-friendly favorites.

Sorel Women’s Out ‘N About Puffy Insulated Winter Sneaker Boot

sorel-out-n-about-sneaker-boot

Modernize the Napoleon Dynamite moon boot look with the Oprah-approved Sorel Women’s Out ‘N About Puffy Insulated Winter Sneaker Boot. You have to be willing to own your own funky style to rock these; but if you do, you’ll be treated to a brand I trust to make footwear with all-day comfort, warmth, and a whole lotta style.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the Sorel Women’s Out ‘N About Puffy Insulated Winter Sneaker Boot

“Part sneaker, part down coat, these waterproof nylon boots (with microfleece lining!) are so cozy and functional, they might be the ultimate foul-weather shoe.”

[st_related]9 Packable Winter Jackets[/st_related]

Sony SRS-XB12 Extra Bass Portable Bluetooth Speaker

sony-portable-bluetooth-speaker

Wherever your travels take you, there too should go your tunes. Keep the party going with the waterproof Sony SRS-XB12 Extra Bass Portable Bluetooth Speaker. With enough battery life for 16-plus hours, this Bluetooth speaker still manages to be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the Sony SRS-XB12 Extra Bass Portable Bluetooth Speaker

“They can withstand being submerged for up to 30 minutes!”

Brouk and Co. Duo Travel Organizer for Cosmetics and Jewelry

brouk-makeup-organizer

A toiletry bag and jewelry case in one, the Brouk and Co. Duo Travel Organizer offers an expansive compartment for toiletries, plus has a separate zippered section below.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the Brouk and Co. Duo Travel Organizer for Cosmetics and Jewelry

“These ingenious toiletry bags […] make jam-packed suitcases a little less chaotic, one vegan leather pouch at a time.”

[st_related]The Best Travel Makeup Bags[/st_related]

@Jewelchic by House VIP DW-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

jewelchic by house water bottle.

Save some cash and reduce plastic waste by packing a water bottle in your carry-on. This is a good option, as it’s constructed with food-grade stainless steel, so it easily withstands everyday wear and tear.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the @Jewelchic by House VIP DW-Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Proceeds support efforts to give children in Zimbabwe access to quality education.”

CALPAK Luka Duffel Bag

calpak-luka-duffel

Minimalists can avoid paying bag fees by packing it all in a single carry-on. The Calpak Luka Duffel Bag is water-resistant, versatile thanks to over-the-shoulder straps, and as Oprah details below, it even has a separate compartment for shoes.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the CALPAK Luka Duffel Bag

“The duffels—which attach to the luggage—have a shoe compartment, so your hiking boots won’t track mud on your clean blouses.”

Powerbeats Pro

powerbeats pro.

Wireless is the way to go, and it’s worth paying a little more for better-quality earbuds like the Powerbeats Pro. The charge will keep your audio going for nine hours. But keep the charging case nearby and you’ll get another 15-plus  hours.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the Powerbeats Pro

“Sweat- and water-resistant earbuds are the perfect workout partners.”

[st_related]10 Secret Amazon Prime Perks You Probably Aren’t Using[/st_related]

Intelex Cozy Body Slippers

intelex-slippers

The Intelex Cozy Body Slippers were cleverly designed with dried grains and lavender stuffing, so they can treat toes with hot (read below for Oprah’s toasty trick) or cold (pop them in the freezer) therapy.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the Intelex Cozy Body Slippers

“Pop ’em in the microwave for 60 seconds (seriously), and you’ll have warm, happy feet for up to an hour!”

The Everything Travel Blanket

everything-travel-blanket

A blanket, a pillow, an oversized scarf, and a wrap all in one. Aptly named, the Everything Travel Blanket will be the go-to essential you’ll keep in your carry-on bag trip after trip.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the Everything Travel Blanket

“Avoid those flimsy [travel blankets] on airplanes!”

[st_related]7 Amazon Holiday Shopping Tips to Save You Time (and Money)[/st_related]

Courant Catch:2 Multi-Device Wireless Charger

courant-charger

Simultaneously charge up to two devices wirelessly simply by dropping them onto this Qi-enabled charger. No need to remove your device from its case either, as the Courant Catch:2 Multi-Device Wireless Charger is strong enough to charge through cases as thick as three millimeters.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the Courant Catch:2 Multi-Device Wireless Charger

“Time to cut the cord: This sleek leather base lets you charge two phones, or AirPods and a phone, simultaneously, just by laying them down to rest on top.”

Fruit Pies from Piedaho

piedaho-pie

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of time to bake, or a lot of extra space in my travel bags for that matter. Still, I like to show my hosts some gratitude by bringing a little something, especially when visiting over the hectic holidays. Enter shipped-to-your-destination fruit pies. In addition to the flavors Oprah mentions below, the Fruit Pies from Piedaho also come in Blackberry Pie with Fresh Thyme Crust. Expect the Blue Ribbon-winning pies to arrive at their destination fresh—fresher than you, probably.

What Oprah’s Favorite Things Likes About the Fruit Pies from Piedaho

“Swoonworthy pies—like Strawberry Vanilla Bean and Salted Caramel Apple—that the Piedaho company bakes and ships.”

[st_related]The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals for Travelers[/st_related]

Oprah’s Favorite Things 2019 Discounts

Find promo codes for a lot the items listed in Oprah’s Favorite Things over at Oprah Magazine. Happy shopping!

More from SmarterTravel:

[amazon_native_ad tracking_id=”smartrav-20″]

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña Figueroa writes about travel. Follow her @PatiTravels.

