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Domestic Fare of the Day: Seattle to Fairbanks $250 round-trip, nonstop

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, August 1, 2014

Fly nonstop from Seattle to Fairbanks for $250 round-trip, including all taxes, on Delta Air Lines.

As seen below, we were able to find seats departing SEA on Thursday, August 21, returning from FAI on the following Thursday, August 28.

Other dates are also available for travel for late summer/early fall, Wednesdays through Fridays, as well as Sundays.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

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Int'l Fare of the Day: Los Angeles to Hong Kong $723, Thanksgiving travel

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, August 1, 2014

For travel over the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, fly from Los Angeles to Hong Kong for $723 round-trip, including all taxes, on Asiana Airlines.

Searching Orbitz, we found seats departing LAX on Sunday, November 23, returning from Hong Kong on Sunday, November 30. Flights connect via Seoul ICN.

Similar fares available for travel throughout fall. For a complete look at current deals, visit our Los Angeles area fare page.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Domestic Fare of the Day: Washington DC to Charleston $97 nonstop

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, August 1, 2014

Fly nonstop from Washington DC to Charleston SC for $97 round-trip, including all taxes, on JetBlue.

Searching JetBlue.com, we found seats departing DCA on Wednesday, September 3, returning from CHS on the following Wednesday, September 10.

Other dates are also available for travel from August through April.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Turn Your Next Layover into a Mini-Vacation at the 15 Best Airport Hotels

by George Hobica of Airfarewatchdog

Gone are the days when an airport hotel was little more than a purgatory for delayed passengers. Lavish spas, gorgeous restaurants and enticing décor are making overnight layovers into big fun. Here are fifteen great hotels that'll take the sting out of any extended airport visit.



Hyatt Regency Incheon ICN

The sleek, organic design that Hyatt fell for back in the early '00's works well everywhere, but particularly at the airport, where all that simplicity becomes downright soothing. Nothing like showing up here completely out of your mind with exhaustion, then sinking into slumber in gorgeous surroundings.

Check in from $283  



Sheraton Malpensa Milan MXP

A fashionable city like Milan deserves a smart overnight option at the airport – this recent addition is connected directly to Malpensa's Terminal 1, featuring soundproof rooms, 24-hour room service and fast connections to the center of town. Like so much in Italy, this hotel is truly easy on the eyes.

Check in from $250  



Alt Hotel Toronto YYZ

A free monorail whisks you from your terminal to this affordable-chic find that's a recent and welcome addition to the previously pedestrian airport scene. If you've stayed at Canada's fashionable Le Germain hotels, you might recognize the vibe – this is the group's first trip to the airport, with pleasing results.

Check in from $119



Sofitel Heathrow LHR

An easy walk from Terminal 5 through covered walkways, you might want to stay here even if you'll be spending most of your time in the city, since it often has the best rates of any London hotel in its class (central London is just a 45-minute Tube ride away). I love the breakfast buffet, the fitness room, the free WiFi, the high-intensity bedside reading lights (a rarity these days). Definitely deserves its 4.5-star TripAdvisor rating.

Check in from $286



Crowne Plaza Changi Airport SIN

Steps from the embarrassment of riches contained in the terminals at Changi, this resort-like property boasts cutting edge design, cocoon-like rooms, a gorgeous pool area and decent dining. Good transit links to the city and a well-equipped fitness room make this a place you might just want to call home for your entire stay in Singapore. And the club room option is well worth the upgrade.

Check in from $210  



citizenM Amsterdam Airport AMS

Pod hotels have yet to appear at every airport, and likely for a reason – nothing like a night's stay in one to bring out your inner claustrophobe. Pint-sized rooms at this terminal-adjacent property have an edge, though: windows. Décor is modern, the beds are comfortable and the price is right.

Check in from $193



Fairmont Vancouver YVR

One of the best things about this Northwest city? Seemingly endless mountain and water views. One of the worst things about Vancouver? Seemingly endless traffic. At this in-terminal hotel, you get all of one and none of the other. Stressed about your extended stay? The on-site spa is excellent. (So is the pool.)  

Check in from $295



Novotel Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport BKK

The "24 Hours Flexi" policy here eliminates the "will they, won't they" anxiety on your flight about what's going to happen when you get to check-in. (Ever been there? You know what I'm talking about.) Luckily, there's more to this property, located a 5 minute walk (in air-conditioning, don't worry!) from the terminals.

