Based in Hanley Swan

Neil Copeland

It's Nice To Meet You

Hello and welcome.

My name is Neil, and I live in Hanley Swan near Malvern in Worcestershire and I have spent the last 35 years working in the travel industry. I would like to use my knowledge and experience to help provide your perfect holiday.

Why am I a Travel Counsellor?

I became a Travel Counsellor because they do business the “right way”. I take pride in the service I provide and really do care that you have the perfect trip. I have access to many of the established tour operators but prefer to build you a holiday myself with flights, hotels, transfers and excursions. I do this as my prices are really competitive and I can ensure that your holiday is everything it should be and more. When you book with me you can relax, knowing your money is 100% safe - everything I sell is fully protected either by ATOL and the unique Travel Counsellors Financial Trust. This is especially important for trips booked during and after the covid pandemic.

Why me?

I have spent 35 years in the travel industry including 20 years travelling the world inspecting hotels and selecting the best ones for inclusion in tour operator’s brochures and 10 years as the manager of a large tour operator including solving travel problems for people who are away. I have extensive knowledge of hotels in many destinations including the USA, the Caribbean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and the Far East, Europe and around the UK. I use this experience to help advise you when choosing where to go and which accommodation is the best for you.

What do I offer?

I provide the most attentive service possible. I am available to discuss your requirements at any time including in the evening and over the weekend. You can contact me by phone, email, via social media sites or if you prefer I would be delighted to meet you in the comfort of your home. And when you have booked I will monitor your holiday, reminding you about important deadlines, provide vital information including visa/health requirements, and even checking you in for your flights and printing your boarding passes where possible.

So whatever you want, however large or small, please do contact me for your travel needs. 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 Videos

Tony Walsh tribute to Travel Counsellors

9/13/2021

Wow! A lovely poem from the amazing Tony Walsh on Travel Counsellors

Book with Neil Copeland Travel Counsellor

9/13/2021

All of the reasons to book with Neil Copeland Travel Counsellor

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.

The Norwegian Fjords

07 August 2019

Last week I went on my first cruise with P&O. We boarded in Southampton for a one-week cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. I did question the wisdom of heading north when I love being somewhere hot, but I figured the scenery would make up for the lack of heat. As it was, the weather was ok. The nice thing about a cruise to the Fjords is that the ships can moor right in the centre of the town. This makes it easy to get off and explore on your own. I am not a fan of organised excursions and prefer to explore independently. It was dull and grey in our first port of call, Stavanger, enough for us to carry raincoats but fortunately it did not rain. We got off to explore the old town with its quaint wooden houses and cobbled streets. A highlight was a visit to the Norwegian Canning Museum. The museum is in an original cannery building and is set up as the factory would have been between 1910 and 1920. This museum gives a real understanding of what life was like for many Norwegians at that time. Overnight we sailed on to Olden. This meant sailing 65 miles up the Nordfjord. There is something very magical about sailing in a ship surrounded by dramatic scenery with cliffs towering above you. Olden is a very small town, so we opted to take an organised excursion to the Loen Skylift and the Kjenndal Glacier. I mentioned I am not a fan of organised excursions, but this excursion was fantastic! The scenery at both locations is amazing! We set sail from Olden at about 7pm, but in the summer it is light until 10 or 11 at night. We could really enjoy the 65-mile journey along the fjord. This is one cruise where it is worth booking a balcony cabin! Our next destination was Alesund. Alusund was rebuilt after a major fire in 1904 and the new town has beautiful Art Nouveau style buildings with spires and turrets galore! There is a hill in Alusund with steps climbing to the top – we opted to stay in the town, but my 2 sons climbed the steps to appreciate the amazing views. There are several museums in Alesund and I visited 2 of them. They were ok but nothing worthy of note. Our final destination was Bergen. Bergen is a larger city and is best known for its funicular railway to the top of the hill. We did this independently rather than buying an excursion. It is cheaper to do this and as long as you are prepared to get up and go to it early you can avoid the long queues! The Bryggen quarter has the oldest buildings and it is fun to explore the alleyways between them bustling with souvenir shops. We also walked around the town to the lake before continuing on to St John’s church which overlooks the city centre. Overall, I found the itinerary to be a little bit lacking. The route only had one day going up a fjord. The cities were interesting but at the same time a little bit “samey”. Was it a good trip? Yes – the scenery in the fjords was stunning. Would I do it again? Probably not – I really enjoyed seeing this part of the world but do not feel the urge to go back again anytime soon.

P&O or Princess Cruises?

07 August 2019

This was not my first cruise, but it was my first cruise with P&O. It was interesting to compare the cruise service to the ones I had done with Princess Cruises previously. Both P&O and Princess Cruises are owned by Carnival Cruises. You may not know it, but Carnival also own Cunard, Holland America, Costa Cruises and Seabourn as well! The P&O ships are very similar to the Princess ships, but there are some subtle differences. The P&O ship had a covered second pool, on the Princess ships this was open air. I personally did not like the covered pool as it was noisy and smelt of chlorine (a bit like a visit to your local swimming baths). The open-air pool on the Princess ship has more decking areas for sunbeds and allows for a large screen to show their movies under the stars. We missed this on the P&O ship. Another significant difference is that Princess is more flexible regarding their formal nights. On a Princess ship you can dress “smart casual” in the buffet restaurant and in the speciality restaurants. As someone who hates dressing up when on holiday, I enjoyed still being able to eat in restaurants other than the buffet. On the P&O ship, we had to dress up if we wanted to eat anywhere other than the buffet. After dinner I stopped in one of the bars for a drink and was asked to move on as I was not in a suit. This really did impose the dress code on us as there was not a bar I could visit whilst dressed in chinos and a collared shirt. The final observation was that the crew on Ventura were not as friendly as those on Princess ships. We noticed there were not as many “hellos” as we passed the crew members. Maybe they reflect the British reserved attitude whereas the Princess ships adopt a more exuberant American style by greeting you every time. So, what have I learnt from my first P&O cruise? I was surprised that the small differences I have described had such an impact on the overall enjoyment. I will now be advising clients about these differences to help them choose a cruise which fits in with them.

Hong Kong Revisited

29 May 2019

I last visited Hong Kong about 15 years ago. Last week, I went back thanks to the generosity of Cathay Pacific and Langham Hotels. I flew Cathay Pacific and was lucky enough to be upgraded to business class. The seat is a compartment style seat that goes completely flat when you want to sleep. The service and the food were amazing and I arrived in Hong Kong refreshed after a great night’s sleep. Cathay Pacific has a good reputation and I can see why. If you are going to Hong Kong I would suggest you fly Cathay Pacific as the service level really does stand out. And if you have the money, you really must fly in business class because it is well worth it to arrive feeling fresh and ready to tackle the day ahead. On arrival, Cathay Pacific had staff available to explain that a power cut in Heathrow had resulted in our luggage being left behind. What was impressive was that the airline had prepared a team of staff to handle the problem. My luggage would arrive on the next flight in 6 hours’ time. Unfortunately, things do sometimes go wrong with travel arrangements. In this instance, Cathay Pacific had notice boards displayed and staff available to efficiently handle the situation. I always feel the mark of a professional service is how the problems are dealt with. I usually give my clients private car transfers to their hotel, but my group went by MTR train to Central and from there, we grabbed a taxi. This was a quick way into the city and it is also very affordable. On my return journey, I went in a private transfer. The road to the airport is modern and the journey is really easy. Having sampled both ways of getting to/from the airport, I would now tell people how easy it is to do by MTR if you are a reasonably confident traveller. If you are not, I would book a private car transfer. My accommodation for this trip was courtesy of Langham Hotels. The great thing is that they have 3 hotels in Hong Kong of different standards and atmosphere – meaning they have a hotel for everyone. I stayed in the Eaton Hong Kong for the first 2 nights. This is a newly refurbished 4-star hotel in a great location on Kowloon. The rooms were modern and a bit trendy. They were not huge but were very well kitted out. I liked the main restaurant as it was set up like a street market. It was popular with locals as well as hotel guests and created a good atmosphere because of this. I was able to visit the 5-star Cordis Hotel and dined in their Michelin star Ming Court Cantonese restaurant featuring a modern twist on traditional Cantonese cuisine. After that, I moved to the 5-star Langham. The hotel has a relaxed air of quality which allows people on holiday to enjoy their stay. The rooms are large and the food and service impeccable. We ate in the Bostonian Seafood and Grill with a seafood tower to start and steak to follow. All I can say is “Wow!”. Whilst in Hong Kong, we explored by using the MTR metro system, buses and by walking. We bought an octopus card (travel pass) to do this. It is really easy to get around – the signs are all in English as well as the local language. The trains are air-conditioned and really frequent. Public transport costs are very cheap. I do feel you get a really good feel for a destination if you use the local transport. Highlights that we visited were Victoria Peak for the view, the Tian Tan Buddha bronze statue on Lantau Island which we got to by MTR and then the gondola cable cars, and exploring the various markets. I really enjoyed a visit to the Chi Lin Nunnery – a lovely temple with the most amazing gardens. I would also encourage people to visit Aberdeen and the famous floating restaurants and to jump on the trams in Causeway Bay. If you are seeking nightlife you should visit Lan Kwai Fong where the bars are open all night. My visit was just 3 days, but I was able to enjoy the vibrant city. Hong Kong is a great stopover destination en-route to Australia or New Zealand. It also works well as part of a Far East multi-centre tour. But there is loads to do if you just want to visit Hong Kong for a week. Or you can visit for 3 days like I did - possibly for a crazy short break weekend!

The Ourika Valley - where the Moroccans go on holiday!

