Sent by VICTORIA BROOKER
Based in Fareham
Let me take the hassle out of planning your next holiday!
With so much to choose from now, and confusion on the internet, why not have your very own travel agent who will take all the stresses and strains out of finding your perfect holiday.
I have worked in the travel industry for over 30 years and have travelled extensively visiting some amazing places, gaining a wide knowledge of all aspects of travel from destinations including Spain, Turkey, Greece, South Africa, the Caribbean, Goa, Kenya, Japan, Hong Kong and many parts of the United States.
I became a Travel Counsellor in October 2006 and this has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Running my own business enables me to offer my customers a level of personal service and attention to detail that simply can't be found on the high street or on the internet! I can arrange anything from a short break to a round the world trip. I can also book all those little extras, airport lounges, car parking and travel insurance; everything to make your holiday extra special.
Because I run my own business, you can contact me at times when other travel agents are unavailable, including evenings and weekends. Using the latest technology and my personal expertise I can tailor make exactly the right holiday to suit your needs. I can quickly search through hundreds of flights, accommodation and transfer alternatives to find something that is right for you.
So let me take care of your next holiday, just give me a call or send me an email and I will be delighted to help.
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.
11 May 2018
I was lucky enough to experience the brand new Iberostar Sabila adults-only hotel, recently refurbished to a very high standard. It was very different to what we would normally go for, but the whole hotel had a lovely open, bright welcoming feel, with beautifully co-ordinated furnishings and lights. The furnishings were very minimal in the lobby - no leaflet stands or clutter - very minimalistic. We were seated for check in and given a drink while the process continued before finding our very bird themed room. As we were celebrating our wedding anniversary, we found our bed decorated with a heart of rose petals and a bottle of bubbly on ice. It’s the little things that make it sometimes! There is only one buffet restaurant which we only used for breakfast and was probably one of the most extensive buffets I have had in Europe - everything from a huge selection of fruits (freshly made smoothies) to meats, cheeses, tapas, breads and egg stations including freshly made tortillas - something to suit everyone. There was also a food market restaurant which was a very casual place to sample a few tapas along with a nice glass of wine or a cocktail watching the sunset with lovely music most evenings. The pool area was extensive with a beautiful large pool and there were daily activities to join in for example Pilates, Yoga, Aquafit etc. The beach area with its beachfront promenade lined with bars and restaurants was only a five-minute walk away and certainly a weekend was not long enough to sample everything Costa Adeje has to offer so I will definitely be going back very soon.
20 October 2014
I felt very lucky to have won a place on this trip as it is perhaps somewhere I would not have chosen to go. And what a great start to be able to enjoy the very long flight via Maldives in Business Class with BA. It certainly allowed us to arrive slightly more refreshed to enjoy the adventure that lay ahead. First stop was Negombo – a beautiful beach resort, which thankfully was only a 30 minute journey and a great place to relax after the flight. Sadly the weather was not good so we didn’t see much of the area. However we were able to relax before our very early start to Pinnawela - the Elephant orphanage the next day. What an amazing place to be able to see these beautiful animals up close. Happy in their natural surroundings bathing in the river, we were very lucky to be able to get in the water with them as well as being able to feed them. After a very busy day we were so blown away when we arrived at our next hotel, the five star “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” Ulagalla Wallawwa Resort - featuring a 150-year-old mansion with 20 private ecologically-built chalets across 58 acres of land. Our stilted villa was simply stunning, furnished to the highest of standards, complete with four poster bed and private plunge pool on the decking. It was so romantic and ideal for that honeymoon or once in a lifetime trip. Sadly again only a one night stay but as there was so many activities to choose from here I decided to get up at 5am so that I could go horse-riding around the Estate whilst catching the sunrise and also the abundance of wildlife within the grounds – peacocks, monkeys, chipmunks and extensive bird life. What a way to start the day! After a quick breakfast we were on the move again visiting the ancient ruined city of Anurdhapura - the first chronicled capital of Sri Lanka & and its many scared temples and ancient sites. Before arriving at our hotel we had a jeep safari within the Minneriya National Park, where we saw buffalo, more monkeys and a family of elephants - but sadly not the elusive leopard which is also found here. Our hotel that night was an amazing