Viewing entries in
travel

Comment

Top 3 Reasons to Use a Travel Agent For Your Next Trip

charleston weekender charleston blog

There are tons of misconceptions out there when it comes to travel agents and how they work. I have worked with travel agents for several vacations, and hands down think it’s the best way to go when you travel! This Saturday you’ll have the chance to connect with several local travel agents and learn about the latest cruises and resorts at the Cruise and Travel Show. This will be the perfect opportunity to begin a lasting relationship with someone you trust with your one vacation of the year. Keep scrolling to read some of my favorite reasons to work with a travel agent, get a coupon code for free tickets to the show, and to find out which celebrities you can expect to meet on Saturday!

This post is in partnership with Dream Vacations, but all opinions are my own.

Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina

Why I Prefer Working With Travel Agents:

1. Save Money/Get Perks (yes, it’s FREE to work with a travel agent!)

A lot of people shy away from calling on a travel agent because common sense would make you think this is an added luxury you can’t afford. It’s actually quite the opposite! In fact, the times I have worked with a travel agent, it has saved us money. A travel agent is typically getting paid by the hotels or activities they book for you, not by you! You then get the best possible rate on really nice accommodations and I’ve often gotten other perks; when we went to Istanbul last fall we scored a $100 dining credit and cheaper prices than I found myself online. Whether you want to go to a resort, on a cruise, or just create an a la carte vacation, this is going to get you the best bang for your buck.

reasons to work with a travel agent

2. Save Time & Stress

I definitely suffer from analysis paralysis when it comes to finalizing a travel destination and booking a hotel. There are a plethora of options these days, and I get so overwhelmed so fast! I love scouring Instagram and Pinterest to find the places I want to visit in said city, but when it comes to lining up our accommodations, I like to leave it to the pros. Give them a budget, and let them do all the work. It IS actually work to plan a trip after all; sometimes hours and hours of research on websites that aren’t always up to date.

3. It’s Good To Have a Trustworthy Advocate

Prior to leaving for your trip, it’s nice to be able to ask someone with first hand experience about most of the locations you want to go to. If they haven’t been themselves, likely one of their colleagues or other clients has information that will help you make an informed decision about things like the best time of year to travel to your destination.

If something goes wrong when you’re miles away from home, that’s going to put a major damper on your plans! A travel agent has access to a network of other options if need be, and it’s their job to help you when you’re in a pinch.

Sounds pretty magical to plan a vacation with so much ease, am I right!? Now, sit back and start dreaming of your summer vacation with a little help from the Cruise and Travel show…

dream mini letter balloons

The Details of the Cruise & Travel Show:

There will be plenty of guests of honor for you to meet this weekend at the Charleston Marriott. Bravo celebs Shep Rose & Captain Lee will be in attendance from 10-12, The Cocktail Bandits will be there serving vacation inspired cocktails for you to sample from 1-3, and Wyatt Durrette will be performing from 2-4!

Charleston cocktail glass

You can also try an assortment of tasty vacation inspired food from a few different cruise lines, get loads of info on the latest and greatest destinations, and they’ll even offer some fun times for your kids (like a balloon artist & some familiar local characters). Take the whole family and get everyone excited for your next trip!


Use my discount code, LCL, to
score free tickets here!

Comment

Comment

Weekender Wednesday: Dream Vacations

dream vacations cruise & travel show

This month on Lowcountry Live, I teamed up with Dream Vacations to tell you about the Cruise & Travel show coming to Charleston on June 1.  The Cocktail Bandits will be there serving tropical cocktails, you can taste some travel inspired cuisine, and Wyatt Durette will be performing from 2-4! 

Watch the segment to learn more about the event and to get a code for free tickets: http://abcnews4.com/lowcountry-live/weekender-wednesday-charleston-weekender-dream-vacations

Comment

2 Comments

Modernism Week Must-Sees

20181020_CWAcmeWexlerFishbowl_NCS_070.jpg

Modernism Week is the annual Palm Springs event that you’ve probably heard me yammer on & on about the past few years! It’s hard to express with words why I love this city and this February event so much, so I wanted to share some fun photos and my top recommendations in the line-up this year. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of why you need to join me there and which events you just can’t miss!

So what IS Modernism Week?

Modernism Week begins on February 14th & is a celebration of all things mid-century; the architecture & decor, the nightlife, the culture, and so much more! It lasts for 11 days, and offers a plethora of happenings from lectures on architecture to cocktail parties. This event is especially fun for design enthusiasts and architecture lovers like me, because you get to tour a lot of private homes & neighborhoods you wouldn’t otherwise see when you visit this desert oasis. Now let’s get you rocking & rolling with a fabulous itinerary, shall we?! In no particular order, here are the events I’ll definitely be checking out.

This post is in partnership with ACME House Company, but all opinions are my own.