Categories
Booking Strategy Fashion & Beauty

The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals for Travelers


Black Friday 2019 is right around the corner, and planning well in advance guarantees you’ll be able to pounce on better bargains. Don’t dismay if you don’t get in on Black Friday deals—you get a second chance at discounts on travel gear, hotel stays, trips, and more on Cyber Monday 2019.

Check in here regularly: We’ll be updating this page with can’t-miss Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 bargains as they’re announced.

When Is Black Friday 2019?

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. In 2019, that falls on November 29. That’s much later in the month than in previous years, which makes the holiday shopping window shorter—and more frenzied. If previous years are an indication, expect many stores to kick off Black Friday sales as early as Thanksgiving evening, though most retailers will opt to start hosting those famous door-busting deals early on the morning of November 29.

When Is Cyber Monday 2019?

Cyber Monday this year falls on December 2, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Expect pre-sales before Cyber Monday, but note that the steepest discounts will be posted early in the day on December 2. As is the case at brick-and-mortar stores, popular items that are deeply discounted will be the first to sell out online, too.

Black Friday 2019 and Cyber Monday 2019 Air, Hotel, Group Travel, and Destination Deals

57hours: Save $57 on any adventure experience when you sign up for the 57hours newsletter by December 5 and use the promo code BLACK57 within 30 days.

Access Culinary Trips: Reserve three bookings and get the fourth one free on all 2020 bookings reserved November 28 through December 2. Enjoy small-group culinary-themed trips to Italy, Croatia, Alaska, Peru, Cuba, and more destinations.

Air France/KLM: Flying Blue loyalty members will earn triple miles on Air France or KLM flights to Europe booked between November 22 and December 2 on qualifying routes. Travel between December 7, 2019, and March 31, 2020.

Aqua Aston: Take 25 percent off for A-List members on all bookings. Sign up now for early access to book properties in Hawaii, Florida, and Costa Rica.

Avis: Amazon Prime members who book a car rental between November 28 and December 2 can get up to 15 percent of the reservation’s value back in the form of an Amazon gift card. Prime members must log into Amazon and pay in full at the time of booking. Non-Prime members or those who wish to pay later can get an Amazon gift card for 10 percent of the cost of their rental.

B Hotels & Resorts: Save up to 50 percent on stays at the B Ocean Resort Fort Lauderdale, B on Canal New Orleans, B Resort & Spa in the Disney Spring Area, and Banana Bay Resort & Marina Marathon, Florida Keys. Book on the hotel chain’s website between November 28 and December 2 using promo code CYBER.

Bettoja Hotels: Save 35 percent off hotel stays in 2020. Book between November 29 and December 2 to receive the discount.

Casa Delphine: Valid for travel between January 1 and January 31 and again between April 15 and September 15, this deal at the Casa Delphine hotel in San Miguel de Allende offers 25 percent off bookings, but only when reserved between November 29 and December 2.

Contiki: Save up to 30 off select trips when purchased between November 29 and December 2 and paid in full by December 18.

EF Ultimate Break: Prices on EF Ultimate Break’s top tours are slashed by up to $1,500 or 20 percent off. Discounted trips include a Grand Tour of Europe, The Greek Islands, and an Ultimate Iceland Adventure. Sale ends at midnight on November 29.

Exodus Travels: Save up to 15 percent off small group and self-guided tours with Exodus Travels. Find among the adventure options an eight-day trip to Marrakech and the Sahara Desert and a four-day excursion to Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone. Use promotional code Adventure20USA anytime now through December 2 to get the discount.

Expedia: The booking giant is offering a variety of early-bird (November 25 – 28), Black Friday (November 29), and Cyber Monday deals (December 2), including some coupon codes that will only be offered on its app. Savings include 10 – 95 percent off hotels, $200 savings on flights, and $100 savings off packages.

Friendly Planet: Save up to $1,000 per person on 75 different air-inclusive trips. The sale starts at 12:01 a.m. ET on December 2 and will last for 48 hours.

Glamping Hub: Every gift card purchased on the glamping site between November 28 and December 4 will be worth an additional 20 percent.

Go Ahead Tours: Check out November deals all month long, here.

  • November 1-8 – North, Central, and South America (up to $800 off per couple)
  • November 9-15 – European Classics (up to $800 off per couple)
  • November 16-22 – Asia, Africa, and Australia (up to $800 off per couple)
  • November 23-29 – The Whole Wide World (up to $1,200 off per couple on any trip / join Club Go to get early access to the biggest sale ever!)  Every destination Go Ahead goes to will have a discount. The most inventory on sale with this deal.
  • Sunday, November 24A Cool Deal for Solo Travelers – The “Daily Deal” will feature Free Solo Supplements on featured departures (meaning….no private room fee for solo travelers who want to join the group!)
  • Wednesday, November 27Deep Discount on Off-Season$1,400 off per couple on select off-season tours (meaning fall/winter/early spring!). Limited but amazing deals that will be announced the day before as it’s part of five “lighting deals,” part of the Black Friday sale, but only live the day of.  

Graduate Hotels: Graduate Hotels is offering 50 percent off rooms at all Graduate locations starting Friday (November 29). The offer extends through Cyber Monday and the week following, ending on Sunday (December 8). Offer is valid for hotel stays taking place from November 29, 2019, through March 31, 2020.

Hotwire: Shop with the site’s mobile app between November 27 and November 29 to save up to $70 on hotel bookings. Use promo code HWBF10 to save $10 on $100 hotel bookings, HWBF40 to save $40 on $300 hotel bookings, or HWBF70 to save $70 on $500 hotel bookings. On Cyber Monday, save 11 percent extra on $100 Hot Rate Hotels with promo code HWHOTDEALS.

