Categories
At Home Experiential Travel Family Travel Fashion & Beauty Holiday Travel Travel Technology Travel Trends Women's Travel

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.

Bleusalt

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.

More from SmarterTravel:

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
Active Travel Adventure Travel Fashion & Beauty Health & Wellness Travel Trends Women's Travel

The Best Travel Leggings of 2020

Whenever I travel, leggings are a must. They’re the perfect travel-day outfit, especially when paired with a baggy sweater or long shirt, for a chic but comfortable look. There’s so much to love about a good pair of travel leggings. They’re slimming, they stretch, and they don’t take up tons of room in your suitcase. Plus, should you feel the need to utilize the hotel gym or join a pop-up yoga class, you’ll be ready for a workout.

The Best Travel Leggings

Below I’ve divided the best travel leggings into the three most useful categories for travelers: the best leggings with pockets (to hold your phone and documents), the best leggings to make a fashion statement (to show off your personality), and the best leggings that don’t look like leggings (to travel comfortably incognito).

[st_related]8 Workouts to Do on Vacation That Aren’t at the Hotel Gym[/st_related]

Travel Leggings with Pockets

Lululemon Speed Up Tight

The sleek cool Speed Up Tight has sweat-wicking fabric and four-way stretch—and four pockets. With two side pockets large enough for your phone and two waistband pockets perfect for tucking away cash, these leggings are a great choice for the active traveler with stuff to carry.

The North Face Motivation Pocket 7/8 Tights

From the North Face, the Motivation Pocket 7/8 Tights provide support and storage. They feature two discreet thigh pockets, an extra-wide waistband, and are also available in a similar cropped style.

Core 10 Onstride Run Full-Length

With both mid-rise and high-rise waistband options, Core 10’s Onstride Run Full-Length Leggings are customizable for everyone, and they come equipped with a drawstring for adjustability. The two side-panel pockets and a stylish behind-the-knee mesh detail prove that these travel leggings combine function and fashion.

alo High-Waist Cargo Legging

The High-Waist Cargo Leggings from alo features numerous pockets throughout the leg but are stylish enough to run errands in, and comfortable enough to work out in. They’re also available in multiple colors, such as black, bone, and olive branch.

Clever Travel Companion

The Clever Travel Companion leggings pack comfort and security into one ultra-functional pair of pants. These leggings for travel are equipped with two zippered pockets. The first is big enough to hold your phone and passport; the second slightly smaller pocket is still large enough to fit your credit cards and keys.

[st_related]The Best Travel Pants for Men and Women[/st_related]

Travel Leggings That Make a Fashion Statement

Outdoor Voices 3/4 Two-Tone Leggings

With blocks of navy and black, the 3/4 Two-Tone Warmup Leggings are chic while still maintaining an athletic look, which makes them great for both the airplane and a jogging trail. The material is sturdy, comfortable, and opaque, so you won’t have to worry about anything showing through. If you’re a big fan of the color block style, make sure to check out the Outdoor Voice’s tri-colored Zoom Leggings, too.

Columbia PFG Tidal™ Legging

Up for some serious adventure or maybe just a day hike, but want cute leggings that still work? Sturdier than the average yoga pants, the PFG Tidal™ Leggings will perform well in the great outdoors. Made of moisture-wicking and UPF 50 sun-protecting fabric, these travel leggings are smooth to the touch and even include a large pocket on the side.

Girlfriend Collective Trail Compressive High-Rise Legging

For a fashion statement that’s extra comfortable and eco-friendly, the Trail Compressive High-Rise Leggings from Girlfriend Collective really deliver, and come in a slew of gorgeous colors. Made from 25 recycled water bottles, sizes also range from XXS to 6XL, so there is truly something for everyone.

Beyond Yoga High Waisted Alloy Ombre Midi Leggings

With bright blue coloring and plenty of shimmer, there’s a lot to love about these statement-making leggings. The metallic splatter ombre is a unique plus.

Palazzo Leggings

If your flair is a little more bohemian, check out these high-waist lounge pants for a fashionably daring set of pants that are just as comfortable and flattering as any pair of leggings. They’re affordable, available in lots of different patterns, and fabulous for flying.

Travel Leggings That Don’t Look Like Leggings

Betabrand Dress Pant Yoga Pants

If you want to make sure you’re maintaining a little class while staying comfortable on your flight, check out the Dress Pant Yoga Pants from Betabrand. Made of comfortable, stretchable material, they’re totally chic. I love that they come in multiple colors and are perfect for a business-casual look.

Wit & Wisdom Jeggings

If you need jeans to complete an outfit, but dread the discomfort of wearing denim on a long-haul flight, get yourself a pair of jeggings like Wit & Wisdom’s Jeggings, made of lightweight stretch denim that can be worn around the city or to a casual dinner. No one will ever know the difference.

Blank NYC Faux-Leather Jeggings

Sport a lean silhouette with an edge with these super-stretchy faux-leather and faux-jeans leggings from Blank NYC. These flattering jet black jeggings are also very comfortable and will go a long way in your travel wardrobe.

More from SmarterTravel:

Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Categories
Airport Fashion & Beauty Health & Wellness Travel Technology Women's Travel

9 Travel Kits That Will Make a Long Flight Bearable

Before you resign yourself to suffering through your next red-eye or long-haul flight, consider packing something that can make the experience better: a comfort travel kit. With multiple travel essentials in each kit, it’s like opening a gift to yourself mid-flight.

The Best Travel Kits for Your Next Long Flight

Here are nine travel kits that will make your next flight more bearable.

Cashmere Travel Set

If you take frequent long-haul flights, consider investing in an ultra-soft cashmere travel set. Jet&Bo’s comes with a blanket, an eye mask, socks, and a carry-all case that doubles as a pillow. Bonus: You can use the blanket as a scarf if you’re headed somewhere cold. 

[st_related]23 Tips to Survive a Long-Haul Flight[/st_related]

Pinch Provisions® Tech Kit

Containing eight essential items to ensure you’re bringing everything you’ll need on your next trip, the Pinch Provisions® tech kit is an easy-to-pack bestseller that’s designed to be thrown in your carry-on bag.  From earbuds and charging cables to a phone/tablet stand and microfiber cleaning cloth, being bored and accessory-less for a long flight will be a thing of the past with this compact kit.

Perricone MD The Jet Set Kit

Because a full-on skin-care routine can be quite the burden in the air, the easiest way to keep your beauty regimen in check is to have it all in a single kit. The Jet Set Kit from Perricone MD features a collection of its best-selling and top-rated formulas, so you can make sure your face, neck, and eyes are getting the treatment they need on your flight.

[st_related]Flight Attendants Reveal Their Secrets for a Better Flight[/st_related]

Scentered Aromatherapy Travel Kit

Scentered makes one of the best aromatherapy travel kits for long flights, especially if you get claustrophobic or are prone to headaches. This travel-friendly set includes one of each of its aromatherapy balms that have various uses, ranging from stress alleviation to inducing good moods. They all come in an easy-to-pack tin that you can toss in a carry-on or personal bag.

Pack Simply Customized Travel Kits

Make a DIY travel kit with Pack Simply. Choose from hundreds of products to create the ultimate in-flight kit that suits your particular needs. With everything from toiletries to hair ties to Advil, you’ll love the convenience. Select your products and the company puts together your travel kit and ships directly to you.

[st_related]18 Things You Should Always Wear on a Plane[/st_related]

Tisserand Essential Survival Kit

Essential oils are a popular natural remedy to fight everything from jet lag to insomnia—which is why roll-on oils can be a frequent flyer’s best friend. I love Tisserand’s Essential Survival Kit; this vegan oil kit comes with a de-stressing oil, an energizing oil, and a sleep-improving oil.

Snack Packs

Check out Amazon’s snack packs for when those stale peanuts just won’t do. Options include everything from energy bars to gourmet trail mixes.

[st_related]The Best (and Worst) Places to Sit for Sleeping on Planes[/st_related]

The Laundress Travel Pack

Designed to combat wardrobe malfunctions on the go, the travel pack from The Laundress has everything you need for fast-acting attention. Containing crease release, stain remover, air freshener, and even a special detergent for delicate fabrics, stains don’t have to be the travel-wardrobe ruiner they used to be.

The Carry-on Cocktail Kit

You’ll get to a different level of comfort with this Carry-on Cocktail Kit. Its tin case is filled with everything you need to make an Old Fashioned: a muddler, bitters, cane sugar, and a recipe card. Order the booze from your flight attendant, mix, then sit back and relax.

More from SmarterTravel:

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.

