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The Best Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Check out the best gifts for your favorite female traveler to give this Mother’s Day—bonus, most of these Mother’s Day gifts are under $100.

Travel-Related Mother’s Day Gifts

Bellroy Travel Folio

Help your mom stay organized while traveling with this chic passport holder and travel wallet. She can keep the whole fam organized since it fits two passports, four to eight cards, cash, and multiple boarding passes. This zip-up style also has RFID blocking technology, which protects documents, cards, and passports from RFID skimming, i.e. electronic pickpocketing. The environmentally-certified leather wallet also comes with a three-year warranty.

LifeProof Wake Phone Case

Give mom a protective and sustainable phone case, no matter what model phone she has. This case is both drop-proof (from two meters), easy to grip, and helps the environment through a donation on the company’s behalf to select charities.

iLive Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds

If mom isn’t the most tech-savvy, then these affordable wireless earbuds might just be the perfect gift. This pair supports true wireless and Bluetooth capabilities and comes with a charging case of its own.

Keebos Crossbody Phone Case

Go totally hands-free with this useful and inexpensive phone case; it’s a crossbody bag, wallet, phone holder, and protective case all in one. This Mother’s Day gift is perfect for walking the dog, circling the park, or grabbing a coffee.

Mother’s Day Gifts for the Home

YETI Lowlands Waterproof Outdoor Blanket

From beach picnics to lining the back seat of the car for your family pooch, YETI’s outdoor blanket is an ideal gift for the no-fuss mom. It even comes in a convenient carrying case and is machine-washable. Other standout features are that this comfy blanket has a waterproof layer and that it easily shakes off pet hair.

Artifact Uprising Wood Block Prints

gift ideas for mother's day

Gift mom a personalized photo album with this simple yet beautiful woodblock stand. Send 12 of your favorite travel photos to Artifact Uprising and the company will print them on thick card stock and voila—you’ve got a personalized gift within days.

Other places to shop customized prints include Etsy, Framebridge, and Shuttterfly.

COSORI 12-in-1 Air Fryer Toaster Oven

Whether she’s cooking for additional family members in quarantine or perfecting some of her favorite recipes, this multi-purpose toaster oven will be a delightful surprise. Not only is it reasonably priced, but it serves as an air fryer, toaster oven, broiler, rotisserie, and more. The 12 presets include: pizza, roast, airfry, toast, bagel, bake, broil, cookies, rotisserie, dehydrate, ferment, and keep warm. Plus, there’s an included recipe book (featuring over 100 ideas) for even more cooking inspiration.

EcoVessel Wine Tumbler

Take your favorite drink on-the-go with these triple-insulated, stainless steel tumblers. Priced under $20, it’s an ideal gift for the mom who loves a park picnic or day at the beach.

ChappyWrap’s Places Blanket

While the jury’s still out on our summer vacations, remind mom of one of her favorite places with an ultra-plush blanket from ChappyWrap. With maps of locales like Cape Cod and San Francisco, you can keep her cozy during stay-at-home orders.

Mother’s Day Gifts, Clothing & Accessories

Keds Women’s Clipper Jute

This pair of stylish slip-on shoes from Keds make for the perfect understated, yet practical gift for mom. Wear them now around the house and save them for the next family beach vacation. The versatile style means they match with almost anything and the slip-on style makes them ideal for errand running and city walking.

Rothy’s Bag Collection

We’ve already expressed our love for Rothy’s latest bag collection, and we think the line of bags and pouches also make for great Mother’s Day gifts. All of the accessories are stylish and practical for both future travel and use around town.

Hari Mari Sydney Slides

Keep mom comfy and fashionable with these spring and summertime sandal staples. Between the premium leather, memory foam footbed, and on-trend style these shoes have it all. Not only do they match almost everything, they’ll be her go-to pair of shoes all summer long.

Plaka Slipper Socks

I’ve already raved about these in my review, but these slipper socks are the perfect inexpensive gift for mom this Mother’s Day. The sock-like upper is flexible and soft while the cushy rubber bottom lets you grab your mail, take the dog out, etc. without having to put real shoes on.

Cotidie Evelyn Drape Waist Shirt

Gift mom this classic shirt, with a twist. The moisture-wicking and stretchy material mean this shirt is the queen of double-duty. Whether she’s a frequent flier or just likes to look chic (but make it comfy) at the grocery store, this athleisure brand has got you covered.

Ministry of Supply Swift Wide Leg Pants

These lightweight pants are the stylish ideal travel pant, but can also be worn easily around the house. The stretch crepe material is airy and breathable and will look good with either a sweatshirt or blazer.


Fair warning, you may want to steal this gift, but know it will bring the utmost coziness to your mom. So, let her enjoy it. Bleusalt’s environmentally-friendly and sustainable beechwood fabric is literally a dream, so anything you pick will be a win. But, if you need help choosing, The Classic Shirt and The 2 Yard Wrap are my go-tos.

MZ Wallace Metro Pouch

It’s a clutch, it’s a pouch, it’s a diaper holder, it’s anything you need it to be. We adore this line of bags (also available at Nordstrom) for its waterproof nylon quilted material and packability.

State Cashmere

Spoil mom with high-quality cashmere, but not at the expected price tag. State Cashmere offers dozens of styles under $100 as well as a wallet-friendly and lightweight spring line, made with cotton cashmere. Or pick something out from the travel section, think socks, blankets, and wraps.  

Mother’s Day Gifts, Beauty

Dyson Airwrap Hair Styler

Gift mom the latest in hair styling innovation, with Dyson’s minimal heat hair styler. It’s a smoother, curler, styler, and dryer all in one.

Pro Tip: Also check this product’s Amazon listing for potential price reductions and Dyson will price match.