Iberostar Hotels: Travelers who register at My Iberostar will have access to a private Black Friday pre-sale, offering 30 percent discounts on hotels across Mexico, the Caribbean, the U.S., Brazil, Europe, and Africa. The pre-sale runs November 25 – 28. From November 29 through December 2, anyone can save 20 percent using promo code FRIDAY19.

IHG Hotels & Resorts: Save at least 20 percent on hotel stays at IHG hotels across the globe, for stays from now to May 31 2020. The sale is eligible on all brands including, Kimpton, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, EVEN Hotels, Crowne Plaza, avid hotels, InterContinental and Hotel Indigo.

Insight Cuba: The tour operator will offer savings up to $500 per person as well as free round-trip airfare from Miami on four of its Cuba tours. The sale starts at 12:01 a.m. ET on December 2 and will last for 48 hours.

Intrepid TravelBeginning on November 25, take advantage of Intrepid’s biggest sale of the year, with 20 percent off all trips for 2020. Sale ends December 5.

Megabus: Starting at 9:00 a.m. ET on Cyber Monday, Megabus will give away 200,000 free tickets for travel nationwide between January 8 and February 29, 2020. Tickets will be available until they’re gone.

Naya Traveler: Get up 20 percent off all of Naya Traveler’s trips departing January through March 2020 when you book on Black Friday.

Opal Collection: Save up to 50 percent off luxury hotels during this 72-hour flash sale starting at midnight on December 2. Use code OPALFLASH.

Outdoorsy: Save 10 percent off any 2020 RV or campervan rental with promo code CyberMonday (on December 2) or TravelTuesday (on December 3).

Peregrine Adventures: Starting November 25, take 15 percent off all 2020 departures booked between November 25 and December 5.

Perillo Tours: On Black Friday, save $250 per person with promo code BLACKFRIDAY19 on select Italy tours. Or use promo code ITALY19 to save $250 per booking on any tour purchase of at least $2,000. The offer is valid for travel any time in 2020.

Red Roof Inn: Save 20 to 30 percent off stays on select hotel rooms. Purchase on December 2 and stay between December 2, 2019, and February 29, 2020.

Riviera River Cruises: Get up to $200 of shipboard credit per person when you book a European river cruise between November 29 and December 2. The credit is in addition to Riviera’s holiday sale, offering up to $1,500 savings per cabin for bookings made by December 31.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts: The hotel chain will offer a complimentary night’s stay and a $100 credit toward spa treatments or dining when you book between November 29 and December 2.

Seadust Cancun Family Resort: The all-inclusive Seadust resort in Cancun is discounting rates by as much as 70 percent when booked between November 29 and December 2, good for travel January through May. Blackout dates prohibit discounted travel from April 5 through 18.

StudentUniverse: The student travel booking site will offer flight discounts up to $75 on Black Friday and $200 on Cyber Monday.

The 24 North Hotel or the Gates Hotel: Black Friday 2019 deals have already started at the 24 North Hotel, where you can save as much as 50 percent off 2020 room rates and daily resort fees, plus receive a $25 gift card. Reserve anytime between now and December 1 to take advantage of the deal.

The Liming, Bequia: Located in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Liming, Bequia hotel is discounting Best Available Bed & Breakfast rates by 40 percent when booked November 29 through December 2. The discount is applicable for travel between January 6 and April 30, 2020.

Tourradar: Save up to 60 percent on select multi-day tours when you book between November 29 and December 3.

Trafalgar: Save up to 20 percent on more than 40 Trafalgar vacations in various locations around the world. Book between November 29 and December 2.

Traveling Spoon: Use BLKFRIDAY20 to take advantage of the largest sale of the year with foodie-travel tour operator Traveling Spoon. Bookings are for travel within the year, and must be made between November 29 and December 2.

Uniworld and U River Cruises: Save up to 30 percent off select river cruise sailings when booking between now and January 3.

Viceroy Hotels & Resorts: Save up to 50 percent off room rates at Viceroy Hotels & Resorts with discount code CYBER2019. The discount amount is dependent on the preferred hotel and must be booked between November 27 and December 6.

Wild Terrains: Women-only group travel at Wild Terrains is $200 less when booked with code CYBERWEEK between 8 a.m. EST November 26 and 11:59 p.m. on December 3.

YOTEL: The Black Friday Sale offers 40 percent to anyone looking to book a stay for the coming year, but members of YOTEL’s Club@YOTEL receive an additional 12 percent discount, for savings of up to 52 percent. Yotel has properties in New York City, Boston, Singapore, San Francisco, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Porto, and Istanbul, as well as in-airport YOTELAIR properties across the globe.

Black Friday 2019 and Cyber Monday 2019 Travel Gear Deals

Amazon: Check out the early Black Friday deals, here. Standout deals include the Fire HD 8 at $50 (was $80), the Kindle E-Reader Essentials Bundle $95 (was $140), and the Fire TV Stick 4K + Echo Dot for $47 (was $100).

Amour Vert: Sustainable fashion brand Amour Vert is offering 20 percent off everything online and an extra 30 percent off sale products through Cyber Monday.

JLab: Audio manufacturer JLab is discounting its Bluetooth audio gear between November 25 and November 27, including all colors of the Epic2 at $30 (regularly $99.99) while supplies last.

JLab: Audio manufacturer JLab is discounting its Bluetooth audio gear between November 28 and November 30. Find the JBuds Air Icon discounted at $50 (regularly $59.99), Studio Icon BT at $30 (down from the regular price of $40), and the Rewind Icon at $15 (normally $20-$25).

