Shermanstravel Blog

New York City

SONY DSCWhether you’re splurging or saving on your hotel, there’s a way to get more out of your stay. A property that offers free, outdoorsy perks is perfect for guests who favor an active getaway for spring. From complimentary rounds of golf at a lakeside resort in Wisconsin to paddleboarding classes at a Chesapeake Bay retreat, here are our favorite hotel freebies this season: Read more

cheap hotel 1With the rise of AirBnB, CouchSurfing, and other owner-rented lodging sites, tourists are rethinking the idea of having a home away from home when they travel. But what about clean, professionally-staffed hotels that are brimming with conveniences? There will always be travelers who enjoy that experience, and with good reason. (Who really wants to turn down their own bed after a day lounging by the pool?) But here are some reasons to seriously consider booking a vacation rental home for your next getaway… Read more

Wolcott Hotel Lobby-620We’ve always said that hotel anniversaries (along with new openings and renovations) are opportune occasions for finding great deals – and the Wolcott Hotel’s 110th birthday promotion nicely fits the bill. For its anniversary this month, the historic Beaux-Arts hotel in New York City is offering a rate of $110 per night for stays from Sunday through Thursdays for the entire year. That’s compared to standard rates of up to $260 in April and through the summer (though some rooms still go for $180 or $200 during the spring).  Read more

explorersclubWhat travel fan wouldn’t want to be a member of The Explorers Club? Founded in New York City in 1904, this illustrious organization is dedicated to scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space. It supports research and education in the physical, natural, and biological sciences, and members include Neil Armstrong, Roald Amundsen, and Edmund Hillary – people who have been responsible for a series of famous firsts: first to the North and South Poles, first to the summit of Mount Everest, to the deepest point in the ocean, and to the surface of the moon.

As you would imagine, the club’s gatherings are normally a close-knit affair, but next month, everyone has a chance to dine with the adventurers at their annual dinner. If you’re feeling particularly brave – particularly when it comes to your wallet – you can join them.

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Joule DallasA century ago, hotels were simply places to sleep during your travels.  Maybe there was a fancy bar in the lobby, or a nice pool. These days, an increased focus on younger travelers seeking unique cultural experiences means hotel public spaces are doubling as live music venues, social media nerve centers, and, in some cases, contemporary art galleries. The following properties give you extra bang for your buck by including some free visual stimulus built into the cost of your stay: Read more

CloistersImagine a New York City speckled with greenery, forests, and maybe even some 15th century medieval architecture. That New York City exists, sort of. For those of you planning an extended stay in the Big Apple, the urge might arise to escape the hustle and bustle for a day. Here are five NYC day-cations to tack on to your vacation… Read more

Jimmy FallonIn case the headlines about Jimmy Fallon’s celeb-filled debut didn’t already clue you in, The Tonight Show has officially transitioned out of Los Angeles and back to its New York City roots. With the wry and ever-giddy Fallon replacing Jay Leno as host (not to mention Fallon’s stellar backing band, The Roots), the revamped late-night show promises something for veteran viewers and youngsters* alike. In short, it’s the perfect addition to any tourist’s NYC itinerary. Here’s how to score free tickets to TV’s top live audience tapings in both New York and Los Angeles… Read more

wasbar-belgium-antwerp-gentAcross the globe, bookstores, beauty salons, and even laundromats are incorporating full bars into their ethos. And we’re not talking about attractions with a drink menu, or themed bars. These brilliant watering holes are true hybrids that patrons hit up for quality beverages and an additional service, whether it’s groceries or manicures. Bottoms up!

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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


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

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

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

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

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