Hello! I am Lizzie Adamson-Brown, Personal Travel Concierge.
The clients I work with love to explore and enjoy this beautiful world we live in. They want unique experiences and memories that last a lifetime, without all that stressful time spent trawling through the endless minefield of websites.
From the moment they contact me about a holiday or business trip, until the minute they get home, and even beyond, they want to know they are in the hands of a loyal and confidential professional who can take away all that stress and pain.
They dream of finding new destinations that will create memories and experiences of a lifetime, at the same time being totally cared for.
My clients get to live, breath and experience this beautiful world; its’ wonderful cultures and all in a vibrant kaleidoscope of colour.
As your Personal Travel Concierge, you can be safe in the knowledge that you will have a fabulous travel booking experience with me.
Explore | Experience | Enrich
Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so please either fill in and send the form below or simply give me a call and I can get things started for you:-
Sent in by Allison McManus
Alnwick, 06 June 2019
Lizzie has now booked several holidays for myself and my husband plus some of our family. She goes the extra mile by making suggestions and offering advice and always gets back to you the same day. When my husband took ill on our trip to Sri Lanka, her support was invaluable. I would recommend her to everyone I know and have no hesitation in continuing to do so. I would never go on holiday now without booking through Lizzie, She is an absolute star!
Sent in by Susan Davies
Durham, 02 June 2019
Very helpful and caring for the needs of myself and my son I have mobility needs and nothing was any trouble everything was organised quickly and efficiently looking forward to our holiday.
Sent in by Charlotte Armandias-Thompson
Peisey-Nancroix, 02 June 2019
Fantastic tailor made service!
Sent in by Lisa Forster
Ryton, 02 June 2019
Lizzie was absolutely brilliant. She made looking for our holiday so much easier and saved me hours more hunting round on the Internet for the right flights and accommodation. She asked 'the right questions' to find out what we wanted then went away and found a few options for us. They weren't quite right but Lizzie happily went away again and found more options for us, one of which was perfect. I would definitely recommend her to anyone!
Sent in by Paul Creighton
Warkworth, 30 May 2019
I already propose Lizzie to folks and tell them that nothing is to much trouble to her, she is prompt, persistent and keeps in touch.
Sent in by Carli Mills
Wallsend, 30 May 2019
Great support through the booking process, all questions covered. Very friendly and holiday was booked within two days of contacting Lizzie. Couldn't recommend her enough.
Sent in by Jill Hankin
Wallsend, 02 May 2019
Lizzie was fantastic, she has been so patient whilst I and my family make our minds up. She is so knowledgeable. I have enjoyed the process much more than I thought I would. I would recommend her in a heart beat.
Sent in by Carol Hindhaugh
Gateshead, 01 April 2019
Lizzie is very proactive, responding quickly to queries. Information from her is detailed and very helpful for planning and making decisions. Thank you Lizzie
Sent in by Victoria Swales
Heaton, Newcastle, 22 March 2019
Lizzie is AMAZING! I recommend her to everyone I know who is looking to book travel. We have booked through Lizzie a couple of times now and her level of costomer service is unbeatable! Superstar!
Sent in by Claire Mills
South Shields, 11 March 2019
Lizzie is fantastic and has booked an adventure holiday we are very much looking forward too. This is not the first time we have booked with her, she is always incredibly enthusiastic, helpful and knowledgeable- what more could you need?!
Sent in by Adele Johnson
Lesbury, Alnwick, 20 February 2019
Lizzie always makes it so easy for us to book our trips away, and her knowledge of the world is absolutely amazing, we were unsure of where to go this year so just told her what we wanted and she found the perfect destination, fantastic service.
Sent in by Alison Thomas
Morpeth, 13 February 2019
I just felt compelled to write a few lines about the excellent service (once again) that we have received from the lovely Lizzie Adamson-Brown, Personal Travel Counsellor, when booking our latest holiday: We usually book our holidays months in advance but for some reason this year we just could not decide where to go. Having used Lizzie before I got in touch last year and threw a few possibilities at her and as always she promptly responded with ideas, suggestions and once we had confirmed dates, many, many quotes. We must have changed our minds a dozen (actually make that nearer 50) times and I'm sure we must have driven Lizzie demented but every time I asked for quotes and advice, she came back promptly but still we (that's me & hubby, not Lizzie) could not come up with anything definitive and went round the globe more times than Phileas Fogg! With just a few weeks to go we FINALLY decided and were about to book when I decided to give Lizzie one final ring and true to form she came up trump then emailed and posted all the documents out to us, checked us in online both ways and even wrote our luggage tags out for us so now all we have to do is pack and get to the airport with nothing further to do than just relax and enjoy our holiday- Perfect! So if you're thinking of booking a holiday, whether it be an expensive long haul exotic trip or a short break I would urge you to get in touch with Lizzie first, nothing is EVER too much trouble for her, she never gives you the hard sell, just a first class service both before, during and after your trip and makes you feel like you are the only one she is dealing with .... now that is a talent! Lizzie - thank you for putting up with my indecisiveness and for sorting everything out and taking my stress away but beware.....we will be back to haunt you later in the year!