SCOTTeVEST: SCOTTeVEST is marking down its entire line of pocket-filled products by 30 percent (excluding RFID travel vests and Outlet items) between November 26 and December 3.

More from SmarterTravel:

[amazon_native_ad]

Categories
Booking Strategy Business Travel Passenger Rights Senior Travel Solo Travel Student Travel

9 Tips for Surviving the Middle Seat


On a typical commercial flight within the United States, about 50 unfortunate souls will be relegated to the dreaded middle seat. What can you do if one of those tortured passengers is you? Here are nine tips to make it to your destination with your sanity—and your comfort—fully intact.

Take a Tray-Table Nap

airplane-tray-table

Aside from occasionally holding a drink or a meal, the tray table doesn’t have much to do during a typical flight. Make use of it by taking an in-flight nap. No need to invest in an embarrassing Ostrich Pillow, however. Roll your jacket into a makeshift pillow, fold forward at the waistline, and snooze away. Whatever you do, though, don’t place your face directly on that petri dish of bacteria (a.k.a. the tray table), or at least disinfect it first.

Sleep Upright

sleeping-airport-travel-pillow

If a tray-table nap isn’t your speed, sleeping upright is also a possibility—even in the middle seat. It starts by picking the perfect travel pillow for your body, whether that’s a standard neck pillow, a shoulder-wrapping Travelrest Pillow, or even a candy cane travel pillow. Though they may not be as cuddly as their foam-filled counterparts, consider blow-up travel pillows for their space-saving qualities.

[st_related]8 Neck Pillows That Won’t Embarrass You on the Plane [/st_related]

Invest In Noise-Canceling Headphones

For just a few hours, a pair of good headphones can be a middle-seat passenger’s best friend. The right set tuned to a good movie or music can take your mind off the otherwise muscle-contorting rigors of the middle seat.

Claim Your Territory

front of plane

Even if you’re sandwiched between fellow passengers, your personal space needn’t be too limited. Board quickly at your first opportunity so as to make it to your seat before your seatmates, and then mark the armrests as your own. Don’t feel too guilty: It’s widely accepted that the middle passenger gets both armrests. But it’s important to claim them early, lest you find yourself next to a passenger who doesn’t buy into common courtesy.

[st_related]Heading to the Airport? Use This Pre-Flight Checklist [/st_related]

Make the Most of Your Knee Space

man sitting on airplane headphones and phone

Speaking of claiming space, do so for your knees as well. In such close quarters, every little inch counts. Consider politely asking your neighbor to refrain from leaning back if it really causes you discomfort. You’ll be surprised how considerate people can be when asked politely.

Keep Busy

Ever notice how time seems to fly by when you’re busy? Watch a movie, read, or play a game. Whatever your time-kill, just keep yourself entertained and before you know it the “fasten seatbelt” sign will go off and the pilot will announce your arrival.

[st_related]The 15 Best Airplane Books for Long Flights [/st_related]

Bring an In-Flight ‘Survival Kit’

woman using traveling pillow and sleeping mask in plane

Regardless of which seat you occupy—but especially if it’s the middle seat—keep the following items handy for in-flight sanity (or make up your own in-flight packing list): an eye mask, electronics (a tablet, laptop, or handheld game console), headphones, non-electronic reading material or a puzzle book, a sweater or jacket, and snacks.

[st_related]10 Tasty Snacks You Can Bring on the Plane [/st_related]

Ask to Be Reseated

Just because you were assigned a middle seat doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be stuck with it. Inquire with the gate staff about any remaining, available window or aisle seats. They may seat you in a more preferable location if one is open.

If you missed your opportunity at the gate, you have yet another shot at a better seat location by asking the flight attendant. Once everyone’s boarded and the plane’s cruising at a high altitude (but before the drink trolley comes out), politely ask the flight attendant if a window or aisle seat is open. Chances are, the empty seat will move you to the rear of the plane, but at least you won’t be the meat section in a seat sandwich.

Do Better Next Time

suitcases with plane in background

The best way to survive the middle seat, of course, is to avoid it altogether. Book early and, if you can, select your seat during the booking process. For airlines that don’t allow advanced seat selection (like Southwest), check in for your flight as soon as you can (in Southwest’s case, as early as 24 hours in advance). Because Southwest assigns boarding groups based on when you check in for the flight, the earlier you check in, the more likely you are to score your favorite seat.

What to Wear While Traveling this Season

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

More from SmarterTravel:

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña Figueroa writes about travel. Follow her @PatiTravels.

This story was originally published in 2013. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Categories
Active Travel Adventure Travel Arts & Culture Budget Travel Cities Experiential Travel Family Travel Historical Travel Outdoors Pet Travel Road Trip Romantic Travel Senior Travel Solo Travel Student Travel Weekend Getaways

Fall Scenic Drives for Each U.S. Region


Fall is perhaps the best season to pack up the car and head out on a scenic drive to enjoy the season’s colors and flavors. Here are the best fall road trips, one for each U.S. quadrant. Be sure to peruse the listing at the story’s end for resources on finding peak-season foliage throughout the nation.

Northeast: Cape Cod, Massachusetts

cape-cod-bridge-fall

New England is a foliage seeker’s paradise, and a drive down any local roadway from late September through early November is a sight to behold. Focus on specific parts of the Northeast, and you’ll be rewarded with one of the best fall road trips, with a broad range of leaf colors.