TULA Skincare Best Sellers Travel Kit

Cult-favorite skincare brand, TULA, offers some of their best-selling products in a convenient and reasonably priced, travel-sized kit. It’s a perfect way to test out the facial cleanser, day and night cream, sugar scrub, and moisturizing primer. And while you’re at it, throw in the brightening eye balm and sunscreen to your cart for yourself (we won’t tell).

DW Home Candle

Remind mom of her favorite scent with a budget-friendly candle from DW Home. We love the Calming Waves and Tranquil Lotus scents for uber relaxation during this crazy time.

Athena Club the Go-Tos Set

Help mom make her skincare routine healthier with Athena Club’s the Go-Tos set. At just $25 this gift set includes the brand’s Dewy Body Lotion, Soft Face Wipes, and All Day Deo. Each product is made with good-for-you ingredients and smells fantastic.

Subtl Beauty Stack

Mom will thank you for this life-changing makeup gift. Meet Subtl Beauty’s stack, the ultimate travel-friendly makeup on the market. Build her a custom stack by choosing a lip stain, concealer, highlighter, bronzer, and/or shine control powder and voila, all her makeup’s in one place.

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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.

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.

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Amazon Best Seller in Toys and Games


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


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


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


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


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


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.

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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:

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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.

Fashion & Beauty Holiday Travel

Holiday Gift Guides for the Traveler on Your List

We spend a lot of our time traveling and researching the best products to travel with all year long. From gifts to give yourself to cult-favorite travel brands, we’ve rounded up more gifts than we can give this holiday season, which is why we want to share them all with you … and we won’t tell if you buy one or two things for yourself.

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guides

Travel Gift Cards and Other Last-Minute Gifts for People Who Hate Stuff: Shop the best travel gift cards and more.

13 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Get in Time for Christmas: Guaranteed to arrive by Christmas.

11 Memberships and Subscriptions That Make Great Last-Minute Gifts for Travelers: Useful gifts that keep on giving.

17 Best Subscription Boxes to Gift Travelers: These 17 easy-to-gift subscription boxes are perfect for travelers.

Holiday Gift Guides

Top 10 Items from Oprah’s Favorite Things List (Plus a Tip for Even More Discounts): Oprah’s list this year has tons of travel items that make amazing gifts.

This Beloved Travel Brand Just Launched a Holiday Collection: These suitcases and accessories are sure to be among the hottest travel items to give this year.

Gifts For Haters: What to Buy for the Person Who’s Impossible to Shop For: Here are the gifts that haters—from nervous flyers to germaphobes—will love.

16 Treat-Yourself Gifts That Are Too Good to Give Anyone Else: Because you deserve to receive the gifts you want, even if you’re the one to give them.

10 Travel Products with a Cult Following: Here are the items with a loyal fan base that also happen to be perfect for travel—or for gifting to a fellow traveler you want to impress.

Holiday Gift Guides When You’re on a Budget

18 Gift Swap Ideas That Every Traveler Will Want: From office white elephant parties to a Yankee Swap with friends, these fun and affordable travel-friendly gifts are sure to please.

The 10 Best Books of 2019, According to Amazon: Here are the year’s best books to bring on your next trip.

The Best Amazon Magazine Subscriptions for Any Type of Traveler: Need an inexpensive, last-minute gift that a traveler is sure to love? Amazon’s magazine subscription service is here to save the day.

Splurge vs. Steal: The Best Travel Gifts at Every Budget (from $14 to $2,200): Whether your gifting budget is minuscule or massive this year, this list has you covered.

The 12 Best Stocking Stuffers for Travelers: From mini beauty products to perfect photo accessories, these travel stocking stuffers will impress your friends without taking up too much precious suitcase space.

Holiday Shopping Deals for Travelers

The Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals for Travelers: Keep checking back here for updates and the latest travel deals this post-Thanksgiving deal season.

Free Holiday Shipping Is Available from These Popular Sites: Bookmark this for all your holiday shopping so you can skip the shipping fees and spend your money on the gifts themselves.

Is Travel Tuesday the New Cyber Monday?: Travel Tuesday aims to sling travel deals with the same sort of once-a-year urgency as its more established holiday-shopping counterparts. But, is it actually worth your time and money?

6 Expert Shopping Tips to Know for Black Friday and Cyber Monday: We’re here to help make your holiday gift planning a little easier by filling you in on some of the new Amazon perks (for both Prime and non-Prime members).

12 Amazon Holiday Shopping Tips to Save You Time (and Money): If you save your holiday shopping for the last-minute or are looking for quick and easy gift ideas, then these tips are your saving grace.

The 8 Best Amazon Top Sellers Under $10 (Plus, the Most-Wished-for Item): These gifts under $10 offer plenty of inspiration at an affordable price. Here are some of our favorite top-selling Amazon gifts for 2019.

P.S.: Make sure you also check out our Ultimate Holiday Travel Survival Guide.


Holiday Travel Travel Trends

Travel Gift Cards and Other Last-Minute Gifts for People Who Hate Stuff

Don’t panic yet; if you have any travel-lovers on your list this year, they most likely don’t want more things cluttering up their jet-setting life. Luckily, travel gift cards and experiences can be purchased last minute and are sure-to-please.

Here are 12 travel gift cards to help fund their next vacation, and some other thoughtful ideas, because no matter how much they hate stuff, who wouldn’t want a four-course meal prepared by a chef on their next vacation?

Airline Gift Cards

If your favorite traveler has a favorite airline, purchase an airline gift card to help them afford his or her next flight. You can purchase gift cards for major airlines like Delta, Southwest, and American Airlines, as well as customer-favorite Hawaiian Airlines. Or purchase a general, airfare gift card through a website like

You can also gift a “skyhour”, which is a website that lets you book flights by paying per hour, so one skyhour equals one hour of flying time.

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Airbnb Gift Card

For a millennial traveler—or anyone who likes alternative accommodations—grab an Airbnb gift card. You can purchase one that gets delivered via email or a physical one (that’s also Amazon Prime-eligible).

