I have a genuine passion for travel and have been fortunate enough to travel extensively from the Arctic Circle to Zanzibar! Previous holiday highlights include a safari in Kenya to spending Christmas skiing in Canada and also visiting Father Christmas in Lapland, Finland. I was also fortunate to visit Brazil last year, an amazing country that did not disappoint.
Now having two young boys my holidays have changed slightly but we still enjoy city breaks as well as exploring mainland Europe. We recently went on our first cruise and have to say we are all now hooked, even the eight and five-year-old members of my family!
My focus is to get you the right holiday totally tailored to your requirements. I can provide flexibility to speak outside of normal working hours giving you the opportunity to discuss and look at your travel plans at a time that suits you and fits into your life. I am here as your personal contact from your initial enquiry to when you return home from your holiday and beyond.
I can assist with all areas of travel from corporate trips to UK breaks and weekends away to flight only, city breaks, villas, long haul, weddings, cruise, ski, groups as well as tailor-made itineraries, once in a lifetime trips and package holidays.
“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
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:-
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.
26 September 2020
The elusive Northern Lights! Without a doubt the most common question I get whenever a customer is thinking of visiting Iceland is "when is the best time to see the Northern Lights"? This question is a tricky one, and one where I can give my expertise whilst remembering that this is a natural phenomena so it's all just guessing…or is it? Here I share with you some Northern Lights wisdom! For some reason somebody, at one time said that February was the best month, which is something that baffles our Partner supplier that lives in Iceland. February isn't necessarily...
23 August 2020
I booked out Italian adventure in January and in truth, once this awful pandemic struck I thought we had no chance of getting there this year. I am incredibly grateful that we did and had a truly phenomenal Italian Escape! Manchester Airport was like when I flew to Majorca when lock down was first lifted earlier this summer although there were more people which was great for me to see. However, security was just as quick, 5 minutes and we were through and pretty much everything was open, including the Executive Lounges which we made the most of. My Six-year-old was...
23 August 2020
We then collected our car and drove up to a little village South of Siena in the Tuscan hills where we spent 8 nights in a beautiful converted Farm House. Tuscany is just as I imaged after seeing pictures over the years. Fields full of olive trees and vine yards and beautiful buildings everywhere. The farmhouse was stunning. It had 5 apartments and an onsite restaurant which was a major hit with the locals, it does not depend on residents which is always a bonus (we could not get a table on our first night as it was booked up)....
15 July 2020
I made the decision to travel to Majorca with two fellow Travel Counsellors and my son to go and test for myself what the “new normal” feels like in the world of travel. I will be honest and say I was nervous beforehand, especially taking my 9-year-old as I had no idea how he would cope having to wear a mask for such a long time and whether I was making the right decision to travel at all. However, me being me needed to experience this myself to confidently be able to talk you my customers through the process and...
18 June 2020
If you've tried Greece and Italy, you might want to consider Malta! It is bursting with history and sights to see, as well as attracting a much younger crowd these days who are drawn to the island's many highlights. The small, sparkling island of Malta packs a big punch! 7,000 years of human activity can be traced by history lovers. Explore the 16th-century, St John's Cathedral and Casa Rocca Piccola, a grand palazzo and explore fascinating cultural museums and palaces. There is so much more to Malta though. Marvel at abundant natural wonders; from the Blue Grotto caverns to the...
04 June 2020
Why should the magical island of Zanzibar be on your travel wish list? I have been and it really should be on there if it is not! White sands and turquoise sea Gorgeous tropical climate Excellent snorkelling & diving Local tradition & culture Fun & interesting excursions International airport Zanzibar has it all! It is easy to reach this tropical island from mainland Tanzania, either by boat or plane making it an excellent choice for a Safari 2 (or 3 or 4) stop Tanzanian adventure holiday. The Zanzibari hotel is one I highly recommend as the perfect place to either...
