Based in Twyford

Marie Rowe

Available for new enquiries

It's Nice To Meet You

I'm an experienced travel professional specialising in affordable luxury and planning responsible holidays worldwide, providing a high quality service and expert advice that you won't find online.

Sustainable Travel Expert

I have a personal interest in travelling sustainably and responsibly which is becoming increasingly important for many travellers. As one of the UK's leading sustainable travel experts, I love to help eco-conscious travellers plan planet friendly travel by carefully considering how to make holidays kinder to people and our planet, without compromising on luxury.

I am passionate about providing a travel service that offers a high level of customer satisfaction, out of hours contact, a personal approach, supreme value and, above all, a level of service that you won't find on the high street or online. From family adventures, honeymoons and long haul escapes to safari, city breaks, Lapland experiences, and more - my service is the same for everyone regardless of the type of holiday or budget.

I have vast experience in arranging many types of holidays worldwide including long-haul adventures, fly drives, all-inclusive family escapes, luxury couples’ holidays and, off the beaten track travel with local, immersive, and authentic experiences that support the local community, environment and wildlife.

I specialise in personally tailored Honeymoons, African safari’s, responsible travel, solo travel, LGBT+ travel, Lapland adventures, and luxury family holidays in Europe including Ikos, Sani, and Domes Resorts.

My aim is to personally manage your travel experience from start to finish. From your initial enquiry to the day you return home, I am here to answer any questions and I can arrange additional elements of your holiday such as car hire, private transfers, airport hotels, excursions, trips, tours and more.

My top tip for planning travel in 2024 is to book as early as you can to guarantee the best price. You can read more about this in my blog on How to avoid the rising cost of holidays.

As part of a multi-award winning global network of independent travel consultants, I have connections with all the major tour operators as well as small, independent, niche and specialist travel companies that can’t be booked online or on the high street.

My personal service includes expert knowledge & advice, 100% financial protection and 24/7 support at no extra cost.

Follow me on Facebook for all my latest travel updates, news and offers.

Whether you’re considering a luxury escape to the Caribbean, a multi-centre trip to the Far-East, or a cultural visit to a European city – I would be delighted to discuss your travel requirements and ideas at a time to suit you and help you start planning your next adventure.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

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Contact Me

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

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My Blog

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

Why sustainable travel matters

05 June 2024

It’s no secret that the travel and tourism industry has seen a lot of growth in the last decade or so – aside from that Covid-19 period. And while the uptick in travel is great for the people travelling and for travel professionals, it’s not the best news for the world at large. Especially when sustainability is such an important issue, and one of the biggest trends in travel right now. So naturally, I’m here to break the silence. Sustainable travel basically means travel that seeks to meet the social, economic and environmental needs of present and future generations. It isn’t just about reducing your carbon footprint when you travel. Sustainable decisions can be woven into every part of your travel plans, not just your airline and hotels. But why is sustainable travel so important? What impact does travel really have on the world? WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY IN TRAVEL? Sustainable travel is all about finding a way that global tourism can be maintained long-term without harming natural cultural environments. That means everything from the environment, the plants and creatures in it, the people and their native cultures too. It’s a way to allow tourists to travel and enjoy new places, while still protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. More than that, sustainable travel is about valuing the environment. Looking after our natural resources and respecting local communities and cultures. As travellers, we need to be more aware of the pollution levels caused by travel, how tourism affects local people, businesses and native culture, and what we can do to make a positive difference. The realities of climate change have inspired people to take better care of the planet we live on, and to transform their impact from a negative into a positive one. Surprisingly, the travelling that’s done sustainably is often more enjoyable too! WHY IS SUSTAINABILITY SO IMPORTANT? Because only by acting sustainably can we protect the world around us and keep it beautiful for centuries to come. By travelling more responsibly, we can all contribute towards the improvement of sustainability in the travel industry. At present, the travel industry, for all of it’s positives, has also paved the way for a lot of damage to the world. It’s one of the largest contributors to CO2 and greenhouse gasses producing around 5% of all global emissions. It’s also fuelled overtourism, which has wreaked havoc on the environments, culture and ecologies of popular destinations, as well as using up huge amounts of natural resources along the way. As I mentioned earlier, sustainable travel isn’t just about the carbon footprint. It’s also about the impact travel has on the destination, its communities and culture. That’s why every sustainable choice you make is important. WHAT CAN I DO? Glad you asked! Sustainable travel is an important issue for everyone to address, even if you don’t spend a lot of your own time travelling. By making more conscious travel decisions, we can all continue to experience new cultures, meet new people and see amazing places without causing harm. So, here are my top tips: 1. Plan your route: Some destinations are more sustainable than others. I’m not saying you shouldn’t book your dream, bucket-list trip, but sometimes there are alternatives that give you the same (or a better) experience, and less affected by overtourism. Consider what’s important to you when choosing a destination so that you can find the best fit – it isn’t always the most well-known destination. Once you have your destination, it’s time to work out how to get there. Depending on where you’re going, you may have the option to fly, drive, take a train or a coach. I can help you weigh up your options and see which one is the best fit for both you and the environment. 2. Pack considerately: Believe it or not, the weight of your luggage adds up to the carbon emissions. Packing lightly will help cut your carbon footprint, especially if you choose eco-friendly essentials when you’re packing as well. Bring your own refillable water bottle to save you money and cut down on single use plastics, and pack a canvas style shopping bag so you don’t end up with dozens of plastic bags at the end. 3. Support local: You’ve carefully chosen your destination, so why not enjoy it to the fullest? Staying in a locally-owned eco-certified accommodation like guesthouses, B&Bs doesn’t mean you need to compromise on luxury! At the same time, it gives you the chance to really immerse yourself in the local culture. Stay local, eat local, and shop local. Buy locally made artisan gifts to take home as souvenirs that are truly unique to the place you’re visiting, instead of the same tat you can buy anywhere. So you see, it’s all about making small changes and meaningful choices, and my job is to help you make them, and make your experience as enjoyable as possible. As a travel agent myself I face a dilemma. On the one hand, without any efforts to stop it, global warming will mean places like New York, the Maldives and Dubai will be underwater. I’m desperate to do what I can to stop that from happening, and keeping our world safe. On the other hand, I feel a lot of guilt, since travel is a huge part of the problem, and my work does, in some way, contribute to it. That’s why I made my goal to run a sustainable travel business, help my clients make responsible travel choices and offset the impact of their travel with other ethical decisions. The latest step in that journey is partnering with TreeSisters which I’m very excited about! Since the beginning of 2024, I have donated a percentage of every holiday sale to this incredible charity to support restoring diverse forest ecosystems and habitats, protecting critically endangered species, and funding ethical, community-led planting projects with women & community at their core. If you would like to know more about travelling responsibly, or the impact your choices really have, give me a call and I’ll be happy to assist you in planning your next holiday that has a positive impact on the environment without compromising on luxury, and without inflating the cost.

How to travel more responsibly in 2024 & beyond

02 June 2023

Travelling is a great way to experience new cultures, meet new people, and see amazing places. Travelling responsibly means considering the negative impact that travel can have on the people, places, communities, animals, and the environment of the places you visit. This is something I am personally passionate about. I love inspiring others with ideas on how to be more mindful of the planet when they travel. There are many small changes you can make to your travel style which will have a much more positive impact on the environment and help reduce social and economic problems in the places you visit. As well as the ecological benefits there are powerful personal benefits that come from doing good and feeling good about your decisions. These all contribute to one of the fundamental outcomes of travel – increased happiness and wellbeing! If you’re eco-minded, here are a few top things to consider before planning your next holiday… THINK LOCAL AND SUPPORT THE COMMUNITIES YOU VISIT When you support local businesses, you help to keep money circulating within the local economy. This can help to reduce poverty and inequality, and it can also help to protect the environment. When you eat at local restaurants, shop at local markets, book local tour guides, and stay at local accommodations, you are supporting local businesses which helps to boost the local economy and ensure that your money stays within the community. Thinking 'local' allows you to experience the culture of the place you're visiting in a more authentic way and you're also more likely to meet locals and learn about their lives. When you support local communities, you're helping to make a positive impact on the world. You're helping to create jobs, support families, and protect the environment. SAY NO TO THINGS THAT DON’T FEEL RIGHT It’s easy to get chatting to a tour company that you simply can’t say no to when you’re abroad, but it pays to be wary and make sure you know what you’re saying yes to before you sign up to an excursion that you might later regret. Particularly wildlife experiences that exploit animals. This includes things like elephant rides, animal petting zoos, and swimming with dolphins. These activities often involve cruelty to animals and can easily be avoided. If you can touch, bathe, feed, or ride wild animals, it's best to say no. Another thing to be mindful of is purchasing souvenirs that are mass-produced and sold at tourist traps. It’s often hard to say no if you come across a persistent salesperson but there’s always an alternative to support local artisans and buy souvenirs that are handmade and unique. GET OFF THE BEATEN TRACK With a little bit of research and the help of a trusted Travel Agent, you will often find that the most interesting and beautiful places can be discovered outside of the major tourist zones, away from the mass crowds in lesser visited communities. There is almost always a better alternative! I recently visited Haarlem in Netherlands as an alternative to Amsterdam. I also visited Tarragona in Spain as a great alternative to Barcelona. Both of these cities are smaller, offering a more authentic travel experience but with all the same unique culture and historical aspects to discover along with a much more local vibe. Both can be reached by rail too! BE AWARE OF YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT There are a number of things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint such as choosing more sustainable transportation options. Can you take a train instead of a plane? Can you walk for 20 minutes instead of taking a 5 minute taxi? Can you join a cycling tour instead of hopping on the City bus to see the local sights? Can you hire an electric car? Another thing to consider is travelling for longer – doing and seeing more in one trip instead of taking multiple trips is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. For example, Greek island hopping; visiting 2 or 3 islands in one trip and travelling between them by boat means you can experience more in one longer trip with only two flights instead of flying on separate occasions to each island and back. Or a multi-centre stay in Italy where you fly into one airport and home from another whilst navigating around the country to your various accommodation locations by train. This is a fantastic way to see Rome, Puglia, and Naples in one trip instead of taking three separate ones. BE MINDFUL OF THE ENVIRONMENT Some great ways to reduce your plastic consumption when travelling include packing your own refillable water bottle and coffee mug. Also, bringing a reusable shopping bag with you. Choosing accommodation with green credentials that promote their focus on sustainability will ensure that your hotel is also thinking about the environment and making steps to reduce waste, support local food producers, implement recycling processes and energy saving solutions. Get in touch to talk more about planning and booking your next holiday or for more inspiration on ways to make a positive impact on the planet next time you travel.