14 September 2018

During a recent visit to Marrakech I went on a day excursion to the Atlas Mountains to see how the Berber people live. Part of the tour took me to the Ourika Valley. This is where the local people go for their own holidays. Why do the locals choose to go to the Ourika Valley? It is only an hour from Marrakech and the river has countless small restaurants and cafes with tables placed in the river amongst the rocks and boulders. Temperatures are cooler in the Atlas Mountains especially in the summer months. From February to April the blossom from cherry and almond trees create a visual delight. Having fallen in love with this unique setting we crossed on of the rickety wooden bridges over the river and set off on a steep hike to see the waterfalls. You need good shoes as you will scramble up steep rock faces, but it is worth it when you are there. The local cafes channel the cool mountain water over their drinks bottles creating ornate natural fridges. Returning to the river we watched the locals relaxing at the many cafes, sitting at tables in the middle of the river with their feet cooling in the water. In the area are stunning mountain villages with houses clinging to the hillside. Each tiny village has their own mosque allowing the locals to answer the call to prayer. The roads have sheer drops as you zigzag over the peaks and the views are spectacular. We all loved this wonderful escape from Marrakech. You can visit the area on a day trip, but we all felt we could spend a few days here just like the locals do! If you do wish to spend a few days in the Ourika Valley I had lunch at a beautiful guest house which would be a great place to stay. The Ourika Garden Mountain Villa has rustic rooms which are full of character, stunning gardens with incredible views and a small swimming pool with sun beds to relax on. The chicken tagine was amazing and helps you feel as if you are seeing and experiencing the real Morocco. It is possible to stay where the Moroccans go on their holidays – all you must do is ask and I can arrange it for you!

The medina, the Souks and the madness that is Marrakech

14 September 2018

We first visited the market place in Jemaa el Fna square in the Medina in the middle of the afternoon. It was busy with street traders and a few snake charmers, women wanting to apply henna patterns to visitors’ hands and men wanting to take us on horse-drawn carriage rides around the city. But that didn’t prepare us for the electric atmosphere of the square at night. As we approached the square that evening we became aware of the hordes of people all moving in the same direction and we could hear the strong beat of a drum becoming louder, and as we rounded the corner and entered the square the sights, smells and sounds which met us were spectacular. The stalls in the centre of the square were brightly lit, displaying multi-coloured arrangements of fruit, vegetables, spices and cloths. Other stalls were set up with tables and benches where your food could be cooked right in front of you and the smells of the meats cooking wafted amongst the smoke and flames from fifty barbeques. The drum beats and music from groups of African street entertainers sounded above the noise from hundreds of on-lookers watching the dancing and acrobatics. The Souks are the narrow, covered alleyways full to bursting with traders and their wares. It is quite easy to get lost in the Souks, but you can get a map and if you pay some attention to your route you can find your way out! The traders expect you to barter with them, although some will say it’s a fixed price! And if you look to pay 50% less than their original asking price you won’t have done too badly. Try walking away if you don’t get what you want, and most will soon come after you with another offer! If not, there’ll be another trader next door or around the corner. It is worth walking around the streets of the Medina, the old walled town, to get a feel for other areas of the city and to take photos. You should also visit Le Jardin Majorelle, but because it’s outside the Medina and too far to walk I suggest you take a taxi. Le Jardin Majorelle is a beautiful collection of exotic plants and trees in a garden created by Jacques Majorelle and restored by Yves St Laurent. We went early, just after it opened, which meant it was quiet with not many other tourists getting in the way of the photographs! It’s peaceful and cool under the trees and the colours used in the gardens are very striking. Taxis work on a tariff and this should be displayed in the taxi. If there are more than three of you, you’ll need to get a ‘grand taxi’ and always agree your price before you get in. Your hotel/riad will be able to give you some guidance on the prices you should pay. People have asked me if I felt safe in Marrakech and the answer is yes. As with anywhere in the world you should be aware of pick-pockets and be sensible about what you carry and how you carry it, but my wife and teenage son also felt happy to walk around by themselves. The traders will call out to you to try to sell their goods, but we just called back ‘no thank you’ and kept walking and we were not hassled or made to feel intimidated. Would I go back again? Yes, I would, and I don’t feel I’d tire of experiencing this magical and bustling city again.

Marrakech revisited

14 September 2018

In 2016 I visited Marrakech with the Morocco Tourist Board and wrote a blog about where you can stay. I advised that the best way to experience Marrakech is to stay in a traditional Riad - a traditional house with guest rooms. They are tucked away in the historic alleyways of the medina and have character and style. I would recommend them as you get a sense of the real Morocco when you stay in the heart of the city. I enjoyed my visit so much that this year I returned with my family. We stayed in Riad Karmela. The Riad was hidden down an alleyway and was a calm oasis amongst the mad buzz of Marrakech. My sons were given a large twin room with lattice windows looking into the courtyard. My wife and I were given an amazing room with its own private balcony overlooking the courtyard. Inside was a spacious room with a 4-poster bed and numerous ornaments which created a homely feel. The Riad is in the heart of Marrakech about 10 minutes’ walk from Jemaa el Fna square and is beyond where cars can reach. On arrival the Riad sends someone to meet the car and to show us the way for the last 100 metres. A warm Moroccan welcome with local sweets and mint tea is offered as you complete the registration forms. Having settled in we decided to go and explore. Stepping outside the Riad doorway we were straight into the alleyways with the buzz of people busy about their daily lives. We quickly learned to keep to the right at all times as the mopeds hurtle along missing you by fractions as they rush to wherever they are going. Look out for my other blogs that are coming soon – “The Medina, the Souk and the madness that is Marrakech” will try to describe the wonderful atmosphere of the city, and “The Ourika Valley – where the Moroccans go on holiday” will suggest an amazing Marrakech escape so you can see the real Morocco.

Kuala Lumpur and Borneo

26 October 2017

I was lucky enough to win a place on a trip to Kuala Lumpur and Borneo and recently travelled there with 8 other Travel Counsellors. Flights were with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul. The advantage of using Turkish is that you can fly from a local airport to Istanbul before flying on to your destination. Some of our group flew from Manchester and the others flew from Gatwick. Birmingham and Heathrow are other options. Turkish Airlines have won many awards in recent years so I was interested to see what makes their service so special. They have modern aircraft with many movies and programmes available in a good selection of languages, but the thing that really stands out was the quality of their food in economy. It was well cooked and really tasty. Unfortunately I cannot advise on their Business Class service as we were not given the opportunity to sample this on any of the four flights. Our accommodation was provided by Shangri-La hotels. The first night was spent in Traders. This is a good 4 star hotel in a perfect location next to the Twin Towers. The rooms and food were excellent, but the highlight is the Pool Bar on the 33rd floor which acts as a nightclub in the evenings and has stunning views of the cityscape. The next night we moved to the 5 star Shangri-La. I last stayed in this hotel over 30 years ago. The hotel is well maintained despite its age, but is now surrounded by other buildings. As a result the sun disappears behind the other buildings blocking any sun from the pool area by about 4pm. I also visited the 5 star Majestic Hotel for lunch. The food is amazing and the hotel is a historic hotel that focuses on the Colonial heritage and traditional service standards typical of a bygone age. The only disappointment with the hotel is that the 2 swimming pools are quite small and you can hear some road noise. Whilst in Kuala Lumpur we went on a walking tour of the city. This is a great way to experience the buzz of a busy city and to get a feel for life for the local people. We visited the Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad mosque which was built by the British in 1909 and also some of the street markets. Unfortunately time limitations meant we could not go to some of the major attractions like the Batu Caves to the north of Kuala Lumpur. The next day we flew with Air Asia to Kota Kinabalu. This is the capital of the state of Sabah – one of the 2 states on Borneo which are part of Malaysia. Our home for the next 2 nights was Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria. This is a lovely 5 star resort set on a huge beach surrounded by the rainforest. We were upgraded to the newer Ocean Wing. In this wing the rooms are huge with over 90 square metres of space. The balconies have a double Jacuzzi bath where you can relax listening to the sound of the sea and birds singing in the canopy. The team at Rasa Ria really make an effort to ensure every guest feels special. We visited the 5 star Gaya Island Resort to spend the day learning about this 5 star eco resort. The weather prevented us from fully appreciating everything the resort offers. I do feel that the location on Gaya Island is a love or hate it type of thing – you are close to Kota Kinabalu which offers convenience, but also means you are overlooking a busy harbour scene. Personally, I would opt for the quieter location of Rasa Ria. Our final stay was at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru. Again, like the Gaya Island Resort this is a city based hotel with a beach, and was therefore not to my liking. Whilst in Borneo we were taken to the Mari Mari cultural village. This is a fascinating place to visit as you see how the local tribes traditionally live. We also visited the Mount Kinabalu National Park and went on a rope bridge canopy walk. It is a long 4 hour drive up into the mountains but is well worth it. This brings me to the biggest disappointment of my visit. If I am going to visit Borneo I would want to see the rainforests and possibly seeing some orangutans in their natural environment as this is what makes Borneo a different place to visit. The itinerary that was provided for my visit did not allow time for the group to fly to Sandakan in eastern Sarawak which is where the orangutan population is located. So, whilst I have been able to discuss the best way for other people to travel to Sandakan with a specialist company and can give some excellent advice if anyone is keen to do this, I did not manage to experience the journey myself. To conclude, what did my visit to Kuala Lumpur and Borneo teach me? Firstly, you can easily spend a day or two in Kuala Lumpur en-route to Borneo and enjoy exploring the city. But you can also fly to Hong Kong as a gateway airport and possibly this is a better choice. Secondly, there are many amazing beaches in the Far East. The beach at Rasa Ria is up there with the best of these beaches and I would happily stay at this resort if I was going again. Thirdly, the main reason for going to Borneo is to see the rainforest and hopefully some orangutans so you should always include this excursion in your visit. I learnt that you should allocate sufficient time to allow the major attractions to be seen as when you visit Kuala Lumpur and Borneo there are some amazing things to see and do. I would therefore ensure you build in time to visit the major attractions as this is what makes any visit worthwhile.

