Clarks Quantock Run GTX (Photo: Clarks)

What Is it: Clark's Quantock Run GTX Shoes for Men

Price and Where to Buy: $119.99 at Amazon ($140 MSRP)

Pros: I'm like most guys. If I could get away with it, I'd bring just one pair of shoes with me on every trip. These shoes would be appropriate for everything from walking in the city to hiking in the wilderness. They'd be just as good for a dressy night out as for as a casual lunch. Being a carry-on-only traveler whenever possible, I covet every square inch of space in my bag. There's no room for dress shoes, casual shoes, sneakers, and hiking boots on most trips. So, imagine my delight when I tested out the versatile Quantock Run GTX shoes from Clark's on a recent trip to Iceland.

They're sturdy but lightweight, with a cushioned midsole and a molded foot bed to provide long-lasting comfort and stability. They're also dressy enough to pass for business casual, but just outdoorsy enough to fit in on the hiking trails, too. The GORE-TEX lining keeps them waterproof and breathable. The firm ankle support kept my lower body steady while scrambling around the lava fields of Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula, and the attractive brown leather fit in just fine with both my khakis and my jeans.

Not having to change shoes between activities is a major plus for space-starved travelers with varied more»

Airport: Man - Sitting, Waiting (Photo: Thinkstock/Creatas)

The first round of furloughs has kicked in, increased security at many airports is still in effect after the Boston Marathon bombings, and delays, unsurprisingly, are up. Here's how to cope as a flyer:

When You Book

Book Early-Morning Flights: Since delays tend to have a ripple effect as the day progresses, early-morning flights are a good bet if your goal is to arrive on time. And if your early-morning flight is canceled, you'll have the rest of the day to try to rebook.

Book Nonstop: Every flight connection is another chance for a delay. Trim connections and you'll boost your chances of arriving at your destination on time. And while a direct, nonstop flight isn't always an option, when it is, the potential time benefits are often worth a slightly higher price more»

Group of friends in Belize (Photo: Index Open)

Lisa Kenney is a New York City-based research assistant whose upbringing as a military brat has led to incurable wanderlust. Her favorite travel memory is watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu.

As a single 20-something armed with a few vacation days and a healthy dose of wanderlust—but without the nerve to travel alone—my friends have become my go-to globetrotters. It seems like a no-brainer: Why wouldn't I jet off with the same girls I see for weekly brunches and happy hours?

My friends and I have climbed mountains in Peru, skied in northern Vermont, gambled in Las Vegas, and driven golf carts on the beach in Panama. We've also sent hundreds of pre-trip emails, argued about activities, laid blame over crummy hostels, and stewed silently about being left out.

Traveling doesn't change people; it just makes them more of who they are. Minor annoyances in everyday life (that friend who's always late, someone with expensive taste, or a stickler for schedules) will become magnified on the road, coming to a head in major blowouts over wake-up calls or restaurant more»

Auberge de Seattle Cooking School (Photo:

When it comes to staying in a bed and breakfast, sleeping is only half the equation. A morning meal can make the difference between an OK stay and a life-changing one. Needless to say, choosing the right inn is essential. That's why, coming off the heels of its Best B&B Breakfast recipe tournament (full disclosure: I had the pleasure of serving as a guest judge), is revealing its Top 10 Culinary Inns. And if breakfast isn't enough, there are plenty of other ways to bring out your inner gourmand, including gourmet dinners, cooking classes, wine tastings, and even welcome desserts right when you arrive.

Here's a quick synopsis of the inns that made the list and what culinary offerings make them stand more»

Virgin America seating (Photo: Virgin America)

Because flying wasn't uncomfortable enough, Virgin America wants you to proposition more»

Alaska Airlines 737 up close (Photo: Alaska Airlines)

Alaska Airlines' new thinner seats could translate into more legroom or just more seats. Alaska's choice leaves customers in cramped more»

iPhone with Applications (Photo: Thinkstock/iStock)

These days, most people travel with high-tech gadgets: a smartphone as a minimum, and often a tablet or notebook. For reading materials, either a tablet or a Kindle has replaced the traditional stack of paperback "penny dreadfuls." You include whatever chargers and adapters your devices require. On my recent trip to Europe, I took a smartphone, a notebook, and a Kindle. Yes, the Kindle was redundant, but I much prefer its paper-like display to the notebook's LCD screen.

When they work, these gadgets are great. But as I quickly found out, they don't always work as intended. So you also need plan B alternatives, just in case. And although much of my stuff worked, I suffered some serious breakdowns—breakdowns that call for the ability to improvise. more»

Vacation Rental on the Beach (Photo: iStockPhoto/Joseph Brewster)

Whenever you plan to stay at a destination for a week or so, you need to consider a vacation rental. Whether at the seashore or at a lake near home or in central Paris or Hong Kong, a vacation rental is often a better bet than a conventional hotel.

  • You can accommodate more people at a lower per-person cost and enjoy lots more space for about what one hotel room would cost.
  • Vacation rentals usually have one or more bedrooms separate from a daytime living space, which can be a lot more comfortable than a few chairs in a regular hotel bedroom.
  • You can cut meal and snack costs by eating in—how much you save depends on how many restaurants you want to hit. more»
Photo: Barry Winiker/Index Open

Enter the MSC Cruises Diva Like No Other sweepstakes by May 19 for a chance to win one of six grand prizes: seven-night Caribbean cruises for two. (Prizes do not include airfare, so winners will be responsible for getting to and from the cruise's Miami departure port.)

To enter, "like" the sweepstakes' Facebook page, select a favorite photo, enter the requested contact information, and press "submit." Time required to enter: around 30 seconds. more»


Imagine you innocently go to reach for the <em>Sky Mall Magazine</em>, but instead are rewarded with a wad of cash or a $500 check, as one reader discovered. Finding money can be about as exciting as hitting the jackpot in Vegas, especially when it's in an unexpected place like an airplane, and many of our readers are big winners. Not to mention, you can now afford to buy something from the in-flight magazine, like that <a href="" target="_blank">Big Foot Garden Yeti Sculpture</a> you've been eyeing.

<strong>What about you?</strong>

What other weird, gross, or just plain crazy items have you found in a seatback pocket while flying? Leave a comment below, or to submit your photos, <a href=" submission for SmarterTravel">send us an email</a> with no more than three images attached. 
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While at least one airline is waiving change fees ahead of major flight delays caused by airport-worker furloughs, United has something else in mind for inconvenienced passengers. The legacy carrier has quietly increased its domestic change fees by $50—from $150 to $200 for domestic flights and from $250 to $300 for some international flights. The change went into effect on Thursday, April 18.

We contacted United to get more information about its fee hike—we couldn't find any notice of the increase on the United website—and a spokesperson from the airline confirmed the change. A United spokesperson also gave this explanation to The Wall Street Journal: "We carefully manage our seat inventory and incur costs when a traveler elects not to fly in a reserved seat. We adjusted this fee to better compensate us for those costs." more»