Charity partnership announcement: TreeSisters

05 March 2024

I’ve been a travel agent for a long time now. And I know that as a travel agent, my business is dependent on selling travel, which is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions in the world. I don’t know about you, but I really care about the world we live in! So it’s important to me that I help my clients to reduce their carbon emissions as much as possible, educate them to make responsible choices so that they have a positive impact on their travels, and give back to the planet myself as a responsible business owner. In that light, I have an exciting announcement to make. I have partnered with TreeSisters! TreeSisters is a fantastic charity focused on funding ethical, community-led planting projects that take direct climate action. Moving forward, I will be donating a percentage of the profits from every holiday booking made through me to Tree Sisters. No matter how big or small, they will get a cut. That’s because I believe in their cause, and it’s my way of giving back to the planet that we all live on. What TreeSisters Are All About... TreeSisters is a charity working to ethically reforest and restore the planet. But they are far more than just a tree-planting charity. Rather than focus just on how many trees are in the ground, they fund ethical, community-led planting projects that improve socioeconomic outcomes in common travel destinations, and have women, community and nature at their heart. Their focus is to create a world where nature and people flourish in connection, equity and harmony. This means they don’t just plant trees - they also work to challenge dominant power structures, championing gender equality in traditionally male-dominant areas, and bringing Indigenous community voices to the conversation. It’s a very holistic approach to creating a greener, more equal future. Their work is mainly in Brazil, Borneo, Columbia, Cameroon, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Nepal, Uganda, West Papua and more. But their approach is very different to traditional ‘tree planting’ charities. Instead of focusing on the monetisation of nature (like the £1 for every tree planted campaign), TreeSisters want to highlight the broader impacts and the ethical reforestation of the world – things like water, supply systems, and the communities living and working among these trees. Their work is tough, but they are fighting back against deforestation and inequality in a very real way. The Real Impact of Travel... According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), travel and tourism account for between 8% and 11% of the global greenhouse gas emissions (which makes it worse than the construction industry), with aviation making up 17% of that number. From plane flights and boat rides to souvenirs and lodging, tourism has a carbon footprint the size of Bigfoot. And as the number of people who can afford to travel grows, that environmental footprint will only get bigger. There were a lot of different charitable causes I could have chosen when looking for a partnership. But for me, it was about the bigger picture. Because travel isn’t just about the way you get to your destination, and carbon isn’t the only harmful element to travel. You see far too many people talking about offsetting their carbon footprint by planting a few trees, without giving any consideration to the wider impact they’re having on the environment. After all, it’s not just the effects of carbon that are harmful to the planet. When holidaymakers descend on a destination they can make a big difference, and it’s not always good. If you want to see exactly what I mean and discover some of the negative sides of tourism, just watch The Last Tourist. So when I was looking for a charity to partner with, I wanted one that wasn’t just about carbon. One that also was aware of the impact you have when you get there, helped people learn about the local people and communities they visit, taught good travel habits, and showed people how to make sure you have a positive impact on every destination you visit. So Why TreeSisters? The result? I found TreeSisters. They stood out to me in the travel charity space because their values are completely and entirely aligned with my own. By working with and donating a percentage of my profits to TreeSisters, I, and my wonderful clients, are helping restore our planet, combat climate change, and join the fight for gender equality and ethical reforestation. On top of that, we can be part of a movement that rebalances power dynamics in some of the most deprived areas, empowering women and local communities while putting nature at the centre of all their decision-making. I want to be a part of that. I want to be involved, in even a small way, in building a greener and more sustainable world for all, while making travel a force for good. Doesn’t that sound like a wonderful bonus when you book a holiday? If you’re interested and want to find out more about TreeSisters, or maybe even donate yourself, you can visit their website or give me a call and I will be happy to chat it all through.

6 reasons to book your next holiday before Januray

11 December 2023

The festive season is always a popular time to start talking about holiday plans for the year ahead. With that comes all kinds of theories around when the best time to book a holiday is, when to get the best price, and when the best deals are going to be available. One common misperception is that January is the cheapest time of year to book a holiday and get the best deal. Others will argue that leaving it until nearer the time will get you a last minute bargain. That might be the case in terms of accommodation if you're happy to bag whatever is left on the shelf, but flight costs could be double what you would have paid six months earlier. Since the Covid pandemic and other Global factors affecting the cost of living, the travel industry has been affected by the same inflationary pressures as every other industry and holiday prices are rising. The simple fact is that the costs are determined by supply and demand. As a trusted Independent Travel Agent backed by Travel Counsellors, I am often asked "When is the best time to book my holiday?". My answer is always NOW! Where 'Now' means as soon as you can if you want to have the most choice at the best price. Here are my top 6 reasons to book your 2024 holiday before January... 1. Flights are already available to book up until November 2024 and the prices are at their lowest. The more seats get booked up - the higher the prices get. Booking as early as possible will guarantee the best price. 2. Early booking discounts are already available for thousands of hotels in 2024 with offers of up to 40% off accommodation, and some free child places. 3. Getting in there early will guarantee your preferred room type at your first choice of hotel. This is especially important if you're looking to stay at smaller properties or if you're hoping to grab a 2 bedroom family suite or interconnecting room during the school holidays (these are in high demand and availability is limited). 4. Booking early will require a booking deposit of as little as £125pp. You can sit back and relax knowing that you have secured a great value holiday with flexible terms and payment options to suit you up until your balance is due. 5. Travel Agents are notoriously busy with enquiries in January and you will get a speedier response and more personal service if you avoid the January rush. 6. It is a proven fact that having a holiday in the diary boosts energy and mental wellbeing, giving you something exciting to look forward to in the future. If you're looking to book your next holiday for 2024, get in touch to plan ahead and secure a great value holiday at your first choice hotel with your preferred room type, a personal service, and a low booking deposit - giving you something to feel great about and look forward to.