Categories
Active Travel Adventure Travel Fashion & Beauty Health & Wellness Outdoors Packing Travel Technology Travel Trends Women's Travel

10 Best Workout Clothes and Tools for Travel and Home

Finding the motivation to work out while on vacation is no easy feat. I try and stick to my normal exercise routine as much as I can while I travel, and this list of the 10 best workout clothes and tools helps me stay in shape on the road—and at home between trips.

Vi Headphones and Fitness Tracker

Say goodbye to tangled headphones, wearing a Fitbit, and paying for expensive fitness-tracking apps—the Vi headphones and corresponding app are the ultimate travel workout companion. With a variety of earbud sizes and clips, these wireless headphones are comfortable and won’t fall out once you get the right size.

If you run outdoors at home and on the road, the Vi Fitness app is a great way to track your runs and mileage. Hikers and cyclers can also benefit from the activity tracker. Dubbed a “personal trainer,” the activity monitor tracks things like speed, heart rate, and distance. It also adapts to your fitness level and personalizes workouts. Plus, the app links to your favorite music streaming service.

Takeya Water Bottle

A reusable water bottle is an essential workout item for travelers, and I especially love Takeya’s insulated stainless water bottles. The handle is great for travel, since you can hook it onto the outside of any bag, and it’s easy to carry around the gym. The double-wall vacuum insulation keeps water cold for hours, and the narrow mouth is great for grabbing a quick sip mid-workout.

Zella Live In High Waisted Leggings

Built from moisture-wicking fabric and fitted with a no-slip waistband, these stretchy, figure-sculpting leggings keep you cool as your workout warms up. They’re comfy enough to wear in other situations as well, including on the plane or while working from home.

Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Wipes

Don’t forget one of the most important things to do after working out, even on vacation: taking care of your skin. I am obsessed with these facial cleansing wipes from Burt’s Bees for a post-workout refresh. Whether you don’t have time to hit the shower or you need some immediate rejuvenation, these wipes, made from white tea extract, cucumber, and aloe, are a must. I even use them over my whole body sometimes if I need to skip a shower.

Adidas by Stella McCartney Sports Bra

This mesh-backed sports bra is one of the best workout clothes you can travel with because it doubles as a bathing suit top. The full coverage bra is quick-drying and moisture-wicking, so it won’t stink or stay wet for long after sweating or swimming.

 

Nike Dri Fit Head Tie

Nike makes a great moisture-wicking headband that fits any head size. I typically find myself shifting any sort of headband during a workout because it sits too far forward or back—but you won’t have that problem with this one because it ties.

L.L.Bean Coolmax Nano Glide Multisport Socks

I swear by L.L.Bean socks (with styles for both men and women) for working out. The quick-drying, breathable fabric and thoughtful cushioning on these moisture-wicking socks will keep your feet cool and dry during any activity. These socks are also designed to reduce friction inside your shoe to prevent blisters.

Hoka Bondi 6 Running Shoes

I always travel with my Hoka Bondi 6’s, because I can wear them to the airport with a travel outfit or put them into my carry-on, where they don’t take up too much room. These shoes (available for men and women) are extremely flexible and comfortable for workouts and provide incredible sole support; that’s actually part of Hoka’s mission as a shoe company.

Salomon Agile 250 Running Belt Pack

I cannot say enough how much I love this running belt pack from Salomon. It miraculously fits a phone, keys, and some cash or cards. It doesn’t move while running, and I’ve worn it for stationary workouts as well to hold my phone. It takes up zero room in your suitcase and helps make your workouts annoying armband-free.

[st_related]25 Things to Make Working Out on Vacation More Fun[/st_related]

Lululemon Break a Trail Jacket

This Trail Jacket from Lululemon is an ideal choice for hikers and others who love to exercise outdoors. The fabric is both water-repellent and wind-resistant, so the jacket will hold up in any climate. The hood is designed not to bounce when you move, and there are vents in the fabric so you don’t overheat. There’s even a hidden pocket for your phone.

More from SmarterTravel:

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Codey Albers contributed to this story.

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
Active Travel Outdoors Packing Travel Technology Women's Travel

The 9 Best Travel Hoodies

There’s nothing cozier than a hooded sweatshirt, especially on a long flight (or even just on the couch at home) when all you want to do is curl up and get comfortable.

What’s the Best Travel Hoodie for You?

My favorite travel hoodies have nifty features such as extra pockets, sun protection, or built-in pillows. Discover the best travel hoodie for your next trip.

Ugg Nancy Zip Fleece Hoodie

Ugg Nancy Hoodie

Lined with a stretchy cotton fleece, this easy-going hoodie will keep you warm and cozy. Available in neutral colors, the Ugg Nancy Zip Fleece Hoodie will go with any outfit.

The North Face Take Along Pullover Hoodie

The North Face Hoodie

Always cold? Try The North Face Take Along Pullover Hoodie, a sweatshirt with plenty of extra length to keep you warm below the waist. This thick hoodie was designed for camping adventures, but works just as well inside a chilly house.

SCOTTeVEST Chloe Glow Hoodie

From the outside, SCOTTeVEST’s Chloe Glow Hoodie looks like an ordinary, if attractive, microfleece sweatshirt for women. It’s not until you put it on that you realize just how much you can fit into its 14 pockets, cleverly designed to hold phones, tablets, glasses, passports, and other small items. Many of the pockets are on the inside of the hoodie, making them less accessible to potential thieves. Bonus: The main zipper goes all the way up to the hood, so you can protect all or part of your face in windy conditions.

SCOTTeVEST Hoodie Cotton

Men looking for a similar travel hoodie can try this sweatshirt from SCOTTeVEST, which has a whopping 21 pockets. Besides all the storage space, the best feature for travelers is the “Do Not Disturb” eye mask that flips down from the hood to block out the world—perfect for a long flight or train ride.

[st_related]SCOTTeVEST’S Hoodie Cotton Review: A Hoodie That Has It All[/st_related]

BOMBAX Zip Up Travel Hoodie

Do you have trouble sleeping on planes? If so, the Zip Up Travel Hoodie just might help. The hoodie comes with an inflatable neck pillow you can pack into one of the pockets. With 10 pockets for your passport, tablet, and other travel accessories, getting through airport security will be a breeze. If you’re traveling in a colder climate, you’ll appreciate the built-in gloves and eye mask.

[st_related]10 Stylish Jeans So Comfortable You Can Sleep in Them[/st_related]

Aros Inflatable Hoodies

Another intriguing option for sleep-challenged travelers is the Aros line of unisex hoodies, which includes both pullover and zip-up models. Instead of lugging a bulky travel pillow onto the plane, wear one of these travel sweatshirts; inside the hood is an insert that you can inflate and turn into an instant pillow. (Don’t forget to remove the insert before washing the sweatshirt.)

Woolly Clothing Merino Wool Hoodies

woolly clothing men's merino wool hoodie.

On planes, the only person less popular than a screaming kid is a passenger with bad body odor. Don’t be that guy. Instead, give the Woolly Clothing Men’s Merino Wool Henley Hoodie a try. This travel hoodie for men is made of fabric that wicks away moisture, fights odors, and dries quickly, making it ideal for stressful sprints through the airport or for active excursions during your trip. Find a similar option for women here.

[st_related]7 Reasons You Smell Bad When Traveling[/st_related]

Coolibar Sun-Protective Travel Hoodies

If your vacations typically involve lots of time outdoors, shield your skin with a travel hoodie that includes sun protection. Coolibar offers a full line of sun-protective clothing, including the Seaside Hoodie for women and the Packable Jacket for men. Both feature an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 50+ and are made with soft, lightweight fabrics.

[st_related]The 11 Best Grocery Delivery and Alcohol Delivery Services[/st_related]

ORORO Unisex Heated Hoodie

This multi-purpose heated hoodie has a battery pack that can both warm you up and charge your phone. Core-warming zones on the front and back of this unisex travel sweatshirt keep you nice and toasty no matter how low the temperature falls. The battery lasts anywhere from two to eight hours, depending on how high you turn up the warming zones. Supply your own USB cable and you can plug your phone or other device into the battery pack for an emergency charge.

Shop Work from Home Essentials

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

Follow Sarah Schlichter on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Packing Women's Travel

10 Stylish Jeans So Comfortable You Can Sleep in Them

While most travelers pack at least one pair of jeans when they go on vacation, jeans can be uncomfortable and easily lose their shape. Increasingly though, jeans are evolving into a comfortable travel option.

The Most Comfortable Jeans for Men and Women

From designer jeans to fleece-lined skinnies, here are 10 pairs of the best travel jeans that are stylish but also comfortable enough you’ll want to sleep in them.

No Nonsense Denim Leggings With Pockets

These denim leggings are fantastic for air travel. The denim is soft but holds its shape throughout the day, and you’ll get the sophisticated look of jeans while wearing ultra-cozy leggings. Bonus: They have pockets for any little essentials you need close at hand.

