Australia & Pacific
With us it’s personal.
My job is simple – I turn holiday dreams into reality! For the last decade, I have enjoyed sending my lovely clients to all corners of the globe, from Peru to Borneo, from Spain to Hawaii, from Venice to China. Prior to that, I worked within the confines of a high street travel agent, but being a personal Travel Counsellor is far more rewarding for both me and my clients. Not just because I have built my business purely on recommendations, but also because my customers come back year after year and become my friends.
Working from home allows my customers to call me at a time to suit them, which is often when the High Street is closed. We can have an unhurried chat about every detail on their wish list. It really matters to me that my customers have a fantastic holiday and that they come home with memories to cherish.
Honest, impartial, expert advice
I take great pride in offering honest and impartial advice based on up-to-date information. I also keep in touch with my clients to ensure every detail of their holiday has met their expectations, and in doing so, I gain invaluable hints and tips about what to see and what to avoid. I have direct contacts across the world and can organise private tours, rail travel, self-drive and cruising. Anything from a train ride in Italy to an elephant ride in India!
My role is to take the stress away from hunting down the best option, the hassle of ironing out every detail and the responsibility of ensuring your hard-earned money is spent wisely.
You think of the holiday and I will take care of the rest, I look forward to speaking to you
All the best
Sent in by Eric Fernie
Coulsdon, 23 June 2018
I have always had excellent service from Nicola Benson as a Travel Counsellor. This was particularly the case with my last outing, which was to France and which got caught up in the rail strikes.
Sent in by Susan Smith
St Albans, 22 June 2018
Nicola organised this holiday for me at a time when life has been challenging for the last 5 years and I could not find the brain space to arrange a break by myself. Nicola listened to my needs, understood them and got it sorted with no fuss.
Sent in by Alan Lambert
Hertfordshire, 23 August 2017
Nicola is very efficient and wants to meet the expectations of her clients, goes the extra mile/ nothing is to much trouble & in today's world she is a real treasure.
Sent in by K Caswell
St Albans, 18 April 2017
Responsive to our needs and very flexible to accommodate our requirements. Would highly recommend as Nicola had been recommended to me .
Sent in by Janice Jennings
East Barnet, 27 March 2017
Very helpful and efficient service. Nothing was too much trouble.
Sent in by Amanda Knaggs
St Albans, 14 February 2017
Nicola was the perfect person to liaises with over my family holiday plans. Initially, I was keen to seek her expertise to arrange a bespoke tour, Nicola listened carefully to our preferences and ideas and came back with a near perfect itinerary. Nicola was patient and so efficient in making a few tweaks to encompass all the different experiences we've dreamed of doing for 2 separate trips, one touring around Italy and a second exploring Sri Lanka. I've no hesitation in highly recommending Nicola and Travel Counsellors - I can't imagine we'll use anyone else in the future.
Sent in by Kirsty Stickland
Abbots Langley, 28 January 2017
I have been using Nicola to book my holidays for 11 years now, and she always comes up with a great holiday for us. She is very patient whilst we consider all the options. I highly recommend her!
Sent in by Elaine Diviney
Hertfordshire, 20 January 2017
We have just come back from a fantastic Caribbean Cruise over Christmas and New Year on the Celebrity Eclipse with my family and its all thanks to Nicola's guidance. As we had never been on a cruise before, I was a little concerned but after I discussed everything with Nicola and with her knowledge and expertise I became excited for the holiday ahead. Nicola gave me many options to fit our price range and any recommendations she suggested we included those into our holiday. Everything was hassle free, from our flights, transfers, the ship, ports and excursions everything ran smoothly. We have come back feeling relaxed and looking forward to booking another cruise with Nicola and we have 5 other family members wanting to experience a cruise with us. I cannot recommend Nicola highly enough, she is a lovely lady who is very professional and will do her very best to ensure you have a great holiday.
Sent in by Yvonne McCormack
Hemel Hempstead, 21 November 2016
Nicola has always been very helpful, always puts your mind at rest and delivered tailmade fantastic holidays.
Sent in by Debbie Dennis
Harpenden, 11 September 2016
Nicola, thank you so much for planning and booking our USA trip this year. The hotels we stayed in were excellent choices, really well positioned and just what we wanted. And thank you for asssiting us during our stay! I wouldn't hesitate to call on you on another occasion to help us book in the future. Many thanks.
Sent in by L Upson
St. Albans, 30 August 2016
As always, Nicola goes beyond the call of duty to deliver a first class service with utmost professionalism. Her warm, friendly demeanor make her a pleasure to deal with and nothing is too much trouble for her. I hope Travel Counsellors appreciate what an asset she is to the company.