Nathan Cox Photography

Nathan Cox Photography

Aqualillies Synchronized Swimming Show | February 15th-19th, 3 shows a day | Get Tickets Here

I immediately fan-girled over these talented ladies when I saw them perform on Glee, then again when they collaborated on a series of fine art prints with my favorite photographer, Gray Malin. It was Gray’s photos that inspired me to reach out to these synchronized swimming dynamos to see if they might work with me on a photo shoot to help me promote my Turkish towels. Well, they kindly agreed, not once but twice! We worked together on this shoot in Palm Beach with Beth from Palm Beach Lately and again in Palm Springs with the adorable Kelly Golightly & her husband “Fred Moser”. The Palm Springs shoot happened at one of my favorite ACME properties, and hence is how the Aqualillies connected with the fabulous brand manager of ACME. This was obviously a match made in modernism heaven- I mean I think every single ACME rental has the one thing the Aqualillies can’t do without- a pool! Well, fast forward to this year’s Modernism Week and that connection has blossomed into 15 fabulous performances! The shows will take place at ACME’s 2018 West Elm House, so as an added bonus you get to see that gorgeous property.

Truth be told, this is probably the event I’m most looking forward to! Luckily, upon introducing ACME + Aqualillies, I asked for a matchmaking fee of a permanent invitation to their performances together. I really hope you get to see one of their shows, too. If you’ve never witnessed an aqua ballet, it will simply make you giggle with delight!


Christopher Kennedy Compound First Look | Friday February 15th, 6-8pm | Get Tickets Here

Sadly, all of the tickets to tour this 1962 Indian Canyons home are already sold out, but you can still be the first to get a peek at this jaw dropping spectacle during this grand reveal party. In a nutshell, the Christopher Kennedy Compound is typically the main highlight of Mod Week. A couple years ago it was at the fabulous home of my favorite Palm Springs blogger, Kelly Golightly. Talent after talent collaborated to design a different room- everyone from Oh Joy to Gray Malin. I can’t wait to see who the celebrity designers are and how they transform the show house this year! All 12 of them will be on site during the evening so you can ask them about their designs in person.

Christopher Kennedy Store & Design Showroom, Nathan Cox Photography

Christopher Kennedy Store & Design Showroom, Nathan Cox Photography

If you can’t make it to any of the Christopher Kennedy Compound events, you’ll have to at least pop into his swoon-worthy store. It’s one of my favorite stores in town, and they even carry my Turkish towels!

20180711_Shopping_045.jpg

The Ultimate Mid Mod Cocktail Party | 2019 West Elm House | February 17th, 5-7pm | Get Tickets Here

If you’ve always wanted to stay at an ACME House Company Vacation rental but can’t swing it this time around, this is the next best thing. You can tour this 1950’s estate home as well, but I highly recommend you go ahead and give yourself a night to remember and hit up this party! There will be an open bar & live music, and you can hang out around the fabulous pool or lounge in any of the impeccably designed rooms like the retro queen that you are. The entire house is decked out in everything West Elm, just like the other ACME West Elm houses I’ve showed you in the past. If you’d like to see the home during the day to get better photos, you can tour it for free by reserving a ticket here.

50e689ef47d8c2969f3f733494699d1e_sm.jpg

Modern Love: | February 14th, 8pm | Get Tickets Here

This is the other cocktail party I recommend, not only because it falls on my very favorite holiday, but also because it’s the official kick off to the week of fun! There will be a 12 piece orchestra AND a DJ, and the Indian Canyons Country Club Clubhouse will be transformed into “a groovy, modern love lair”. I better work on my beehive hairdo and break out the white pleather boots

Jonny takes cocktail parties VERY seriously!    Nathan Cox Photography

Jonny takes cocktail parties VERY seriously! Nathan Cox Photography


Green Gables Poolside Fashion Show | Thursday February 21st, 5-7pm | Get Tickets Here

4a5cae23c385c501359417d7aee273e6.jpg

The pools of Palm Springs are always a delight, and this H3K designed home is no exception. While called “Green Gables”, the home is actually overflowing with pops of yellow! It was definitely one of my favorite home tour stops during Modernism Week Preview back in October, and this event is a great way to check it out this February. You’ll get to enjoy cocktails and appetizers while watching an array of fashion trends from 1950-1965 walk down a poolside runway. Groovy, baby!

Green Gables by H3K Design

Green Gables by H3K Design

If you still need a place to stay, you won’t be disappointed if you stay in an ACME vacation rental!  The ones I’ve tried (and LOVED) are Beverly Modern, Atomic Hummingbird, & The Wexler Fishbowl. We also got to peek into the “Palm Springs Time Machine”, the home from the Netflix Show Stay Here, and boy is it a beauty!  ALL YEAR LONG, you can use code WeekenderLove for a $100+ discount on your next stay with ACME!

Nathan Cox Photography

Nathan Cox Photography

Comment below or shoot me a DM on Instagram if you’ll be heading to Modernism Week this year!

