Parker Morse And The Myth Of Better Pricing Online

First image...
The couple at dinner in Africa...

The Google Myth

Many travelers think they can find the best prices themselves. It's not always true.

... an overhead shot of South Africa ...
... and a new friend along the way.

NYC-based Virtuoso traveler Parker Morse lucked into her relationship with her travel advisor, Betty Jo Currie; Betty Jo is a long-time family friend and used to run a carpool featuring young Parker. Years later, Betty Jo was still based in the Atlanta area, but Parker was up in Manhattan and newly-engaged. Her and her husband, Zach, were trying to plan a trip to Africa for their honeymoon.

"Honestly, we hadn't considered the idea of an advisor, even though I knew Betty Jo really well," says Parker. "But when you think about the nature of a trip to Africa and the logistics involved and just the extraordinary amount of choices, we wanted someone who really knew what to do when you're there. It made sense."

"When a trip is so important and exciting," says Zach, "you want to work with someone with real first-hand knowledge of a destination. I went into it thinking it could be a hassle in some ways, with everything else to make life busy. It's not a hassle at all."

Both Parker and Zach report being amazed by one simple fact early in the process: the rates and accomodations Betty Jo was sending them were better than what they were finding online themselves.

"That was a totally new fact," says Zach, "because you assume with a potential advisor commission, the numbers might be higher from her. It was actually the opposite."

Betty Jo ended up working with the couple on a detailed, multi-night itinerary stretching from Johannesburg to Cape Town to Mozambique before coming home. And what happened a month after they got home? The couple began planning another trip to Africa, this one focused on Kenya and Tanzania (and seeing The Great Migration).

"Some of the moments on these trips, especially on the safaris, were like a childhood dream come true," says Zach. "It was like being in Jurassic Park but not being eaten."

Adds Parker: "Travel is this unique form of bonding, honestly. When we were in Mozambique, we managed to meet other couples from New York City. Since we've all been back, we've had dinner a number of times. Traveling just creates these opportunities to unplug, but then on top of that, there's this very permanent bonding that comes from it."

Zach agrees. "Honestly, tangible things are fleeting," he says. "A tech gadget rolls over into a new version in the same year, often. Rather than prioritize any money you have towards those, we try to do it towards experiences and memories. Working with an advisor makes that so easy and the return on investment is unreal."

If you'd be interested in working with a Virtuoso advisor on your next trip(s), click below to connect.

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