Wildlife protection: My commitment to animal welfare

28 September 2023

COVID-19 has challenged us to create change. The pandemic has shone a harsh spotlight on how people treat wild animals. The catastrophic impact of wildlife exploitation has impacted our health, worldwide economies, the planet and the travel industry, in addition to causing the suffering of millions of animals worldwide. There can be no going back to what once was. Sixty percent of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic (originate from animals), with over 70 percent of these thought to originate from wild animals. The demand for and exploitation of wild animals exposes us to diseases like COVID-19, putting us all at risk. Considering that wildlife tourist attractions account for a large proportion of tourism outlines the need to address the increasing demand of people searching for wildlife encounters as part of their ‘once in a lifetime’ holiday experience. When done responsibly these encounters can play a major role in protecting wildlife and their natural habitats. Unfortunately we know that most wildlife tourism takes place in captivity were as a result up to half a million wild animals suffer to entertain tourists around the world. Animals at these wildlife attractions are either taken from the wild or bred in captivity so tourists can take a tiger selfie, swim with a dolphin or ride or wash an elephant, driving a multi-billion dollar global trade in wild animals. As a member of the travel industry, It is important to me to do what I can to prevent another pandemic, secure livelihoods and help keep wild animals in the wild by becoming a wildlife-friendly travel business. This involves eliminating wildlife entertainment from my supply chain and offering responsible tourist experiences only. ANIMAL WELFARE POLICY My business is committed to responsible tourism and protecting animals who are impacted by the travel industry. I have developed this animal welfare policy as animal encounters have become increasingly popular as part of people’s holiday experiences. However, some animal related activities, such as elephant washing and rides, photo opportunities with tigers or watching dolphins perform, lead to suffering through cruel treatment and inhumane conditions. I believe that all animals should be respected for their intrinsic value and that the best way to experience animals whilst on holiday is by seeing them in the wild. When under human care, both domesticated and non-domesticated (wild) animals, must have ‘a good life’ by enjoying good physical and mental health. The conditions they are provided must favour positive experiences over negative ones within an environment that encourages making choices and enables them to express the widest possible range of natural behaviours. I only work with suppliers if the animals under their care are provided with the highest possible welfare in line with the Five Domains of Animal Welfare: NUTRITION Factors that involve the animal’s access to sufficient, balanced, varied and clean food and water. ENVIRONMENT Factors that enable comfort through temperature, substrate, space, air, odour, noise and predictability. HEALTH Factors that enable good health through absence of disease, injury, impairment and good fitness level. BEHAVIOUR Factors that provide varied, novel and engaging environmental challenges through sensory inputs, exploration, foraging, bonding, playing, retreating and others. MENTAL STATE By presenting positive situations in the previous four functional domains, the mental state of the animal should benefit from predominantly positive states, such as pleasure, comfort or vitality, while reducing negative states such as fear, frustration, hunger, pain or boredom. I also recognise that the needs of wild animals in particular can never be fully met in captivity. Where wild animals are kept in captivity the facility must not only provide them with best possible welfare conditions, it must also contribute towards a shift away from exploitative practices and be supportive of phasing out keeping wild animals for commercial purposes. GUIDELINES I do not sell or promote venues and/or activities that offer tourists any of the following experiences: • Close interaction with wild animals, such as, touching or riding, including but not limited to elephant riding and bathing, swimming with dolphins or walking with lions; • Watching wild animal performances, including but not limited to dolphin shows, circuses, orangutan boxing; • Photo opportunities with wild animals, including, but not limited to big cats, sloths, or primates, tiger selfies, dolphin kissing, or selfies with orangutans; • Watching animals fight or race, or being used in other sport or cultural events that cause animals to suffer or die, including but not limited to bullfighting and running, crocodile wrestling, dog fighting, rodeo, elephant polo and horse racing; • Visiting facilities where captive wild animals are bred and kept for commercial products, including but not limited to crocodile farms, civet coffee farms, bear bile farms, turtle farms; • Engaging in trophy, canned hunting or sport fishing. When not in conflict with any of the above guidelines I do offer and/or promotes the following venues and activities were tourist can experience animals: • Genuine animal sanctuaries, rehabilitation facilities and rescue centres that have the highest possible standards of animal care. E.g. sanctuaries certified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) or elephant venues following World Animal Protection’s Elephant-Friendly venue guidelines. • Responsible, wildlife watching where a visitor can observe animals in their natural environment from a suitable distance without interrupting their natural behaviours or disturbing their routines. E.g. whale watching experiences certified by the Whale Cetacean Alliance (WCA). • Zoos and aquariums that are accredited by members of World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and national zoo and aquarium accrediting bodies which do not hold cetaceans in captivity and do not use wild animals for direct contact activities with visitors or have them perform in shows. If you are looking to fulfil your dream wildlife adventure with guidance to ensure that you select the most ethical animal experiences, I would be delighted to help you plan and book your trip with a personal service, expert advice, and 100% financial protection.

My responsible travel pledge

29 August 2023

As a sustainable travel advocate within the travel industry, it is my passion and duty to promote responsible tourism and educate others on how we can better protect the planet and people on it when we travel. As a business owner, I am accountable for designing and selling holidays to my clients that align with my sustainable travel commitments. As an individual and a travel enthusiast, it is my responsibility to lead by example and travel with transparency. With that in mind, I share my responsible travel pledge which I commit to upholding whenever I travel on personal trips... RESPECT To consider myself as a guest (not a tourist) in the places I visit and to treat the people and environment as if it was my own. SINGLE USE PLASTIC To always travel with a refillable water bottle and reusable shopping bag and to avoid single use plastic where possible by choosing accommodation, restaurants and bars that share the same commitment. CULTURE & TRADITIONS To embrace local life by taking part in activities that help educate me and showcase the traditions that local people are proud of and celebrate the culture in the places I visit. CARBON EMISSIONS To limit my personal flying time to 24 hours a year and limit my business flying time to 48 hours a year. To select destinations that can easily be explored on foot, by rail or electric car and to always select hotels that have great green credentials. To consider group travel where possible. SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES To always support the local community by shopping in local independently owned gift shops and markets that support local artisans, eating in family run restaurants, using local tour guides, and supporting local life in any way I can when choosing how to spend my money whilst travelling. ETHICAL WILDLIFE VIEWING To never visit wildlife attractions that are unethical and do not adhere to my animal welfare policy. EDUCATION & AWARENESS To share the highlights of my personal trips that showcase aspects of responsible travel to inspire others.

My journey to becoming a sustainable travel expert

27 December 2022

At the start of 2022 I set out my single biggest business goal for the year; to focus on sustainability and to find ways to run a greener business whilst helping my clients to make more responsible choices when it comes to travelling. In a World where the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly obvious, I am passionate about advocating the importance of everyone doing their bit, no matter how small, to help save the planet from a future of vicious storms and extreme drought. Running a Travel Agency business, and being a keen traveller myself weighed on my conscience daily. The long range effects of Global Warming will ultimately impact our ability to Travel the World. In years to come, places like New York, the Maldives and Dubai will be under water. On one hand I am desperate to save this from happening to prolong the existence of travel but, on the other hand, I feel a huge amount of guilt for facilitating travel which is one of the largest contributors of C02 emissions. You see my dilemma? My goal was threefold: 1. To run a sustainable home based business where my office and work related tasks are eco-friendly and to make responsible choices to minimise my carbon footprint. 2. To help my clients make responsible travel choices and in turn to attract more eco-conscious clients to book travel with me. 3. To help my clients offset the impact of their travel and compensate for their carbon emissions by making equivalent reductions elsewhere. A year on, I am delighted and proud to be able to share that I have achieved those goals to a point where I am comfortable doing what I do and enabling my clients to do what they want to do, in a way that is much better for our planet, and leaving us with a clearer conscience. ECO FRIENDLY OFFICE LIFE My biggest goal for office life was to become 100% paper free. I am pleased to say that I think I am now very close to that goal. The only exception is when I book niche or specialist travel through a third party partner who still insists on providing printed collateral which I have to pass on to my clients. You could argue that it's them, not me, but I take responsibility for who I choose to work with so I'm happy to cop the flack here. This only represents a small amount of my business now because I'm increasingly choosing to work with partners who also operate a paperless system and I've nearly nailed it... I send my clients digital quotes, itineraries and tickets through the MyTC travel app. I use a digital business card instead of printing business cards. I take notes using Evernote instead of buying paper notebooks. I cancelled all my subscriptions to printed trade publications because I can read them online. I don't order or hold any brochure stock. I also walk and use public transport wherever I can and I’ve started to track my driving miles so I can offset my carbon emissions with a tree planting scheme. OFFERING RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL OPTIONS An increasing number of hotels are putting positive social and environmental impact at their heart. Regarding themselves as guardians of special places that have existed long before them, they are introducing ways of operating that actively conserve the environment and educate local communities on how best to care for it. If it is possible to make a conscious choice to stay at places, like these, that are leading the way, I want to make sure that my clients know about them. Our Green Leaf symbol denotes products that meet sustainability standards recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, which means they’re working to reduce their environmental impact and better serve the communities in which they operate. OFFSETTING CARBON EMMISSIONS I have started offering a free service to help my eco-conscious clients calculate the carbon emissions for their travel and advising them to mitigate the effects by planting the right number of trees to make equivalent reductions in developing countries. Trees are one of the most powerful absorbers of carbon emissions - by planting trees in developing countries as we travel, we also help to restore ecosystems, biodiversity & support local communities through the dignity of employment - together building a more sustainable & equitable world. My sustainability goals for 2023 are: 1. To continue to grow my business with the health of our planet in mind. 2. To further develop my ability to offer sustainable travel solutions to my clients and give them the knowledge that their travel is a force for good. 3. To be a true advocate for sustainability within the Travel Industry by sharing my knowledge and ideas to inspire agents to run greener businesses and sell responsible travel options. If you're looking to travel responsibly in 2023, I would be delighted to help you find the perfect hotel to suit your criteria with 'green leaf' status, or create an adventure itinerary packed with authentic experiences that support the local community. I can help you calculate your carbon footprint, offset your carbon emissions, and satisfy you knowledge that your travel is a force for good. I look forward to hearing from you.

