Travel Tuesday: Why You Should Consider the Middle Seat | Sherman's Travel

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Just how much do people hate the dreaded middle seat on airplanes? So much so that 56 percent of Americans say they’d rather brave traffic jams, according to one survey. That same percentage would prefer going on a blind date over spending a couple of hours cozying between strangers — and as much as 9 percent of Americans simply refuse to get on a flight longer than two hours if they’d be stuck in the middle.

We get it. There’s limited legroom and blocked access to the aisle without the support of the window. Still, there are a few attractive perks of the middle seat that have us reconsidering:

1. You could have fewer neighbors. On flights like Southwest that don’t have seat assignments (if you don’t pay extra, anyway), sitting in the middle seat could be a good gamble so long as your flight isn’t full. Those who board after you are more likely to seek rows that are still empty or are occupied by someone in the aisle or window only, rather than immediately plunking down next to a stranger. This also help avoid getting stuck next to an endlessly chatty couple or pair of friends.

2. You get both armrests. We know this ranks relatively low on the airplane scale of comfort, but the perk needs to be noted. According to armrest etiquette — which should really be a pamphlet next to the Skymall catalogue — since both the aisle and window seats guarantee one rest each, middle seaters deserve to broaden their shoulders an extra few inches. Think about it this way. Those seated against the window can lean their heads against the wall. Those seated along the aisle can comfortably sprawl. It’s only fair that those in the middle have the armrests.

3. You’ve got dibs. Alternately, if there’s a nice seat that’s left empty after everyone’s onboard, those trapped in the middle should have dibs in accordance to airplane etiquette (seriously, where’s the pamphlet?). After the seatbelt sign goes off, ask the nearest flight attendant very nicely if there are any extra seats in the aisle or window — bonus points if you’re tall, or dressed nicely. Gunning for a jump into first class? The same principle applies: The better dressed you are, the better your odds.

4. You control the comfort. There’s nothing inherently comfortable about flying anymore, unless perhaps you’re lucky enough to be up in first with plush leather seats and some bubbly. Still, on a longer flight, you could argue that the aisle seat is less ideal than the middle seat, since you’ll be interrupted by others who need to get up to the bathroom. In the middle seat, you could always hope that your neighbor has chosen the window seat because they plan on passing out cold and won’t be crawling over you mid-flight.

- See more at: http://blog.shermanstravel.com/2014/09/11/why-you-should-consider-the-middle-seat/#sthash.cAg9vqtU.pQKSOoUd.dpuf

Deal Alert: 25 Percent Off Luxury in Verona

Deal Alert: 25 Percent Off Luxury in Verona

Salviatino Collection‘s five-star resort, Palazzo Victoria, invites guests to check into its chic Verona accommodations by offering a 25 percent discount off the best available rates, now through March 31, 2015.

Located in the heart of Verona, and just steps from the city’s famed Roman Amphitheater, the …read more

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@ Travel Guides and Travel Information:10 Hotel Fees to Watch Out For
Travel Guides and Travel Information - By Lane Nieset for ShermansTravel

Has this ever happened to you? You think you’re getting a great hotel deal, only later you discover that everything from a fitness center charge to a newspaper service fee has been tacked onto the bill? Hotel fees are more popular than ever these days, and all kinds of properties, from hostels to high-end resorts, are discreetly charging for amenities you didn’t even know you had access to — and may not even want. Some of them are inevitable and rather set in stone, like resort fees. Others, like being charged for in-room safes, can be disputed. Like we always say, it’s a good habit to check the fine print and know exactly what you’re being charged for. Here are 10 fees to watch out for:


1. Fitness Center: Hotel fitness centers seem like a nice amenity for those trying to keep to their routine while on the road, but while some travelers take this perk for granted, many hotels are charging for access — or incorporating it into a resort fee. One example is Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which charges a fee of $25 per night that includes access to the fitness center, local calls, and Internet for one device. The Bellagio in Las Vegas also charges a $25 fee that goes toward fitness center access, Wi-Fi, local calls, and boarding pass printing.

2. Environmental Charge: Island vacations can add up fast thanks to hidden fees and taxes — like the mandatory environmental tax in Aruba, which ranges from $3 per night at a hotel, or $10-$25 per night for a timeshare stay. If you stay at the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa on Eagle Beach in Aruba, for example, you’ll be charged a $3 per night.

3. Service Charge: A mandatory daily service charge is also a common fee at some Caribbean hotels, which may be bundled with the hotel tax, so it’s easy to overlook. To avoid tipping double, check to see if the service fee goes toward gratuities, like at Round Hill in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which adds a 15 percent charge for staff gratuities.

