I’m Karen and I’m an adopted northerner living in Sale, Manchester.
I’m passionate about travel and love to share my experiences (and photos) and inspire others to do the same. The joke amongst my friends and family is that ‘I am always on holiday’ (if only that was true). I’m lucky to have travelled widely over the years and have been to over 50 countries. Favourite destinations include Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Italy and Spain with Cambodia having a special place in my heart as I lived there for several months whilst volunteering.
Before becoming a Travel Counsellor I worked in marketing for 25 years, for big names such as Virgin and most recently for Marketing Manchester, the tourist board promoting the city region to the world. Now it’s the other way around and I hope I can promote the world to the lovely people of Manchester (btw you don't need to live in Manchester for me to be able to help you with your travel plans).
I would love to hear about your holiday ideas and what’s important and of interest to you to then enable me to create a bespoke travel itinerary. This might be a beach holiday in Europe, a short city break, a long-haul once in a lifetime trip, off the beaten track somewhere, an all-inclusive cruise and not forgetting breaks in the UK too. Flexibility and availability are important – I am available on the phone, email or to meet in person and this can be outside of ‘normal business hours’ if that suits you better. You will get great personal service from me along with the 100% financial protection of Travel Counsellors.
Please get in touch to see how I can help you to plan and book your next trip.
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.
02 October 2020
I really enjoy visiting museums whether I’m at home or on holiday. I love to learn about different aspects of life and/or a country and be inspired by beautiful objects or fascinating stories. I found it quite hard to choose just five museums that I have visited over the years (also see my top five favourite art galleries blog!) 1. People’s History Museum, Manchester, UK I must declare a bit of an invested interest as I worked at PHM for over 10 years. It’s the national museum of democracy and tells the story of revolutionaries, reformers, workers, voters, citizens and radicals who...
14 September 2020
I have just returned from a trip to Spain to visit my family. I thought it would be helpful to write about my experience of international travel in light of Covid-19. Often it’s the fear of the unknown that stops us from doing things so I hope this account will offer reassurance and encouragement. BEFORE TRAVEL It’s essential you check the specific entry requirements for your destination. For example, to travel to Spain, you are required to complete an online health questionnaire prior to travel and to obtain a QR code which you show either on your mobile or on...
16 June 2020
I found it hard to decide on my top five for this list – it could easily have been more. Art galleries and museums are an important part of my life and especially when I travel. They are often the driving force for me wanting to visit a city or destination. 1. Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Doha, Qatar I visited Doha in January this year (2020) and the MIA has immediately gone straight to the top of my list of favourite art galleries! It was also the main reason for visiting the city. For me both the building and the objects...
03 June 2020
In light of the current circumstances with Covid-19, travel within the UK will be an option for us all before we are able to go abroad, so I’ve taken a look at my home city of Manchester and why you should consider visiting. Manchester has been my adopted home for over 15 years now. I moved here for a new job in 2003 and have lived here ever since. And contrary to the media, I can confirm that it doesn’t always rain here! I should probably also declare to having an invested interest (and probably being a bit biased) as...
24 January 2020
Doha in Qatar is probably mostly thought of as a stopover destination en route to Australia, South East Asia or India, however I would definitely recommend you visit the city for longer. I went for a week at the end of January with my mum and there’s certainly plenty to see and do. We flew direct with Qatar Airways from London Gatwick (they also fly from Manchester and London Heathrow). It was ideal to escape the grey and cold of the UK with clear blue skies, sunshine and about 22 degrees - perfect. Our hotel We stayed in Souq Waqif Boutique...
29 June 2019
I spent a week in Norway in July last year (2019) and this was my first visit to the country. We flew into Bergen (and got a fantastic view from the plane over hundreds of little islands across the archipelago – a stunning setting for a city) and then flew home from Oslo, both with Norwegian Airways. Our Hotel in Bergen We stayed at the Clarion Hotel Admiral in Bergen. Our room was facing the water with a great view of all the colourful buildings of Bryggen. It was lovely to be able to sit and watch all the boats...
29 March 2019
I visited Japan in March / April 2019 and booked my trip more than a year in advance to secure a place during the peak time to visit - cherry blossom season! I travelled with my friend Dawn and we joined a small group escorted tour (Ancient & Modern Japan) with Exodus Travels. We flew with Emirates from Manchester via Dubai into Osaka (for Kyoto) and returned home from Tokyo. We saw and did so much I don’t really know where to start or what to include! Below are a few highlights from each place I visited: Kyoto • Kinkaku-ji Temple (ie The...
25 October 2018
I visited Brazil for just over two weeks in October/November 2018. I travelled on a private journey which was perfect as my mum and I were able to personalise our trip and do exactly what we wanted to do (which is what I do for my customers now). We flew with British Airways direct from London Heathrow to Rio de Janeiro in Premium Economy (and it was worth the extra cost for more space and comfort on the 12-hour flight). Rio de Janeiro Rio doesn’t really need any introductions – it’s such an iconic city with so many famous sights. We...
19 December 2016
I visited Cuba for a two-week holiday in late December 2016 into January 2017. I travelled with my mum on a private journey organised for us by Journey Latin America which was perfect as we planned our itinerary to suit our interests and needs (just like I do now for my customers as a Travel Counsellor). Here are some of my highlights: Havana As you might expect, Havana, the capital, is packed full of beautiful, crumbling buildings giving you a sense of what it would’ve been like in its heyday. Old classic cars are everywhere which add to the atmosphere. We spent...
01 June 2015
These are my top ten favourite beaches that I’ve been to around the world. I’ve included a few closer to home, so not all of them are in far-flung destinations! 1. ‘Mad dog beach’, Koh Rong, Cambodia I lived on the island of Koh Rong whilst volunteering for Marine Conservation Cambodia in 2012 and the island wasn’t geared up for tourism at this point. ‘Mad dog beach’ was about a 20-minute walk over a big hill from our accommodation and got its name (not surprisingly) because there was a not very nice dog that you usually had to navigate past before...
01 May 2015
From a young age I’ve had an interest in the world around us. I’m the daughter of two geography university graduates so I grew up with quizzes about capital cities of the world, the states of America, counties of England etc so that may help to explain. When I was young I remember staying with my grandparents with my younger brother during school holidays. Some years we hired a cottage/holiday home in places like Pembrokeshire or Cornwall so I remember playing on the beach (often in full waterproofs and wellies) and exploring the local area. At 16 I went on a...
Sent in by Tim Manley
Manchester, 09 June 2020
Nobody knows more than Karen about travel, especially to those less visited places and more exotic locations. I can think of no one better to go to for travel advice.
Sent in by Lisa Hewitt
Manchester, 09 June 2020
I've known Karen for a few years and she is always going on the most amazing holidays so if you're planning a trip (when we return to normal) then Karen's knowledge and expertise is what you need.
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 0161 268 8521