Princess Cruises - The destinations we visited....Civitavecchia (Rome)

31 August 2017

I have recently returned from a 14-day cruise from Southampton around the Mediterranean. I sailed with my family with Princess Cruises on the Crown Princess. The itinerary involved sailing for 3 days to get to the Mediterranean, and also 3 days to sail back on the return journey. We then spent 8 days touring and visited Barcelona, Corsica, Rome, Pisa, Genoa, Marseilles and Gibraltar. I have already blogged about life onboard the ship, and now want to pass on my opinions and hints about the destinations visited on the trip. As a family of 4 people, excursions can add a lot to the holiday cost as each excursion cost is multiplied by 4. Since we enjoy exploring a place independently we opted not to book the official ship excursions as it is cheaper to do your own exploring. I use cruises to mostly visit destinations I have not been to before so that I can see if I would want to return separately if I think it worthwhile. Civitavecchia, Italy: Civitavecchia is the main port for Rome. Having visited Rome before we decided to save the cost of the excursions to Rome and decided to explore Civitavecchia instead. We took a complimentary bus from the ship into the centre and once there explored on foot. What did I think about Civitavecchia? It was pleasant enough to walk around but did not really offer all that much. We did find the local farmer’s market to wander around If ever you are there I would suggest you pay the extra to venture into Rome for the day. Rome is over an hour away from Civitavecchia and I would therefore suggest booking an organised excursion which guarantees to get you back in time for the ship's departure. You really need a few days to fully appreciate Rome as there are so many amazing places to visit. If you only have one day I suggest you stick with just visiting the Colosseum and the Vatican City. If you are not part of an organised tour the hop on hop off bus is a good option. Other wonderful attractions are the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon. The highlight for me in Rome is a tour of the Colosseum which includes access to areas the basic tour does not. You see beneath the arena where the slaves were kept in cells and then you climb to the highest part for an amazing view looking down on the arena. I also really enjoyed a tour of the Vatican. The museum is large and has many artifacts, but the highlight is to go into the Sistine Chapel. You should also visit St Peter’s Square and the Basilica. The Vatican City is officially a separate state and is protected by the ornately uniformed Swiss Guard. Both the Colosseum and the Vatican have incredibly long queues if you just turn up. I suggest you pre-book entrance tickets to ensure you can get in to see these marvellous attractions.

Princess Cruises - The destinations we visited...Barcelona

29 August 2017

I have recently returned from a 14-day cruise from Southampton around the Mediterranean. I sailed with my family with Princess Cruises on the Crown Princess. The itinerary involved sailing for 3 days to get to the Mediterranean, and also 3 days to sail back on the return journey. We then spent 8 days touring and visited Barcelona, Corsica, Rome, Pisa, Genoa, Marseilles and Gibraltar. I have already blogged about life onboard the ship, and now want to pass on my opinions and tips about the destinations visited on the trip. As a family of 4 people excursions can add a lot to the holiday cost as each excursion cost is multiplied by 4. Since we enjoy exploring a place independently we opted not to book the official ship excursions as it is cheaper to do your own exploring. I use cruises to mostly visit destinations I have not been to before so that I can see if I would want to return separately if I think it worthwhile. Barcelona, Spain: Barcelona is a big city and there is a lot you can see and do. One drawback with visiting from a cruise ship is that you only have one day to see what you can. Since time was limited we bought tickets for the hop on hop off bus. This gave us a recorded commentary as we went around and allowed us to get to the major attractions fairly quickly. We took the port bus into the city and joined the hop on hop off bus at the bottom of Las Ramblas - the most famous street in Barcelona. The bus took us along the beach area before heading inland to the city. We got off so we could photograph Casa Battlo - one of Gaudi's famous buildings. We then took the second hop on hop off bus to get to La Sagrada Familia - the Cathedral designed by Gaudi that is not yet completed. The hop on hop off tour then took us the area of the Olympic Stadium. There are amazing views of the city. Having returned to the city we walked around the gothic quarter as this is the oldest part of the city. We followed a route which we found online. What did I think about Barcelona? We would want to visit again to be able to spend more time seeing the attractions fully. It is rare to have an attractive city that has a beach and you could easily spend 4-7 days here with plenty to keep you occupied.

Princess Cruises - Life on Board....

29 August 2017

I have recently returned from a 14-day cruise from Southampton around the Mediterranean. I sailed with my family with Princess Cruises on the Crown Princess. The itinerary involved sailing for 3 days to get to the Mediterranean, and also 3 days to sail back on the return journey. We then spent 8 days touring and visited Barcelona, Corsica, Rome, Pisa, Genoa, Marseilles and Gibraltar. I will post separately my opinions and some hints on visiting the destinations, but first I want to pass on my opinion and some hints about life onboard a Princess Cruise ship. A good cabin if on a limited budget: I traveled with my wife and 2 sons who are 21 and 15 years old. Whilst we could have fitted into 1 cabin it would have been very tight so we decided to book 2 cabins. To keep the cost down we booked inside cabins but opted for cabins on Lido deck (deck 15). Whilst we had no window or balcony in the cabins we were only feet away from the pool deck which acted as our place to sit and enjoys the view. It was handy being able to pop back to the cabin as it was only a few feet away from the pool. We used the cabins as somewhere to sleep - and when it is dark the window and balcony are not much use anyway. Days at sea: When you have a number of days at sea there are not enough sun beds on the pool decks for everyone. This frustrated some people who could not find any beds to sit on. My advice is to get up early and base yourselves on the Pool deck. By 8:30 am all the beds are occupied so it pays to set an alarm. You cannot simply reserve the beds and come back later, so accept you are going to get up and take a good book with you! There are a vast amount of organized activities offered but we chose not to do them. Dining: All the food is included in the main buffet restaurants and also in the main table service restaurants. We used the buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch and there was plenty of choices available. For the evenings we found the Anytime Dining table service restaurants the best as we could eat at a table for 4 people without sharing a table and at a time we wanted to. These restaurants are popular, so it is worth booking a table in the morning for that evening. The table service provided by the waiters is excellent and the quality of the food is good. We preferred this to the buffet restaurant and opted against the traditionally fixed dining option. Fine Dining: The Crown Princess also has a selection of fine dining restaurants where a supplement is charged to eat there. Of these, we found the Crown Grill to be excellent for the $26 per person cost but were disappointed with Sabatini's Italian restaurant where the $26 per person cost did not seem worth it. We also dined at the Salty Dog gastropub for a $12 per person supplement. The food here was good but the menu was a bit limited. Entertainment on board: Every evening there is a show in the ship's theatre. The standard offered is very good and guest "stars" are flown out to the ship to give a variety of acts. Acts included singers, tribute acts, comedians, magicians, jugglers and talks by sporting celebrities. Princess Cruises are also known for their Movies under the Stars. Here, comfy cushions are placed on the sun beds for outdoor movie watching. Popcorn is provided to enhance the movie experience and blankets are available so you can wrap up warm if needed. Expect and budget for a large bill: It is tempting to think that because all meals can be free as they are included in the holiday cost, that you will not spend much on board. Drinks are not included and you are restricted to 1 bottle of wine per adult per voyage that you can take onboard. After that, wine costs $30 upwards per bottle to buy. Spirits are about $7 per drink and bottles of beer cost about $5 per bottle. You can pre-purchase a soft drinks package at $8 per day for unlimited juice, soda, mocktails and hot chocolate. The crew all work very hard to make your stay enjoyable and tipping is normal and expected. We decided to pay the ship's recommended amount of $13.50 per person per day. The tips, therefore, add $800 to your bill for a family of 4 on a 14-day cruise. Our expenses bill was well over $1250 on top of the holiday cost. This is about £1000 in extras. Visit the destinations: The reason we booked a cruise is to visit many destinations. A cruise simply becomes an expensive hotel if you do not make sure you get off the ship and see the amazing destinations you are visiting. I will be posting my hints and opinions of each of the destinations we visited in separate blogs.

Princess Cruises - The destinations we visited...Corsica

29 August 2017

I have recently returned from a 14-day cruise from Southampton around the Mediterranean. I sailed with my family with Princess Cruises on the Crown Princess. The itinerary involved sailing for 3 days to get to the Mediterranean, and also 3 days to sail back on the return journey. We then spent 8 days touring and visited Barcelona, Corsica, Rome, Pisa, Genoa, Marseilles and Gibraltar. I have already blogged about life onboard the ship, and now want to pass on my opinions and hints about the destinations visited on the trip. As a family of 4 people, excursions can add a lot to the holiday cost as each excursion cost is multiplied by 4. Since we enjoy exploring a place independently we opted not to book the official ship excursions as it is cheaper to do your own exploring. I use cruises to mostly visit destinations I have not been to before so that I can see if I would want to return separately if I think it worthwhile. Ajaccio, Corsica: Ajaccio is most famous for being the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte. The advantage of arriving on a cruise ship is that the ship docks within walking distance of the historic capital. Even better is that Ajaccio is really pretty. The historic town has pretty alleyways to explore and there is a lovely sandy beach for those that want a swim. We visited the Napoleon Museum which is in a house that the Bonapartes owned and lived in. The museum is interesting as you can walk the rooms where Napoleon once trod, it has some historic furniture into giving an idea of what life was like, and some information boards (only in French). What did I think about Ajaccio? We all agreed we would like to visit here again and to stay for longer as it has less of a city feel than Barcelona had.