Rideshare Gift Card

Rideshares are a convenient and quick way to get around a new city, plus they’re a simple way to save on airport transportation. Any traveler can make use of an Uber or Lyft travel gift card.

[st_related]10 Things to Pack That Will Save You Money[/st_related]

Amtrak Gift Card

You can now purchase Amtrak train fare gift cards, making a weekend destination decision that much easier. Gift cards are available on Amtrak’s website in digital or physical form, and are redeemable online, on the app, and at Amtrak ticket offices.

Lounge Buddy Gift Card

Send your loved one off in style with a VIP airport lounge experience. Lounge Buddy is a platform that lets you book airport lounge access at almost any airport. Gift cards are printable or can be emailed to the recipient directly.

[st_related]4 Ways to Get into the Airport Lounge[/st_related]

Eatwith Gift Card

Give an unforgettable meal for their next trip, with an Eatwith gift card. The platform offers dining experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Once you know your destination, you can search for locally-hosted culinary spectacles, like dining on an old Tube train in London or watching a flamenco show with tapas in Chicago.


DNA and genetic testing kits are one of the hottest gifts to give this year. The results could even inspire the recipient to take a trip of a lifetime to discover more about their heritage and ancestors.

[st_related]The SmarterTravel Shopping Guide[/st_related]

Kindle Unlimited Subscription

Travelers have a lot of downtime on the way to a destination, and many like to fill that time with reading. A Kindle Unlimited subscription gets you access to over one million titles and thousands of audio books for just $10 per month. With this gift, unlimited truly means unlimited.

Intrepid Foundation Global Gift

Donating to a charity on behalf of your recipient is truly a selfless gift. This year, Intrepid Travel’s foundation is offering global gift purchases to a handful of its supported projects, like elephant conservation in Sri Lanka and for refugee opportunities in Turkey.

[st_related]5 Companies That Will Help You Be a Better Traveler[/st_related]

Game of Thrones Tour

Still mourning the finale of Game of Thrones? Gift your token GOT-lover an experience they won’t forget. Our sister site Viator offers a variety of tours through filming locations across Europe in countries like Croatia, Ireland, and Spain.

Travelzoo Experiences

Give the gift of a spontaneous travel experience with one of Travelzoo’s travel gift card deals. It could be a ticket to your recipient’s favorite destination, an interesting tour, a hotel deal to a destination they’ve already booked, or even a staycation experience they can take advantage of at home. You can browse by region and available deals and choose items like spa days, brunch buffets, cooking classes, and more.

Xperience Tours

Book a tour for someone special on their next U.S. vacation by giving a travel gift card to Xperience Days. They’ll be able to search choose from exciting activities by city, featuring options from as simple as walking tours to as extreme as skydiving.


More from SmarterTravel:

Ashley Rossi is always ready for her next trip. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for travel tips, destination ideas, and off the beaten path spots.

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: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Holiday Travel

13 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Get in Time for Christmas

Whether you forgot to buy someone a present or you’ve avoided shopping until now, there are still plenty of options that will arrive at your doorstep in time for Christmas. No one will be able to tell you bought these 13 gifts at the last minute. On Amazon product, make sure to check the product description to see if it says “Arrives Before Christmas”. Luckily, there are hundreds of items available with free one-day delivery for Prime members, too.

Blizzard Bay Ugly Christmas Sweater

unicorn vomit christmas sweater and flying space cats sweater

[st_content_ad]Blizzard Bay’s collection of hilarious Christmas sweaters will arrive just in time for you to wear on Christmas day. Whether you want a sweater with flying space cats or a vomiting unicorn, you have plenty of options if you want to shock and/or delight your friends and family.

Padmate PAMU Wireless Mini Earphones

black and white earbuds in case

The PAMU Wireless Mini Earphones from Padmate are an excellent addition to the wireless earbud market. The earphones are discreet-looking and come in a sleek charging case. Because the earbuds are water- and sweat-resistant, this is a great option for active travelers.

Franklin Sports Table Tennis To-Go

collapsible table tennis net and two paddles

With Franklin Sports’ Table Tennis To-Go, the only thing missing is a table. This travel ping pong set easily fits in a carry-on and sets up quickly.

Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale

silver luggage scale with handle

Your favorite overzealous packer will never have to worry about overweight luggage again. The Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale measures up to 110 pounds and is lightweight enough to squeeze into a suitcase.

[st_related]11 Gift Swap Ideas That Every Traveler Will Want[/st_related]

Diptyque Candle

white mimosa candle

Diptyque candles are a favorite of celebrities like Meghan Markle and Beyoncé, and now they come in a travel size. Gift your favorite traveler one of these candles so they can indulge in luxury no matter where they go.

Audible Subscription

Instantly gift an Audible membership to your loved ones. They’ll receive three titles for each month of their gift membership: one audiobook, plus two Audible Originals and 30 percent off any additional audiobooks.

Vivid Seats Gift Card

fun things to do in denver

Gift a gift of their favorite concert or sporting event with a gift card from a ticket broker, like Vivid Seats. Amounts range from $5 to $1,000 and can be sent electronically.

CV Skinlabs Restorative Skin Balm

small white tube

This is the perfect gift for anyone who relies on their hand lotion in the winter. CV Skinlabs’ Restorative Skin Balm heals dry skin and works especially well for people with sensitive skin. Even better, it comes in a travel-ready tube.

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

Mini Portable Oil Diffuser

This gift set comes with four mini essential oil bottles and a battery-operated oil diffuser to be used for aromatherapy.

Coogam Pop Up Christmas Card

pop up card and flowers

If you haven’t had time to send Christmas cards yet, consider Coogam’s fun pop-up cards. The fun designs will distract people from the fact that you sent your cards a little late.

