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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.

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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+

Domestic Fare of the Day: NYC to Burbank $250 round-trip, fall travel

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, July 31, 2014

For travel in fall, fly from New York to Burbank for $250 round-trip, including all taxes, on US Airways.

As seen below, we found seats departing JFK on Tuesday, October 28, returning from BUR on the following Tuesday, November 4.

Other dates are also available for travel from late summer through fall.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Similar fares ($250 round-trip) are available from JFK to Long Beach, Oakland, and Sacramento for travel in fall. Visit our New York JFK fare page for a complete look at current deals.

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

Int'l Fare of the Day: Boston to Paris $750 round-trip, Thanksgiving travel

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, July 31, 2014

For travel around the Thanksgiving holiday, fly from Boston to Paris for $750 round-trip, including all taxes, on Aer Lingus.

Searching AerLingus.com, we found seats departing BOS on Wednesday, November 26, returning from CDG on Thursday, December 4. Flights connect via Dublin.

Other dates are available on Mondays through Thursdays in fall/winter. 

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

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

Domestic Fare of the Day: Ft Lauderdale to Las Vegas $247 round-trip, fall travel

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fly from Ft Lauderdale to Las Vegas for $247 round-trip, including all taxes, on US Airways.

We found seats departing FLL on Tuesday, October 28, returning from LAS on the following Tuesday, November 4.

Other dates are also available for travel from August 21 through November 19.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

And visit our Las Vegas LAS fare page for a complete list of current finds.

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

Int'l Fare of the Day: Houston to Singapore $899 round-trip, fall travel

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, July 31, 2014

For travel in fall, fly from Houston to Singapore for $899 round-trip, including all taxes, on Korean Air.

Searching Orbitz, we found seats departing IAH on Monday, November 24, returning from SIN on Sunday, November 30. Flights connect via Seoul.

Other dates are also available for travel from September through November.

Visit our Houston IAH fare page for a complete list of current finds.

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

The 2014 Best of the Best Hotel Awards

"But what's your favorite hotel?" It's the question most often asked of Jetsetter's editors by friends, relatives and brand new acquaintances. It's a topic we never tire of debating over computer monitors in the editorial department. And, most important, it's what lies at the heart of our first ever Best of the Best Awards.

When a property appears on Jetsetter, it has already sailed through our vetting process, been visited by a trusted travel correspondent or in-house editor, and proved it's worthy of the Jetsetter Verified stamp through constant member feedback. So these 2014 award winners represent the knockouts among the standouts.

To define the categories, we zoned in on the classics, debated the quirky (one of our editors can indeed be swayed by the promise of top-notch people watching) and read through scores of Ask the Editor requests to find out what matters most to Jetsetter members in choosing a hotel. From there, it was over to our 200 travel correspondents for their picks in each category, and a lot of cross-referencing the long lists and tallying repeat appearances before we had our finalists.

Read on for the full list of winners and runners-up, and find out what makes them Jetsetter's very Best of the Best.

 

 

BEST DESIGN

 

THE FINALISTS

The Singular Patagonia

Tides South Beach, Miami

THE WINNER

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

The most frequently nominated property in this category, Andaz's whimsical hotel, designed by Marcel Wanders, was an instant hit with our correspondent, Mark Smith, who declared it "a canalside celebration of Amsterdam by the Lady Gaga of Dutch design." We love the relentless observation of Wanders's more-is-more philosophy, from the Mad Hatter mural and towering red tulip chairs in the lobby to the fish-theme wall art and the bold mix of graphics, colors and textiles in all 122 rooms.

 

 

BEST COMEBACK

 

THE FINALISTS

Belmond El Encanto

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort

THE WINNER

Fairmont Le Chateâu Frontenac

We've seen a lot of name changes, touchups and revamps over the last 12 months, but for sheer scale alone, this Quebec City icon lays claim to the most glittering comeback. The $75 million renovation was unveiled in May 2014 and touched every inch of the 120-year-old grande dame. All 611 guestrooms sport a fresh, contemporary look in cappuccino shades, a 15-foot chandelier now dominates the landmark lobby, and there are three exclusive restaurants and one knockout new spa.

 

 

BEST FOR COMMUNING WITH NATURE

 

THE FINALISTS

Saffire Freycinet, Australia

Dunton Hot Springs Resort, Colorado

THE WINNER

Belmond Safaris Botswana

We pored over bucket list landscapes from Panama to Patagonia to narrow down these finalists, but ultimately we agreed that for animal encounters, nothing beats Africa's savannahs. Belmond's trio of Botswana lodges occupy untouched flood plains in the Okavango Delta and a remote watering hole in the wild Chobe Desert, so game viewing isn't restricted to the 4X4 but is a central part of camp life. Exclusive animal extras include bush walks with an animal psychologist at Savute Elephant Camp and, for budding photographers, professional grade cameras on loan at Khwai River Lodge.