Everything you need to know about visiting Lapland

13 December 2022

When it comes to visiting Lapland, there are lots of different options including different destinations and arctic villages with different styles of accommodation and each tour has different activities included. Some are fully inclusive and others have unforeseen hidden costs, so it pays to do your research and make sure you're booking an experience with a trusted tour operator. Personally, I only sell the BEST award-winning tours to my clients with amazing, authentic experiences that ensure families make memories that will last a lifetime. All my trips include flights, accommodation, meals, activities, and transfers. They are facilitated by expert tour agencies in the most magical locations and include amazing experiences with authentic Santa, Elves and activities. In this blog I will share everything you need to know about booking a once in a lifetime trip to Lapland next December. WHERE IS LAPLAND? Finnish Lapland is the part of Finland north of the Arctic Circle. It is a magical realm of forests and fells, Northern Lights and midnight sun, unique wildlife and traditional culture. It is also the home of a jolly old man known locally as Joulupukki – Santa Claus! Every December, families from across the world travel to Lapland to experience the magic of Santa’s frozen forest home. It's a fairy tale come true, with reindeer and huskies dashing through the snow, enchanting elves around every corner, crackling fires and cosy log cabins and the best Christmas present ever, that magical meeting with Santa Claus himself. This winter wonderland serves up a host of action-packed Arctic activities for kids and parents alike, from snowmobiling, skiing, sledging and snowshoeing, to the yelp and yowl of husky mushing, and the gentler pace of a traditional reindeer sleigh ride. Lapland is Europe’s last great wilderness, a land of outstanding natural beauty, where reindeer roam freely and far outnumber their human counterparts. For hundreds of years the indigenous Sami people have lived in harmony with Mother Nature and the land, hunting, fishing and reindeer farming. Little has changed, and it’s a privilege to be welcomed to this wonderful landscape and its rich culture. WHEN SHOULD I BOOK? December is always the busiest time of year for booking trips to Lapland for the following Christmas period. This is because it's almost always too late to book a last-minute trip to go sooner and also because the best trips get booked up so far in advance, so it pays to be organised and book a year in advance to get the best price, the best trips, and your first choice of dates and accommodation. Tours go on sale more than a year in advance and can be booked with a deposit of around £200pp. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? The short answer is, roughly about £500-700pp per day. The slightly longer answer is… it depends on where you go, when you go, who you go with, how long you go for, what type of accommodation you stay in and what activities are included. Ultimately, you get what you pay for. WHICH TRIPS ARE THE MOST POPULAR? I have put together a short list of award-winning Lapland Holidays, Day Trips & Short Breaks which are the most sought after based on the quality of the experience. ENCHANTING LAPLAND DAY TRIP Meet Santa Claus in Lapland next Christmas and enjoy an action packed day trip to Enontekio with husky and reindeer sleigh rides galore. Enjoy an exciting sleigh transfer from the airport to a beautiful location in the Lappish countryside before visiting a snow igloo and participating in a variety of traditional Arctic activities. CHRISTMAS SPARKLE - 3 NIGHT BREAK This Lapland Santa holiday is based in the peaceful village of Suomu or the picturesque Ruka Valley, on the edge of the Valtavaara National Park. The resorts are two of Santa’s favourite Lapland locations and in Suomu and Ruka Valley you can meet some of the traditional elves who work tirelessly to ensure that everything runs smoothly for Santa on Christmas Eve. MAGICAL INTERLUDE - 3 NIGHT TRIP Join the Search for Santa on this 3 night/4 day Lapland Santa holiday Escape the hustle and bustle of the modern world & be transported to a land full of mystery and magic in Search of Santa. Prepare to be spellbound by the beauty of Luosto, as you feel at one with nature, set amidst the Lappish wilderness. Meet Wendy Wood, the toymaker & a host of special friends as you Search for Santa. Feel the power of the paw, as the huskies whisk you away through ancient snow covered forests in our quest to find the great man. WHAT IS INCLUDED? Depending on which tour you book, the activities will vary on the duration of your stay. The Magical Interlude 3 night trip includes: - Reindeer Experience Feed the reindeer, learn traditional Sami culture and enjoy a magical reindeer sleigh ride. - Adult & Junior Snowmobiling A mini-drive for adults and children across a prepared track. - Santa's Special Elves Meet Santa’s most trusted helpers and prepare for mayhem, magic and giggles galore! - Sleigh Ride to Santa’s House The excitement builds as you swish deep into the forest by snowmobile sleigh. - A Gift from Santa - Celebration Dinner - Accommodation Hotel, log cabin & villa options available. - Return Flights - Snow Suits & Boots Cosy thermal suits and boots supplied free of charge. - 100% ATOL Protected for Your Peace of Mind - Husky Experience Learn all about Arctic huskies and try your hand at dog sledding. - Snow Fun & Games Tobogganing, snowballing, snow angels & more. - Santa’s Magical Post Office See how the elves sort those very special letters! - Private Family Meeting with Santa Your family’s private time with Father Christmas. - We Found Santa Party Put on your dancing shoes and join the Special Elves for special celebration! - Fully Inclusive Itinerary All the listed activities are included as standard. There are no hidden extras, and no unexpected “upsells”. - All Meals Included Buffet breakfast, lunch & dinner included. À la carte dinner upgrade available. - Resort Transfers Airport and activity coach transfers are included. - Souvenir Certificate & CD Get in touch to plan and book your next magical Lapland experience with a personal service.

How to avoid the rising cost of holidays

28 August 2022

With costs going through the roof for just about everything, holidays are no exception. I wanted to share my thoughts on how the current cost of living crisis will impact travel and to share my advice on how to lessen the blow with a bit of prior planning and savvy decision making. We’ve already seen quite sharp increases in holiday prices this year, not least due to soaring demand, but things like rising fuel surcharges also saw average holiday prices jump by around 17% this Summer. It’s not just the holiday costs which are in the rise but the extras too – car hire, travel insurance, food. It all adds up and it’s all going up. Just as consumers need to tighten their belts, businesses do too and it’s not just the UK that’s suffering right now. When it comes to providing a 5* hotel service with gourmet dining, it isn’t really an option to switch out the triple cooked hand cut chips for a bag of frozen fries or to refill the Molten Brown bottle with soap from the pound shop to minimise costs. Not if you’re paying for luxury. So what happens is, the costs go up to allow the resorts to cover their bills and still provide the same level of service which you will ultimately pay more for. Now, and the next month, and the next month, and the next month. It won’t get less, it’ll get more. My top tip on how to avoid a huge price tag on your next holiday is to BOOK EARLY! Pay a low deposit NOW, and in 8,9,10 months time whenever you’re travelling you will be so glad you did. There’s going to be a lot of people who leave it too late and their dream holiday becomes unaffordable. I previously wrote a blog with lots more reasons why it pays to book early so check that out on my webpage too for more inspiration. There are going to be resorts that employ cost reduction tactics – cheaper food, less staff, no refurbs. Things that will compromise their service levels and the customer experience in the process and whilst the price tag might seem more attractive, guests will be desperately disappointed and there’s even more cost involved when that happens. So, there could be twos scenarios... 1. Book early with a low deposit, secure a great rate and pay the same or only a tiny bit more for the level of service and experience you know and expect which will represent good value. 2. Wait until you’re priced out of your dream holiday and end up booking whatever is left on the shelf for much more money and a potentially substandard service that in the long run costs you even more to deal with and does not represent good value. If that happens to you, you’ll find it very hard to justify your decision on the basis that it was cheap because it wont be. My second piece of advice is - make sure you book your holiday with a trusted travel agent. A reputable company with great reviews who will financially protect you and have your back when you need them. I have heard so many stories this Summer from people who booked their own holiday or were brainwashed by a bright and colourful website that provided terrible service. They ended up on the phone on hold for hours on end, wracking up huge phone bills and waiting months for refunds. These things are not ok at the best of times but when money is tight, you don’t want to be left out of pocket, spending hours of your time trying to resolve things and paying for the pleasure when you could have your own travel agent to save you the job. I hope this has inspired you to think about when you book and how you book your next holiday to avoid spending a fortune before, during or after you travel.