A weekend in Budapest

13 April 2017

I recently booked a group of 12 people from my local Rotary Club to visit Budapest. As a member of the club I travelled as part of the group. We flew with KLM from Birmingham to Budapest via Amsterdam instead of with Wizzair as the flight times were better with KLM and the price was about the same cost. The short stopover in Amsterdam allowed us to have an enjoyable lunch before we continued to Budapest. On arrival in Budapest we transferred to our hotel, the Three Corners Art Hotel which is found in the heart of the city. The hotel is a great 3-star hotel and is on a very quiet street, yet is just minutes from the Metro, the tram network, many of the museums and the river. Everyone was happy with the hotel which had clean rooms and friendly staff. The hotel buffet breakfast offered a large selection of hot and cold food. We opted to go on a guided cycle tour of the city. This is a great way to see a city as you feel more connected as you travel around than when you are on a coach tour. The cycle path network is extensive and our guide had a planned route that avoided cycling on busy roads. We saw the major attractions in Pest before crossing the river to Buda to visit the castle. We purchased a 72 hour pass which allowed us to travel on the Metro and trams allowing us to easily get to the key places in the city. We visited the houses of parliament and the Museum of Terror which documents the various times when Budapest was occupied by foreign powers. This museum is located in the secret police building and you can tour the cells where people were kept. It is easy to get around the city as all signs were in Hungarian and also in English. The pass also allowed us to take a ferry along the river so we went "to the end of the line" for lunch before returning to the city centre by train and tram. There is a good mix of restaurants and bars all offering Hungarian cuisine. We enjoyed most restaurants but found the riverboat restaurant "Spoons" a disappointment. A great restaurant is "Borsso", located next door to the Three Corners Art Hotel. This offered fine dining in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Menus are usually in English as well as Hungarian. The highlight of my visit was the café culture. We enjoyed pedestrianized streets, travelling by tram and stopping for a coffee or a beer. What surprised me the most was how quiet the city seems - most likely because the transport system is so good that people do not need cars in the city centre. So, if you have a few days spare and fancy getting away, please do consider Budapest as it has a lot to offer.

Isn't Reykjavik expensive?

18 April 2017

I am sure many people have heard the Reykjavik is expensive. Well, having just visited I can tell you that it is. But I can also tell you that it is a really fascinating place to visit. I went to Reykjavik with my family to celebrate my son's 21st birthday. He wanted to go because I usually opt for hotter destinations and he was curious about what a colder destination would be like. This was an extra trip, so we decided to see how cheaply we could visit staying in a hotel and seeing the main attractions. We flew from Luton with easyJet as this was much cheaper than Icelandair from Birmingham. We only went for 2 nights as this would allow us to see the main sights. We booked a 3 star hotel as it was more affordable. We booked just 2 excursions and decided to eat in more affordable restaurants whenever possible. Our hotel was the Fron and it was perfectly placed in the city centre and had comfortable rooms plus a great continental breakfast. Was such a short trip worth it? Yes it was! Where else can you swim in such large natural geothermal baths? Where else in Europe can you see a geyser push water 30 metres in the air every few minutes? Or see Europe's most powerful waterfall? And where else is there such a stunning landscape of scattered black volcanic rocks! The geothermal baths at the Blue Lagoon are located close to the airport. So it is a good idea to visit them either on your arrival or departure days as you can stop off en-route to/from your hotel. The temperature is like swimming in a hot bath water so you do not get cold. And you can spread silica mud over your face to help your skin. We did this on arrival from our early morning flight as it meant we could enjoy the baths and then go to the hotel after lunch to check in. On our second day we took the Golden Circle tour. This includes a visit to the gorge being created in the Thingvellir National Park because the north American continental plate and the European continental plate are slowly shifting apart. You continue to Geysir to see the Strokkar geyser which shoots water 30 metres in the air every few minutes. Finally the tour visits Gullfoss waterfall where water plunges 30 metres into a crevice in the valley. The power of the falls is obvious yet they have a serene beauty at the same time. In contrast to the raw power of the landscape, Reykjavik is a compact city with the houses painted in many different colours. It is fun to wander the streets and there are many bars and restaurants which offer a welcome escape from the cold. It has a friendly atmosphere which was a pleasure to explore when we had some spare time. I mentioned that Iceland is expensive and I can confirm that it is - pizza and wine for 4 people cost over £100. But by staying for just 2 nights we managed to keep the total cost including our spending whilst there to under £2000. It is possible to keep the cost affordable and still see the most amazing sights.

Marrakech offers more than you would think

01 December 2016

Do you fancy going to a country where you can stay in a buzzing and exotic city, go to the beach, go on eco trips to the mountains, ride a camel in the desert, do soft adventure excursions or even where skiing is possible? Do you want to experience all of this without having to fly half way around the world? Do you fancy visiting another continent that is just over three hours away from the UK? Then a holiday to Morocco would really be a great choice for you. I was lucky enough to be invited to visit Marrakech in Morocco as part of a travel agent inspection visit by the Moroccan Tourist Board. We flew from Gatwick and spent three days in Marrakech to learn all about this amazing destination. You can fly with low cost airlines to Marrakech - EasyJet fly from Gatwick, Bristol or Manchester. Ryanair fly from Liverpool, Luton or Stansted. Or you can fly from Gatwick with British Airways on a scheduled flight if you prefer. After just over three hours, you arrive and immediately are struck by the fact that you are in a different continent with its unique African atmosphere. Entry to Morocco is easy with a simple entry form to fill out on arrival and Marrakech Airport has a welcoming arrivals hall. Transfers to the hotels usually take just 15 minutes as the airport is close to the city. When in Marrakech a visit to the Jemaa el-Fna Square is a must. This is the main square in Marrakech and has a multitude of entertainers with contortionists, snake charmers and musicians galore. Explore the alleyways of the Souk with tradesmen selling everything you can imagine. The Souk is large and it is easy to lose your sense of direction but I urge you to dive in and explore it as it offers an exotic and exciting atmosphere. It is worth buying a drink at one of the café’s that overlook the square as the view from their rooftop seating areas is the best view possible. You can venture out of Marrakech to the desert or the mountains. I opted for a day trip to the Terres D’Amanar estate in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains as it was just 45 minutes from Marrakech. The estate offers mountain biking, electric mountain biking (the motor increases your pedal power by up to 300 times making it easy to go up the steep hills), horse riding, zip wires with wire suspension bridges, archery and a variety of team building activities. I would suggest staying here for a couple of days as there is so much to do. There is a variety of accommodation including eco-lodges built in traditional Berber-style and glamping in earth buildings with canvas roofs. The standard of the accommodation is surprisingly luxurious and the food is truly Moroccan and of a high standard. This was my first visit to Marrakech and I now cannot wait to go back. I enjoy the buzz of an exciting city but also would enjoy relaxing at the beach or going into the mountains and desert for a sense of adventure. A holiday to Morocco allows you to do them all in one trip! If this is your idea of a good holiday then Marrakech would be a great choice for you. If my blog was of interest to you then please do contact me. Please also look for my blog on where you can stay in Marrakech.

Where to stay in Marrakech

14 December 2016

There are a large variety of places to stay in Marrakech including luxurious and historic hotels, sumptuous resorts, family resort style hotels and many charming Riad guest houses hidden in the alleyways of the medina. With over 300 properties in our database I have the right accommodation for you. During a recent visit to Marrakech I was able to see some of the hotels. I stayed in the 5* Eden Andalou but would not recommend it. Whilst it has all the facilities to qualify as a 5* I would say it is operating to 3* standards. The rooms are spacious but the corridors are very dark and the buildings are somewhat dated. There is a waterpark which will appeal to children but overall I feel there are better hotels to stay in. The Savoy hotel is just a year old and is located in the city, just eight minutes from the Jamaa El-Fna Square. There is a shopping mall attached to the hotel and plenty of restaurants around. The hotel has some great family suites and a zero entry pool which is surrounded by the hotel buildings and therefore feels very secure. It offered spacious accommodation and a high quality is provided for the price. The famous 5* La Mamounia was a favourite of Sir Winston Churchill and the hotel now has a bar and a suite named after the statesman. They also hold some of the paintings he did whilst relaxing at the hotel. The hotel is centrally located in Marrakech and boasts some of the best gardens I have ever seen in a hotel. Every area of the hotel is infused with an aroma to heighten your senses and enhance the experience. The spa is special, and even if you are not a guest it is worth paying the fee to visit and use the facilities. This is a world famous hotel and operates to the high standards you would expect. Another luxurious hotel is the Royal Palm Resort. This is a new resort on the outskirts of Marrakech which has an 18-hole golf course and a beautiful spa operated by Clarins. The resort is operated by Beachcomber hotels who have numerous luxury hotels in Mauritius. The backdrop of the Atlas Mountains is absolutely stunning and the sense of peace and quiet will ensure a relaxing time. Yet if you want the hustle and bustle of the city it is just 20 minutes away. The rooms are modern and spacious. There are some lovely private villas in the grounds which are available to rent and these come with the butler service included. Probably the best way to experience Marrakech is to stay in a traditional Riad. A Riad is a traditional house with guest rooms. The true definition is that there is a central garden but many Riads now have a central courtyard. They are tucked away in the historic alleyways of the medina and hide some amazing luxurious places to stay. I would recommend them as you get a sense of the real Morocco when you stay in the heart of the city in such atmospheric and historic surroundings. I visited the Riad Kniza and would suggest this as an idyllic place to stay for couples who want to be in the heart of the city. There are Riads of various standards – the Riad Kniza is one of the more luxurious ones but you can stay in a Riad for £29 per room per night! If you like the sound of a holiday to Marrakech I urge you to go. A good variety of accommodation is available to suit all tastes and there is so much you can do. Have a look at my blog on what you can do in Marrakech for more ideas and information.

