Shermans Travel » Blog » Beach
These days, cost-conscious travelers have more options than ever. The question is no longer “Where will we go?” but “How cheap can we get there?” Rest assured, we’re here to tell you the answer: pretty cheap! As evidence, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most budget-friendly travel destinations to watch out for in 2014. These places show it’s totally possible to plan an unforgettable trip to a unique, accessible, and culturally interesting destination, and still feel like you’re getting a deal. Trying to fit all these fabulous trips into a single year? Well, that’s another question…
1. Singapore It’s telling that Singapore Airlines spent the better part of this fall introducing over two dozen brand new 777-300ER planes into its fleet. The national carrier, consistently recognized as one of the top airlines in the world, is simply catering to demand as more and more visitors flock to this verdant Southeast Asian hub. Scores of new hotels are opening all over the city – many of them artfully designed and, best of all, reasonably priced. But it’s not just affordable lodging that keep travelers coming back. The city’s treasure trove of cheap hawker centers (food stalls), diverse ethnic neighborhoods, and abundant green spaces (Gardens by the Bay, for one) show why it’s becoming one of the region’s most accessible, yet endlessly entertaining modern metropolises. (See also: Off The Beaten Path In Singapore)
Following some recent legislation, it’ll be at least seven years before developers are allowed to build a casino in New York City (though we’d happily wait another 50). Until then, New Yorkers craving the sounds of ringing slot machines and clacking poker chips will continue trekking to the same ocean-sprayed resort town they’ve been visiting since the early 1900s: Atlantic City.
And why shouldn’t they? Situated just 130 miles south of Manhattan, Atlantic City is an easy day trip that’s both cheap and entertaining. Don’t believe us? Allow the facts to speak for themselves: Read more
It wasn’t long ago that the Arab Spring took hold of Tunisia. Now, the country is trying to put its unstable past behind it. With a 29 percent increase in visitors from the UK since 2012, Tunisia is looking forward the return of tourists to its beaches, classical ruins, and mosques. And while the country borders a region that’s still isn’t recommended for leisure travelers — it shares an eastern border with Libya and a western border with Algeria — Tunisia itself is safe for ambitious and seasoned travelers (more on that below).
Aside from the political state of its neighbors, there are lots reasons to make the journey to this part of North Africa: incredible white sand beaches along the Mediterranean, a rich Berber culture, and plenty of budget options. Now that the country is trying to lure visitors back to its hotels and resorts, here’s how to see the best of Tunisia… Read more
Of the six reasons we recently gave for Melbourne being voted the “most livable city in the world,” public transportation ranked number four. Meanwhile, eight thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean, sprawling Los Angeles isn’t about to win any awards for its still-in-progress Metro system and tangled network of unreliable bus routes.
No surprise, then, that LA has become known as a “car city” — almost every destination on your itinerary is usually best reached by car.
But there is a movement, albeit a small one, to change all that: Car Free LA is a day-long event taking place this Sunday, as part of a worldwide initiative celebrating alternative transportation modes. And for anyone who happens to be visiting the city this weekend, the centerpiece of LA’s campaign will be a public walking (and Metro) tour from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica, and back (for those not in town, you can follow all the fun on Instagram and Twitter by using the hashtag “carfreeLA”). Read more
Here we are in September, and though certain parts of Europe tend to cool down faster than others (Vienna is already in the low 60s, while Sicily is keeping things at a balmy 75 degrees) summer season has for the most part come and gone. But don’t let that end your fun – or derail a possible vacation. Between now and Thanksgiving, there’s a special window of opportunity for savvy travelers known as shoulder season.
Flights aren’t necessarily cheaper compared to the rest of the year, and yes, temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit (you may luck out weather-wise, but it’s never guaranteed), there is one sure benefit to traveling at this time of year: fewer tourists.
This in-between season offers a calmer, less hectic way to enjoy Europe’s traditionally touristy destinations like Rome and the Greek islands. With the dip in foot traffic comes shorter lines, greater flexibility in organizing tours, and easier access to in-demand restaurants and hotels – in short, a better vacation. Here, we offer suggestions for the activities you’ll want to add to your itineraries for a visit to Europe in the next month or two. Read more
Nine 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
What are you doing between now and December 19? If your answer is ‘nothing,’ you may want to consider a trip to the Caribbean; specifically, Anguilla, where the ultra-luxe Viceroy Anguilla recently unveiled a snazzy new package that offers partial reimbursement on the cost of your flight. Seriously. By booking five nights at a four- or five-bedroom villa, guests will be eligible to receive airfare compensation of up to $1,000 or $2,000, respectively. Read more
The second smallest country in South America, Uruguay has long been something of a best-kept secret among travelers – popular with those from the neighboring countries but largely ignored by the rest of the world. These days Uruguay is gaining a little in popularity, and for good reason. The country has hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline and a rich culture – Uruguay has, for example, given the world two World Cup winning teams and La Cumparsita, arguably the most famous tango ever written.
