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Thursday, September 21, 2017

What to Pack for Switzerland: 31 Essentials

I traveled to Switzerland on a ten-day trip to Solothurn, Biel, Thun, and Zermatt in August 2017. Traveling in Switzerland means packing for different temperatures and terrains. From urban walks to alpine treks, here’s what to pack to be prepared, comfortable, and fashionable on a trip to Switzerland. What to Pack for Switzerland: The Suitcase Eagle Creek Lync—my Switzerland trip involved lots of public transportation, including trains, buses, and ferries, so I needed to pack light. Eagle Creek’s Lync rolling suitcase was perfect—the suitcase itself was lightweight (4.6 pounds) and easy to roll or carry. I chose this bag for my trip because it converts to a backpack (weighing 1.12 pounds), which I could use for day hiking trips without having to bring a separate backpack. What to Pack for Switzerland: The Personal Item The Eagle Creek Lync was a tight fit for 10 days, so I brought a larger “personal item” to go under my seat on the plane. I used Aide de Camp’s Nadine bag, which comfo..

Amazon Fire Tablet Review: What It’s Like to Travel with This Tablet

I recently ditched my iPad for a lighter, more affordable travel tablet—the Amazon Fire 7 Tablet. While I didn’t have high expectations, I was pleasantly surprised with my purchase. Amazon Fire Tablet Review While it’s no fancy Apple tablet, the Amazon Fire tablet is a useful and affordable tool for frequent fliers and travelers. Here are its pros and cons. Pros of the Amazon Fire Tablet for Travel Portability At just 10 ounces, the Fire Tablet 7 is super portable and lightweight. I wanted something durable and small to take with me on my travels as an entertainment option, and this fits the bill. TV, Movie, & Music Entertainment The Amazon Fire tablet hosts tons of apps (not just Amazon’s), including Prime Video, Netflix, HBO, Spotify and other streaming services. This means you can watch or pre-download your favorite playlists, shows, and movies onto your tablet via your subscription apps. Related:Amazon Just Changed In-Flight Entertainment for the Better eBooks The main reason ..

The 10 Biggest Benefits of Nature Travel

We have all felt it: the uncanny sensation of clear-headedness and relief that comes from a long walk in the woods, a climb to a mountain overlook, or a stroll on the beach. Even a quick dive into cool ocean surf can do it; you emerge feeling somehow cleaner despite being covered in salt water and brine. It turns out there is a heap of science behind that sensation, enough to encourage the use of our precious vacation time to immerse ourselves in nature travel for extended periods. As John Muir said, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” Below is what the experts have to say on the extensive benefits of getting out into nature in your everyday life, and especially when traveling. Nature Travel Increases Your Attention Span The constant barrage of information and images that characterizes modern life is thought by many to have a negative effect on our ability to control our attention—but time in nature has the capacity to correct it, according to this st..

The 10 Most Livable Cities in the World for 2017

Ever dreamed of packing up everything and moving to another country? Here are the most livable cities in the world, according to a study by The Economist. The Most Livable Cities in the World Melbourne, Australia Vienna, Austria Vancouver, Canada Toronto, Canada Calgary, Canada Adelaide, Australia Perth, Australia Auckland, New Zealand Helsinki, Finland Hamburg, Germany To determine the most livable cities in the world, 140 urban centers were evaluated and given an overall rating based on five factors: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. For the seventh year in a row, Melbourne has taken the top spot as the most livable city. Related:The 10 Best Cities to Live in, Ranked (2016) The top five cities are the same as 2016, but “this year, cities such as Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, and the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, have benefited from an increasing cultural availability and falling crime rates,” the report states. Keep an eye on these c..

Today Only: $39+ Airfare Sale from JetBlue!

