5 Reasons to Have a Destination Wedding at Breathless Punta Cana! — Mix & Mingle

Couples looking for a lively adults-only wedding with a colorful flare will fall head over heels in love with Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa. Our on-site wedding coordinators will see to every detail, so no petal will be out of place. Read on for our top 5 reasons why you should become a Breathless […]

via 5 Reasons to Have a Destination Wedding at Breathless Punta Cana! — Mix & Mingle

What Engineering taught me about being a Travel Consultant

expertWow, this summer will mark my 19th year in “Corporate America.” Nineteen years? Boy how time flies! Nineteen years ago, I was just about to graduate from the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering. Having already secured my first engineering job, I was wrapping up my coursework and preparing my mind for my move to Chicago. Since that time I’ve worked at four different technology based companies either as an engineer or project manager. And while there is no direct correlation, each of those organizations has prepared me with much of what I needed to know to start Violet Clover Travel Group.

It’s impossible to know everything

When I worked as an engineer my job was to know and understand the product. But honestly I didn’t know everything, just as I don’t know everything about the travel industry. It’s not humanly possible to know everything about anything. But what you can and should know is where to find the answer. As a Travel Consultant, I have direct access to all the major travel suppliers. Cruise suppliers, tour operators, resorts, you name it and I have a contact. If I don’t readily have the answer I will get it for you.

You have to be good at something

While you can’t know everything, you have to be good at something. As a Travel Consultant, it’s important to hone in on one or two areas of travel.  Would you select an engineering firm that specialized game design, medical devices, and telecommunications? I would hope not. Because each of the areas are specialized fields there would be no way that the firm could be good or proficient and any of them. The same is true for travel. If you’re looking to take your dream vacation to Europe you don’t want a Disney Specialist to plan the trip.

At Violet Clover Travel Group, we specialize in Destination Weddings and other group travel primarily in the Dominican Republic and Mexico. We would love to help you plan your next group trip. Contact us at 216-236-8450 or www.violetclovertravelgroup.com.


How to Become a Better Smartphone Photographer

Want to increase those likes, shares and comments on your vacation photos this year? Instead of packing an expensive camera, grab your smartphone and follow these easy tips and tricks from the pros.

  • Brighter is better
    Natural light is your friend. To get a great photo, put yourself in a position to get the best shot. If you’re indoors, set up your shot next to a large window. However, if you’re outside in the mid afternoon, direct sunlight can be too harsh on your subject. Look for creative ways to shade your subject to keep your photo balanced. You can also aim to shoot outside during the fabled “golden hour”- during sunrise and sunset.
  • Avoid too much zoom
    Extreme zooming on any subject can create an unwanted grain to any photo. If you need to zoom, wait until you already have the image you want and then zoom and crop in the editing phase.
  • Focus is key
    Your camera’s autofocus could be doing your photos more harm than good. Luckily, most smart phones allow you to pinpoint your photo’s focus directly from your palm. Set up your shot, and then touch and hold the main focal point on your screen until you see the yellow Auto Exposure/Auto Focus Lock appear. Take your photo as normal, and the final image should clearly highlight your subject.
  • Polish polish polish
    Once you’ve selected your favorites, it’s time to make them shine. There are dozens of options and free apps for your phone that will give your photos a professional edge, here are a few.

    • VSCO Cam: This app comes with its own filters and allows you to subtly adjust photo elements. For example, if you take a photo that’s too dark, this app can help lighten the photo without retaking it.
    • Snapseed: Auto-correct photos with a tap, or enhance them yourself with this app. This app also offers filters and special effects to polish your photos.
    • Pic Stitch: Make your own tiny collages with this easy-to-use app. It’s as simple as choosing your photos, choosing your layout, and sharing on social media. This is a great way to share several images without overcrowding your followers’ feeds.

    While filters and special effects offer exciting details to your photos, take care not to go overboard. Sometimes less is more.Better Camera Phone Pictures

Uber Easy To Expense Business Trips With Uber

Business travelers, feel free to flip over the new addition to the Uber suite of innovations.
Announced March 3, the ride-hailing app is unveiling its auto-expense feature, which allows travelers to seamlessly pair their accounts with expensing companies.

Now reimbursements are not only easy, they are delivered near effortlessly as you barely remember expensing your trip.