 

 

BEST NIGHTLIFE

 

THE FINALISTS

Sunset Tower Hotel, Los Angeles

Wynn Las Vegas

THE WINNER

The Standard, High Line

A hometown hero for our NYC team, the Standard High Line opened in 2009 but is somehow still so hot right now. The pick-your-playground vibe extends from the always mobbed biergarten and the A-list fave Standard Grill restaurant up to the gilded Top of the Standard (forever known to us as the Boom Boom Room) and the indoor/outdoor Le Bain, where there's a plunge pool on the dance floor and sundowners come with unmatched 360-degree views of the city.

 

 

BEST FOR FOODIES

 

THE FINALISTS

PUBLIC Chicago

Solage Calistoga Resort, California

THE WINNER

Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons

This 15th-century manor hotel in the Oxfordshire countryside turns 30 next year, but it's an enduring favorite among our foodie writers and friends for its two-Michelin-star restaurant, world class cooking school and indomitable chef and owner, Raymond Blanc. Throw in the beautiful orchards, a two-acre kitchen garden and a 1,000-bottle wine cellar and you have a splurge-worthy country escape just one hour from London.

 

 

BEST FOR PAMPERING

 

THE FINALISTS

Loisium Wine & Spa Langenlois, Austria

Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary, Phuket

THE WINNER

Lumeria Maui

The pick of our Hawaii writers, this upcountry Maui retreat is a favorite for yoga, meditation, gardening and wellness, and it recently unveiled the Lumeria Crystal Spa. The new 5,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor complex incorporates healing crystals and locally grown products into its treatments, which run the gamut from acupuncture and kinesiology to mystic readings and medicine songs. Non-spa lovers can find an alternative kind of bliss in a hammock on the shared lanais, over dinner at the farm-to-table restaurant or on a surf excursion to the nearby north shore breaks.

 

 

BEST ON THE BEACH

 

THE FINALISTS

Esencia Estate, Mexico

Six Senses Con Dao, Vietnam

THE WINNER

Grace Bay Club, Turks & Caicos

Fronting 1,000 feet of pristine Providenciales shoreline, the Grace Bay Club could have snagged this award for its plum position alone, but we also love the pretension-free vibe, private canopy daybeds, ocean views from every room and faultless service. There are changes afoot, too: Celeb designer Thom Filicia recently completed a top-to-toe refresh of the lobby, and the Villa Suites and adults-only hotel will be given the same treatment by 2015.

 

 

BEST REWARD FOR THE TRAVEL EFFORT

 

THE FINALISTS

Cocoa Island by Como, Maldives

Secret Bay, Dominica

Soneva Kiri, Thailand

THE WINNER

Hotel Escondido, Mexico

There are definitely farther-flung destination hotels, but Grupo Habita's Pacific Coast beach retreat won us over as both a showcase of its untouched beach/mountain/ocean setting, and a cheerleader for destination-led design. Oh, and for the beachfront barbecues, surprisingly hip scene, petite spa, rollicking pool lounge and subterranean soundproof nightclub.

 

 

BEST BIG CITY SLEEP

 

THE FINALISTS

Saint James Paris

The Surrey, NYC

THE WINNER

Dean Street Townhouse, London

Our favorite city pad has a heart-of-the-action locale in London's Soho, with a country house vibe that makes it easy to turn on or tune out the buzz of the Big Smoke. Part of the Soho House Group, Dean Street Townhouse bears all the hallmarks of this trendsetting brand, including best-of-Brit design flair, freestanding rolltop bathtubs in the bedrooms and a hot spot restaurant that attract Soho's elite media mobs.

 

 

BEST BUSINESS-MEETS-PLEASURE

 

THE FINALISTS

Trump Hotel Chicago

The Upper House Hong Kong

THE WINNER

Soho House Berlin

This Bauhaus beauty asks guests to respect the property's "noncorporate atmosphere" and refrain from wearing "corporate attire." A natural pick, then, for travelers who earn their air miles through business travel but know how to clock off at the end of the workday. A task made that much easier by Soho House Berlin's year-round rooftop pool, basement spa, late night bar and prime location at the bottom of Torstrasse, Berlin's creative hipster mile.