KUT from the Kloth Women’s Catherine Boyfriend Jean

This pair of relaxed-fit jeans by KUT from the Kloth is perfect for traveling because of its loose style and spandex-cotton fabric. They’re also machine washable, and the spandex in the material makes them extremely soft. We love the cuffed style as well. They come in a range of washes, allowing you to choose either a casual or polished look.

DL1961 Women’s Mara Instasculpt Straight Jeans

Any pair of DL1961 denim will do the trick if you’re looking for comfort, style, and quality, but I particularly like the Instasculpt styles, like these straight leg pairs, available in cropped or full-length. DL1961 denim is eco-friendly, antibacterial, and made of cotton and hybrid elastane, which allows for shape retention and 360-degree movement—the perfect comfortable material for travel.

DL1961 Vince Casual Straight Jeans

Just like its women’s styles, DL1961 makes a comfy jean from its signature denim for men. The Vince Casual Straight-Leg Jean comes in a variety of washes and colors that will suit all travel needs and styles. An Amazon reviewer said it best: “Look of denim, freedom of sweatpants.”

Wrangler’s Flex Waist Jeans

Wrangler’s flex waist collection is made from flexible denim for the perfect stretch material. The jeans have a mid-rise fit and come in many different shades of blue.

Levi’s Women’s 710 Super Skinny Jeans

Levi’s 710 styles have advanced stretch and shape-holding technology to make them your most comfortable jeans yet. The Super Skinny style is made of extra stretch heavyweight denim, has 3.5 percent elastane, and fits any body shape flawlessly. It’s available in several different washes and colors, so you might want to pick up more than one pair.

Levi’s Men’s 541 Athletic Fit Stretch Jeans

These stretch heavyweight denim jeans have elastane and cotton for a relaxed fit, comfort, and mobility. The Athletic Fit Stretch Jeans come in several color and wash options, too.

prAna Women’s Kara Jean Pants

The best-selling Kara Jean by prAna is made from a 75 percent organic cotton. With five pockets, they can be worn long or cuffed, and have two percent spandex for some extra stretch. They come in a variety of colors, patterns, and washes, so it’s worth investing in a few pairs if you like their fit for maximum versatility.

Fleece-Lined Jeans

Nothing says pajamas more than a pair of comfy fleece sweatpants or leggings. Well, luckily there are several fleece-lined jeans for both men and women out there that give you that extra comfort and warmth. For women, try a pair of Camii Mia Women’s Slim Fit Fleece Skinny Jeans; for men, the Wrangler Authentics Men’s Fleece Lined 5 Pocket Pants are a good option.

Melissa McCarthy Seven7 Women’s Plus-Size Tummyless Skinny Jean

Melissa McCarthy Seven7 denim is the perfect denim line for plus-size travelers. The super soft stretch fabric holds its shape and has forward side seaming, a contoured waistband, and hip-slimming technology. The Tummyless Skinny in particular is made from a rayon spandex blend and is flattering for any body shape.

Women’s Snappy Outfit for Traveling with Any Cute Jeans

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:

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 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Codey Albers contributed to this story.

Categories
Beach Fashion & Beauty Health & Wellness Outdoors Packing Women's Travel

8 Best Travel Sunglasses for Summer 2020

To protect your eyes, sunglasses should be a daily accessory, especially in summer. But if you’re also bringing your sunglasses along on vacation, you’ll want to make sure they’re up to the task. The best travel sunglasses have special features to keep you protected and comfortable. Polarized, anti-scratch, and/or UV-protecting lenses are a must, as are other qualities like a light weight, a good price, and serious durability.

Best Travel Sunglasses for Summer

Here are my top picks of sunglasses for travel, including picks for active, clumsy, and fashion-forward travelers.

Travel Sunglasses for the Clumsy Traveler: Reks Round Lumolux

travel sunglasses

Attention prone-to-accidents travelers: These are the best travel sunglasses for you. Reks makes an unbreakable pair of travel sunglasses with anti-glare and UV 400 protective lenses. Thanks to the polymer frame material, you can drop ’em, bend ’em, or throw ’em in the bottom of your bag; whatever you do, this pair of travel sunglasses won’t break or scratch.

Travel Sunglasses for the Active Traveler: Native Eyewear Catamount

two sunglasses with brown and green lenses

If you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors, especially doing activities like hiking and camping, you’ll want to use the included, interchangeable SportFlex lenses—made for flat light to overcast conditions, meaning their performance doesn’t wane in the early morning or late afternoon. The other pair of lenses included with these travel sunglasses is the N3 Polarized option, which blocks four times more infrared light than normal polarized lenses. Plus, all Native Eyewear sunglasses come with a lifetime warranty.

Travel Sunglasses for the Classic Traveler: Kaenon Mather

travel sunglasses

Kaenon’s classic, aviator-style sunglasses are one of the best sunglasses for travel because of their lightweight frames and comfort. These unisex travel sunglasses have polarized lenses, hypoallergenic nose pads, and include prescription lens options. Pick between a brown tint—best for sports—or black tint—the most natural tint for clarity.

Travel Sunglasses for Men: Costa Del Mar Hinano

travel sunglasses

This pair of travel sunglasses is perfect for guys on an active vacation, but who still want to look stylish. The brand’s 580 lenses are some of the best polarized sunglasses on the market and are scratch-resistant and super lightweight.

Travel Sunglasses for the World Traveler: Cloudfield Bamboo Sunglasses

bamboo sunglasses and case

Not only are these travel sunglasses stylish and practical, they’re also responsible. These sunglasses are made from bamboo, which is a naturally eco-friendly product. Another great benefit to these travel sunglasses are their polarized and UV-blocking lenses, which help block glare and protect your eyes.

Travel Sunglasses for the Millennial Traveler: OSVAW Round Arrow Style Sunglasses

woman wearing pink sunglasses

For the trendy or urban traveler, these cat eye sunglasses just might be your perfect pair. At only $18, you won’t break the bank if you end up losing them and they even have polarized lenses. Hide your jetlag and turn heads at the same time with the oversized frames that are flattering on any face shape.

Travel Sunglasses for All Day Comfort: TAIQX Lightweight Sunglassesaviator sunglasses on top of black case

If you’re like me, you’re prone to headaches after a long day of wearing sunglasses. Well, not with TAIQX‘s lightweight sunglasses. The comfortable fit is found on all of the brand’s sunglasses, but I particularly like this style, which is flattering for all face shapes and is super lightweight. The unisex style comes with polarized lenses and a flexible stainless steel frame.

 

Travel Sunglasses for the Beach-Lover: Rheos Wyecreeks Floating Sunglasses

blue and red sunglasses

These are the best travel sunglasses for beach vacationers, surfers, boaters, or anyone who loves being out on the water. Why? Because they float! They’re awesome for summer vacations since you can wear them in the water without the fear of losing them. Plus, the frames are lightweight and come in lots of trendy colors.

More from SmarterTravel:

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 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

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
Active Travel Adventure Travel Arts & Culture Beach Cities Food & Drink Group Travel Health & Wellness Historical Travel Island Outdoors Solo Travel Women's Travel

12 Amazing Solo Vacations to Take in 2020


Don’t have anyone to travel with in 2020? That’s no reason to stay home. Solo travel is on the rise, and tour operators are expanding their offerings to meet the increasing demand. Below are the 12 best solo vacations for 2020, covering every corner of the globe. Some of these trips made the list because they’re specifically designed for solo travelers; others offer discounted single supplements or roommate matching so you don’t have to pay extra fees for traveling alone.[st_content_ad]

Note that all trips and single supplement discounts were available at the time of publication, but they could sell out at any time. If you’re interested in these solo vacations, it’s best to book early.

Explore Madeira, Portugal, on Foot

Exodus Madeira Portugal Hiking Excursion

Sweeping coastal views, sleepy fishing villages, and sheltered forests await on Exodus Travels’ Walking in Madeira itinerary. The seven-night trip includes leisurely walks of up to nine miles a day along some of Madeira’s most breathtaking hiking trails. The trip ends with free time to explore Funchal, the island’s historic capital. Exodus will match you with a roommate, or you can pay a modest single supplement for your own room. Departures are available every month throughout 2020.

See Morocco from the Mountains to the Desert

Camel Back Ride Sahara Desert Morocco

Overseas Adventure Travel is one of the best tour operators for solo vacations, thanks to free single supplements on most trips. That includes one of its most popular tours, the 14-night Morocco Sahara Odyssey, which takes you through the narrow streets of ancient medinas, over the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, and through the dramatic peaks of the High Atlas Mountains. Unique experiences include lunch in a Berber home and a couple of nights under the desert sky in a private tented camp. This trip has available departures between April and December 2020.

Explore Northern India’s Icons

Amber Fort Jaipur India.

