SmarterTravel https://www.smartertravel.com The Best Trips Start Here Tue, 23 May 2017 19:51:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 The Carry-On Luggage Checklist https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/the-carry-on-luggage-checklist/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/the-carry-on-luggage-checklist/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 17:28:06 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/the-carry-on-luggage-checklist/ Pack these things in your carry-on to make the hours fly by—no matter where you're sitting!

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Pack these things in your carry-on to make the hours fly by—no matter where you're sitting!

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The Rich and Famous Get Their Own Terminal at LAX https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/rich-famous-get-terminal-lax/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/rich-famous-get-terminal-lax/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 16:43:56 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/?p=175590 How much would you pay to avoid the traffic and the lines and the throngs of adoring fans (you do have adoring fans, don’t you?) that make flying into and out of Los Angeles International Airport such a stressful experience? Until recently, that would have been a rhetorical question. And the eye-rolling response would have […]

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How much would you pay to avoid the traffic and the lines and the throngs of adoring fans (you do have adoring fans, don’t you?) that make flying into and out of Los Angeles International Airport such a stressful experience?

Until recently, that would have been a rhetorical question. And the eye-rolling response would have been some variation of “Plenty!” But with the opening of The Private Suite last week, such an option actually exists, in the form of a newly built private terminal along the airport’s south edge, far from the congested terminal areas.

As its name would suggest, The Private Suite isn’t for everyone. Or rather, it’s only for those willing and able to pony up the hefty fees to avail themselves of the terminal’s services. Departing passengers are escorted to their private suites, fitted with daybeds and private bathrooms, where they will be checked in for their flights. When it’s flight time, they’re eased  through the terminal’s private security checkpoint, and then chauffeured across the tarmac in BMW 7-series sedans to their departure gates. According to the company’s website, the distance between car seat to plane seat for The Private Suite customers is 70 footsteps, versus 2,200 steps for the average LAX traveler. And no paparazzi.

Which brings us back to the “How much?” question. Prices start at $2,000 for a one-way domestic flight, using the shared lounge, to $4,000 for an international flight, using a private suite. Annual memberships are $7,500, and come bundled with free massage and manicures, parking, and other perks.

At those prices, The Private Suite is obviously only affordable for travel’s One Percenters. And so far, they’ve responded with enthusiasm. According to Fortune, more than 1,200 memberships had been sold by May 15, when the terminal officially opened its doors.

The rest of us will just have to resign ourselves to that 2,200-step march to the gate. And the congestion. And long lines. And adoring fans.

Reader Reality Check

What’s your take on this: the free market in action, or another sign of the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots?

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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$49+ O/W Airfare Sale from United https://www.smartertravel.com/deals/49-ow-airfare-sale-from-united-3/ Tue, 23 May 2017 13:24:57 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/?post_type=st_deals&p=175497 United’s newest sale discounts travel to domestic destinations this late summer and fall. Flights start as low as $49 each way (based on round-trip travel). On most routes, travel at the lowest prices is valid on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays between August 22 and November 1. A Saturday-night stay may be required. Book at least […]

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United’s newest sale discounts travel to domestic destinations this late summer and fall. Flights start as low as $49 each way (based on round-trip travel).

On most routes, travel at the lowest prices is valid on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays between August 22 and November 1. A Saturday-night stay may be required. Book at least 21 days before departure and by May 25 for the best prices and availability. Additional rules and restrictions may apply.

United’s advertised one-way fares include:

  • $49 — San Francisco to/from Santa Ana, CA
  • $69 — Chicago to/from Detroit
  • $101 — Denver to/from Los Angeles
  • $109 — Houston to/from Tulsa
  • $112 — Atlanta to/from Chicago
  • $160 — Washington, D.C., to/from Denver

Don’t see a fare you like? View all flights to/from your city.