Orlando with older children

20 October 2015

I was lucky enough to work as a hotel negotiator for a travel company. I used to visit destinations to check out the hotels and then to negotiate the lowest possible price that would be paid for a room. I have travelled the world doing a job that many have said they would love to do. My area of expertise is the Caribbean and Florida and I have visited these regions many times through my work. I decided that I should take my family to see Florida as I went there often and they had never been and booked us all a holiday to Orlando. But my two boys are both teenagers and they certainly were not interested in Disney. The joy of going on holiday to Orlando is that there are plenty of other things to do. We started by visiting Universal Studios. The rides at the theme park are good and the theme is just a bit older making it a place where all ages can enjoy themselves. We also visited Seaworld. Here there are fewer rides but the ones that are there are good. On top of that you can also watch the famous shows which the attraction is famous for. Just remember to take a waterproof cover if you are going to sit near the front. We also spent some days away from the theme parks. One day we went on an airboat ride in the Everglades to see the alligators and other wildlife. The airboats are fun but please do remember to keep your mouth closed as when you hurtle through the reeds, bugs and flies get knocked off them and will hit you in the face. Probably the best day out was to the Kennedy Space Centre. It is only 45 minutes’ drive from Orlando and has a huge display of spacecraft including the iconic Space Shuttle. My children loved this day out and it was a much cheaper option than paying to go to another theme park. I always finish my blogs with a question. And this time I want to ask “did we enjoy it and would I book again?” Yes we did enjoy it and would happily visit again. My older children had plenty to interest them that was suitable for their ages. And in a few years I may even manage to bring the hidden child out of them so we can go and see Mickey next time.

Mediterranean Taster

29 September 2015

I had never considered booking a cruise. Having been sat on a fantastic beach enjoying everything a pretty destination has to offer, I have always felt that the extremely brief visit by cruise ship passengers meant they would not really experience it fully. But one year I decided that I wanted a holiday which involved visiting many different places rather than basing myself in one place. I did not fancy many hours in a coach or hire car and so I was really surprised to find that a cruise might be the perfect solution. The advantage of a cruise is that the journey often occurs overnight and you wake up in a new destination relaxed and ready for a day’s sightseeing. And if the journey is during the day it is still enjoyable as you can relax and enjoy the myriad of facilities available on board. I opted for a one week cruise on the Ruby Princess starting in Athens. We would visit Mykonos, Kusadasi (for Ephasus), Santorini, Naples (for Pompei) and finish in Rome. We decided to stay in Athens and Rome for a few extra days to give us more time to explore the cities. I had always wanted to visit Santorini and was curious to see what Mykonos was like. If I liked them I could always book to go back there on holiday another time. Cultural cities do not come much better than Athens and Rome and in addition to these cities I would also visit the amazing historical sites at Ephasus and Pompei. Many people have pre-conceptions about a cruise holiday. “A cruise is too formal”, “you have to eat at fixed sittings with other people you do not know”, “A cruise is expensive” and “only the elderly go”. But the reality is that you do not have to go to formal evenings if you prefer not to, you can book cruises where you can eat at whatever time you want to and at a table just for yourselves, the costs are very reasonable when you consider what you actually get. Because of this cruises are now popular with people of all ages. My experience on the Ruby Princess was excellent. The ship operates to a very high standard with extremely attentive, helpful and friendly staff. We swam in the pools, played crazy golf, enjoyed a professional entertainment programme and sampled high quality cuisine and drinks from a great selection of restaurants and bars. Would I book a cruise again? Yes I would as we really enjoyed the ships facilities. The holiday allowed us to sample a wonderful variety of destinations over a large distance and yet to finish the holiday feeling totally relaxed.

Villa in Tuscany

22 September 2015

For our summer holiday this year we decided to book a villa in Tuscany. The reason was that some of my family enjoy relaxing by the pool but others enjoy visiting places to take in the history and culture. The advantage of staying in Tuscany is that you can visit some interesting and beautiful places in the region. We flew Easyjet from Bristol to Pisa, picked up a hire car and then drove for 2 hours to our villa. The villa was just outside a walled town called Lucignano – a classic example of Medieval town planning with high exterior walls and narrow alleyways circling around the towns interior. Whilst some people prefer to be in the country with no near neighbours, I have found that selecting a villa near to a town allows you to easily shop for provisions, pop out to a local bar for a few drinks and also to eat out in a selection of restaurants without someone having to drive. We could therefore enjoy sampling the local wine without having to worry about how much we had drunk. We spend half of our week enjoying relaxing by the pool with a lovely view towards the town. The pool terrace was quiet, private and equipped with comfortable sunbeds. The pool itself was really well maintained but was initially cold when getting in. Once in you could splash around for ages. Most villa pools are not heated and our experience was typical of what you will find in the area. The other half of our week involved day trips to visit the major cities and towns in the area. We visited Florence, Siena and Pisa. Our highlight in Florence was exploring on and around the Ponte Vecchio – a historical bridge over the River Arne with shops built on it. We also enjoyed the Cathedral which is spectacular on the outside but somewhat plain and simple inside. In Siena we visited the main square where the famous annual horse race takes place and also the cathedral which was more interesting inside than the one in Florence. Finally we visited Pisa to see the iconic leaning tower. Was the holiday a success? Yes it was a success as we could easily combine some wonderful sightseeing with a relaxing villa holiday lazing by the pool. If you are tempted to visit this fascinating part of Italy there are a number of villa providers we can offer who provide some fantastic properties in the region. Please do not hesitate to call me if you want any further information and advice.

Paxos in Greece

08 July 2015

Greece is experiencing some troubling times and many tourists are nervous about booking a holiday there at the moment due to the difficult financial situation. Given the uncertainty it is worth remembering why Greece is such a special holiday destination. I was lucky enough to be taken on holidays abroad from an early age and my parents’ destination of choice was the Greek Islands. I remember unspoilt islands with a slow pace of life and local tavernas serving Greek dishes alongside a glass of Retsina. I was wondering whether this simple Greek charm was still possible and so visited Greece in search of it again. I chose Loggos on the island of Paxos in the Ionian Islands and booked myself and my family into a villa with a pool on the outskirts of the town. We flew to Corfu and then took the ferry to Paxos. You can also travel by “Flying Dolphin” hydrofoil service. This is quicker but gets fully booked in the peak seasons. On arrival I was not disappointed as Loggos offered a simple charm with a cluster of tavernas surrounding the pretty harbour. We settled in for a week’s stay and enjoyed the relaxed lifestyle that a villa holiday offers. We enjoyed the pool and also exploring the local paths through olive groves to find hidden beaches in pretty coves. We also hired a small speedboat as you can motor around the whole island in just a few hours. Perhaps the best thing we did was to find a deserted cove and drop anchor to swim and sunbathe. We continued by boat to Gaios, the main town in Paxos, and spent a couple of hours exploring the alleyways and churches before doing some shopping. The beaches on Paxos are pebbled, but a trip in our boat to Antipaxos took us to glorious sandy beaches. These beaches can get crowded but were certainly worth a visit for one day. The rest of our week was spent exploring the area, relaxing at our villa and enjoying the pool. Every evening we wandered into Loggos to eat at a taverna and watch the world go by. Paxos is still quiet because it is a bit harder to get to. The ferry journey helps to keep the mass hoards away and the island manages to keep its Greek charm as a result. Did I find the unspoilt “Real Greece” that I remember? I would say that I did. I mentioned the difficult situation that is ongoing in Greece and perhaps the best way to help Greece turn its economy around is to book a holiday there. And if you do book to go, in addition to helping the Greek economy you could have one of the best holidays ever!

Miami Beach & the Florida Keys

22 October 2015

The attraction of a two centre holiday to Miami Beach and the Florida Keys is the complete contrast between them. Miami Beach is a cosmopolitan lively city whilst the Florida Keys offers a laid back almost sleepy escape. And linking these two wonderful destinations is one of the iconic road trip drives in the USA following US Highway 1 – The Overseas Highway. A highlight of this dramatic drive is the spectacular Seven Mile Bridge linking Islamorada to the Lower Keys. I suggest you start in Miami Beach as it has a real buzz. It is a place where you can spot the rich and famous posing in trendy hotels and on the glorious sands at South Beach. But Miami Beach also offers art festivals, music festivals and museums galore. You can delve into the American way of life and take in a Miami Heat basketball game or a Miami Dolphins American football game. I have visited over a hundred Miami hotels. My favourite is the 5* Fontainebleau as it offers the glitz and glamour associated with the area. But I also like the art deco charm of the recently refurbished 4* National and a great budget option is a private room in the trendy 3* Freehand hostel which has one of the best garden bars in Miami. Having spent a few days soaking up the Miami atmosphere I like to escape the frantic pace. The Florida Keys stretch out into the Gulf of Mexico like a pearl necklace with hundreds of islets called cays which are linked by the spectacular US 1 Highway. Most stunning is the iconic Seven Mile Bridge which links Marathon with the Lower Keys. The Florida Keys offers a laid back slower pace that seems almost to be in a time warp from a time when life was less complicated. Key West has always attracted artists and other people who want to escape the rat race and those who seek a more bohemian way of life. Duval Street in Key West has many restaurants and bars and has a wonderful atmosphere. The 5* Hyatt Regency Key West is in a quiet location just 5 minutes’ walk from Duval Street. A cheaper option is to stay in the 3* Doubletree Grand Key West. This hotel operates a shuttle bus to Duval Street so you can still enjoy the nightlife. The drive to Key West is just 150 miles from Miami, but to fully appreciate the slower pace and relaxed lifestyle I suggest you stop off both ways. There is a good selection of hotels along the route but one of the best is the 4* Hawks Cay located at Duck Key. Here you can relax, arrange fishing trips and enjoy the peace and nature all around you. You can even swim with dolphins as Hawks Cay is the home to Dolphin Connection – a research and educational centre for marine mammals. I hope I have whetted your appetite. Imagine hiring a Corvette or a Mustang, putting the roof down in the glorious weather of the Sunshine State, and experiencing the contrast that Miami and The Florida Keys gives as you explore along the Overseas Highway. If you are tempted to book a holiday to Florida and the Florida Keys then please do call me.

