Shermanstravel Blog

New York City

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.

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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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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

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Queens is having its moment. It might not be New York’s hippest borough, but that’s precisely what makes it accessible. And it’s becoming more and more enriching as a destination, thanks to a new crop of street fairs, artsy attractions, and beautiful public parks. Coupled with a refreshingly low-key vibe, it’s a haven for anyone seeking reprieve from Manhattan’s high prices and thick crowds.

What’s more, Queens is as convenient as it’s affordable. Just a 10-minute hop on the subway gets you from Manhattan to the heart of Astoria and Long Island City, two neighborhoods that have been leading the way on visitor-friendly amenities. This guide focuses on the cultural offerings in these areas, but rest assured: We’ll be back with a foodie report soon.

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Looking to cool off this summer? We already introduced Europe’s most beautiful public pools last year, but we thought we’d take a look at the aquatic offerings a bit closer to home. Whether you’re looking for a basic soak, a serious workout, or theme park-style entertainment, here are five fantastic (and inexpensive) public pools where you can make a splash.

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ShakespeareThis year marks William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. If you can’t make it to England to honor the Bard with a pilgrimage to his hometown of Straford Upon Avon, or to the Globe Theatre in London, you can catch a free summer performance in these cities across the U.S.:

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