Scott’s Cheap Flights Premium Membership

planes parked at airport in a row. Airplane tail fins from Norwegian, Eurowings, Easyjet on the tarmac

For $49, you can give the gift of cheap flights. Scott’s Cheap Flights sources the best (and legit) deals for its premium members, giving them access to crazy cheap round-trip fares to bucket-list destinations. $500 RT from the U.S. to Argentina, yup!

Amazon Echo Dot

small black device

The latest Echo Dot is an excellent option if you’re looking for affordable last-minute gifts. From ordering pizza to turning off lights, the Echo Dot is a great addition to any home. Children will love the Echo Dot Kids Edition, which comes in fun colors like red and green.

[st_related]The 4 Essential Amazon Devices Travelers Need[/st_related]

My List at Bloomingdales Subscription

Don’t want to pick out travel clothes for your recipient? You can give them a one-, two-, or three-month subscription to Bloomingdale’s My List service. Each month, members can rent four styles from their ‘Closet’ and keep them as long as they want. Like the idea of gifting a monthly subscription? Check out our round-up of 17 other subscription boxes you can gift for the holidays.

What to Wear Over the Holidays

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

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[amazon_native_ad search=”last minute gifts”]

SmarterTravel co-op Alyssa Lukpat loves exploring new places. Follow her on TwitterAshley Rossi contributed to this article.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Arts & Culture Holiday Travel Oddities

12 New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

New Year’s Eve is a big deal all around the world. Families and friends come together to party, count down to the new year, and maybe even get that lucky kiss at midnight. But some cultures have their own unique traditions ranging from the spiritual to the fun to the bizarre (looking at you, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands!). Some are straight-up dangerous and others you might love enough to adopt as part of your own celebrations.

Eating 12 Grapes

Madrid, Spain-December 8, 2014: New-Year's tree and "House of the Post Office" on square "Puerta del Sol" in Madrid

Make a Wish on Your Suitcase

Man pulls yellow suitcase on the road

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


Arts & Culture Cities Entertainment Experiential Travel Family Travel Holiday Travel Miscellany Theme Park

North America’s Top Christmas Markets

The cozy smell of chestnuts roasting on open fire pits. A warm cup of mulled cider cradled in your mittened hands. Soft flecks of snow falling as you walk among shop stalls filled with glittering merchandise that just begs to be gifted.

Europe, and Germany especially, are famous for their traditional holiday markets, but the scene above can be relived right in your own backyard. Take a seasonal spin through this showcase of 10 amazing Christmas markets around North America to find one near you.

[st_related]Europe’s Best Christmas Markets[/st_related]


Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2014. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.


Holiday Travel Luxury Travel

The 8 Most Outrageous Gifts From Around the Internet

Wondering what to buy the billionaire (or favorite SmarterTravel columnist) on your list? Look no further than these outrageously over-the-top gifts from Neiman Marcus, Goop, and more. I’ll take one INCircle trip please … [st_content_ad]

007 Aston Martin

007 aston martin

For the person who orders their martini “shaken, not stirred” and introduces him- or herself  by last name, first name (unironically), this Aston Martin gift package is a Dr. No-Brainer. Whimsically priced at $700,007, the package includes a limited-edition Aston Martin DBS Superleggera designed by Daniel Craig, an all-platinum Seamaster Diver 300M OMEGA watch, and tickets to the world premiere of No Time to Die. Better hope that premiere has solid valet parking for that new Aston Martin.

The Amphibious Sub-Surface Watercraft

Amphibious sub-surface watercraft.

Shopping for more of a Bond-villain figure? The Amphibious Sub-Surface Watercraft is sure to please any evil genius. This submersible craft is part car, part boat, and part submarine, letting you drive right off the road and into the water, where you can hang out in the bottom cockpit and check out what’s going on under the sea.

[st_related]Gifts For Haters: What to Buy for the Person Who’s Impossible to Shop For[/st_related]

Carolina Bucci Forte Beads Advent Calendar

Carolina bucci forte beads advent calendar

Priced at just $913, Carolina Bucci’s Forte Beads Advent Calendar is like giving a $38 present every day of December until the 25th, which makes it seem totally affordable until you have to pay that $913 credit card bill. Some assembly is required: behind each elegant door sits two-hand carved beads that your recipient can thread together to make their own jewelry piece on Christmas.

INCircle Trip

Jade mountain st. lucia.

This gift is one of the best kinds to give (one you’ll also benefit from, because hopefully the recipient will feel pressured to bring you). The lucky giftee will get to bring along three guests (two after you) on a private jet to five of the world’s most luxurious vacation destinations. For just $575,000 you’ll get to fly from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains to a spa resort in Italy before swinging by the Icehotel in Sweden to watch the Northern Lights. After dropping off your private jet in St. Lucia, you’ll helicopter to the ultra-exclusive Jade Mountain resort, before finally returning back to the U.S. with a stop in Park City.

[st_related]16 Treat-Yourself Gifts That Are Too Good to Give Anyone Else[/st_related]

Jaguars for Everyone

Adult’s jaguar xk120 mini roadster.

Need a matching parent/child gift? Look no further than Hammacher Schlemmer, where you can get The Adult’s Jaguar XK120 Mini Roadster (a toy car that will fit an adult for $20,000) and the Children’s Ride On Jaguar Convertible (a toy car that can fit a child for $399). Let the race begin.

A Pet Paradise by Rockstar Puppy and Denise Richards

Denise richards with dogs.

Sure, the billionaire in your life may have everything she needs already, but her poor pup probably doesn’t. Win over the dog and you win over the owner, and the best way to do that is with Neiman Marcus’ Rockstar Puppy package, in which you can design a $70,000, one-of-a-kind doghouse that’s probably nicer than most people’s houses.

