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We’ve all heard the familiar adage it’s the journey that matters, not the destination — at least when it comes to crazy travel stories. With all of the globetrotting that the staff here at ShermansTravel does throughout the year, we certainly have more than our fair share of hilarious (and somewhat awful) tales. So we thought we’d share the best (and the worst) with our readers to keep in mind the next time you take off in an aluminum tube full of strangers.

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Even though vodka originated in Europe, we love it so much here in the States that we’ve dedicated an entire day to celebrating it. Yep, October 4 is National Vodka Day. Here are four places where you can honor the popular spirit.

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At hotel receptionHas this ever happened to you? You think you’re getting a great hotel deal, only later you discover that everything from a fitness center charge to a newspaper service fee has been tacked onto the bill? Hotel fees are more popular than ever these days, and all kinds of properties, from hostels to high-end resorts, are discreetly charging for amenities you didn’t even know you had access to — and may not even want. Some of them are inevitable and rather set in stone, like resort fees. Others, like being charged for in-room safes, can be disputed. Like we always say, it’s a good habit to check the fine print and know exactly what you’re being charged for. Here are 10 fees to watch out for:

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As much as we appreciate hotel loyalty programs, accumulating points from just one hotel brand can feel like quite a slog, and a little uninspiring — who, besides the very frequent business traveler, wants the same brand experience each and every time they check in?

Just over a year ago, Preferred Hotel Group introduced a loyalty program, iPrefer, that honors stays at the more custom, bespoke hotels over the big box brands; it’s the world’s only loyalty program available at a global collection of truly independent hotels. Here’s how it works, and how you can join.

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By Jackie Strause for Yahoo! Travel

The Suite Life: 15 Over-the-Top Las Vegas Hotel Suites

“Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Nevada” sign (Photo: Thinkstock)

Hey, high rollers, big spenders, and “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” shouters: We’ve got some suites for you.

When it comes to Las Vegas, a suite is more than just a suite: It’s a villa, a penthouse, a bungalow — sometimes (ahem, Bellagio) it’s an estate.

We’re not kidding! For the best of the best, you can enjoy in-room elevators, 24-hour butler service, glass-enclosed lap pools and Jacuzzi hot tubs, movie theaters, full spa and salon services, fireplaces, rain showers, terraces with plunge pools, and courtyard gardens without ever leaving your “room.”

So cash in your chips and get ready to cash out with one of these 15 überluxurious dream pads. It’s no gamble: You’re sure to feel like you’ve died and gone to Sin City once you do.

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RockCreekAs much as we love traveling to big cities, sometimes it can get overwhelming. Here are a few places in or near the biggest metropolises in the U.S., where, for a few hours at least, you can leave the noise and bustle behind. Read more

RouletteWhile Pennsylvania awaits a verdict on the state’s proposed second casino, a recently-added feature at the ever-popular Valley Forge Casino (about 30 minutes northwest of Philadelphia) is making poker chip-wielding travelers around the country take note. Announced early last month, a new “Points for Miles” program offers gamers the chance to redeem casino player points for – get this – airline miles with US Airways.

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baseball - flickr - tulanesally - 620America’s pastime is in full swing this spring as baseball fans head south to Florida’s Grapefruit League and west to greater Phoenix’s Cactus League to catch Major League Baseball in preseason action. Training stadiums offer closer access to your favorite players, often with designated areas to snag an autograph. You’ll also find yourself merely a fly ball away from the action. Compare the new Cubs Park in Mesa, Arizona, which has 15,000 seats, to Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, which has a whopping 54,000.

If you’re traveling this spring, here are a host of baseball-related activities that are tailor-made for travelers, and you don’t even have to go all the way to Florida or Arizona to experience them… Read more

Rarotonga, The Cook IslandsAt the end of 2013, we chose the best budget destinations for 2014. Now, while everyone’s starting to make plans for the spring and beyond, we wanted to serve up some deals that make good on those predictions. Ready to jet? Read more

Crested ButteIt’s the first day of the rest of the year, and for us, that means only one thing: time to start making new travel plans! We’ve got about a million and one ideas cooking, but to narrow the playing field a bit, we’re taking a closer look at where we can go on the cheap. Here, a sampling of the best deals to be had to kick off 2014 – better hurry, though, some of these expire in just a few days! Read more

Last-MinuteThe twelve days of Christmas have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean there’s no more excitement to be had in December. In fact, for travelers, end-of-year sales and promotions can yield some of the best finds of the whole season. The tricky part? Finding them. But luckily for you, we’ve gone and done all the hard work to bring you the best last-minute travel deals available this week. Consider it our Christmas present to you… Read more

Virgin AtlanticWe have always loved Virgin Atlantic for their non-conformist leanings, great customer service, and sweet amenities, so they were perhaps the last airline we’d have predicted to join the annoying “Additional Fee Club.” Read more

CharlestonIf you, perhaps wisely, chose to refrain from the pandemonium of holiday travel, a new 48-hour JetBlue promotion could have you back in the sky sooner than you thought. The appropriately titled, if slightly laborious, FLY LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA sale went up this morning, covering 49 departure cities scattered all over the map – Albuquerque, Long Beach, St. Thomas, Charleston, San Juan, Las Vegas, to name a few. Even for January, a notoriously dead travel season, we found some pretty decent rates like New York to Oakland for $317 roundtrip, or Boston to St. Thomas for $330 roundtrip.

All flights must be booked by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday December 18th, with a travel window spanning from January 7 – February 12 (individual blackout dates apply for specific routes).

So, what’s on offer? Let’s take a look:

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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. SingaporeSingapore 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)

AMEX Centurion Lounge at LASFrom small mechanical issues to ill-timed blizzards, few of us have traveled in the past few years without running into some sort of mishap at the airport. Granted, running an airline is no easy chore, but the frustration felt when flights don’t take off as planned can seem all too real. During such moments, a sleek airport lounge can provide an oasis of luxury and calm in which to bide your time. But what about when things don’t go awry? How often do you need to visit an airport lounge to justify the cost of membership? And what tricks are there – if any – to gaining access without paying? Read more

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