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An Introduction to Lively Co. Travel

A little about who we are and how we can help you!

Can you believe it’s already December? With the holidays just around the corner, most of us tend to look like we’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Rest assured, if holiday travels are part of your stress, Lively Co. has got you covered! 

Oh, wait, I forgot to introduce us! We are Lively Co., a full-service travel agency. Formed in 1983 as a family-owned company called American Travel & Tours, we have since rebranded and changed management. Based out of Austin, Texas and at the head of it all, is CEO Taylor Harrell-Goodwin. 

With a decade of hospitality service under her belt, Taylor offers years of expertise and quality attention. With awards in Hospitality Management, a seat on the AHLA for Women in Lodging and board member in SGMP Capital Chapter. 

Next to her, is a team of dedicated people that are determined to provide you with the best service in the industry. Basically, we want you to relax and give away all of your stress, worries, and questions to us. We kinda know what we’re doing, and we’re happy to do it for you!

Think of us as your travel concierge, delivering you excellent round-the-clock service, awesome deals, and experiences you have been dreaming of! We have excellent relationships with Norwegian cruises, Disney, Carnival and Delta Vacations, just to name a few. 

Whether your preferred vacation is relaxing on the beach, having a blast at Disney, networking at corporate events, snow skiing in the mountains, or traveling the high-seas, we’ll get you set up on your trip promptly. Just send us some simple info, like your budget and your destination and we will completely personalize your experience. Voila- you’re on your way!

We do everything for you, from start to end. We’ll book your flight and hotel, your rental car, tour guides, family activities and more. 

Got questions about the hoppin’ spots in Europe? Want to know how you can get a super deal on hotels in Hawaii? These are things that we have expertise on. You don’t even need to lift a finger or Google a single phrase. 

Are you planning on traveling for the holidays? With Christmas around the corner, we know that traveling can be a hassle to plan. Give us the pleasure of helping you out so you can eat turkey and take stress-free tryptophan naps!

So, we wanna know, where are you planning to go for the holidays? Comment below!

3 Top Tips for Your First U.S. Road Trip

America truly has it all. From its three major mountain ranges to its forests, deserts, and coasts, you will never run out of sights on a road trip. The U.S. is also a huge country, crisscrossed by a multitude of roads and highways that may pose a challenge for the first-time traveler. Factor in different time zones, climates and local laws and a U.S. road trip might seem daunting. However, with a little advance planning, your American road trip can be a stress-free ride.

Watch When You Cross the State Line

Many laws differ from state to state. For example, across some areas of Texas, the speed limit is an astonishing 85 miles per hour, while out in California, a speed limit of 65 miles per hour is observed on roadways with two lanes. California, Oregon and Washington require hands-free phone use in contrast to Idaho, Wyoming, Nebraska and Iowa, all of which allow the driver to hold his or her phone while driving. Texting behind the wheel is generally illegal, so plan to pull over to make that call. State laws are usually posted at the state boundary. Make sure to look for them.

Keeping an Eye Out

More than ever, today’s driver needs to be alert. Some states are notorious for unsafe and reckless driving. When on the road, drive defensively and expect the unexpected. Whether it’s a car weaving across the lane or a trucker merging into traffic too quickly, scan three car lengths ahead to anticipate such anomalies. Likewise, eliminate distractions and don’t multitask. Save snacking, texting and changing the music for the rest area. The most common causes of distracted driving may seem minor but can be major.

Research Your Itinerary

Naturally, while you want to preserve spontaneity, it pays to research where you will be driving. At a bare minimum, investigate local weather and temperature conditions for the time of year you plan to visit. Plan wisely for these conditions whether it’s by bringing snow chains or extra water. Moreover, read up on local traffic conditions. While a GPS can be useful for on-the-fly suggestions, don’t rely on one exclusively. By investigating local conditions ahead of time, you will have a better sense of the overall journey.

Traveling enables you to unplug from the routine. You can return home reinvigorated with plenty of stories to tell friends and family. This prize lies just outside your door. There is nothing like a road trip and no place to take one like America.

