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Disney World’s Deluxe Villa Resorts: 8 Things to Know

September 12, 2014 by

Disney Saratoga Springs Villa ResortDisney World hotels are designed for a variety of interests, budgets, and travel needs. The 20-some-odd hotels are divided into four resort categories: Value, Moderate, Deluxe and Deluxe Villas. The latter are ideal for those who’d like some extra space and the comforts of home while on vacation.

The Deluxe Villa resorts are made up of suites with studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units, depending on the property. Some even have two-story Grand Villas. These resorts are primarily used by members of the Disney Vacation Club, Disney’s timeshare program, but non-members can stay when inventory is available.

So what’s there to know about staying at one of these resorts? Read on to find out.

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Checking In: EK Hotel, Bogota

September 12, 2014 by

BOGEKHotel

Open since October of 2013, EK Hotel is a modern boutique hotel in one of Bogotá’s ritziest neighborhoods. Within a few minutes’ walk, you’ll find restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shopping; especially centered around Calle 85, the T-Zone neighborhood, and the tree-lined plaza called Parque 93. Even closer, there are a few restaurants that share a plaza with the hotel, such as the newly opened Black Bear, recommended for its raw bar, sharing plates, and craft cocktails. However, with the on-site Cafe Bar Lounge serving all day, you don’t need to leave the hotel for a meal or drink.

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How to: See the Thousand Islands on a Budget

September 12, 2014 by

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The Thousand Islands, located on the U.S.-Canada border, is actually a misnomer. There are, in fact, 1,864 islands floating like dots on the Saint Lawrence River. (To qualify, as an island, all must be above sea level, have a certain size, and must have at least two trees). People visit the Thousand Islands for many reasons: to see the many castles, marvel at the bird species, go boating, and to appreciate Ontario’s spectacular nature scene while swirling a glass of wine or two at sunset.

Here are some ways to visit the area on a budget:

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Why You Should Consider the Middle Seat

September 11, 2014 by

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Just how much do people hate the dreaded middle seat on airplanes? So much so that 56 percent of Americans say they’d rather brave traffic jams, according to one survey. That same percentage would prefer going on a blind date over spending a couple of hours cozying between strangers — and as much as 9 percent of Americans simply refuse to get on a flight longer than two hours if they’d be stuck in the middle.

We get it. There’s limited legroom and blocked access to the aisle without the support of the window. Still, there are a few attractive perks of the middle seat that have us reconsidering:

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Deal Alert: L.A.’s First-Ever Hotel Week

September 11, 2014 by

Avalon Hotel Beverly HillsNew York City’s annual Hotel Week started in 2011 with a simple premise: Offer great hotels for $100, $200, or $300 per night — in many cases, a substantial savings off typical rates. It’ll be happening again this year in January, but, before that, Los Angeles travelers will get their own opportunity to save on some excellent hotels.

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Quick Tips for Saving Money in Sydney – One of the World’s Spendiest Travel Cities

September 10, 2014 by

iStock/SydneyYou may have dreams of visiting Sydney, the Australian city that’s home to the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, but if you’ve done even a little bit of research, you know that this is one of the most expensive places to visit in the world for U.S. travelers. Factor in flights (think $1500-$2500) and the costs can be prohibitively high. But you can keep to a budget if you know where to go, and where to cut costs. For example, don’t be afraid to splurge on once-in-a-lifetime experiences like the Bridge Climb, but save on eating out and other activities. Here are some more suggestions…

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26 Excellent American Road Trip Destinations for Fall

September 10, 2014 by

iStock/Lake Tahoe in AutumnReady to drive? America in fall is marvel: cooler weather and colorful foliage spread across the northeast; comfortably sunny days are the norm from Vegas to Miami; and there’s perfect hiking weather in the west. Over the past few months, we’ve highlighted dozens of destinations that are perfect for a road trip, whether you’re looking to discover a new beach in Florida, visit a winery in upstate New York, sail on Lake Tahoe, or delve into an American classic — the Grand Canyon. Here are some ideas that we hope will inspire you — and persuade you to fill up the tank and go.

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Thrills at Sea: Cruise Attractions for Adrenaline Junkies

September 10, 2014 by

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Forget lounging by the pool with a sleepy novel as you drift from port to port. Cruise ships today are working hard to outdo each other when it comes to thrills. Here are the latest on-board attractions that pack a serious adrenaline rush.

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6 New iPhone & iOS Features Travelers Should Be Excited About

September 10, 2014 by

Apple_Pay

This year’s edition of Apple’s now-famous annual smartphone release introduced two exciting devices: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple made no bones about the fact that this year’s updates were the biggest improvements yet, but what’s in it for travelers? We’ve distilled the 2+ hour keynote into a few ways the new features can enhance your jetsetting lifestyle.

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The Best of Denver… for Less

September 9, 2014 by

Downtown Denver Sign

If you think of Denver as a convenient gateway to an amazing mountain or nature trip, you’re right. For skiers and hikers, it’s the closest major city to such perennial favorites as Telluride, Aspen, and Breckernridge. But with breweries galore, a charming restaurant district, affordable hotels, and a mile-wide cultural streak, the Mile-High City is developing into a travel destination unto itself. Here’s how to eat and drink your way through this affordable, good-natured city. In fact, you may never even make it to the mountains.

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Quiz: Which European Capital Are You?

September 9, 2014 by

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Romantic Paris and artsy Riga, foodie Copenhagen and adventurous Reykjavik — there’s a bit of all the great European capitals in all of us. But which city most perfectly channels your state of mind? Take our newest quiz to find out. (Note: You must like ShermansTravel on Facebook in order to see your results.)

There’s Never Been A Better Time To Fly Malaysia Airlines

September 9, 2014 by

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Coincidence can be cruel, and in the case of Malaysia Airlines, it really couldn’t get much crueler. After losing Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean earlier this year, the flag carrier of Malaysia saw another of its jets (MH17) shot down over the volatile border region between Ukraine and Russia. The second incident could have happened to any airline flying over the space at the wrong time, but the jury of public opinion has delivered a verdict: Malaysia Airlines is now on the blacklist of most travelers.

Now, the company is being forced to slash 6,000 of its 20,000 employees, having been losing around $1.6 million per day, and will also need to cut routes along the way. By all accounts, Malaysia Airlines is in crisis mode.

The silver lining to Malaysia Airline’s recent misfortunes is that it has left prices low, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. Read more

10 Hotel Fees You Shouldn’t Have to Pay

September 8, 2014 by

At hotel receptionHas this ever happened to you? You think you’re getting a great hotel deal, only later you discover that everything from a fitness center charge to a newspaper service fee has been tacked onto the bill? Hotel fees are more popular than ever these days, and all kinds of properties, from hostels to high-end resorts, are discreetly charging for amenities you didn’t even know you had access to — and may not even want. Here are 10 surprising fees and a few ways to avoid them:

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6 Kind of Wacky But Totally Luxurious Overwater Resorts

September 8, 2014 by

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Our roundup of underwater hotels from last spring was such a crowd-pleaser that we’d treat you to round two, with a twist. Here, six overwater, floating hotels for a pretty wacky but totally luxurious escape.

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9 Hidden Vacation Costs You Didn’t Factor Into Your Plans

September 8, 2014 by

ATM - Garry Knight

Saw a great airfare sale, or dug up some reasonable hotel rates? We love a cheap getaway as much as the next travel site, but before you start celebrating, we wanted to point you to the fine print — costs associated with taking a holiday are rarely as clear as they seem at first blush. Here, to combat sticker shock, we’ve compiled the most common hidden fees that many don’t often think of beforehand. Read more

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