5 reasons to book your next holiday early

01 July 2022

In my experience of booking holidays for my clients over the years I have seen the same annual patterns emerge when it comes to the ‘early birds’ compared with the ‘last minute bookers’. This year I have spent time making some specific comparisons on holidays I have booked for my clients and studied the price difference between bookings made 10 months in advance versus 10 weeks in advance. I have seen clients pay up to 40% more on accommodation alone and that’s before the cost difference in the flight prices which can be double what you would pay if you book them as early as possible. Most airlines publish their fares around 11 months in advance which is the best time to grab yourself a seat at the lowest price. From there on, it’s a case of supply and demand driving the price up and up and up…. My clients who booked their 2022 Summer holidays between October – December 2021 paid deposits as low as £270 and got a far better deal than those who waited until much nearer the time and they saved themselves thousands of pounds. They also got their first choice when it came to selecting their preferred room type and resort view because availability was plentiful. The same goes for other peak travel periods such as Easter and Christmas. If you want to take your family to the Caribbean at Easter you will save a fortune if you book it in June or July the year before rather than waiting until January. And if you fancy a festive escape to warmer climates over the Christmas period, I recommend booking something in January or February to beat the rush and bag yourself a bargain. I often describe my specialism as ‘affordable luxury’ and what I mean by this is that I provide my clients with great value, a service you won’t find online and exclusive rates at some amazing five star hotels around the world packaged together with flights and transfers for a whole lot less than you will find elsewhere. Whilst my service remains the same all year round, the ‘great value’ element is at its greatest when we can take advantage of the best rates when they’re available. In the last two years holiday prices have increased significantly as a result of Covid, Brexit and political factors that have affected supply, capacity and availability for airlines, staff and accommodation as well as globally increased fuel costs. Now more than ever, it really pays to take this advice on board and save yourself as much money as possible with a bit of prior planning. I recently had client’s return from an incredible honeymoon in the Maldives which was booked as soon as the air fares and hotel rates were published (11 months in advance). They paid a deposit of £270 until their balance was due 12 weeks before travel and over the course of the year they contributed payment amounts of their choice as and when they could. Two month before they departed I checked how much the same honeymoon would cost if they’d booked it 9 months later and the price had increased by 28% - that’s a saving of £1,920 that they were so grateful for. In February this year (exactly 5 months ago at time of writing) I booked a family of 4 to the Dominican Republic to depart this December (In 5 months time). Their booking includes Premium flights with BA, private transfers, and a Deluxe Family Room for 14 nights on an All-Inclusive basis at a 5* hotel. Today, just for fun, I re-priced this exact same holiday to find that if they had booked it 5 months in advance instead of 10 months in advance it would have cost them an additional £4,000. TOP FIVE REASONS TO BOOK YOUR HOLIDAY EARLY 1. SAVE LOADS OF MONEY Get the lowest possible airfare and save thousands of pounds on accommodation 2. PLENTY OF TIME TO PAY Book with a low deposit and have plenty of time to budget and pay off your balance at your own pace 3. MORE CHOICE Abundant availability to secure your first choice hotel, room type and resort view 4. FLEXIBLE TERMS Maximum flexibility with amendment and cancellation terms 5. THE JOY OF PLANNING Booking early gives you something special to look forward to for longer and maximises the pre-holiday excitement period whilst giving you plenty of time to research the local area to make the most of your holiday when the time comes Get in touch to start planning your next great value holiday in plenty of time with plenty of choice, a low deposit, and a personal service with expert knowledge and advice at no extra cost.

Why book your Honeymoon with me?

01 June 2022

Planning a Honeymoon is a very special event and one of my favourite experiences to help my clients plan and book. I love knowing that I can provide a high level of service to take the hassle away and ensure that everything runs smoothly from start to finish. Here are 5 great reasons to book your Honeymoon with me, your own personal Honeymoon specialist... 1. A HONEYMOON WITHOUT THE WORRIES From start to finish, I’ll manage all of the honeymoon preparations for you. Finding your dream accommodation? Creating a trip that suits both of you? Sticking to your honeymoon budget? As your personal travel expert, I’ll take care of everything from admin to destination advice. It’s one less thing for you to worry about. 2. AN ESCAPE CREATED ESPECIALLY FOR YOU An island paradise hideaway? An adventure to far-flung shores? A mini-moon made for two? Wherever you’re hoping to fly away to for your honeymoon, I’m here to create your dream trip for you. I’ll take the time to understand what you like and what you don’t, and craft a honeymoon that’s exclusive to you with access to exclusive rates. 3. TIME TO ENJOY YOUR HONEYMOON As a trusted Travel Counsellors, my unique service extends well beyond simply booking your honeymoon. I will be on hand 24 hours a day from the moment you get in touch to the moment you arrive back at your front door, so you can relax and enjoy the trip of your dreams. 4. HONEYMOON GIFT REGISTRY SERVICE Our unique Honeymoon Gift Registry Service allows your guests to contribute to your wedding and honeymoon. I’ll create a special online account for you, complete with your personalised message and photograph, and provide you with guest cards, thank you cards and a honeymoon keepsake box. 5. YOUR MONEY IS COMPLETELY SAFE Nobody protects your money like Travel Counsellors. Everything you book with me is completely financially protected, so all you’ll need to worry about is what you’re going to pack! Get in touch to start planning your perfect Honeymoon with expert knowledge and advice and I'll look forward to hearing from you.

10 good reasons to book your next holiday with me

30 January 2021

As a trusted independent travel expert backed by Travel Counsellors, I want to share with you 10 great reasons to book your next holiday with me and to give you peace of mind and the confidence to book a holiday to look forward to knowing that it’ll be hassle free and that you’ll be financially protected. 1: PERSONAL SERVICE I provide a personal service at no extra cost. Your holiday will be tailored to suit you. I won’t sell you an off-the shelf package that someone else already put together. With me, you can cut out the middle man and I will dynamically package your prefect holiday with directly contracted airlines and hotels. And you’ll have me as your personal point of contact before, during and after your trip. 2. EXPERT KNOWLEDGE AND ADVICE I provide expert knowledge and advice at all times. Visas, passports, weather conditions, you name it - I won't let you go before you have everything you need to know. This now includes monitoring the latest FCDO advice and travel updates, sharing information on any changes to the travelling experience as we once knew it and how they might affect your journey, advising you on the health and safety protocols at your chosen hotel and what will be expected of you, and providing updates on any additional measures for your safety or the safety of others for travel during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. 3. 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTION You can book travel knowing that you will be 100% financially protected in the event of a supplier failure. Your booking will always be protected and no matter what happens, you won’t be left out of pocket. 4. FLEXIBLE PRICE PROMISE Our flexible booking terms ensure that if you book a Travel Counsellors Package Holiday with me you will benefit from free amendments up to 8 weeks before travel so if change your mind you can change your holiday! 5. AROUND THE CLOCK SUPPORT All my clients have access to an emergency 24/7 global duty office so no matter where you are in the world or what time of day it is, there is always someone to talk to of you need assistance. 6. EXCLUSIVE RATES I can offer my clients exclusive rates thanks to the huge network of travel professionals I belong to and the volume of travel we collectively book, coupled with access to nett rates with hotels globally thanks to our direct supplier contracts. With no middle man, I can pass extra savings onto my clients. 7. LOW DEPOSIT You can secure your dream holiday with a low deposit. From as little as £250 you can book now any pay your balance any time you like up to 12 weeks before your departure. 8. TRUSTED REVIEWS I have access to trusted travel reviews for properties all around the world that have been visited by colleagues in my network of over 2000 travel agents and our customers who have provided feedback on their return. Remember that TripAdvisor is sadly full of fixed and fake reviews so it is really important to know that you’re booking a holiday based on the reviews of real unbiased customers. 9. MYTC You will have access to the MyTC travel app with your own account to keep track of all your holiday bookings and travel details, with an option to share your holiday information privately or on social media and a link to contact me anywhere in the world at the touch of a button. 10. TRAVEL INSURANCE WITH COVID COVER The travel insurance product I recommend to my clients includes Covid protection with cancellation cover if you contract Covid-19 before departure, curtailment cover if you have to cut your journey short, and medical cover If you become ill with Covid-19 whilst overseas. Get in touch and start planning your next holiday with confidence. I’ll look forward to hearing from you soon!

