Hi there and welcome to my travel window where I deliver the ultimate bespoke escape from clients' day to day lives!
My name is Neil and I am just fresh from a four week fact finding trip to New Zealand, courtesy of Tourism New Zealand.
I am not just your everyday travel agent, which is why I like to be known as a personal honeymoon and travel planner, as I basically plan and tailor travel towards my clients’ specification. Not satisfied with that, with a background in customer relations, I am also there for my clients from the start of the travel enquiry to the day my clients return back from their travels, coupled with the post travel feedback to pass onto Travel Counsellors Head Office. This is why my present customers like me, as they also appreciate the time and effort I put in (at no extra cost!) This has led to repeat custom and as much of my future business relies on referrals and word-of-mouth it drives my business on every day to provide a service that delivers satisfaction on a regular basis!
I am based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, but network extensively within Yorkshire; from Hull in the East to Skipton and the Dales in the West. My Ilkley roots also give me added coverage and awareness in and around Wharfedale. I have been in the travel industry for 25 years now and was in retail management prior to that, and have always been passionate about customer service, which is why a lot of my business comes from honeymooners and long haul customers who simply demand perfection!
This past year as a Travel Counsellor has been a particularly busy one for me both from a business point of view and also from a travel perspective; where I have been lucky enough to visit New Zealand, Vietnam, Vancouver and Barcelona, Spain and experience their diverse cultures and travel benefits. However next year I am already getting excited about where my next trip lies to add to my already growing portfolio, for I am already a destination specialist for New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, Asia and Europe!
Working from home gives me total flexibility where I can see my clients where they are and according to their schedule which allows me the time to get to know my leisure customers and really understand what they are looking for, whether it be long haul, honeymoon or short break.
I have partnered with a global company, Travel Counsellors, where I have access to amazing airfares, accommodation rates and holiday deals which means that I can tailor the perfect holiday according to my clients’ specific needs.
This partnership also means that my clients' money is always safe through our financial protection plan. Travel Counsellors is also accredited with IATA, ABTA, and ATOL and is also the only travel company to have been awarded the Queens Award for Industry twice!
I like to make sure that my clients have a wonderful trip and I am always available to them 24/7 should something arise. I enjoy “going on the journey” with my customers and love looking after them from start to finish as already stated.
I pride myself in being honest, efficient and friendly, always offering the best possible service, with a quick turnaround time.
In the words of St Augustine, 'the world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page'. Please don't keep me a secret and let me open your eyes and those too of family, friends and colleagues to the travel possibilities that beckon!
Sent in by Simon Murphy
York, 29 October 2018
I recently returned from the Trip of a Lifetime to Peru & Costa Rica arranged to a significant degree by Neil Smith of Travel Counsellors. Neil made some great suggestions for the holiday and took the strain when it came to finalising the arrangements with various providers. He was able to advise me on various aspects of the trip and ensure that secure travel arrangements were all in place. I decided to book some of the later holiday elements freestyle and certainly noticed how much more complicated and stressful they were compared to the parts that Neil sorted. Lesson learned! Knowing that Neil was available 24/7 through the MyTC App was a great comfort even though thanks in no small part to him, the trip of a lifetime went like a dream. I have no hesitation in recommending Neil to friends, family and colleagues because with him it really is personal.
Sent in by Deborah Marshall
Wetherby, North Yorkshire., 16 February 2018
Wanting to arrange a long weekend away for my birthday in the Lakes, I contacted Neil. As a business owner, I find my time is very limited so it was great to be able to pass this task on to somebody who is an expert in travel. Neil listened intently to my requirements and came back with not one, but four hotel options in an area of the country I had designated, all of which exceeded my expectations and were within my budget. The process was quick and easy and saved me hours of time. I highly recommend him.