JetBlue’s newest sale discounts travel across the U.S., to the Caribbean, and to Latin America this fall. Flights start as low as $39 each way (round-trip is not required). Travel at the lowest prices is valid between September 26 and December 14. Travel at these sale fares is not valid between October 5 and 9 or November 16 and 28. Book by 11:59 p.m. ET on September 19 for the best prices and availability. Additional rules and restrictions may apply. JetBlue‘s advertised one-way fares include: $39 — Long Beach to/from Las Vegas $59 — Atlanta to/from Boston $89 — Albany to/from Orlando $104 — Orlando to Mexico City, Mexico $129 — Ft. Lauderdale to Medellin, Colombia $129 — New York City to/from Albuquerque $139 — Boston to/from Denver $139 — Ft. Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Jamaica Don’t see a fare you like? View all flights to/from your city. The post Today Only: $39+ Airfare Sale from JetBlue! appeared first on SmarterTravel.

Way Beyond Basics: 9 Surprising Free Hotel Amenities

We’ve all been there: You arrive at your hotel after a long flight, unzip your suitcase, and start to unpack, only to realize you’ve forgotten an important item. Fear not, intrepid traveler: Free hotel amenities are here to save the day. Free Hotel Amenities Long gone are the days when the best you could hope for was a disposable razor or a tiny tube of toothpaste—many hotels have upped their game and are prepared with everything from flat irons to phone chargers. Read on to discover nine key items you may be able to borrow (or keep) from your next hotel. Hair-Styling Tools Hair dryers are a standard free hotel amenity at most U.S. hotel chains, but many properties now offer—upon request, of course—more serious styling tools like flat irons and curling irons. Pro tip: Instead of lugging your styling tools next time you travel, call ahead to your hotel and see if it can lend you what you need. It just might save you enough room to pack an extra pair of shoes. Stain-Remover Wipes No o..

7 Reasons to Visit Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Quebec’s Best-Kept Secret

My first glimpse of Quebec’s Abitibi-Temiscamingue region was from the window of a tiny propeller plane shuddering its way down through a rough patch of clouds. I saw trees, lots of them, a rich green carpet of firs, spruces, birches, and aspens, interrupted only by the occasional lake. From above, it was a landscape that appeared clean and unspoiled. And that impression didn’t change after I landed. I’d been to the province of Quebec before, but only to the urban areas most tourists visit: Montreal and Quebec City. Abitibi-Temiscamingue, often called Abitibi for short, is located on the other side of the province, bordering Ontario—and it feels a world away. You won’t find the centuries-old cobblestone streets that you would in Montreal or Quebec City; instead, many of Abitibi’s settlements still feel like the gold-rush frontier towns they once were. Home to Canada’s largest open-pit gold mine, the Abitibi region has long been known for its mining industry. But tourism is on the ris..

Could Flexible Group Booking Take off Thanks to This Airline?

In the airline business, bad ideas are a lot easier to find than good ones. But a recent development from Hungary’s Wizz Air is, surprisingly, one I’d like to see others copy. The low-fare line’s Flexible Travel Partner service allows one person to book a flight for up to 10 passengers. Wizz Air requires only the buyer’s name and data, leaving the other firm reservations “open” for adding names and details until three hours before departure. The fare for all travelers is locked in at the time of initial purchase. The service costs about $13 per Wizz Air passenger. Clearly, this deal won’t affect everyone: U.S. and Canadian travelers aren’t likely to fly with Wizz. But it’s an interesting improvement that could make life much easier for at least a few travelers, and for many more if it catches on. Bad ideas get copied quickly in the airline business. Let’s hope that this good idea has some legs, as well. More from SmarterTravel: EasyJet Partners with Airlines for Low-Cost Connectio..

WOW: Switzerland’s Best Secret

This town has castles, natural beauty, and surfing… but no tourists. The post WOW: Switzerland’s Best Secret appeared first on SmarterTravel.