See the Taj Mahal and much more on this dedicated solo trip to India from Intrepid Travel. The seven-night itinerary starts and ends in bustling Delhi, where you’ll discover the city’s oldest mosque and have free time to explore on your own. Then you’ll head to Jaipur to visit royal palaces and soar above the city in a hot air balloon before visiting the 14th-century village of Karauli and touring the magnificent Taj Mahal. Intrepid will match you with a same-gender roommate so you can avoid paying a single supplement. This trip departs on select dates between April and December 2020.

[st_related]11 Important Taj Mahal Facts to Know Before You Go[/st_related]

Take a Hiking Vacation in Vermont

hiker on long trail vermont.

Escape to the pristine mountains of Vermont on a wellness getaway, hiking each morning and enjoying spa treatments and fitness classes each afternoon. New Life Hiking Spa is the perfect retreat if you need a little R&R, drawing numerous solo travelers (mostly women) of all ages. Small-group hikes, communal meals, and friendly public spaces offer ample opportunity to get to know fellow travelers. New Life’s 2020 season runs from May 14 through October 5 and is held at Killington Mountain Lodge.

Discover Ireland Your Way

cliffs of moher ireland sunset.

Not big on group tours? Consider Great Value Vacations’ Irish B&B Getaway package, which includes airfare, a rental car, and accommodations at bed and breakfasts around Ireland, allowing you to wend your way through the countryside at your own pace. Highlights include dramatic coastal roads, lively villages, and historic castles. The itinerary can be customized for six to nine nights, and you may depart any month of the year.

[st_related]15 Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling Alone[/st_related]

Have an Adventure in Colombia

colombian coffee REI adventures.

REI’s Experience Colombia tour showcases the breadth of the country’s landscapes, from the lush green highlands where world-class coffee is grown to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean coast. This eight-night itinerary starts in Bogota and finishes in Cartagena, with plenty of adventures along the way—like mountain biking through coffee plantations, hiking to a rare tropical glacier, and sea kayaking to a colorful coral reef. If you’d like to avoid a single supplement, REI will pair you with a same-gender roommate. This trip is available between June and December 2020.

Live Like a Local in Nepal

g adventures nepal living like a local.

Get an intimate glimpse of what life is like in rural Nepal on a fascinating six-night journey with G Adventures. After a night in Kathmandu, you’ll travel to the farming village of Panauti to meet your host family. You’ll spend the next few days learning to make dumplings, tasting local wine, hiking to villages and monasteries, and even playing volleyball with the locals. G Adventures will pair solo travelers with a same-gender roommate so you don’t need to pay a single supplement. This trip is available on select dates through December 2020.

Eat Your Way Through Central Mexico

Oaxaca City Street Mexico.

Flash Pack targets solo travelers in their 30s and 40s, matching each person up with a same-gender roommate so you can avoid single supplements. If you love good food and unique culture, give Flash Pack’s Cultural Journey into the Heart of Mexico trip a try. The eight-night itinerary features tequila tasting in Mexico City, a cooking class in Oaxaca, and lunch aboard a vibrantly colored trajinera boat in Xochimilco. You’ll also go swimming in natural thermal pools at the foot of the world’s only petrified waterfall. This trip departs on select dates between April and December 2020.

[st_related]16 of the Greatest Mexico Vacation Destinations[/st_related]

Spot Rare Wildlife in Madagascar

black and white ruffled lemur madagascar.

Keep an eye out for lemurs, chameleons, boa constrictors, and numerous rare birds as you travel with Explore! through Madagascar: The Lost Continent.  In addition to wildlife-watching treks through the island’s national parks, this itinerary also features a walk along a spectacular canyon, a visit to Madagascar’s oldest palace, and a stay in a local community guesthouse. Explore! will match you with a same-gender roommate if you don’t wish to pay a single supplement. This trip has departures between April and November 2020.

Go Off the Beaten Path in Nicaragua

granada cathedral Nicaragua,

Less visited than neighboring Costa Rica, Nicaragua has its own magic to discover. Road Scholar puts some of the nation’s most intriguing spots on display in its seven-night Exploring Nicaragua: Colonial Towns to Countryside package, with highlights such as a visit to a rum factory (complete with tastings), a cooking workshop in Leon, a walk through a cloud forest, and an expert talk on Nicaragua’s history by a former guerilla. Road Scholar is currently offering single rooms at no added cost on this itinerary. This trip has several departures between September and December 2020.

Discover the Best of Tuscany and Umbria, Italy

tuscany italy winding road.

There’s a reason Tuscany and neighboring Umbria are two of Italy’s most beloved regions. Discover them for yourself on Insight Vacations’ Country Roads of Umbria & Tuscany tour, an eight-night voyage to destinations such as Florence, Assisi, Siena, and San Gimignano. You’ll dine in the kitchen of a local chef in Orvieto, then learn about traditional textile weaving in Perugia and visit a family-run olive mill in Assisi. Single supplement discounts up to 90 percent are available on select departure dates between May and October 2020.

[st_related]3 Ways for Solo Travelers to Avoid Single Supplements[/st_related]

Have an Adventure with Fellow Women

woman standing above dubrovnik.

If you, like many female travelers, feel safer and more comfortable in the company of other women, consider booking a trip with Adventure Women, which offers active, women-only tours to destinations around the world. Most of the company’s clients come alone, so you’re sure to find common ground with your fellow travelers. Solo vacations for 2020 with availability at press time include a nine-night Tanzania safari, an eight-night sailing trip around Croatia, a nine-night culture-focused trip to Oman, and more. You can choose to be matched with a roommate or pay a little extra for your own room.

For more ideas, see The Top Travel Destinations for 2020.

More from SmarterTravel:

Sarah Schlichter wants to take every one of these solo vacations. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEditor for more travel tips and inspiration.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Health & Wellness Women's Travel

7 Travel Beauty Tips Experts Swear By

Oily skin, red eyes, and greasy hair: That paints a pretty accurate picture of what many of us travelers look like when we step off the plane for vacation. On the return trip, add sunburn, exhaustion, and blisters.

Making sure you’re armed with the right travel beauty products might not seem like a trip-planning priority, but living out of a suitcase shouldn’t mean neglecting your skin and hair. It’s nearly impossible to keep up with your regular beauty routine when on the road, especially during days-long continent-crossing trips to the far side of the planet. But with the right assemblage of packable beauty products, you can maintain a fresh and bright appearance no matter where your travels might take you.

Travel Beauty Tips Experts Swear By

You don’t have to pack your entire medicine cabinet to maintain a beauty regimen on the road. These multiuse packable products are your best bets for keeping beauty pitfalls at bay while traveling. Here are travel beauty tips experts and other frequent travelers told us they swear by for all types of skin and hair, as well as the right products to use when traveling.

Before you even head out for vacation, stop to think for a few minutes about what beauty pitfalls may lie ahead for your specific trip. Will you face dry cabin air on a long overseas flight? Are you going to a sunny beach destination during long summer days? Will you be crossing multiple time zones?

Joanna Schlip, a celebrity makeup artist, says the most important thing travelers need to know is their skin. “There is no one fix-it-all for everybody … you have to know how you’re going to react.” And that means picking products you’re used to using and that work with your body. Dr. Joseph Kvedar, a board-certified dermatologist and Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School says, “What I tell my patients is, it’s most important what feels good on your face and what you feel comfortable wearing, rather than a specific brand.”

Travel Beauty Tip: Pare Down Your Routine

Let’s face it: on travel days, the chances that your makeup is going to look as fresh on your arrival as it did when you began your trip are slim to none. The dry air and close quarters are just waiting to wreak havoc on your skin, not to mention the mascara smudges that tend to happen if you nod off. Instead, board the plane not sporting makeup, and wait until you reach your destination before applying makeup. At the very most, Irene Hatziantoniou and Mary Ditto, aestheticians and owners of North Coast Aesthetic Center, recommend wearing a tinted moisturizer instead of a heavy foundation, or a tinted lip balm instead of lipstick if you want a little color.

“Having a touch-up bag is key,” says Schlip. By packing a small, 3-1-1 compliant bag that you can pull out as soon as you arrive at your destination, you can head out on the town without missing a beat. Hatziantoniou and Ditto recommend including eye drops for red eyes. Schlip recommends combating oily skin with blotting papers, and to apply powder when you reach your destination. A little shimmer powder on your cheekbones can brighten up your complexion, and if your hair looks a little greasy, tap in some translucent powder or dry shampoo to absorb the oil. Other quick fixes to include are mini emery boards, nail polish remover wipes, and nail polish strips for broken nails; and moleskin for shoes that pinch and rub your feet to avoid blisters.