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10 Best Summer Hotel Deals in Myrtle Beach https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/best-summer-hotel-deals-myrtle-beach/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/best-summer-hotel-deals-myrtle-beach/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 03:40:51 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/?p=175488 Planning (and affording) a summer vacation should be fun—not stressful. That’s why hotels across the greater Myrtle Beach area are making it super easy to plan a trip, no matter if you’re traveling with the whole family, a few friends, or by yourself. Whether you’re looking for resort-style lodging with all the amenities (hello, lazy […]

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Planning (and affording) a summer vacation should be fun—not stressful. That’s why hotels across the greater Myrtle Beach area are making it super easy to plan a trip, no matter if you’re traveling with the whole family, a few friends, or by yourself.

Whether you’re looking for resort-style lodging with all the amenities (hello, lazy river!), a more intimate property, or a condo-style rental to fit the entire gang, these properties have you covered with everything from free nights to dining credit. The only decision you need to make is which deal offers the best value for your travel style.

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10 Best Girlfriend Getaway Deals in Myrtle Beach https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/girlfriend-getaway-deals-in-myrtle-beach/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/girlfriend-getaway-deals-in-myrtle-beach/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 03:04:28 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/?p=175485 Myrtle Beach is the ultimate destination for girlfriend getaways. That’s because you can strike the perfect vacation balance between maximum relaxation (spas, 60 miles of sun-soaked coastline) and new adventures (standup paddle boarding, kayaking the Intracoastal Waterway). Area hotels are making Myrtle Beach even more attractive with packages and huge savings specifically for girls’ getaways. […]

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Myrtle Beach is the ultimate destination for girlfriend getaways. That’s because you can strike the perfect vacation balance between maximum relaxation (spas, 60 miles of sun-soaked coastline) and new adventures (standup paddle boarding, kayaking the Intracoastal Waterway).

Area hotels are making Myrtle Beach even more attractive with packages and huge savings specifically for girls’ getaways. Spa, food, shopping: Where will you apply your savings?

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10 Best Things to Do in Myrtle Beach https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/best-things-to-do-in-myrtle-beach/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/best-things-to-do-in-myrtle-beach/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 01:20:06 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/?p=175389 Myrtle Beach has all the ingredients for a classic American vacation. Its vibe is a combination of youthful fun mixed with nostalgia. What does that mean? It means everyone can feel like a kid at Myrtle Beach, and you’re sure to return home with fond memories that will help you maintain your vacation glow long […]

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Myrtle Beach has all the ingredients for a classic American vacation. Its vibe is a combination of youthful fun mixed with nostalgia. What does that mean? It means everyone can feel like a kid at Myrtle Beach, and you’re sure to return home with fond memories that will help you maintain your vacation glow long after you’ve returned to work. Here are the 10 best things to do in Myrtle Beach.

Find a Secluded Stretch of Sand

Okay, the beach is obvious. But, the question is where on the 60 miles of coastline are you going to plunk down your blanket and sandcastle bucket? Make sure you find the stretch of sand with the atmosphere that matches your beach style. Huntington Beach State Park has more than three miles of secluded sands flanked by dunes.

South of town, Surfside Beach and Garden Beach are even quieter options for families who want a place to sun and swim.

Insider Tip: Lack’s Beach Service lifeguard locations dot the coast to keep swimmers safe. But simply renting your beach chairs and umbrellas from them is one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach, too.

Eat Seafood

While you can’t go wrong with just about any seafood joint in the area, Murrells Inlet is the place to go for local catch. The fishing village, located south of downtown Myrtle Beach, has a MarshWalk lined with waterfront eateries. For you-know-its-local fare, head to Wicked Tuna. The eatery only serves fish caught locally by its own boats, and you’ll also find tons of fare for the turf lovers.

Downtown, family-run Mrs. Fish is another local favorite due to its down-to-earth vibe (food comes on paper plates) and super low prices (at lunch you can get a fried seafood platter with flounder, shrimp, bay scallops, and oysters for $13.99). Placing a takeout order for an instant picnic at the beach is one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach.

Insider Tip: Even if you’re not hungry, hit the MarshWalk on a summer night and you’ll more than likely hear several live bands—no cover charge.

Catch Your Dinner

Myrtle Beach State Park is known for its surf fishing for flounder, trout, king mackeral, and more. You’ll need a saltwater fishing license, available at bait shops or online. Nonresidents can expect to pay $11 for a 14-day license. You can also opt to hire a fishing charter. Some for-hire services will even clean your fish for you.

