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Best in Travel: The 2017 SmarterTravel Editors’ Choice and Readers’ Picks Winners

We’re proud to announce the winners of the 2017 SmarterTravel Editors’ Choice Awards. We spent six months and enlisted eight subject experts to select our Editors’ Choice winners, and then turned it over to you, our readers.

Thousands of SmarterTravel readers voted for their favorites in travel categories ranging from airlines and hotel chains to travel gadgets and up-and-coming destinations. Both the Editors’ Choice and Readers’ Picks winners are listed below.

Congratulations to the 2017 winners!

Category: Best U.S.-Based Airline

Two favorite airlines outperformed the competition in the best U.S.-based airline category.

  • Editors’ Choice: Alaska Airlines
  • Readers’ Pick: Southwest Airlines

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: The Best U.S. Airlines for 2017

Category: Best Frequent Flyer Program (U.S.-based)

As more frequent flyer programs are undermined by decreasing value, these two stood out to editors and readers as still delivering a good experience to loyalty members:

  • Editors’ Choice: Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan
  • Readers’ Pick: Southwest Rapid Rewards

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: The Best Frequent Flyer Programs for 2017

Category: Best Paid Airline Amenity (U.S.-based)

There was no denying the top choice of both editors and readers in this year’s best paid airline amenity category:

  • Editors’ Choice: JetBlue Even More Space
  • Readers’ Pick: JetBlue Even More Space

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: Best Paid Airline Amenities 2017

Category: Best Free Airline Amenity

Few airline amenities are free these days, but a these two stand out:

  • Editors’ Choice: Porter Airlines lounge access and in-flight amenities
  • Readers’ Pick: Air New Zealand’s Economy Skycouch

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: Best Free Airline Amenities 2017

Category: Best Boutique Hotel Chain

Boutique hotels offer comfort and character. And this year, editors and readers agree on the standout chain:

  • Editors’ Choice: Kimpton Hotels
  • Readers’ Pick: Kimpton Hotels

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: Best Boutique Hotel Chains 2017

Category: Best Hotel Loyalty Program

Editors and readers agree on the best hotel rewards program in 2017:

  • Editors’ Choice: Marriott Rewards
  • Readers’ Pick: Marriott Rewards

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: The Best Hotel Loyalty Programs for 2017

Category: Best Travel Rewards Credit Card

This year, editors and readers agreed on the credit card that offers travelers the most bang for every buck:

  • Editors’ Choice: Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa
  • Readers’ Pick: Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: The Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards of 2017

Category: Best Rolling Carry-On

The right carry-on makes every trip better. Here are our top picks from editors and readers for 2017:

  • Editors’ Choice: Eagle Creek Tarmac Carry-On
  • Readers’ Pick: TravelPro Crew 20″ Expandable Business Plus Rollaboard

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: Best Carry-On Bags of 2017

Category: Best Overall Travel Product

 

Travel gear has to work twice as hard as everyday gear to earn a place by your side on vacation. This year, one product stood out to editors and readers alike:

  • Editors’ Choice: Arden Cove Travel Bag
  • Readers’ Pick: Arden Cove Travel Bag

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: Best Travel Products of 2017

Category: Best Oddball Product That Actually Works

File our oddball product winners under strange-but-effective:

  • Editors’ Choice: The Allurette Washer
  • Readers’ Pick: SCOTTeVEST Debbie Dress

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: Best Oddball Products That Actually Work, 2017 Edition

Category: Best Value Destination

Editors and readers agreed that one country stood out from the rest when it comes to delivering great travel value this year:

  • Editors’ Choice: Portugal
  • Readers’ Pick: Portugal

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: Best Value Destinations 2017

Category: Best Family Travel Destination

The competition was intense for the top family destination accolade, but one easy-to-access city reigned supreme:

  • Editors’ Choice: Montreal, Quebec
  • Readers’ Pick: Montreal, Quebec

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: 10 Best Family Destinations for 2017

Category: Best LGBTQI Destination

The winning LGBTI destinations this year are welcoming, fun, and have a proud history of gay culture:

  • Editors’ Choice: Berlin
  • Readers’ Pick: San Francisco

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: Best LGBTQI Destinations 2017

Category: Best Up-and-Coming Destination

Off the radar? Not for long. Here are the editors’ choice and readers’ picks winners for the next great vacation destinations:

  • Editors’ Choice: Oman
  • Readers’ Pick: South Africa

Discover more about all the finalists and methodology: 10 Up-and-Coming Destinations You Need to Visit in 2017

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