Sent in by Lisa Pullen
West Monkseaton, 05 February 2019
As usual Lizzie made the whole process easy and was able to meet all our needs in super quick time. It's lovely to have faith in someone who is so dedicated to making your dreams come true. She is as excited as we are. We will use Lizzie again and again.
Sent in by Nicola Renton
Darras Hall, 04 February 2019
Lizzie has been fantastic in understanding what I wanted from my trip and gave me a few suggestions to look at. I feel that Lizzie has gone above and beyond to ensure that my holiday is everything I want and will be contacting Lizzie again for my next holiday. Thank you.
Sent in by Tracey Murray
Ponteland, 24 January 2019
Very enthusiastic, helpful and informative. Contactable almost any time with a swift response to emails and queries.
Sent in by Jane Callum
Whickham, 21 January 2019
Lizzie listened, recommended and answered questions making changes to get the perfect break. Very helpful and friendly. Highly recommended.
Sent in by Susan Thompson
Belsay, 11 January 2019
Fantastic service from a lovely lady who is so knowledgeable. Lizzie created the perfect holiday treat for a special birthday. I shall recommend her to all!
Sent in by Pam Little
Hexham, 10 January 2019
Lizzie was friendly and helpful.....nothing was a problem. She sorted our holiday with speed and efficiency. Happy to recommend her.
Sent in by Adrian Hardwick
Chichester, 03 January 2019
Lizzie has an infectious energy that starts the holiday feeling before you have even booked it with her! Her can do attitude is a real breath of fresh air in this moaning world. If she personally does not the know the answer about a particular place, she sets off like a good terrier hound to find out and come back with the answer. Lizzie is a real pleasure to work with and she is ably assisted by Colin - a winning combination. All our family members have used her services as have many of our friends. Keep being Lizzie, Lizzie!
Sent in by Emma Hedley
Coxhoe, 19 December 2018
I just want to thank you again for organising our fabulous family holiday. We truly have had an amazing time. Fuerteventura is a beautiful island I didn’t realise how picturesque it really is! Georgina had a fabulous time however she’s not been well the whole time but has still had a great time. You really have gone above and beyond to make our holiday special! Our Prosecco was fabulous, the fruit was delicious and our room was perfect for what we needed. We had a lovely garden area out the front of our balcony that we were able to sunbathe on whilst Georgina had her afternoon nap! Thanks again you remarkable lady. You are 100% in the right job!
Sent in by Hugh Campbell
Cramlington, 11 December 2018
Excellent communication in organising this trip with detailed maps and itinerary. Diamond Beach is one of the places we wanted to see and to see the size of some of these pieces of glacier ice that go out to sea and then get washed back up onto the black sandy beach are truly awesome and a sight to behold. To stand on and touch ice that is more than a thousand years old is something quite breath-taking and special to say the least. So a big thank you to Lizzie Adamson-Brown Personal Travel Concierge
Sent in by Rob & Lynsey Martin
Morpeth, 03 December 2018
Lizzie has been amazing from my initial enquiry all the way through. I needed a bespoke holiday to accommodate a wedding and ensure we could visit three different parts of Mauritius during our stay, no other travel company I know could do this - Lizzie understood what we needed and made it happen and within a budget that we had set. We are delighted with how she has stayed in touch even after we paid in full and how she has shown a genuine interest in our holiday experience. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Lizzie again in future and of course recommend her to my friends for their holidays.
Sent in by Amanda Burgoyne
Normanton, 30 November 2018
I would highly recommend Lizzie! Booking a holiday with her is just so effortless and her wealth of knowledge helps us when deciding where to go.
Sent in by Kay Wilkinson-Hall
Gosforth, 15 November 2018
Fantastic service once again. Nothing is too much trouble. You go above and beyond the call of duty to help.
Sent in by Karen Ferguson
Chester-le-Street, 31 October 2018
Lizzie was helpful, knowledgeable and wanted to do the best she could for us. Looking for the best deal and offering advice. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to friends and family.
Sent in by Val Howey
Amble, 10 October 2018
Could not have been more helpful in planning a long haul trip to several destinations . Thank you.
Sent in by Julie Dockray
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 08 October 2018
Lizzie has been an absolute pleasure to book our holiday with and look forward to booking more holidays with her.