Sent in by Kirsty Light
Harpenden, 18 April 2016
I just wanted to say a massive thank you for organising our amazing holiday of a lifetime. We had the best time and everything went so smoothly. Our villa was fantastic and in a great area and the hire in Clearwater was perfect. I'm so impressed with how well you understood what we wanted and what we would enjoy. Everything we did was brilliant and thanks to your fab organisation it was all really easy. It's the best holiday we have ever had and also the easiest for us! I would happily recommend you to anyone. Many thanks again and we will be in touch when we have saved enough to go on our next holiday!
Sent in by Lisa Parr
Wigan, 21 January 2016
A huge thank you to this amazing lady, she has tirelessly put together a family holiday to EuroDisney for my very ill sister on a moments notice . ie they travel the next day. From the moment I got in touch with her I knew she would make this happen. It was difficult for us because their were so many different issues to over come with missing passports to unable to contact one another. Nicola took this in her stride. Well done Nicola, well done Travel Counsellors what a credit to your company Nicola is, with her outstanding customer service and dedication. This leaves me with one very happy happy sister. Oh and of course the kids lol. Thank you From us all The Parr, Dainty and Murray Family
Sent in by Carrie-Anne Scott
Luton, 26 October 2015
Nicola Benson was ever so helpful with our needs and budget as a family. The friendly, personal touch was a bonus and any/all forgotten questions and last minute confirmations I had were answered in a prompt, professional and friendly manner. Many many thanks to Nicola.
Sent in by Ciara Murphy
Luton, 19 June 2015
Nicola was great. We had two different date spans to work with the begin with. She found great hotels and then together we pieced together what myself and my fiance have for our honeymoon together. I could not have done it myself as would not have known where to start and have the level of protection that we do now. Thank you.
Sent in by Judy Mace
Cornwall, 26 May 2015
Very helpful and patient, we couldn't have had a more helpful person to work with. Nicola has been great. Thank you.
Sent in by Carol Hood
Essex, 28 April 2015
Hi Nicola - just to let you know we are back safe and sound. Everything you organised was perfect and came together so well. If Peter and I do another holiday which needs putting together we will certainly be asking you to do it as we can't think of anyone better who put time and effort in to making it possible and for a reasonable price. Thank you.
Sent in by Beverley Szczech
St Albans, 22 April 2015
Niicola was so helpful, even though I wasn't booking a holiday I was recommended to her for airport parking/meet and greet. When I looked on line there were so many options so slightly confusing. Nicola was more than helpful and sourced the best option for me as I was travelling out of one terminal and back to another. I would thoroughly recommend Nicola for her wonderful manner, efficiency and communication.
Sent in by Jennifer Bishop
Barnet, Herts, 24 March 2015
Nicola has a lovely bubbly personality which comes over whenever you speak to her on the telephone. She always looks into whatever your asking her and comes back to you with a prompt reply. Which gives you a great confidence in her. She has arranged many wonderful holidays for us. We would definitely recommend her.
Sent in by Julie Creamer
Hemel Hempstead, 24 March 2015
Will definitely use Nicola again to book my trips business or pleasure.
Sent in by Samantha Gray
Hertfordshire, 24 March 2015
Nicola had the patience of a saint and we were very pleased to finally be able to book our holiday in the summer with her
Sent in by Hayley Capstick
Harpenden, 23 March 2015
Excellent, really helpful, really quick to respond, have already recommended!
Sent in by E Crompton
Harpenden, 15 September 2014
I would recommend Nicola to anyone without hesitation. I think that says it all.
Sent in by E White
Surrey, 30 August 2013
We are travelling to Thailand as a family with 3 young daughters. Nicola has been fantastic in getting us our flights at a reasonable price as well as perfect times. Also she has located and booked fantastic accommodation for us in Bangkok for a few nights on the way home. We will definitely be using her again in the future and have already recommended the service to our friends.
Sent in by Kerry Oliver
St Albans, 30 July 2013
Nicola was very helpful and professional when dealing with my request to find a reasonably priced tour of the Golden Triangle in India. She came up with plenty of quotes and itinerates to help us choose the most suitable for our needs. When Nicola herself went on annual leave she passed all the details to her colleague, Zoe, who picked up where Nicola left off and dealt with all our needs/queries promptly and efficiently. I am pleased to say that our perfect itinerary has now been booked and at a very competitive price. The whole experience of trying to organise such a tour was easy and painless. I would not hesitate in recommending Nicola to everyone! Thank you so much Nicola!
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 01582 809640
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.
02 October 2018
To celebrate my daughter Megan's 21st birthday, myself and her Godmother took her on a fantastic trip to the West Coast! First stop San Francisco. It was a tad colder than we expected but we headed straight out to experience a cable car to Fisherman’s Wharf for dinner. This is a buzzing area with plenty of bars, restaurants and souvenir shops. The next morning, we bought a two day hop on hop off bus ticket and headed to the famous bridge. Because of its location on the Pacific Coast, San Francisco can suffer with fog and it tends to be...