4. Internet: The ironic part about Wi-Fi at hotels these days is that typically the budget-friendly spots offer complimentarily Internet, while more upscale hotels charge a hefty daily fee or include it in their daily resort fee. Miami’s designer South Beach hostel, Freehand Miami, and Ian Schrager’s boutique and cost-efficient PUBLIC Chicago offer free Wi-Fi, while spots like W New Orleans-French Quarter charges $14.95 per day.

5. Early Departure Fee: Some hotels may charge you a fee if you check out prior to your departure date — Hudson New York and Clift San Francisco both charge a $50 fee for early departures. You can try to dispute this, but we’ve had mixed results in the past.

6. Early Check-In Fee: Just as with early departures, there is a chance you can be charged for an early arrival, so be sure to ask about any of these fees. It’s also possible to secure an early check-in at hotels like the Palais Hansen Kempinski in Vienna, Austria, at a fee of 25 percent of the booked rate for guests who want to guarantee early check-in before 2 p.m..

7. Cancellation Fees: It may seem like common knowledge that guests will get charged for last-minute cancellations, but some hotels require cancellations weeks in advance to avoid getting charged. Ladera, in St. Lucia, requires a three-night deposit per room, and requires cancellations to be made more than 21 days in advance, otherwise the deposit is non-refundable.

8. Resort Fees: In Miami especially, many hotels charge a mandatory resort fee that includes a newspaper, Wi-Fi, local calls, as well as use of beach chairs. Some of these fees include amenities you may actually want, like at SLS Hotel South Beach where the $30 daily fee includes two beach chairs, hotel-wide Wi-Fi, fitness center access, turndown service, water, and daily coffee at the front desk. The Delano Hotel on South Beach also charges a similar mandatory resort fee of $35 that includes two beach chairs, Wi-Fi, unlimited local calls, use of the fitness center, and a poolside amenity.

9. Valet Parking: While you may have the choice to self-park or valet, there are some hotels that only offer valet parking, such as the Autograph hotel Turnberry Isle in North Miami, which charges $32 for overnight valet, and Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, which charges $39.

10. Lockers & In-Room Safe: Backpackers on a budget are also looking at increasing fees from newer high-end hostel chains like Generator Hostels, which charges 1 euro for six hours in a luggage room with lockers at Generator Barcelona. A large locker for 24 hours at Generator Berlin costs 8 Euro, for example. But even standard hotels may include fees for in-room safes — whether or not you actually use the on in your room.

Avoiding Charges: Before booking, check the fine print on the hotel’s website or call and ask about additional fees. Some resort fees are mandatory, while others can be avoided in advance or at check-out. Review your hotel bill before checking out so you can handle any of these unexpected charges in person. This way you won’t be surprised when you see a larger charge than expected on your credit card. Another way to avoid fees is by joining a hotel’s loyalty program. Fairmont President’s Club, which is complimentary to join, includes high-speed Internet access, local calls, health club access and newspaper delivery. Kimpton’s Karma Rewards Program is also free to join and guests receive complimentary Internet.

photo: iStock

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from @ Travel Guides and Travel Information Travel Guides and Travel Information
A guide book or travel guide is “a book of information about a place, designed for the use of visitors or tourists”. Travel guides can also take the form of travel .Find the latest information about when to go, how to get there, where to stay, how to get around, and what to do in popular destinations around the world.
* World Travel Tips : 10 Hotel Fees to Watch Out For
Travel Tips - By Lane Nieset for ShermansTravel

Has this ever happened to you? You think you’re getting a great hotel deal, only later you discover that everything from a fitness center charge to a newspaper service fee has been tacked onto the bill? Hotel fees are more popular than ever these days, and all kinds of properties, from hostels to high-end resorts, are discreetly charging for amenities you didn’t even know you had access to — and may not even want. Some of them are inevitable and rather set in stone, like resort fees. Others, like being charged for in-room safes, can be disputed. Like we always say, it’s a good habit to check the fine print and know exactly what you’re being charged for. Here are 10 fees to watch out for:


1. Fitness Center: Hotel fitness centers seem like a nice amenity for those trying to keep to their routine while on the road, but while some travelers take this perk for granted, many hotels are charging for access — or incorporating it into a resort fee. One example is Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which charges a fee of $25 per night that includes access to the fitness center, local calls, and Internet for one device. The Bellagio in Las Vegas also charges a $25 fee that goes toward fitness center access, Wi-Fi, local calls, and boarding pass printing.

2. Environmental Charge: Island vacations can add up fast thanks to hidden fees and taxes — like the mandatory environmental tax in Aruba, which ranges from $3 per night at a hotel, or $10-$25 per night for a timeshare stay. If you stay at the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa on Eagle Beach in Aruba, for example, you’ll be charged a $3 per night.