Do you know where you are going to sleep on your trip? Click here for the best hotels and resorts!

Lively Co. Travel: Behind the Brand

 

Get to Know Lively Co.

By definition, lively means active, animated and energetic. We’d like to share with you our unique story behind the brand that we call Lively Co. Travel. It began with our founder (Taylor) and is inspired by her baby sister, M. Like many 5-year-olds, M is always bursting with joyful, infectious energy and is forever looking for her next adventure. Just like M, we want our clients to feel that unique sense of joy and freedom that’s often associated with the thrill and passion of discovering a new travel destination.

Lively Co. Logo

Our logo was carefully chosen, which includes a looped cursive font to honor ‘Pawpaw,’ Taylor’s grandfather, who is left-handed and writes with beautiful penmanship. Cursive writing is also conjoined, which represents a bond and a sense of unity that keeps us all together. Our team is closely connected, and we want our clients to feel included, like they are a special part of our family. Finally, we chose the globe and airplane graphics to represent baby sister, M’s adventurous spirit and thirst for new experiences.

Think Pink

We wanted to incorporate the color pink into our branding to represent the women behind Lively Co. Travel: Taylor’s mother (who loves anything in pink), grandmother, and baby sister. We used a soft, muted pink, which also gives Lively Co. a slightly retro look and feel. We are indeed a LIVELY bunch, and we thought pink would give off a fun pop of color!

Personalized Service

If you’re looking for a carefully curated and unparalleled travel experience, you’ve reached your destination! Taylor brings her over 10 years of experience from the hospitality industry to help clients get the best deal within their unique needs and budget. She keeps her happy Lively Co. clients coming back time and time again because she knows the devil is in the details. She and the rest of our team will work tirelessly behind the scenes to create an unforgettable travel experience for you and your guests.

Whether you want to snorkel with the fish in Hawaii, explore the ancient ruins of Greece, or set sail on a romantic Caribbean cruise, Lively Co. Travel will take you there.

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Ideas

It’s the season of love! Some couples celebrate Valentine’s Day with an annual date night. Others like to find new, innovative ways to delight in their relationship, which could be on a romantic, all-inclusive vacation!

When it comes to romance, the key is to keep the spark alive. And trust me, it’s not always easy to think of new ways to connect with your special someone, even if you’re on a beautiful vacation. To take your romantic trip from ordinary to unforgettable, try one or two of these ideas to spice up your time together.
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If you consider yourselves foodies, try a cooking class. Want to learn to craft a signature cocktail? Stir (or shake) up something delicious at a mixology class! Always wanted to try paddle-boarding or yoga? Classes are available at most all-inclusive resorts to give you the opportunity try something new together. You never know when you’ll discover your new favorite shared hobby, but at the very least, you’ll leave with a story to laugh about together.

Did you know that many resorts have a photographer available on-site to help you capture your love and your vacation? Photography sessions are often reasonably priced and easy to schedule with a professional. Afterwards, you can pick out a frame together to feature your favorite vacation photo in and have a personalized souvenir to bring home!
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Vacation is the chance to treat yourselves in a way you wouldn’t normally back home. Splurge on a day pass to a neighboring resort and dine in their specialty restaurant. Or let your stresses melt away together with a day at the spa. You also can’t go wrong with a candlelit dinner on the beach. The life of luxury is yours, even if it’s only on vacation.

Prepare for your trip by packing wardrobe options that will help you feel your best! Whether it’s splurging for a new outfit to wear to a romantic dinner or a trendy swimsuit that will give you best tan lines possible, you’ll look forward to every moment of the trip, even packing your bags!
A romantic all-inclusive trip is a great Valentine’s Day surprise, a way to celebrate a milestone birthday, anniversary, or simply the chance to get away together. And with the help of Lively Co Travel, we can make sure your vacation isn’t just a trip. It will be your time to recharge and reconnect with your loved one.