[st_related]Splurge vs. Steal: The Best Travel Gifts at Every Budget (from $11 to $2,200)[/st_related]

The Mixed Martial Arts Trainer

The mixed martial arts trainer.

You saw the intense backlash to the Peloton Holiday gift ad. If you’re going to gift exercise equipment, make it one that your recipient can really work out her rage on, like this Mixed Martial Arts Trainer from Hammacher Schlemmer. For $7,000, you’ll be able to fight an avatar with grappling, wrestling, and jujitsu.

Cloverleaf 2 Person Picnic Hamper

Cloverleaf 2 person picnic hamper.

A picnic can be a nice, romantic, and inexpensive date. Or it can cost nearly $2,000—your choice. If you want to go big, gift Fortnum & Mason’s Cloverleaf 2 Person Picnic Hamper. Your gourmet feast will include a cheese board and knife, wine bottle holder, picnic blanket, and china. Food not included.

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Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for photos from around the world.

Fashion & Beauty Health & Wellness Holiday Travel

The 12 Best Stocking Stuffers for Travelers

Want more expert tips and vacation inspiration? Subscribe to SmarterTravel on YouTube!

From mini beauty products to perfect photo accessories, these travel stocking stuffers will impress your friends without taking up much of their precious suitcase space.

Grip2u Phone Case

Grip2u phone case

With a handy band around the back of the case, the Grip2u prevents untimely drops and makes it easier to snap a few selfies. The case is available for iPhone and Galaxy.

[st_related]Ditch the Wallet: 7 Phone Cases to Hold Your Essentials[/st_related]

EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

epicka universal travel adapter

Adapters are an absolute must for international travel, and this mini one works in more than 150 countries. Your traveler friend will never have to worry about finding the perfect adapter again.

RECESS Travel Kit

RECESS travel kit

Never worry about cleanliness with this travel kit from RECESS. Whether your traveler friend is stepping off the plane or heading to their millionth sightseeing spot of the day, these wipes will keep them fresh on the go and fit snugly in their travel bag. The kit includes deodorant wipes, antibacterial wipes, and aloe wipes for soothing.

[st_related]9 Travel Kits That Will Make a Long Flight Bearable[/st_related]

CoasterStone Old World Map Coasters

CoasterStone old world map coasters

Your giftee can literally have the world at their fingertips with these stone and cork coasters decorated with beautiful Old World maps.

Tide to Go

Tide to go

Tide to Go may not be the most glamorous stocking stuffer for travelers, but it’s perhaps the most useful. This handy pen will instantly erase stains when you’re out and about—no soap, water, or laundry machine required.

Elzama Infinity Scarf with Hidden Zipper Pocket

Elzama infinity scarf with hidden zipper pocket

Your travel-loving buddy can stay warm while keeping their valuables concealed in this cleverly designed infinity scarf. The hidden zipper pocket fits items such as a passport, credit cards, or a phone.

[st_related]The 11 Best Travel Scarves[/st_related]

HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

HP sprocket portable photo printer

Ever wish you could print pictures straight from your phone? With the pocket-sized HP Sprocket, you can have gorgeous photo prints in seconds. This printer will instantly memorialize the highlights of any trip.

Subtl Beauty Portable Makeup Stack

Subtl beauty portable makeup stack

With Subtl Beauty’s customizable makeup stacks, it has never been easier to apply makeup touch-ups on the go. Select different shades of products including concealer, bronzer, and powder to get a compact stack of makeup essentials that fit in the palm of your hand.

[st_related]The Ultimate Carry-on Toiletry Kit for Travelers[/st_related]

Quip Toothbrush

Quip toothbrush

The quip is excellent if your traveler friend can’t bear the thought of living without their electric toothbrush. Compact and battery-powered, it comes with a portable suction holder.

Jabra Elite 65t Earbuds

Jabra elite 65t earbuds

The wireless headphone market has an overwhelming number of options, but Jabra’s earbuds make perfect stocking stuffers. These wireless earbuds offer excellent sound quality, come in a compact charging case, and last for hours on a single charge.

Dagne Dover Accordion Travel Wallet

Dagne dover accordion travel wallet

Your favorite traveler will never want to buy another wallet again. Dagne Dover’s sleek travel wallet features a magnetic closure and lots of pockets to store a passport, cash, and cards.

[st_related]17 Essential Passport Wallets and Holders for Travelers[/st_related]

Casery Go Belt Yourself

Casery go belt yourself

The vegan leather Go Belt Yourself phone case can be strapped to your giftee’s belt or purse so that it’s safe and always close by.

Traveling? Don’t Forget the Essentials

Whether you’re gifting a loved one or splurging solely on yourself, heading into a trip with luggage from the early 2000s is a risk no one should take. From the incredibly popular, futuristic carry-on from Away to our favorite pair of noise-canceling headphones, these are necessities all travelers need.

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

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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: This story was originally published in 2018. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Alyssa Lukpat and Sarah Schlichter contributed to this story.

Arts & Culture Cities Holiday Travel

Happy Hanukkah: Celebrations Around the World

Make the most of the spirit of Hanukkah and celebrate the Festival of Lights, which commemorates the restoration of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Here are some of our favorite public Hanukkah celebrations across the world.

New York City

world largest menorah at grand army plaza in brooklyn

In Manhattan’s Grand Army Plaza, across the street from The Plaza Hotel, onlookers watch as the World’s Largest Menorah (clocking in at 32 feet high and 4,000 pounds) is lit after sundown. In Brooklyn, head to Prospect Park to see a similarly giant menorah that’s lit each night of Hanukkah.

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Jerusalem Old City, Israel

Traditional menorahs (hanukkah lamps) with olive oil candles, placed near the entrance, in jewish quarter,

During Hanukkah, traditional menorahs with olive oil candles are often placed near the entrances of homes in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. The annual Torch Relay, in which people line the road and pass a flame that will eventually light the menorah at the Western Wall, marks the beginning of the festival.