3. Service Charge: A mandatory daily service charge is also a common fee at some Caribbean hotels, which may be bundled with the hotel tax, so it’s easy to overlook. To avoid tipping double, check to see if the service fee goes toward gratuities, like at Round Hill in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which adds a 15 percent charge for staff gratuities.

4. Internet: The ironic part about Wi-Fi at hotels these days is that typically the budget-friendly spots offer complimentarily Internet, while more upscale hotels charge a hefty daily fee or include it in their daily resort fee. Miami’s designer South Beach hostel, Freehand Miami, and Ian Schrager’s boutique and cost-efficient PUBLIC Chicago offer free Wi-Fi, while spots like W New Orleans-French Quarter charges $14.95 per day.

5. Early Departure Fee: Some hotels may charge you a fee if you check out prior to your departure date — Hudson New York and Clift San Francisco both charge a $50 fee for early departures. You can try to dispute this, but we’ve had mixed results in the past.

6. Early Check-In Fee: Just as with early departures, there is a chance you can be charged for an early arrival, so be sure to ask about any of these fees. It’s also possible to secure an early check-in at hotels like the Palais Hansen Kempinski in Vienna, Austria, at a fee of 25 percent of the booked rate for guests who want to guarantee early check-in before 2 p.m..

7. Cancellation Fees: It may seem like common knowledge that guests will get charged for last-minute cancellations, but some hotels require cancellations weeks in advance to avoid getting charged. Ladera, in St. Lucia, requires a three-night deposit per room, and requires cancellations to be made more than 21 days in advance, otherwise the deposit is non-refundable.

8. Resort Fees: In Miami especially, many hotels charge a mandatory resort fee that includes a newspaper, Wi-Fi, local calls, as well as use of beach chairs. Some of these fees include amenities you may actually want, like at SLS Hotel South Beach where the $30 daily fee includes two beach chairs, hotel-wide Wi-Fi, fitness center access, turndown service, water, and daily coffee at the front desk. The Delano Hotel on South Beach also charges a similar mandatory resort fee of $35 that includes two beach chairs, Wi-Fi, unlimited local calls, use of the fitness center, and a poolside amenity.

9. Valet Parking: While you may have the choice to self-park or valet, there are some hotels that only offer valet parking, such as the Autograph hotel Turnberry Isle in North Miami, which charges $32 for overnight valet, and Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, which charges $39.

10. Lockers & In-Room Safe: Backpackers on a budget are also looking at increasing fees from newer high-end hostel chains like Generator Hostels, which charges 1 euro for six hours in a luggage room with lockers at Generator Barcelona. A large locker for 24 hours at Generator Berlin costs 8 Euro, for example. But even standard hotels may include fees for in-room safes — whether or not you actually use the on in your room.

Avoiding Charges: Before booking, check the fine print on the hotel’s website or call and ask about additional fees. Some resort fees are mandatory, while others can be avoided in advance or at check-out. Review your hotel bill before checking out so you can handle any of these unexpected charges in person. This way you won’t be surprised when you see a larger charge than expected on your credit card. Another way to avoid fees is by joining a hotel’s loyalty program. Fairmont President’s Club, which is complimentary to join, includes high-speed Internet access, local calls, health club access and newspaper delivery. Kimpton’s Karma Rewards Program is also free to join and guests receive complimentary Internet.

photo: iStock

More from ShermansTravel:



World Travel Tips : Find cheap flights, hotels and car rentals. Plan your trip with travel guides, personalized recommendations, articles, deals and more. When you travel, you want your bags to travel with you. Follow these tips from travel professionals on how not to lose your luggage.

Krystall Hotel (Tromsø, Norway)
Set to debut in December 2016, the 86-room, 5-star Krystall Hotel is a snowflake-shaped hotel that will float 220 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Accessible only by boat, it’ll boast a self-sustaining operation, including a spa. While the cozy, Arctic decor — think: ice-brick fireplaces — promises to warm the bellies of guests, the allure of Krystall is in the glass ceilings, which will provide exclusive views of Norway’s tree-lined coast and of the awe-inspiring Northern Lights

These all look awesome, but this might be my favorite.

Deal Alert: Airfare Savings for Fall and Winter

Deal Alert: Airfare Savings for Fall and Winter

Temperatures aren’t the only things dropping in fall and winter: Airlines are lowering their fares, too. If you plan on traveling in the coming months, snag one of these six deals before they’re gone — two expire today.

1. Japan: 20% off plus a free stopover
Take your pick of six Japanese …read more

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Deal Alert: Wyndham New Yorker Hotel from $199

Deal Alert: Wyndham New Yorker Hotel from $199

Scoring a Manhattan hotel room that’s comfy and chic for under $250 has long been a stiff challenge. But a package from the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel recently reminded us of two good strategies: Visit around — but not on — holiday weekends, and think ahead.

The Art Deco property near …read more

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