Venice Short Break

18 May 2015

When you think of Venice I am sure your first thought is of canals. But a highlight of my recent visit was exploring the streets and passageways of this enchanting city. We spent a few days there in April – a good time to visit before the high summer temperatures bring in the crowds. When you arrive in Venice you can get a boat from the airport direct to many of the hotels. But since this is an expensive option we chose to get the bus. The ACTV runs every 15 minutes and takes 25 minutes to get to Pizzale Roma but can get fairly crowded. Another option is the ATVO coach which runs every 30 minutes. It is slightly more expensive but far less crowded. Our hotel was a 3* hotel called the Al Sole. It is in the Palazzo Marcello, a 15th century canal side residence built for the Marcello family and still owned by them today. It is located just 5 minutes’ walk from the bus station in a quiet area of Venice, but is just 15 minutes’ walk from the Rialto Bridge, about 20 minutes from St Mark’s Square and there are bars and restaurants in the area. Our canal-view room was simply furnished in keeping with the historical ambiance of the building. In addition to the obvious attractions of gondola trips, a drink in the cafés in St Mark’s Square, crossing the Rialto Bridge and journeying along the Grand Canal on the water bus or in your own water taxi, I urge you to set off on foot to explore and get lost in the myriad of alleyways. There is a wonderful guide book called “Venice for Pleasure” written by J G Links. It is a quirky and somewhat old fashioned guide written in 1966, but still offers relevant advice for visitors today, with 5 suggested walks for exploring all areas of Venice. We had a lot of fun trying to follow the routes and saw parts of Venice that many other visitors would simply miss. The guide also encourages you to stop along the route in cafés, bars and restaurants. We stopped at Harrys Bar to try a Bellini cocktail as this is where the drink was first created. There is a lot of hype about Venice but I have to say that it is a city that exceeded my hopes and expectations. So much so that I plan to go back there next year! There are many hotels to choose from and if you would like to visit this wonderful city please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Attention to detail and a desire to get to know a client’s interests to match the perfect holiday, accommodation and activities is second to none.

Sent by Sascha McDonald

We just wanted to email you a big thanks for our lovely holiday. We have had a fantastic time; Kassiopi was a great town, the apartment was very central and very well taken care of (a cleaner came in nearly every day to change towels, or bedding, or clean or make beds). Your service was fantastic all the way through, it was lovely not to have to do it all ourselves. Thanks also for confirming our flight back and sending us the boarding cards. Much appreciated. And would you mind thanking your client who gave us the tip of where to eat for James’ birthday? It turned out to be a very special and posh restaurant, we had a table on the beach overlooking the beautiful bay and the food was delicious! And the speedboat to get there was a great success with all my boys. I managed to keep it a surprise until the birthday itself. So thank you very much!

Sent by Emma White

Neil has an extensive knowledge based on personal experience and has arranged our last 4 holidays. It certainly takes the stress and guess work out of it, and we have been very happy with our last holidays to Kenya and Nothern Spain. Morocco this year!

Sent by Angela Godwin

Nothing short of excellent!

Sent by Glenn Powell

Absolutely brilliant. I have passed Neil's card to multiple people already. Some of which have already called him.

Sent by Sean Powell

Neil arranged a great holiday for us on a Norway cruise. We had a fantastic time and loved every bit of it. Thank you.

Sent by Sean Powell

Will always recommend Neil. Superb service from the time we book, all through our holidays and until we arrive home.

Sent by Anne Carless

It was booked with quickness and where we wanted and the time of year. Thank you

Sent by Alexandra Thornton-Hopwood

Neil was very helpful in researching and booking our 3 week holiday to Bali. We had a long list of 'wants' with 4 different locations to book. Neil was very patient in assisting us to find the perfect spots and booking us the best hotels and room choices for our budget. Neil also helped ensure the trip was as relaxing as possible, advising on the order of the locations to ensure travel between was not too arduous and booking private transfers etc. I was particularly impressed with the booking of the flights and reserving our preferred seats 8 months in advance of our flight! Thank you!!

Sent by Nick Davis

Exceptional service from Neil, organised flights for a recent trip to Tenerife and made the whole process seamless, professional service coupled with a customer centric attitude, loved the welcome home gift of tea, coffee and biscuits. I look forward to our fully packaged holiday through you in July to Venice even more now after listening to your advice on holiday destinations. Competitive prices, unrivaled service!

Sent by Sarah Rushforth

Thank you very much for the 'welcome home' hamper - it was a really thoughtful gesture. We had a fantastic holiday and wanted to stay longer. The views in Tuscany are just like in the pictures, if not better - the accommodation was beautiful and we made use of the lovely, clean swimming pool. We stayed within about an hours drive radius but managed to visit the piazza del campo, a castle (Castello di Brolio) and do a wine tasting tour in the Chianti region with a delicious home-cooked lunch. Thank you once again and I hope to use your services again in the near future.

Sent by Clare Cross

Thanks once again for organising a fantastic trip to Fiskardo. Everything was perfect, you literally took our wish list and made it come true.

Sent by Sue Phipps

Neil just makes it so easy to contact and book a holiday, I would definitely recommend that you always choose to book with him.

Sent by oonagh Humphrey

We are back safe and sound – had a lovely time. Excellent hotel and location – thank you so much for recommending Crete. Many thanks too for the goodie bag – much appreciated. Just getting used to the cold here! We had some lovely weather along with the odd thunder storm and torrential rain. A great week and a much needed break.

Sent by Ann Coombes

Just to let you know that bar a short delay on the return flight everything went very smoothly and to plan. Thank you for our welcome home package - just had tea and toast for breakfast. That was a kind thought and an unexpected treat. Your service and the app have been extremely helpful and l have recommended you to my friends. I'll be in touch when I plan my next trip.

Sent by Clare Malloy

I have already recommended Neil to friends. When you have such busy lives like my husband and I, it is such a luxury to be able to pass over the stress of organising a family holiday to an expert and really well priced too.

Sent by Oonagh Humphrey

Neil sorted out an excellent holiday for us to Portugal and Madeira in 2016, so we had no hesitation in contacting him to arrange a much needed week's break this Easter. We are very much looking forward to our holiday in Crete at the beginning of April. What impressed me most was how quickly Neil came up with possible suggestions following our initial discussion which we then narrowed down to our final choice of destination and hotel - all over the space of a weekend! Superb service and real commitment! Thank you! I have already passed on Neil's details to members of my family.

Sent by Sue Appleby

Thank you so much for the very thoughtful and truly welcome “Welcome home” gift. An amazing surprise - we were speechless! Thanks also for all your support on our behalf in the background. Never have I known such painless and smooth travel.

Sent by David Kitcat

Neil has assisted me and my family on four holidays in the past three years. He has been knowledgable, helpful and reliable. He responded immediately when we had a problem and resolved it for us. Some people might see travel agents as outdated and more expensive, but you get what you pay for and Neil's service is well worth it.

Sent by Pauline Cross

Neil is friendly, patient, thouough, very knowledgable, and has proved an enormous help in preparing our holiday.

Sent by Stephanie Leibbrandt

Neil offers a comprehensive effective and fast service. He listens to what you want and endeavours to meet your requirements as closely as possible. Will definitely use him again.

Sent by Dannii Campbell

Lovely personal service and quick to make the many changes we made with no quibble.

Sent by Victoria Allen

Superb service - I would definitely recommend Neil to all

Sent by Emma White

Neil takes the time to listen to your preferences and comes back with great suggestions based on your thoughts. It is great to talk through suggestions with an experienced traveller who can add so much value and who always helps us to get a great final holiday itinerary. Neil has helped plan our holidays for the last 3 years and we feel safe in his hands.

Sent by Tony Brook

Raetihi Lodge is total paradise believe me! l recall it was a second choice to stay at, but with 14 rooms it's just perfect and we simply cannot tell you how pleased and happy we are.

Sent by June Firkins

Thank you so much for the parcel of goodies I found on the step when I arrived home yesterday. It was a great help and I was very touched at your kind thought. The trip was great and the flights very good. The airport assistance was such a help so again my thanks for all you did. Hope for another trip later!

Sent by Stephen Forse

Neil was happy to help and kept exploring options when our first choice appeared not to be available. He kept us fully informed throughout until the booking was secured.

Sent by Anita Edwards

Neil has produced the perfect holiday for us. We told him when, where and what we wanted to see and how much we were willing to spend and somehow he managed to produce the holiday of a lifetime. Cant wait til February. India here we come. Thank you so much.

Sent by Sue Adeney

Dear Neil, Thankyou so much for all your attention to detail which made for a memorable holiday for Chris and I . From your prepared travel wallet with everything in it and all we needed to know to your message on arrival in the hotel, and then finally the welcome pack at the end....so welcome! Thanks so much. We had a great time. The hotel was brilliantly located in the capital next to the Prime Ministers office, and 5 mins from the bus station which we used to get around the island. We loved the historical side of the island and the architecture which is part of the same. Chris feasted on the harbours and boats from the little gondola like local boats to the super yachts which we could have chartered for 1/2 million per week. He also enjoyed the craft beers. I could not get enough of just walking about the streets, enjoying the cafes and restaurants and we even enjoyed a concert in the Anglican cathedral as well as attending the Sunday service there. Other highlights included the earthquake (!yes!) and the police raid in a nearby suburb for Maltese mafia who had assassinated a journalist a few weeks ago. Never a dull moment! But thanks Neil. It was splendid and made so much easier by your facilitating so much. See you soon Sue

Sent by Paul Edwards

Very helpful and made it feel personal which made the difference. Thank you.

Sent by Sue Phipps

Hi Neil, Just a note to thank you so much for organising the holiday to Malta for us, we had an amazing time. The hotel Canifor was fine - a bit dated but perfectly clean - and the flights were brilliant too. It all went so smoothly including the car hire. Also many thanks for the "food package" waiting for us when we got home that was so kind and much appreciated.

