Winners of the Gas Grill Giveaway

Congrats to Carol Taylor and Werner Gehler for being selected as the winners for the gas grill giveaway! 


Benefits of waiting to travel after Labor Day

As summer is coming to an end, there still might be a couple more travel destinations you can enjoy even after Labor Day.  Instead of opting for a long weekend off work during one of the busiest holiday weekends around, decide a different weekend that you can spend with the family or with friends. In return, you will save quite a bit of money, and you will be able to enjoy the rest of the great weather that September brings to many states across the US. 

Not sure what destination will give you more “bang for your buck”?  Post-Labor Day rates are 10% cheaper than they were last year in Orange County, Calif., and in the Lake Tahoe area, according to  In the same article from, Hawaii, Cape Cod, Mass., and Hilton Head are among the many they recommend to check out for post-Labor Day travel savings. With these locations, you can see a decrease in flight costs, great weather, less traffic, and more availability.  Before you plan your days at these destinations, check your “off-season hours” for the restaurants and attractions they provide.

Interested in learning more on where to stay after Labor Day?  SmarTravel provides many accommodations in these recommended areas!  Learn more on our “Featured Destinations” tab and don’t forget to follow us on our Facebook and Twitter sites!

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SmarTravel Shares Some Tips for When to Splurge while on Vacation

When planning a trip, budget is often taken into consideration. Travelers save a chunk of money booking with SmarTravel so little splurges here and there with the money saved in booking can often make the trip even more special and enjoyable. Here are five areas of indulgence that SmarTravel approves as “OK” splurges to make your trip over the top.

  1. Fine dining: Whether you’re traveling 5-star or not, making reservations or stopping by an exclusive restaurant in the city is a once in a lifetime experience that will be totally worth the extra splurge. You’ll leave feeling full and content knowing you got a taste (literally and figuratively) of the best local food scene.
  2. Spa treatments: Treating your body and mind to a massage or facial can be beneficial and melt away any stress. Booking this type of indulgence on the first or second day of arrival will help you relax even further which will help pave the wave for a smooth rest of your getaway.
  3. An out of this world excursion: Is swimming with dolphins on your bucket list? What about parasailing? These types of excursions – sometimes pricey - can turn into events that make you say, “I will never forget this moment.” It is worth it to spend the extra dollars and do something you’d never thought you’d do while on vacation.
  4. Sightseeing: Whether it’s a famous art museum, aquarium or castle, paying the extra few bucks for a ticket is worth it. You learn history about the location and see more of an “artsy” side of things that you not see otherwise. These types of activities really allow you to become immersed with the local culture, and some locations may even offer family discounts.
  5. Must-do landmarks: Does your vacation destination have the coolest amusement park in its surrounding area? Then, definitely buy a ticket and enjoy the ride. That way, you can go home and share the best advice with friends and family for their next trip, or just share your favorite photos.

A vacation is a true luxury. Whether you’re taking an expensive trip to an exotic location or traveling with your family to a lake or beach, it is possible to splurge a little on things here and there to make the most remarkable vacation memories yet. Vacation is a time to treat yourself to things you may not normally do, so sit back, indulge and enjoy. SmarTravel enjoys helping save you money from the beginning so that the extra cash can be used to indulge further.

Happy vacationing! For more information, please visit SmarTravel’s website.

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Tips from SmarTravel on How to Affectively Pack the Car for a Family Vacation

Packing the family car for an upcoming vacation can be a daunting task, but with these easy steps and tips, you’ll be sure to add a little room along with more comfort for all family members traveling. SmarTravel vacation destinations can be just a road trip away, so you can book that vacation now!

  1. Pack smart: Try to consolidate by co-packing as many items as possible. One great tip is stacking a complete outfit together – top, pants, underwear, socks – and packing into a zip-lock bag. Dirty items can go directly back into the bag. Additionally, try to pack lights clothes with one warm sweatshirt/pants set. You can always do a load of laundry and re-wear an outfit versus packing an additional that takes up more room.
  2. Pack the car efficiently: Prior to starting, clean out the interior and trunk/cargo area and get rid of everything that is not needed for this specific trip. A lot of families find it easiest to pack the car the night before you leave since it can take longer than expected. Always remember last in, first out.
  3. Have these few items within easy reach: Think a cooler with snacks and drinks that can be easily accessed. Be sure to keep a trash bag to gather the accumulated wrappers and junk. Packing supplies like paper plates or bowls, plastic utensils, napkins and more may come in handy. Also, be sure to pack any other “on the way” items so you won’t have to unload the whole trunk each time you stop en route in order to find something. Most SmarTravel accommodations feature a kitchenette, so unused snack items won’t go to waste.
  4. Plan the packing out: Packing the car can be somewhat like a logic puzzle. If you lay out the items on the lawn prior to starting, you can think it out. If something isn’t working, be willing to admit it doesn’t fit and try a new way. Husbands and wives can experience a battle of the sexes when it comes to packing a car, so choose the most organized person to lead the way.
  5. Use hidden space: Remember to utilize the space under seats, in the consoles along the sides of the car and even the middle console.
  6. Consider adding a roof rack or storage for added space: As you begin the packing process with every family member’s luggage, you will soon find the car walls caving in. Larger items like strollers, bikes or suitcases may fit best in a separate storage unit on top or back of the car to save some space.

Every family wants a great vacation filled with fun memories. It always benefits to plan ahead and research packing tips. We hope that these offer a bit of insights and help you get started.

Happy vacationing! For more information, please visit SmarTravel’s website.