Why Join Active Travels?

Because it's time to try something new.

About The Owners

Top 10 Travel Experiences
  • Going scuba diving off the coast of Bali. Eighty feet below the water, I look over and see my brother Jim waving at me. He had never scuba dived before and was certainly not certified.
  • Staring at the Eiffel Tower from the window of our sumptuous suite at the Plaza Athenee in Paris. 
  • Feeling like Lawrence of Arabia while being pelted by a sandstorm in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile.
  • Going an hour out of way to try the highly praised Iskender Kebab at a restaurant in Kaysari, Turkey. It was worth the detour! 
  • Smoking opium with a leper in Mae Hong San, Thailand. Don't worry, my guide told me. He's not contagious.
  • Watching my family rock climb up a sheer cliff in the Canadian Rockies.
  • Being covered from head to toe by ticks while watching hippos swim in South Africa's Kruger National Park. We showered with turpentine that afternoon.
  • Hiking to Lake Tangimauthia on the island of Taveuni, Fiji. To reach this volcanic lake hidden inside the island's mountainous interior, we had to trudge through mud and water up to our waist for almost a mile. It led to one of my most memorable stories.
  • Getting freshly made challah and halvah on a Friday afternoon at the Mehane Yehudah market in Jerusalem.
  • Seeing a family of scarlet macaws on a tree in the Costa Rican rainforest. You couldn't help but hear them, they were squawking so loudly.

Steve Jermanok

In the summer of 1990, Steve Jermanok left his job as a broker in Manhattan and booked a year-long ticket to the South Pacific. Upon his return, he would write his first article, “Dining with Descendants of Cannibals in Fiji,” for The Miami Herald.

Today, he is considered one of the most prolific travel writers in North America, having explored more than 80 countries and written over 1000 articles on a broad range of subjects, from food to art to adventure.

He has worked as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, contributing editor for Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, guest editor for The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and writes regularly for The Boston Globe, Travel & Leisure, and The Washington Post.

Other writing projects have included 11 guidebooks, working with Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Discovery Channel, Outside Magazine and other travel publishers; and a screenplay, which he collaborated on with his brother, Jim, Passionada, released by The Samuel Goldwyn Company in 2003.

Top 10 Travel Experiences
  • Canoeing down a river in the French Polynesian island, Raiatea, and meeting some children laughing as they swung from the tree into the river.  Soon after, they showed us around their island leading us to a papaya field where the vines grew over our heads.
  • Taking an elephant trek in Northern Thailand and meeting native people from the hill tribes colorfully dressed in handmade clothing.
  • Being among the crowds in Venice during their riotous holiday of Carnevale in February.
  • Biking in Shark River Valley in the Everglades of Florida next to hundreds of lazy alligators.
  • Walking through Monet's gardens in Giverney and seeing the artist's paintings come to life before my eyes.
  • Riding a dune buggy fast through the forests of Negril in Jamaica.
  • Discovering what a sea cucumber was on the most magical island in the Marquesas in the middle of the South Pacific.
  • Taking a breathtakingly beautiful seaplane ride from Whistler to Victoria in British Columbia and just walking two minutes with my luggage from the seaport to my hotel at the Fairmont Empress.
  • Watching the glaciers calve from the captain's bridge of our cruise ship at Hubbard Glacier on the inside passage of Alaska.
  • Searching for puffins off the Maine coast in the fog in a miniscule dinghy amidst the swells of the Atlantic.

Lisa Leavitt

After working in the arts for two decades, Lisa Leavitt decided to fly over to the travel industry, joining her husband Steve (see above!) to co-found ActiveTravels.com.

Her work as curator and content writer at several art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA, has been a labor of love.

Now, after years of traveling alongside Steve on his assignments, taking photographs to accompany his articles, and editing many of his pieces behind the scenes, Lisa has decided to push her excitement for travel to the forefront.

Her years as a curator has made her exceedingly detail oriented and has trained her to be highly selective when it comes to choosing quality. She uses these important strengths to help you select the best destination, hotel, and activities available to make your vacation as seamless and worry-free as possible.


Top 10 Travel Experiences
  • Fishing for piranha in the Peruvian Amazon, using chunks of raw meat on paper clips for bait....and then eating piranha for dinner.
  • Skiing from one village to the next (Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva Val Gardena) in the Val Gardena, Northern Italy. 
  • Eating many types of fresh cheese made from the milk of water buffalo, at the Laos Buffalo Dairy, near Luang Prabang. 
  • Swinging on the giant swing top of the Teleferico cable car, high above Quito, Ecuador (on the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano). 
  • Along the southern coast of Newfoundland, singing and dancing at a “kitchen party” in tiny Francois (no road access; population less than 100). 
  • Horseback riding at a true Hawaiian cattle and horse ranch, and then hiking down to black sand beaches, near Hawi and Waimea, on the Big Island, Hawaii. 
  • Staying at the fun 29 Palms Inn, in an authentic 1930’s Adobe Bungalow, and then rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park, California. 
  • Eating Anegada lobsters in the British Virgin Islands with great friends, after an exciting sailing day. 
  • Jumping off the rocks to swim in the harbor of the island of Hydra, Greece, followed by fireworks at the annual Miaoulia Festival (named for one of Hydra's more colorful patriots, Admiral Andreas Miaoulis).
  • Soaking in the Poca da Dona Beija hot springs after a nice hike near the town of Furnas on Sao Miguel Island, Azores, Portugal.

