Based in Leigh on Sea

Alison Mees

Available for new enquiries

It's Nice To Meet You

Hello, my name is Alison and I live in Leigh on Sea, Essex.

I love everything about Travel. Having over 20 years’ experience in the Travel Industry and a wealth of knowledge that I would like to share with you.

Working from home enables me to offer you a personalised one to one travel experience, it gives me the opportunity to be available during the day, evenings and weekends.

Most of my travel experience has come from living and working in Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia & Malawi. I have been able to explore each country in depth, sometimes travelling off the beaten track, so can give you handy hints & tips.

In the UK I enjoy travelling to different parts of the country for walking, watching and photographing wildlife in the countryside and coastal areas. My travels have also taken me to Asia and Europe.

So whether you are looking for a short break, tailor made holiday or around the world cruise let me use my knowledge and experience to help find you your dream holiday.

In addition to making your dream holiday a hassle free experience, at Travel Counsellors we ensure your bookings are 100% financially protected, giving you complete peace of mind.

I look forward to hearing from you soon


Contact Me

Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:

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My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

A Pre Christmas Break in Alicante

16 December 2023

As the festive season approaches, Alicante transforms into a winter wonderland, offering a unique and enchanting experience for those seeking a pre-Christmas getaway. I spent 2 nights in early December wandering around Alicante. My hotel was perfectly placed in the Old Town, just a few steps from restaurants and coffee shops. Only a 5 minute walk and you reach the beach and marina. I enjoyed taking a walk through the Old Town, immersing myself in its festive charm. Explore the Christmas market in Plaza del Ayuntamiento, where local artisans showcase their crafts, and savour the aroma of roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. During the evening you can experience the cultural festivities of Alicante as you visit the local Christmas events and performances. Check out the Nativity scenes displayed in various locations, each telling a unique story of the season. Don't miss the lively atmosphere in the Mercado de Navidad, where you can find handmade gifts and local treats for your loved ones. Take a walk down ‘Calle de Las Setas’ where you will see large statues of mushroom figures, at night they come alive with the Christmas Lights. Don't miss the iconic Santa Bárbara Castle, perched on Mount Benacantil, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. As you explore, indulge in authentic Spanish tapas at local taverns, savouring the flavours that define Alicante's culinary scene. With the sun shining I spent the second day exploring the beachfront and marina, adorned with seasonal decorations. Here you can enjoy a festive lunch at a beachside restaurant, indulging in traditional Spanish Christmas delicacies. If you're feeling adventurous, take a boat tour along the coast to witness the city's lights from the sea, creating a magical and romantic atmosphere. For an afternoon of shopping, explore the streets around Avenida de Maisonnave, where boutique stores and traditional shops offer a variety of gifts and souvenirs. The Central Market, or "Mercado Central," stands as a vibrant culinary oasis that captivates the senses. This bustling marketplace, housed within a grand, iron-framed building, is a treasure trove of fresh, local produce, aromatic spices, and a rich tapestry of flavours. A pre-Christmas escape to Alicante in December is a magical journey filled with festive delights, coastal beauty, and cultural treasures. Experience the joy of the season as you explore the decorated streets, indulge in holiday treats, and soak in the unique atmosphere that only Alicante can offer. As your dedicated travel agent, I am here to curate a December getaway that captures the spirit of the holidays and leaves you with lasting memories. Book your festive retreat to Alicante, where warmth and wonder await. ¡Feliz Navidad! (Merry Christmas!)

