Editors' Picks: What We Would Do With $10,000

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Best Site for Travel Packages: HolidayPirates.com
Best Site for Travel Packages: HolidayPirates.com

Best Site for Travel Packages: HolidayPirates.com

"For great package deals, check out the website HolidayPirates.com. They find incredible deals for packages, flights and more departing to and from Europe. I've found some incredible, hard-to-find offers on that website, like $500-roundtrip flights to Europe or $50 flights from Europe to Turkey." -- Matthew Kepnes, Nomadic Matt 960 1280

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Best Times for Off-Peak Travel: Jan. 15 to Feb. 28; Oct. 15 to May 15

Best Times for Off-Peak Travel: Jan. 15 to Feb. 28; Oct. 15 to May 15

"US Airways offers economy round-trip tickets to Europe from North America for just 35,000 miles from Jan. 15 to Feb. 28. If you have their co-branded credit card, that price drops to 30,000 miles roundtrip. American Airlines also offers off-peak discounted award tickets to Europe from Oct. 15 to May 15 for 40,000 miles, down from the usual 60,000. If you have their co-branded credit card, you can even get 10% of those redeemed miles back, up to an annual cap." -- Summer Hull, Mommy Points 960 1280

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Best Hotel Rewards Program: Starwood Preferred Guest

Best Hotel Rewards Program: Starwood Preferred Guest

"Starwood Preferred Guest is a great hotel program, with a vast portfolio of hotels throughout the world. Redemptions start at just 2,000 points and members have the option to transfer points to dozens of airlines at a 1-to-1 ratio, with a 5,000 point bonus on every 20,000 points transferred." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280

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Best Phone App for International Travel: Viber

Best Phone App for International Travel: Viber

"Calling, texting and emailing while abroad can rack up thousands of dollars in fees. However, there are great apps like Viber that you can use for free with an internet connection. Viber users can send free text messages, photo messages, video messages and more with other users, and it’s compatible with iPhone, Android, and other major mobile and desktop devices." -- Brian Kelly, The Points Guy 960 1280

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Best-Value Trip: Eastern Europe

Best-Value Trip: Eastern Europe

"For a great-value trip, head to Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine) for very cheap destinations, great food, friendly people and few tourists. It's the medieval Europe you want without the crowds in Prague or Tallinn." -- Matthew Kepnes, Nomadic Matt 960 1280

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Best Car Rental Option: Costco Travel

Best Car Rental Option: Costco Travel

"If you have a Costco membership, you can get good deals from Costco Travel such as no additional driver fees with certain rental companies. If booking abroad, AutoEurope.com gives good rates in Europe. I used it to book a wagon for a trip to Paris which saved me about 40% off booking directly with the rental company." -- Arthur Hsu, Mileage Runner 960 1280

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Best Frequent Flyer Program: United MileagePlus

Best Frequent Flyer Program: United MileagePlus

"United MileagePlus is a great program, as it offers access to an extensive route network and award inventory. In short, they make it easy to redeem your miles. United miles are also easy to earn, with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card offering instant 1-to-1 transfer of points to United." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280

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Best Site for Fare Alerts: Yapta

Best Site for Fare Alerts: Yapta

"If you don’t want to constantly check and recheck websites for the best fares, then sign up for Yapta’s fare alerts. They will automatically keep you updated on the fares you are interested in. All you have to do is set the date(s), city pairs and the price point, and they will alert you via email." -- John E. DiScala, Johnny Jet 960 1280

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Best Site for Blind Travel Bids: BiddingForTravel.com

Best Site for Blind Travel Bids: BiddingForTravel.com

"When I shop around for hotels and car rentals, I don't think there is any better place than Priceline. But keep in mind when you use their Name Your Own Price feature, you can't cancel. Before I make a blind bid, I always log on to BiddingForTravel.com to see what other people's luck was with their bids. It shows how much people paid for which dates and will give you a pretty good idea of which hotel you will end up with." -- John E. DiScala, Johnny Jet 960 1280

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Best Credit Card for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred

Best Credit Card for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred

"The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers generous sign-up bonuses and flexible points that can be transferred to both airline and hotel partners. The Sapphire Preferred makes it easy to amass points quickly, with 2x points on travel and dining. The original signup bonuses can be worth over $500 in travel after you meet the required minimum spend, within the first 3 months typically." -- Rick Ingersoll, Frugal Travel Guy 960 1280

