Katie Kozlowski

5 Years of experience

With two decades of event planning experience, Katie brings her discerning eye to “cele-cations”, or trips to celebrate, in storied destinations.

When Katie graduated from a top Journalism school with a portfolio of clips and big dreams to tell stories, she never imagined that she’d end up telling stories through events. Her first job, working on a Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson tour of minor league ballparks, launched her career in events. During her twenty-year tenure, Katie helped plan events on six continents, organizing everything from parties on private islands to meetings in yurts in the mountains, to dance parties in the jungle, to milestone celebrations on the Amalfi Coast.

After her transition to becoming a travel advisor at Elysian Travel, an affiliate of SmartFlyer, Katie continues to work with clients and collaborate with event planners as she scouts luxury locations for their celebrations. She connects all of the dots, from travel logistics and riders to local partners and experiences, to create a memorable destination celebration. Ultimately, Katie is obsessed with helping to connect clients with the most extraordinary locations to create “cele-cations” that span the leisure to corporate space.

Although she cannot pick a favorite destination event, some of her recent favorites have included an 80th birthday celebration in Africa, an incredible adventure race that involved an actual treasure hunt, and a 40th birthday celebration in Tennessee done glamping style. While traveling and exploring with her family and friends is her favorite pastime, Katie also loves live music, bright lipstick, and working through her stack of books. Her roots are in Chicago, but after four decades in the Windy City, she and her family now live near the beach in Charleston, South Carolina.

How do you prepare for your trips?

I love trip preparation. I’m a big “production schedule” fan, so well in advance of a departure, there’s a day-by-day overview of upcoming activities, taking into account the weather and sunset times. This helps with smart packing and ensures that each day includes the following: time for wellness, a local activity or experience, a special meal like awesome local street tacos, ramen, or an elegant Michelin-starred meal, time for rest, and of course, a time for happy hour! When it’s time to pack, I am a carry-on girl and I’m married to packing cubes. I love my Take Monday clear travel bags too. These contain my electronics, a pharmacy kit, and toiletries. I roll my clothes into the packing cubes, pack a travel steamer, and I’m ready to hit the road, skies, or water!

Which destinations are you looking forward to visiting? Why?

Ah, how many may I list? There are so many places on my bucket list! I’m really looking forward to taking our children to South Africa and visiting Montenegro with my husband. It would be amazing to go on a hiking trip with my girlfriends in South America. I dream of sailing around the beautiful Greek islands with my entire family, including my grandparents and cousins – the whole crew! And my dream event I’d love to plan for a client is an insanely fabulous yoga and wellness retreat in Bali.

Travel Tip

  • Carry-on your suitcase and use packing cubes!