Sent by Mike Rayer

Neil was extremely helpful and went beyond expectations when he contacted us whilst we were in Tenerife and our return flight was scheduled to be with Monarch Airlines (who had gone bust). Although not booked through Neil, he contacted me and forwarded on to me all the necessary details to ensure that we were well informed of what we needed to do, and where to look for the Government CAA flights home. This enabled us to enjoy the rest of our holiday, without having to worry about our return to the UK Neil certainly went, beyond expectations.

Sent by Derek Purchase

Excellent service, highly recommended.

Sent by Ann Coombes

Very speedy and helpful. Have already recommended and passed on Neil's details to my friends. Will definitely use Neil for any future travel plans.

Sent by Michael Perks

Neil was extremely helpful in guiding us through various alternative holiday destinations and in helping us appreciate what was important to us about a holiday.

Sent by Helen Astill

Thanks for arranging our holiday. It all went like clockwork and we had a really good time. Thanks also for the “Welcome Home” pack – that was most welcome, particularly as we were wondering how we were going to sort out food for breakfast the next morning.

Sent by Martin Pocock

Excellent service from a knowledgeable and helpful Travel Counsellor

Sent by Win Balgarnie

Neil is always helpful and pleasant. I will always use his service in the future.

Sent by Richard Austen

We have returned safely and we had a fantastic time :) Many thanks for all of your help and the generous welcome home goodie bag! That was a very kind gesture, and a big help towards feeding us before we headed out for this evening's theatre commitment. We'll be in touch shortly re plans for our next trip. Cheers

Sent by John Harris

I would like to formally thank Neil Copeland for his excellent support and professional service in dealing with my business travel requirements. Having used many methods to secure international travel, transfers, and accommodation over the past 5 years, when Neil joined our BNI Chapter I was keen to see what Travel Counsellors could offer in terms of customer service and value for money. For a key contract we hold with the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport International, I wanted to give Neil the opportunity to look at my travel needs and patterns and come up with package solutions that would take away all the hassle, time wasting and stress in booking my own travel, but also to be competitive in the market place. Because of an excellent service in securing a business trip to South Africa in September 2017, I will now be using Travel Counsellors for all my international business travel needs, with further trips planned in 2017 and 2018. Neil provides and excellent, personable, and bespoke service which really does put the customer first and I am delighted. I will now be looking at what Neil can offer for other CILT International team members and assessors, for domestic travel and for personal holidays - now I have experienced first-hand the benefits of going with Travel Counsellors. In my view, the key is in the name, as from the start to finish you are counselled and advised on the options and choices open to you, with no pressure and with nothing too much trouble to alter and adjust. Neil is not a travel agent, Neil is a first-class travel advisor with a wealth of international knowledge and top tips to make your travel seamless, accessible, and easy. A first-class job and thank you Jon

Sent by Anita Bevan

Hi Neil . Wow, thank you so much for the welcome home gift, what a lovely surprise and end to a fantastic holiday! It really was the best holiday we've had. Thank you!

Sent by Helen Astill

Hi Neil, I just wanted to thank you for arranging our holiday. Everything went like clockwork and it was a great holiday – topped and taiiled by your very kind welcome to our first hotel with the fruit and water; and your welcome home gift. We got back quite late last night so it was great to be able to have a cup of tea and a bite to eat before we collapsed in bed! Thanks again, it was a really good holiday.

Sent by Martin Firman

I have just returned from a trip to Prague arranged by Neil and have to say that the service and attention to detail delivered by him was exceptional throughout. Thank you, Neil, for the gesture awaiting us in our room and selecting such a wonderful hotel of the desired quality and location to perfectly suit our needs. Your support whilst we were away was also greatly appreciated, as was the package on our doorstep when we returned. Looking forward to our next trip that you have organised for us later in the year. Will continue to recommend your great services.

Sent by Phil Hawley

Dear Neil, One of the key areas I focus on in my business is the quality of the product and the customer service I provide. Having used Travel Counsellors in the past I was confident you could help me out with some travel arrangements to Ireland this week. The booking process was smooth, saving me time and energy researching all the various options I had for flight, car hire and hotel. When I got to the hotel, the attention to detail provided by Neil really shone through. I arrived to find the hotel had put me in a suite with a personal note from Neil in the room. It turns out Neil had called the hotel personally to confirm the booking and requested a better room and they obliged by putting me in a huge suite! The level of detail in your service, and the personal touches provided by you will ensure I sing your praises to all my contacts. Yours sincerely, Phil Hawley.

Sent by Peter Goodyear

Just to say that I have submitted reviews for the 3 hotels, all highly recommended. Thank you very much for arranging it all and for your kind thought in leaving bread and milk for us.

Sent by Janey Cotton

Hi Neil. We’ve arrived back from theeeeee most amazing trip to New York. Thank you so much for your patience over the last 9+ months during all the preparations. Our hotel was top notch, friendly staff, lovely clean rooms and perfectly situated (far enough away from the hustle and bustle but not too far to walk when we wanted it!). As you know I was a little concerned that there were ten ladies going and was worried about losing passports etc or even worse, losing each other!!!! I needn’t have worried because all went well and EVERYONE had the time of their lives. I could not have organised such a large party without YOU, especially when our BA flights from Birmingham to New York were cancelled without warning back in November. If I had had to sort that out then I would have gone into panic mode (the beauty of having your very own Travel Counsellor!). Your calmness and professionalism shone through. Booking with you gives me complete peace of mind. Thank you.

Sent by John Boardman

Neil does more than just book a holiday, he carefully selects the right hotel for your requirements, arranges private cars to transport you from say, airport or railway station to your hotel. Neil also produced a letter and documentation to support a claim against the airline which, in my case, was late taking off by 5 hours, to secure compensation. With Neil, it really is personal service.

Sent by Win Balgarnie

Dear Neil, All the arrangements for my recent holiday in Madrid worked splendidly. Thank you for organising these so well. Originally I had thought that the hotel was situated further away from the centre than I would have wished but in fact it worked very well. The hotel was next to a metro station and lots of buses ran past. My granddaughter and I did not use these because apart from doing the two sight-seeing bus tours we walked everywhere. The hotel was quiet, comfortable and functional and the staff in reception were particularly helpful. There was a good selection of cafes and bars nearby. The café were we had breakfast each day was only a few yards away. Many thanks for planning it so well. Win Balgarnie

Sent by Sue Shackleton

I have recently had the pleasure of going on two separate business / leisure trips organised by Neil, both of which were quite complicated, and both turned out perfectly. The first was a business trip to Nuremberg in Germany, which involved separate travel arrangements for 3 people including hire car, Channel Tunnel, hotels en route, flight back & airport taxi. The arrangements were great, very easy to follow and the choices of hotel were just what we needed. The whole trip went without a hitch and was as easy and enjoyable as an arduous work trip could possibly be! The second trip was a mixture of business and holiday in the USA. We had a week in Las Vegas working at a trade show, then 2 weeks on a road trip through California, ending up in San Francisco and flying back from there. Neil helped us organise everything – taxis to and from the airport, flights, a great selection of hotels for the road trip and a lovely big hire car that easily accommodated us and all our stuff. We had quite a lot of discussion about the itinerary before we went, and changed our minds a few times about where we wanted to go, but Neil patiently guided us through the organising and it turned out great! Really good selection of hotels and not over-priced, so we have returned tired and happy. I will definitely be using Neil to organise my trips in future – soooo much easier than trying to do it yourself and really good service – including a very thoughtful bag of groceries at the house waiting for us when we returned home! Thanks Neil.

Sent by Julie Bott

Really helpful and knowledgeable. Understood exactly what I needed. Thank you, Neil.

Sent by Julie Donkin

I have already recommended Neil and would not hesitate to again, as he is truly professional whilst also has the ability to adopt a personal approach to ensure you have the best experience.

Sent by Sharon Kidson

Thank you – the transfers were brilliant – both on time, courteous and solid drivers. Whilst in Warsaw we made the mistake of getting a taxi back to our hotel after a day out and the driver tried to charge us £60 for a 10 minute journey. This bad experience reinforced how good it was to have a reputable company dealing with our transfers. I really appreciate your work and support over what I know for you is very small beer. You have treated me as if I had booked a £10,000 holiday with you and for that I am really grateful.

Sent by Rachel Entwisle

Hi Neil, I cannot thank you enough for helping me create and enjoy such a fantastic solo holiday to Thailand and Vietnam. Everyone kept telling me how brave I was to do it, but you were my secret weapon and support. Without you, it would have been an anxious and worrying experience. From the original brief to the final itinerary, you were the calm voice of reason and inspiration, helping me to think practically and inventively about what I wanted to enjoy and achieve. You came in under budget, with no hidden extras. You suggested excellent tours and excursions that were fabulous value, and even amended a few with grace and excellent results. You walked me through every point in the itinerary and confirmed every point well in advance. I never missed a connection, and every excursion or transfer was either early or right on time, and right where you'd said they'd be. You checked me in online for every one of my eight flights, leaving me free to fully enjoy my holiday, and you responded promptly to my emails requesting confirmations or tweakings of timings. I felt I could truly trust your response. You even went a step beyond, helping me with a return snafu that were not responsible for, and sending me a super welcome home bag of groceries upon my return to my home. I've already sung your praises to anyone who'll listen and on Facebook. I'd be happy to recommend your services and support to anyone. Best wishes,

Sent by Barney Reynolds

A fantastic, professional and friendly service from start to finish. It has taken away all the hassle of booking such a complicated trip ourselves and we couldn't recommend highly enough.

Sent by Tim Cross

We chose Travel Counsellors to give us a custom-built two week holiday to Sri Lanka and our TC rep Neil did an excellent job. Our requested mix of culture and relaxation was expertly judged by Neil and we came away feeling we had experienced a tantalising taste of this fascinating nation. A short stay in the capital Colombo was followed by a whistle stop, four day tour taking in the majority of the islands famous historic landmarks including The Temple of the Tooth, Sigiriya Lion Rock, tea plantations and Yala National Park. We finished off our holiday with six days of relaxation at the beach resort at Bentota and couldn't have asked for more from Travel Counsellors and always felt supported by Neil. His little personal touches and surprises made our experience all the better.