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Madrid, Spain

A young girl and the luna alfon (r), director of ibn gabirol estrella toledano school, lighting candles during hanukkah celebration

Madrid has been home to a Jewish community since the ninth century. Each year since 2008, city officials and members of the Jewish community celebrate the Hanukkah Festival of Lights with the lighting of candles, music, and food.

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Berlin, Germany

Hanukkah menorah at pariser platz (paris' square) in front of brandenburg gate night

Berlin lights the Hanukkah menorah at Pariser Platz in front of Brandenburg Gate, in the same area where anti-Semitic rallies were held before and during World War II.  This is the Europe’s largest menorah, at a height of 33 feet.

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2013. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Airport Family Travel Holiday Travel Passenger Rights

8 Things You Should Never Do When Traveling Over the Holidays

Long lines. Short tempers. Cramped planes. Backed-up highways. This may be billed as “the most wonderful time of the year,” but the stress of traveling over the holidays can turn anyone into a Grinch.

Reduce your holiday hassles by avoiding eight common mistakes that many travelers make.

Don’t Travel at the Same Time as Everybody Else

Planning on flying or driving home the Sunday after Thanksgiving? So’s the rest of America—and you can expect the security lines and traffic jams to prove it. Being flexible about your travel dates and times can help you avoid the worst of the holiday crowds. This might mean shortening your weekend by a day or starting your drive bright and early—even before most people have had their morning coffee.

Not sure when the peak travel days are for a particular holiday? See The Best and Worst Days to Travel This Holiday Season.

Don’t Fly with Wrapped Gifts

hands wrapping gifts

Your ultra-organized plan to wrap all your presents before you leave could backfire if a TSA agent sees something suspicious on the X-ray and rips into your pristine wrapping job to take a closer look.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to prevent this problem. You can put your items in gift bags that are easy for TSA officers to peek into, or stick to gift cards that don’t need to be wrapped. A third option is to simply buy everything online and have it shipped to your final destination to be wrapped there.

Don’t Allow the Same Amount of Time You Usually Do

Showing up at the airport 90 minutes before a flight might work just fine on a random Wednesday morning in February, but it’s not the best strategy when traveling over the holidays. Potential problems include holiday traffic jams, packed economy parking lots, and snaking security lines full of infrequent flyers who aren’t familiar with the latest screening procedures.

Consider adding at least 30 to 60 minutes to your normal pre-flight routine and taking steps to expedite your way through the airport. A few tactics: Reserve a spot at an off-airport parking lot, sign up for TSA PreCheck, check in online in advance, and restrict yourself to only a carry-on, so you can avoid the checked-bag line.

[st_related]16 Ways to Get Through the Airport Faster[/st_related]

Don’t Fly Without Knowing Your Rights

flight cancellation rights

If you haven’t flown since last year’s holiday season, it’s worth brushing up on your passenger rights. Do you know what you’re entitled to if you’re bumped from an overbooked flight or your airline loses your checked bag? Find out by reading SmarterTravel’s Flight-Cancellation Rights Guide, which includes a handy PDF that you can save to your phone or print out and place in your wallet.

Don’t Over-Indulge Right Before You Fly

The holidays are all about eating, drinking, and making merry—but it’s best not to do these too excessively in the hours before your flight. A hangover is unpleasant enough on its own; suffering through it while crammed into an economy-class seat on a bumpy flight surrounded by strangers is true misery. Bloating and indigestion after a rich holiday meal can be similarly uncomfortable.

Nor do you want to show up for your flight still inebriated; there are few easier ways to get booted off a plane. And while it should go without saying, I’ll say it anyway: Never drink before driving—to the airport or anywhere else.

[st_related]8 Foods You Should Never Eat Before Flying[/st_related]

Don’t Fail to Make a Plan for Winter Weather

airport plane snow

A white Christmas may sound romantic, but a blizzard is the last thing you want when traveling over the holidays. If there’s any chance of snow or ice along your itinerary, you’ll want to have a backup plan in place.

Research alternative flights in case your original itinerary is affected somewhere along the line. Save your airline’s phone number in your contacts so you can call immediately for rebooking if your flight gets canceled. If you’re driving, check the weather in advance and consider traveling on a different day if your original departure date looks dicey. For more ideas, see 18 Winter Travel Tips for Flights and Road Trips.

Don’t Overstay Your Welcome with Family or Friends

Staying with loved ones can be a great way to spend some quality time together and save money on lodging, but as anyone with in-laws knows, family togetherness can get old—fast. Be realistic about whether you (and/or your hosts) might appreciate some privacy and space, and consider checking into a hotel or vacation rental for at least part of your stay.

[st_related]10 Strategies to Survive Staying with Family Over the Holidays[/st_related]

Don’t Expect a Stress-Free Experience

baggage claim christmas tree decor

If you go into your holiday trip expecting a few hiccups, you’ll be less frustrated if they happen—and pleasantly surprised if they don’t. Arm yourself with as much patience as you can muster as well as stress busters like a meditation app on your phone or simply a bag of your favorite snacks.

Traveling this Holiday Season? Consider Some of Our Favorites from Away

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

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Family Travel Holiday Travel Senior Travel

Christmas Celebrations Around the World

Pack up the sleigh and wrap yourself in your coziest scarf. Here’s a photo tour of 10 Christmas celebrations around the world, from citywide parties to cheery holiday markets.

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul christmas festival 2018 in cheonggyecheon stream at seoul, south korea

A tree twinkles with lights in South Korea, where Christmas is one of the most widely celebrated holidays.

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London, England

 leadenhall market in london with christmas decoration. victorian arcade of the market, built 19th century london

A Christmas tree sits in London’s Leadenhall Market, one of the oldest markets in the city.