Planning the perfect Honeymoon

28 January 2021

Once you’ve said ‘Yes’.. then comes the rest! Including the much needed respite of the honeymoon. For most couples, this is a truly special trip – the first long, exotic holiday together and the start of their new lives as a married couple. So you want it to be perfect, right? Sadly, it is possible to do this heavenly trip wrong, and a few simple mistakes could endanger your wonderful trip. But I don’t want that – I want you to have the time of your lives. So here are my 5 top tips for planning the perfect honeymoon, whatever your tastes. CHECK THE WEATHER BEFORE YOU BOOK If you’ve been dreaming of a winter wedding followed by a glorious beach honeymoon, you need to do some serious planning beforehand. Despite some of these destinations seeming ‘always sunny’, most of them have wet seasons, hurricane seasons and harsh winters that could ruin your ideal sunny honeymoon. Now if you like rain that’s fine, but it’s always worth doing your research, so that you know what you want is what you’ll actually get! So before you book your February honeymoon to Mauritius, remember to check the weather and make sure it isn’t cyclone season! USE A TRUSTED TRAVEL AGENT With a wedding to plan, the honeymoon often ends up being an afterthought for busy couples. But your honeymoon is one of the most special holidays you will ever have, so you should make it memorable. Using a trusted travel agent means you will have access to all sorts of hidden perks from complimentary champagne and fruit platters in your room to spa access and romantic dining experiences. Not only that, your Travel Agent will have direct contact with a wide range of hotels that offer fantastic benefits packages for honeymooning couples, so you can get the 5-star treatment for a fraction of the cost. There’s one more benefit to using a trusted travel agent to arrange your honeymoon, and that’s complete peace of mind. I can completely tailor your honeymoon experience and take care of all the little details – like luggage, seat reservations, car transfers, and hotel bookings – so you can enjoy a stress-free, seamless honeymoon from start to finish. ASK FOR CONTRIBUTIONS If you’re desperate for a particular honeymoon but your budget won’t quite stretch to it, you might want to consider a honeymoon gift list. Honeymoon contributions as wedding gifts have been growing in popularity over the last few years, especially since most couples getting married already live together. This makes the ‘traditional’ wedding gifts of linens and china a bit redundant, so instead ask your wedding guests to help you put together the perfect honeymoon. With me, you have access to a unique gift registry service that makes it simple and easy to manage your donations. Guests can buy a particular activity for you, or simply give a sum of money for you to spend on you trip. Our registry services include a web page, where we can upload photos and messages, as well as all the stationary you need to ask – and thank – for your honeymoon gifts. READ TRUSTED REVIEWS It saddens me to say it, but every year I deal with so many people who have been taken in by fake reviews on their previous holidays. Now if you’re reading a review of your local pub, it’s unlikely they have hired a reputation management company to post fake reviews (after all, how much do you spend in there? £30?). But with hotels and big attractions, where you’re often spending over £1000 before you’ve even bought your first drink, fake reviews are often posted to boost their reputation and sabotage the competition. If you don’t believe that would happen – just take a look at Trip Advisor, who recently lost a legal case over fraudulent marketing. In fact, they were forced to remove the words ‘honest’ and ‘trustworthy from their marketing after they awarded the coveted ‘Travellers Choice Award’ in 2016 to a hotel in Tunisia that had been closed for over 6 months due to a mass shooting. But you can avoid all of that by talking to a trusted travel agent. As a franchise owner of Travel Counsellors, I have access to millions of hotel reviews worldwide from trusted and certified sources, so you can read real stories from real clients, without worrying that you’re being lied to. BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET! Just like the wedding, the honeymoon budget can easily spiral out of control. So when you’re talking honeymoons, it’s important to set yourself a realistic budget. From there, you can work out a savings plan, how much you can pay off in advance and whether you want your guests to contribute. By working out a budget, you avoid overspending and having to make last minute cut backs on other elements of the wedding. It also stops you from dipping into the honeymoon fund if the wedding starts to go over budget, as you know you won’t be able to afford that wonderful 10-day trip if you take away from the pot. But above all, planning the perfect honeymoon means being true to yourself. There is no such thing as a ‘one size fits all’ honeymoon, and this once in a lifetime trip should be a celebration of everything that makes your marriage unique. As a Travel Counsellor, I love helping each couple I work with craft the ideal honeymoon for them – whether it’s swimming in clear blue oceans or hunkering down to watch the Northern Lights together. With my network of contacts and knowledge of luxury travel worldwide, I can help plan the perfect honeymoon for you. For more information or to start planning the most exciting getaway of your life, get in touch and I'll look forward to hearing from you!

Taking the tension out of travel

28 January 2021

Travel can sometimes be a very stressful experience. Not the going away and enjoying yourself part, but the planning, organisation, sorting insurances and logistics of taking a trip away are a headache many wish would just go away. For those entering their golden years, this stress is something they just don’t need. Which is where I step in. I help people from all walks of life make the most of their time off by arranging amazing holidays, from start to finish. But why would you choose a Travel Counsellor over, say, doing it all yourself? YOUR OWN PERSONAL TRAVEL GURU While going on holiday might seem like a simple thing, there are a lot of moving pieces involved in making it happen. From arranging flights and hotel rooms, sorting out travel insurances, arranging things to do, making sure paperwork is in order and making sure there are no hidden surprises when you arrive. It’s a lot to keep on top of! But instead of spending your nights stressing about boarding passes or airport parking, you can sit back and enjoy a glass of your favourite wine. With a Travel Counsellor (Me!), you get your own personal, highly experienced travel guru, dedicated to tailoring a holiday just for you. Just give me an idea of what you want to do (no matter how far out it is) and how much you want to spend, and let me handle everything else! From arranging premium flights at bargain prices to sorting out your daily itinerary, my aim is to give you the most stress free and enjoyable holiday experience possible. Any questions you have can be answered quickly by a person who knows your plans and needs, instead of a robotic automatic response. Any specialist requirements can be accommodated from the very start, creating the perfect holiday for your needs every time. NO 'ONLINE ONLY' ISSUES Over the last few years people have been increasingly concerned with the number of online ‘cowboy’ travel agents, taking advantage of older travellers and marking them targets. And sadly, it’s true that you don’t have to go far to find the horror stories. It’s not really surprising that people turned against travel agents in general for a while, all thanks to a few bad apples in the bunch. Even taking travel agents out of the mix, the number of ways things can go wrong when booking online is astronomical – from incorrect dates to ending up in the wrong country. With me as your personal advisor, I help you navigate those murky waters, protect you and keep you and your data safe every step of the way. I help my clients avoid making those nightmare mistakes along the way – like booking transport with unreliable companies or turning up to a hotel only to find it’s not disabled friendly. I guide you through every aspect of booking your holiday using years of industry knowledge and trusted contacts, so you can be sure that you avoid making simple mistakes and just enjoy your holiday! PEACE OF MIND A holiday is an expensive thing, so you want to make sure you’re putting your money in the right places, and that you are protected should anything go wrong. We’ve all heard stories of stranded holiday makers and lost bookings, with no recourse to get their money back, or even to get home. And while the younger folk might be happy to sleep in the airport lounge overnight, for the older generation that’s just not practical or safe. Thankfully, no one does financial protection like Travel Counsellors. We take the protection of your money very seriously, so we make sure that everything you book with Travel Counsellors is fully covered, no ifs, no buts and no loopholes. Even if the worst should happen, our global 24/7 offices are on hand to protect our clients by responding to anything that could potentially affect your holiday – anything from extreme weather to train strikes and terrorism. In these cases, we help you make alternate travel arrangements that will have a minimal impact on you. There is nothing I love more than receiving postcards from happy clients having fun on their golden getaways. As a Travel Counsellor, I work with a lot of individuals and couple over 50 who just want to relax without all the hassle that goes with it. To find out more about me, or how I could help you plan your perfect retirement getaway, just get in touch to arrange a chat at a time to suit you.

My customer stories

Sent by Andy McLaren

Wonderful trip to Sorrento. Marie was very friendly and supportive, taking all the uncertainty out of arranging this trip. We are using Marie again to plan our next trip and would recommend her for the excellent service she provides.

Sent by Helen Mellor

Marie was fabulously helpful. So friendly and easy to work with.

Sent by Nicola Spencer

Marie offers such a wonderful, personal service. Every time we have booked a trip with her it has been straight forward and hassle free; that’s why we are return customers!

Sent by Andrew McLaren

Marie Rowe came as a recommendation. We have been extremely happy and impressed with the service she has given us. Every question that we have raised has been dealt with promptly and efficiently.

Sent by Simon Richard

Marie is great to work with. Clearly very knowledgeable about her subject and keen to help advise to make the best choice possible for my holiday.

Sent by Karon Sewell

Great service, Marie was friendly reassuring and efficient and found just what I'd asked for. Thanks so much, we can't wait to go!

Sent by Helen Church

Marie is very supportive - does all the thinking for you and just keeps you advised as needed!

Sent by Jennifer Shepherd

Marie listened to our requirements and then suggested some tweaks based on her knowledge and experience to plan the perfect itinerary. She changed the airline provider and changed the itinerary not once but twice due to changes in circumstances at our end. She did this all efficiently and professionally, and never made me feel like a nuisance for asking for all the changes! Thank you!

Sent by Kerry Phillips

Marie couldn’t be more helpful. She was so efficient and nothing was too much trouble for her. I will always book all my future holidays through her now.

Sent by Nick Levy

Marie has proven to be extremely knowledgeable and has helped us to find and book exactly the holiday that we were after. Her support with general enquiries and COVID related questions (long before we made our booking) has been extremely helpful and we look forward to booking many more holidays with Marie.

Sent by Michelle Jenkins

Fantastic service! Marie is so helpful and knowledgeable. Very excited about my forthcoming trip to Bologna! Thank you Marie x

Sent by Justine Hedges

Marie is very knowledgeable, helpful and put together some great travel packages for us. Would definitely recommend to friends and family.

