Elaine Srnka, Editor of Virtuoso Life. Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki/Reduxby Elaine Srnka
Virtuoso Editorial Director

I have to admit it: One of the (many) fun perks of traveling to warmer climes is monitoring the weather back home. Call it a kind of schadenfreude, but I get a little thrill knowing I’ve left behind dreary conditions for clear blue skies. The more extreme the mercury back there, the more I enjoy the sun where I am.

Such was the case recently when I flew to Miami for the opening of the St. Regis Bal Harbour (read about the hotel’s highlights on page 38). While I was having lunch by the pool, strolling the beach, and soaking up the sunshine (all in the name of work, of course), friends and colleagues in the Northeast were snowed in, as airports shut down and the entire region came to a standstill.

The March issue of Virtuoso Life is dedicated to the thrills of warm escapes, and as we’re just emerging from winter, the timing is intentional. You’ll find a roundup of all things beach, from the best cocktail to the best spot to watch the sun set, as well as a stylish Rio jaunt, a French Polynesian cruise, and much more.

march 2012 cover 2These articles are intended to inspire your next beach getaway, but our Travel Dreams Survey has a broader goal: to help you think about all the possibilities for family vacations, cruise itineraries, gourmet destinations, and trips of a lifetime, to name a few. Log on to www.virtuoso.com before March 31 – it’s fast, fun, and serves as a wonderful tool to map out your travel goals (and it’s great info to share with your travel advisor). Plus, you could be a big winner: Five lucky entrants will each take home $1,000 cash, and the grand prize is a 12-day, all-inclusive Mediterranean cruise for two on Crystal Cruises’ Serenity from Venice to Athens, in a penthouse suite. The cruise also includes the perks of Voyager Club, an exclusive program available only through Virtuoso.

Wherever your travels take you, try not to gloat too much in your postcards (and Facebook posts) to those back home. But do let me know where you’ve been – I’m always thrilled to hear from you, regardless of the weather.

On my wish list:

Dream Destinations: Indonesia, Uruguay, Croatia

Island Escapes: Maldives, Mauritius, Fiji

Family Vacation Destinations: The Galápagos, Costa Rica, Alaska

Couples Getaways: Santorini, Prague

Wine Regions: Champagne, France (no surprise to those who know my penchant for bubbly)

Trips of a Lifetime: Calling on all seven continents – or perhaps a suborbital space trip with Virgin Galactic (did you know Virtuoso advisors are the exclusive sales agents in North America?)

So many places, so little time. Unfortunately, I’m not eligible to win, but you are – so take our survey at www.virtuoso.com. Hurry, the deadline’s March 31. I’ll be rooting for you.