Check in from $151

Hilton Frankfurt Airport FRA

Part of an architecturally fascinating addition to one of Europe's most handsome airports, this slick (but never chilly) overnight option offers some serious connectivity – guests are sleeping right on top (almost literally) of Terminal 1 and the airport rail station, which links you to, well, most of Europe.

Check in from $267



Westin Detroit Metropolitan Hotel DTW

Everything about this in-terminal hotel is designed to take the sting out of your longer-than-planned airport visit, starting with the hotel's very own security checkpoint, which delivers you directly to the concourse of one of the world's largest airline hubs (Delta).

Check in from $324



Langham Place Beijing PEK

Just a couple of minutes via free shuttle bus from your terminal, you've got one of Beijing's most plush hotels. Seriously – this is five-star material, from the on-premises fine dining to the art collection to the deep-soaking tubs in the rooms.  

Check in from $193

Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway ATL

A quick hop on the airport's free SkyTrain brings you to this expansive, modern property that more than does the job for a short stay, offering a great fitness center, pool and not-half-bad food. Tip: If prices are too high here, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott next door offers excellent value.  

Check in from $119



Grand Hyatt DFW

In a destination where airport-adjacent can be a lengthy ride away (seriously, DFW is so big!), let the booker beware when it comes to finding a convenient place to spend the night here in Dallas. This one, you're right at Terminal D – and a SkyLink ride away from the rest. Touches like a steam room and a 24-hour coffee bar make this more than just a place to flop.

Check in from $259



Marriott Hong Kong SkyCity HKG

If you don't mind the short hike, the best hotels at Hong Kong's often-transited airport aren't at the airport at all – they're at nearby Hong Kong Disneyland. They're fun, but they're also expensive, and, if you've got an early flight, you might want to stay closer. No problem. Adjacent to the new SkyPier (quick trip to Macau, anyone?) and a pretty golf course – and just a couple of minutes via shuttle from the terminals

Check in from $229

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Flight Review: JetBlue's Mint Service

To learn more about George Hobica, visit his profile on Google+

Still Available: NYC JFK to Burbank BUR $210 round-trip for late summer/fall

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, August 1, 2014

Amazingly, all those great coast to coast deals from yesterday have managed to stick around, including New York to Burbank for $210 round-trip, on US Airways.

We found seats departing JFK on Saturday, September 6, returning from BUR on Wednesday, September 10. Flights connect via Phoenix.

Other dates are available for travel through mid November. For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Similarly low fares available between New York JFK, New York LGA, Boston BOS and Oakland OAK, San Jose SJC, Long Beach LGB, Burbank BUR.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Int'l Fare of the Day: Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona $613 round-trip, Sept. travel

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, August 1, 2014

For travel in late September, fly from Ft Lauderdale to Barcelona for $613 round-trip, including all taxes, on Norwegian.

As seen below, we were able to find seats departing FLL on Sunday, September 21, returning from BCN on the following Sunday, September 28. Travel is valid only on these dates.

For a complete look at current finds, visit our fare page for Ft Lauderdale.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Domestic Fare of the Day: Minneapolis to Palm Springs $259 round-trip, nonstop

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, August 1, 2014

Fly nonstop from Minneapolis to Palm Springs for $259 round-trip, including all taxes, on Sun Country.

As seen below, we found seats departing MSP on Monday, October 20, returning from PSP the following Monday, October 27.

Other dates are also available for travel from mid September through mid December.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Int'l Fare of the Day: Los Angeles to Nassau, Bahamas $365 round-trip

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Friday, August 1, 2014

For winter travel, fly from Los Angeles to Nassau, Bahamas for $365 round-trip, including all taxes, on US Airways.

Searching Orbitz, we found seats departing LAX on Tuesday, January 20, returning from NAS on the following Tuesday, January 27.

Other dates are also available for travel in January.

Can't wait til winter? You'll find slightly higher fares ($402+) for travel from early September onward.