architectural wonder. Built into the rock, the Heritance Kandalama is a must for bird watchers, with an abundance of birds and bats! Another early start, and for something completely different, Sigiriya Rock. This flat-topped rock formation is not only one of the island’s most impressive geological formations, but also one of its greatest archaeological legacies. I was very proud to have accomplished this climb on a blistering hot morning and I would only recommend this to fully fit people with no fear of heights or narrow spaces. That afternoon, before we began our drive up into the hills and tea growing plantations around Kandy, we stopped at the Dambulla Caves. The views were breath-taking, as were the caves - which are covered in frescoes depicting great events in the life of the Buddha, and almost 150 life size statues within them. The drive up to Kandy was so peaceful and the cooler climate most welcomed by all. That evening we checked into the 5 Star Cinnamon Citadel Kandy – more stunning views and fantastic food. Let’s just say it’s not too many hotels that have a ‘dessert room’ with so many choices. That evening we also enjoyed some very energetic Kandyian dance performances and fire walking before a quick visit to the Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha – the founder of Buddhism. Our next overnight was to be in a 1926 Tea Plantation House (recently extended to accommodate families). Set in a 62 acre site which also is home to a rubber plantation we were lucky enough to go on a tour of the estate after afternoon tea. It was lovely to have such intimate surroundings after our very hectic schedule – a real home from home. Our next day was spent travelling South again to the port of Galle which is home to the International Cricket Ground and of course the Lighthouse which stands on the ramparts. With both Dutch & Portugese influences it was a lovely town to wander round with many eating places & a great place to but those souvenirs for home. The Fortress Kogalla ( just 4 miles outside of Galle) was to be our paradise for the night. Ideally suited to honeymooners and couples, set right on a stunning beach, this was a welcome chill out for us! For our final day, we headed along the coast for our last night in Ceysands Bentota – a lively resort which is uniquely reached by boat. This is only a snapshot of such a vast wonderful country but certainly somewhere that should be considered as it has something for everyone. The highlight for me was getting up close to the elephants, but if you would like to have your own experience then please do get in touch and I will be happy to expand on my Experience of a Lifetime!
01 April 2014
I was very privileged to be able to go on this unique event (especially as it was the first one in Europe for Avalon). Having never experienced any kind of “river holiday” experience before I was looking forward to enjoying the sights of this part of the world and the experience of a floating hotel. A very early start for the flight to Cologne but I was very impressed with the new facilities at Gatwick and Easy jet procedures and baggage handling efficiency at Cologne. We had a very short transfer to meet the ship which was right in the centre of town with an impressive view of the Cathedral. After a quick freshen up we headed off for a tour of the ship and its wonderful modern facilities. Cabins have individual climate control, free WIFI, lots of storage space and an amazingly comfortable bed (which can be configured into twin or double) with European-style duvets and Egyptian cotton linens. There is a minibar, safe and hairdryer as well as luxurious L’Occitane toiletries. There is a flat screen TV which features music and the latest movies as well as an on board camera so you can see where you are travelling. On board there is also a hairdresser, small gym and a six person whirlpool on the sun deck. The restaurant is free seating for all meals. Breakfast and lunch are buffet style whilst dinner is a la carte. For all meals there is complimentary wine, beer and soft drinks as well as having hot drinks available all day in the Panorama Lounge. And also at 4pm each day sandwiches and cakes are served. After lunch, we headed off on a city tour of Cologne. It was such a lovely day that it was a glorious day to be out and about in this very colourful city hearing all of the tales and the hardship suffered during the War and the rebuilding and excavation which still continues. The Gothic Cathedral is Germany’s most visited building and miraculously unscathed by the bombing during the 2nd World War. We sailed from Cologne at 6pm and it was a wonderful sight passing under the historical railway bridge. We sailed overnight whilst dining in the “free seating” restaurant and later enjoyed live entertainment in the very comfortable lounge. As there was a variety of trade people and journalists and press there were some very interesting people on board. It was an early start on Friday as we arrived in Tiel around 5.00am. After breakfast we had a choice of excursions and I went to the Airborne Museum, Arnhem and the cemetery which was a very emotional place to visit and crossed over the “John Frost Bridge” (from the film A Bridge Too Far). We learned all about the war operation which took place here and how it affected the people in and around Arnhem. On Friday evening