It is with misty eyes and a bit of a sniffle that I pen my last post for ShermansTravel (although maybe that’s just from all the dust my desk has accumulated). After nearly three years as a member of this amazing editorial team, it’s time to print out my final boarding pass and fly off into the sunset.
By no means a homebody when I first started, I’ve learned a lot about travel and the travel industry during my time here. For my final post, I’d like to impart some of that wisdom (if you can call it that) on you, dear readers. Here are a few things I found out by working at ShermansTravel:
When too-good-to-be-true airfares pop up, buy as fast as you can. Because hey, you never know. Just last week El Al decided to honor fares booked at the ridiculously low price of $400 round-trip from New York to Tel Aviv. Similarly, a glitch on Iberia’s booking site in late 2010 meant I scored tickets to Paris on partner American Airlines for under $300. It was so worth the splurge – and the vacation days – to go to France for that cheap.
Travel deals aren’t always what they seem. That huge savings a hotel promises may not seem so incredible once you break down the price or dig a little deeper to find the actual rates people normally pay, rather than the inflated “rack rate.” Make sure you understand all the industry jargon so you won’t be fooled by non-deal deals.
People get ridiculous when confined to giant steel cylinders flying at 35,000 feet. From peeing on planes to smuggling hummingbirds to celebrities behaving badly, we had enough fodder for a whole article on the absurdities of air travel last year. A month later, our list was already out of date. What is it about flying that brings out the worst in people? Which brings us to . . .
The “golden age of air travel” may be false nostalgia, but at least people dressed well (or you know, put on real clothes). Remember when people used to dress up to fly? The folks at FreakJet sure don’t.
Plush hotel amenities do make a difference. I’ve always been a bit of a bargain traveler who could do without high-end perks in the name of a cheap stay. But man, those Westin Heavenly beds sure are great.
There will always be dirt cheap hotels rooms in Vegas. At our weekly meeting where we discuss the best travel deals we’ve seen, it’s almost a contest to see who can find the lowest prices in Sin City. This week it’s $26/night at Circus Circus. Twenty-six dollars! That’s less than the obnoxious “resort fee” at some upscale hotels.
Nothing beats travel for eye-opening, life-changing, truly memorable experiences. From chowing down on authentic cuisine in central Mexico to hanging with the cool kids at Budapest’s ruin pubs, from rocking out at the Montreal Jazz Festival to swimming with stingrays off Grand Cayman, I’ve seen and done some pretty awesome things as a ShermansTravel correspondent. Though my days as a professional traveler may be over (for now) I’ll never get tired of exploring new places – and neither should you!