Sent by Paul Martin

I would definitely recommend Marie. From My first email correspondence ( Surprise Trip for My Wife's 60th birthday) to booking our amazing trip. We are just so excited to experience the safari itinerary that has been so thoughtfully put together for us.

Sent by Rachel Taylor

Marie was great! She listened to what we were looking for and came back with perfect suggestions - despite us being fairly vague!

Sent by Kate Thomas

Marie Rowe is a great independent travel company, with such a personal service. We used Marie to organise our family trip last year. She was able to suggest a selection of different accommodation and areas that would complement our requirements. She came up with the goods and some!!! We had such a wonderful holiday and the memories to last a lifetime. Marie was quick at answering any questions and nothing was too much effort. I felt very confident and happy booking with Marie and I would highly recommend her for personal travel and holidays, and will be using Marie next year for another awesome holiday. Thank you Marie:)

Sent by Lucy Ward

Marie is a fantastic travel agent who went above and beyond to try and help me make my mind up when planning on booking my summer holiday for a friends wedding. She was flexible and very quick to respond to all forms of communication and was happy to quote and re-quote on different options until I was happy with what she had found. Currently I have two upcoming holidays booked by Marie and I am so excited to experience both of them. One a city break to New York and the other 10days in a luxury hotel in the sun. Not only is Marie on hand to help with questions during the booking process and beyond. With the Travel Counsellors app, you can manage all aspects of the booking from the touch of a button. Having conducted research with other companies online before coming to Marie I wasn't able to find a better price by doing it myself. For the reduced stress and extremely high level of service I wouldn't hesitate to use Marie in the future or to recommend her to my friend and family. Thanks Marie for all your hardwork.

Sent by Jack O'Callaghan

I would highly recommend using Marie to book your perfect holiday! Marie has now booked holidays for me to South Africa, New York and Turkey. Each time the service she has provided has been exceptional. She's been able to give some fantastic recommendations and insights, and has always left me feeling like a valued customer.

Sent by Jacqui Sherville

Hey Marie, We had the best time! The accommodation at both places was spectacular, even to go further & say that on Praslin Island they upgraded us to a beach front apartment due to lack of guest numbers. So you can imagine our surprise & delight at this kind gesture. The staff at both accommodations were friendly & helpful & very attentive. Also I would like to say that the reps/drivers at the hotel, airports & on the excursions that we booked through them were 1st Class & again very friendly, helpful & efficient. Thank you Marie for all your hard work of arranging & booking this amazing holiday to the beautiful Seychelles for us with memories & activities that we will always hold dear to our hearts. Look forward to planning our next annual holiday adventure with you. That said I would also like to thank you for arranging my girlie holiday to Venice/Cruise in Oct. I have received all paperwork & have passed it onto my girlfriends. Take care & thank you once more. Jacqui & Alan Sherville xx

Sent by Richard Griffiths

Highly recommended--prompt and efficient service and very knowledgeable. Do a bit of research --get a rough idea of what you want to do, tell Marie and she'll do the rest as well as suggesting things you haven't thought of. She also recognises that you don't always want to be mollycoddled and finding your own way around some places is part of the fun.

Sent by David Goldsmith

Marie was excellent and efficient quickly finding a great deal for our Honeymoon with quite tight parameters and time pressure. I would definitely recommend her and use her again myself.

Sent by Warren Williams

Marie recently helped us to book a holiday abroad to celebrate my wife's 40th birthday. From initial contact through to confirming the booking, I found Marie to be extremely professional and knowledgeable about finding the best holiday that matched our criteria. Marie is very easy to work with and carefully listens to what you want from your holiday and is then quick to suggest a number of different options from her own personal experience. She is also able to give you useful insight and tips on places to avoid or perhaps consider alternatives if she feels you can get more value for your money or more exclusivity which was the case for us. Thank you so much Marie for your amazing suggestions (which we would never have thought about without your help) and for making the booking process so easy. We are really excited for our upcoming holiday and will be sure to send you some photos! Warren and Marisa

Sent by Beverley Yates

Everytime I call Marie, however small & changing bits & pieces on my holiday she’s never made me feel like it’s too much or that I’m causing her stress so I’m so thankful ! I’ll definitely be using her services in the future!!

Sent by Caroline Simmonds

Marie Rowe was fantastic! She took all our needs into consideration and found us the perfect solution. Totally hassle free and she was so efficient. I was so impressed by her!! I will certainly be using her again and have been recommending to friends already. Thanks for all your help we are so excited about our holiday and the fantastic deal you have got us!!

Sent by Steve Allen

Booking our holiday through Marie Rowe was so easy! I didn't really give her much lead time, and then left her to liaise with my wife as I was constantly away on work. The initial quote came through by the next morning and was laid out very professionally. She also researched various Hotels, before finding a match that ticked all our boxes. This also included all hotel transfers, and any help needed on the way. She really cares about every detail not just leading up the the holiday, but the follow up afterwards to make sure everything went to plan. I would recommend Marie to anyone who wants to take the stress and strain out of booking any trip away.

Sent by David Rodger-Sharp

Booking my holiday through Marie was an absolute pleasure. My brief was dark skies and Marie was able to give me 5 days of luxury along with some of the darkest skies in the world. I was able to do some “deep space” photography thanks to Marie, something I’ve wanted to do for years. I came back relaxed and motivated. Marie offers service with genuine care. She kept me updated and offered advise along the way. She helped me arrange everything I needed to enjoy my holiday. Thankfully Marie also booked my car rental with a reputable firm. While on holiday, I crashed my rental and Marie was able to give me great advise and I was able to continue and enjoy my holiday without thing too much more about it. I will book all future holidays through Marie and will recommend your services to everyone that is looking for a holiday. Thanks for helping to create memories that’ll last a lifetime.

Sent by Graham Carson

Marie, you are a delight to work with and we shall continue to use your services for our holiday bookings. We have already referred you to friends, family and clients and will continue to do so as from our experiences with you we can most definitely say that our travel arrangements are in safe hands.

Sent by Peter Loverdos

It's great to have someone organising your holiday who really cares about your experience and puts this over profits. Marie is organised, patient, creative and able to make things happen. If we had arranged this trip without Marie's help we would have missed some great opportunities and paid more for less.

Sent by Peter McConnell

I'm normally an independent traveller, booking and organising everything myself but I was persuaded to use Marie for my recent weekend break in Madrid and I'm so pleased I did. Not just great attention to detail but really listening to what I was looking for, hence the hotel she found was perfect. Right in the centre of the city within walking distance of both the main sights and the funky neighbourhoods, with a lovely little balcony, swimming pool and awesome rooftop bar. While she couldn't organise the weather (a bit damp!) she did organise excellent, efficient transfers and offered to check us into the flights - but my independence reasserted itself on that one! A great service, I'll be using Marie and Travel Counsellors again.

Sent by Claire Snowdon

Marie is very efficient and I like the Company ABTA cover and the fact that I have someone to call if there are any issues. Lovely to receive the additional map/booklet of Barcelona in the post too.

Sent by Tom Frizzell

After much frustration failing to find a last minute break, we turned to you for some help. Amazingly, you came back to us within a day with a really fantastic City break option, a great hotel and perfect flight times. You were professional, available when we needed you and offered us really great advice. You took the stress out of the research and made the whole travelling process easy which allowed us to enjoy the break as soon as we arrived at the airport! I would not hesitate to recommend your services & I look forward to booking with you again soon.

Sent by Geraldine Romano

Marie is very diligent and easy to work with. She is very patient and took into account all our requirements for our honey moon. She responded all our questions and concerns in a timely manner and nothing was an issue. I would definitely recommend her to my friends and family.

Sent by Gloria O'Callaghan

We would both like to thank you very much for helping us to plan and also for arranging our holiday to Florida at the end of March. We would have found it difficult to organise a 3 week,  5 stop holiday ourselves. From Miami to The Everglades then to Naples, next to Sanibel Island and finally to Bradenton. Each place was very different but there was lots to do everywhere. We had no idea that there was a wealth of wildlife in Florida apart from the Alligators. We both fell in love with the birds which were just stunning. We saw more than 40 different species of birds that we could identify. There are so many wildlife preserves, swamps and bird sanctuaries that there is always somewhere to go. The beaches were all lovely too. Spotting Dolphins and Manatees everywhere! The weather was glorious. Bradenton was a good choice for our final week as there was easy access to lots of lovely places that we wanted to go to. We didn’t get to them all as parking can be a big problem in some areas. We did however get to Anna Maria Island and St. Petersburg which are really worth going to. Our flights were great too. We had no problems at all. Stress free. Just as a holiday should be. We really hope that you will help us plan our next adventure although we don’t know where that will be yet. We rely on your vast knowledge of where to stay and places to go to.