Sent in by Anne Whincup
Bishop Monkton, Nr Ripon., 13 January 2018
Part of our retirement plan was to visit Australia and to see Jamie Whincup in the V8 super car racing. Where do you start when there is so much to do and see and the vastness of the country. We met Neil at a wedding fair, got talking and he gave us his card and so our journey began. We had a rough idea of places to visit. Neil pulled our trip together covering stays in Singapore on to Sydney, The Blue Mountains, Ayers Rock, Alice Springs, Cairns, The Barrier Reef, Brisbane and a journey back down the beautiful coast over 10 days to Sydney. Not forgetting seeing Jamie win the championship at Newcastle. All our flights arranged and booked by Neil nine in all were well connected no problems with time or destination. The hotels we stayed in worked very well being central to everywhere we wanted to see. Driving worked very well collecting and dropping the car off at different points caused no problems. Thankyou to Neil for all the work you put into our trip it was amazing.
Sent in by Simon Murphy
York, 21 September 2017
Neil was great. He pretty much nailed what we wanted straight off from what was a fairly open brief. Sorting out the minor details was easy and a real pleasure. Neil made great suggestions and sorted out all the details for us for our trip to Malta. Highly recommended.
Sent in by Craig Lemon
Burnley, 01 August 2017
Neil, I would like to thank you very much for your help and assistance with helping my guests from overseas arrange some accommodation in London. I know this was short notice and I was in a bit of a panic, but one phone call to yourself put me at ease and allowed me to enjoy my day out in York. Before I thought about the accommodation again, you had it all sorted, very calmly and efficiently. I can’t thank you enough and I would and will be recommending your services to anyone who may need them. Once again, Thank You.
Sent in by Lindsay Dixon
Wakefield, 29 June 2017
Client staying at La Residence, Belle Mare, Mauritius. "When I arrived at Mauritius airport I was chatting to the Health Officer and he said "you are guaranteed to have the most wonderful holiday here as you have picked the best hotel on the island". He was not wrong. This place is absolutely out of this world. The hotel itself is stunning, the views are breath-taking, the service is unrivalled and the food is the best I have ever eaten. I have experienced five star luxury before, but never on this scale. I cannot recommend it highly enough. All credit to my fabulous Travel Counsellor, Neil Smith, for the recommendation and for making the whole experience simple and straightforward.
Sent in by Barnaby Patchett
Leeds, 05 May 2017
Neil went out of his way to find us the perfect honeymoon - despite (our) several changes and tweaks! Communication was great throughout, and he came back with the right package at a competitive price. I will definitely be using his services again, and would recommend them to anyone booking a big trip away.
Sent in by Stephen Mitchell
Burnley, Lancashire., 14 March 2017
Neil was great with our recent villa booking with flights and car hire in Italy. I have already, in fact just this morning, recommended him to a good friend of mine.
Sent in by Andrew Hart
Head of Science : Highfield Prep School in Harrogate., 06 March 2017
Neil, thanks yet again for a superb job in sorting our travel for the Highfield Prep School in Harrogate's trip to Uganda. There is so much to organise for a trip like this and your handling of the travel details took a huge weight off our shoulders. Thanks.
Sent in by Andrew Gray
Harrogate, North Yorkshire., 01 March 2017
Lucky me: I was invited on a stag do to Hamburg in mid-February. I engaged Neil to book the flights. He did so rapidly and the price was super. In advance of the flights, Neil emailed to me my boarding cards. As you may have seen, there was a suspected terrorist attack at Hamburg airport just hours before I was to fly back. 52 people were injured by a chemical substance. This was on a Sunday at midday. I emailed Neil. Within minutes – even on a Sunday morning – Neil called me. He then emailed me. Neil kept me informed throughout the Sunday as to the delays with the flights, which I relayed to the stag party. Once I landed, I received an email from Neil to say that he had been monitoring flights and he was pleased that I had got back. I cannot recommend Neil’s service high enough. Why on earth would you book a holiday not through Neil?
Sent in by Lindsay Dixon
Wakefield, West Yorkshire., 31 January 2017
Neil has been brilliant. He made the process so easy and is lovely to deal with. I can't wait for my holiday and really appreciate the personal attention Neil has provided. I would not hesitate to recommend Neil.
