The 14 Places in America You Have to Visit in 2016 – SmarterTravel.com

The year ahead will be one of technological innovations and historical significance in many American destinations. Here are the places across the U.S. to keep on your travel radar in 2016.

Source: The 14 Places in America You Have to Visit in 2016 – SmarterTravel.com

US National Parks Service Celebrates 100 Years

I am very well travelled across the U.S, so I was surprised when I visited the US National Parks Service’s website, “Find Your Park,” and discovered that I haven’t visited ANY of the national parks in my home state of Texas.

So, along with my New Year’s resolution to declutter and organise one room of my house every week next year until my house is perfection, I am resolving to visit all the national parks in Texas.

I plan to start with the Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park; I’ll get a history lesson as well. The park is so near to Austin that I think I’ll add on extra days and visit friends and great restaurants while I’m there. This should be great fun!

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A park can be a place, a passion or a state of mind. People all around America are finding their park every day. So get up. Get out there. Find your park. It might be closer than you think.

Source: Find Your Park

9 Rude Behaviors You Can Totally Get Away with Abroad – SmarterTravel.com

It’s all in how you look at things. We are all egocentric, the world over. What we consider rude, people from other countries wouldn’t even notice. So when traveling, especially to foreign countries, “do as the Romans do,” or at least, be considerate of the culture.

And try being considerate of visitors to our country. They won’t be totally familiar with our customs.

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Some of the behaviors we consider the height of rudeness in North America are surprisingly acceptable in other countries.

Source: 9 Rude Behaviors You Can Totally Get Away with Abroad – SmarterTravel.com

5 Ways to Get Kicked Out of a Frequent Flyer Program – SmarterTravel.com

Yip, you could actually be removed from a FF program. If you think you want to scam the system, think again. In essence, scamming the system is like stealing–using a service you didn’t pay for or earn the points for.

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It’s not unheard of, and it’s worth knowing what you should look out for.

Source: 5 Ways to Get Kicked Out of a Frequent Flyer Program – SmarterTravel.com

The Ultimate Packing List – SmarterTravel.com

Time to pack for that trip over the holiday? I found this list that is timeless and extensive. Print copies to use over and over–never again arrive at your destination without that favorite sweater or (Heaven forbid) your toothpaste and deodorant!
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Prevent packing mishaps with our handy customizable list!

Source: The Ultimate Packing List – SmarterTravel.com

Hotel Secrets To Know – Jetsetter

Marriott and Hilton properties have offered great experiences to my husband and me over the last 35 years. I’m glad there are still some brands that value their reputation and their customers’ loyalty. That’s why we keep going back to Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and others.

Unfortunately, not all hotel brands offer transparency in their pricing and practices.

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On average hotels do a much better job of satisfying customers than airlines. But beating the airlines is a pretty low bar: No modern hotel accommodations are as downright uncomfortable and unpleasant as an economy class airline seat. Even so, many hotels harbor some dirty little secrets they’d prefer to keep under wraps. Here are a few you’ll be glad to know.

Source: Hotel Secrets To Know – Jetsetter

Five Ways to Stop Bedbugs Before They Bite – SmarterTravel.com

So far, we’ve been lucky. But I have to say that the more I travel and the more I read travel information, the  ickier I feel in hotels and mass transportation vehicles.

Protect yourself from experiences with bedbugs–read on…

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Just writing this story made us itchy. Here’s how to avoid the one souvenir you definitely don’t want to bring home.

Source: Five Ways to Stop Bedbugs Before They Bite – SmarterTravel.com

There’s an App for That

I don’t know if I’ll ever get accustomed to checking for apps for everything, but I have to admit to being a bit of a collector. I have apps for car shopping, reminding me of dog vaccinations due in 2+ years, telling me when the sun will rise and set, and telling me what the weather will be in Goa, India on any given day.

So, when I found this article, I naturally saved it because it’s likely there’s at least 2-3 that I won’t be able to do without.

Let me know of any others you use, and if any on this list become your faves.

10 Best Apps for Road Trips – SmarterTravel.com.

How to Travel to Cuba Legally from the U.S. – SmarterTravel.com

My next big trip: Cuba. I’m in the process of choosing a tour company to travel with.

I believe that Cuba will change drastically in the next 3-5 years; because of renewed relations between the U.S. and Cuba, U.S. investment in Cuban hospitality, i.e., hotels, restaurants, resorts, and attractions will explode.

I’m interested in the Cuba that has been behind the veil of U.S. economic sanctions.

 

Source: How to Travel to Cuba Legally from the U.S. – SmarterTravel.com