Sent by Matthew Chapman
Based in Birmingham
I'm Michelle, known as The Travel Fairy because of my passion of being the best kept secret for trusted travel. I get to know you on a personal level, so I can inspire and guide you to travel the world safely, protecting every penny you have spent with me at Travel Counsellors UK, and providing exceptional service, care and attention to detail.
I go the extra mile to make sure you have the best holiday experience possible, making the most amazing memories by doing all the hard work for you. No longer will you need to trawl through brochures, or ponder the best option with only minimal information offered. I will actually take the time to listen to your requirements and offer new ideas and impartial advice, all tailored to suit your budget.
Last year, I reached GOLD Travel Counsellor status, which essentially means to you, I plan lots of holidays and customers are delighted with them. For me, it was one of the proudest moments of my life, plus the award was presented to me in the beautiful Indian Ocean destination of Mauritius as part of a reward trip.
With a Diploma in Travel & Tourism and over 20 years of experience, working for Thomson, Co-Op Travel and travelling to countless destinations including; USA, Africa, India, Caribbean, Mexico, Dubai, Cruising, Switzerland and the Italian Lakes, France, numerous European cities and beaches - my world knowledge of destinations is vast, so I can guide you to which location would be best for you, your family and friends.
Most common question - what do you charge?
Nothing, care, attention and planning for you to have the best trip is FREE to everyone and unlimited. I get paid direct from the suppliers when you travel. I am competitive with high street retail travel, and pride myself on creating extra value on having a huge range of suppliers at my fingertips, looking at the best room upgrades, booking at the right time of year for flight prices etc.., although I do not discount, so if your priority is the lowest price possible above exceptional service, then we're probably not a good match for each other.
Everything you book with me is 100% financially protected against supplier failure by either ATOL and the Travel Counsellors Trust, giving you peace of mind. It is the best financial protection in the industry - every penny you spend with me is safe, plus all our accommodation is vetted, and then again looked at by an extremely fussy Michelle.
All you need to do is pick up the phone or send me an e-mail from the comfort of your own home or office, and we can chat about your next trip, whether it be planned or a surprise trip for a Long Weekend City Break, Winter Sun or Snow, Family Summer Holiday, Safari Experience, Tailored Long-Haul Trip, or Sailing on the Ocean Waves. I will be very happy to help you.
The world is your oyster, so lets go on this journey together.
I look forward to hearing from you,
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
28 June 2018
For all those thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies out there, Universal Orlando is the place for you. There are three amazing parks to choose from - Universal Studios, Universal Islands of Adventure and Volcano Bay waterpark. Universal Studios Harry Potter fans will love Diagon Alley, , Escape from Gringotts ride and Hogwarts express - the fabulous train ride that takes you over to Islands of Adventure. They have lots of little amazing shops where you can buy wands, Harry Potter costumes and souvenirs. Kids and adults will love it. You can buy Butterbeer and all the weird and wonderful sweets featured in the movies. There are other rides to try including TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D (I really enjoyed this one, the special effects are amazing. Boys love it), Shrek 4-D, Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit™ (make sure you choose your music and then watch your video when you get off the ride. It's even better in the dark too), Despicable Me Minion Mayhem™ Revenge of the Mummy™ (fast and furious and very scary), Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon™, Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl, The Simpsons Ride™, MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack™ and Fast & Furious – Supercharged™ which is now open. And for the little thrill seekers there’s Animal Actors On Location!™, E.T. Adventure™, A Day in the Park with Barney™, Curious George Goes to Town, Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster™ and Fievel's Playground™. Islands of Adventure Here you have even more Harry Potter - the fabulous ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. Most people say this is their favourite ride in the park. There’s Skull Island: Reign of Kong™, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man®, The Incredible Hulk Coaster®, Doctor Doom's Fearfall®, Storm Force Accelatron® (ride with Storm as she faces Magneto) and meet the Marvel Super Heroes! Prepare to get wet! The following water rides are brilliant fun, but you will get very wet so make sure you take some spare dry clothes with you. Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls®. Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges® and Jurassic Park River Adventure™. And for the little thrill seekers there’s Dr Suess Landing, The Cat in the Hat™, Caro-Seuss-el™, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish™, If I Ran The Zoo™ and The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride!™ If you are visiting in October, then make sure you go to Halloween Horror nights. It's one of the best things, hilarious and very scary. I would recommend staying in one of the Universal on-site hotels. I have booked clients to the Cabana Bay, Portofino and the Hard Rock. Cabana Bay is fabulous for families, the pools are amazing, and it's got a real friendly atmosphere. It's right next door to Volcano Bay too. Portofino is very Italian in style, luxurious and stylish. Hard Rock is great for everyone. Rock music theme, cool and trendy vibe. Fabulous clubs for kids and pool area. Benefits of staying at Hard Rock, Portofino and Royal Pacific mean you get unlimited Xpress passes so you can skip the line on most of the rides. This is definitely a bonus and well worth it. Whichever hotel you choose or even if you stay in another Orlando hotel then you will have an amazing holiday.