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Artifact Uprising Coffee-Table Book, starting at $17.99
Artifact Uprising Coffee-Table Book, starting at $17.99

Artifact Uprising Coffee-Table Book, starting at $17.99

"The ultimate coffee-table tome, however? Showing off your own adventure,” says Senior Producer Sara Gilliam. Artifact Uprising makes it easy to turn personal photos from your latest trip, or series of trips, into a one-of-a-kind hardcover keepsake for a loved one. 960 1280

Artifact Uprising LLC  

Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, $299.95

Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, $299.95

"If you haven’t bought a pair of Bose's noise-canceling headphones because they take up too much space, look into its QuietComfort 20i (or QC20) acoustic headphones," recommends travel expert Johnny Jet. 960 1280

Bose Corporation  

Brooklyn Candle Studio Travel Tins, starting at $14

Brooklyn Candle Studio Travel Tins, starting at $14

"Brooklyn Candle Studio's stylish, brushed-gold tins instantly cozy up any old hotel room and come in a variety of fruity, floral and woodsy scents, such as green tea lemongrass and sandalwood," says Sara Gilliam. 960 1280

Brooklyn Candle Studio  

Second Edition Red Playing Cards, $15

Second Edition Red Playing Cards, $15

Fathom co-founder Jeralyn Gerba says this stylish red set of cards is a conversation starter with new friends, a diversion during travel hiccups and, mixed with the right cocktail, pretty much all you need to have a party. 960 1280

Misc. Goods Co.  

Napa Valley Wine Train, starting at $109 per person

Napa Valley Wine Train, starting at $109 per person

"The Napa Valley Wine Train is not only a practical way to see California’s beautiful wine country (no designated driver required), but it’s also an experience in itself — the ride offers fine dining and panoramic views in the 2-story 1952 Pullman domed railcar," says Sara Gilliam. 960 1280

John Elk lll/ Lonely Planet Images/ Getty Images  

The Satechi Travel Adapter, $21.99

The Satechi Travel Adapter, $21.99

"This device is the only travel converter you need to bring around the world — it juices gadgets in more than 150 countries with the 4 most common plug configurations," says Johnny Jet. 960 1280

Satechi  

Scottevest, starting at $70

Scottevest, starting at $70

“Any jacket or other article of clothing that has multiple hidden pockets and can act as a third carry-on, protect your valuables and still be stylish like Scottevest will always be on the top of my list,” says Johnny Jet. 960 1280

SCOTTeVEST, Inc.  

Selk Bag Patagon, $199

Selk Bag Patagon, $199

"I'm a big fan of comfortable and cozy, and this sleeping bag/onesie was both in spades," says Travel Channel Gear Guide host Rob Pralgo. "If I had a Selk Bag, I'd wear it 24/7." 960 1280

Selk’Bag  

Neoprene Zip Pouch, $75

Neoprene Zip Pouch, $75

"The neoprene fabric, big zipper and squishy shape mean the Summer Bummer toiletry bag is light and durable and water-resistant and can be tossed around — from boat to beach to ski slope and back into your carryall," says Jeralyn Gerba. 960 1280

Summer Bummer  

Rimowa Luggage, Starting at $525

Rimowa Luggage, Starting at $525

"Ask me for a suitcase that combines robust German engineering with space-age materials that basically rolls itself, and I will show you the best lightweight luggage money can buy," says Jeralyn Gerba of Rimowa luggage. 960 1280

Rimowa  

Instagram
Instagram

Instagram

Show everyone back home just how hip and well-traveled you are with the Instagram photo app. Load the app's new photo map and see your photos along with those of your friends arranged by location. With the filters and blur effects, you don't have to be a great photographer to capture your travel memories. Check out StickyGram.com, as well, to make your artsy photos into memorable magnets, and relive your vacation every time you get a glass of milk. 960 1280

  

Kayak

Kayak

Kayak’s motto is “search one and done,” and they mean it. The app aggregates information from hundreds of travel sites so you can rest assured that you are getting the best deals available. Compare flight info, hotels and car rentals all with the touch of a few buttons. When it’s time for your trip, use their flight tracker and even get airport info powered by our friends at GateGuru. A word of warning: it’s so easy to whip out your iPhone and book a trip that late-night “what if” conversations might turn into real-life vacations … to the detriment of your bank account. 960 1280