Sent in by Katherine Fullen
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 06 October 2018
Lizzie has been great listening to and considering our family’s needs. Very knowledgeable, friendly and flexible. Would definitely recommend.
Sent in by Ruth, Steve and Georgie Kinghorn
Widdrington, 31 August 2018
We’ve had fabulous service and Lizzie has helped us book exactly what we wanted for our dream escapes.
Sent in by Jill Scarr
Ashington, 21 August 2018
Lizzie gets to know you as a person rather than just another customer. I have just booked my second cruise with Lizzie and she has been superb in advising us when we need to book our flights and hotel pre-cruise.
With independent access to thousands of travel suppliers around the world, I've got an eye for added value. Take a look through my latest selections below. But even if nothing particularly catches your eye - don't worry! Let's chat and I'll take the hassle away from tailoring a perfectly personalised holiday just for you.
Contact me on 0191 4326570
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.
16 April 2019
SMEs often assume that TMCs are too big or costly for smaller organisations to consider using them, however many TMCs have the services and expertise to help smaller businesses track travel spend, handle duty of care requirements, save time and stress. I work alongside VA’s (Virtual Assistants) too, as they specialise in the SME admin and PA duties, while I have the TMC company and have many years expertise in corporate travel booking. Here are the main reasons, of many, why using a TMC is the best option every time for booking their business travel arrangements … Experience and Skills Would...
27 February 2019
“How come I haven’t heard of you before?”. “Where have you been all my life?”. “You are truly a hidden gem!” These are just some of the things I hear from new clients. This is because, in my opinion, I run my business with THE best travel company in the world, deliver THE best service in the world and offer world-beating holiday products. I’m not just saying this; we have an unrivalled Global 96% Net Promoter Score, which means we are rated higher than Apple, Amazon and even BMW! So, why are we so special? Do you want to book with someone...
04 November 2018
1. Graz, Austria Graz is one of Austria’s most beautiful cities. With a vibrant mix of Renaissance, contemporary (The Kunsthaus art museum) and futuristic architecture, Graz is a city that lives and breathes history. Wander the winding alleyways in the Altstadt, finding secret courtyards and quirky artisan shops, where you can find chocolate and almond biscuits topped with poppy seeds. From November 23rd you can find 14 Christmas Markets dotted around the old town. The smoked sausages, mountain cheeses and the Styrian ham are a must, then warm up over a Kaffee und Kuchen in a local café sampling the unique...
05 October 2018
I have good reason to be in love with Fuerteventura! I believe that this wonderfully beautiful island was the catalyst to me carrying on living. I was seriously ill in 2000, but I had an amazing consultant surgeon who worked miracles and I was sent to recuperate by my company to assist in the Fuerteventura office (which was code for ‘go away, get better and forget about work’). I instantly fell in love with Fuerteventura and after spending time in the glorious sunshine, relaxing and eating lovely fresh fish with the locals, I was in remission. When I had the chance...
08 August 2018
This is a spectacular coastal train journey between Seattle and Los Angeles, with detours inland through the Cascade Mountains on the fabulous Amtrak Coast Starlight. The onboard seats are wide, comfortable and almost fully reclining; the fabulous observation lounge has swivelling seats, that provide a fantastic view of the scenery. There is also a café, a lounge for business class passengers (complete with a wine-tasting event) a dining car and an at-seat dinner service. Advance booking for the dining car is advisable. Wi-fi is available on some trains. But a word of caution straightaway, don’t even think about it if you...
12 June 2018
Mummy Snowboarder is a very good friend and client of mine. She has kindly sent me this fantastic blog about snowboarding in senior years, so there’s hope for me yet! She has also written a book called ‘Take it all on board’, working through doubt, setbacks, injury and grief, she applies some hard-knock lessons from the slopes to daily life and delivers a unique confidence programme for any woman seeking greater self-esteem. Here is the link to Kate’s book … http://www.takeitallonboard.com/ Written by Mummy Snowboarder aka Kate Mackay Snowboarding is perceived to be a young person’s sport, and having just watched the Winter...
07 June 2018
I was introduced to the MS Research and Relief Fund in my local town of Morpeth, due to the fact that Lizzie specialises in accessible travel. Upon finding that they were fundraising for their charity and being a keen cyclist, I signed up for the Coast to Coast (C2C) challenge they were organising, which spans the North East from the Irish Sea at Workington to the North Sea at Tynemouth. A distance of about 140 miles over 3 days, across the high altitude across the Pennines! This is a challenge I have wanted to try for a few years now....
