Shermanstravel Blog

Washington Dc

BaseballGoing to the ballpark isn’t what it used to be: ticket, concession, and parking costs all combine to put a major strain on your wallet, hindering the enjoyment of the game itself. Going with a family of four? You’re looking at a $200 night, at least, just to watch two teams hit a ball around. Savvy travelers can still find ways to do it on a budget, though. Here are a few tips to help you beat the system:

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DCAlthough some of the biggest news from Washington, D.C. is the long-awaited reopening of the Washington Monument on May 12, there’s much more than history and politics to tempt you to visit the nation’s capital this year.

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OmniBostonLooking for a last-minute getaway? Omni Hotels & Resorts invites you to “Spring into Action” with its 72-hour flash sale. From April 1-4, rooms at the brand’s Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Boston properties will be available for less than $200 per night. Read more

Blue SmokeAfter the ride to the airport and the wait to get through security, the least you can expect from your airline of choice is a decent meal. But it rarely gets better than watery stir-fries or flavorless salads in the air. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a good cookie. So we were pleasantly surprised to learn that a few airlines are making a concerted effort to bolster their food options by teaming up with reputable restaurant brands that seriously know their food. Here’s what’s being served up in the skies right now: Read more

washington dc - Luca NebuloniIf the nation’s capital is on your must-see list, there’s no time like the gorgeous Cherry Blossom Festival, which begins this month, to visit. We’ve already showed you how to save on D.C. hotels during this time. Here’s what to do and where to eat, all without breaking the bank.

Culture & Entertainment
Get cultured at the Kennedy Center, which hosts free hour-long performances daily as a complement to their full-length evening programs. Stop by at 6 p.m. for everything from orchestra concerts to hip hop performances to poetry slams. And don’t forget the views from the wraparound rooftop terrace, which is also open to the public at no cost. Read more

Cherry Blossom Festival - Washington DC - Buddy Secor (1)

While the nation’s capital is a popular destination all year long, there’s really nothing else like the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival. From March 20 to April 13 this year, Washington, D.C. will celebrate with 25 days of parades, performances, and cultural events in the heart of downtown.

Naturally, you’ll see some outrageous price markups at hotels during the festival. Some rooms more than double in cost compared to any other spring weekend. The good news is that if you plan strategically – and act soon – you won’t necessarily have to pay a huge premium. Here’s how: Read more

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

Facebook/AmtrakIf you like to take it slow or love to watch the landscape unfold from a comfortable seat, you should take a look at these three deals from Amtrak. All three require that you sign up for Amtrak’s reward program, but, given that registration is free, its well worth the (small) effort. If you’re already an Amtrak Rewards member, you still qualify. Just register  for this specific promotion on Amtrak’s web site. Read more

Facebook/DeltaEvery week, Delta publishes its Weekly Web Fare Specials. This week, we spotted flights between select cities for $80-160, each way – a great-sounding deal. If it seems too good to be true, consider that availability is very limited: departures are permitted on February 1 only, and return flights on February 3 or 4 only.

If you’re looking for a last-minute weekend getaway, and the cities match your needs, you’re in luck. Here are a few examples of available routes. See the rest on Delta’s website. Read more

denver-airport-long-lines-alice-daerNo matter where you’re traveling, there’s nothing like a long line to put a damper on your vacation. Which is why we were happy to learn about SecurXpress, a reservation system for security lines that’s being tested at Montréal, Canada’s international airport. After passengers submit their flight and contact info online, they receive a text with an arrival time. Then, when they get to the airport, they can head straight to security and skip the line. Not bad. This free service is available for all domestic and select international routes, and each reservation covers up to five travelers.

While it’ll take some time for other airports to adopt the system – clearance rules make it especially tricky for flights in and out of the U.S. – ticketed reservations aimed at slashing wait times aren’t new. Here’s a quick look at similar systems that are helping travelers avoid the wait…

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NYC MetroCardAnyone who’s traveled on a major public transportation system in the United States is all too familiar with the woes created by swipeable metro cards. In New York City, the flimsy plastic passes sometimes require two or more swipes to work, and if you end up inside the wrong people-packed station, the wait to refill your card can take ages.

Granted, magnetic cards are still quicker than asking each rider to pay a cash fare in order to board, but now that we’re firmly planted in 2014, it’s time to start looking towards a superior alternative. This month, news arose from our nation’s capital that it, along with the Big Apple, are looking towards a future without a fare card. As smartphone penetration in the U.S. approaches 90 percent — and above that in major metropolitan areas — it’s high time to move to a more efficient model. Read more

NYCWe know you’re looking to shave a few dollars off the cost of your next trip, and, believe it or not, New York City and Washington, D.C. might just be the places to do it. With January traditionally seen as the slowest time of year for NYC hotels, more than a few deals have been known to pop up – that is, as long as you’re looking in the right place. 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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