Put together a small carry-on kit comprised of a few key cosmetic items in a quart-sized zip-top bag. This kit should have everything you’ll need to freshen up before you land. The exact items to pack depend on your skin type and the kind of makeup you like to wear, but, generally, you’ll want to pack a cleanser or pre-moistened makeup-remover wipe (we like Olay 4-in-1 Daily Facial Cloths for Sensitive Skin and cut these in half to double the usage), a moisturizer, and whatever basic cosmetic essentials you think you might need.

Product Pick:

TSA Approved Clear Travel Toiletry Bag

Travel Beauty Tip: Wear Sunscreen

If you’re going to a hot, tropical destination, chances are you’re already packing the sunscreen, and with good reason. “The closer you get to the equator, the stronger the sun is and the shorter amount of time you can stay out [without getting] serious sun damage consequences,” says Kvedar. But your UV exposure might be happening while you’re still 30,000 feet above the ground. Kvedar notes that windows don’t block all UV rays, so “if you’re in a window seat on a long flight, and there’s a lot of sunshine, you could get a lot of exposure to UVA. The higher you go the more intense that is.”

In order to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the sun, Schlip recommends products with SPF already included. “Sunblock is hard to reapply, and most people, when they’ve done their makeup, they don’t think to reapply in the middle of the day. You feel like it’s going to take your makeup off.” But new technologies have allowed for SPF in powder form, from mass-market lines to department store products. “It’s awesome because it’s so easy to reapply a bronzer or powder,” she says.

There are also plenty of oil-free options that you can apply under makeup or mix with your favorite tinted moisturizer. Dr. Yadav pairs SPF 30 with noreva Exfoliac Tinted Anti-Imperfection treatment for a skin-benefiting concealer, and recommends Neutrogena’s Dry Touch sunscreen for a matte-finish SPF. If oily skin is more of a problem for you, Yadav suggests Avene’s Cleanance Expert cream, which exfoliates and reduces oil production.

Product Pick:

Exfoliac Tinted Anti-Impefections Treatment

Exfoliac Tinted Anti-Impefections Treatment 

BB cream formulated to correct and conceal imperfections.

Travel Beauty Tip: Oils Can Be Your Friend 

For those with dryness issues, winter travel can be harsh on hair and skin. Don’t be afraid of oils, which do wonders and pack small. Skip clunky moisturizer and hair treatment bottles in favor of a travel-sized dry oil. A dry oil is a non-greasy oil that hair and skin can easily soak up without leaving residue behind—oils that are classified as dry include argan, jojoba, and rosehip seed.

SmarterTravel’s Shannon McMahon always packs a small bottle of rosehip oil, which has brightening and rejuvenating benefits for skin and goes a long way in dry hair. Rub in a few drops where you need it, and apply to the face and neck before bed every night for anti-aging benefits. It’s effective at removing makeup if you use a little bit extra and wipe the excess away with a tissue, and it’s also great for men as a beard oil.

Product Pick:

Organic Rosehip Seed Oil

Travel Beauty Tip: Combating Jet-Lag

It’s no secret that being rested reflects in the way you look. “Sleep is critical to your appearance,” according to Kvedar, “and there’s no better way to mess up your sleep than crossing time zones.” When you’re trying to adjust to a new locale, avoid drinking caffeine after 2:00 p.m. local time and forgo heavy alcohol use. Combined with good hydration, staying rested will also help you to prevent jetlag. Also, if you wear contacts, consider wearing your glasses while you travel so you can take a quick nap without irritating your eyes or risking an eye infection.

Maybe you have a favorite eye cream that you swear by. If you’ve found a product that works for your skin, invest in a travel-sized version, ask for a sample from Sephora or your department store’s makeup counter, or pour some into a tiny, packable pot. To de-puff your eyes while on the plane, scoop some ice out of a cup of water, wrap the ice in a napkin, and hold it on your eyes. Anything chilled, whether it’s a refrigerated face cream, ice, or a cold cucumber slice, will shrink swollen tissue and aid in reducing inflammation of the eyes.

You can also bring a packable or single-use mask to restore what your skin loses on a dry flight or to calm irritated skin after days of traveling. SmarterTravel’s Ashley Rossi recommends these 20, including packable no-rinse versions like 100% PURE Bright Eyes Mask.

Travel beauty experts sing the praises of spring-water mist as soothing jet-lag relief. And it’s an oil-free option for travelers with sensitive or oily skin. Travel and lifestyle writer Jeanette Zinno says, “Travel-size facial mists are perfect for refreshing after a long dry plane ride or to freshen up after a day of exploring a new country.” She recommends La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Face Mist. Hydration and cleansing relief will help you leave the plane feeling fresh-faced.

Product Pick:

Bright Eyes Mask
Bright Eyes Mask

Travel Beauty Tip: Find Products That Do Double Duty

The trick to including everything you’re used to using, according to Schlip, is to choose items that have multiple uses. For example, pick a lip tint that is also a blush or eye shadow, or a cleanser that also tones and moisturizes. “If you can find a bronzer that can go as an eye shadow and SPF, perfect, slam dunk,” says Schlip. Brands like Dr. Bronner’s and Thayers offer products that can be used in several different ways, from shampoo to shaving cream, making them favorites among travelers. And for makeup, beauty brand Alleyoop makes countless “double-duty” products like a multi-use face palette, eyeshadow sticks, mini-lip colors, a 4-in-1 makeup brush, and even a 4-in-1 makeup pen.

One of the most versatile and inexpensive travel beauty products gaining steam these days is micellar water—or oil molecules suspended in soft water. It doubles as a makeup remover and cleansing toner, and requires no rinsing so it’s perfect for on-the-go use. Cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Sonam Yadav swears by the same micellar water as SmarterTravel’s Ashley Rossi: Bioderma Sensibio H20. “I am obsessed with Bioderma’s Sensibo H20 in travel-size,” Rossi says. “Two dabs on a cotton ball will leave your skin feeling refreshed and clean, and you can actually see the dirt and makeup removed.”

Product Pick:

Bioderma

Travel Beauty Tip: Pack Smart

Packing right is just as important as the specific travel beauty products you’re packing. SmarterTravel’s Christine Sarkis recommends using multi-use containers to stash all your necessities. “I use contact-lens cases to hold smaller amounts of face moisturizer and sunscreen for shorter trips,” Sarkis says. “It helps me maximize my 3-1-1 toiletries bag, since it takes up only a small amount of room.”

If you’re bringing a bag of toiletries on the airplane, make sure you know what’s allowed—and what’s not. Things you should pack in your checked bag include liquids— including but not limited to gel deodorants, toothpaste, perfume, and liquid makeup—in quantities of 3.4 ounces or more. According to TSA guidelines, you can pack lipsticks, disposable razors, cuticle cutters, eyelash curlers, nail clippers, tweezers and small toiletry scissors (less than four inches) in your carry-on.

Another useful travel beauty packing tip: powders. Not only are they 3-1-1 compliant (so you can take as many as you like in your carry-on), but they’re also practical in other ways. “Powder not only gives you coverage, but it also gives you SPF protection and it can absorb excess oil,” Schlip says. Be sure to pick a product that is buildable, like a compact powder, so that you can reapply. Before leaving the terminal, you can make a quick stop in the restroom to touch up with powder foundation, bronzer, and blush. Other products that come in powder form include dry shampoo and sunscreen. Look towards the brand Subtl Beauty, which makes stackable makeup sets.

Relying on free hotel amenities for your travel beauty routine can save you a lot of packing space, but be sure to bring necessities hotels might skimp on. “I’ve been noticing more hotels only provide shampoo or a terrible shampoo/conditioner hybrid these days,” SmarterTravel’s Caroline Morse Teel says. “I hate being caught without it, so I refill one of these travel bottles with my favorite conditioner just in case.”

Product Pick:

Eagle Creek Pack-It Silicone Travel Bottle Toiletry Set

Travel Beauty Tip: Don’t Forget About Your Physical Health

After all, beauty comes from within. The best way to keep your skin soft and healthy is by staying hydrated—and it’s even more important when you take to the skies—so pack a water bottle. Sure, flight attendants hand out water on the plane, but usually it comes in those little plastic cups or mini bottles, and it’s not as if the economy-class beverage service arrives at your beck and call. The easy solution is to pack a squishy, foldable, reusable Vapur Anti-Bottle or que Bottle and to fill it with water after you’ve passed through security. The BPA-free container holds 18 ounces of liquid. Kvedar says that people don’t think enough about the dehydration they will face on airplanes. It’s a good idea to drink eight glasses of water the day before your trip, and avoid caffeine and alcohol.

