Shermanstravel Blog

Chicago

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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Public ChicagoFor last-minute travelers needing an urban retreat this month, the always-lovable Public Chicago has a “Spring Into Public” deal, making the Midwest seem suddenly very appealing. The promotion offers complimentary room upgrades to anyone who stays at the hotel between April 14 and 21. Not bad, considering that even at the standard room level, you’re still getting tons of space, cool art on the walls, and quality amenities (Frette linens, custom desks, and 42″ flat screen TVs). Plus, rates start at $125 per night – a steal for this beautiful property, especially in spring.

So, what does an upgrade actually get you? Read more

Radisson Blu

We can think of three good reasons for making a trip to Chicago soon: winter is drawing to a close; April 4th sees opening day at Wrigley Field (which turns 100 years old the same month), and stylish accommodations have just been made more affordable with this deal from the architecturally stunning  Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago. Read more

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

620x400_ConradChicagoGot a case of the winter blues? How does an escape to a luxury hotel, discounted room service, and other warming extras for just $155 per night sound? Fitting for the season, the luxe Conrad Chicago – recently named a top hotel on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2014 Gold List – is offering a “Just Chillin” package. That, of course, alludes to both the relaxing extras included and the frigid temperatures in the Windy City right now. But then, who needs to leave the hotel when you’ve been offered the following…

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620x400_HiddenChicago_JHOn the surface, Chicago is brimming with tourist spots, foodie haunts, architectural wonders, and more culture than you can shake a stick at. But never mind those well-trodden tourist paths. Below, we shed some light on the city’s lesser known attractions. Check them out on your next trip…

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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/DeltaEvery week, Delta publishes its Weekly Web Fare Specials. This week, we spotted flights between select cities for $80-160, each way – a great-sounding deal. If it seems too good to be true, consider that availability is very limited: departures are permitted on February 1 only, and return flights on February 3 or 4 only.

If you’re looking for a last-minute weekend getaway, and the cities match your needs, you’re in luck. Here are a few examples of available routes. See the rest on Delta’s website. Read more

indoor-food-markets-cleveland-west-side-erik-daniel-drost-620Just because it’s winter in your travel destination, that doesn’t mean you can’t fully explore its food culture. In fact, meandering through an indoor food market is one of the best ways to understand the local culinary scene without straining your budget. Small bites, sharable plates, and free samples can create a multi-course meal without the formality of white linens and a triple-digit bill. Here are four markets in the U.S. to whet your appetite… Read more

If taking a romantic getaway was your 2014 resolution, then you have lots to look forward to next month. Hotels far and wide are putting together some nifty Valentine’s Day packages to help lovebirds get the most out of the holiday. From free spa treatments, to add-ons like champagne and rose petals, there’s a trip here to suit every taste, and save you some money.

For laid-back lovers…

CuracaoIn Curaçao, the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is making itself extra-accessible to lovers on a budget with their “Love In the Caribbean” package, which is available even after Valentine’s Day. Starting at $379 per night with a 3-night minimum, this deal packs in a couple’s massage, daily breakfast for two, a complimentary dinner at Shore, welcome cocktails, and (why not?) a two-day car rental. Valid for stays through the end of 2014.

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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

Yoga Retreat in Costa RicaPlenty of resorts promise to leave you feeling “relaxed and refreshed,” but none are as likely to recharge your batteries as thoroughly as a body-and-mind-centering yoga retreat. Against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, or the beach, or, heck, the Chicago skyline, gorgeous surroundings can help boost your inner calm. And plush accommodations and endless options for indoor and outdoor activities don’t hurt either. To help you sort through the pile, we’ve narrowed down the list into two categories, “splurge,” and “save.” Now, breathe in, and say “Ohm…”

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NYC MetroCardAnyone who’s traveled on a major public transportation system in the United States is all too familiar with the woes created by swipeable metro cards. In New York City, the flimsy plastic passes sometimes require two or more swipes to work, and if you end up inside the wrong people-packed station, the wait to refill your card can take ages.

Granted, magnetic cards are still quicker than asking each rider to pay a cash fare in order to board, but now that we’re firmly planted in 2014, it’s time to start looking towards a superior alternative. This month, news arose from our nation’s capital that it, along with the Big Apple, are looking towards a future without a fare card. As smartphone penetration in the U.S. approaches 90 percent — and above that in major metropolitan areas — it’s high time to move to a more efficient model. Read more

amaraKnot-busting Chinatown massages in New York City have all our love, but the biting cold of this blustery winter has us dreaming of a little extra pampering. That’s why we’ve focusing on spas with stellar amenities, stunning views, and other extras that make the treatments truly worth the indulgence. Go ahead, dive in… Read more

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