15 May 2020
Lockdown may have you dreaming of distant sandy shores, but the UK has some spectacular beaches of its own. Here are six ideas for a sandy staycation. Mwnt, Wales Perfectly cut-out from the Ceredigion cliffs, the secluded cove of Mwnt is owned by the National Trust. The sheltered bay is a favourite for dolphins and seals, which are often spotted playing in the turquoise waters. The surrounding hilly cliffs create a natural wind-break for beach-bums while more active types can enjoy picturesque walks along the coastline, passing the charming 14th century Church of the Holy Cross. Luskentyre, Scotland Visit on a rare clear day...
29 April 2020
Firstly, I hope this finds you all well? The past two months have without question been a challenging time not just for those in the travel industry but the world as a whole. I wanted to take this opportunity to get in touch with everyone to let you know what I have been doing. The impact of Covid-19 was starting to really impact travel by the end of February and as we got towards the end of March, more and more countries had closed their borders and the FCO travel advice changed hourly. Not only the standard entry requirements but Visa restrictions...
14 April 2020
We can't help ourselves from thinking of what we are going to do once quarantine is lifted, see friends, go out for dinner or watch football at the pub but for many of us who are stuck home with kids.. It’s a holiday!! A well-deserved holiday, where you don't have to cook, clean or force your kids to do their school work. So it is no surprise that I have started to get enquiries for October half term. The Maldives is an ideal destination for an October half term holiday. Given the current uncertainty suppliers and hotels are offering...
27 February 2020
Virgin launched the hotly anticipated Scarlet Lady with the promise that she would be very different to other cruise ships and would appeal to those that have dubbed cruising as “not for them”. First impressions, she is definitely different! From the DJ playing in the roundabout which is where you would typically find an atrium to the fact that in the standard cabins, your bed folds down into a sofa during the day and each balcony has a hammock! The vibe on board on entering was Ibiza Beach Club. You will not find a tattoo parlour or record shop on any other cruise...
25 November 2019
If it’s your first time on a skiing holiday, you’re probably excited to get to the beautiful mountainous surroundings of your ski resort. There’s no feeling like heading out on the slopes to experience the thrill of the wind whirling past you as you glide across the powdery white snow. Skiing is an extreme sport, however, so before you go, check out our top tips for first-time skiers to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. Invest in good ski gear Before you go make sure that you buy some good quality skiing gear. It might seem a little pricey at...
15 October 2019
Cruise & Maritime normally operate their cruises as adults only but a few times a year then open them up as “Multi Generation cruises” where all ages are welcome. We cruised the Norwegian Fjords 3 years ago and having fallen in love with the breath-taking scenery and amazing Norwegian people we decided to go back. Sailing from Liverpool was another major draw as it meant we avoided the longer drive to Southampton. Embarkation was quick and easy and within an hour of arriving at the port we were on board. Our bags had already been delivered to our cabin, so it...
13 September 2019
Travelling whilst pregnant can be a daunting prospect especially for first-time parents but it should not put you off. Below I have listed some of my best places to travel while pregnant; The Costa Del Sol; With 325 days of sunshine a year, 126 sandy beaches (many Blue Flag), a clutch of lively seaside resorts and a vast choice of hotels, including both luxury and all-inclusive options, the Costa del Sol is a justifiably popular year-round destination within just a couple hours’ flight time of the UK. One of Europe’s best-known holiday hotspots, as well as the home to a large expat community,...
01 July 2019
I work alongside a team of wedding experts who are based at Travel Counsellors Head Office in Manchester to ensure couples get the very best wedding possible. I can draw upon my previous weddings I have booked and their wealth of knowledge on where to go and why. The most popular destinations listed below for weddings and the reasons why may just give you some ideas for planning your own! • CYPRUS- A variety of hotels and venues on offer to suit all types of budgets. There are a lot of all-inclusive hotels available which are popular for couples...
04 June 2019
GoldenEye has a history dating back to 1939 when Ian Fleming was recruited by Her Majesty’s British Naval Intelligence to be a formal commander during the war. This title was the reason he found himself on the island when enemy boats sailed the Caribbean seas. Officially, GoldenEye itself was around in 1942 although not as a hotel, as a navel operation leading to Ian falling in love with Jamaica, and an awe-inspiring future was set to inspire the world. Fast forward eight years, a house was built surrounded by trees on all sides except one, where the sea meets the...