17 May 2018
There have been many studies done on how travel can benefit those with mental health issues. Ever feel like you are stuck in a rut? Working too hard? Stressed out because your mind is in a twirl and your capacity to process information is diminished? We have all been in that situation, where we get to that point where we have to get out of the house at a weekend and having a change of scenery, even if it is just a couple of hours down the road, this can work wonders. It has been scientifically proven that travel provides a number of...
03 April 2018
As you know, part of my job involves travelling to and exploring new places, so that I can confidently recommend them to you, my fabulous clients. As it has always been my dream to visit South Africa and having the chance to see my beloved elephants, you can imagine my excitement, when I was invited on a familiarisation trip courtesy of TourVest and South African Tourism with fellow Travel Counsellors from around the World. En route from the airport to the hotel, we enjoyed a cultural tour of Maboneng. It was great to see the journey of how Johannesburg grew from a...
19 March 2018
I got married at Rendezvous in September 2012. As a sister property, I was only too happy to recommend The BodyHoliday to my very special client for her 25th wedding anniversary. She's kindly shared the following and some stunning pictures. Enjoy! St Lucia, The BodyHoliday April 2017 Lizzie created us an awesome 25th wedding anniversary holiday to remember. She found out exactly what we wanted from our holiday - romantic beach setting, healthy eating, pampering, activity choices and on-tap yoga and meditation. Then she organised the holiday in super quick time with great efficiency and always with cheerful calls and emails. Lizzie...
01 February 2018
With January just behind us, don’t leave it much longer to book up your 2018 holiday. Apart from the fact that availability can run out, the prices will only go up as we move through the year. There are a few ‘surprises’ on here, as our customers are favouring more of an experiential type holiday, rather than the stereotypical ‘fly and flop’ style short haul beach holiday. Families have also realised, that kids benefit massively from travelling to destinations that can educate them in different cultures and enjoy experiences that will stay with them forever. Malta Now with Valletta as the 2018 European...
08 January 2018
I have worked in the travel industry now for 18 years, having worked extensively in the corporate travel sector. I cut my teeth in corporate travel, working for world renowned American Express, assisting some high-end businesses, such as Microsoft, P&G and BT among others. Until a few years ago, I owned a corporate business travel company dealing with many corporate businesses, nationally. When my corporate travellers were asking me to book their leisure trips, I had to turn them away. This was due to the licensing that is required, so I contacted Travel Counsellors who didn’t hesitate to take me onboard...
29 December 2017
I travelled the Danube with Tauck last year and absolutely loved it, so I jumped at the chance to experience the gorgeous new AmaWaterways river ship AmaKristina, on the Rhine from Basel to Amsterdam, with my husband Colin. Living in the North East of England the easiest way for us to fly to Basel was a 90-minute flight via EasyJet from Edinburgh on the 15th December, which is a quick and easy flight direct to Basel. Our return flight was from Amsterdam on the 23rd back into Edinburgh, again with EasyJet. We spent the night before embarkation in the lovely city of...
07 November 2017
Short Break (2-5 days) Athens & Evia Steeped in history with some fabulous sites such as the Acropolis, Parthenon and Temple of Zeus. Why not satiate your tour history appetite and spend a few days in Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world, where the first Marathon was run? I’m not saying you run a marathon - this is the spiritual home of the event and it’s a great place to see with temperatures a comfortable 10-18°C which is ideal for wandering around the sites. Then head down to the beautiful Aegean island of Evia for some glittering...
09 October 2017
A few months ago, I was honoured to be chosen to attend this educational trip to Canada and could not wait for the time to arrive! Excitement just doesn’t cover it! At long last the day arrived and off I flew to Heathrow from Newcastle to meet up with some of the others before heading to Ottawa on an Air Canada flight, which included an upgrade to business class, how fantastic is that? Ottawa After booking into the Ottawa Marriott, which is a short stroll from Parliament Hill, we were met by our local tour director, who walked us over to D’Arcy McGee’s...
02 October 2017
City Break (2 - 3days) Lyon, France Lyon is France’s second city and there are more restaurants here per square metre than anywhere else in the world! Where the Saone and Rhone rivers meet, this fantastic city is perfect to visit this time of year with ancient medieval streets and architecture. Those fantastic restaurants with elite chefs, chocolatiers, fantastic markets and having the Rhone valley vineyards within striking distance and its fabulous vineyards, it’s a perfect central base to discover all the best France has to offer. Why not hire a car and visit Geneva, which is only 90miles away, or even Paris which is...
29 September 2017
A few weekends ago I was very excited at the chance to try out a Hoseasons Lodge Break in Derbyshire, which is also fantastic because I spent a lot of my childhood years in that area around Ashover. This gave me the opportunity not only to try out one of these fabulous lodges but to show my Husband, Colin, around the area in which I used to live. We were booked into a two bedroomed Lodge (with Hot Tub) at the Landal Darwin Forest Park just outside Matlock. We arrived a little early for check in, which was 4 pm, but...