The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism’s fall page lists nine seasonal drives, each chosen for its historic significance and natural beauty. The  Cape Cod route from Bourne to Brewster is an easy drive filled with working cranberry bogs, the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum—dedicated to the 35th president’s life in the Cape—and a stop at Scargo Hill Observation Tower (located on the Cape’s “inner elbow”) for sweeping panoramas of the area’s foliage scenery with views as far as Provincetown, the Cape’s “fist.”

Before your next weekend getaway, get a peek at what awaits you up the road with this live foliage map.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:226535″ /]

[st_related]9 New Fall Books to Read Immediately[/st_related]

Midwest: Southwest Michigan

red-lighthouse-holland-michigan

The state of Michigan has put together a comprehensive list of driving tours perfect for the road trip aficionado. Choose from various themes, including food, wine, heritage, fall, and others.

The one-tank trip around Michigan’s southwest region starts at Battle Creek, winds through wine country in Paw Paw, continues past roller coasters in St. Joseph, and offers side trips to South Haven and New Buffalo.

Make time for various unique experiences along Michigan Great Lakes roadways: seasonal swills at the state’s oldest microbrewery at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo; a car-friendly flick at Capri Drive-In Theater; and Dutch heritage a la Americana at the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory in Holland (Michigan, that is), with its very own authentic windmill, brought here from the Netherlands and reassembled bit by bit. End the voyage at the artsy area of Saugutauk-Douglas, a town awarded the 2016 Best Small Town Weekend Escape by USA Today.

The people behind the Michigan Tourism Offices make organizing a road trip through their state a breeze with the ever-useful interactive trip-planning map. Leaf peepers will appreciate the site’s Fall Colors Tours page, dedicated to roadways that best highlight the season’s vibrant foliage offerings.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:1022733″ /]

South: Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina and Virginia

blue-ridge-parkway

Known for striking vistas as far as the eye can see, the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches out over 469 miles between the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks, zigzagging along the Appalachian Highlands. With a maximum speed capped at a a leisurely 45 miles per hour, cruising along the road is encouraged.

Along the way, make a point to stop at Humpback Rocks at milepost 5.8 in the Shenandoah Valley for gravity-defying rock formations, plus a small museum highlighting Appalachian life within the visitor center. Take a break from the manmade roadway to feel the force of Mother Nature at Linville Falls, located at mile marker 316. This is a popular stop along the Parkway, but you can skip the crowds by visiting the falls during the week. Fun fact: The Linville Gorge was the nation’s first designated wilderness area. For those who wish to break up their drive with a trail walk, there are some 370 hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of which is the revered Appalachian Trail.

Driving the parkway is always free of charge, but check for Blue Ridge Parkway road closures (mostly due to inclement weather) before packing up the car.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:116018″ /]

[st_related]The 10 Best Fall Train Rides in the U.S.[/st_related]

West: Tioga Road, Yosemite National Park, California

yosemite-half-dome-fall

You can’t go wrong with any fall scenic drives through Yosemite National Park, and perhaps the most spectacular is Tioga Road.

It’s easy to see why Tioga Road is so attractive, too. Not only is it in the Sierra Nevadas, but it’s California’s highest roadway. And at a brief 47 miles, it cuts across the heart of Yosemite for one of the most picturesque drives imaginable. (It’s sure to yield the most double-clicks on your Instagram account. #travelenvy, anyone?)

Head to the lesser-known, yet just as amazing Tuoloumne Grove off Tioga Road for one of the best fall road trips in the West. As with most other trees, these giant sequoias put on quite the colorful show in autumn. On Tioga Road you’ll have access to Olmsted Point and Tenaya Lake, plus a close-up view of Clouds Rest, and beyond that, Half Dome. Hikers rejoice, as this is the roadway connected to the most hiking trails.

You’ll have to time this voyage carefully because Tioga Road closes when the snow starts in October or November. See the Yosemite National Park road conditions page before heading off for this adventure.

[js_hotel_rates_cta hotel=”taid:119543″ /]

Fall Foliage Forecast Resources

blue-ridge-parkway-fall

What to Wear on Your Scenic Drive

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

More from SmarterTravel:

[st_deals_search search_type=vacation]

Patricia Magaña looks forward to eating her weight in apple cider donuts this fall. Follow her on Instagram @PatiTravels.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Categories
Active Travel Fashion & Beauty Packing Travel Trends

The Best Labor Day 2019 Sales and Deals Right Now


The national holiday is just a few days away, but Labor Day sales and deals are already here and run throughout the three-day weekend.

AllModern

Happening between 9 a.m. on August 28 and 9 a.m. EST on September 3, the AllModern Labor Day sale will discount up to 65 percent off select home furnishings. Boost your savings by 25 percent with code GOFORIT.

Some of Our Favorites from AllModern:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Smartwool

Save 30 to 50 percent off select sock styles with the cult-favorite brand, Smartwool. The Smartwool Labor Day Sale runs from August 29 until September 2.

Some of Our Favorites from Smartwool:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

prAna

Enjoy up to 25 percent off and free shipping during prAna’s sale, running between August 29 and Labor Day.

Some of Our Favorites from prAna:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Wayfair

Thousands of items will be on sale with the limited-time Wayfair Labor Day Clearance Sale. The closeout sale provides steep savings: up to 80 percent off bedding, 75 percent off mattresses, and 70 percent off major appliances. This national holiday may be the right time to finally upgrade your vacation home furnishings.

Some of Our Favorites from Wayfair:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Birch Lane

Save up to 70 percent off with the Birch Lane Labor Day Presale, happening right now. Look for even steeper discounts during the furniture curator’s limited-time flash deals taking place on September 2. Get free shipping with code LDAY. 