we arrived in Willemstad and again we had a local city guide who showed us around this small quaint town. After another overnight sailing we arrive on Saturday morning in Dordrecht which is where the Double Christening Ceremony would take place later but we headed off to visit Kuekenhof – the famous flower gardens whilst the ship prepared for the events later. The gardens are only open for six weeks each year so it is a great opportunity to visit whilst here. Late afternoon we witnessed the Christenings of both the Poetry II and Avalon Impression who were side by side – our godmother for Poetry being Katherine Grainger – the Olympic rower who was a delight to have on board. A gala dinner followed and a wonderful evening ahead with a six course meal and entertainment on board both ships allowed us to compare both of these latest additions to the fleet. A Sunday morning arrival in Amsterdam and time to say goodbye to the Poetry as we disembark and have a few hours to explore Amsterdam – a fabulous city to explore on foot or by canal boat. You can hop on and off all day visiting all of the sights and museums. For anyone looking to see more of Europe I would highly recommend a river cruise because if you don’t want to do things for yourself or be part of a “coach tour” then this is the perfect way to keep independent whilst having a wonderful crew who will look after you during your stay.
29 November 2011
I was very lucky recently to travel to Orlando with 50 other travel agents on a jam packed trip – probably a two week holiday crammed into six days! The whole experience was amazing and as I had not been there in 20 years and it made me realise that there is something for everyone, but you don’t need to do everything as there will be more suitable parks depending on the make-up of your family. The first four nights were spent in the Universal Resort, staying at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. From here you can walk or take a boat to the two theme parks Island of Adventures and Universal Studios and also have Citywalk close by for bars and restaurants. The benefit of staying at an onsite hotel is early access to the parks and fast passes onto the rides. We spent a day at each of these two parks. Island of Adventures is home to the new Harry Potter attraction, which fantastically creates the world of Harry from the books and films. There are three great roller coaster rides together with many shops to wander through and buy your wands, butterbeer and all things Hogwarts! A must do for all Harry fans. There is also Jurassic Park which has some great water rides – be prepared to get very wet. The Comic Strip area has all the great cartoons and rides including The Hulk and Spiderman. Universal Studios is fantastic for film buffs, it’s a working set and there are some great attractions including Jaws, Shrek 4D and The Simpsons. After Universal Studios we spent a couple of hours at Wet ‘n’ Wild which is a waterpark on International Drive, a great place to chill and enjoy some sunshine not to mention the waterslides! We were very lucky to be able to take in the Blue Man Group show, which is now a worldwide show and is very unusual and entertaining. My best day was probably at Discovery Cove where we were able to have a personal encounter with a dolphin (amazing) and also new this year you can snorkel in the coral reefs and come face to face with sharks (behind a glass wall of course!) We also visited Busch Gardens, another theme park in Tampa and about an hour’s drive from Orlando which has great rollercoasters but also combines animal experiences too. Here you can feed giraffes, kangaroos and see many other animals. Our next visit was to Seaworld and Aquatica where the highlight is the “Shamu” whale show. Here we were also able to feed sea lions and sting rays as well as many other attractions. Aquatica is a water park with fantastic beach areas, wave pool, waterslides and lazy rivers. It’s a great way to chill out and enjoy the Florida sunshine if you fancy a day off from the theme parks. We were so lucky to be staying at Disney Yacht Club which is a deluxe hotel on site at Disney World; again with the benefit of having early entrance to the Parks. Something new for me was our visit to Animal Kingdom; an amazing safari experience amongst lions, hippos and giraffes. We also enjoyed the sights and space inventions of Epcot; meeting the characters in and around Disney and of course the rides at Magic Kingdom as well as experiencing the Magic of Cinderella’s Castle. If movies are more your thing, you will enjoy Hollywood Studios which also has great rides and you are able to see how a movie is made. We also managed to see the world famous Cirque du Soleil show which is an amazing show in Downtown Disney. Still no trip to Orlando is finished without a trip to at least one shopping mall and there are plenty to choose from here - Premium Outlets is where there are bargains to be had with clothing particularly at great prices. And the classic US stores at the Florida Mall, where there are more upmarket shops within a centre including Saks, Macys and M&M World. I did so much I actually needed a holiday when I got back! It does help if you can plan your trip in advance and choose a location that will suit the needs of your party, so I look forward to helping you plan your next Orlando trip!