Insider Tip: For fishing without a license, several public piers sell daily fishing passes, including Myrtle Beach Pier. For $5 you can fish all day.

Walk the Boardwalk

The Myrtle Beach Boardwalk & Promenade is home to it all: rides, restaurants, and hotel rooms. You’ll often stumble on live music in the summer in addition to fireworks displays. But no trip to the 1.2-mile boardwalk is complete without a Ferris Wheel ride. The Myrtle Beach SkyWheel takes you high above the coastline—more than 180 feet high—for arguably the area’s best view of the Atlantic. Tickets are $9 for kids three to 11 and $14 for adults.

Insider Tip: Head south to Garden City Pier for similar fun on a smaller scale. The pier has an arcade, a bar with live music and karaoke, and plenty of fishermen reeling in their catch. It’s one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach one a smaller, less-crowded scale.

Get a History Lesson

Hopsewee Plantation, former home of one of the signer’s of the Declaration of Independence, sits along North Santee River and takes you back to life on an 18th-cenutry rice plantation. For $20 (discounts for children under 17), the one-hour tour covers every room in the National Historical Landmark, while also tackling the area’s more difficult history when visiting slave cabins on the grounds.

Insider Tip: Reserve seats for tea at Hopsewee Plantation in advance. There’s a small fee to reserve in advance, but the entire cost gets applied to your meal.

Drive Fast … Really Fast

Myrtle Beach Speedway lets you get behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car. After training and instruction, you get behind the wheel for a five-minute timed racing session that’s easily one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach. You’ve got the track all to yourself. No instructor riding with you, just in-car communications making sure you stay on track. When it’s over, you’ll find out your top speed.

Insider Tip: For a more affordable experience, you can go for a ride with a professional racing instructor behind the wheel of a NASCAR.

Fly Through the Sky

While you can literally fly through the sky on a helicopter ride, you can get a little more wind in your face with Soar + Explore. Located at WonderWorks, which also hosts science exhibits and laser tag, this rope course lets you navigate 33 different elements by climbing and balancing your way across ropes and cables for $11.99. You can add on trip across the 50-foot-high zipline. Radical Ropes has a ropes course and ziplines, but also lets you free fall from 70 feet.

Insider Tip: Ditch the swim attire if you plan to tackle one of these courses. Swap flip-flops for closed-toe shoes and wear pants or shorts to comfortably navigate the ropes.

Get Outdoors

A city on the water inevitably has a bunch of water-based activities, and there’s no better time to try something new than when you’re on vacation. Coastal Scuba has classes and dive charters for SCUBA, while Kokopelli Surf Camp offers not only surf lessons, but also kayak and paddleboard tours and rentals. For something more laidback, Waccamaw River Tours take you down the creeks that line the area’s National Wildlife Refuge.

Insider Tip: When you need a break from the sea, strike it out on land on the Waccamaw Neck Bikeway. Eventually the path will stretch more than 25 miles from Murrells Inlet to Georgetown as part of the East Coast Greenway.

Take a Day Trip

If you’re the type of traveler that gets fidgety after a couple of days, then you’re in luck. Myrtle Beach is perfectly positioned not just for access to the Atlantic, but also to several of South Carolina’s best small towns. Pawleys Island, a barrier island south of downtown, is a quiet, historic resort town with untouched dune-backed beaches.

Away from the coast, Conway is worth a visit, too. The town’s Riverwalk is lined with shops and restaurants, and on Saturdays the Farmers Market is the place to go for food-based souvenirs like jams and jellies.

Insider Tip: Look for cooking classes at Horry Georgetown Technical College, so when you head home you can prepare your own fish, shellfish, or barbeque to perfection. Classes are also available for kids ages nine to 13.

Golf

It’s no secret that golfing is one of the best things to do in Myrtle Beach. Many legends of the golf game have designed some of the more than 100 golf courses in the Myrtle Beach area, but the best part is that the area’s public golf courses are just as beautiful. River Oaks Golf Plantation lets you get your golf game on among its three, nine-hole courses.

Insider Tip: If you’re not into formal golf, there’s a themed mini golf course to fit your style: Hawaiian, Jurassic, pirates, and even a course that requires a ride in a mining car.

