Shermanstravel Blog

Beach

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Courtesy of Barcelo Bávaro Beach Resort

All-inclusive resorts take the effort out of vacationing—you pay upfront, you don’t have to make an itinerary, and you have access to great food and entertainment onsite. But, all-inclusive resorts have a few other advantages over the traditional resort experience. Here are five things that might surprise you about all-inclusive resorts.

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Will McGough

While Papua New Guinea may be a burgeoning destination, it certainly isn’t cheap. Due to the mining industry and the presence of Exxon and WHO, rent prices in the country’s capital, Port Moresby, are on par with those in some of the world’s most-visited cities like Paris. Though the cost of living decreases once you get out of the capital and into other areas, traveling within the country will cost you due to the lack of infrastructure and high fuel costs. This means flying or doubling-up with a car and a boat — so know that if you want to travel through the country, transportation costs will be your biggest burden. For this reason, most people who visit the country pick a place and stay put.

The good news is that one of the most popular landing spots, the coastal town of Alotau, is one of the more affordable once you actually get there. It’s a 45-minute flight from Ports Moresby and a launching point to explore WHAT Bay, highly regarded for its scuba diving, seaside villages, and historical islands. Alotau is unique in that’s its been able to offer what the rest of the country cannot: High-value lodging and easy access to a wide range of experiences.

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Matt Harrington

TV host and cookbook author Katie Lee loves to travel: St. Bart’s for surfing, shopping markets in India, and browsing bazaars in Morroco. One place she hasn’t been? Machu Picchu. Before she makes it to Peru, though, she’ll host a lot of out of town guests in her home (something she loves to do). In our one-on-one interview, Katie talks to us about her carry-on items, traveling routines, and her favorite place to visit abroad (hint: it’s in Africa)!

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orlando - ice at gaylord palms - kimberly button

Want to be somewhere warm this season without giving up the holiday cheer? We introduced some surprising destinations for getting into the spirit of things earlier this week, including some sunny locales, but we wanted to give Orlando — the third most popular holiday travel destination in America — a special spotlight today. Yes, it’s a balmy 70-plus degrees here this time of the year, but you’ll still find plenty of Christmas classics here. You can still throw a snowball or pretend you’re in a snow flurry — with palm trees and a swimming pool never too far away.

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Grand Bahama - Grand Lucayan - Resort Exterior - 620x400

In the latest installment of fabulous Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals coming up in the next week, we take a look at under-$100 Caribbean getaways, a 75 percent discount in Panama City, and even a stellar sale for flights to Fiji. Get those credit cards ready…

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Isla Saona

Tourists flock to Punta Cana for snow white beaches, aquamarine waters, and never-ending rum drinks, but outside the resorts, you can immerse yourself in Dominican culture or experience the country’s tropical wonders. Here are five day trips from Punta Cana that you won’t want to miss — and that will get you back in time for some Latin dancing back at the resort.

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The Resort at Longboat Key Club

In what has become an annual highly anticipated sale, dozens of hotels and resorts have gotten into the Black Friday and Cyber Monday game, offering deals that must be booked either the day after Thanksgiving (November 28 this year) or the following Monday (December 1) for varying days of travel.

We’ve got the scoop on so many great travel deals for this year’s sales that we’re trying something different. Instead of one big, overwhelming list, we’re sharing themed roundups for easier vacation planning. First up is the Beach edition — whether you yearn for bustling Waikiki Beach in Hawaii or Florida’s quiet Gulf Coast side, you’ll find up to 50 percent discounts next week.

Mark your calendars, then check back in the coming days for our Urban, International, and Adventure editions.

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Dreams Punta Cana Resort

If you’re yearning to flee the coop this winter for a little heat, Apple Vacations wants to help you out. Its Winter Super Sale kicks into effect for select packages in various sunny locales — shaving close to $300 off busy season prices from booking air and hotel separately. The sale encompasses three-, five-, or seven-night trips between December 18, 2014 and April 30, 2015.

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Waikiki View

When you dream of a Hawaiian vacation, is it a quiet, remote location or a bustling city that you see in your mind? Many people may want to get away from the big city, but there are plenty of reasons to plant yourself in Honolulu, despite the crowds. Here’s our pick of Honolulu highlights that will allow you to avoid the standard tourist scene.

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Georgia Coast - Caroline Eubanks

Georgia’s coast, between Savannah and the Florida state line, is dotted with barrier islands small and large, boasting luxury resorts as well as natural wilderness equipped with campgrounds. This is a part of the world where you won’t find the large tourist crowds that make Florida so popular. Here, four islands — accessible by small roads or boat — that feel almost tourist-free.

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Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach

The legendary Palm Beach area in Florida can be pricey. After all, it’s where millionaires and billionaires come to see and be seen. But you don’t need a checking account with seven figures to get a taste of the luxury they enjoy.

Setting up a home base at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is a great way to be close to the action and the jet set crowd — but still feel at ease and skip the traffic and congestion of the most populated spots. The luxurious all-suite condominium property is located on an oceanfront of Riviera Beach, just a short drive away from Palm Beach. One- and two-bedroom digs start at just $250 for two to four guests, making the AAA four-diamond resort affordable for couples, families, reunions, and even girlfriend getaways — especially if you crave more space than a standard hotel room offers, you’ll feel right at home. Here’s why we loved it during a recent stay, and why we think you will too:

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620x400_TortugaBay1In the last year of his life, fashion designer Oscar de la Renta worked on one of his passion projects — a hotel he helped develop in his native Dominican Republic called Tortuga Bay. Originally opened in 2006, and part of a larger Punta Cana resort, the 13 oceanfront villas offer guests airy open spaces, incredible views of the sea, and impeccable service. De la Renta oversaw a redesign of the villas just this year, and they reopened to the public three weeks ago. We found rates for about $580 per night with a three-night minimum stay for the smaller units in December, but most go for $905 and $1,030, plus tax. If you’re considering a visit — or just need a Hump Day mental vacation — here’s a look at the redesigned rooms, which stand in tribute to the late designer…

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Get your fill of surf and sand on the island of Florianópolis in southern Brazil, with a relaxing day at one of its over 40 beaches. You’ll see why navigating the extensive and complicated bus system is worth it to reach the far and spectacular corners of Santa Catarina’s capital. Click here for a look at some of the highlights.

Temecula Creek Inn Restaurant via TCI

Travelers love California for its amazing wine and golf offerings, but there are even more reasons to visit some of the state’s lesser known cities. About an hour outside of San Diego, Temecula appeals with a laid-back artisan culture and a focus on the natural landscape. A rental car is really all you need to explore — and here are five reasons why you should.

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cruise fix

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? We’ve got the latest on luxury sales, a great idea for crowd-funding your next vacation, holiday itineraries, and more. 

Now here’s a great idea for newlywed travelers: Rather than asking for home appliances, why not have friends and family contribute to your post-nuptial trip? Princess CruisesHoneymoon Wishes Registry allows others to chip in for everything from cruise fare and shore excursions to specialty dining and drinks by the pool to relaxing spa treatments. All gifts are applied as an onboard credit to the couple’s stateroom account to use during their honeymoon cruise, and the bride and groom can create an accompanying website to share wedding details and personal photos.

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