Virtuoso traveler Kristy McConnell connected with her travel advisor, Colleen Petre, in a fairly old-fashioned way: their children played baseball together, and their husbands were coaches together. Eventually, that led to collaborating on travel – "We often collaborate," says Kristy, "and it's not like an advisor completely takes over" – that has included four larger trips (Africa, New Zealand, Europe, and an upcoming journey to the Czech Republic) and "lots of weekend things," in Kristy's words.
"I remember I was going to Chicago for a weekend once," says Kristy, "and that was a smaller kind of trip and something I figured I could do myself. I looked online and I was looking at Four Seasons
and tried to get a certain price point myself. I couldn't, so Colleen helped out and she got a better price point and an upgrade. When we actually got there, the perks and amenities were amazing: lemonade, chocolates, and a crib and toys for our grandchildren."
"A lot of times you go into these processes thinking it's a higher price point," says Kristy. "It's not."
The New Zealand and Africa trips were particularly special for the McConnells and their advisor made sure of that. "At each stop," says Kristy, "there were always tours and new things to do. The extra value that's provided is hard to describe."
Sidenote: the New Zealand trip, which featured a stay at Huka Lodge
, was planned in large part around the availability of Huka Lodge. Kristy had discovered it via Virtuoso's annual Best of the Best catalog.
For the McConnells, travel is important – as with many travelers, Virtuoso and otherwise – as a way to see the world.
"I like to tell people that I need a chance to get out of my southern California bubble. When you travel, the world opens up. It's exciting. You get to learn about new people and places and share in the local passions. That's incredible."
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