The Best Summer Hotel Deals in Myrtle Beach (Sponsored)

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Why Myrtle Beach Is the Best Summer Vacation Destination You Haven’t Thought of Yet https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/myrtle-beach-summer-vacation-destination/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/myrtle-beach-summer-vacation-destination/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 01:03:38 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/?p=175234 Let’s get the surprise over with: The summer’s “it” destination is Myrtle Beach. Why? First, the value-to-fun quotient is off the charts, whether you’re traveling with the family, taking a girls’ trip, or getting away with your significant other. Second, it caters to every travel style. For those thinking, “I’m not a golf person” or, […]

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Let’s get the surprise over with: The summer’s “it” destination is Myrtle Beach.

Why? First, the value-to-fun quotient is off the charts, whether you’re traveling with the family, taking a girls’ trip, or getting away with your significant other. Second, it caters to every travel style. For those thinking, “I’m not a golf person” or, “I’m not a beach person,” you’ve got a completely outdated idea of this place. Let’s get you up to date.

The Strand Can Still Surprise You

Whether you’ve visited Myrtle Beach a hundred times or have never been, it’s hard not to stumble on something new. The area’s 60 miles of coastline make it possible to find a stretch of sand that’s yours and only yours—even in the peak summer months.

They key is getting off the beaten path. Huntington Beach State Park has more than three miles of secluded sands flanked by dunes, plus trails around salt marshes ideal for wildlife viewing.

Carve out time to stop by Atalaya Castle. Known for its Spanish-style architecture, this mid-20th century home is on the National Register of Historic Places and has one-hour tours for $2 (kids under six are free) during the summer months.

Closer to all the action, you can take a chance at spotting sea turtles off the undeveloped beach at Myrtle Beach State Park. Its iconic pier is a favorite for fishing.

There’s More Than the Beach at Myrtle Beach

Sure, there’s a lot of beach. But the communities that make up the greater Myrtle Beach area make this more than a beach town. Nearby Georgetown, called “Little Charleston,” is a colonial-era seaport chock-a-block full of history. Antebellum mansions along oak-lined avenues and a shop- and restaurant-lined Harborwalk make it an ideal daytrip.

Sandy Island, spanning 9,000 acres, is only accessible via boat, making it largely undiscovered by tourists. The mostly undeveloped island is preserved by the Nature Conservancy and includes a two-mile hiking trail.

Entertainment Comes in All Forms

For good old-fashioned amusement rides, Family Kingdom Amusement Park will bring you back to your childhood vacations. The 13-acre seaside park with more than 30 rides is free to enter. You can purchase tickets for each individual ride, so there’s no need to ride every single thing to feel like you got your money’s worth.

If you’re not into rides, Myrtle Beach’s minor league team the Pelicans gives you the chance to watch America’s favorite pastime at an affordable price (tickets are around $10 per person, depending on seats). The Chicago Cubs’ Single-A affiliate plays in a stadium that has seats into the sand along the left-field line. It’s like you never have to leave the beach.

And if you prefer to get a little bit more active, the beach in Myrtle Beach is good for more than just swimming and sunning on the sand. Downwind Surf and Paddleboard Company offers two-hour surf lessons that get you out on the water and understanding the basics of surf safety and etiquette.

Wine and Moonshine

The Muscadine grape thrives in the Myrtle Beach area, and word of the local vineyards and wineries is starting to get out. La Belle Aimee Vineyard, just outside North Myrtle Beach, lets visitors taste six of their wines for $3. Depending when you go, you may find live music and food.

If wine isn’t your beverage of choice, pay a visit to the Palmetto Moonshine. The free tour—and tasting—shows you how moonshine is made and allows you to find your favorite flavor. The distillery also produces a rye whiskey.