Some of Our Favorites from Birch Lane:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Tarte

Buy one cosmetic or beauty-care item, get the second 50 percent off with the Tarte Labor Day BOGO sale—valid between noontime August 30 and 3 a.m. on September 3 EST. Use promo code BOGO50; some exclusions apply.

Some of Our Favorites from Tarte:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Nordstrom Rack

The Rack’s favorite sale is back: Get up to 25 percent off select designer sunglasses through September 2.

Some of Our Favorites from Nordstrom Rack:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Sur la Table

Sur La Table’s Savor Summer Sale runs through September 2. Save big with brands like Vitamix, Shun Knives, Le Creuset, Duralex, and more.

Osprey

Osprey’s End-of-Summer sale discounts up to 25 off select gear and up to 50 percent off last season’s items, but only through Labor Day. Shipping is free on all orders.

Some of Our Favorites from Osprey:

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

Vasque

Use code LABORDAY on already-reduced items from last season’s Vasque footwear. The shelf time on this Labor Day promotion is between August 29 and September 2.

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble’s BookHaul Blowout sale discounts the most books ever at 50 percent off. The promotion ends Labor Day, September 2, and is also valid in-stores.

 More from SmarterTravel:

[amazon_native_ad tracking_id=”smartrav-20″]

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña Figueroa writes about travel. Follow her @PatiTravels.

Categories
Road Trip

How to Pick a Car Rental for a Road Trip


The most important thing for a successful road trip is having the right car—and for added comfort that goes beyond simply having a reliable vehicle, a navigation system, and a good playlist. Next time you’re headed out on a road trip with a rental, look for these seven features in your rental car.

Fuel-Efficient, Yet Sleek

That fuel-efficient economy-class vehicle is so sexy, said no one ever. You’re torn: You want to reduce your carbon footprint, but you still want to have a sleek and stylish car (shhh, no one has to know it’s a rental). You don’t have to sacrifice style anymore as many luxury and spacious vehicles offer fuel-efficient options.

I was recently hosted on a New England road trip by Chevrolet and had the opportunity to test out a 2019 Blazer. The revamped model is sleek, and despite its SUV size (I normally drive a smaller, fuel-friendly hatchback), did exceptionally well on gas.

The Intelligent Start/Stop feature shuts the engine off when briefly stopped, for example at red lights, and seamlessly restarts when pressing the gas pedal–all to economize on gas.

Drop-and-Charge Dock

Everyone struggles with charging different gadgets while in a car, but it turns out that there is a solution for this: a drop-and-charge dock. The future is here, folks.

[st_related]9 Nasty Truths About Car Rental Insurance[/st_related]

Hands-Free Calling

Hands-free calling is not only a luxury item to have in your rental, but in certain states, the only lawful way to use your phone and drive. California, New Jersey, D.C., and Vermont are among those that prohibit operating a vehicle while using a hand-held device.

Safety

On-Star emergency assistance, automatic braking, lane-overlapping indicators are extra features to consider if you’re driving a rental car for long distances or in an unfamiliar area.

Also make sure your rental car has plenty of lockable storage; some glove compartments are large enough to easily fit a handbag, phone, and anything else you want to lock up before walking away from the vehicle.

[st_related]10 Road Trip Accessories to Turn a Rental Car Into the Ultimate Vacation Vehicle[/st_related]

Baggage Space

During my recent road trip, I had various bags in the cargo space, including a food bag which would have spilled if it weren’t for the adjustable cargo fence.

Wi-Fi

Just like you’d expect at your hotel room, in-vehicle Wi-Fi is becoming more commonplace, especially in rental cars. The amount of data you’ll use on a road trip for entertainment (playlists, phone calls, audiobooks) adds up, so this feature is particularly useful.

[st_related]10 Clever Car Rental Hacks That’ll Save You Money[/st_related]

Soundproofing

I didn’t think this would be an important feature, but wow, did I enjoy the soundproof qualities of my rental car. Shutting the doors blocked out the majority of the intrusive road sounds, thereby reducing listener fatigue. I arrived at my destination two hours later, fresh and ready to enjoy my trip.

[st_deals_search search_type=car]

Packable Road-Trip Car Accessories

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

More from SmarterTravel:

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña Figueroa writes about travel. Follow her @PatiTravels.

Categories
Food & Drink Health & Wellness In-Flight Experience Packing Road Trip Travel Technology Travel Trends

Natural Sleep Aids to Try When You Want to Avoid Medications


Natural sleep aids are a homeopathic, affordable, and efficient way to get you to la la land, even when you’re on a plane.

From natural sleeping pills to sleep-inducing apps and sensory-deprivation tools engineered to make you sleepy, here are ways to get a few REM cycles without a prescription.

A Sleep App

young woman with earbuds eyes closed.

Pop in your earbuds and power up your phone when looking to shut down with the help of sleep apps. The highly rated Pzizz app (iOS | Android) uses sleep-research findings to curate the right mix of music, voice, and sound effects to help users fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. The app is free (paid enhancements available), and has three different modes: sleep, nap, and focus.

[st_related]7 Things to Help You Travel Wrinkle-Free[/st_related]

Sensory Deprivation

ostrich pillow hood woman.

From the makers of the Ostrich Pillow comes the Ostrich Hood, which aims to provide sensory deprivation. Unlike its pillow counterpart, however, the hood does so without the embarrassing Martian-looking headwear. The Ostrich Hood is made with thick, washable fabrics and is larger than a regular hoodie, providing greater noise-blocking and privacy coverage.

So, it’s just a hoodie, you might say, but where’s the rest of the sweatshirt? Yes, it’s literally just a hoodie—there’s no sweatshirt attached to it. But what a marvelous hoodie it is. The Ostrich Hoodie helps cancel out environmental noise and peripheral distractions, setting up for a restful zen zone.