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Rovaniemi, Finland

Racing on reindeer sleigh in finland lapland winter

Reindeer pull sleighs in Rovaniemi, Finland’s capital of Lapland.

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Strasbourg, France

Streets and facades of houses, traditionally decorated with toys teddy bears for christmas

Streets and facades of houses are traditionally decorated with toys and teddy bears for Christmas in medieval city of Strasbourg.

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Orlando, Florida

Toy soldiers parade down main street, u.s.a., at magic kingdom during “mickey’s once upon a christmastime parade.”

Each year, Disney World decks out its castle and Main Street in Christmas finery. Special parades, live stage shows, and more mark the Christmas season.

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New York City

hundreds of costumed revelers filled times square to muster for the 17th annual santacon pub crawl

During New York’s SantaCon, you’ll see Kris Kringle everywhere you look.

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Fireworks during the inauguration of christmas tree rodrigo de freitas lagoon

Fireworks erupt during the inauguration of the Christmas tree of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Ban Tha Rae, Thailand

Star parade,christmas festival,star parade to celebrate christmas ,caravan star lamp,is a celebration of christians in sakon nakhon and ban tha rae,thai.

Tha Rae in northeastern Thailand hosts a yearly multi-day Christmas Parade Festival, featuring performances and parades.

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Paris, France

The christmas tree at galeries lafayette

In the City of Light, les cadeaux are suspended above Galeries Lafayette.

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2013. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.


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, 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, 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. 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.


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Holiday Travel

12 Amazon Holiday Shopping Tips to Save You Time (and Money)

If you save your holiday shopping for the last minute or are looking for quick and easy gift ideas, then Amazon online shopping is your saving grace—these seven Amazon holiday shopping tips will help save you time and money this season.

Need gift ideas? Check out our gift guide, featuring the top-selling products on Amazon by category that are under $10.

1) Easy Returns and Secure Package Deliveries

Amazon now offers customers the option to have holiday orders shipped to a self-service Hub Locker, available at over 900 locations in the U.S., including Whole Foods and partner locations like Rite Aid, GNC, and Stage stores, as well as at Health Mart independent pharmacies. Check out locations here. Prime members also have access to Key by Amazon, where members can choose to have packages delivered inside their home, car, or garage (in select areas only).

You can store your package at Hub Lockers for up to three days for no additional cost, which is convenient for hiding your Amazon holiday shopping gifts from curious eyes. Another option for gift hiding comes to Prime members with Amazon Day, which means you can have all of your orders arrive together on a specific day.

And when it comes time for returns, if you don’t want to mail your item back with a trip to the post office, you can return your online gift purchase in person at Whole Foods and select Kohl’s locations (where they’ll even package it for you) or at other Hub Locker and Hub Counter partner locations.

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2) Last-Minute Travel Gifts 

Buy gift cards to travelers’ favorite services, like Airbnb and Southwest, right on Amazon. The website offers virtual gift cards for tons of travel-related services, which make for a quick and easy gift. Another easy-to-give gift? A magazine subscription to their favorite publication.

3) Last-Minute Shipping

For Prime members (or at an extra cost for non-members) you can guarantee gift delivery within 48 hours for the majority of products offered on Amazon. New this year, Amazon is also offering Prime Free One-Day Delivery and millions of items are available for Same-Day Delivery. This means you can theoretically save your Amazon online shopping until just before the holidays—although I recommend getting a head start so you don’t miss out on top-selling travel products.

As an added bonus, Prime members get free Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods food delivery, so you can avoid the grocery store for your holiday food shopping.

4) Amazon Lists

Don’t forget about yourself! Amazon’s List function is ideal for saving gift ideas, for others and for yourself. Look under the drop-down menu labeled “Account & Lists” and click “Your Lists” to start adding products. Lists are a great way to see what your partner or kids want for the holidays: Just ask them to create their own and you can buy directly from their selections. 

5) Shop and Save with Curated Gift Guides

Check out Oprah’s Favorite Things and Mariah’s Must Haves for curated gift guides, handpicked by your favorite celebrities. And as an added bonus Amazon hosts dozens of other curated gift guides as well as staggered sales throughout the season.

6) Earn Points for Travel

Some travel businesses have partnerships with Amazon, like JetBlue, which allows you to earn points while you shop. Use your TrueBlue account to access your special link to earn points for holiday shopping on Amazon. Hilton also lets you shop on Amazon with points, so you can save on gifts thanks to any recent Hilton hotel stays.

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7) Follow the Treasure Truck

In select cities, you’ll find Amazon’s Treasure Truck—a traveling pop-up shop that offers flash sales on specific items available that day. Sign up for text alerts in your area, and you’ll get notifications on the truck’s whereabouts and what’s on sale. Simply reply to the text if you want to purchase anything, and then you can head to the truck’s location to pick up your item.

8) Voice-Enabled Shopping

If you have an Alexa-enabled device like Amazon’s Echo products, Fire Tablets, or Fire Stick, you can order your holiday shopping gifts via voice command. Simply say, “Alexa, order … on Amazon” and your Amazon holiday shopping can be done while you’re making dinner or watching TV. You can even ask Alexa to turn on your Christmas Tree lights with a smart light switch, play a game, or suggest a family-friendly conversation topic.

9) Pay with Amazon for Added Savings

Here are deals offered by Amazon for the holidays:

  • Get a $15 promotional credit when you purchase $50 or more in Amazon Gift Cards. Limited to first-time gift card customers.
  • Amazon Cash: Get a $5 Amazon credit when you add $20. Limited to first-time Amazon Cash customers.
  • Amazon Prime Credit Cards: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Cardmembers and Amazon Prime Store Cardmembers with an eligible Prime membership will receive 15 percent back on Electronics bestsellers on from now to December 22.