The Best Summer Hotel Deals in Myrtle Beach (Sponsored)

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A Guide to Your Girls’ Getaway Weekend in Myrtle Beach https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/girls-getaway-weekend-in-myrtle-beach/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/23/girls-getaway-weekend-in-myrtle-beach/#respond Tue, 23 May 2017 00:43:26 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/?p=175423 For the ultimate girls’ getaway destination, you need a little bit of everything: some nightlife in case you want to go out on the town, but also some peace and quiet for real relaxation. This is a vacation, after all. That’s why Myrtle Beach is the go-to location for girls’ weekends. It’s got live music, […]

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For the ultimate girls’ getaway destination, you need a little bit of everything: some nightlife in case you want to go out on the town, but also some peace and quiet for real relaxation. This is a vacation, after all.

That’s why Myrtle Beach is the go-to location for girls’ weekends. It’s got live music, wineries, spas, and, of course, miles of sand. Here’s how to have the ultimate girls’ getaway weekend in Myrtle Beach.

Day 1, Evening/Night

Arrive to Myrtle Beach hungry—you’re going to want room for fresh-from-the-boat seafood. Start off south of town at Drunken Jack’s, where waterfront dining means the views are just as good as the food cooked up by the 2015 South Carolina Chef of the Year. Another option, north of the city, is The Brentwood. Here, French and low-country fusion food is served in a Victorian home.

Once you’ve stuffed yourself silly, head to The Chemist for the area’s best cocktails before moseying over to Fat Harolds Beach Club. Instead of sand, you’ll find the state’s official dance: the shag. DJs start playing at 7:00 p.m. nightly. Go on a Tuesday for free lessons.

Day 2, Morning

Get a leisurely start to the second day of your girls’ getaway weekend in Myrtle Beach at the open-air Hudson’s Surfside Flea Market. A mix of useful and quirky objects from hundreds of vendors vie for your attention, but it’s fun too just look, too. For more traditional shopping, there are many retail areas in greater Myrtle Beach, including The Market Commons and outlet stores. Don’t forget to score free coupons before pounding pavement.

Shopping complete, head to the beach to relax. Surfside Beach is a good option after visiting Hudson’s, or find a stretch of undeveloped sand at Myrtle Beach State Park after your visit to The Market Common.

Day 2, Afternoon

When you’ve had your fill of Vitamin D, get out of the sun and head to Conway Glass to get your craft on. Browse the shop’s hand-blown wares or take a class of your own. Create utilitarian objects like bowls or paperweights, or more decorative pieces like ornaments or flowers. During the summer, opt for a less-warm sweet grass basket weaving workshop at Hopsewee Plantation. You’ll learn from Vera Manigault, an eighth-generation weaver renowned for her art.

If crafts aren’t your thing, Duplin Winery, the oldest and largest winery and vineyard in North Carolina, has a location in North Myrtle Beach that lets you watch the bottling process and, of course, try some wine. For $10, you can sample up to 10 wines (with crackers and dip to keep your stomach happy). You get to keep your glass and have a full serving of your favorite wine.  The winery specializes in wines made from Muscadine grapes that thrive in the area.

For beer lovers, New South Brewing microbrewery offers tours in the off season (non-summer months) and pours drafts year round, like its White Ale and IPA. Seasonal specials rotate, but include its Dark Star Porter.

Day 2, Night

Kick off the evening with happy hour at Rockefellers, where raw or steamed oysters are $0.55, house liquor is $3, and wine is $3.50. Shellfish season is May to October in Myrtle Beach, and Rockefellers raw bar delivers. For surf and turf action, head to Thoroughbreds Chophouse and Seafood Grille for the best of land and sea, or pay a visit to Big Mike’s Soul Food for downhome cooking.

Stomach full, make your way to The Bowery for live music. Prefer your music more classical? Check the Long Bay Symphony schedule for tickets to the area’s professional orchestra.

Day 3, Morning

Start your morning at Shanti Yoga ($15 for a walk-in class) or at one of the area’s spas for a manicure, pedicure, or massage—with a glass of Champagne, naturally. The Awakening Spa offers mineral baths, while the Cinzia Spa gives you access to spa amenities like a saltwater whirlpool and Turkish hammam. Feeling ultra-zen, you’re ready to tackle the rest of your girls’ getaway weekend in Myrtle Beach.