Wash your hands with soap and water, especially before you apply makeup. Not only will this help you avoid getting sick on vacation, but it’ll also keep your skin looking fresh and breakout-free. And while this tip may seem basic, it can often be a challenge to find a reasonably clean sink with soap in places like buses, subways, and at germy tourist attractions. For those moments, make sure you have a small bottle of hand sanitizer readily available. During cold and flu season, take extra precautions when disinfecting your airplane seat and avoid touching your face as much as possible.

Product Pick:

hand sanitizer spray

Shop the Story

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:

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 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. Shannon McMahon, Caroline Costello, and Jaclyn Liechti contributed to this story.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Packing Women's Travel

25 Ultra-Packable Travel Dresses for Summer

Dresses: They’re easy to pack, they’re a fashion no-brainer, and they can go from casual to fancy even more easily than pants. That’s why they’re my absolute favorite type of clothing for travel. But you have to pack the right dresses for summer travel—versatile, wrinkle-free, and odor-resistant pieces that rock a travel wardrobe. Here are the best travel dresses for everyone.

Travel Sundresses

Stay cool with these sleeveless travel dresses for summer.

prAna Grace Trail Dress

prAna has a great reputation for sustainable threads that embody comfort and style in your day-to-day life. Right now we’re loving this fairly priced sundress, which can be a staple on both a summer day at home or a sunny day abroad. With functional pockets and a design that’s made to move with you, this comfortable dress is a must-buy.

Everlane Japanese GoWeave Tank Wrap Dress

Everlane’s tank wrap dress is the ultimate all-in-one vacation dress. The below-the-knee wrap design creates a classic look that can be worn all the way from an early-morning city tour to that night’s candlelit dinner. The wrinkle-resistant and lightweight fabric makes it super easy to pack, so you’ll never have to break out that dusty hotel iron.

Elan Cover-Up Slipdress

Ideal for a day on the beach, this swingy dress falls on and off with ease. The light material adds a breezy comfort to a steamy day and keeps you covered from the boardwalk to the oceanfront.

Betabrand Top-Notch Dress

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, Betabrand’s top-notch dress is built to be the easiest dress you’ll ever take on the road. With no buttons, zippers, or fasteners, this baby effortlessly slips on like your favorite comfy tee. The wrinkle-free material means it’ll come out of your suitcase looking good.

Amazon Essentials Tank Swing Dress

Amazon has a slew of awesome summer travel dresses for all kinds of women. This sleeveless, striped number is a casual, everyday jersey dress that works well for layering, and it’s so comfortable that it would make for a great plane outfit even on a long flight.

Topo Designs Global Sleeveless Dress

Lightweight, water-repellent, and has pockets? Say no more. Look cute and stay comfy on the go with this sleeveless dress from Topo Designs. Paired with your favorite walking shoe for the streets or your go-to slip-on sandals for the beach, this dress can fit any occasion.

VIISHOW Summer Swing Dress

VIISHOW’s summer swing dress is made from a very cool rayon/spandex knit fabric that’s colorful and easy. Wear this, and you can easily go from the plane to dinner without changing.

Reversible Santorini High Neck Dress

Able to squeeze its way into even the most crammed of carry-ons, the lightweight Santorini High Neck Dress from Athleta is the perfect last-minute packing option for any warm-weather trip. Not only is this stylish piece made of sustainable fabric, but it’s also fully reversible into a just-as-chic solid gray side—so it’s like you’re packing two dresses in one.

Travel Maxi Dresses

Maxi dresses’ longer length protects you from the sun and offers an elegant look, without making you overheat.

SUNDRESS Lotus Dress

You won’t believe how unbelievably breezy and cool the Lotus Dress is until you try it on. Made with a trendy thigh-high front slit and an easy pullover design, you can throw this on and be at the beach in seconds.

Loveappella V-Neck Jersey Maxi Dress

This maxi dress is so perfect for travel that you’ll want to buy one in each of the six colors that it comes in. The jersey fabric is cool, lightweight, and easy to pack—and extremely comfortable.

Alternative Racerback Maxi Dress

Crafted with an imperfect blend of organic cotton, recycled polyester, and naturally occurring rayon, this sleeveless maxi is an eco-friendly alternative to any casual black dress. Shaping numerous body types the most flattering way possible, this one’s hard to resist.

Short-Sleeve Travel Dresses

These short-sleeve travel dresses for summer can go from casual to elegant with the right shoes and accessories.

prAna Foundation Dress

prAna

The softness of a T-shirt mixed with the shapely hug of a pencil skirt come together to create this sleek T-shirt dress from prAna. Though it’s adorable worn as is, the addition of your coziest cardigan completes this look for your next plane ride.

Backcountry Basin and Range Sunnyside Dress

Backcountry’s Basin and Range Sunnyside Dress feels like a lightweight version of your favorite sweatshirt, thanks to its cozy French terry fabric blend. The relaxed fit of this versatile dress makes it easy to pair with leggings, bare legs, or skinny pants.

Orvis Go2 Travel Tee Dress

Orvis’ Go2 Travel Tee Dress has an easy to wear, casual silhouette that works with sneakers or sandals. The organic cotton, Tencel, and spandex blend fabric keeps its shape and offers UPF 50 protection—plus wicks away moisture and odor.

eShakti Cotton Knit Midi Wrap Dress

Don’t you hate it when you find a dress off the rack that’s great—except it fits weird? That will never be the case at online retailer eShakti, where you can customize clothing to your specifications. Best of all, it’s shockingly cheap—check out the Cotton Knit Midi Wrap Dress, which is perfect for travel thanks to its cotton/spandex jersey knit fabric.

Modest Travel Dresses

These modest travel dresses for summer are ideal for visiting destinations where you want to be covered up, but still cool.

H&M Airy Shirt Dress

H&M’s shirt dress is among those summer travel dresses ideal for when you need to look pulled together without overheating. The button-front collared neckline dresses up this look, but the loose A-line silhouette and stretchy fabric are super easy to wear, even on the hottest days.

Gal Meets Glam Collection Midi Dress

A quintessential midi with elbow-length sleeves is a classic that will never go out of style. Choosing to keep it modest without the extra lengthy bulkiness is a true plus—you will stay cool all day and won’t have to worry about making much room in your carry-on.

Spirit of Grace Floral Print Midi Dress

This long-sleeve dress is the epitome of a modest summer dress. The floral pattern adds a pop of brightness while the sleeves reach the wrists for a look that is both stylish and comfortable.

Grecerelle Long Sleeve Maxi Dress

This maxi dress has long sleeves, a modest neckline, and pockets—what more do you need? It’s also extremely affordable, so go ahead and get one in every color and print available.

Plus-Size Travel Dresses

These travel dresses are specifically designed for plus sizes.

Karen Kane Floral Print Chloe Dress

The palm blossom print on this Karen Kane dress screams summer vacation. The polyester/spandex blend fabric will keep you cool on hot days and won’t wrinkle, and the A-line shape works for a variety of occasions.

Who What Wear™ Elbow Sleeve V-Neck Maxi Dress

The no-fuss tailoring of this V-neck dress gracefully shapes and lengthens your look. Because you can dress it up and down, this one can be worn at any time of the day.

Anthropologie Gwendolyn Maxi Dress

Looking for a simple black dress you feel like yourself in? Anthropologie’s flattering Gwendolyn Maxi Dress is it. It’s the ideal outfit for evenings out or other dressier occasions during your trip.

Volcom Dayze Daze T-Shirt Dress

It doesn’t get more casual than a striped dress and a well-worn pair of Converse. Join the two with a denim jacket and you’ll be ready to face the day in no time.

Lark & Ro Classic Cap Sleeve Wrap Dress

Whether you’re heading out on a business trip or a beach vacation, you’ll want to pack this dress by Lark & Ro. This classic style pairs cap sleeves with a tulip hem and faux-wrap style (so you don’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions on a windy day).

Calvin Klein Cold Shoulder Maxi Dress

Calvin Klein’s airy cold shoulder dress shows off your shoulders and legs but still leaves a little mystery. This dress comes in a gorgeous sea foam green color, overlain with a fun floral print.

Try These 10 Easy Packing Hacks

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

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel loves travel dresses for summer trips. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline for style and travel photos from around the world.

This story was originally published in 2019. It has been updated to reflect the most current information. 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. Tyler Schoeber contributed to this story.

Categories
Active Travel Adventure Travel Arts & Culture Beach Budget Travel Cities Entertainment Food & Drink Historical Travel LGBT Outdoors Senior Travel Student Travel Weekend Getaways Women's Travel

9 Best Things to Do in Miami Beach (That Aren’t the Beach)

While most people head to Miami Beach for, well, the beach, there are plenty of activities off the sand as well. In Miami Beach you’ll discover fascinating history from the Al Capone era told through architecture, plus some of the best dining experiences in Florida. Here are nine of the best things to do in Miami Beach that don’t have anything to do with the actual beach.

