Shermanstravel Blog

New York City

humphrey slocome

We may have missed National Ice Cream Day (it was on July 20), but National Ice Cream Month continues. Why not celebrate with a couple of scoops of something more adventurous than vanilla? Read more

SolomarWineHourHere’s one hotel trend we love: free wine. Often billed as a chance to meet your fellow guests and say hello to hotel management, these informal mixers let you grab a drink before you head out to dinner, and save a few dollars. Here are some hotels, and hotel chains, that are looking to  make their guests happy by providing a happy hour:

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Last week, Norwegian Air Shuttle launched non-stop service between New York and London, as the first budget airline to fly the route since Laker Airways in 1977. And it’s not a huge surprise — the low-cost market is the fastest growing airline sector, with other budget carriers rumored to be keen on grabbing a piece of the transatlantic market, too. This is partly due to the emergence of more fuel efficient, economically viable, long-range aircrafts. Norwegian’s new long-haul routes to the U.S., for example, will run on the airline’s new 787-8 Dreamliner.

But the all-important question remains: How competitive will travel costs on these budget carriers’ transatlantic services be?

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The movies we watch, the toys we play with, the fun foods we eat — these elements of every day life and entertainment define every society’s culture. To celebrate the American way of life this summer, take a day trip to one of these seven pop culture museums worth the drive.

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Hampton_Jitney - Adam E. Moreira - 620 2Crowded and exclusive, the Hamptons — the beach destination of choice for many in the New York City area in summer — aren’t exactly a cheap getaway. If you’re planning to head out to this ever-glamorous hotspot, whether you live in the NYC area or just want to get a taste of the Hamptons while you’re passing through, getting there  can be a challenge. Here, six ways to get to the Hamptons — and what it’ll cost you.

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breakaway - norwegian cruise line - 620If you’re headed to New York City on your next getaway, why not get out on the water? Manhattan is an island, after all, and the city offers a wealth of boat tours and packages that will give you breathtaking views of the skyline and the harbor. Here are three of our favorites.

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the scene of airport building in shanghai chinaNew York City has an extensive public transit system, and budget-conscious, savvy travelers often avoid spendy taxis when they’re traveling to or from the airport. Taking the subway, after all, is much cheaper and often more reliable. Still, there are days when you might not want to jump on the train, whether you have an extremely early flight, are hauling a lot of luggage, or don’t want to deal with pesky transfers. Enter what are known as Chinatown car services — essentially Chinese-owned private car companies that save you a considerable amount on cab fares, and transport you in cars that are often much nicer than a basic taxi. Here’s what you need to know about booking one:

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In Europe, when temperatures drop, so do the prices. Traveling to Europe outside of the summer season almost always guarantees savings — but this year you can get an even earlier start by jumping on this special offer from Lufthansa. The respected airline, a member of the Star Alliance, is offering low rates starting at $532 round-trip between the United States and a number of European cities, including Istanbul, Vienna, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague, and even Moscow. Read more

Locals can usually deduce at some point that you’re not one of them, but there are still ways to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb when you travel.  And blending in has a more practical purpose than just making you feel comfortable — it can open the door to better interactions with locals and make you less vulnerable to pickpockets and other scammers who specifically target travelers. Here are 10 dead giveaways that you’re a tourist… and what to do about it.

1. Unfurling a paper map in the middle of the sidewalk.

maps - kevin dooley

Yes, sometimes it’s easier to carry a paper map (see tip #4  here). But there’s nothing else that screams “I don’t know where I’m going” more loudly. Here’s where it’s useful to have a smartphone or a tablet. Even if you’re in a foreign country without a data connection, it’s possible to download detailed maps with just a little planning and forethought. We’ll even go as far as to say that, with Google’s Offline Maps feature, it’s pretty easy. Of course, there are instances where you won’t want to be brandishing a shiny phone in public either. Use your judgment.

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amtraknortheasternSummer travel season is upon us … and so are all the airport delays and traffic jams that go along with it. Bypass the pain of summer travel by hopping on a train to your next destination. On Amtrak’s busy Northeast Regional service between Boston and Virginia Beach,  you can save 25 percent or more on the lowest available fares when you book 14 days in advance. Plus, children between the ages of two and 12 are eligible for a 50 percent discount. Read more

Central ParkIf you’re heading to New York City this summer, you’ll probably hear about the city’s popular rooftop bars, which fill to capacity as the weather warms up. We get it – the views, the fancy drinks, the pools. But for the more down-to-earth traveler, nothing beats a picnic in Central Park. But which part of the park? And how to get there? And where to stock up on smoked turkey pinwheels and apple strudel? Leave it to us – your Central Park picnic awaits.

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1431 Ludlow HotelWhile New York City is well known for its astronomical hotel rates, new properties are opening at an incredible speed. Whether this will lead to lower rates is anybody’s guess, but we’re hopeful. Here is a selection of four of the most recent openings in the city (with rates that begin at an affordable $165 a night) and four more to look forward to later in the year: Read more

stgeorgeopenairSummer means open-air movies in many of the world’s cities, but not all open-air cinemas are created equal. Here’s a roundup of eight of the very best al fresco movie theaters where the surroundings rival the drama on-screen. Read more

620x400_FlickrEric Kilby_GoldenGateBridgeSFOIf you’ve ever taken a Disney vacation, you’re probably familiar with the company’s focus on customer service, and its commitment to helping you make lasting memories. Clearly, there’s a reason why families head to Walt Disney World and Disneyland over and over again. But everyone could occasionally use a change of pace. (After all, you can only ride Dumbo so many times.)

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With Memorial Weekend approaching, we decided to tackle a classic debate holiday travel debate: For your next getaway, should you drive or fly?

The convenience of flying outweighs the stress of driving for some travelers, especially if they have to spend more than an hour or two on the road. Then again, we all know how pricey flying can be, and that’s before you even consider the hassle of security lines and getting to the airport. Beyond this, it’s also important to consider whether you’ll need (or want) to use a car when you reach your destination.

Here, we take a few of the most popular vacation routes and weigh the pros and cons of driving or flying.

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