A recent Travel Weekly article on a certain group of travelers caught my eye. A few quotes from the article just for the sake of discussion:

“Leisure storefront agencies indicated that 67% of their sales come from clients age 45 and older, and 32% come from customers who are at least 60 years old. This is in contrast to the general U.S. traveler population……….of which only half are 45 or older.”

“Leisure travel agents said that 70% of their bookings have per-person spending of at least $1,000, and that 35% spend at least $2,000. By comparison, the average U.S. traveler’s per-person spending is well below $1,000.”

While I don’t consider myself a “big spender,” (nor am I 45…yet 🙂 ) I have been blessed with enough income (and a mileage collecting habit) to occasionally take trips that I consider to be much more of an experience than a simple vacation. It’s in those situations that an good travel agent can help you take your vacation from great to first rate….. an experience like no other. I’m a pretty savvy traveler, and I enjoy a lot of the logistics of planning a trip, (and of course, booking premium class seats with our miles!) but there are some things I just can’t (or won’t) do on my on.

Case in point, our 2010 Mediterranean cruise. Booking a cruise is easy, but turning a cruise like that into something that will enrich your travel life is something else altogether. One of our ports of call was Kusadasi, Turkey, gateway to the ancient city of Ephesus. Ephesus is a treasure of history, and as a student of history, I wanted to make the absolute most of our visit. Enter our travel agent, a Travel & Leisure A List star agent and Virtuoso affiliate. I simply placed a call and said MrsMJonTravel and I along with our 4 friends accompanying us want to do Ephesus right. The next day our tour arrangements were made right down to the name of our personal guide.

The tour itself should be the subject of its own blog. While others boarded large busses for their mass market tours, the six of us boarded our private Mercedes van for an experience none of us will ever forget. Our guide had all of our tour arrangements and tickets in advance so we skipped the lines and dove right into one of the most enriching travel journeys I’ve taken. (I promise, I will write a blog about it!)

My point? Don’t be afraid to use some of the thousands of dollars you save leveraging miles and points through tricks learned here and all over Boardingarea.com to do something special for you and yours. A good travel agent can help you do that.

Travel well.

-MJ