It’s as if an expense fairy soars throughout your respective Prius or Honda Accord’s backseat and waves its wand to get you your reimbursement without so much as a photocopied receipt.
The future is here and it is a boon for the lazy.
The report explains, offering how many different providers you can utilize: “With Auto-Expense you can link your Business Profile to your expense provider, like preferred partner Concur as well as Expensify, Certify, and Chrome River. Next time you ride on your Business Profile a copy of your receipt will be automatically sent for reimbursement.”
As Uber reminds, it launched its Business Profiles initiative last November, which simplified the process of splitting your personal and business accounts.
It basically took the guesswork out of expensing what was a trip to the pub with friends and a corporate lunch.
Now things are so much simpler, because you are just a couple taps on the smartphone away from foregoing the usual pain of printing a receipt.
The report also signaled just how popular Uber has been for corporate road warrior. According to Uber, nearly a million riders have taken advantage of the Business Profiles innovations.
The popularity is widespread as “over 200,000 companies” have employees using the Business Profiles feature.
Extrapolating those numbers, we predict a wave of success for auto-expense, which takes an already peaceful ride and makes it all the more enjoyable.

How To Beat Jet Lag: The Definitive Guide

How to beat jet lag
Illustration courtesy of Thinkstock

Jet lag can range from a minor annoyance to a debilitating problem that can leave travelers feeling out of sorts for several days (or even longer). Most people are able to tough it out, but the disruption in your regular sleeping schedule can be inconvenient and unhealthy.
The Mayo Clinic blames jet lag on the disruption of something called circadian rhythms, which regulate wake-sleep cycles. Actually, jet lag can sometimes do more than make you feel tired. A disruption in circadian rhythms can also affect other habitual parts of your day, such as when you feel hungry and even when you go to the bathroom.

Here are five things that experts from various fields suggest you try if you want to defeat the symptoms of jet lag.

Artificial sunlight
Sunlight is a major influence on your body’s subconscious biological patterns. Mayo Clinic does recommend over-the-counter sleeping aids (Ambien, for example) as a short-term solution for jet lag, but it also suggests that light therapy could be helpful.
Special bright lamps or desktop light boxes can be used to expose yourself to artificial sunlight for the hours that you are meant to be awake. This is probably only worthwhile for frequent business travelers, who can spend the time using a light box to get ready for an upcoming trip.

Push through until nighttime
Travel guru Rick Steves suggests that one of the best ways to avoid jet lag symptoms is to simply stay awake until it is bed time in your destination. If you arrive in Europe in the morning or afternoon, for example, don’t take a nap. Sleeping, even for a short while, will keep your body out of rhythm and may make it hard to sleep at night. Instead, Steves suggests pushing through the fatigue until it is time to sleep (10 p.m. to midnight). Then, you will be tired enough to sleep through the night. When you wake up in the morning, you will feel like you are on local time.

Get out
Flight attendants agree with the “don’t sleep until it’s time to sleep” strategy. Flight attendant Heather Poole, the author of “Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet,” suggests that it is not simply enough to stay awake. You need to get out of the hotel room if you start to feel jet lag-related fatigue creeping up. “Do not sit down on the hotel bed; once your behind touches the hotel bed, it’s over. Get out of the room. Go for a walk. Get in the sunlight.”

Some of the symptoms of jet lag might not be related to your circadian rhythms at all. With all that pressurized, recycled air, airplane cabins are extremely dry places. It is easy to get dehydrated, even if you drink those little cups of water every time a flight attendant offers them to you. Coffee and wine (or any other type of alcohol) may make you more relaxed while you are in the air, but they can heighten the effects of dehydration.
Harvard Medical School agrees with this, saying that “mild dehydration is common when traveling by air — and being dehydrated worsens the physical symptoms of jet lag. So drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after your flight, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.”

Supplement your natural hormones

A study at the UK’s Cochrane Centre found that a natural substance called melatonin can help counter the effects of jet lag. The study found that nine out of 10 people who took a supplement of the hormone, which occurs naturally in the human body, at the time when they were supposed to sleep at their destination experienced fewer symptoms than those who did not take the supplement.
Jet lag is a fact of life for long-distance travelers. People who travel across more than a few time zones regularly might need to experiment with light therapy, natural supplements or other treatments. For occasional globe-trotters, however, the best remedy is simply to tough it out on the first day and force yourself to sleep when it is bed time in your new time zone.


15 Reasons Couples Should Go On Vacation Instead of Buying Stuff

If your boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse has a birthday coming up, your anniversary is near or you want to plan the perfect holiday surprise, you should consider using your money to fund a vacation instead of buying a gift item.