Day 3, Afternoon

Head to the 9,100-acre Brookgreen Gardens. A National Historic Landmark that was once four separate rice plantations, the gardens are now filled with the plants and animals that call South Carolina Low-country their home. It’s also home to the country’s first public sculpture garden. A number of tours are available daily, though you can explore the gardens, zoo, and trails on your own, too. The $16 ticket covers everything, but you can pay extra for things like a boat ride and a visit to the butterfly house.

If you’ve tired flora and fauna, the gardens abut Huntington Beach State Park and Atalaya Castle, located across Route 17.

Day 3, Evening

End your girls’ getaway weekend in Myrtle Beach with cherry on top of the ice cream sundae. Painter’s Homemade Ice Cream has a sundae named after famed Myrtle Beach native Vanna White. But the institution that’s been around since the 1950s is also is known to serve up its creations to other celebrities, including Eric Clapton. Two locations—one in North Myrtle Beach and one in Murrells Inlet—make it easy to indulge anywhere you go.

Extra Time

If you’ve planned an extra-long girls’ getaway weekend in Myrtle Beach, consider a riverboat cruise. Barefoot Princess Riverboat offers sightseeing as well as sunset cruises with dinner down the Intracoastal Waterway.

Of course, there’s always more shopping. Pawleys Island’s Hammock Shops Village is home to more than 20 stores housed in cottages, including the famous hammock shop. Another visitor favorite is Barefoot Landing, located along the Intracoastal Waterway and a 27-acre lake.

The Best Myrtle Beach Girlfriend Getaways Deals and Packages (Sponsored)

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9 Places That Aren’t on Your Bucket List (But Should Be) https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/22/9-places-that-arent-on-your-bucket-list-but-should-be/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/22/9-places-that-arent-on-your-bucket-list-but-should-be/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 20:25:07 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/22/9-places-that-arent-on-your-bucket-list-but-should-be/ Spice up your bucket list with these underrated cities, islands, and countries that deliver a whole new world of bucket list travel.

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Spice up your bucket list with these underrated cities, islands, and countries that deliver a whole new world of bucket list travel.

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Best Western’s Summer Promotion: a $10 Gift Card After Every Night https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/22/best-westerns-summer-promotion-10-gift-card-every-night/ https://www.smartertravel.com/2017/05/22/best-westerns-summer-promotion-10-gift-card-every-night/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 18:07:49 +0000 https://www.smartertravel.com/?p=175261 After a string of uninspired and uninspiring double-points offers earlier this year, some of the major hotel chains have amped up their promotions for summer stays a bit. Marriott, for example, is offering up to 4,000 bonus points per stay. InterContinental’s new Accelerate promotion features “at least 30,000 bonus points” for completing a series of […]

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After a string of uninspired and uninspiring double-points offers earlier this year, some of the major hotel chains have amped up their promotions for summer stays a bit. Marriott, for example, is offering up to 4,000 bonus points per stay. InterContinental’s new Accelerate promotion features “at least 30,000 bonus points” for completing a series of tasks targeted to each member’s individual stay and earning history. Choice is reprising its popular free-night-after-two-stays offer.

The news isn’t all good, however. Hilton (double points for non-Diamond members) and Wyndham (1,000 bonus points on stays of two or more nights) won’t be winning any points for generosity or creativity with their summer promotions.

Best Western has weighed in with its summer bonus offer, which is decidedly at the lackluster end of the value spectrum.

Offer Details

Between May 22 and September 4, Best Western Rewards members can earn a $10 Best Western Gift Card for every eligible night.

Registration is required.

Deal or No Deal

For a hypothetical $100 one-night stay, the $10 gift card represents a 10 percent discount on a future stay at the same rate. That’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick; but it’s not to be confused with a cash rebate.

Gift cards in general are less valuable than cash, because they’re less convenient to use. And a gift card that can only be used for a future Best Western stay, and must be redeemed within 120 days of issue, is even less likely to be utilized than a generic gift card.

By all means, register for this promotion if you already have, or might have, an upcoming Best Western stay. There’s no reason not to. But if you haven’t already committed to Best Western, a $10 gift card is too paltry an incentive to be a difference-maker. There are better bonuses for summer hotel stays.

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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The post Best Western’s Summer Promotion: a $10 Gift Card After Every Night appeared first on SmarterTravel.

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