10) No-Brainer Gifts with New Amazon Products

Shop the latest Amazon Devices for 2019, which will sure to be best-selling gifts this year:

11) Keep Everyone Entertained with Prime Video

Every Friday, Amazon is releasing new deals on Prime Video and members can save 40 percent or more on popular movie rentals.

12) Feel Good About Your Shopping

Amazon supports plenty of small- and mid-size businesses, and you can shop products from these types of business in the Storefronts portal.

Take your holiday gift-giving to another level by using AmazonSmile (a program which donates a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to a charity of your choice) and Charity Lists, which are lists created by charitable organizations of products that they need and purchased items are sent directly to the charity.

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10 Strategies to Survive Staying with Family Over the Holidays

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Staying with family is great in many ways. You have time to catch up and make new memories, and you don’t have to pay for a hotel. But you’ll pay in other ways, such as having to sleep on an air mattress and sacrificing alone time. Here’s how to survive an extended stay with relatives this holiday season.

Make Your Bed More Comfortable 

woman sleeping on sofa

Relegated to a futon, air mattress, or pull-out couch? There are a few things you can do to make your sleeping arrangement more comfortable. Air mattresses get colder than real beds (the air inside cools overnight, making you chilly). Pad it with extra blankets, or use a sleep sack, which is easy to pack and provides a ton of warmth. I’ve used this one by Blue Water to stay warm while sleeping on planes and while camping, and it really works.

Push the air mattress up against the wall if possible so your pillows don’t fall off while you sleep, and put a blanket or a yoga mat underneath the mattress to make it less noisy when you move around.

For futons or rock-hard mattresses, a self-inflating sleeping pad is easy to use and will save your back.

Even if you’re staying in a great guest room, most normal bedrooms don’t come with blackout curtains like those you’ll find at hotels, so be sure to pack an eye mask that will block out light. This mask is contoured to allow for eye movement during sleep, but still prevents light from getting in.

Earplugs are also essential if you’re a light sleeper (or just go to bed earlier/get up later than other people in the house). Or bring a travel-sized white noise machine if you really want to drown out the world.

Stuck in the living room? You could go all out and pack a privacy pop-up indoor bed tent if you want to make a statement about the importance of alone time.

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Don’t Forget to Breathe

Hand turn on aroma oil diffuser the table at home 

Getting stressed? Take a deep breath to help relax. If you’re staying in an environment that you’re not used to (for example, sharing a house with smokers or pets when you’re allergic), bring along a tiny travel air purifier for your room. This can make a big difference and help you breathe easier.

Get Some Quiet Time

woman talking dog for a wlak autumn 

Spending time with other people 24/7 can be tough. But you’re going to be a better guest and family member if you take some solo time to decompress each day. Take a walk, or excuse yourself to take a nap and use the time to sleep or read. If you’re coming home to a deadline-driven family, you could appear busy while also carving out alone time by offering to run errands on your own.

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Stay Charged and Connected

mother daughter sofa cell phones

If a big group is staying at your family’s house, the Wi-Fi will get overwhelmed quickly. If it’s important to you to stay online, bring along a Wi-Fi hotspot so you avoid the frustration of slow internet. A travel-sized power strip can also save the day if everyone is fighting over one outlet to charge gadgets.

Work Out

asian woman jogging

There’s a reason the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot is so popular. Whether you head out in the morning for a quick run or get a day pass to a local gym, working out can give you an excuse to get out of the house for a bit. Exercise is also a proven stress reducer and mood enhancer, and will also make you feel less guilty about eating all that home-cooked food.

Knit running shoes like Nike Frees are lightweight and easy to pack, so bring a pair with you. You can also use them to go for a walk with the family after a big holiday dinner.

Can’t get out of the house? Pack exercise bands, which take up minimal space and can be used for an easy at-home workout (or to stretch after a long travel day or a rough night on the couch).

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Don’t Dominate the Bathroom

African american girl brushing teeth with dad

Chances are, you won’t have a private bathroom while staying with family, so don’t leave your toiletries scattered all over the sink and shower. This innovative bag is a great solution, as it lets you lay out all your toiletries on a flat surface to use; when you’re done, simply fold it up and take it back to your room.

Be Your Own Climate Control

drawer of sweaters


Unlike at a hotel, you don’t get control over the thermostat when staying with family. If you know the house is going to be cold, pack extra layers. In shoe-free houses, travel slippers keep you comfy. Merino wool sweaters are easy to layer without looking out of place, and a pashmina can double as a blanket. House too hot? A portable fan can be a lifesaver, and also act as a white noise machine at night.

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Pack Modest Pajamas and a Robe

mom daughter holiday pajamas

You probably don’t think twice about what you pack for sleepwear at a hotel, but you might want something a little more modest if you’re staying in someone’s home. Don’t forget to pack pajamas and a robe you won’t be embarrassed to be seen in, for those middle-of-the-night bathroom trips.

Bring Board Games

board games family table

Worried about being bored? Pack travel-sized games that are fun for the whole family. Family Feud, UNO, and Scrabble are all good choices (depending on how competitive the crowd is).

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Offer to Grocery Shop, Cook, or Buy Dinner

woman making dinner

Try to make your visit as easy on the host as possible. Just because it’s your family doesn’t mean they’re responsible for cleaning up after you and cooking every meal. Show up with a restaurant gift card to let them know a few meals are on you, or offer to go grocery shopping and cook for everyone while you’re there.

Be Appreciative

macaroons box

Your presence is not your present. Make sure to show appreciation to your host for putting you up. A thank you note is never a bad idea. Some good gift ideas include: a bottle of wine and a wine chiller, a gift basket full of tasty treats, an easy-to-care-for plant, or a framed family photo.

What to Pack on Your Trip

Staying with the family can be both a joy a struggle, but it’s nothing some retail therapy can’t fix. Dress to impress this holiday season with some favorite styles from Madewell, Everlane, and more.

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

Don’t Come Empty Handed

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Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for photos from around the world.