For a complete listing of fares from Los Angeles LAX, click here.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Why Kindle Paperwhite Is Perfect for Travelers

Posted by Josh Roberts on Friday, August 1, 2014

What Is it: Amazon's Kindle Paperwhite with 6-inch High Resolution Display, Next-Gen Built-in Light, and Wi-Fi

Price and Where to Buy: Available from Amazon.com and some brick-and-mortar retail outlets like Staples and Best Buy. It's $119 for the Kindle Paperwhite with "special offers" and $139 for the advertisement-free version. (A 3G version is available starting at $189.)

Pros:

* It reads like a real book. More than any other e-reader I've tried, and way more than any tablet, the newest version (2013 release) of the Kindle Paperwhite excels at delivering a comfortable reading experience. There's no eye strain from reading for hours at a time.
* The adjustable brightness levels allow you to read in any lighting condition, including bright sunlight or complete dark. If you read at bedtime and a traditional book light disturbs your partner's sleep, the Kindle Paperwhite's adjustable brightness control is the solution.
* The battery life is outstanding. I took my Kindle Paperwhite on lengthy trips to Asia and Europe and never had to charge it. In the three months I've owned it, I may have charged it twice, total. And I read a lot of books.
* At just 7.3 ounces, it doesn't weigh much. I can hold it for a long time in one hand without strain. It also fits comfortably in my back pocket, which makes it easy to carry through airports and train terminals and allows me to access it quickly whenever I have a minute to read.
* The Kindle Paperwhite displays a "time left in chapter" indicator based on your reading speed that lets you know how long it will take you to finish a chapter. This is great for trains and buses and airports, where you need to know if you can squeeze in a few more pages before your stop. (You can also turn off this display if you don't like it.)
* The touch-screen technology makes it easy to turn the page with a tap of the finger. It is actually easier than reading a physical book.
* You can borrow e-books from your local library and easily download them to your device. No need to transfer files from a computer. (Pro tip: Load up on library books then turn off your wi-fi—the books will stay on your device even after the loan has ended, until you turn the wi-fi back on.)
* It's easy to switch between devices (Kindle Fire, iPad, your smartphone, etc.) without ever losing your place; the Kindle Paperwhite tracks your progress and allows you to jump to wherever you left off from your last reading session.

Cons:

* I'm not a fan of the "special offers" version, which is $20 less expensive than the advertisement-free device. The offers are limited to the sleep screen and don't intrude upon the reading experience, but there's something mildly irritating to this voracious reader about having ads on my device. (Your mileage may vary.) If you decide to purchase the cheaper device with "special offers" and later discover you feel like I do about them, you can pay the $20 difference at any time and Amazon will remove them from your device forever.

How it Rates:

* Usefulness: 10/10. This is the best e-reader ever. You can read it in any lighting environment. It's easy to hold with just one hand. And you can load up on an entire library of books for any given trip. (In fact, it can hold about 1,100 books at a time.)
* Portability: 10/10. It fits in your pocket!
* Value: 8/10. At $119 or $139, this is a reasonable price for a great e-reader, but it's still not cheap. You'll save money eventually if you're a rabid reader: The cost of buying new hardcovers (which tend to be expensive) as e-books (which tend to be less expensive) will ultimately make up the difference and then some. But there's still a sizable down payment involved.
* Cool Factor: 10/10. For book purists and late e-book adopters like me, the Kindle Paperwhite is the e-reader we've been waiting for.

Final Verdict: This is the device that finally converted me to e-readers. I may never go back to physical books now. The Kindle Paperwhite is that good.

Editor's Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and "cool factor." Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews, or would like to suggest a product for review, please email editor@smartertravel.com.

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This article was originally published by SmarterTravel under the title Why the Kindle Paperwhite Is the Perfect E-Reader for Travelers.

Follow Josh Roberts on Google+ or email him at editor@smartertravel.com.

Domestic Fare of the Day: NYC to Oakland $210 round-trip, travel in fall

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, July 31, 2014

Remember all those great US Air/American fares we mentioned earlier today? Well, now they've dropped even lower! Boston to Oakland is now $210, as is New York to Sacramento, New York to Long Beach, and all the rest of 'em, including our next domestic Fare of the Day, New York JFK to Oakland.

We found seats departing JFK on Thursday, October 30, returning from OAK on Monday, November 3. Again, plenty of other dates available for travel through mid November.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

And for more of these deals, visit our fare pages for New York JFK, New York LGA, Boston BOS, Oakland OAK, San Jose SJC, Long Beach LGB, and Burbank BUR.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

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