Here are 15 excellent reasons why it’s better for couples to go on vacation than buy each other stuff:
1. People who collect experiences are happier than those who collect things
“That’s in part because the initial joy of acquiring a new object, such as a new car, fades over time as people become accustomed to seeing it every day, experts said. Experiences, on the other hand, continue to provide happiness through memories long after the event occurred,” according to CNN. The New York Times says, “Our own recent research shows that in addition to buying more experiences, you’re better served in many cases by simply buying less — and buying for others.”
2. You can see the world
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and never leave your hometown, but there’s no way to experience the world like travel. It’s like TV come to life!
3. You can visit family or friends
Why not go meet your 81-year-old Aunt Gracie in Ireland? You only live once — and she won’t be here much longer! Hop to it! It will likely be a life-changing experience for everyone involved.
4. Travel is educational
You can read about the history of the world all you like, but to truly understand it, you have to travel to the places history has touched. Which is to say as many places as possible! Once you develop a curiosity for the world, you’ll only want to travel more, learn more and understand more. It’ll make you and your relationship more interesting.
5. It can be cheaper
For the price of two iPads you can go abroad! Why not?
6. It puts you in touch with nature
Vacations don’t have to be to far off places and they don’t have to be expensive or long, either. A weekend in the nearest natural setting will work wonders for your mental health and your feeling of connection to the earth and to each other.
7. You can take time away from the kids
Sometimes you just need a chance to relax and unwind without the kids around. A few days at a seaside B&B will make you better parents!
8. Or you can bond with the kids!
Then again, family vacations can be a blast, too. Your kids will certainly thank you for a fun weekend at the water park!
9. You often do things on vacation you wouldn’t otherwise.
Physical activities like skiing, hiking or snorkeling are bonding exercises for you as a couple. The pride you’ll feel after having tried something new together will give your relationship a boost.
10. Learning about other cultures and ways of life helps you appreciate your own life
I visited Europe several times with my husband while we were married, and as much as I loved it there, it also made me appreciate the things I love about being American, too.
11. Sleeping in a hotel makes you happy to come home to your own bed
Hotel beds are great! But they make your own bed an even more welcome sight when you get home.
12. Your relationship grows on vacation in a way that it can’t at home
Working together to navigate a strange place, having time to just relax and chat, exploring new cultures and ideas … vacations provide lots of opportunities for relationship growth. They can also test the strength of a rocky relationship, too! So try to pre-plan your vacation at least a little bit to avoid fighting and maximize your enjoyment.
13. You’re making a lasting memory
You’ll never forget the time you went swimming with dolphins or sipped umbrella drinks on that perfect beach. In fact, your vacation memories will likely sweeten with time.
14. Your home will remain less cluttered
Who needs more “stuff” cluttering up their house? Playing with gadgets can be fun, but not as fun as real-life adventure!
15. It’s fun!
Bottom line: vacations put people in a good mood. Traveling lets you de-stress and get back to the basics of enjoying each other and all of the good things life has to offer. Here’s to your next trip!
written by: Carolyn Castiglia
Call Tiffany at 216-236-8450 or visit www.violetclovertravelgroup.com to book your next romantic getaway!

Violet Clover Travel Group – Press Release

October 22, 2015

For more information, contact:
Tiffany Bynum Owner & Travel Consultant
Violet Clover Travel Group

Violet Clover Travel Group Opens in Brunswick

[Brunswick, OH] – Tiffany Bynum is proud to announce the recent launch of her own travel agency, Violet Clover Travel Group located in Brunswick, Ohio.

After many years of traveling, Tiffany felt it was the perfect time to make a career out of doing something that she loves – selling travel and helping others plan their dream vacations!

Tapping into the growing demand for travel agents, Violet Clover Travel Group uses expert guidance and personalized service to connect clients with flawless trips to relaxing, adventurous and romantic destinations.

One of the many benefits of using Violet Clover Travel Group to plan a vacation is firsthand destination knowledge and advice she can provide. Violet Clover Travel Group has experienced many destinations and can easily narrow down choices that meet a client’s needs and budget, while providing the hottest deals and exclusive offers.

Tiffany specializes in booking cruises and land based travel, but has received comprehensive training in planning other types of travel as well.

Tiffany has nearly twenty (20) years of experience in corporate program planning. She is a certified Program Management Professional that has decided to use her corporate planning skills to help clients create lasting memories, by providing awesome vacation experiences.

For more information about Violet Clover Travel Group, visit www.violetclovertravelgroup.com.

ABOUT VIOLET CLOVER TRAVEL GROUP – The mission of Violet Clover Travel Group is to provide unique, luxury tours and cruise travel experiences, for discerning clients. For more information, visit www.violetclovertravelgroup.com.


Excited about Host Agency

I’ve selected the host agency that I will be working with going forward. I’m excited and pleased with my choice to select KHM Travel Group. I’ve been an Independent Agent with this team for 24 hours and already they are heads and shoulders above the other group that I was working with for the last few weeks.

Step 1 complete agent training. Step 2 book your next vacation!

Call 216-236-8450 to begin planning for next Cruise vacation with Violet Clover Travel Group.