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Beaches and forests. Hiking and surfing. Volcanoes and luaus. These are some of the delights found all over Hawaii.
But each island is a little different, each famous for its own flavor. Kauai treats visitors to lush landscapes and secluded peace, for example — whereas Oahu is perfect for cramming culture and dining and shopping all in one. To discover which island is best suited to your travel style and interests, take our newest quiz. (Note: You must like ShermansTravel on Facebook in order to see your results.)
It’s no surprise that vacation rentals have stolen the hearts of savvy travelers everywhere. Great savings, extra amenities, even the chance to get some local advice…what’s not to love? The fact that HomeAway has hit one million listings — making its inventory almost twice the size of other similar companies — just comes to show how this once-alternative means of accommodation is going mainstream. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up five affordable rentals that you can book this summer and beyond, for a taste of something different:
1. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: $80/night
For the design enthusiast, this Costa Rican rental delivers on one-of-a-kind digs with a futuristic, geodesic design. Sleeping four to five with two bedrooms spread over two floors, this villa is less than a five-minute walk to Santa Teresa Beah and the area’s shops and cafes. We recommend getting out early to beat the heat, then settling in for an afternoon siesta if the rain hits. And, don’t worry, the AC units are well-equipped to keep you cool. 4-night minimum.
When anyone comes to us looking for a summer deal, we’ll always point them to getaways in the Caribbean. Summer either means high heat or rain showers, and then there are the risks inherent during hurricane season, which lasts from September to November. Of course, this means great deals all around, as long as you’re open-minded to a bit of unpredictability and can schedule your beach outing around the weather. Whether you’re looking for dirt cheap vacations or unbelievable luxury for less, these 10 deals for summer and fall run the gamut:
A Segway tour is a great way to get an overview of a new city or region. You’ll cover more ground than you would on foot, and your guide can teach you about the local history, suggest restaurants, and refer you to other great tours in the area. Plus, Segways are just fun to ride. Here are 10 awesome Segway tours to add to your bucket list.
Chicago: Several companies operate in Chicago, but Absolutely Chicago Segway offers a few unique options in addition to the standard tour past Grant Park, the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum, and Soldier Field. We like the Chicago Gangster tour ($65) featuring the hangouts of Al Capone and other wise guys and the Chicago Haunted Tour ($65) that glides you past haunted hotels, murder sites, and even a morgue. If you are in town during Halloween, the guides dress up as ghouls for the haunted tour.
There’s something universally mysterious and appealing about a full moon. Across the globe, it makes its way into legends, folk traditions, and spiritual practices. And now hotels all over are beginning to feel the vibes, too, offering everything from specialty cocktails, to yoga, to sailing under the stars at the end of each lunar cycle. Don’t worry, you don’t have to believe in werewolves or astrological predictions to enjoy these activities:
One of our favorite off-the-beaten-path Caribbean islands just got a lot more accessible, thanks to the recent opening of Sandals LaSource Grenada. The brand’s first outpost on Grenada, the resort brings 225 guestrooms to the island; not to mention increased, and more competitive, flight options which are highly likely to follow. Read more
Ever heard of the “Mighty 5?” You will this year, if Utah’s tourism office has anything to say about it. This quintet of famous national parks – Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyon Lands, and Arches – is the focus of a massive new ad campaign run by the state. Whether you’re newly convinced to head to the rugged West, or you’ve had Utah on your travel bucket list for years, here’s our guide to help you choose where to go first…
Huge, high-rise hotels have their benefits, but sometimes you just want an escape from the crowds, and a more intimate experience. Mexico’s Pacific Coast has a number of small, secluded boutique resorts where you can limit your exposure to others without limiting your choices of things to do. For your next trip, here are a few places to check out:
There are many reasons to visit Cartagena, Colombia’s Caribbean gem, from its stunning old town, to its proximity to tropical islands and white-sand beaches, to its incredible Creole cuisine. For lovers of stylish boutique hotels, this fairy-tale city impresses with a wealth of affordable options, all of which offer great style (from traditional to quirky), impeccable service, and great rates.
Here are our three favorite Cartagena boutique hotels that won’t break the bank:
Driving through endless sweeping hills in Italy, there’s nothing for miles, except for the occasional religious relic on the side of the road. It was hard to believe that we’d just come from bustling Rome, which is about 120 miles away.
The region of Abruzzo, the least populated of Italy’s 20 regions, is also its greenest, with one third of its territory preserved in national parks. It’s also one of the few areas in the world where you can ski in the mountains in the morning and surf (on the Adriatic Sea) in the afternoon. Read more
Jamaican charm hits you the minute you land in Montego Bay and, if you’re staying at the oceanfront Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort on the island’s North Coast, the all-inclusive ambiance kicks in, too, the minute you arrive following a 45-minute ride from the airport. The best part? This 4-star resort is offering some solid deals that will let you visit for less this year.
If you’ve ever dreamed of splashing around with dolphins, Flipper-style, singing with crabs like a certain redheaded mermaid, or simply like the sound of “sleeping with the fishes,” then here are eight epic hotels that bring you as close to the deep blue as you’ll ever get.
Pemba Island, Zanzibar
What if you could book your own, private island? Well… you can, kinda. Essentially a three-story, private, floating island in the midst of the Zanzibar archipelago, The Manta Resort (from $900 per night) features everything from a perfect sunbathing deck, open-ocean swimming, and a bedroom submerged 13 feet below the ocean.
In recent seasons, ABC’s long-running series The Bachelor and The Bachelorette have quietly turned their attention from catfights, crying, and ill-fated proposals to routinely showcasing some of the world’s most beautiful destinations. Of course, there’s still over-the-top drama, but more and more, it’s set against a backdrop of bucket-list adventures in far-flung locales. So far this season, Juan Pablo and company have bungee-jumped off a bridge in Los Angeles and eaten insects at a food cart in Seoul, South Korea.
But you don’t have to have a harem of romantic hopefuls in tow – or ABC’s travel budget, for that matter – to enjoy some of these experiences. Here are a few ways travelers can enjoy some of the show’s around-the-world adventures. Who knows? It just might be your Most. Dramatic. Trip. Ever.
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…
In 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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