How to Do a Weekend in Myrtle Beach (Without the Kids)

In South Carolina, everyone knows Myrtle Beach as the perfect family destination with more than enough to keep little ones entertained, but what about the adults? As it turns out, there are plenty of activities for the older crowd to enjoy on their own. From laid-back spa treatments to challenging water sports and everything in between, here’s how to enjoy a weekend in Myrtle Beach that’s a little more grown up. Related: 10 Best Things to Do in Myrtle Beach How to Do a Weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Friday Once you check into your hotel, take your time to settle in and enjoy your surroundings. If you’re staying at a large resort like the Marriott Resort & Spa at Grande Dunes, you’ll want some time to explore the hotel’s enormous pools or take a quick break in one of the pool-side hammocks. When you finally feel settled, start your night with a little adventure to La Belle Amie Vineyard to enjoy the “Wine Down” every Friday until 4:30. You can head inside for a tasting or ju..

Kruzers Review: Foldable Street Sneakers

Kruzers slip-on sneakers fold in half for easy packing. Kruzers Review: Price and Where to Buy: Kruzers are available on Amazon for $29.99. How Kruzers Rate: Usefulness: 10/10. Foldable shoes are great for packing and for when you need an emergency pair of flats, but most won’t hold up for more than a few minutes of walking. Kruzers have a full rubber sole that offers more support and cushioning than other backup flats. Value: 8/10. The shoes are a decent price for the quality. Portability: 9/10. Although you can’t fit the slip-ons in your pocket, you can easily fit them in to your purse or carry-on item. Durability: 8/10. The all-rubber sole seems like it will withstand a lot of walking. Cool Factor: 10/10. The shoes come in a number of colors and look like normal, stylish slip-ons. Final Verdict: Kruzers are the ultimate portable shoe. Caroline Morse is always on the hunt for the newest and best travel gear. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter to see what she wears around the wo..

Faster TSA Bag Scanners Are One Step Closer to Reality

TSA has approved new baggage scanners designed to do two things: Speed up airport security lines, and provide better imaging of your bag’s contents. Once installed, these scanners could make airports safer, and security checkpoints run smoother. According to the L.A. Times, these new scanners use the same imaging technology that hospitals employ. The device creates a three-dimensional image that TSA screeners can easily manipulate, and uses an algorithm to detect items that may be weapons. The manufacturer says these scanners could increase the number of passengers screened per hour from 180 to 500. Notably, travelers could leave liquids and personal electronics in their bags. I think many frequent travelers would agree: This sounds like the holy grail of airport security screening, right up there with being able to leave your shoes on. Related:Is TSA Missing 95% of Banned Items at Security? TSA has been actively pursuing faster, simpler screening for some time. Just this past June..

Dreampad Review: A Pillow That Helps You Sleep

The Dreampad pillow uses a music app to play sleep-inducing sounds directly through the pillow. Dreampad Pillow Review: Price and Where to Buy: The Dreampad Slim Support Pillow (which is designed for travel) is available on Amazon for $149. How the Dreampad Pillow Rates: Usefulness: 6/10. If you like to fall asleep while listening to music, the Dreampad pillow is a good way to play sounds without disturbing the people around you. Value: 6/10. At $149, the Dreampad is on the high end for both pillows and travel speakers. Portability: 6/10. The Slim Support pillow is very thin, so it’s better for travel than a regular-sized pillow, but it may not be comfortable for you if you prefer a fluffier option. Note that you can pair it with a regular pillow for more comfort. Durability: 9/10. The foam pillow and embedded speaker seem very durable, especially if you protect them with a pillowcase. Cool Factor: 9/10. Being able to quietly listen to music and not disturb others is pretty neat. F..

EasyJet Partners with Airlines for Low-Fare Connections: A Baby Step

EasyJet is about to give its customers a bit more freedom: The low-cost carrier has announced a new booking program allowing travelers to connect with other low-fare airlines. The initial project is based at London’s Gatwick Airport, and is focused on connecting EasyJet European flights with long-haul ones, like Norwegian and WestJet routes across the Atlantic, and Loganair flights to Scotland. EasyJet plans to expand the program quickly to some of its larger hubs around Europe, and to add new partnered airlines, including some based in Asia. But the program already has its limits. Pros of EasyJet’s Low-Fare Connections Starting immediately, the new program allows you to check schedules and book tickets on a Worldwide by EasyJet website for low-fare flights that connect over Gatwick. The minimum connection time is two and a half hours, which should provide a reasonable amount of schedule slack. Airlines will presumably coordinate schedules, at least to some degree—but that’s about the..

