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Chicago on the Cheap

Flickr/Matthewjs007

Despite the city’s hard-working Midwestern roots, Chi-town’s world class restaurants, museums, and theaters don’t come cheap. But native Chicagoans know where to go to snag a deal and score free stuff. Follow these insider tips on Chicago bargains, and you’ll rarely have to get spendy in the Windy City again.

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Santorini, Greece - Susan B. Barnes

Susan B. Barnes

Just when we thought we couldn’t love Eurail any more, it decided to add a new ferry program to its roster. Travelers who land in Greece (perhaps by way of Italy) will now have a much easier time getting off the coast to the surrounding islands, thanks to the new Attica Pass.

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Le Petitbonum, Martinique

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates/Le Petitbonum

As the “Isle of Flowers,” Martinique’s natural charms are front and center. With a landscape blanketed with wild orchids and a sweeping terrain of mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, and beaches, the Caribbean island is truly an embodiment of natural paradise. But, essentially an overseas department of France, sophisticated Martinique boasts enough culinary flair to qualify as a food lover’s heaven, too. Here, fresh local ingredients combine with French influences for a distinctive flavor that’s worth traveling for. These are the local spots to get a taste:

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620_airport post-security - Flickr_Christian Newton

Flickr/Christian Newton

Running it late for your flight and cutting it close? Chances are, we’ve all been there. Here’s what to do and how to get through security more quickly.

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luxury suite at the venetian, las vegas

The Venetian/King bed luxury suite

Sin City’s heat factor amps up over the summer — as do its hotel deals. If you can manage a trip to Las Vegas during the warmest months of the year, expect to save, including at a brand-new property.

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Preservation Hall

Jeff Anding/Preservation Hall

When it comes to music, you could argue there’s nowhere else in the world like New Orleans. The city offers up a jambalaya of Cajun, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, blues, R&B, gospel, country, bluegrass, jazz, brass bands — and so much more. One of the best ways to taste all of that in one trip is during the annual 10-day Jazz Fest, full of performances and parades, kicking off in late-April. Of course, you can find live tunes all over the city any other time, too. While plenty of them do call the famed French Quarter home, most locals head to Frenchmen Street or the Bywater to hear their favorite performers. Here are six venues where the local bands laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll) year-round.

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game drive in Pilanesberg National Park, South Africa, near Johannesburg

Lane Nieset/Pilanesberg game drive

Tented safari lodges sure are a sight to see, but not everyone is ready to cut 100 percent loose from civilization and roam free with the African wildlife. Still, anyone can explore Africa’s safari scene — and return to their hotel room come nightfall for a night of R&R before the next day’s adventures set in. Here are three ways to ease into the safari scene, before you consider a deeper dive on round two.

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Edgewater Bure at the Koro Sun Resort Fiji

Koro Sun Resort

Romantic, over-water villas in the Maldives or Tahiti are the stuff of travel bucket list dreams. In fact, Disney’s Polynesian resort at Walt Disney World has even refashioned some of its rooms as over-water bungalows. Of course, you may not be dreaming of the hefty price tag that’s attached; most bungalow rooms in the Maldives easily cost more than $1,000 per night, and the Disney version starts at nearly $3,000. We found one, though, that’s a great deal — and it’s brand new.

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Torre Prendiparte medieval tower - Bologna, Italy - staying at the top of the world

Now you can find out how it feels to stay on top of the world. (Photo: Ken Welsh / Alamy)

If you’ve ever wanted to feel like Rapunzel on your vacation, now may be your chance. A medieval tower in Bologna, Italy, the Torre Prendiparte, which currently functions as a museum, allows guests to stay in a luxury suite on the top floor, 200 feet above Bologna.

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Crane Beach, Barbados

Barbados Tourism Marketing

As the temperatures rise come summer, tropical destinations typically fall off the radar for many travelers. But that’s the thing: these slower months are a great time to experience the best the tropics have to offer — including a little luxury — for a whole lot less.

Case in point: Barbados. This Caribbean gem — a favorite among celebrities, romantics, and thrill seekers alike — offers perfect temperatures year-round and some of the world’s best beaches. Luxury abounds in Barbados, but if you head there this season, you’ll find some great deals. As an added bonus, you’ll enjoy its attractions minus the crowds, having more of the island to explore for yourself. Here’s how to fill a getaway here with bang-for-your-buck activities and create priceless memories that won’t break the bank.

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Disney Magic - Flickr_Bob Owen

Flickr/Bob Owen

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Disney Cruise Line is taking its magic back to the Big Apple in the fall of 2016, after homeporting elsewhere since 2012. The 950-guest Disney Magic will sail a series of five- to eight-night voyages from New York to Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean, and Canada. On three of these sailings, guests can visit Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay — and, in Florida, enjoy a one-day Walt Disney World Park Hopper ticket with roundtrip transportation between the ship and the resort.
Rates not yet released.

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hotel monaco chicago - mediterranean suite

Christine Wei

Jet lag can put a serious crimp in your longhaul travels, making you feel exhausted, scatter-brained, or even physically ill. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and in some cases avoid jet lag altogether. Here are a few classic strategies — and a few alternative methods, just to be safe.

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the ludlow new york city summer hotel deal

The Ludlow

It’s not every day that you find a hotel discount in New York City during the summer. Though Big Apple residents are on vacation, it’s peak tourist season. That’s why we’re so thrilled to see prices drop by nearly 55 percent this July and August at one chic hotel in the city.

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Oceanographic Museum, Monte Carlo, Monaco

Monaco Press Centre Photos/Oceanographic Museum

The principality of Monaco gets quite a rep for flashy cars and luxe landmarks like the Casino de Monte-Carlo, the backdrop for many Bond films. But the three-mile-long country (which ranks second-smallest in the world after Vatican City) is more affordable than events like the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix make it out to be. In less than an hour, you can walk from one side to the next discovering some of the more tucked-away treasures the country has to offer — and spend no more than you would on a trip to the Caribbean. Here’s how to make your dollar go the extra mile in Monaco, with or without the American dollar’s current strength against the Euro.

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By Leah Ginsberg for Yahoo! Travel

ramen noodle bath at japanese spa

Visitors enjoy the ‘soup noodle spa’ at the Hakone Yunessun Spa in Hakone, Japan. (Photo: Junko Kimura/Getty Images)

Picture this: Dozens of unsuspecting Japanese bathing in a vat of pork soup and ramen noodles. No, it’s not the start to a bad fairytale where the unsuspecting people of Hakone, Japan, become dinner — it’s a popular experience at the town’s famous Yunessun Spa Resort.

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