  

Spotify

Spotify

Kill time while at the airport without spending all your money on music downloads or using all of your iPhone's precious memory. With a monthly subscription, get access to every song you could ever want — from brand-new hit singles to those oldie-but-goodies — sans ads. But what do you do when you're up in the air without a 3G or wi-fi connection? Simply save your favorite playlists for off-line use while still on the ground and you're all set to go! 960 1280

  

Yelp

Yelp

The days of regrettable meals are over. Happen to stroll by a restaurant with a delicious-looking menu in the window? There’s no excuse not to whip out that shiny new iPhone and look it up on Yelp. Didn’t get the best reviews? Use the “nearby” feature to find a place that has a few more stars by its name. Just remember, there will always be a few haters – don’t let one bad review spoil the stellar ones. 960 1280

  

Rocket Taxi

Rocket Taxi

If you’re not close to a taxi stand, the Rocket Taxi app is very useful. It’s a location-based app that provides users with phone numbers to taxi cab companies nearby. This app is definitely helpful when you’re stranded or nowhere near public transportation. The 5-star rating system for each cab company is also helps you narrow down your choice. 960 1280

  

Pandora Radio

Pandora Radio

For a free option, nothing beats Pandora for personalized radio on the road. Download the app to your iPhone, get a sound dock, and start playing -- anything you like. Pandora has a genius for selecting popular favorites along with lesser known gems. So you feel like you’re getting what you love, along with exciting music discoveries. Take turns with your buddies indulging in various music playlists, everyone in the car will be happy with this app. 960 1280

  

Layover Guide With Anthony Bourdain

Layover Guide With Anthony Bourdain

Have a layover pending and not sure what to do with your whole 6+ hours of free time? Never fear. The Layover App has you covered in cities like Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, New York, Rome, San Francisco, Singapore, Hong Kong and more cities are on the way! Choose from restaurants, transportation and activities handpicked by Anthony Bourdain, former New York City chef, world-traveler and host of The Layover and No Reservations. Yes, we're patting ourselves on the back here. 960 1280

  

Mountain Project

Mountain Project

For the climber or adventurer in all of us, this app let's you find climbing areas near your location, other nearby POIs and details provided by locals. 960 1280

  

Food Network On the Road

Food Network On the Road

Love diners, drive-ins and dives? Download this road-trip-ready app and it will use GPS to find nearby Food Network recommendations like where Guy Fieri ate, what Bobby Flay ordered and more. Just search (by city, chef, show, cuisine), get the address (and directions), and go! 960 1280

  

UrbanDaddy

UrbanDaddy

UrbanDaddy is the perfect app if you’re indecisive planning cocktails with co-workers, finding the best places to shop or choosing where to dine on a first date. Just select the day, time, and who you’re with and the app narrows down your choices on where you should eat, shop, grab a few beers and more. It’s ideal for business travelers or people who are always on the go. 960 1280

  

Photosynth

Photosynth

Take your travel photos to the next level with this great photo app that creates interactive 3D panoramas you can share with your friends via Facebook and Twitter. 960 1280

  

GateGuru

GateGuru

Stuck on a long layover and can’t stomach another stale microwaved sandwich at the airport? Heard your flight was delayed … 5 hours? We've all been there. GateGuru helps you find the best place to grab a meal, raise your spirits (i.e. best bars) and shop for souvenirs or gifts. So suddenly that long layover becomes much more manageable and even productive. 960 1280

  

INRIX Traffic

INRIX Traffic

Stuck in traffic? No problem! The INRIX traffic app will lead you in the right direction. Whether you're trying to avoid an accident, construction work or a parade that just happens to be going by, open this up-to-the-minute app and save yourself some time and frustration. 960 1280

  

Uber

Uber

Uber can be a lifesaver when there are no taxis in sight. Billing themselves as "everyone's private driver," just type in an address and city and a shiny black car is on its way. And don't worry about stopping at an ATM, Uber automatically charges your credit card and emails you a receipt. How's that for convenient? 960 1280

  

wt360 Pro

wt360 Pro

Who says you can't see beyond the 5-day, weekend or 10-day forecasts? With the wt360 Pro app you can see day-by-day weather up to a year in advance for some reassurance when you're booking your next vacation. Going away next week? You can also see hour-by-hour forecasts for millions of locations around the world. 960 1280

  

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