Shermanstravel Blog

Bahamas

CaribbeanGetting to the major Caribbean islands is pretty easy these days, with the major airlines providing direct service from many U.S. cities, Canada, and even Europe. But what if you’ve set your sights on a smaller island? Or if you plan to island-hop between destinations in paradise? Inter-island ferry service is possible, but the logistics of arranging it can be tricky. Flying is often a better choice, especially when time is a factor. Luckily, there are at least a dozen regional Caribbean airlines servicing the most remote islands. Some even have flights departing from the U.S. and Canada, sometimes at a cheaper price and with fewer connections than on the big commercial carriers. Use our mini guide to make navigating the islands fun, cheap, and, best of all, easy.

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With freezing temperatures across the country and what seems like an endless amount of snow this winter, it’s high time you treated yourself to a warm-weather escape at a reasonable price.  Swap the white snow for the white-sand beaches of the Bahamas, unwind under palm trees on a week-long sail to the Caribbean or Mexico, traverse the famous Panama Canal while visiting tropical Aruba and Curacao, or island hop through Hawaii, all for under $1000. If slow cruising in luxury is more your speed, travel through the translucent waters surrounding the Seychelles on a yacht, visit ancient Mayan ruins on a cruise to Central America and the Caribbean, or drop anchor in exotic marvels of the South Pacific.  So dig out of that snowbank and try one of these 10 warming cruises this season:

 

BeachIf a change of scenery is the goal for your next getaway, these stunning shores along the Caribbean Sea ought to fit the bill. Try a cruise stop-off in the Dominican Republic’s dreamy Samaná Bay, or spread out along a 2,000-foot long coastal stretch in Anguilla; wherever you go, plan on letting out a great, heaving ‘Aahhh’ as soon as your toes hit the sand. Here are ten of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean to visit now.

boat being built by hand with petite martinique in backgroundThink you’ve seen everything the Caribbean has to offer? Thankfully, 2014 is shaping up to be an exciting (and change-filled) year for this blockbuster destination. We already told you about what’s new in Nassau. Here’s more of what’s on the horizon… Read more

Cable Beach, BahamasChange is coming to New Providence Island, the Bahamas’ most populous and most touristed destination, and fast. Here’s a peek at what’s new in this classic Caribbean destination…

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620x400_HyattZivaThings change. Those words are particularly apt when talking about the current hotel expansion happening in the Caribbean. On Wednesday, we showed you photos of the still-in-construction 1,000-acre mega resort Baha Mar, set to open on New Paradise Island in the Bahamas in late 2014/early 2015. Of the resort’s four hotels (totaling 2,200 rooms), one will be flagged as a Mondrian, the design-forward brand normally associated with urban destinations like New York and Miami.

With its trendy cocktail bars, pool cabanas, and “Sunset Strip vibe,” the Mondrian will be specifically targeting fashion and nightlife crowds. This signals a 180-degree shift from the Caribbean’s usual family-oriented, mid-range hotel offerings. But this could be just the tip of the iceberg. Read more

Hurricane Season Caribbean Travel DealsNine months out of the year, Caribbean islands are a postcard-ready panorama of blue skies, swaying palm trees, and cocktail-sipping, hammock-lounging bliss. But from September to November (as in, right now), they are associated with another thing: hurricanes. As we speak, reports are showing that the season’s first tropical storms are already forming.

But for those willing to roll the dice, hurricane season can also yield up some incredible bargains. Flights, cruises, and hotels often go for a fraction of their peak season rates, at a time when most travelers are too spooked by the thought of having their trip washed, blown, or flooded down the drain.

And if you’re worried about showing up to a ghost town, rest assured: of the 25 million tourists who visited the Caribbean in 2012, roughly a fifth of them were brave enough to travel between September and November, the peak of hurricane season.

To give you a head start, we logged onto Expedia and CheapCaribbean and chose some hotel-and-flight packages for a range of dates in late October and mid-November. All packages are priced per-person, based on double occupancy, with flights from Miami. Other departure cities are usually available for more.

Clearly, none of the following destinations can provide guarantees on anything weather-related (otherwise they wouldn’t be offering the deals in the first place!). But with prices this low, you can afford to have your trip cancelled and still have extra cash lying around to re-book the whole thing from scratch. Now, get out those bathing suits! Read more

JetBlue Fall Flight DealsWe know it’s hard to think about autumn travel as the summer winds down. But booking now will definitely pay off when you see the fare sale that JetBlue is advertising for their Leave-With-the-Changing-Leaves Sale. Travel is valid on one-way flights September 3 – December 18, and you must book by August 21 at midnight (blackout dates apply). Check out a selection of our favorite fares below. Read more

Cocktails for National Rum DayJust a few weeks ago, we were celebrating National Tequila Day. But that isn’t stopping bars from charging head-on into yet another booze-filled national holiday: National Rum Day falls on August 16 (a Friday, in case you were wondering), in honor of…well, no one’s exactly sure. But who cares? It’s an entire day of sanctioned drinking – and we’re OK with that. So don your pirate hat and grab a sprig of fresh mint. Here are our picks for the best rum cocktails around. Read more

Will McGough

After a day spent navigating the keys and cays of the Exuma Island chain, our boat stops abruptly in front of a nearby island. The captain points to the shore, where a cluster of pigs runs along the coast, their little feet flying through the sand. Soon they’re in the water, cutting through the surf towards our boat, snorting, grunting, and splashing. But the sound is not mean or threatening – it’s actually kind of cute.

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Flickr/zemistor

Labor Day weekend signals the last hurrah of summer, one last chance to get away before recommitting to the rigors of work or school. With less than a month before the holiday, the clock is ticking, but if you think you missed the boat on planning your own close-to-home escape, think again. We’ve rounded up 12 Labor Day weekend travel ideas, all paired with great deals, to help you get out and enjoy the great outdoors while the days are still warm. With most destinations easily accessible from many major U.S. cities, these trips are tailor-made for a perfect long weekend.

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BahamasBelieve it or not, summer is right around the corner. You may be sniffling from spring allergies now, but Memorial Day will be here before you know it, bringing warm temperatures, shortened work days, and summer vacations. Don’t let the season sneak up on you; take advantage of the many early bird specials out there and book your summer travel now. Read more

AfricaIf you’re looking to take an exotic vacation this season, we’ve got deals for you from all over the world; from Africa to Europe to the Caribbean islands. Stray outside of your comfort zone and take the journey you’ve always dreamed of; with these fantastic deals, you’ve got few excuses not to. Read more

iStock

In life, being in the right place at the right time is often due to serendipity, but in travel, it almost always is a result of good planning. To avoid crowds and inflated prices, venture out between high and low seasons when the weather is fine, destinations are still welcoming travelers, and you can explore a locale at your own pace. We call this magical time and space continuum the Sweet Spot and make it a point to round up the best of them for you each season. We’ve covered the 40 best places to travel for spring value and grouped them by region – follow the links to the right to discover this season’s Sweet Spots, then search our travel deals to start planning your trip.
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Spring Cruise DealsDon’t let the Carnival Cruise Line’s recent newsworthy items deter you from hitting the high seas. There are millions of cruises that sail each year without making the news. They have great customer service, activities for families, couples, and seniors, onboard entertainment, and unique ports around the world. Today we’ve rounded up the best of the best, from exotic international cruises to the always-popular beach destinations. Read more

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