Sent in by Ann Smith
Harrogate, North Yorkshire., 16 December 2016
In the last few weeks we were sorting out a weekend break to Krakow next spring and went through the usual trawl on the internet. Speaking to Neil he found us three nights in a tried and tested hotel together with flights and transfers for less than we could find a flight for. Although we only booked a weekend break through Neil which was only a few hundred pounds, Neil gave us as much attention as if we had booked an expensive holiday with him. In short Neil is brilliant at what he does and I can recommend him to my contacts, friends and family without hesitation. What more could you ask for. Just two words left to say - try him.
Sent in by Ann Smith
Harrogate, England., 19 September 2016
It's hard to put into words how incredible Neil was helping me with my Northern Lights travel itinerary. All I can say is that I gave him an incredible wish list for an amazing holiday and he came up trumps and in budget. Only two words left to say - try him!
Sent in by Brandon Keane
Harrogate, 05 April 2016
My month-long holiday to Australia with my girlfriend was difficult to organise as a customer and yet everything got sorted out through Neil and I now have my holiday planned and I know that I'm going to be sorted when I get to the airport and get to my destination.
Sent in by James Still
Selby, nr York., 25 March 2016
Neil was very understanding and patient and came up with places to visit I hadn't even thought of. He was very professional and understanding when I didn't like a quote. He took the pressures of organising a honeymoon on his shoulders. Would definitely recommend to family and friends.
Sent in by Jane Coope
York, 11 March 2016
Fast service with helpful recommendation that demonstrated that our needs had been listened to and understood. Clear communications and secure payment method was appreciated.
Sent in by Daniel Shone
Manchester., 10 February 2016
Great! Very helpful and kept going until we got the honeymoon we wanted.
Sent in by Andrew Hart
Harrogate., 03 November 2015
Neil has been a superb help in sorting out a tricky booking for a whole school group to travel to Uganda. His knowledge of flights and organisations who could help has been fantastic and taken a great weight off my shoulders. (Mr Hart: Teacher)
Sent in by Susie Hart MBE
Harrogate, 15 May 2015
Susie Hart MBE (Director of Craft Aid International & founder of Neema Crafts in Tanzania)........"Do email Neil at Neil.Smith@travelcounsellors.com if you'd like him to organise your next trip, we can't recommend him highly enough!"
Sent in by David Hextall
Hull, 15 May 2015
Neil really helped me out when my flight was cancelled late one evening and I needed another for the following morning.
With independent access to thousands of travel suppliers around the world, I've got an eye for added value. Take a look through my latest selections below. But even if nothing particularly catches your eye - don't worry! Let's chat and I'll take the hassle away from tailoring a perfectly personalised holiday just for you.
Contact me on 01423 594 970
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.
23 September 2018
New Zealand is a wonderful country that can be tackled in several ways, but in particular I love to categorise New Zealand by themes. 1. Maori Culture: Maori culture can be enjoyed almost anywhere in NZ, but I feel the heart of NZ lies in the North and the region of Rotarua and the Waitangi treaty grounds in the Bay of Islands where a visit will get travellers off to the best start to taste Maori culture. Once you have experienced a Maori Hangi or welcome, you will be blessed with an entry into the culture which will follow you around...
12 December 2017
Planning your honeymoon should be exciting and stress free, so you'll want to work with a honeymoon travel specialist to make sure everything goes perfectly. 10. When should I start planning my honeymoon? The sooner the better. Your honeymoon planner wants to make your honeymoon perfect, so they'll work as long it takes to achieve that. Planning ahead allows time to budget accordingly and get the necessary documents together. 9. Have an idea of your geography. Yes, Seychelles, Maldives and Fiji are amazing honeymoon destinations, but not if you have only one week for your honeymoon. Picking an exotic location is...
07 December 2017
There is a reason why Vancouver is one of Canada’s most popular cities. The amazing things you can do here, the places you can visit and the memories it leaves you with, is incomparable. The coastal city that blends the richness of nature with urban sophistication offers a diverse range of experiences that are sure to enthrall everyone, no matter what their age. Here are few amazing beautiful places to visit in Canada to make your trip more exciting and memorable. 1. Stanley Park Stretching over 1000 acres, Stanley Park is one of the largest parks in North America. Almost enveloped completely...