2 Comments

Comment

Why You Should Plan an Off-Season Palm Springs Vacation

20180710_LizMartinBeverlyModern_002.jpg
Sadly enough, the ushering in of fall very slightly makes me start to already dread winter!  By January or February, we East Coasters are just over the winter weather and itching for a sunny escape.  I've always loved heading to sunny Florida or sunny California that time of year, and Palm Springs, CA is definitely one of my destinations of choice.  In the summer months, however, I typically opt for a northeast destination to escape the heat.  Surprisingly, I was VERY pleased to get to learn just how much I also loved Palm Springs in the "off season"- smack dab in the middle of summer!  I joined a few other awesome influencers that ACME House Company hosted to help show our favorite things about the city. The temps were near 100 degrees, but daily dips in the pool & breezy evenings made for the most enjoyable experience nonetheless.  You really can't go wrong visiting this happy city any time of year, but here are a few reasons to consider going in the "off season": 

1. Affordable Rates

Lots of hotels & vacation rentals will drop their rates, so find your favorite and get on their email list so you don't miss it.  If you're wanting to travel with your family or a group, ACME House Company is one of my favorite vacation rental companies (see some of their houses here and here).  I most recently got to stay at their "Beverly Modern" house with my adorable pal Krystine Edwards (see some photos of the adorable pad below).  Keep an eye on ACME via their Instagram, because they often runs specials in the off season.  I just saw they extended their summer rates through September 30th, so there is plenty of time to take advantage of the best deals of the year.

2. Access to Top Rated Restaurants

An off season visit means you'll have your pick of plenty of great restaurants to get into, likely without needing reservations like you would at other times of the year.  I enjoyed getting right in everywhere we tried- which is very different from the experience I've had at other times of the year (such as during Modernism Week). Some of my favorites lately are Azucar, Norma's at The Parker, & Evzin Mediterranean Cuisine (pictured below, what an over the top awesome meal!). 

3. Take Advantage of Great Sales at Shops/Showrooms

Palm Springs has everything from cute wine & cheese shops like On The Mark, to elevated souvenir shops like Destination PSP, and of course plenty of retail stores (both new and vintage).  Visiting a city in the off season just means a higher likelihood you can find some major deals while you're there!  As a store owner, I'm here to tell you that it is TOUGH to be in the retail industry during slow seasons like after Christmas and over the summer, so this is when you're more likely to find things at the best prices and not have to deal with crowded boutiques.

Our colorful group outside of Destination PSP. I splurged on these   super cute glasses  !

Our colorful group outside of Destination PSP. I splurged on these super cute glasses!

Palm Springs has several superb showrooms for the art & design lovers out there as well.  On part of our #AcmeSummerSocial trip, we got to visit Shag, the most fun gallery you'll ever encounter. How amazing does our group look re-creating a live version of the classic Shag artwork?  

20180710_Shopping_028.jpg

Christopher Kennedy is another store/showroom combo that you'll love- it's always a must visit whenever I'm in town. Christopher is the designer behind the main show house at Modernism Week, so this is the perfect place to go for trend-spotting any time of year!

The adorable  Dawn McCoy  and friends, showing off my turkish towels at the Christopher Kennedy store!

The adorable Dawn McCoy and friends, showing off my turkish towels at the Christopher Kennedy store!

-------

Sure, it's going to be hot if you visit Palm Springs in the summer (it IS the desert, after all)... but I promise it's nothing compared to the East Coast humidity we get.  Even in July, I had some really lovely morning walks and worked poolside (without even schvitzing)!  I can't really say the same about Charleston in July & August- even in the early morning hours you kind of feel like you're stepping straight into a sauna.  
You heard it here first, people: Dry heat just can't be beat.  Plus, unlike Charleston, pools are EVERYWHERE in Palm Springs!
ACME's Beverly Modern Vacation Rental in Palm Springs, California

ACME's Beverly Modern Vacation Rental in Palm Springs, California

Thanks again to my awesome hosts, Visit Palm Springs & ACME House Company's Beverly Modern House!  P.S. Don't forget to come say hi on Instagram & check out my city guides for more trip ideas & inspiration. 

all images c/o Nathan Cox Studios for ACME House Company

Comment

Comment

5 Hotels for the Design Lover

rarebrick_20140701_3825.jpg

This post is in partnership with Lark Hotels,but all opinions are mine.

If you're looking to do some US travel where you'd like to relax without breaking the bank, I highly recommend Lark Hotels!   I'm working my way through visiting as many Larks as I can- I just love their colorful vibes, the always relaxing atmosphere, the exceptional breakfast, and friendly staff.  I can only vouch for The Attwater, Summercamp Hotel, & the Whitehall Inn, but I'm dying to check out the rest of the Larks on this list!

1. Whitehall Inn in Camden, Maine

See more from my recent stay on Instagram!

2. Summercamp Hotel in Martha's Vineyard

Find more from our Summercamp visit here

Find more from our Summercamp visit here

3. The Attwater in Newport, RI

4. Field Guide in Stowe, Vermont

5. 21 Broad in Nantucket, MA

rarebrick_20140630_3669.jpg

I recently read an inspiring interview with the interior designer behind all of these fabulous hotels, (Rachel Reider).  She talked about working with local artisans in each locale to help develop a "sense of place". That is exactly the term that can make me totally fall in love with a hotel or restaurant, so I'm currently working toward decorating our new home with that same concept in mind.  Why not give each room a fun sense of place with it's own style that makes you happy? I hope you found these locations to be as inspiring as I did, and be sure to follow along on Instagram for more Weekender Travels.

All images c/o Lark Hotels 

Comment