Sell the Bucket List

John McMahonAt a recent editorial roundtable we held in Miami, Vicki Freed, senior vice president of sales for Royal Caribbean International, mentioned the “bucket list” (a life list of experiences you want to have before you’re gone) and positioning it as an opportunity for travel agents to sell better. It got me thinking: someone should start a company called Bucket List Travel. It is built around this simple theory: clients that continue booking the same trips are not worthwhile. If they get comfortable, eventually your services won’t be needed. So, sell the bucket list—the lifetime experiences. That’s where the money is.

This summer, I did my own version of a bucket list itinerary.

Ireland: Visited relatives that I haven’t seen in years and stayed at The Merrion Hotel in Dublin (Irish hospitality perfected—check).

Switzerland: Thought about buying an expensive Swiss watch, but ended up not pulling the trigger. Stayed in a lake-view room at the Fairmont Le Montreux Palace.

Hawaii: Considered taking surfing lessons but ran out of time. Note: Going back in October for Hawaii Travel Exchange and will find the time. Experienced the renovated The Royal Hawaiian; so should you.

Las Vegas: Played a $20 slot machine and hoped to win a million dollars…remains on my bucket list. Stayed at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay—my home away from home—and was happily surprised to have my favorite beer and chips awaiting in my room at check-in.

Hong Kong: Explored the back streets of Hong Kong and immersed myself in the culture and food. Stayed at the new Harbour Plaza and was treated to a five-star experience.

St. Kitts: Went on a zipline through the rain forest with Sky Safari Tours.

Miami: Experienced the sexy and chic Viceroy Miami and walked the halls looking for Lebron James (didn’t find him). 

Vail: Played golf at Red Sky Ranch & Golf Club—one of the most scenic courses in the U.S.—and bunked at the Lodge at Vail.

Disney Cruise: Cruised the Caribbean with Mickey Mouse and my family and stopped by Atlantis for a fun day at their new water park. Every vacation with my family is a drop in my bucket!

I hope you have a chance to fulfill your bucket list!