Explore Art Deco Architecture

art deco buildings in miami beach.

One of the best things to do in Miami Beach is to discover its art deco architecture and history. The Miami Design Preservation League sponsors a 1.5-hour daily walking tour through Miami Beach’s historic district. Explore the history of Miami Beach through its architecture and style while visiting hotels, restaurants, and other buildings relevant to the art deco, Mediterranean revival, and Miami modern eras.

Hang Out by the Pool

pool at national hotel miami beach.

You don’t have to be rich and famous to enjoy some of Miami’s hottest hotels; many five-star and luxury properties offer a day pass for their pools, so you can lounge in style at a fraction of the nightly room rate. Hotels on Miami Beach offering day passes include The National Hotel Miami, Delano South Beach, Mondrian South Beach, and SLS South Beach.

Attend an Event

art basel miami beach.

One of the best things to do in Miami Beach is to go for an event. Because of its year-round warm weather, locals and tourists alike flock to the area’s famous annual festivals.

Standouts include Art Deco Weekend in January, the Miami International Boat Show in February, Ultra Music Festival and Music Week in March, Gay Pride in April, and Art Basel in December.

Visit a Museum

jewish museum of florida.

Miami Beach—which doesn’t even include the popular Wynwood neighborhood, downtown Miami, or the design district—has plenty of museums worth exploring. In the South Beach area you’ll find The Bass (contemporary art), the Art Deco Museum, Wolfsonian-FIU (art and design), the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, and the ArtCenter South Florida.

Sample the Culinary Scene

chicken watermelon and waffles at yardbird miami beach.

Miami Beach has a varied culinary scene that ranges from well-known steak houses to incredible Cuban cuisine. Notable dishes include the Giant Chocolate Chunk Cookie from Big Pink, the Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles from Yardbird, and the famous Key lime pie from Icebox Cafe. And if you’re a seafood lover, one of the best things to do in Miami Beach is try the stone crab claws from Joe’s Stone Crab.

Play Golf

aerial view of miami beach golf club.

The Miami Beach Golf Club is a public golf course right in Miami Beach. Formerly an under-utilized course, Bayshore, it’s now regarded as one of the premier golf clubs in South Florida, and is one of the best things to do in Miami Beach outside of the beach.

Go Shopping

lincoln road miami beach.

Strolling along Lincoln Road is a must-do for anyone in the mood to shop. This pedestrian-friendly promenade is packed with trendy shops, restaurants, and entertainment. You’ll also find boutiques such as The Webster as well as high-end designer stores at the Bal Harbour Shops. With a style all its own and plenty of retail options, you’ll have a hard time leaving Miami Beach without buying something.

Enjoy the Nightlife

dj equipment.

One of the main attractions of Miami Beach is its nightlife, and South Beach and Ocean Drive don’t disappoint. From 24/7 venues to hotel nightclubs, you’ll find endless entertainment spots that stay packed into the wee hours of the night. Notable nightclubs include STORY, Basement (at the Edition Hotel), and LIV (at the Fontainebleau).

Or if you want a different type of nightlife, check out the events schedule for the historic Colony Theatre or The Fillmore Miami Beach—both host comedy, music, dance, opera, and films.

Hit the Boardwalk

miami beach boardwalk.

While some might consider this the beach, the Miami Beach Boardwalk is still one of the best things to do in Miami Beach—and it’s free. The 40-block path is great for running or walking, and part of the path is bike-friendly as well. A decent portion of the path is covered by palm trees, so you have some relief from the sun. Hop on and off the boardwalk and enjoy the shops, bars, and restaurants along Ocean Drive.

More from SmarterTravel:

Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2017. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Categories
Active Travel Adventure Travel Beach Island Luxury Travel Packing Romantic Travel Senior Travel Women's Travel

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List: What to Pack for a Cruise

When deciding what to pack for a cruise, you’re really packing for three distinct sub-trips: your cruise ship, which is the equivalent of a large destination resort with a controlled environment; the ports of call, where you will get out and roam around the local area; and your flights to and from your departure port. Sometimes you can solve all three problems with a single wardrobe and accessory set, but sometimes you will need completely different sets. Scroll down to the cruise packing list below to learn how to pack for a cruise as well as what to consider during all aspects of your cruise vacation.

What to Pack for a Cruise

Click on the below image to edit and download the SmarterTravel cruise packing list:

cruise packing list

According to SmarterTravel’s sister site Cruise Critic: “As you may not have access to your cabin for a few hours after boarding and your luggage can show up anytime throughout the afternoon and evening … the items in your carry-on might be the only possessions you have on your first day onboard.”

Cruise Critic also advises considering the age-old problem of lost baggage: “Pack a change of clothes and important meds or toiletries in the carry-on bags you will take on the plane and personally transport onboard. This is important for two reasons: First, if your luggage gets lost by the airline on the way to your cruise, at least you’ll have some essentials with you. It can take a while for your luggage to be found and then shipped to the next port of call” Erica Silverstein writes. “Second, in case your suitcases are delayed in being delivered to your cabin, you’ll have a bathing suit or dinner attire on hand and can enjoy all the onboard activities right away, rather than waiting for your bags to show up.”

What to Pack for a Cruise: At Sea

Once upon a time, almost all cruise ships were pretty dressy, including some events calling for full formal wear. Now only a few upmarket ships still require a bit of fussing, but most of the mass-market ships, like those in the Royal Caribbean and Princess stables, are about as casual as you like. In any event, as long as you’re not out on deck, you’ll be in a comfortably air-conditioned space virtually all the time.

The first job of your cruise packing list is to determine just where on the formal-casual scale you want or have to be in, or if you want to prepare for both ends of the scale. Luckily, business casual attire (pantsuits, maxi dresses, khaki pants, and button-up shirts tend to fair just fine these days). And for those cruise lines that do have more formal nights, there are typically still buffet options for meals if you want to avoid fancier dress.

Then, decide how you want to play your wardrobe. I pack the minimum I’ll need to comply with the lowest degree of dressiness required. On the other hand, other couples I know are fully engaged with dress: The wife doesn’t want to be seen in the same outfit at dinner on any two different days, and the husband even packs his tux for the “Captain’s Dinner” event. But that’s not how everyone travels. Ultimately, it’s your call what’s most comfortable for you to wear on vacation, and therefore to pack.

Do you need to pack for the full cruise, or can you have your clothes washed or dry cleaned during your sailing? Although most big ships provide some kind of service, the specific answer to that question varies wildly among different ships: Some charge for laundry the way hotels do, some set a fixed price for a laundry bag full, some sell laundry packages prior to sailing, and a few offer self-service washers and dryers.

But no matter how you do it, you’ll definitely pay more for doing laundry while cruising than you pay at home. In general, large ships offer more options than small ones, and 200-passenger river cruises may provide only limited services. Again, check what your cruise ship offers before you decide how much you need to pack. Beyond the basic daily wear, pack whatever special recreational wear and accessories you’ll need. Even if you never leave the ship, you will probably want swimwear, and possibly some other specialized clothing and equipment as well.

What to Pack for a Cruise: In Port

The situation here is obvious: You need to pack for the climate in your cruise destination—and, for most people, being active in each port. You’ll be walking around during shore excursions, and many call for specialized equipment. That means you need to pack comfortable walking shoes and clothing on your cruise, even if you won’t need them on the ship itself. Make sure you pack appropriately for any off-shore excursions.

As to how heavy/light to travel, the Caribbean is hot and steamy pretty much all the time, and the Mediterranean in summer can come close. But weather in other popular areas such as Alaska, New England, and inland European rivers is a bit more variable. Your best bet is to check the weather forecasts just before you pack for your cruise, and always be prepared for rain. For Europe and Bermuda, you should more resort-causal clothing (fair warning: Golf courses in Bermuda have strict dress codes). Some other cruise itineraries that are more casual than the norm include Hawaii, the Mexican Riviera, the Caribbean, and French Polynesia.

What to Pack for a Cruise: Everything Else

Travelers sometimes forget that they don’t need to pack a full closet full of personal-care products and accessories in their travel toiletry kit. You can buy toothpaste, batteries, and tissues in most places around the world—and also on the cruise ship, albeit at stiff prices. Ships vary in what toiletries they offer onboard.

The latest packing challenge is with gadgets. I, for one, would have withdrawal symptoms if I couldn’t get online every day, so I would select a cruise ship with the latest internet connectivity and pack my laptop. On the other hand, if you want to get away from it all, a cruise ship is the ideal place—and you don’t have to pack any devices, converters, and such. Don’t forget your camera, and a travel extension cord can also come in handy.

Alcohol policies vary by ship (so do your research with your cruise line directly), but you may find it useful to pack a champagne corker or bottle opener.