12 September 2017
Short Break (7 days) Costa Brava, Spain While stretches of the Spanish south coast have surrendered to the ‘fly and flop’ brigade, the dramatic shoreline northeast of Barcelona has retained its Catalonian soul. For the smaller resorts, Llafranc and Tamariu are gorgeous quieter spots with beaches sloping gently down to the beautiful turquoise Mediterranean. In September, it will be generally quieter and therefore cheaper due to being out of school holiday season, with the weather being still warm and balmy. If you like more than beaches, there are Greco-Roman remains at Empuries, Medieval Begur. So much to see and do! Why not hire a car and...
14 August 2017
This week I learnt at a training day that Oman is not all about sand and camels! This country has everything for everyone and I have had my eyes well and truly opened! The government are making their country very accessible and attractive to cater for all visitors, with a huge selection of quality resorts and attractions for everyone, including children. I discovered that Oman is a country of contrasting landscapes, with the beautiful white sandy beaches contrasting with the spectacular mountains of greenery. Summer months in Oman can see temperatures of 40°C or more inland, with the mountain and coastal...
03 August 2017
This was supposed to be our annual walk for Reuben’s Retreat across Morecambe Bay on Saturday 29th July but was cancelled the night before due to high water in the bay, even when the tide was out. Our guide, Cedric, who is the official queen’s guide for Morecambe Bay only managed to get his tractor across, through deep water. Obviously this meant that a lot of people had sponsored our walk with many of my colleagues from Travel Counsellors raising quite a lot of money to do it. Therefore, the following morning, as we are a resilient bunch, we decided to...
25 July 2017
Example 7 day break - Umbria, Italy: Pick a secret hideaway in central Italy’s gorgeous region and immerse yourself in the rolling hills, medieval walled towns, artistic gems, and amazing food (wow, the food) and of course the wine. A full blown Italian experience awaits with many self-catering accommodation options, including apartments or even working farms with pools. Visit Roman historical sites and try the famous Perugian chocolates. Fly here via many international flights into Perugia and hire a car to get the most out of your Italian adventure. Must visits are, Assisi, Florence and Orvieto, with the usual temperature at...
14 July 2017
I recently joined a ladies networking group in my local area, called ‘The Coffee Lounge’ and I thought what a great idea this would be for a Facebook post! I posted a generic post on by business Facebook page about The Coffee Lounge and the reach went bonkers. Everybody, it seems loves to talk about their coffee drinking experiences! So I thought this a blog right there? There were many who commented on the Facebook post about their coffee experiences around the world, so here is a selection: Vietnam A Vietnamese filter, is coffee (optionally with chicory), and condensed milk. The coffee...
29 June 2017
Example - 7 day break Austrian Alps: With fresh mountain air and a very comfortable 25C, why not visit the glorious mountains instead of that typical beach break and dare to be different? Try a bit of light climbing or a trip in a cable car, the views will be stupendous. How about Zip-lining or canyoning and swimming in crystal clear mountain pools. Austrian Ski resorts cater enormously for the summer visitors too, where you can hike on the winter skiing pistes. There may be some great deals to be had! For the more adventurous why not stay in one of the...
25 June 2017
It all started with a phone call in my office on a Thursday afternoon, “Hello, is that Lizzie? I’d like to welcome you to Archerfield House for you birthday tomorrow” says the soft spoken Scots lad on the other end. “But it’s not my birthday until Saturday,” I replied, not even registering the Archerfield House bit! “My name is Calum, from Archerfield House and your husband, Colin has booked you a Spa Break at our lovely location” he goes on to say. Now I’m just gobsmacked, “He’s what? Oh my god that's fantastic,” says I, holding back the tears, “Ooooh I’m...
22 May 2017
I have to admit, visiting the Middle East on a trip with my business wasn’t on top of my tick list. I don’t really know why? Was I expecting it to be culture restrictive? I can’t really put my finger on it! Anyway, I decided I would give Qatar the benefit of the doubt and putting on my professional Travel Counsellor business owner hat, I travelled to Edinburgh to stay overnight before my early flight the next day. Our flight departed from Edinburgh on Qatar Airlines for Doha at 0810, arriving at 17:05. At Doha airport I was pleasantly surprised to see...