23 May 2019
When you think back to your last family holiday, what memories spring to mind? Did you get the time to relax and recharge? Were mealtimes chilled and everyone really enjoyed their food, even the children? Did the children get an opportunity to experience a different culture? Was there a great range of activities on offer both during the day and on an evening that everyone enjoyed? Or was this the reality? The book you took to read still looks brand new as you spent your entire holiday rescuing inflatables. Meals were stressful as you either had the same food every evening...
04 May 2019
Visiting destinations that are not easily accessible such as the Antarctic, Artic and the Galapagos islands are rapidly moving up individuals bucket lists and cruising is one of the only ways to truly get into these areas. One of the best things about these cruises is that they are perfectly suited to those that may not have cruised before and Hurtigruten are really leading the way. They are pioneers in sustainability and are the first cruise line to ban single use plastic and their goal is to become the world’s first plastic free shipping company which they are well on their...
04 April 2019
Are you an active family? Do your children love to try something new? Cruising? Cruise ships are now so popular with families and once you have ventured onboard, it is hard to go back to a land based holiday. Part of this is down to the amazing facilities on board the ships but also the real travel experiences it gives every member of your family, regardless of their age. Cruising also works amazingly well for multi-generational family holidays as everyone can do as little or a much as they like and can easily build their holiday to suit them but with the added...
07 March 2019
I was fortunate enough to be on the MSC Bellissima launch this week and she is a ship I will be recommending to many customers! I was so impressed with the range of facilities on offer and her innovation really stood out. Starting with families and those looking for an active break MSC Bellissima has so much to offer. There are spacious pool areas with a choice of multiple outdoor as well as an indoor pool available, the Aquapark with a brilliant selection of full slides, 5 fun children’s clubs covering all ages from babies to teens complete with a sports...
31 December 2018
What a week in Lapland! Having booked numerous families to Lapland I decided this year is the year the Favagers will also experience it for ourselves. My husband and I have both skied twice before and given the fact that our boys are now 8 and 5 we felt it would be a great time to introduce them to something we both love so much. Due to this, we came to Lapland for a week to combine the hunt for the big man himself with some skiing. What an amazing week we have had! I often get asked whether Lapland is worth...
21 November 2018
Brazil is a country that offers so many different experiences and I was fortunate to visit three different regions during my work “fam trip” this October. After a brief layover in Lisbon, we were on our way to Rio De Janeiro! Rio airport is huge (so much so that the cleaning staff wear roller blades) but incredibly efficient. We were out of the terminal and on our way within 30 minutes of leaving the plane. It is the first time I have ever got off an international flight to find our bags already on the carousel. Our first hotel was right on...
21 September 2018
My eldest has been nagging us for some time that he was desperate to go to Loch Ness as it was the first holiday he went on at six weeks old and really wanted to see whether he could be the one to find the elusive Nessie! The decision was made after we spent a wonderful Spring Bank Holiday in Loch Lomond that this year we would have a “staycation”. Given the fact that Loch Ness is a good 7 hours+ drive from us we decided to combine a week in Loch Ness with experiencing other areas of the Highlands that...
09 August 2018
Guadeloupe, where most of the Death in Paradise series is filmed, is an amazing Caribbean Island. I have recently worked on an enquiry for a big fan of the programme, but Guadeloupe has something for everyone, whether you love the show or not. It truly offers a fabulous holiday experience. From snorkelling and diving in the breath-taking Jacques Cousteau Marine Reserve, to rum tasting, exploring Banana Plantations, hiking and trekking by the majestic La Soufrière volcano, visiting the Carbet Falls (Les Chutes du Carbet), and island hopping. These are just a few of the array of activities on offer. Not to...
Sent in by Jo Hand
Huddersfield, 06 November 2020
Gemma has now booked various holidays for me and every experience of using her services has exceeded my expectations. She is always polite, professional, warm and friendly, and does what she says she will. However, most importantly, she actually listens to you with regards to your holiday criteria and wish list - and delivers! We had an amazing 5 star holiday in Turkey via Gemma and she had ensure every one of our boxes was ticked. She has now booked a 5 star break to Monaco and is looking for a holiday to the USA for us now to watch the Ryder Cup. From now on I will put all my / our holidays in Gemma's safe hands. She is simply the best, better than all the rest...