 

 

BEST FOR ROMANCE

 

THE FINALISTS

Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Cabo San Lucas

Andronis Boutique Hotel, Santorini

THE WINNER

Sextantio Le Grotte, Italy

There are no overwater bungalows, white sand beaches or couples spa rooms at Sextantio Le Grotte, but this 13th-century cave hotel tops our romance list for its simple charms: candlelit bedrooms, natural terraces overlooking the Sassi di Matera archaeological park, cooking lessons and a trickling stream soundtrack. It's the sort of place to hide out all day, graze on platters of homemade ricotta and focaccia, and explore Matera's ancient streets on aimless wanderings after dark.

 

 

BEST STYLE STEAL

 

THE FINALISTS

citizenM New York Times Square

New Hotel Athens

THE WINNER

Mama Shelter Istanbul

Jetsetter Style Steal hotels are big on design and easy on the wallet -- qualities on full display at this award winner near Taksim Square. Designed by the man with the hotel Midas touch, Philippe Starck, it led our reviewer to describe the interior look as "tongue-in-cheek meets urban chic." We love the Franco-Turkish restaurant helmed by two Michelin-starred chefs, plus a rooftop bar which offers highly Instagrammable views of the iconic cityscape.

 

 

BEST LOOKING GUESTS

 

THE FINALISTS

Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro

Mondrian Los Angeles

THE WINNER

Hôtel Majestic Barrière Cannes

With an A-list location opposite the red-carpeted Palais des Festivals, home to the fanciest of film fêtes, this Cannes grande dame attracts the bronzed and the beautiful year-round. Hôtel Majestic Barrière, a stately sleep right on La Croisette, picks up our award for its see-and-be-seen bars, glam spa and Parisian restaurant outposts where you can quaff champagne with the Côte d'Azur crowd or kick back on a sun lounger next to a starlet or two.

 

 

BEST ALL-INCLUSIVE

 

THE FINALISTS

Vuyani Safari Lodge, South Africa

Rosewood Jumby Bay, Antigua

THE WINNER

Blue Diamond Riviera Maya

Consistently praised by sun-seeking Jetsetter members, the Blue Diamond Riviera Maya is also a staff pick thanks to easy access via flights into Cancún (30 minutes from the resort), the gorgeous white sand beach and a true all-inclusive setup that banishes any markup stress. Meals in the three restaurants are à la carte, the minibars are stocked with premium full-size bottles, and guests have access to a treasure chest of nonmotorized water sports -- though we also recommend a splurge at the indoor/outdoor spa.

 

 

BEST POOL SCENE

 

THE FINALISTS

The Raleigh Hotel, Miami

The Standard, Downtown Los Angeles

THE WINNER

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

With appearances on all the editors' shortlists and many correspondent recommendations, this unabashed daytime party pad was an easy pick for Best Pool Scene. Guests have a choice of three scenes: the surf lodge-inspired Boulevard Pool, with its live music stage, movie screenings and cookouts; the more serene Bamboo Pool, where the tunes are kept low and spa treatments are available poolside; and the raging Marquee Pool, an alfresco extension of the Cosmopolitan's famed megaclub and the spot for all-day dancing until sundown.

 

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This article was originally published by Jetsetter.com.

Domestic Fare of the Day: Boston to Oakland $245 round-trip, incl. taxes

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fly from Boston to Oakland for $245 round-trip, including all taxes, on US Airways.

We found seats departing BOS on Friday, September 5, returning from OAK on Tuesday, September 9. Flights connect via Phoenix.

Other dates are also available for travel through mid November.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

Similar deals to Oakland are available from other departure cities. Visit our Oakland fare page for a complete list.

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

Congratulations, July Trivia Winners!

The Airfarewatchdog Team would like to give a shout-out to July's Travel Trivia winners: Wayne N. Leslie Stockdale and Adam Evans. Congratulations, winners!

Think you can win the next Travel Trivia giveaway? On any given day, Airfarewatchdog will post a Travel Trivia question on its Facebook page. Make sure that you Like the page, and then reply with your best guess. If you have the correct answer, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win some cool Airfarewatchdog gear. Travel Trivia questions are posted regularly, so be sure to keep an eye on the Facebook page so you can give the next one your best shot. For more information, please read the official rules here.

Int'l Fare of the Day: San Francisco to Istanbul $633 round-trip, spring travel

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

For travel next spring, fly from San Francisco to Istanbul for $633 round-trip, including all taxes, on Air Canada.

We found seats departing SFO on Monday, April 20, returning from IST on the following Monday, April 27.

Other dates are also available for travel throughout spring.

For booking info, see our Fare Details.

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

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