The Back Story.

Barbara King founded Great Getaways Travel in 1992 as a concierge-style boutique travel company. Having traveled the world, King understood the need for knowledgeable, professional advisors. The first agency in the metropolitan Kansas City area to be invited to join Virtuoso, in April, 1996, King has held steadfast to the mission of creating unparalleled life experiential vacations for her clients. Great Getaways Travel consistently ranks as one of the area’s top agencies and is the only one whose entire focus is on leisure travel. In recent years Great Getaways has ranked in the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies in KC, most recently at #67; King has been honored as one of the Top 100 Kansas Citians; and Great Getaways was inducted into the prestigious 25 Under 25, as a top company with under 25 employees.


Want to swim with sharks on the Tahitian island of Moorea or try dog-sledding on an Alaskan glacier? Perhaps you’re looking for tranquility and inner peace in Hawaii? Maybe you want an exceptional family-bonding Villa vacation? A Mediterranean cruise? Or perhaps you want to experience suborbital gravity miles above the Earth?

Whatever your personal travel desire, however far from home you wish to wander, whatever sights, sounds, vistas, and cultures you want to experience, Great Getaways is dedicated to making it happen. Our award-winning travel specialists are recognized both nationally and internationally as destination and interest experts.

With more than a century of combined experience, our specialists are enthusiastic travelers and intrepid explorers of cities, islands, countries, oceans, and continents. Their sophisticated and rich knowledge of the current travel market ensures that you’ll be presented with a travel dossier detailing the best of the best.


Since 2001, CONDE NAST TRAVELER has recognized Great Getaways’ Judi Chaitman as one of 100 definitive travel experts worldwide (she is particularly passionate about Hawaii) and honored as one of Wendy Perrin’s top 18 Specialists for any destination.  Becky Sullivan plans fantastic family vacations and is well attuned to the challenges of traveling with children. She also creates unique wine tasting journeys and cruise vacations. Michael King left his heart in Africa many times and thrills to pack clients off on safaris, honored as a Specialist by the Tanzania Tourism Board and South Africa Tourism Board. King is also recommended by the New Zealand Tourist Board and Australia Tourist Board as an expert in planning a vacation down under! Ask Shelly Lynch, intrepid travel advisor, for her favorite destinations and she’ll respond, “Hawaii. Oh, and Paris! Did I mention London, Italy, Mexico and cruising? If you’re ready for a wellness vacation or the very best Disney experience, talk to Karen Henderson.  Damien Martin is the “Go to” pro for the Next Gen traveler as well as a specialist for Italy. He’s not your mother’s travel advisor! Cutting-edge, pioneering travel is a trademark of Great Getaways. If traveling the Americas is your desire, you want Margaret Nichols help. Margaret has been all over our country and also can craft the perfect visit to Canada, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, or South America.  Josh King, another tip of the hat to the Millennial generation, loves active vacations – think safaris, expedition cruises, snorkeling, river rafting, and a dash of Western Europe, for balance. He’s already been to 5 of our 7 continents!  Barbara King is one of only 28 travel professionals in all of the Americas to be awarded Virgin Galactic’s ‘Accredited Space Agent’ designation. Fly me to the moon, indeed!


In today’s internet-savvy world, many people choose to take control of their vacation plans. And we’ve heard the less-than-enthusiastic reviews of self-planned travel: undisclosed travel times, the luxury hotel suite that was anything but luxurious, the lackluster tour guide. While some travelers like the risk and ‘adventure’ of do-it-yourself planning, discriminating travelers who demand experiential, unique, and soul-satisfying travel like the peace of mind a specialist offers.

At Great Getaways, our travel specialists are your advocates: experienced professionals who are accountable for the time and money you are investing in your vacation. We invite you to find the Great Getaways travel specialist who will make your next vacation a life experience.