Who We Are

IMG_5302I studied in France for a semester in college and knew from that point on that I wouldn’t be happy without traveling being a big part of my life. I’ve written about travel, worked as a travel agent, and worked for an airline for 7 years. My wife Amanda and I toyed with the idea for a website for several years, but it wasn’t until I was laid off in 2014 and lost the luxury of flying all over the world for free that The Smart Route truly started taking shape. We live in Cleveland, Ohio, with our twins Isaac and Eliana. I work for OverDrive and Amanda is a Behavior Analyst for children with Autism.

We usually look for 2 things when choosing our next destination: good hiking/outdoor adventures and good food. Some of our favorite places we’ve been are Slovenia, Norway, Tahiti, the Canadian Rockies, and Zion National Park. High on the list of places to go are Iceland, Egypt, New Zealand, and Patagonia.


Why The Smart Route?

The hardest part of planning a trip, for me, is trying to figure out how to fit everything together. I usually have an idea of a place we want to go or one or two things I want to do, so I spend minutes on the “what” and hours on the “how”.

  • What’s the best way to spend a week in Kauai and Oahu, making sure we hit the Kalalau Trail, Waimea Canyon, and Haiku Stairs?
  • We’re going to Peru for a wedding in January. We know we want to go to Machu Picchu, and we have 4 days to work with, so what else should we incorporate into the trip?
  • Is there anyone who combined Poland and Slovakia in one week, and if so, what all did they do and will we need a rental car?

These are the types of questions I always found myself asking (and if you browse our routes, you’ll see these are real examples). Sure, there are guidebooks and sites with suggested itineraries, but I usually find they’re not our style and want some comparison. I wanted easily-accessible, real information from other travelers who have been there, done that.

The Smart Route was created so you can search for wherever you’re going or whatever you want to do and put it all together. We hope you find it useful in planning your next trip, and don’t forget to submit your route when you get back!


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