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Because shopping for the number one guy in your life is hard! ... read more»

What is it: A beach towel that transforms into a one-size-fits-all cover-up.

Price and Where to Buy: Available on Amazon and SimpleSarongs.com.

Pros:

  • Truly one-size-fits-all, with multiple buttonholes sarong for different sizes
  • Comes in fun prints
  • Thinner than normal beach towels, so that they dry quickly and are lightweight
  • Can be worn around the hips, waist, or chest
  • Easy to use
  • 100 percent cotton

Cons:

When worn around the waist, the sarong may hang too low for shorter people

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Woman: Peeking Through Blinds (Photo: Thinkstock/Wavebreak Media)

For all their surveys and focus groups, you have to wonder whether companies really understand how they're perceived by their customers. Of course, the problem with United asking people "How do you feel about United?" is that there's a natural reluctance to engage in direct or face-to-face criticism.

Our propriety overcomes our honesty, and the truth is obscured.

One way to circumvent that obstacle is by measuring opinion indirectly, by observing consumers' behavior in the wild, with no distortion from the observer effect.

That's the idea behind Diffbot, an online service that uses artificial intelligence to crawl the web and gather and analyze data. (It's used by Adobe, eBay, and Cisco, among others, so the service has proven its utility.)

For its just-released Travel Report, Diffbot "combs forums and comment sections of the most popular travel websites and tells us what people really say about their travel experiences."

What they really say? Do tell!

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If there's a season with a soundtrack, it's summer. And there's no better place for the soundtrack of summer than on a road trip. Moon Guides clearly understands this, because it has come out with four road trip playlists you can stream from its website. You can also go to its Spotify channel to find extended playlists for each. Because road trips are long, and music is essential.

The eclectic playlists have a little something for everyone, which we really like. Chuck Berry shares playlist space with Jonathan Richman on the Road Trip USA playlist; and Nirvana, Sleater-Kinny, and Death Cab for Cutie represent on the Northwest Road Trip mix. Three of the four playlists are place specific; rounding out the offerings is the recently released Pride Month Road Trip playlist, featuring Lady Gaga, Madonna, Tegan and Sarah, and more. ... read more»

Woman: Scared, Splayed Fingers on Face (Photo: Shutterstock/Ipatov)

Pssssttt... wanna know travelers' deepest, darkest secret? OK, how about their six deepest, darkest secrets!

Apparently, this was a question keeping the inquisitive folks at Travelzoo up at night, because they took a survey to settle the matter, and published a press release to announce the results.

Cue the drum roll, please... ... read more»

United New Plane (Photo: United Airlines)

United's flights to New York's JFK airport? Beginning on October 25, they will be no more. Nada. Not a one.

Of course, United has been gradually downsizing its JKF operation for years, bulking up at nearby Newark, where it is by far the most dominant airline.

So when United does pull up stakes completely, the only flights remaining to be rerouted—to Newark, naturally—will be its p.s. (for premium service) transcon flights linking New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco. ... read more»

Pack a bulky adapter for your next trip to Europe and you may, quite literally, find yourself in a round hole-square peg situation.

Some electrical outlets in Europe are set inside recessed circles. Now, I had never thought twice about these, as my go-to adapter is small and fits easily inside the circumference of the socket. But on a recent trip to Spain, I traveled with someone who had a large square adapter that didn't fit into this common socket type. And that meant she couldn't charge any of her electronics.

So I made a deal with her: I'd lend her my small, easy-to-carry and easy-to-plug-in Flight 001 4-in-1 adapter, and she'd let me take a photo of her adapter as a cautionary tale for our readers. ... read more»

Whether you're looking for information on the newest trends or the hottest deals, these accounts have it all. ... read more»

Man with bags walking down empty road (Photo: iStockphoto/Johnny Habell)

Last week, the International Air Transport Association proposed a new airline-industry standard that would reduce the maximum volume allowed for carry-on bags by around 20 percent.

The move was widely interpreted as a cynical ploy to enable the airlines, which IATA is in the business of promoting, to charge even more flyers to check bags that didn't comply with the new rule.

Not surprisingly, New York Senator Chuck Schumer was quick to pounce on the move. "Enough already. The airlines already charge more for checked baggage, pillows, peanuts and head phones. It's got to stop somewhere." ... read more»

St. Thomas -  Charlotte Amalie (Photo: iStockPhoto/Paola Fontana)

Enter the Nature's Way "Caribbean Vacation Giveaway" sweepstakes by July 31, 2015, for a chance to win the grand prize: a seven-day trip for two to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, including air, hotel, airport transfers, snorkeling package, and $1,000 spending money.

The Fine Print

  • Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States, including the District of Columbia, plus Puerto Rico, who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry.
  • ... read more»