Amy Perry Basseches

Amy’s grandparents were inveterate travelers -- gifts from afar entertained her as a child. She learned early on that the world was a big, diverse place, full of amazing experiences. Her parents too always stressed the importance of getting out of one’s immediate surroundings and comfort zone. As a lawyer who did a lot of international contract work, Amy’s father regularly spent weeks at a time in Indonesia (for example) when she was growing up. Her love of travel and exploration has honest roots!

Fast forward: after a long career as an environmental advocate with several NGOs, Amy now has the chance not only to travel, but to help ActiveTravels’ clients explore destinations in a physically and culturally active way. As Nehru said, “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” This Amy believes to be true!

A New York native, now based in Toronto (after 35 years in Boston), Amy has extensive knowledge of a wide variety of locations, and an enormous “rolodex,” for those of you who know what that is. 

Top 10 Travel Experiences
  • Sitting in a hot tub on our deck in remote Iceland with the northern lights above our heads 
  • Spending the night in a hammock in the Brazilian Amazon Jungle listening to monkeys, jaguars, parrots while I slept 
  • Visiting Viking gravesites and ruins in Sweden 
  • Spending the Night at Cabra Castle in Ireland on my honeymoon and hanging out with their Irish wolf hound, Henry
  • Horseback riding in Kauai on cliffs near the ocean while watching sharks swim below us.  
  • Stepping out of the train station in Rome and immediately seeing the Colosseum. 
  • Sitting on our dock in Jamaica looking at the beautiful tropical fish swim around our feet and having my husband, Zach, being asked if he was John Cena (twice!). Ha, ha.
  • Calling and then feeding a white alligator in a bayou in New Orleans
  • Spending 10 hours in the London Zoo with Zach. The biggest and best zoo I’ve ever seen. 
  • Climbing the Beehive trail in Acadia where you hike along rock formations and hang on to old rusty metal handrails to climb to the top for a spectacular view of the ocean and forests below. Of course, we rewarded ourselves with a hot popover at the Jordan Pond Guesthouse afterwards.

Rachel DeLong

Rachel graduated Newton’s Lasell College with a degree in Fashion Design and a minor in Special Event Planning and EcoTourism. From 2012 to 2014, she worked at Liberty Travel, specializing in honeymoons. She took a hiatus to raise two adorable boys before joining ActiveTravels in January 2017. Rachel now handles many of our Wellness trips, Girls Getaways, and travels to the Caribbean and Scandinavia. 

We look forward to working with you!


About Our Company

Scenic ocean view with mountains

Dear Esteemed Traveler,

When the founder of TripAdvisor wanted to bring his wife on a honeymoon, he contacted ActiveTravels. Co-owners Steve Jermanok and Lisa Leavitt helped them decide between a scuba diving trip to French Polynesia or a more historical and cultural vacation in Turkey. They soon decided on Turkey and ActiveTravels designed a 10-day itinerary that would bring them to Istanbul and the fascinating landscape of Cappadocia. When they returned home, the TripAdvisor CEO told us, "on a scale of 1 to 10, that trip was an 11!"

Sunset with palm trees over ocean

When the owner of the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Martha's Vineyard and The Nantucket Hotel wanted to bring his son to Brazil, he contacted ActiveTravels. Steve and Lisa designed a 2-week itinerary that included jaguar viewing in the Brazilian Pantanal, seeing the majestic Iguazu Falls, and the beaches of Rio.

People Jumping in front of rock formation

When the renowned travel publication, Conde Nast Traveler, had to choose one travel agency to design a 2-week trip around New England for families, they chose ActiveTravels. We are also pleased that the founder of NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com promotes ActiveTravels as their go-to travel agency for the region

People in the travel industry know Steve Jermanok as one of the most prolific travel writers in America. He has penned more than 1500 stories and 9 books while working as a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, author of Outside Magazine's Adventure Guide to New England, and writer of more than 400 stories for The Boston Globe. In the midst of a career that spans 25 years, Steve has visited over 90 countries. Those stories from The Boston Globe resulted in many emails from readers asking Steve for recommendations on a certain locale or hotel. That's when Steve decided to bring his wife, Lisa Leavitt, into the travel business.

Lisa comes over from the art world, where she worked as curator and content writer at several art museums, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Danforth Museum of Art in Framingham, MA. Her years as a curator has made her exceedingly detail oriented and has trained her to be highly selective when it comes to choosing quality. She uses these important strengths to help you select the best destination, hotel, and activities available to make your vacation as seamless and worry-free as possible.

Welcome to ActiveTravels, a new type of travel agency, where your travel advisors have more than likely been to that exact country that entices you. Our recommendations come from first hand experience. In the rare circumstance that we haven't been to that one locale you desire, rest assured that we have great contacts around the world to lead you to that authentic and memorable travel experience. Since we opened our doors in May 2012, we have booked over 1,000 trips to all corners of the globe. Whether it's a safari in the Serengeti, a food and wine tour of Provence, or a family reunion in Hawaii, We Help You Get There. Start making your dreams a reality and join the ActiveTravels community!

Happy Travels,
Lisa and Steve