11 June 2018
Booking a holiday and then counting down the days until you can set that ‘out of office’ on your work email account is one of the most exciting times of the year, isn’t it? We look forward to making those memories for so long. But how protected are you? And how much do you really know about it? Having the peace of mind that no matter what, your holiday is safe is priceless and it’s not something you can find everywhere. But the minefield of financial protection is not easily negotiated so we’re trying to make it clearer to help preserve your precious holiday funds. Why do I need to worry about financially protecting my holiday? In short, if you don’t and something happens to one of the companies involved in your trip, you could lose out. If you’ve booked a package holiday, your holiday is financially protected. If you’ve booked your flight and accommodation separately and one of the companies fails, you could end up in a situation where you’re having to pay for an alternative flight or accommodation. Even if you book accommodation with a travel agent, if they fail, you could end up losing your money and be left without your hotel room. Your holiday insurance isn’t fail-safe either, as it isn’t guaranteed to cover a travel company going bust. Read on to understand more about the financial protection available for your holiday… What are the different types of financial protection? ATOL ABTA Section 75 Insurance Independent protection What is ATOL? The Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) regime is a financial protection scheme for holidaymakers regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). In the UK, all travel companies selling package holidays with flights must hold an ATOL. If the company isn’t registered in the UK, they aren’t legally required to hold an ATOL and you might find you aren’t as covered as you thought. And unfortunately, by that stage, it’s probably too late. If a travel company with an ATOL stops trading, the ATOL scheme protects all customers who had booked with that company. If the company goes into administration before you travel, your money is protected, and you’ll be able to apply for a full refund. If you’re on holiday when the travel company goes bust, the ATOL scheme guarantees you’ll be able to finish your holiday and return home. When you book a protected holiday, you’ll receive an ATOL certificate as soon as you pay for your trip. The certificate explains how you’re protected and what to do in the event of a company collapsing. If the company is a registered member, you’ll spot the ATOL logo and a four or five-digit number on their website and in brochures and adverts. (You can also check that the company is an accredited member of ATOL on the Civil Aviation Authority’s website) My travel agent is an ABTA Agent. What is ABTA? If you’ve booked a package holiday from an ABTA agent, your money is protected. However, you might not be financially protected if you haven’t booked a package holiday. You will need to speak with your travel agent if you are relying on this level of protection. I paid for my holiday using my credit card. If the travel company goes bust can I claim through my credit card provider? (Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974) If you’ve booked your trip and have paid on your credit card, you might be able to make a claim against your credit card company. This claim is under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, so you might hear people talk about “section 75”. Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 applies to goods and services paid for with your credit card and includes online bookings. If you’ve paid for your travels using your credit card, it means that you can claim against the creditor, which in this case is the credit card company. To make a claim against your credit card provider, the amount you’re claiming for must be between £100 and £30,000. However, you may still be able to make a claim if the amount on your credit card is less (a deposit, for example) as the claim against the credit card provider is directed at the total cost of your trip. One Travel Counsellor helped a group of 25 when the travel company they booked their holiday with went into administration: “They thought all was lost as they had planned a Christmas in the sun and after my advice they have instigated section 75 on their credit cards.” If you paid using a debit card, you may be able to use chargeback to claim some or all the money back. You will need to contact your card provider and speak to them about your claim. Doesn’t my travel insurance cover me if the company I’ve booked with goes into administration? Not every travel insurance policy will cover you if a company goes bust, so it’s best to read the small print and check with your travel insurance provider. It’s also worth checking whether the provider will cover you for the whole holiday if you’ve booked your flights, accommodation and car hire separately. As an example, you might find that your travel insurance will cover you if the airline goes into administration but that you can’t claim for a refund on your accommodation or car hire. If you’ve booked through Travel Counsellors, your holiday is 100% financially protected so your money is safe. In the event of an issue, your personal Travel Counsellor will contact you to discuss the options available, such as travelling to a different destination or changing your flights to another airline carrier. In many cases, our customers don’t even need to know when a company has gone bust – we just do the necessary work behind the scenes. Is my money 100% safe when booking with Travel Counsellors? Yes. And it’s the highest level of protection you could wish for because it’s fully independent. Set up in 2004, it sits alongside our ATOL cover and financially protects every part of every trip, whether it be the whole holiday, a flight, hotel stay, car hire or even airport parking. It’s completely robust meaning no matter what happens, your money is safe.
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