Family Vacation Specialist
Hi! Im Melissa Cowles, a travel counselor and the owner of Make a Memory, Travel. I thank you for taking the time to read my bio. As a "family vacation specialist" I realize that families come in all shapes and sizes. I can help you plan vacation experiences that fit yours, so you will make those memories that last a lifetime! I love to travel- with friends, family, for fun, and also to learn about new places and cultures! My family has a lot to do with who I am and the travel agency I continue to build! Like most, my family seems to always be changing and growing in one direction or another. I grew up in Buffalo, NY with my sister, parents, and grandparents close by. My parents took a few trips but we didn't get to go. Until high school. My graduation gift came early. It was an EF Tour trip to Europe with some of my classmates. The travel bug had taken root. I began college, 2 years in, I met and married a military man. Al of a sudden I was moving to AZ. Although I gained a slew of in-laws, living so far away, it felt like my family shrunk- down to just the 2 of us. A few years later our daughter was born, and 5 years after that, our son arrived! We had moved to MD and back to NY, where we lived closer to family and by now, there were cousins on both sides living everywhere! We were visiting states from the east to the west coast, up north and down south! Eventually, our life in the active duty military came to an end, and a new one came to light. My husband transferred to the Army Reserves and became a teacher. We moved to GA, settled in and I went back to school and also taught- for over 10 years now! Our family was everything to us. As teachers, we couldn't give our kids everything, and never wanted to, but all that moving around and seeing new places, making new friends, left its mark. We were determined they would get to travel. Maybe not too exotic- but they'd see new places, make new friends! I served as our travel agent. Before Garmins and iphones- I was pretty good with road maps, ads from magazines, and land line phone calls! We did Disney and cruises, road trips to many states, Bahamas, the mountains, the beach, Alaska whatever we could when we could! Our "kids" are now 22 and 16. There's a fiancée in the picture- and our family is changing again!
We've passed on the love of travel to the kids. My daughter traveled to France in high school- stayed for weeks as part of a student swap, and in recently, spent months living in Bali, Indonesia- volunteering to help improve mental health in a 3rd world country. I visited her there and got to see much of the country and learn a lot, first hand. While on that side of the world, together, she and I traveled to Japan and Australia as well. I arranged multiple cities in multiple countries. Our flights, our ground transportation, luggage transport, planes, trains and automobiles! It was crazy and exciting, and when I called a travel agent to check my work- he said "You should do this! Why aren't you a travel agent? You are ALREADY doing it all!" There was nothing left for him to help me with. It had taken weeks of planning and figuring out, but I was on my way to experience the trip of a lifetime.
When we got home- I looked back on my life so far- the happiest times, the best of the best memories. May of them had one thing in common- travel. As a teenager, I got my first taste of how big and small the world really is. Then there were life events that kept me on the move- a honeymoon, moving to other states, visiting family, family visiting us, traveling as a family... My memories are best with the ones I love. Aren't they always? So my experiences, my family, my love for travel have helped my shape my travel agency.
Families come in all shapes, sizes, and ages, but when it comes to travel, they all have one thing in common- they want their vacations to be memorable- in the very best sense of the word. For some of us, family is a close-knit group of friends, for others it’s a brand new husband and wife team, in nuclear families, it’s all about the kids or even large extended family groups! At Make a Memory Travel, I can help you define and design a vacation that fits your family perfectly!
A Testimonial or Two
Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia
From: Butch B. May 9 If you found Melissa your search for a quality travel agent is over. She just helped us plan the perfect vacation and her knowledge of our options enhanced our experience beyond our expectations.
From Bobby K: Jun1 Our trip to Alaska was great! Melissa had done a great job of setting everything up! We didn't have to worry about anything. We will definitely be using Melissa on our next adventure!
Please see others listed in my Review Section
My Areas of Expertise
Bali, Australia, Japan
Thank you for the lovely review! It was an exciting time and an amazing adventure! Many memories were made - and that's what were all about!
A Trip of a Lifetime!
Mothers and sons have a special relationship for sure! It was my privilege to help you both make amazing memories!
Excellent Getaway to St Lucia! We will return!
First Cruise and it was fabulous!
Thank you so much for the wonderful review! It is my pleasure to have you as a client!
Awesome Travel Agent
Thank you Sherri! Its been a pleasure planning your journey to Jamaica!:) Cant wait to hear where you want to wander off to next!
One of our best trips
So much fun with the WCCC friends! Such a blast!
One of the best trips!!
Magnificent Travel Journey!
Thank you! Im happy to hear you had a wonderful experience!
Best spring break for 16 year old teens
Fun Times at Sea
My first cruise
Thanks so much! It was great working with you and we will take great care of you once things calm down and you are ready to travel again!
Destination Wedding - Travel Review
Weddings are special and deserve to be treated as such! I'm so honored to have played a pat in your special day and the honeymoon afterward!
Was able to get much needed relaxation! Wonderful!
Thank you for the lovely review! It was a pleasure working with you!
A super fun trip!!
Thank you for the review, the referrals and for your loyalty! I cant wait to hear about your next adventure, this time at sea!
First Mother and Daughter trip
She took care of us !
Mothers and daughters have an incredible bond and this was a fabulous way to nurture that and make some incredible memories! Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of that!
St. Patrick's Day Adventure
Thank you so much for your kind review! It was my pleasure:)
Our PERFECT Honeymoon!!
I'm so glad is was everything you'd imagined! You both deserve nothing but the best. Thank you for the lovely review!
Amazing First Anniversary
So glad you enjoyed your anniversary trip! Our military deserves the best!