5 Diseases in America You Could Get While Traveling (Video)

You may not be leaving the country, but that doesn’t mean you can let your guard down. Beware of these diseases in America you can catch while traveling. The post 5 Diseases in America You Could Get While Traveling (Video) appeared first on SmarterTravel.

Amazon Fire Tablet Review for Travel

The post Amazon Fire Tablet Review for Travel appeared first on SmarterTravel.

6 Reasons You’ll Love Our New Travel Planning Tool

We’re building a planning tool that’ll take the hassle out of travel, and we want our readers to be the first to know. Staying organized on the road should be easy and fun, so we’re creating a place where you can design an in-depth itinerary for your next adventure—from flights and hotels to activities and transportation—and then book it all, instantly. Need inspiration on where to go? Save the flights, hotels, and activities that catch your eye, and dream up your next adventure down to the last detail before you book. Here are six features of our planning tool that we think you’ll love. 1. Plan Flights, Hotels, Activities, and Transport Found the perfect flight? Save it to your planning wall. Then choose an amazing hotel and add it to your itinerary, too. Is your heart set on something to do once you arrive? Add activities to spice things up, from bungee jumping to food tours. Pre-plan your transportation between must-see spots. Once your trip is laid out in full, you can take time ..

6 Reasons You Need a Better Travel Planning Too

When it comes to planning trips, we all know the importance of staying organized. With the right travel planning tool, you could create an in-depth itinerary for your next adventure, from flights and hotels to activities and transportation. What’s more, once you’ve built your perfect trip, you could book your travel instantly, from start to finish, right in your itinerary. Not quite sure where to go next and need some inspiration? The perfect travel planning tool would have you covered: save hotels, activities, and more, so you can dream about your next adventure. Here are the top six features we think the perfect planning tool would have. 1. A Space to Plan Your Flights, Hotels, Activities, and More The perfect travel planning tool should help you organize every detail of your next trip. Find a great flight? Save it right there in your itinerary. Browse around for an amazing hotel, and once you find it, add it to your itinerary. Have your heart set on something to do once you arrive?..

5 Diseases in America You Could Get While Traveling

When you think about diseases that threaten travelers, you probably think they only exist on foreign continents covered in thick, mosquito-laden jungles. But this is a dangerous misconception. When it comes to serious diseases, in America you are at just as much risk as you are anywhere else. Diseases in America Because the United States is so large and encompasses so many different ecosystems, traveling from one region to the next can feel like journeying to a foreign country—and you should use a similar level of caution when it comes to protecting your health. This means that even though you are in the same country, you are still traveling to a different part of the world and should be wary of the diseases in America that might await you there, whether you’re an American or a foreign tourist. Here are the diseases in America that you should look out for on any vacation in the U.S. Related: Everything You Need to Know About Visiting a Travel Clinic Zika Still relatively new among..

Traveling with Depression: 12 Tips for a Better Trip

You’ve been looking forward to your vacation for months—but a few days into your trip, you find yourself feeling tired and listless, without the energy or enthusiasm to go out and explore. You don’t want to do anything, you don’t want to interact with anyone, and it takes everything you have just to get out of bed. For people traveling with depression, this scenario might sound uncomfortably familiar. If it does, you’re not alone. Depression is one of the most common mental health problems, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This includes plenty of travelers. “Mental health issues are among the leading causes of ill health among travelers,” notes WHO, “and ‘psychiatric emergency’ is one of the most common medical reasons for air evacuation, along with injury and cardiovascular disease.” If you’re struggling with depression, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t travel, but you may need to take a little extra care a..