[st_related]9 Travel Gadgets to Help You Sleep Away from Home[/st_related]

Travel Pillow

huzi infinity pillow grey.

Regardless of what other strategies you employ, you won’t have much luck sleeping if you can’t get yourself into a comfortable position. Set yourself up for success in even the most challenging of places—like the airplane middle seat—with the use of a travel pillow.

The best travel pillow I’ve encountered is the Huzi Infinity Pillow. Instead of the common U-shaped pillow variety, the Huzi is a long infinity pillow that’s moldable, so you can tuck it and pull it around your neck, low back, or over your head. It’s made with a very soft fabric, and unlike most other travel pillows, it’s machine washable.

[st_related]Do Compression Socks Really Work?[/st_related]

Supplements for Sleep Aid

woman taking pill to help sleep.

Biohack your sleep with the calming effects of natural supplements. Oral supplements commonly stashed in the medicine cabinets of frequent travelers include melatonin, valerian root, I-Theanine, magnesium, and for those in legal states, CBD. Don’t forget lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, and other calming herbs that easily pack when in dry tea form.

Comfy Outfits to Wear While Traveling

For info on these editor-selected items, click to visit the seller’s site. Things you buy may earn us a commission.

More from SmarterTravel:

[amazon_native_ad]

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña Figueroa writes about travel. Follow her @PatiTravels.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Packing Women's Travel

6 Key Features of the Best Travel Makeup Bags


Searching for your next perfect travel makeup bag? The best ones have key features that protect items, boost organization, and optimize space. We asked ultra-fashionable Instagram influencers for their top tips on choosing a travel makeup bag. Here are their tips, plus more ideas for the key features to look for in a travel makeup bag.

Separate Pockets for Better Organization

hudson-bleecker-makeup-bag.

Keep makeup organized with the use of separate compartments, advises travel writer Christine Tran (@tourdelust on Instagram), who recently joined SmarterTravel sister site Jetsetter on a trip to Costa Rica. She keeps her luggage in check with packing cubes, and her makeup tidy with the use of a Hudson+Bleecker cosmetic travel bag, chosen because the company makes “stylish, high-quality products that allow me to keep my makeup organized.”

[st_related]Living #LikeAJetsetter in Costa Rica (via Jetsetter)[/st_related]

Customizable

portable-makeup-bag-customizable.

The best travel makeup bag is the one that best suits you. After all, everyone’s beauty regimen is unique. Travel blogger Emilia Taneva (@bubbly.moments on Instagram) recommends this customizable makeup bag, which she hails for its practicality.

This cosmetic travel bag is extremely versatile. The accompanying strap can be worn in various ways: slung over the shoulder, crossbody, or as a backpack. Solidifying its place as one of the best out there is its customizable interior compartments. The travel makeup bag’s 10 dividers help keep contents from shifting, making sure your cosmetics are intact when you get to your destination.

Non-Crushable

peak-design-wash-tech-pouch.

Like a lot of budget-conscious travelers out there, I avoid checking in a bag whenever possible, so an overstuffed carry-on is commonplace. I’ve been burned by this practice, however, and I’d be crushed if my cult-fave lash curler met its demise because I overpacked my suitcase.

Makeup train cases are nearly crushproof, and they’re adorable, but they’re wildly impractical if your goal is to travel light. But there’s another way to add protection, and that’s with extensive padding.

Peak Design makes a cool toiletry bag, but it’s the company’s Tech Pouch that I’ve repurposed to be my all-time favorite makeup bag organizer. Its accordion-style opening is vast, and the bag is equipped with tons of straps and pockets that keep contents in sight. The plush padding makes it nearly crushproof, and at 10 ounces, does so without adding too much weight. And its exterior nylon shell is waterproof.

[st_related]The Best New Packing Accessories [/st_related]

Spacious

spacious-makeup-bag.

Many skincare routines include cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and sunscreen steps. And that’s before a drop of foundation even touches skin. Since a lot more can go into a makeup bag organizer than just makeup, it’s important to have space for your entire skincare routine. With its removable storage cubes and straps, Sephora’s well-reviewed Pack-It-All Organizer provides ample space for cosmetics, toiletries, and tools.

Space-Conserving

hanging-makeup-organizer

You’ll have plenty of space to play at your vanity with the help of a travel hanging valet makeup organizer bag like this one from Tartan + Twine.

The envelope-style makeup bag folds flat, conserves countertop space with the use of the built-in hook, and, when hung open, displays all content through its see-through pockets.

[st_related]The Ultimate Packing List [/st_related]

Compartments for Tools, Too

cosmetic-travel-case.

Consider the tools you use for your makeup application. Do you use sponges, wands, or brushes?  The ideal is a makeup bag that perfectly stores your tools and travels well, too.

More from SmarterTravel:

[amazon_native_ad tracking_id=”smartrav-20″]

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña writes about travel. Follow her @PatiTravels.

Categories
Adventure Travel Experiential Travel Packing Road Trip

10 Road Trip Essentials: How to Stay Safe, Sane, and on Track on the Road


[st_content_ad]An organized space is a calmer space, and that’s especially true within the tight quarters of a vehicle. Add a bit of zen to your trip by packing these 10 road trip essentials, which will help you stay safe, sane, and on track during your journey.

Vehicle Roadside Assistance Gear

Your trip is wholly dependent on the health of your ride, so you’ll want to have a mechanic look over your car a few days before setting out on the road, including a check of your spare tire.