Sent in by Damian Sayers
Huddersfield, 09 October 2020
Dear Gemma, I would just like to write you a quick thank you, even though we have not yet been able to travel. Whilst we were in the depths of lockdown, my daughter and I played the game “when this is all over, I want to ……” to which I said, “I want to go to Disney”. Booking was easy and painless, apart from being a Yorkshireman and having to part with my well-earned money. Simple right? Oh no. Like I said we have not travelled. We made our way down south in Bambi - our amazing Bedford Campervan (my wife certainly did not write this testimonial, at all) and stopped off at my fathers-in-law’s, for a short break before crossing the channel. In retrospect, we should have continued to the end of the A3 and got straight on the ferry that evening, because the next morning, we woke up to the news that France was on the Quarantine list and the FCO were advising essential travel only. It was your text that alerted us to this and whilst my wife and I had sessions to deliver for work (stressing out secretly in the back of our minds) you were working away, on the phone to Disney, rearranging our dates; managing to secure them for Christmas at no extra cost. There are doubts now whether we will be able to actually travel then, but we have full confidence that if again the worst-case scenario does happen, we have you on our side, helping us out. So, thank you. If it were not for you, we would never have got round to booking it, and we’d have been completely ****ed if it wasn’t for you.The hardest thing we have had to do in this whole process, is keep it all secret from the little one Thanks again Gemma, I would have no doubt or hesitation in recommending you, you have been a godsend. And to end on a Disney quote - Even miracles take time
Sent in by Stuart Moore
Holmfirth, 23 September 2020
Yesterday, I was discussing with my daughter the situation she found herself in at the time of lockdown. Stuck in Egypt. Gemma at this stressful time, tried to help arrange or find alternative flights. Ellie outlayed £2000 through her resourcefulness in booking 3 flights to get her home via Lithuania, and Belgium. She was prevented from her travels due to her nationality. We had booked our own holiday through Gemma . We felt very concerned about traveling abroad and still do. Gemma reassured us and was able to refund us our payment, unlike my daughter who had booked through last minute.com and still struggles for reimbursement. I will definitely book our next holidays though Gemma, thank you for all your help.
Sent in by Deborah Breckon
Huddersfield, 18 September 2020
Gemma has been fab helping us find a fantastic family holiday that not only means luxury for the adults but also keeping a teenager happy... no small challenge! it feels like we have travelled the world together looking at options, but no matter how many times criteria changed she always came up with great suitable options. would defo recommend booking with gemma
Sent in by Sophie Bebb
Holmfirth, 12 August 2020
Dear Gemma, I asked you to help me plan the trip of a lifetime to Iceland as a surprise for my Mum's big birthday. Gemma, you went above and beyond the call of duty, offering multiple options for activities at excursions, and making the whole process of booking the trip as easy as possible. You even organised for a mini tour guide to be put together to gift to my Mum on her birthday. My mum was overjoyed with the trip, and all the added extras included! Thank you Gemma for making the whole process stress-free. Gemma would be my first thought whenever I go to book a trip in the future - her level of customer service is second to none, and worth every penny. Thank you Gemma. Yours sincerely, Sophie Bebb
Sent in by Stewart Marshall
Huddersfield, 01 May 2020
After months of putting it off , I eventually contacted Gemma with a view to her booking some flights to Australia for me to visit my son. I gave her some details and she came back with a couple of options , extremely competitive and efficient , from there on she booked the flights for me , checked in and got me great seats on the flight. Whilst away , the COVOD 19 thing reared its head and after a while my family in the UK became slightly worried (much to my surprise !) I contacted Gemma on a Sunday night and she came straight back to me and kept in constant touch until my return. Simply superb service , I used her again last week to book a UK weekend away in October , once more numerous options exactly what I was looking for. I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Gemma to all friend and family and will be using from now on in Thanks Gemma Stewart x
Sent in by Jessica Rushforth
Huddersfield, 16 April 2020
Gemma is an absolute gem! From start to finish she was great, We had a horrible experience with a recent holiday and regardless of the time and the fact she was actually on her own holiday, Gemma gave up the time to talk us through what we needed to do. She spent so much of her own time on the phone with me and the holiday company who we booked with, through Gemma. She was a comfort to have at the other end of the phone and fight our corner of a nightmare holiday. We couldn’t have asked for a better person to be on our side and take the time to understand what we were going through. Thank you Jess Rushforth
