Shermanstravel Blog

Technology

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Here at ShermansTravel, we jump at the chance to make traveling less stressful — even fun. From a tool to de-clutter electronics to a simple water hack, here are five surprising accessories that create a better away-from-home experience.

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Homesickness comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s missing the coziness of your own bed. Other times it’s feeling lost without a loved one. And, occasionally, it’s a deep-rooted nostalgia for a functioning dryer. While homesickness certainly dampens your vacation, the obvious tips to solve your sadness — like writing postcards, eating home-y meals, or sleeping with your significant other’s pajamas every night — don’t always keep the pillow dry. Here, a few unordinary, scientifically-backed, and totally effective methods to cure your bout of saudade.

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carnival magic - flickr-El Coleccionista de Instantes

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? We’ve got the latest on charitable itineraries, new pricing structures, and more in this week’s weekly cruise news column.

Call your cousins and neighbors! American Cruise Lines passengers who refer a friend or family member to cruise with the small ship river line will get a reward in the form of a $500 credit toward their next cruise. Planning a group cruise and have already sailed with ACL before? You could conceivably have friends or family make a booking, get your credit, then join them on the same sailing so that everyone can enjoy a little extra.

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File this under the “better safe than sorry” category. ThermalStrike, a company specializing in heating technology designed to kill bed bugs, has come out with a new heated suitcase for pest-fearing travelers.

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Latin America can be intimidating for first-time travelers. Here are three apps to download, to use with WiFi, to make your trip go more smoothly.

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This year’s edition of Apple’s now-famous annual smartphone release introduced two exciting devices: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple made no bones about the fact that this year’s updates were the biggest improvements yet, but what’s in it for travelers? We’ve distilled the 2+ hour keynote into a few ways the new features can enhance your jetsetting lifestyle.

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beach bag - Shélin Graziela
You’re going on vacation to get away from it all, but disconnecting from your smartphone, computer, and other digital devices is easier said than done. According to a recent Hotels.com study, only 35 percent of Americans are willing to ditch their mobile devices on vacation, and 56 percent admit to checking and responding to email. So, how can you beat the odds and truly take a break?

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lufthansa wifiWe recently raved about our first (and probably last) experience flying business class on EVA Air, when we cashed in all of our points for a 15-hour-flight. Between the lie-flat beds and the lobster meals, there was lots to love on their Boeing 777-300ER planes. But the one thing that absolutely made us cringe? The wifi charges.

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Every so often the world of armchair travel shakes up with a new revelation. Last time we covered this, we explored North Korea’s Tourism app, and before that we reviewed Google’s travel updates. Now, we have something else that’s taking remote wanderlusting to a whole new level: drones. While much of the media associates drones with militaristic projects, these machines can also capture beautiful panoramas from stuning vantage points most of us don’t have the privilege of enjoying — outside of airplanes and the occasional Planet Earth episode, rarely do we see a bird’s-eye view of the world.

So how exactly do you “travel by drone”?

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hiltonroomappYou select your seat when you make a flight reservation, so wouldn’t it make sense that hotels would let you choose your room? Hilton think so. The company has recently launched an update to its HHonors app that allows guests to pick specific rooms from a floor plan using their mobile device, making them the first hospitality company to do so. Hilton aims to offer this service at 4,000 hotels (covering 650,000 rooms) by the end of the year. Read more

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Keeping your funds in a money clip and your passport in a fanny pack is a great start to guarding your essentials when traveling, but these days, you also need to consider digital safeguards. Yes, there’s certainly a fair bit of misinformation and fear-mongering when it comes to keeping one’s information and devices safe, but some of the concerns you’ve probably heard about are worth paying attention to. Here are three of them — plus what you can do to be less vulnerable.

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The prospect of seeing exotic animals in the wild is the reason many travelers long to visit far-off countries. But it’s human interaction — to varying degrees — that’s leading to the extinction of these very animals. If you weren’t already aware of the crisis surrounding African elephants, the outpouring of grief over the recent poaching of the beloved Satao, one of the biggest elephants in the world, has made the situation clear.

Each year, at least 33,000 elephants are killed for ivory; a trade is primarily driven by a growing demand in Asia, particularly China. If the killing continues at this pace, the African elephant could be extinct within 10 years. You can help by boycotting products that contain ivory (it’s illegal to sell it in the United States) and by supporting organizations such as Tsavo Trust, Save the Elephants, and the Elephant Crisis Fund. National Geographic also suggests contacting the Chinese Foreign Trade Management Department Economic Service to demand the country end its use of ivory. If you’re planning to travel to Africa, one of the best ways to protect the elephants is by booking a safari that visits community wildlife conservancies. Those that do include Big Five ToursAustin-Lehman Adventures, andBeyond, and National Geographic Expeditions.

Here are three other ways that the travel industry is helping to protect threatened species — and how you can be a part of it.

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620x400_iStock_000028914764SuitCaseApplesThe carry-on bag: It’s oh-so-small, but crucial to comfortable air travel.

Make yours count by filling it with goodies that will ensure a happy and healthy flight. Whether it’s a stuffed-to-the-brim roller bag or a lightweight backpack, here are five healthy essentials to pack.

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Renaissance Hotel Santiago, Chile

If you think that DJ sets, mixology events, sleek common spaces, LEED certification, book signings, and lightening-fast internet don’t sound like hallmarks of most big-brand hotels, you’d be right. But the Renaissance hotels, owned by Marriott, are striving for a more boutique aesthetic these days. Of course, that means having to shrug off the stereotypes of outdated rooms, subpar restaurants, and uninspired common spaces that people associate with big corporate hotel chains. And that means making its newest properties less cookie-cutter and more bespoke than ever.

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Even the savviest and thriftiest among us can’t usually handle traveling all the time (and nor, you could argue, would we really want to be constantly away from home). But what to do when you’re hit with a sudden bout of strong wanderlust, bored with the day-to-day and itching to see something new?

The most obvious answer that came to mind was travel apps, since we all know that there’s one of those for everything these days. Countries, cities, states – even bathrooms – offer armchair travel-friendly apps with hundreds of pictures, recommendations, and restaurants. Travel the world in 80 minutes, 80 days, or any other amount of time, depending on how long you plan to vicariously travel via iPhone.

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