Whether your vacation plans are low-key or high energy, you’ll find the right beach town in Uruguay.
For Beaches, Cocktails, and Clubbing: Punta del Este
Fashionable Argentinians and Brazilians have been a long-time fixture in ‘Punta,’ the glitzy Atlantic Coast resort that has earned the nickname “St. Tropez of South America” for its nightlife and beaches. On the three top beaches, Montoya, Bikini, and Manantiales, you’ll likely vie for sand space with Argentinian TV stars and Brazilian models. If you follow their lead, your days in Punta will likely be a whirl of beaches, bars, and clubs that don’t close until well into the following morning.
Despite the endless parties, Punta also has an artistic side. Casa Pueblo, a white stucco villa built entirely without angles, was created by Uruguayan artist Carlos Páez Vilaró as his summer home. Nowadays, the building houses a museum, hotel, and restaurant. Read more
The good news is that if you have a layover in Los Angeles, you are probably on your way to (or from) some place fantastic like Hawaii, Australia, or Asia. The bad news? Due to its size and the horror show that is LA traffic, Los Angeles International Airport does not lend itself to easy jaunts in and out of the city.
If four hours is all you’ve got, we recommend you don’t stray too far from LAX. Luckily, the airport is close to a few beaches and an entertaining restaurant, so you won’t be totally stuck. Read more
It’s no secret that Superstorm Sandy took a toll on the Jersey Shore. And with the Stronger than the Storm campaign in full swing (and a theme song that stays stuck in your head for days), some of the Jersey Shore’s most popular beaches, from Seaside Heights to Belmar, are back with more gusto than ever. But some of the Jersey Shore’s quieter, lesser known beach towns are alive and kicking, too. Here are four of our favorites “down the shore” for you to visit before the summer comes to a close.
With Victorian homes lining the streets and a picturesque lake in the center of town, Spring Lake couldn’t be further from the infamously rowdy, MTV version of the Jersey Shore. Hurricane Sandy wiped out the town’s boardwalk, but the new one erected in its place is ideal for early morning runs, walks, and bike rides. The boardwalk is void of any major commercial interests, save for a concession and gift shop run by the town, and the beaches are clean, well-maintained, and attended by families and more low-key beach goers. Be prepared to shell out $10 for a pass, but it’s worth it to relax on this lovely beach. Read more
You could spend a lifetime exploring the many islands of Greece, and yet, a couple of these isles have stolen most of the attention in the eyes of travelers. Mykonos and Santorini are downright stunning, but other islands (in areas beyond the Cyclades) can compete with equally incredible beauty and food, along with much smaller crowds. When planning a recent trip to Greece, I had a few things in mind. I wanted an affordable, less crowded place where I would hear Greek spoken all around me (a rarity in touristy destinations like Santorini). I pictured isolated stretches of quiet beaches and fishing villages along the water with shady tables serving fresh cuisine. I wanted to skip the glitz and get off the grid…so I went to Ithaca.
Located west of the Peloponnese in the Ionian Islands, this 46-square mile island is best known for being the home of Odysseus, and the place he was trying to return to in Homer’s The Odyssey. Beyond the classical Greek connection, there are many reasons to climb aboard a ferry, enjoy every quiet minute of the journey, and unwind over two-euro glasses of local white wine. This island is far – both in terms of distance and sensibility – from the Greek islands you may be used to.
How to Get There: From Athens, there are several options to reach Ithaca. The fastest is to fly to Kefalonia (Olympic Airlines offers flights on small planes) and connect via a short ferry ride to neighboring Ithaca. For the full, slow arrival experience, a journey on the Greek ferry system will prove memorable; connect to the port of Patras from Athens, then board the ferry for a leisurely cruise to Ithaca.
Here are a few places to go and things to do on the island of Ithaca. Read more
With Hawaiian Airlines adding to its list of routes, such as the recent launch of its New York to Auckland service, chances are increasing that you might find yourself in Honolulu with some time to kill. Even if you can’t take advantage of the airline’s free stopover policy, you can still make the most of a short layover with our suggestions. Read more
Situated in the middle of the South Pacific ocean – roughly halfway between San Diego and Auckland – French Polynesia is one of those postcard-ready locales that truly seems like paradise. Its collection of islands includes Tahiti (perhaps the most well known), which boasts the country’s only international airport. From there, however, a world of diversity awaits, as the crystal clear waters and overwater bungalows are actually located on its many out-islands and atolls. Read more
Belize has its share of trendy resorts and exclusive retreats, but you don’t have to spend a small fortune to enjoy its lush jungles, Mayan ruins, and Caribbean coastline. With a little planning, you can afford to snorkel, dive, and explore this exotic locale on any budget. Read more
Have some fun in the sun while enjoying special summer rates on the 35-mile stretch of white-sand beaches in St. Petersburg and Clearwater. As part of the “100 Days of Summer” promotion, you can secure rates as low as $107 per night as well as extras like complimentary upgrades, breakfast in bed, and more. Sample offers include: Read more
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