Shermanstravel Blog

Boston

BaseballGoing to the ballpark isn’t what it used to be: ticket, concession, and parking costs all combine to put a major strain on your wallet, hindering the enjoyment of the game itself. Going with a family of four? You’re looking at a $200 night, at least, just to watch two teams hit a ball around. Savvy travelers can still find ways to do it on a budget, though. Here are a few tips to help you beat the system:

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OmniBostonLooking for a last-minute getaway? Omni Hotels & Resorts invites you to “Spring into Action” with its 72-hour flash sale. From April 1-4, rooms at the brand’s Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Boston properties will be available for less than $200 per night. Read more

FlightCarOne of the best things about boarding a plane to…well, anywhere, and getting away from it all, is leaving behind the nagging concerns of daily life. But a new peer-to-peer website is offering a way for travelers to make a little extra cash while they’re on the road by renting out one of their most basic domestic necessities: their car. Read more

riverpark-nyc-restaurant-week-2014-winter-620At first glance, Restaurant Week might seem like a great way for travelers to try their destinations’ most beloved restaurants for less. The annual or biannual discount dining program typically offers three-course, prix fixe dinner in the $20-$40 range – and sometimes lunch for even less – at establishments that could typically set you back by more than $100 a meal. Alas, some restaurants will cut corners during this time, and the specials aren’t always all that special. Here are some Restaurant Week pitfalls to watch for, and how to avoid them: Read more

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We’re all huge fans of turning to social media for savvy travel tips, and Twitter is the first place we go for breaking news or obscure knowledge. But who knew that Quora is also rife with brilliant travel hacks? When this social media network first launched in 2009, it was poised to be the anti-Facebook. Today, it’s not so much that as it is an intellectual, knowledge-focused forum, and one apparently filled with wanderlusters. This past week, we discovered this thread with creative tips that will save time, save money, and even help you figure out where the locals go, nestled in Quora’s travel section. Below, some of the true gems from the conversation – no “bring an empty water bottle to the airport” here.

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We’ll be the first to admit that we often plan our travel itineraries around where to eat – but we all know how quickly the tab can grow at a great restaurant. Our best piece of advice for traveling foodies? Look to lunch. Here are four fantastic daytime meals in restaurants across the U.S. at a fraction of the usual price…

L’Espalier (Boston, MA)

lespalier-620 French roots meet New England flair in a refined yet contemporary space at L’Espalier, a restaurant by James Beard-winning chef Frank McClelland. Its farm-to-table dishes have all the makings of a traditional feast, but the modern twists are anything but tired. While the popular prix-fixe here starts at a hefty $65 for five courses for lunch, it’s a splurge that many Bostonians and visitors alike are willing to splurge for. (And consider that the similar six-course dinner costs $115.) Current menus feature creations like a sweet lobster bisque, fragrant foie gras “torchon,” halibut with scallops and mushrooms, and local cheeses.

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transitappIt’s no secret that Google Maps is a lifesaver if you’re traveling without a car. Generally, this, and similar sites like Hopstop, are incredibly reliable for planning your travel route on public transportation. But what if you want more precise information – like when to leave for the station in order to make the next train, for example, or detailed schedules that tell you how often buses and trains arrive?

This is where locally-based transit apps come in. A whopping 246 public transit systems across the nation make schedule and GPS-generated location  data accessible to developers so they can incorporate them into new programs. Here are some of the best free transit apps for iOs and Android that are worth downloading before your next trip… Read more

Boston Hotel WeekIf you made travel plans to the northeast last month, you may have come across something called Hotel Week, a neat little promotion that happens each January in New York offering rooms at desirable hotels for as low as $100. Now, its success means that a variation of the program has migrated north, as Boston is set to launch its first-ever Hotel Week this month, from February 16-23. Appealing to families traveling during mid-winter school break, Hotel Week Boston is also throwing in add-ons like two-for-one tickets to the zoo, or discounted seats at Disney On Ice. Read more

Museum of Natural History - WhaleWe’re big fans of museums, wherever we go. And we’d never begrudge an amazing exhibit due support, particularly at smaller institutions that could use the help. But there’s no reason why travelers shouldn’t take advantage of free nights at various museums across the country. And there are more museums that offer suggested, donation-based entry than you might think.

Two notes before jumping into our roundup of free and pay-as-you-wish museum programs: First, this is not a definitive list, though we do plan on updating it regularly. Second, if you’re a Bank of America credit or debit card holder, don’t forget to check out the Museums on Us program. Flash your card (and ID) at 150 museums and cultural institutions across the country and you’ll get in free on Saturday and Sunday during the first full weekend of every month.  Read more

Facebook/AmtrakIf you like to take it slow or love to watch the landscape unfold from a comfortable seat, you should take a look at these three deals from Amtrak. All three require that you sign up for Amtrak’s reward program, but, given that registration is free, its well worth the (small) effort. If you’re already an Amtrak Rewards member, you still qualify. Just register  for this specific promotion on Amtrak’s web site. Read more

top_of_the_rock-620Ever used a CityPASS booklet? These bundled tickets for museums and attractions in tourism-heavy cities can save you lots of money – possibly. They claim to offer 50 percent savings on major attractions in 11 North American regions. But what’s included? And are these places that you’d actually want to explore?

The answer isn’t always straightforward, but it boils down to what your interests are and who you’re traveling with. Here, we explain how the CityPASS program works and assess the ticket value for some popular cities.  Read more

edinburgh.orgAre you ready for Burns Night? Celebrated every year in Scotland and throughout the Scottish diaspora, this January 25 holiday is a celebration of the life and work of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

This year marks the 255th anniversary of  the poet’s birth and, as is the tradition, the day will be honored by people across the world sitting down to a Burns Supper. This is an occasion that follows a time-honored series of observances. First, guests are welcomed with bagpipes. Then, there’s the recitation of Burns’s pre-meal prayer, the  Selkirk Grace. Finally, there’s the “Address to a Haggis,” which was written by Burns in 1786 and is the centerpiece of the Burns Supper today. The poem was composed entirely in the Scots language, so you may need to get out your Scots-English dictionary in order to follow along. Read more

Polar VortexIt’s been less than two weeks since the Polar Vortex first drove us, shivering, indoors like frightened rabbits. Regardless, the unpleasant cold snap is due to make an encore appearance in the U.S. this week, with Weather.com reporting that highs in Minneapolis will be in the single digits. Yikes. The very thought of it just makes us want to curl up by the fire with a good book and not go outside until it’s summer. If you’re having the same reaction, here are a few ways to stay warm on your travels as you brave the cold spell… Read more

The Beehive, BostonPuritan-style laws have long been the bane of Boston’s nightlife scene – especially since the last T subway trains leave the station at 1 a.m. on weekends. Happily, that’s all about to change. Come spring, all T routes and select bus routes will extend their late night service to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays during a one-year pilot program. In anticipation, we rustled up five fun ideas for what to do in Boston after the clock strikes 12… Read more

We all know that there’s something irresistible about a waddling penguin. But who knew that some species are facing extinction due to the changing climate and to commercial fishing practices? In honor of Penguin Awareness Day, we’ve rounded up three great spots that not only offer spectacular views of penguins, but also offer unique educational opportunities and do important preservation work.

Isla Martillo (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina)

Isla martillo penguins, ArgentinaFor the ultimate up-close-and-personal encounter, visit the Magellenic penguins of Argentina’s Isla Marillo; they’re extremely friendly. They make up the bulk of the 10,000 penguins who nest on the island from October through early April…

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