Sent by Irene Keeshan

I would like to thank you for arranging a forthcoming trip with a friend of mine to celebrate her special birthday. Unusually for me, I gave you virtually no instructions but only my budget and choice of airline. The criteria was a European City Break with some sun and you suggested Barcelona, which I love! You also used your imagination to find us fantastic accommodation in a serviced apartment in a fabulous location. Thank you once again and I will not hesitate to recommend your services to my contacts.

Sent by Irene Dallas

I wanted to thank you for arranging my recent trip to Miami with my kids. Prior to your making my booking I had explained to you that whilst I am very fussy traveler, this was not a trip of a lifetime but I had very clear ideas as to the type of places in which I wanted to stay. You came up with several options which I had not previously considered and which looked lovely on paper so I went for it. I am pleased to say that the hotels which you chose for us were excellent choices and suited myself and my kids extremely well. Thank you. I will not hesitate in availing myself of your excellent services in the future.

Sent by Lisa Chaffey

Dear Marie - my personal travel whizz and planning guru! Huge thank you for arranging our Thailand holiday earlier this year. It was, by far, our best holiday yet! I am a huge travel fan - I work hard so that I can travel to amazing places, to see and experience incredible things. So I have a ridiculously long bucket list of all the places in the world I will visit. And I know, that you will be our ‘#1 go to gal’ for planning and tailoring our trips. I’m great at knowing where I want to go, but I’m rubbish at spending the quality time and patience required in researching and planning the perfect adventure. But that’s ok... because that’s where you come in. From start to finish you ask the right questions and get to really understand what we are looking for in a dream holiday - then you go away, do all the hard work and come back to us with different top level options. We can then confidently decide which option will best suit our needs and we leave the rest to you. Taking away all of the pressure and we get to just sit back and look forward to the break. Our Thailand trip was epic. 3 destinations, the most beautiful hotels with views that were out of this world. Sorry if I over did it with the WhatsApp photo holiday spam! You must get so jealous! From start to finish, you made sure that every flight, car transfer and ferry trip was tee’d up perfectly so we could just relax. I can’t tell you how much that is worth to us - your service is world class and every last detail was top notch. I will always be your biggest raving fan and my envious Facebook friends always know it was you that created our dream holidays. Thank you for being a travel superhero! Lisa

Sent by Rachael Shaw

Marie made the whole experience so easy. She’s super friendly and has great ideas on things to do and where to stay which I hadn’t thought of. I gave her a short brief and she came back to me promptly with a quote and ideas. I feel completely in safe hands and the whole experience from initial chat to booking was really smooth. Thanks Marie

Sent by Gloria O'Callaghan

We wanted to say a very big thank you for helping and advising us when planning what turned out to be the most amazing holiday in Canada. Toronto was great and we wish had stayed there longer actually. There was so much to do there. However, Niagara Falls and Niagara on the lake were stunning. The boat trip around the falls was totally amazing. The VIA Rail train from Toronto to Vancouver was so much better than we imagined. The ever changing scenery was awesome, especially going through the Rocky Mountains. The food was top notch too! We drove to Whistler from Vancouver and your estimate of 2 hours was spot on! Whistler is the most beautiful place with so much to do. We could have stayed for a lot longer than 6 nights. We didn’t waste a minute. The Peak to Peak Gondola was amazing. The trip back to Vancouver took a lot longer than 2 hours though as we had to stop at so many beautiful sights. Always on the look out for bears. We also went on the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish where I was brave enough to cross a suspension bridge! Vancouver is gorgeous. We found so much to do including going to Stanley Park, a boat trip around the harbour, visiting some local native art museums, shopping and our favourite trip was to Grouse Mountain where we found two brown bears that were rescued 17 years ago and have been looked after ever since. We also got to see a show with some native birds and also a hilarious Lumberjack show. We can’t express how happy we are with all of your recommendations of where to go and what to see. Also the hotels were fabulous. It was a very different type of holiday for us but we would definitely do it again. We were so busy that we could do with another holiday now! We look forward to booking through you again soon.

Sent by Sally Rogers

Being a very indecisive person, it was great to have Marie’s expertise in finding the perfect location as well as the ideal accommodation for two very different holidays last year (one with close friends, one with my partner). Thanks to her skills in finding the holiday destinations and accommodation, and the seamless organisation of the flights and transfers at the other end, she definitely took the stress out of the whole process on both occasions. Much appreciated, Marie.

Sent by Peter McClintock

Marie found options for us that were better value than we would have found for ourselves. I'm not a lover of looking through accommodation options and suitable flights, so to have all this done for us, and have only one booking to make was great. The personal, human interaction is also a world apart from booking through a series of web pages. I am a convert to the personal service of Travel Counsellors and Marie in particular.

Sent by Hannah Young

Travel is, without question, my favourite thing to do. What is not my favourite thing, is spending pain-staking hours scouring the web to find the perfect trip. It therefore, often gets left until the last minute, I expect costing me dearly. However, thanks to Marie and her efficient expertise, my 2018 is already shaping up to be a fantastic year. She has recently helped me to organise my annual R&R trip to Dubai. Having visited friends in Dubai for many years, I was pretty sure of where I wanted to stay and Marie very quickly planned around my specific hotel and flight requests. In addition to this, she had a few alternative suggestions for me, although initially very sure of my hotel choice, her ideas were hard to ignore. I am delighted to say that with Marie’s expert knowledge and research, she has set me up in a stunning hotel which rivals my original plan for a fraction of the cost. Complete with preferred flights and transfers. The whole process from our initial chat through to the booking was extremely smooth and kept my administration input to an absolute minimum. The entire booking is held within the MyTc App on my phone which I know will be invaluable when I am standing outside Dubai airport in 50 degrees of heat wondering who the transfer is booked with. I’d highly recommend anyone to speak to Marie, not only to take the stress out of organising their travel but to inspire all of their future travel adventures. Marie, thank you for all of your help with this trip, I can’t wait to book the next one!

Sent by Vanessa Caudle

Marie has made booking our honeymoon to Mauritius so easy and was very quick to come back with any answers to all our questions along the way. Her knowledge was excellent and very reassuring. I would definitely recommend Marie to friends and family. Thanks very much!

Sent by Jade Nunn

A huge thank you Marie for all of your help throughout our decision process. We had lots of questions that you answered instantly. We have recommended you to friends already. Thank you for our honeymoon pack and the handwritten note, it was very sweet of you.

Sent by Anu Soni

Marie, I have had a wonderful time in Budapest; the flights, transfers and accommodation were just amazing. You managed to secure a great deal for us considering our budget, time constraints, and personal likes and dislikes. You made our trip easy, stress free and worth it. Although it took me a while to finalise my destination and dates etc., you were constantly supportive and patient. You were always on your toes with a willing to help attitude. Your services have a personal touch, which cannot be found anywhere else in the market. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your service and I will look forward to bringing more business your way in the future!

Sent by Lucy Weston

I've already recommended Marie to two different people, both wanting to book their honeymoons. I think that speaks volumes! She's been fab, very patient and so helpful with narrowing down where to go. I'm so excited for our honeymoon now!

Sent by Marc Rocker

Marie has been brilliant to deal with and made everything easy. From my brief outline of where I was thinking of going and when, Marie came up with several options in a very short period of time and despite me moving the posts! Marie took the time to understand what I wanted to do and deliver a city break which exactly meets my requirements and budget. I have no hesitation in recommending Marie to my friends, family and business contacts as the service provided is excellent and I am confident that they we be looked after in a friendly and professional manner. Well done and thank you!

Sent by Tom Frizzell

The travel service Marie provides saves me a significant amount of time when it comes to searching for suitable hotels and holiday packages for my family. She removes the hassle of planning and takes note of specific details that are personally important to me, such as preferred flight times and room categories. Marie also ensures that I don’t have to worry about any supplier failures - airlines going bust or hotels being overbooked, or anything similar that could affect my travel plans. With Marie, I am 100% financially protected and take comfort in knowing that she is there at the end of the phone if I need anything while I am away. On one occasion I had to cancel a holiday arrangement that I had booked through Marie. She handled the whole situation professionally and efficiently and also managed to return my initial deposit payment which was much appreciated. I highly recommend booking travel with Marie Rowe, especially if you value your time and want to be sure of a quality experience whilst you’re away.

Sent by Carla Cumberland

Excellent service, with the customer being top priority at all times! We thought we would never find exactly what we wanted, but Marie did. We received such a personal service and are very grateful for Marie's hard work and calls at unsociable hours! Thank you Marie!

Sent by Emily Cant

Marie was very efficient and responded very quickly offering me different options until I was happy with the right holiday. Once we had completed the payment all of my paperwork was out to me within 2 days so a very easy process and the first time I have experienced booking my holiday this way which was seamless and definitely worth doing again.

Sent by Jack O'Callaghan

Excellent, professional, knowledgeable and personal service. I'll be booking all future trips with Marie Rowe. She's a star!

Sent by Leigh Francis

Excellent service. Will be using Marie for all my holidays in the future and will be recommending her to her to ALL my friends and family.