When packing for your pre- and post-cruise flights, figure out what goes in your carry-on and what gets checked. For ideas, see 11 Must-Haves for Your Carry-on Bag. If you’re big on collecting souvenirs and buying local handicrafts, leave room in your suitcase for what you bring home. You don’t want to get hit with paying for another checked bag or hauling both your regular carry-on and a shopping bag of loot on your flight home.

A Final Consideration for Your Cruise Packing List

My most essential recommendation for what to bring on a cruise: Don’t get obsessive about it. Do your best and plan to cope with whatever problems you encounter along the way.

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:

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

Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

Categories
Active Travel Adventure Travel Arts & Culture Food & Drink Outdoors Weekend Getaways Women's Travel

How to Do a Weekend in Sedona, Arizona

Famous for its red rocks landscape and known as the “Day Hike Capital of the World”, Sedona is a popular destination for couples, groups of friends, and families. While locals have pushed back a little on tourism in recent years, there are still some hidden gems and ways to avoid the weekend crowds in Sedona. If you’re really going for a holistic experience, I recommend adopting this three-day itinerary and visiting mid-week instead of on the weekend.

The Hotel: Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock

hilton-sedona-resort-1

The Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock is perfectly situated in the Village of Oak Creek, about eight miles south (about a 15 to 20-minute drive) from the downtown Sedona area. While it’s convenient to stay downtown, I recommend staying a little outside of the area as traffic, parking, and crowds can cause delays over busy weekends, not to mention these are typically more expensive.

Hilton Sedona has beautiful grounds, a convenient and delicious onsite restaurant, a spa and wellness center, as well as a large outdoor pool. Spacious rooms with kitchenettes are available and ideal for group trips like a girls’ weekend or family getaway. Parking is free and plentiful, and you’re right near the trailheads for Bell Rock and Courthouse as well as the area’s golf courses. You can also purchase the Red Rocks Pass at the hotel, which is required if you’re parking at most trailheads.

Itinerary: How to Do a Weekend in Sedona

Sedona weekend guide

Friday

  • Afternoon: Check-in to the hotel and walk around Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. This is a large shopping complex with unique stores and galleries selling Southwestern art; the complex also has a few food and drink spots including a brewery.
  • Night: Head into town and have dinner at Saltrock. Located in the Amara Resort & Spa, Saltrock serves Southwestern cuisine and has a spacious outdoor patio with fire pits as well as fun inside bar and lounge area.

Saturday

  • Morning: Pick a day hike from The Hike House. Start your hike earlier in the day to avoid the crowds. Devil’s Bridge is a scenic, intermediate loop with an optional, but daring bridge cross. You can also combine it with the Chuck Wagon Trail for a slightly longer hike.
  • Afternoon: Take a lunch break at The Hudson located at the Hillside Shopping Center and take in the gorgeous red rock views on the outdoor patio.
  • Night: Go on a sunset off-roading drive in a famous Pink Jeep with Pink Adventure Tours. Choose from a variety of routes and pick the 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. departure time (where applicable). Have dinner back at the hotel at ShadowRock. Insider tip: The Prickly Pear Margarita is delicious.

Sunday

  • Morning: Go to Red Rock Cafe for brunch; it’s close to the hotel and is popular with locals.
  •  Afternoon: Drive to one of the famed vortices—the Airport Mesa Vortex is one of the closer spots with easy access.

Other

Restaurants & Cafes

Note that for most seasons reservations for dinner are highly recommending anywhere you go in Sedona.

Day Hikes

The Hike House is an excellent resource for visitors. They have an interactive map and trail finder and the sole purpose is to help you find the perfect day hike for your ability and comfort level. If you can’t make it to the downtown location, check out the website or purchase the book. You can also book a guided hike adventure with them.

  • Airport Loop (Moderate)
  • Boynton Canyon (Moderate)
  • Broken Arrow (Moderate)
  • Cathedral Rock (Difficult)
  • Courthouse/Bell Rock (Moderate)
  • Devil’s Bridge (Moderate)
  • Fay Canyon (Easy)
  • Little Horse Train (Easy to Moderate)
  • Soldiers Pass (Moderate)

Things to Do

Highlights from my Weekend in Sedona:

More from SmarterTravel:

SmarterTravel Editor Ashley Rossi traveled to Arizona courtesy of Visit Mesa. Follow her adventures (big and small) on Twitter and Instagram.

Categories
Fashion & Beauty Women's Travel

The Best Women’s Clothes with Pockets


It’s a frustrating mystery as to why most clothing designed for women doesn’t include pockets—or, even worse, has a fake pocket (we’re looking at you, women’s jeans). Fortunately, we’ve found 10 great pieces of women’s clothes with pockets that are big enough to be useful.

United by Blue Responsible Flannel Dress

United by Blue’s dress has both pockets and a conscience. It’s made from organic cotton, recycled polyester, and organic dye, and the buttons are made from corozo (a renewable and sustainable nut). The dress has a drawstring at the waist to create a custom fit, plus a chest pocket and two large hip pockets.

Tasc Uptown Ultra High Rise Pocket Legging

Tasc Uptown Ultra High Rise Pocket Leggings

Tasc’s Uptown Ultra High Rise Pocket Leggings have a plethora of pockets. There are two large side pockets and a hidden stash pocket in the waistband that’s large enough to hold a phone. Made from a silky smooth, stretchy fabric, these pants won’t sag or fall down during your workout.

[st_related]The 16 Best Travel Pants for Men and Women[/st_related]

Title Nine Manresa Joggers

Made from an ultra-soft and cozy terry fabric, Title Nine’s Manresa Joggers are the perfect pants to wear on a long flight. They have plenty of pockets, including two front handwarmer pockets (one with a secret internal mesh pocket for valuables) and two in the back.

Orvis Signature Merino Wool Cardigan

Orvis’ Signature Merino Wool Cardigan is the ultimate plane layer. The merino wool will keep you warm but won’t retain odors or sweat, and the cardigan design looks much more pulled-together than a sweatshirt. This versatile layer works over a dress or a shirt and has two side pockets that will hold anything you need as you pass through security.

[st_related]The Ultimate Packing List[/st_related]

SCOTTeVEST Margaux Cargaux Travel Pants

Women’s cargo pants with pockets? That’s easy to find. Women’s cargo pants that are thoughtfully designed? That’s harder to find, but SCOTTeVEST has achieved it with its Margaux Cargaux Travel Pants. These pants have 11 pickpocket-proof pockets in different sizes that can store your phone, camera, wallet, sunglasses, and more. These pants can quickly convert into capris using the attached ankle ties.

Title Nine Mad Dash Reversible Running Tights

Carry everything you need on your run in Title Nine’s Mad Dash Reversible Running Tights, which have two pockets on the side that are large enough to store your phone. A waist stash pocket securely holds your keys or energy gel. These are the perfect leggings with pockets for travel since they reverse from a fun print on one side to a solid side, so it’s like packing two pairs in one.

[st_related]Reversible Clothing and Accessories for Travel: Our Favorite Items to Double Your Wardrobe[/st_related]

Tasc Balance Cardigan

Carry Tasc’s Balance Cardigan with you in case of a chilly airplane cabin or temperature drop at night. This lightweight layer packs down small, but still offers warmth and UPF 50+ sun protection when you need it. Two side pockets give you easy storage or a place to warm up chilly hands.

Columbia Canyon Point Sherpa Pullover

Columbia’s cozy Canyon Point Sherpa Pullover is great to layer under a jacket on freezing days or to wear alone during milder weather. Zippered hand pockets give you a secure place to hold your valuables.

[st_related]The Worst Winter Travel Gear (and What to Pack Instead)[/st_related]

Sarah Liller Clara Dress

It can be tough to find a non-casual dress with pockets, but Sarah Liller’s Clara Dress nails it. Two side pockets give you storage without ruining the lines of the dress, and the stretchy material is comfortable even on long travel days. The dress is machine-washable, too—so no dry cleaners needed.

Icebreaker Real Fleece Lydmar Long Sleeve Zip

Icebreaker

Imagine your favorite cozy sweatshirt lined with a merino wool fleece, and you’ll have Icebreaker’s Lydmar Long Sleeve Zip. This mid-layer will keep you warm without overheating during winter runs but is also comfortable enough that you’ll pick it for a long plane ride or show-watching binge at home. No matter what you’re doing, two zippered hand pockets will hold anything you need.

Pop Fashion Scarf

Add pockets to any outfit with the Pop Fashion Scarf. This soft cotton infinity scarf has a hidden zipper pocket that’s large enough to hold a phone, passport, keys, and more. The scarf is lightweight enough that you can wear it with summer outfits without overheating.

More from SmarterTravel:

Caroline Morse Teel is a Senior Editor at SmarterTravel. Follow her on Instagram @travelwithcaroline.

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.