07 March 2017
I recently celebrated my 3rd Anniversary with Travel Counsellors and I'd love to share a little bit of my story with you. Travel was my passion from a very young age but I was academic at school and decided to pursue a career in education - I went to university and became a secondary school teacher. After a very serious health scare in 2000, I decided life was too short and to reach for my dream. 17 years later, here I am - running my own successful travel business and living my dream. People often ask what drives me and my answer is...
12 February 2017
Prior to joining Travel Counsellors, I worked overseas as a Wedding Co-Ordinator in Paphos, Cyprus, where I was organising 5 weddings per day, which was a bit of a logistical challenge! After returning back to the UK, I worked as a Wedding Planner at Linden Hall in Northumberland, where I organised a more manageable 1-2 weddings per week. In 2012, I organised my own dream wedding in St Lucia. Here are 5 of the best tips for planning your wedding abroad, that I have learned in this time: 1. When should I start planning my wedding abroad? The simple answer to this is, the...
18 January 2017
Following on from our few days in New York we embarked seamlessly onto QM2 at 12:30 on 3rd January. Our luggage was picked up at the dock and mysteriously reappeared outside our cabin on deck 12 - just amazing.We had an inside cabin for the 7 day crossing and I have to say, as it was dark and the ship would gently rock as we slept, it was the best night’s sleep we had for ages! It had been a rainy few days in New York but today was dry albeit a bit misty. This meant that as we drew closer...
12 January 2017
I had been to New York many years ago, but I was really looking forward visiting again with my husband, Colin, for a few days prior to embarking on our Transatlantic Queen Mary 2 voyage (this will be covered on another blog). We had only a few nights and one whole day to cram as much in as we could, which is why we booked our accommodation in the RIU Plaza Times Square, which is a lovely new property in a very central location in the Theatre district. As we had flown into New York on 1st January 2017, the craziness of...
30 November 2016
One of the biggest perks of running my own travel business is getting to see the destination first hand. I am completely in love – it’s official! Since I was 17 years old, I have wanted to return here. To say I was completely blown away is an understatement. The stunningly beautiful state of California has something to offer everyone. Our first day was spent exploring Hollywood and learning its history. We visited the Walk of Fame and walked down Hollywood Boulevard. The next day, we drove down Highway 101 to Santa Barbara and experienced a fabulous local wine tasting on the magnificent...
03 November 2016
I hear a lot about running your business and how wonderful it is. Yes it is great, in a way, allowing you to become master or mistress of your own destiny, being your own boss and making you self-accountable, it’s got to be awesome hasn’t it, or has it? My wife Lizzie runs her own travel agency as a personal travel agent with Travel Counsellors and she has worked in the travel industry for over 16 years. What I really mean is, she has been married to the travel industry for that time and as she has only been married to me for...
25 September 2016
As someone relatively new to cruise and already completely hooked, I was delighted to be invited on board the newly remastered Queen Mary 2 for training at sea, last week. It was my first experience of the Cunard brand and Queen Mary 2 has recently undergone a major, multi million pound refurbishment - I was totally blown away. She is stunning. Our first experience of the renowned Cunard 'White Star Service' began the moment we stepped on board when the white-gloved officers and crew greeted us with a smile and warm welcome. My immediate impressions were of the sheer spaciousness and elegance. I...
11 September 2016
One of the biggest perks of running my own travel business is getting to see the destinations first hand. I have just returned from a fabulous trip to the Bahamas, courtesy of AMG. Upon arrival in the Bahamas, we transferred to the spectacular Atlantis Paradise Island hotel, where we stayed in the Royal Towers. The hotel boasts the amazing Aquaventure water park, as well as a huge choice of restaurants and bars, multiple swimming pools and leisure facilities and even a casino. You certainly won’t get bored here! There’s something for everyone and then some! After a site inspection of the Atlantis,...
20 August 2016
Everyone knows Venice is a unique city-break destination with global appeal, but what are the ten top tips which allows you to maximise your time experiencing the authentic Venice? My lovely client Kate and her husband Gordon, travelled to Italy in May 2016. Spending four nights in the city gave them some couple-time away from domesticity and work. 1. Use the public water buses rather than a private taxi: they are frequent, easy to use and are a great way to see the city from the water. An unlimited three day pass cost €40. Much cheaper than a private...
16 June 2016
I’ve just returned from the most amazing time in St Lucia, courtesy of Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort. I was keen to return to St Lucia, as I got married there in 2012 at the Rendezvous; but it was strange returning without my hubby. A huge thanks to British Airways for our complimentary upgrade to Club class. It meant we could work on flight on the way over and sleep on the way back. It’s going to be difficult flying economy again after this fabulous experience. We landed at St Lucia Hewanorra Airport to be met by representatives of Windjammer. They were waiting...