Embarking on Unforgettable Adventures: Why You Should Consider Going on a Cruise

05 September 2023

In a world filled with myriad travel options, going on a cruise stands out as a timeless and enticing choice. The idea of setting sail on vast oceans, exploring multiple destinations, and enjoying a plethora of onboard amenities has captured the imagination of travellers for decades. If you're seeking a unique and memorable vacation experience, here are compelling reasons why you should consider going on a cruise. 1. All-Inclusive Convenience: One of the most enticing aspects of a cruise vacation is the convenience of an all-inclusive experience. Once you're on board, you'll find an array of dining options, entertainment choices, and activities at your fingertips. From gourmet meals to Broadway-style shows, and from spa treatments to fitness centres, a cruise ship offers a self-contained world of luxury and leisure. 2. Explore Multiple Destinations, Hassle-Free: Cruises offer the remarkable opportunity to visit multiple destinations on a single trip, all while unpacking just once. Wake up in a new port city each day, without the stress of packing and unpacking or dealing with airport security lines. Whether you're exploring the sunny Caribbean islands, the historic Mediterranean coast, or the stunning fjords of Scandinavia, a cruise allows you to sample the highlights of each destination with ease. 3. Unbeatable Ocean Views: The allure of gazing out at the endless expanse of the ocean, with the sky above and the water below, is an experience that remains etched in memory. Whether you're lounging on your private balcony or enjoying a cocktail on the deck, the mesmerizing ocean views provide a sense of tranquillity and awe that's hard to replicate. 4. Diverse Activities for All Ages: Cruise ships are designed to cater to a wide range of interests and age groups. Families, couples, solo travellers, and seniors can all find activities that suit their preferences. From kids' clubs and waterslides to wine tastings and art classes, there's something for everyone. This diversity ensures that every member of the family can enjoy their vacation to the fullest. 5. Culinary Delights: Cruise ships are renowned for their culinary offerings, featuring a variety of dining options that cater to diverse palates. From fine dining establishments to casual buffets, you'll be treated to an array of international cuisines and gourmet experiences. Many cruises also offer the chance to savour local dishes at each port, adding a flavourful dimension to your journey. 6. A Sense of Community: Cruise vacations foster a unique sense of community among passengers. As you share experiences with fellow travellers, whether it's during shore excursions, at onboard events, or over dinner, you'll forge connections and friendships that can last a lifetime. This social aspect adds an enriching layer to your travel experience. What does a River Cruise offer: River cruises often pass through picturesque landscapes, allowing travellers to enjoy stunning views of cities, towns, and natural beauty from the comfort of their ship. Ships are smaller than ocean cruise ships, creating a more intimate atmosphere. This allows for a closer connection with fellow passengers, as well as more personalized service from the crew. River cruises typically dock in the heart of towns and cities, making it easy to explore local culture, history, and cuisine. Passengers have the opportunity to experience the destinations in a more authentic and immersive way. Offering a leisurely pace, allowing travellers to unwind and enjoy the journey as much as the destinations. Unlike ocean cruises, river cruises usually involve daily stops, so there are no long stretches at sea. This means more time for exploring on land. A river cruise can take you to places that might be inaccessible by larger ships, offering a chance to explore off-the-beaten-path locations. Many river cruises cater to specific interests, such as wine, history, art, music, or even holiday markets. This allows travellers to find cruises that align with their passions. River cruises are often considered more environmentally friendly compared to larger ocean cruises due to their smaller size and lower impact on the environment. Choosing to go on a cruise isn't just about embarking on a vacation; it's about immersing yourself in a world of exploration, relaxation, and adventure. From the convenience of all-inclusive amenities to the thrill of discovering new destinations, a cruise offers a unique blend of experiences that can create cherished memories for years to come. So, if you're seeking a vacation that combines luxury, discovery, and community, it's time to set sail and discover the wonders of cruising.