Sent by Martin Pocock

Just got back from an amazing trip. Everything went like clockwork and the venues were fantastic. We went up to Kandy and around the lagoon both which were excellent. That once in a lifetime trip has become “when can we go again”. Anyway many thanks for all your help and thanks indeed for the provisions. Thanks Martin & Sarah.

Sent by Cath Luce

My second year of using Neil Copeland at Travel Counsellors, and I would never use anybody else. Neil offers a very professional and individual experience. I would always recommend him to anyone thinking of booking a holiday.

Sent by Sandy Hastilow

Excellent service and customer care from Neil. He truly understood the needs and requests and meet these perfectly.

Sent by Maureen Roach

We have just retuned from our holiday to India and wanted to say thank you for all your help in selecting and booking the right holiday for us. Thank you also for your after care right up to our departure and during our time away. We found the Southern Explorer tour by Transindus was at just the right pace for us to cope with. We found it very varied with something new to enjoy every day. The hotels were all of a very high standard, some with the most beautiful grounds and gardens. Thank you once again for all your help, Maureen.

Sent by Diane Bullman

Neil dealt with our booking with immense patience, showing his depth of knowledge when we changed our initial plans, resulting in a tailor made holiday that we can't wait to experience. Neil makes everything so easy, he keeps in touch with you to help you make decisions and choose the best itinerary to suit your needs. We would thoroughly recommend using Neil's expertise, friendly and professional service.

Sent by Jon Thomas

Very happy with the service provided. Quick, efficient and detailed responses provided. Choice of options given. All very helpful. Would recommend to others. Thank you.

Sent by Martin Firman

Neil impressed me from the outset, his experience and expertise are beyond doubt but also accompanied by a professional enthusiastic and caring approach which in many ways is more important when deciding who to engage to arrange things for you. Quite frankly he is a pleasure to work with. Thanks Neil.

Sent by John Boardman

Neil is most willing to select a holiday to your exact requirements and gives attention to every detail. In the event that you wish to make slight changes, he again is most willing to accommodate your requirements.

Sent by Jon Senior

6 out of 6 for accommodations. At the Azamare now and it's stunning! Happy to write you a recommendation when we get back. It has been an absolutely fantastic trip planned to perfection!

Sent by Dawn Long

Neil is brilliant. We have used him twice now and would not hesitate in recommending him.

Sent by Peter Heath

Many thanks for the ‘welcome home’ pack which was awaiting us on our return from Malta. A lovely idea; much appreciated. We had a very good time and the flights worked well despite the early start on the outward flight. Plane full both ways. We look forward to our next holiday (in 2017) and will use you again if we may.

Sent by Sean Powell

We had a lovely time in Corfu. The weather, hotel and experience were all great and thank you for the provisions!

Sent by Emma White

Excellent knowledge. Happy to amend itinerary depending on our preferences and excellent advice along the way to enable us to do this. Very client centred service in a timely way.

Sent by Martin Pocock

Outstanding support, fantastic in-depth knowledge about the destination and prepared to go the extra mile to get the right holiday.

Sent by Dawn Gibbons

Neil was brilliant. He answered all my questions/queries promptly. It was our first time using a travel consultant and I would definitely use Neil again.

Sent by Helen Astill

Neil, was great in helping design our Spanish touring holiday. It was so simple and took the hassle away of trying to wrestle with internet searches. I'd tried to arrange something similar last year and gave up because it had become so difficult. The holiday Neil arranged for me was also surprisingly good value for money. I would definitely use his services again.

Sent by Cath Luce

Thank you so much for my grocery package it was a lovely surprise, what would I do without you?? My week away was fantastic and you made it so problem and worry free it was a relaxing time knowing that you had thought of everything, I will never use anyone else again and I have been singing your praises to all hoping to get you some well earned clients.

Sent by Suzanne Lowe

Neil was very helpful and professional. It is very reassuring to know that you have someone you can refer to should you need further assistance, either before or during your trip. Furthermore Neil provides many useful hints and travel tips which you simply would not get if you booked a holiday on line yourself. I would not hesitate to recommend Neil.

Sent by Mark Tomlinson

Neil couldn't have been more helpful, attentive and proactive for our Orlando trip. Accommodation supplier went bust? No problem - Travel Counsellors picked up under guarantee. 8 hour flight delay - no problem, Neil sorted new connection, hotel, food vouchers and compensation. Nothing too much trouble!

Sent by Oonagh Humphrey

Dear Neil, Thank you so much for organizing our holiday. It has been superb from start to finish. Your hotel recommendations were excellent - I particularly enjoyed the rooftop pool in Madeira. Thank you too for the welcome notes and our bag of goodies yesterday! Your care and attention to detail resulted in a wonderful holiday. Many thanks!

Sent by Malcolm Tomkins

We had a fantastic holiday, can't believe we did so much in a week. The Orient Express was an awesome experience, couldn't fault it. The hotels were great, arranged transport on time, opera was amazing and what good seats! Thank you so much for all your efforts.

Sent by Janey Cotton

Well what can we say! We had a fantastic time in Ireland and were blown away by the 'little extras' that made our holiday very special. Thank you so much for the time and effort you spent in finding the best route for us from Dublin to Rosslare, and the little notes at each hotel plus the chocolates and wine. Amazing! The hotels were spot on, each one very different with their own unique wow factor. My favourite was The Pembroke in Kilkenny and my parents loved the Bayview, Ballycotton for its sea view and it's very quiet location. The weather was great! Had torrential rain in Dublin on our first night but we didn't venture far because we were so tired after a day travelling, and we didn't have any more rain after that. Perfect! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I have already passed your number onto a friend. And the welcome home package too - what a lovely thought. Thank you again!

Sent by David Kitcat

Neil was very helpful and knowledgeable. He made the whole process easy and I'm sure that we are staying in a better hotel than we would have found for ourselves.

Sent by Fiona Lewis

Thanks to Neil I'm doing it! The holiday choice was made easier because Neil found out all the information and searched for the best locations. I'm very much looking forward to my dream holiday.

Sent by Jenny Crawford

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your help. We both had a fantastic time in Iceland, the weather was very good and we saw some amazing sights. Everything went smoothly and it was nice knowing you were there just in case we needed you. Thank you also for the breakfast, checking us into flights, finding the hotel etc. Unfortunately we don't have any family to recommend you to but if any friends ask I will certainly give them your details. Thank you again Jenny

Sent by Sharon Cross

Neil has provided us with a holiday of a lifetime, when we really didn't know what we wanted or where we wanted to go. We are both so excited!

Sent by Cath Luce

Thank you for your professional manner and making the whole process a stress free ordeal, I am only sorry it was only a flight this time but I will be contact for all holidays in the future and I have passed on your name and details to all friends and family. Thank you again.

Sent by Lorna Kirkland

Fantastic service. Fast, efficient and clued up to exactly what we were looking for. Brilliant.

Sent by John Carrey

Neil, Just returned from Algarve last night. All arrangements went smoothly and we had a very relaxing time at that excellent resort. The accommodation was much bigger and better than we expected. Thanks for the breakfast supplies on our doorstep. Another unexpected discovery!. Thanks again for the service. See you next time we need to make a trip I'm sure.

Sent by Scott Whittaker

Everything just worked! The advise given by Neil was also very useful.

Sent by Martin Pocock

Neil provided an excellent service. He was extremely knowledgeable and obviously has vast experience in the travel industry. We will definitely use him again.

Sent by Chrissie Webber

Neil has gone above and beyond in the level of help and service he has provided. Most of my holiday to Florida was already booked before I met him so he only organised one night's hotel and the car hire. Even so, he provided so much information and lists of tips which will be so useful during our holiday. I would definitely use him again and recommend him to my friends.

Sent by John Drinkwater

We had a fantastic time in Johnansburg, great to see the culture, the cricket was brilliant, the third days play was probably the best sporting days play I have witnessed. We managed Soweto too, and a day to Pilensburg National Park, saw some wonderful wild animals. Thanks for the loaf and milk, very nice gesture!

Sent by Paul Hunt

We are so grateful to have had Neil Copeland as our personal travel agent, attached to Travel Counsellors. He enabled us to get the best flight prices, ensured the pick up to and from the airport of destination, and found a hotel suitable to our needs and a price we could afford. We valued his assurance that he could be called anytime 24/7 if we need further assistance. His personal follow up to the holiday was also much appreciated. We fully recommend Neil (and Travel Counsellors) to any who are wanting a stress free travel and holiday experience, with their own needs always listened to and taken into account.

Sent by Nicky Thomas

Back safely – trip went extremely smoothly, and thank you Neil for your messages and excellent organisation – hotels and trains were very comfortable! Will talk more later, but I’m having a rather nice supper of bread and jam that someone left me! What a lovely touch, thank you so much. We really appreciated the individual touch and advice – our holiday was tailor made around our needs. Neil phoned ahead to check arrangements went smoothly and he sorted out the details with the hotel bookings so we didn’t have to worry. I had total confidence in Neil’s experience to find a hotel that suited our needs and we enjoyed some serious upgrades as a result!

Sent by Tina Sauntson

Just want to thank you very much for helping us book an incredible holiday. Sardinia is a lovely place to visit. We are both sad to be home. Also thanks for our unexpected gift of breakfast. Jam on crusty bread was just the ticket! Thanks again. We will be recommending you to all.

Sent by Dawn Long

Thank you so much for the welcome home pack you left for us last night. It was a lovely thing to find on the doorstep when we got back so late. The Villa was fabulous. We would thoroughly recommend. Very clean and spacious and the AC worked a treat. Thanks once again.