26 May 2016
I spent last week attending the fabulous annual Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) conference in Southampton. CLIA is an independent organisation who bring together cruise lines, travel agents, associated travel partners and are dedicated to the expansion of ocean and river cruise holidays. 2 years ago, I hadn’t cruised and couldn’t see me cruising – I thought it wasn’t for me, it was for old people, I would get fat with all the food, I’d get seasick – all the usual excuses. As part of my Continuous Professional Development, I undertook the fabulous array of courses CLIA have designed and am...
26 May 2016
I was so lucky to be invited on board Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas last week. We were the first clients to step foot on her and she did not disappoint. Harmony is the world’s largest cruise ship to date, so before embarking, I made a sneaky visit to City Terminal to have a sneak peek before the crowds arrived and she certainly has the WOW factor! Embarkation was so well organised and I headed up my first escalator on a ship to meet my fellow Travel Professionals. Like other Oasis Class ships, Harmony of the Seas has 7 unique...
16 March 2016
I was so lucky to be invited as a guest of the Singapore Tourist Board and Holland America/Seabourn in February. After a fabulous flight with Singapore Airlines, we arrived into Changi Airport and transferred to the Pan Pacific Orchard to freshen up before our busy day. This five-star hotel is located along the famous Orchard Road and is an excellent base for both business and leisure travellers. Our first stop was Singapore’s Chinatown, which evolved around 1821 when the first Chinese junk arrived from Xiamen, Fujian province in China. Not all parts of Chinatown are Chinese though. The Jamae Mosque and Sri...
19 December 2015
After my awesome trip with Tauck, cruising down the Danube, I'm hooked on River Cruising, so I thought I'd share my top 10 moments with you: 1. Step out of the bathroom without having shut the curtains! Well……hello! 2. Sipping an aperol spritz, gluhwein or hot chocolate wrapped in a blanket on the top deck, whilst gliding past fairy-tale castles and picture-book village. 3. Checking out your moves on the river boat dance floor accompanied by a local band. 4. Laughing till your ribs hurt with your new found friends on the ship - and crying when you have to leave them (and exchanging...
09 November 2015
I was over the moon to be invited on board the MS Treasures for the 2015 Tauck Academy. I’ve also wanted to try River Cruising and this was the perfect opportunity, as well as gaining professional accreditation. As a child, I was a dancer and imagined dancing the waltz with my beloved grandfather in a Viennese palace with live music. I couldn’t take grandad, but knew he’d be with me in spirit all the way. Budapest I flew into Budapest the night before and stayed at the Hotel Zenit. Just a short walk along the beautiful Danube riverside to the pier, this is...
18 September 2015
I received the surprise of my life in December 2009, when my (now) husband and I went on a trip to Las Vegas. I've let him tell the story in his own words - read on! :-) In the September of 2009 my wife Lizzie who is a whizz at booking holidays, said to me, “how do you fancy a trip to the sun for a few a days?” I, of course agreed, but left her to deal with the challenge of finding something ideally within our budget. I had been thinking for a while that Lizzie and I have been together for...
27 July 2015
I had a great meeting with a lovely couple this weekend, to help them plan their destination wedding and they asked me how many weddings I’d actually planned... I hadn’t even thought of this, so when I got home, I got out my ‘special’ suitcase. It’s a case full of thank you cards, letters, photos and postcards from weddings I’d planned. I calculated that I have actually planned over 500 weddings! It really doesn’t feel that many, considering that every single one was an absolute pleasure. From intimate beachside weddings for a couple, to elaborate premier league footballer events with over 1000...
21 July 2015
This June, I was incredibly privileged to be invited onto the AM Resorts agent trip in Mexico. In the past I’ve shied away from All Inclusive holidays, having terrible memories of a bun fight at the buffet that was always the same, day in day out. I’m a bit of a foodie and ‘brown’, bland food just doesn’t cut it. We visited Zoetry, Secrets, Dreams and Now properties and after experiencing the ‘unlimited luxury’, I am an all-inclusive convert. You can eat a different meal each night, whether it’s traditional Mexican cuisine, French, Seafood, Italian, Mediterranean, Pan Asian – each restaurant...
01 July 2015
Keeping your property safe when you are away is very important, but so are your belongings. You may have fancy CCTV and security systems at home, but have you ever considered that your car could be holding information that could put your home at risk of being burgled and damaged? As a travel company we have come across stories where travellers have left their cars at an airport long stay car park, to find that they have been burgled while they are away. This is horrifying to know, so please follow the tips below... If you have a portable sat nav that sticks to...