Saying "I Do" Beyond Borders: Your Unforgettable Destination Wedding Abroad

24 July 2023

Imagine finding your loved one and standing hand in hand, surrounded by the enchanting beauty of an exotic land, as you vow to spend your lives together. Overseas weddings offer a unique and unforgettable experience, turning your special day into an extraordinary adventure. Whether you dream of tying the knot on a pristine tropical beach, in the heart of an African savannah or a historic European castle, the world is your oyster. In this blog I will take you on a journey of love, exploring how, what, when and where you can create the wedding of your dreams abroad. How to Plan Your Dream Destination Wedding: First things first, you have found your perfect partner - congratulations! Now it is time to plan the destination wedding of your dreams. Pick the Perfect Location: After finding your loved one(the most crucial step!) the next is to choose the perfect location for your dream destination wedding. Let your heart lead you on this adventure - do you envision a sun-kissed beach ceremony, an intimate mountain retreat, or a culturally rich city celebration? Research various destinations and consider factors like weather, local customs, and ease of travel for your guests. Don't worry, I am here to help you with suggestions and guidance. Partner with a Reputable Travel Company (Yes, that is me!) Planning a wedding abroad may seem daunting, but fear not! Partner with my reputable travel company, specialising in destination weddings. I will guide you throughout the process, helping you with logistics, accommodation and ensuring all the legalities are taken care of. So lets embark on this exciting journey together! Embrace the Local Culture: To truly make your destination wedding unforgettable, embrace the essence of the location's local culture. Incorporate traditional elements, such as authentic cuisine, music, or dance performances. Not only will this create a memorable experience for you and your guests, but it will also honour and celebrate the destination's rich heritage. What to Expect from a Destination Wedding: Intimate Celebrations: Destination weddings often result in smaller guest lists, as not everyone can make the journey. It creates an intimate and personal atmosphere, allowing you to spend quality time with your loved ones and truly savour every moment of your special day. Unique Experiences: Beyond the wedding day, your chosen destination offers endless opportunities for unique experiences. From exploring natural wonders to immersing in local traditions, you and your guests can turn the wedding celebration into an unforgettable vacation. It's not just a wedding; it's a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! When is the Best Time to Get Married Abroad: Timing is crucial when planning a destination wedding. Consider the destination's peak and off-peak seasons, as they may impact costs and availability. Additionally, keep in mind any cultural events or holidays that could enhance or coincide with your wedding celebration. Where Love Stories Unfold - A Personal Anecdote: Speaking of love stories, let me share a personal anecdote. My wedding in Zambia, where love met the untamed beauty of Africa. As we exchanged vows, elephants and baboons roamed gracefully in the background, blessing our union with nature's majestic presence. It was an experience that exemplified the magic of destination weddings - a love story written in the heart of Africa, a day that I will never forget. Why is a Destination Wedding So Perfect? Your love knows no boundaries, and neither should your wedding dreams. From the captivating landscapes of Africa to the romantic charm of Europe and beyond, the world is your canvas to paint the most beautiful love story. With the help from me - a Personal Travel Expert, a dash of local culture, and the love of your life by your side, your destination wedding will become a cherished memory for a lifetime. So, let's embark on this extraordinary adventure together and say "I do" amidst the wonders of the world!