Things you Probably Didn’t Think to Pack for Travel

Packing your bags for a trip can be a grueling process, especially if you aren’t a frequent traveler. Most people know to pack the basics- you know, the clothes (don’t forget the undies), toiletries, medicines and identification documents. Your destination will impact your luggage contents a great deal, but there are several things that most every traveler will find handy to have. Below is a list of some items you’ll be glad you packed but might not have thought to pack. Give them a look and let us know if you have any secret must-have items in your luggage!

  • Chapstick
  • Extra Ziploc bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Snacks
  • Pen and paper
  • Reading glasses
  • A poncho or umbrella
  • Earplugs
  • Lotion
  • Car phone charger
  • Outlet adapters (when traveling to other countries)
  • A few extra empty bags for dirty clothes and other miscellaneous items
  • A towel 
  • Portable chargers 
  • A throw blanket 
  • A first aid kit 
  • Headache medicine
  • An empty water bottle or a collapsible water bottle
  • Health insurance cards
  • A small purse or travel bag
  • A Tile to track your luggage (https://www.thetileapp.com/)
  • Travel size condiments (hey, you never know when you might need some ketchup)
  • Eye drops
  • An extension cord
  • Wet wipes/moist towelettes 

Are there any special items that you pack that most people don’t know they need for traveling? Let us know in the comments!

5 Reasons Travelers Should Hire a Travel Agent

Years ago, before the internet, many people entrusted travel agencies to plan and book their trips for them. Nowadays, because of technological advances, many people do this on their own with the help of search engines, phone apps and travel booking sites. Doing any travel planning and booking on your own is certainly easier than before because of these technologies, but there are still many advantages of hiring a travel agency versus planning you travel on your own.

  1. Expertise

Perhaps the biggest advantage to hiring a travel agent is the expertise that they are able to provide to travelers. Travel agents can recommend a plethora of information based on criteria you give them for your travel preferences. They have inside knowledge on destinations and vendors. They can also anticipate any issues that you might encounter before, during and after your travel adventures. 

  1. Convenience 

Planning a trip can be very time-consuming. Hiring a travel agent can save you hours of time, especially if you are an infrequent or inexperienced traveler. Travelers often spend hours of time doing research on the internet, trying to find information that your travel agent will likely already have knowledge of. 

  1. Cost savings

Many people have misconceptions that hiring a travel agent will be expensive. In reality, travel agents have many partnerships and vendor relationships that can end up saving you a lot of money. Travel agents can also anticipate any hidden or additional costs that travelers might encounter before and during their travel. 

  1. Peace of mind

There are a number of issues that can cause stress to travelers, such as baggage loss, trip cancellation and medical emergency expenses. Travel insurance is offered by most travel agents and it can offer some peace of mind to those worried about encountering any of these issues on their travel journeys. There is also peace of mind in knowing, if something does go wrong, you will have someone to call and someone on your side. 

  1. Personalization

Another great advantage to hiring a travel agency is that travel agents are able to personalize your experience. There are many types of travelers that have a variety of interests, there can be no one-size-fits-all trips. A travel agent knows this, and will take our preferences and tastes into consideration when planning and recommending your travel itinerary. 

So, before you spend hours of your time in search engines and various travel websites, consider hiring a travel agent instead of trying to DIY your next trip. You’ll give yourself a big pat on the back once you realize you saved yourself a lot of time, money and stress by hiring a travel agent to personalize your trip and give you the recommendations for the travel experience you desire.

When is the best time to book a trip?

Are you thinking about booking a vacation or trip in the near future? One common question about booking a trip is “when is the best time to book a trip?” There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but if you’re trying to get the best deals, you are likely going to want to purchase in advance. For many people, this is no problem, but for spontaneous and procrastinator people, it might be bothersome. 

Below are a few commonly asked questions about trip booking. 

How far in advance should we purchase airline tickets?  