Sent in by Max Lambert
Brighouse, 02 April 2020
In January this year as I am not a “Party Animal” and I would be celebrating my 80th birthday in March I decided to remove an item from my bucket list and spend it in New York my first visit to America. I spoke to Gemma, who within 72 hours had found 3 hotels which she recommended close to Times Square and Flights from Manchester to JFK. She also suggested a number of activities, sightseeing and tours so that we wouldn’t need to worry about booking them when we arrived as that would take up valuable time. After brief discussions we settled on a Hotel which was very good which unusually provided breakfast and evening meals within the price .We upgraded our flights with Virgin Atlantic to Premium Economy excellent value. Transfers, activities were all arranged to leave us time to explore New York during the last 3 days of our stay. Everything we expected was delivered and both before and during our stay she kept in touch to make sure there were no problems arising which there weren’t. I have no hesitation in recommending Gemma to all of you
Sent in by Julie Whale
Holmfirth, 13 March 2020
Gemma is an excellent Travel Counsellor and I have recommended already she is a joy to have as my travel expert.
Sent in by Charles Coombes
Holmfirth, 04 March 2020
Gemma's service was second to none. She was very knowledgeable, professional and personable. I will not hesitate to recommend her to my family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances.
Sent in by Damian Gomersall
Huddersfield, 14 February 2020
We have used Gemma’s services on a few occasions when deciding on and planning holidays. She always listens to what we want and is really helpful in doing all the research for us and filling in the gaps. The recommendations she comes up with pretty much trump our original plans and come in at budget too. She’s planned holidays for us in the past, including travelling America with a toddler, and she has just booked our most recently holiday coming up in May. She is always available to chat and meet any needs we have, and if we’ve run into any problems while we are away, she goes out of her way to sort them out from her end and takes away any stress we might have. Gemma is great at her job, she’s knowledgable and extremely professional. And whenever I’ve done a bit of research about hotels or holiday destinations, she usually knows about the hotels and destinations I’ve already looked at and can give me much more feedback and detail about them. (More than TripAdvisor!) We always contact Gemma before we book anything now. Thanks.
Sent in by Sally Marshall
Huddersfield, 28 January 2020
I have given Gemma this score because she has always provided a great services with added extra so I would definitely recommend her to family and friends.
Sent in by Victoria Anderson
Hereford, 19 January 2020
As always fabulous service and also incredibly patient! looking forward to a holiday I know will be amazing and everything taken care of! :)
Sent in by Simon Edmundson
Haworth, 19 January 2020
I found Gemma to be very approachable, knowledgeable and very experienced to get the right holiday booked. Gemma answered all the questions, using relatable examples. She was quick and her service was excellent.
Sent in by Deborah Traviss
Holmfirth, 19 January 2020
Great experience. It has been a very easy holiday booking friendly, good advice. When Gemma said she would do something she did ..very efficient thank you
Sent in by Hannah Wright
Huddersfield, 03 January 2020
Gemma is so knowledgeable and gives you various options without influencing you on options. She's friendly and professional at the same time and I felt very well looked after throughout the whole process - I already have recommended her and will continue to do so!!
Sent in by Roger Swithenbank
Huddersfield, 03 January 2020
First class service, excellent knowledge and attention to detail, highly recommended. Thank you.
Sent in by Ryan Virtue
Huddersfield, 26 December 2019
Gemma is an excellent point of contact for all our travel requirements, and will happily listen to your thoughts and come back with great options.
Sent in by Clair Wood
Huddersfield, 26 December 2019
Gemma is fantastic, very helpful and patient with my never ending questions. Thank you xx
Sent in by Vanessa Dodd
Warwick, 26 December 2019
Gemma was fantastic. She very quickly got to grips with our requirements and provided us with a number of options to help us create our bespoke family holiday. She was readily available and even though it was a weekend she found time to make adjustments to our booking. Within 4 days of starting the planning process we had a 4 location dream holiday booked and paid for. Exceptional service and I would and have already recommended Gemma.