12 October 2010
With only an 8 hour flight to get to the most amazing beaches, it really is the place to kick back and chill out. Whether it is a honeymoon or a family holiday, Antigua has something for everyone. With 365 beaches to choose from there is no problem of overcrowding. Staying at Sandals Grande Antigua was truly a VIP experience for me... the rooms were very luxurious and the bathrooms were so opulent I felt like a Queen. The room was a Concierge Category which meant that the full size mini bar was replenished everyday!!! There were many restaurants to choose from; Italian, Japanese, International and the best of all a Seafood restaurant that is literally on the beach - so you can feel the sand under your feet as you eat!! The whole atmosphere around the hotel and poolside was relaxed and very sociable although there was a great choice of non-motorised watersports available should you feel the need to do something more energetic. If shopping is your thing then only 10 minutes away in the capital of St John's you can buy most things, from local made items to Duty Free jewellery. Or why not take a day trip to the beautiful deserted island of Barbuda where you can either relax on the pink beach or visit the habitat of the Frigate Birds - truly awesome!! I would highly recommend Antigua to anyone who needs to get away from it all, and there are a wide range of accommodations to suit everyone's taste and budget.
03 September 2009
We had never been to the Spanish mainland before as a family; but with a very short flight from Bournemouth, a 15 minute transfer to our hotel in Salou and two small children in tow, it was an ideal choice. With perfectly clean sandy beaches, it was very safe for the children to swim and play in. However, being August the beaches were very busy especially with Spanish people. The weather was perfect with not a rain drop in sight! Salou has all the usual tourist shops but also had a good selection of clothes shops and supermarkets if you wanted to self-cater with many UK brands available. Along the beautiful palm-tree lined promenade there are a lovely selection of restaurants offering fish and paella dishes or you could just sit and watch the sunset with a long cocktail. Every night in July and August the fountain near the harbour is lit up with amazing colourful lights and a laser show dancing to the accompanying music. We were also very near to the PortAventura Park which is a must-do with hundreds of rides, shows and a huge water park - which was difficult to drag the children away from. A 2-day ticket would be my recommendation. The whole of Salou is easily accessible as the road train runs right around it and up to Port Aventura. We also took advantage of being so near to Barcelona and took a very inexpensive train on the 2 hour journey and visited the Nou Camp for my football mad son; a must see for all football fans with a megastore to die for. I hope to certainly return again soon especially after the Summer weather we have had here.
Clanfield. Hampshire 07/08/2014
NEW FOREST 18/07/2013
BORDON, NEAR PETERSFIELD 27/06/2012
Hamble southampton 27/02/2012
Hamble, Southampton 26/02/2012
Clanfield, Waterlooville 19/02/2011
Staines, Middlesex 02/03/2010