According to the 5th Annual Airfare study by Cheapair.com, the prime booking time for flights is 115 days to 21 days in advance. Although this is the time-frame where you will find the best prices, if you prefer being the first to get tickets or peace of mind, you may want to start looking 10 months from now. That doesn’t leave much room for spontaneity, but planner types are in planning heaven!

If you’re planning a trip during a winter holiday week, you’ll want to start looking in September or October, according to CNN. This is when the prices are going to likely be the lowest. 

Photo by Riccardo Bresciani on Pexels.com

What is the best day of the week to purchase airline tickets?

Tuesday is the best day to purchase tickets, according to many researchers. And Friday is the worst (CheapAir). However, most agree that it’s not that significant of a difference to really matter. The real difference in prices is more about how many weeks in advance you are purchasing, not what day of the week you are buying the tickets. 

What about booking a trip during the holidays? 

If you’re trying to avoid the travel crowds in the air and on the road, you might want to stay away from traveling around the holidays- like during the winter holidays (November and December), Fourth of July, Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day, Easter, and Mardi Gras (USA Today). These are the times when the prices and traffic are the highest. 

If you’re trying to book a trip during the winter holidays, if you can avoid traveling on the day before and after the holiday and travel on the actual holiday, that’s your best option, according to CNN. The day before and after having the highest prices and volume. 

Overall

Being prepared a few months in advance is the best idea if you are trying to get the best deals. If you want to be more spontaneous, it’s possible, but you’ll pay the price. Literally. If you’re traveling like so many others during the holidays, expect delays and price hikes, as that is just the reality of traveling at peak times. 

 I’d love you help you plan your 2020 travel, no matter where you are dreaming of traveling to! Don’t hesitate to call, email, or reach out to me to talk travel!

Here’s to another great year and many adventures in 2020!

Holiday Stress Be Gone!

5 Tips for eliminating stress during the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, they say. But it’s also the most stressful to many! You’re probably feeling the pressure at work, from your family, and your bank account. Not to mention, the lines are insanely long everywhere, you’ve got 5 different Christmas parties to go to and you’re not done baking everyone’s favorite Christmas cookies!

If you’re already feeling the overwhelm that December brings, you are not alone.

The holidays are so magical- but there is also a lot of added stress during the holiday season as well. Here are some tips to help you combat that extra stress this season.

While we can’t bake those cookies for you, we can give you a few mental health tips to get you through these stressful times.

Holiday Mental Health Reminder # 1

This is more of a reminder: You are only one person. As much as you think you are capable of doing #allthethings, you aren’t. Don’t take on more than you can chew.

Don’t make yourself crazy by trying to bake five thousand cookies, volunteer at 3 different events, buy gifts for everyone under the sun, and still do all the things you are supposed to do normally (that laundry pile keeps getting bigger, right?).

Holiday Mental Health Reminder # 2

Say NO to things you do not want to do or don’t have enough time or energy for. Also see the closely related tip #1!

I know, the holidays make us feel jolly and giving- but be realistic when it comes to agreeing to doing things for others. Learn to say NO to others.

Holiday Mental Health Reminder # 3

To avoid stress from finances, don’t spend more than you can afford. It sounds like a given, right? But it always seems there is some added pressure when it comes to giving during the holidays.

If you’re someone who LOVES to give gifts, you rock! But you also don’t have to buy Gene in accounting a $15 gift!

Keep it simple and remember that not all gifts cost money.

Holiday Mental Health Reminder # 4

Don’t feel obligated to spend time with people who stress you out! Holidays can be awesome, but there’s also added pressure to visit with people who cause us stress.

That means staying away from that aunt who is always calling you chubby, or that cousin you can’t stand who constantly brags about himself! You don’t need that in your life!

Holiday Mental Health Reminder # 5

Just breathe (& take some time for self-care)! Take a walk, do some meditation, take that bubble bath, do that workout, sleep in late this weekend, go to Lady Bird Lake and just people-watch or watch that new @disneyplus show. Whatever your version of self-care is, do it!

What will you do this holiday season to calm your stress?

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