Sent in by Samantha MacDonald
Huddersfield, 22 November 2019
Just returned from a long weekend in Lisbon that Gemma organised for us. Her knowledge, advice, opinions & support before, during & after our holiday was exceptional. Everything Gemma organised & booked for us was perfect. I would definitely recommend booking any holiday through Gemma & also recommend a weekend away in Lisbon. Gemma is so friendly & her customer service is outstanding. Thank you so much for a perfect childfree weekend.
Sent in by Joanne Walsh
Huddersfield, 22 November 2019
Gemma was extreamly helpfull and i have and will continue to recommend her to my friends and family. Gemma did a fantastic job of finding me my upcoming holiday, and i am greatfull for all the information i received and all the hard work it took for Gemma to do so. Thank you again, i will definitely be using your service in the future.
Sent in by Susan Smith
Huddersfield, 20 November 2019
Gemma has been a pleasure to work with in getting this perfect holiday. She has gone above and beyond in helping with some questions. Thank you. Whilst we knew it was going to cost us money we were happy with everything.
Sent in by Jan Preston
Huddersfield, 04 November 2019
Fabulous service! I’m hooked
Sent in by Mark Sanderson
Barnsley, 22 October 2019
Excellent service, Gemma made booking a holiday so easy we will be definitely using her again.....
Sent in by Raymond Bissett
Holmfirth, 03 October 2019
Gemma delivered an efficient, effective and timely service, resulting in a positive outcome.
Sent in by Samatha MacDonald
Huddersfield, 30 September 2019
I don’t think I’d go anywhere else now to book a holiday & would definitely recommend Gemma to anyone that is looking for a holiday! All my expectations were exceeded, the quotes were detailed & bespoke. Gemma was extremely helpful, personal & is very quick at replying. She is clearly knowledgable in travel, is so friendly & just lovely really. Thank you Gemma, we can’t wait to go away xx
Sent in by Ian Wilkinson
East Morton, 27 September 2019
Dear Gemma, Having now returned from our family multi centre trip to the USA I would just like to say how smooth the organisation and support was. Four Hotels, Seven excursions, 10 private transfers and Nine flights in all. No one was late – all on time and even the road transfer back to LA pulled out all the stops to get around a hideous traffic problem and still deliver us in plenty of time The App on the phone was great, the automatic reminders helpful, all backed up with a full set of printed documentation in a handy quality wallet. Your prior advice beforehand was spot on. All contact numbers were spot on when we needed to call to reconfirm/clarify etc The only slight frustration – nothing to do with Travel Counsellors was the British airways online check in – no surprises there Excellent trip and I would thoroughly recommend you and TC to colleagues and friends Thanks Again Ian Wilkinson
Sent in by Montserrat Ametller Batlle
Huddeersfield, 24 September 2019
Gemma was really helpful with all the information and advice she gave us before we decided to book our holidays. She's also been so patient with all our questions, giving us so many options (hotels, flights, dates, destinations...) and looking for the best offers. I can't recommend her enough.
Sent in by Stuart Moore
Holmfirth, 16 September 2019
I wish to formally compliment you on the service you recently provided to us, for a week’s break at short notice to the lake district. You were able to find luxurious accommodation for ourselves and a teenager, who was equally satisfied with the access to Wi-Fi. Not only was the price great but the facilities were perfect. I was very impressed, by the swiftness and complete professionalism offered by yourself once we had decided, we had flitted between a staycation or a holiday abroad. We were informed by e mail of our holiday and was contacted during and afterwards. This made us feel more than just a holiday maker but valued for our custom. I would use your services again and I would not hesitate in recommending your services.
From the pristine white-sand beaches of Thailand’s idyllic islands to the sprawling wide-open roads of the USA; the historic and breathtakingly beautiful architecture of India to the crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Maldives – there’s a world of wonder out there and it’s just waiting to be explored.
Contact me on 01484 490026