07 December 2017
Vancouver & British Colombia - Fam Trip 2017 Monday 2nd October – Monday 9th October 2017 ITINERARY: Monday, October 2 - Arrival Day – Landing YVR Airport - Transfer to Vancouver Downtown Hotel Tuesday, October 3 - Vancouver Lookout - Vancouver Aquarium - Rockwood Adventures for Stanley Park lunch & Eco Walk Wednesday, October 4 - Capilano Suspension Bridge (A great experience!) - Granville Island for Vancouver Foodie Tour (A wonderful treat!) - Vancouver Brewery Tour (One for real ale lovers!) Thursday, October 5 - FlyOver Canada (An experience not to be missed!) - Sightseeing of Kitsilano, Spanish Banks (beaches), back through Yaletown, Chinatown & Gastown - Use of Experience...
30 March 2017
TRULY INDEPENDENT It’s what makes us special. It also means your Travel Counsellor is able to book with a huge range of travel providers. That way you can be confident they’re recommending a holiday that suits you and your budget, rather than what suits the 'suits' in the boardroom. YOUR MONEY’S SAFE Nobody does financial protection like we do. Everything you book with us is fully protected (and we mean everything - no ifs, no buts, no excuses). With such peace of mind, all you’ll have to worry about is your luggage allowance! AWARD-WINNING It’s always nice to be recognised for doing a great job,...
30 March 2017
Traveling out of the UK typically requires taking along a passport. The passport is necessary to enter foreign countries and return to the UK, as it confirms that you are a UK citizen. When traveling with a passport, it is important to keep it safe and secure, as losing a passport while overseas requires visiting the nearest UK. embassy or consulate to obtain proper documentation before you can return home. Step 1 Make a copy of the first two pages of the passport before leaving on your trip. Travel with your passport on your body and place your copies in your checked...
29 March 2017
Vietnam Fam Trip with Exodus & Turkish Airlines: March 2017. Just arrived back from an exciting, colourful and fantastic 10 DAY fam trip with Exodus & Turkish Airlines. Our itinerary was as follows: Day 1: Overnight flight to Hanoi Day 2: Evening arrival in Hanoi. Over night stay at the Maydeville Hotel Day 3: Halong Bay cruise.overnight on Bien Ngoc boat in Day 4: Return to Hanoi. Some free time in the afternoon to explore the city, then overnight train to Hue Day 5: Arrive in Hue early and took a tour of the city. Drive to Hoi...
17 March 2017
Top 10 tips for avoiding additional stress at your airport during peak travel 1. Long haul: arrive at the airport a minimum of 3.5 hours before your flight. 2. Short haul: arrive a minimum of 2.5 hours before. 3. Check in online 24 hours prior to departure and print off your boarding passes. 4. Set off from home earlier - no one can predict the traffic. 5. Arrange parking for the Meet and Greet (nearest to the Airport Terminal) 6. Take plenty of snacks for the car journey and waiting for your flight, and bottles of water for pre-security. 7. Wear comfortable clothing, as belts, shoes, jewellery...
15 March 2017
Back in December 2016, just before our cold winter, my wife and I set out to enjoy five nights of luxury on the idyllic shores of Montego Bay, Jamaica. Flying Virgin out of LGW we were transferred in style by the hotel's very own chauffeurs to our luxury hotel: Melia Braco Village and to the sights and sounds of an open-air Jamaican themed night. The hotel had colonial style accommodation, a fantastic pool with swim up bar and all the water sports you could wish for. We particularly liked the breakfast room adjacent to the pool, which had menus to serve all....
15 September 2016
When you think of Thailand, food and elephant adventures immediately spring to mind. As I boarded our Thai Airways A380 direct flight to Bangkok, I basically already knew that I was going to do a Thai cookery course and ride on an elephant in Northern Thailand. But I also knew I was going to Dive in Koh Tao, relax on the tropical beaches of Koh Samui, tree-top canopy zip-lining in Koh Samui, visit the Grand Palace and reclining Buddha in Bangkok and visit temples almost everywhere we went! This was going to be a luxury honeymoon with a touch of adventure and...