12 May 2015
At this time of year many of us are dreaming of winter sun, booking festival tickets or making plans for an eagerly awaited summer holiday. This can all be very exciting, and the preparation is often a big part of the fun, but it’s important that measures are also taken to keep yourself and your home safe while you’re away. * * * * AT HOME * * * * When you leave for your trip, do a final check to make sure that all doors and windows are locked (including those of sheds and outbuildings), and that your burglar alarm system...
02 December 2014
Are you looking to go skiing or snowboarding with the family this season? This is a fabulous blog by my friend Kate and well worth a follow. This month's blog is all about child friendly resorts in Europe and North America. Well worth a follow and if you have any questions, she's the girl in the know: http://mummysnowboarder.com/ #snowboarding #childfriendlyresorts So you’ve finally taken the plunge and you’re going to take the kids away for a holiday on the snow but where do you go? You may already have some ideas, but the resort you remember fondly from your twenties, which...
04 November 2014
A journey full of highs and lows, a nerve racking commitment but so very worth it - a description of a trek to Machu Picchu, or a marriage?! I undertook the challenge to fund raise for charity, but for any intrepid couple looking for a honeymoon with a difference, I can’t imagine a more memorable experience than trekking along a remote Inca trail 4,000 metres up in the Andes. And if you did it for a charity maybe you could even get your guests to contribute to your chosen one as a wedding gift. The first challenge on my trip was on...
04 September 2014
As an ambassador for Maiden Voyage and also with my business as a personal Travel Counsellor, I sometimes send customers into potentially volatile areas in pursuit of business and that elusive perfect deal. I keep my business travel and leisure customers up to date with FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) advice on volatile or flashpoint areas around the world, as well as giving them hints and tips of how to stay safe on any trip. Here are some very useful tips, gleaned from colleagues and customers: It is very important to understand the local customs, culture and etiquette, as much as possible,...
10 June 2014
We left the Alex Johnson early after breakfast and caught a flight from Rapid City to Austin via Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with American Airlines. First stop in Austin was the Formula 1 track, Circuit of the Americas! This made my husband incredibly jealous as he is a mad F1 fan. It's a huge venue with a viewing tower. At the top of the tower was a glass floor, not for the faint hearted, but I managed it. The view over the track and the surrounding area was fabulous! I would love to go back one day to see a concert...
09 June 2014
After breakfast in Loveland, Colorado, we set off for a new state – Nebraska! We arrived in the Scottsbluff/Gering Area and picked up a fabulous packed lunch at the friendly Emporium Coffeehouse & Café in Scottsbluff before heading to Scotts Bluff National Monument. Scottsbluff is a truly majestic landmark used by Americans Indians, fur trappers, pioneers and modern travellers, when making their way along the famous Oregon Trail - original wagon train ruts are still visible! The guide told us that a lot of people had perished along the trail and had just been buried alongside it. It was fascinating to hear...
09 June 2014
Sunrise at the Badlands! Definitely worth the 5:00am wakeup call! The colours are more vibrant, the outlines sharper and the atmosphere calmer – a truly magical experience! As the sun rises, it’s a very humbling and special feeling, as I watched the tips start to glow and draw long shadows across the formations, to paint the most impressive landscape on the ground. After having our breakfast at Cedar Pass lodge we departed for Rapid City. I wonder what treasures I will encounter today? Arriving in Rapid City I visited the Journey Museum. This was an incredible trek through time, from the...
08 June 2014
After saying a fond farewell to Denver, we travelled to Estes and Rocky Mountain National Parks. Is this really happening? I keep pinching myself to make sure I’m not dreaming! We checked in at the YMCA and had a brief guided tour. The YMCA of the Rockies is the largest YMCA facility in the nation with over 800 square miles of land. It’s in a fabulous location and has a plethora of activities. It even has a sculpture of four children doing the ‘YMCA’ dance outside (we may have had a little bit of fun with this?) We grabbed our backpacks, boarded...
08 June 2014
Before checking in at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch we visited the wonderful outlets at Loveland. After some of the group had ‘shopped until they dropped’ (not me, honestly) we had a photo stop at Benson Sculpture Park. Loveland is home to the largest outdoor sculpture show in the U.S. Benson Sculpture Park has one of the largest collections of sculpture on display in the country. Over 139 sculptures on permanent display. We checked in at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, where we changed into our jeans and boots and prepared to discover our inner cowboy, as we set off on...
07 June 2014
In May 2014, I was very honoured to be chosen to visit the USA with Brand USA. I've visited the major tourist areas of the USA before, including Las Vegas, Florida and New York. I was delighted to be accepted on the ‘Meet the Mountains’ itinerary. This trip would include some of the amazing areas that I have only seen in Hollywood films. This wonderful experience has given me an insight into different states of the USA so that I am now able to help my clients discover parts they may not even have considered before. Our first stop was Denver, known...