Be ready for unforeseen emergencies by packing a few roadside assistance essentials: a portable air compressor, a battery jump starter (confirm it’s fully charged before hitting the road), coolant, motor oil, a basic tool kit, and a first-aid kit. Pre-assembled roadside assistance kits come stuffed with an even broader array of emergency gear like flares and a glass-shattering tool.

[st_related]No Credit Card? Renting a Car with a Debit Card Just Got Easier[/st_related]

Backup Batteries for Electronics

You’re probably traveling with phones, e-readers, hand-held game consoles, Bluetooth headphones, and other electronics—and they’ll all eventually run out of power. Look for a charger that can take on multiple devices at once like this six-port USB car charger.

Road Map

Map car keys

Don’t solely rely on technology to get you to your destination. Continue on your path even when your navigation system is out of service with a road map like this one from Rand McNally.

[st_related]10 (and a Half) Tips for Road Trips [/st_related]

Healthy Snacks

Finding food on the road isn’t usually too much of problem—but finding healthy food is. Keep a broad array of healthy snacks in your vehicle and you’ll save money, stay more alert, and reach your destination faster by stopping less often.

Dried fruits and nuts pack and hold up well, and snack bars come in all varieties.

Wet Wipes

mom wiping daughter mouth with wipe

When considering what to pack for a road trip, I can’t recommend wet wipes enough. After one incident of Cheetos fingers smudged all over the back seat, you won’t travel without wipes again either! But why stop at fingers? This hypoallergenic, biodegradable wet wipe is great for whole-body cleansing for when you need to freshen up a bit.

[st_related]How to Do Laundry on Vacation (No Laundromat Required)[/st_related]

Back-of-Seat Car Organizers

kids-backseat-entertainment

Keep mess at a minimum with backseat car organizers like this one, which keeps important things within reach (yet off prime real estate) and is equipped with a four-port USB charger.

Trunk Organizers

car-trunk

Make time to refresh your space at pit stops: Toss the trash, restock drinks and snacks, and pack away items no longer in use. Trunk space bins are great for keeping things neat and accessible when you need them, and this one comes with many pockets, plus a chilling compartment to keep drinks cool.

[st_related] 7 Hacks for Staying Organized While Traveling[/st_related]

Rooftop Cargo Bin

rooftop-cargo

Do you have more gear for your road trip than you expected? Load up a rooftop storage bin. They come in many sizes and often have locks, making this a secure way to carry your extra gear. Keep in mind, though, that vehicles without built-in roof racks will need to procure those, too.

Trip-Planning Apps

woman reading a map with phone out

Planning a trip can be almost as exciting as the journey itself. To coordinate all the cool things you can see along your route, use an app like Roadtrippers (iOS | Android), which lets you easily discover diners, roadside attractions, hiking trails, and more.

[st_related]12 Best Travel Gadgets for Any Trip[/st_related]

Car Club Membership

 

An auto club membership is the ultimate road trip essential. Members are often entitled to trip planning resources and roadside assistance, among other benefits. AAA, for example, offers its members free road maps and various travel discounts. 

More from SmarterTravel:

[amazon_native_ad tracking_id=”smartrav-20″ search=”beachwear”]

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña writes about travel. Follow her on Instagram.

Categories
Beach Fashion & Beauty Packing Travel Etiquette Travel Trends

Nude Resort Etiquette Rules You Need to Know


Aside from a few key considerations, nude resort etiquette is general resort etiquette. There’s also the fact that most everyone is naked. Skip the potential awkwardness at a clothing-optional experience and go with an open mind, plus these helpful tips.

Don’t Stare

[st_content_ad]

Nude resort newbies may experience initial shock at the sight of a sea of nakedness. It’s fine to look. What is not OK, however, is to stare. You’ll quickly get the hang of it, but if you’re not used to engaging in eye-contact and conversation with someone who’s totally exposed, wear sunglasses whenever appropriate.

[st_related]9 Nudist Destinations Where You Can Take It All Off[/st_related]

Get Nude

summer-drink-swimming-pool-sunbathing-female-cocktail-pool-beverage-drinking-summertime

While there are no clothes cops patrolling clothing-optional resorts or beaches, it’s somewhat of a gimme that guests who booked the experience are there to be fully clothes-free. When booking a nude resort, be open to embracing new and unexpected occurrences, but feel free to ease into clothing freedom with beach cover-ups.

Use a Towel When Sitting

beach-towels

Nude resort etiquette calls for guests to sit on a towel. Resorts will have them at the ready, but bringing your own beach towel is a great way to easily identify your seat. Grabbing someone else’s towel by mistake isn’t something you want to do at a clothing-optional beach.

[st_related]The 10 Worst People You Meet at Your All-Inclusive Resort[/st_related]

Don’t Take Photos without Consent

woman-in-tropical-swimming-pool

Clothing-optional resorts take great care to ensure their patrons feel safe and comfortable. As such, many have strict policies around photography, some going so far as completely banning smartphones. Seize the opportunity to unplug, relax, and make new friends. If you’re not used to being without your phone, bring a great book to read.

[st_related]10 Tips for Packing the Perfect Beach Bag[/st_related]

Pro Tip: Bring a Beach Bag

beach-vip-bungalow

The obligatory towel, sunglasses, sun lotion, a cover-up, and anything else you’d walk around a clothed resort with is also essential at a nude resort. Even when wearing nothing, there’s still a lot you’ll need—including a beach bag to carry it all in.

More from SmarterTravel:

Senior Editor Patricia Magaña writes about travel. Follow her on Instagram.

[amazon_native_ad tracking_id=”smartrav-20″ search=”beachwear”]