Like other areas of life, from education to housing to retirement savings, travel is something where the truly wealthy are pulling away not just from average Americans but also from the merely rich. And they are driving demand for the most exclusive trips. According to data collected by Virtuoso, a network of 8,900 top travel agents who serve two million customers, travelers who spend at least $100,000 a year on trips have increased their annual spending at two to three times the rate of the regular traveler over the past seven years. (Those regular travelers, in the company’s parlance, still spend $10,000 a year on a vacation.) Last year, National Geographic Expeditions, known for its trips to places like Antarctica, the Galápagos and the Kalahari with archaeologists in tow, organized two around-the-world trips by private jet. The cost was $77,000 per person for 24 days and both trips, carrying 78 people each, sold out. By comparison, it costs $23,000 to be one of 148 on a 25-day trip to Antarctica. “One of the common links among our travelers is they’re curious, passionate and they’re looking for unique and authentic experiences,” said Lynn Cutter, executive vice president for travel and licensing at National Geographic Society. Get the full story at The New York Times