On Safari

14 April 2023

I love wildlife and photography, so decided to spend 10 days on safari in Kenya. I chose February for a few reasons: - It’s cold in the UK - Warm in Kenya and outside the rainy season - Good time to go for wildlife sightings - For the wildebeest migration it will be calving season, so I thought some great photographic opportunities. Flying direct from London Heathrow to Nairobi in just over 8 hours with Kenya Airways. I personally like the direct flight option, the plane was comfortable, good service and food and with a night flight time to sleep. Arriving 5.10am into Nairobi, swiftly going through passport control. As you now need to purchase your visa on line before travel, it certainly made things easier and quicker. My safari was tailor made as I wanted to visit two different areas in Kenya, with plenty of wildlife game watching and chance to take photographs. The first day I spent at Eka Hotel, Nairobi. I liked this hotel as it was just a 15 minute drive from the airport and in a central location. The hotel was very comfortable, staff friendly and welcoming. My room was spacious, comfortable bed, lovely warm shower. Tea & Coffee making facilities in the room which was perfect after a long flight. I spent the day relaxing at the hotel swimming pool, just what I needed. I had both lunch and dinner in the hotel, tasty food and large portions. Early the next morning I woke, breakfast at the hotel and then departed for the 10 minute drive to Wilson Airport – the domestic airport. Where I took a flight just 45 minutes to Nanyuki Airport. Met by my guide with a huge smile and welcoming ‘Habari’. I jumped into the land cruiser 4 x 4 vehicle and my safari adventure was about to start. The next 3 nights I stayed at Porini Rhino Camp, Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It’s a tented camp, with a waterhole and hide right in front of the camp (this was one of the main reasons I chose this camp). I was not disappointed, early morning start with a game drive before sunrise, a hamper breakfast sitting out on the open plains and only returning to camp just before lunch. Time for a hot bucket shower, then a tasty lunch, freshly prepared by the chef. After lunch I would go down to the hide and sit and watch the animals and birds coming to the waterhole. Every day buffalo, zebra, elephants, giraffe and impala would visit. At 3:45pm we would have afternoon tea or coffee and cake, then depart for the afternoon game drive, only returning to the camp after sunset. A camp fire would be lit every evening to sit and enjoy a drink around it, followed by a 3 course dinner. During my 3 night stay I saw black & white rhino (the conservancy has the highest number of black rhino in East Africa), elephants, zebra (including fighting zebra), giraffe, lions, buffalo, jackal, spotted hyena and even a striped hyena – which is rare to see. So many species of birds and the spectacular sunrise and sunset each day. It was then time for me to depart to the next camp in the Mara. From Nanyuki Airport I flew back to Nairobi and then took another plane to the Mara – 45 minutes. I was staying at Porini Cheetah Camp, in Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Mara. Also a tented camp, just 6 tents so a very friendly feel to the camp. I chose this location, as I particularly wanted to watch and photograph a wildebeest give birth. I was not disappointed over the 4 night stay here. During my stay I got to watch cheetahs hunt, large prides of lions with cubs, bull elephants and families of elephants, jackals, bat eared fox, a leopard in a tree, two wildebeest give birth, plenty of young animals, dramatic skies at sunset. Also visiting a local Masai Village, where I got to visit a home and learn about the Masai culture, fascinating. It seemed I had been in Africa for ages, each day was so very different, so many wildlife experiences. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, both the camps and areas were very different – which was just want I wanted. After 7 nights I flew back to Nairobi, where I stayed overnight at Eka Hotel before my early morning flight from Nairobi to London Heathrow. If Africa is on your bucket list you certainly have to make sure you travel there as it is a very special place.

My customer stories

Sent by Denis Rigg

Alison has an excellent knowledge of the wildlife and the habits. It proved invaluable when in Kenya. She is also cheerful with a ready wit.

Sent by Robert Bryant

Everything was quick and easy. Alison was very pleasant and nothing was too much trouble. Would certainly use her again.

Sent by Nisha Ponnappa

Just wanted to say a big thank you for organising our Kenya trip, it was everything we hoped it would be! For our first ever safari, we got really lucky and saw all the main animals plus some extras we weren't expecting. Everything was so smooth when we there and we even got an unexpected surprise at Pinewood with an anniversary celebration which was lovely.

Sent by Nicole Friend

Excellent personal service very friendly and helpful

Sent by Alison Craven

Thank you for assisting with the holiday, it was incredible! The hotel was exquisite! The grounds were kept extremely well and all areas were very clean. The bedroom was spacious and modern and was tidied and restocked every day. The food was fresh and cooked perfectly, and they catered for any requirement we had throughout the week. Additionally, the staff were very attentive and couldn’t do more for you. I couldn’t recommend more! Thank you again,

Sent by Susan Purvis

Your expertise means we don’t need to spend hours on the internet to find something that suits us within our budget.

Sent by Cowas Bajan

The service was good. Small issues on the tour were addressed immediately. This brings me to really believe that your level of customer service/satisfaction is paramount.

Sent by Callum Boath

Very helpful, very knowledgeable and very responsive. Went the extra mile by getting tips on trip from a friend who lives in Italy and was also happy to change our arrangements several times!

Sent by Ondine Chadwick

Alison was incredibly patient and helpful. After she did all the research for another trip we pivoted and Alison was with us in every step. We feel very comfortable and know Alison is there to assist if required.

Sent by S Purvis

Already recommended Alison to a friend and will continue to do so.

Sent by Fiona Brown-Roche

Super efficient, Alison listened to all my wants and was able to amend for me with viable options. I was very happy with the service I was provided with.

Sent by Kerry Craven

Prompt and efficient service. Alison goes over and above. Have already recommended.

Sent by Ivy Cockerell

The service Alison offered me was personal to my requirements and excellent

Sent by Paul Meek

Extremely satisfied with the service provided, always very helpful, organised and excellent communication throughout.