29 March 2017
Where to go and when Jan - June January For Culture Bangkok, Thailand – Famous for its temples and shopping! Don’t miss Chatuchak Weekend Market which is huge and sells everything. Take a tour of Rattanakosin, the royal city quarter and home to the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaeo, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. For Unforgettable Journeys The Ghan Railway, Australia – From the top of the country to the bottom by rail. This is the ultimate railway journey from Darwin to Adelaide. For Luxury & Romance Maldives – Over a thousand beautiful islands surrounded by turquoise sea. Snorkel...
29 March 2017
July Festivals and Culture Calgary, Canada – the home of the Stampede! An action packed rodeo with a flavour of the Wild West, the drama and skills on display will be fun and excitement for the whole family. Enjoy a fairground ride or a trip up the Calgary Tower. Luxury & Romance Cape Cod, USA – Golden beaches, quiet islands and charming historic villages. Something for everyone from chic, celebrity filled Martha’s vineyard to the whaling town of Nantucket and the wide open spaces of the Cape. Family Getaways Wales, UK – the south coast has an imposing line of castles...
25 March 2017
I’m always here to help with your travel plans and now I’m available wherever you are in the world at the touch of a button! I’m really excited to announce that our new free app, myTC, is available to customers who’ve booked a holiday with me. How does myTC work? With myTC you can access your itinerary, travel documentation, contact me at the touch of a button, and more! Contact me and I will be able to give you a link to explore myTC and see how you can use it on your next holiday. If you’ve already booked a holiday with...
13 March 2017
If you fancy a weekend away with friends or family, I can not recommend Windmill Retreat highly enough. Set in the lovely village of Middlezoy, our beautiful home had four double bedrooms and three bathrooms on the ground floor, and a stunning living area on the first floor with a balcony overlooking the surrounding countryside. And to top it all off a hot tub in the garden! We visited Cheddar Gorge, Glastonbury and Bath, shopped, ate and relaxed! It was a really lovely weekend. Bristol, Wells (one of the UK's smallest cities) and Taunton are all...
24 November 2016
In November I was invited on a trip to take in the sights of Marrakech. With only a three hour flight from London, this is an ideal short break destination but as I soon found out, there is also plenty to do for a longer stay. The snow-capped Atlas Mountains are a stunning backdrop for this buzzing sprawling city. The walled Medina houses the Jemaa El-Fnaa Souks. A maze of colour, noise and smells that you could easily get lost in, or for those who are less adventurous you can always book a guide! There are stunning displays of...
30 July 2016
Scotland is renowned for many things; bagpipes, castles, beautiful scenery, serene lochs, and of course being the home of golf! In fact there are over 500 golf courses in Scotland so it would take you a few years to play them all! We spent a week in St Andrews whilst my son took part in a golf competition, and when he was on the fairways we visited the surrounding areas. St Andrews itself is a lovely part of the world. It is not a stereotypical tourist town at all and it is steeped in history. It is also home to...
05 May 2016
In May 2016, I was very lucky to be part of a team of Travel Counsellors that travelled to Mauritius and stay at the beautiful Beachcomber Paradis Hotel. We flew out with Emirates Airlines and were lucky enough to experience business class on the A380 out of LGW. We were treated so well, and I would really recommend Emirates Airlines. Paradis Hotel is one of 8 Beachcomber properties in Mauritius. It is set on the Le Morne peninsula alongside Dinarobin Hotel and set beautifully on the beach with an 18 hole golf course enjoying some spectacular views and with...
03 April 2016
Budapest! The home to some incredible buildings, a beautiful river and chimney cake! I went with a group of friends to celebrate a big birthday. The weather in April was lovely and we were surprised to find 't-shirt' weather. When we arrived, we checked in and then headed straight out to do an open top bus tour. I always find this helps to get your bearings and is a great way to check out where all the major sights are you want to see. Budapest really is a mixture of old and new...
07 April 2015
Along with five friends I flew to Delhi where we spent two nights and days exploring this fascinating city of two halves. We visited the famous Red Fort in the heart of Old Delhi which once was the most opulent fort of the Mughal Empire, the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the world and The Raj Ghat which is the location of Gandhi's cremation. New Delhi was built in true colonial style with tree-lined avenues, colonial bungalows, the Parliament House, the War Memorial Arch and the Viceregal Palace, now the official residence of the President of India. During our...
06 October 2014
After a very comfortable 13 hour flight we landed in Colombo. We took a short transfer to the 4 star Jetwing Blue Hotel in the beach resort of Negombo. After a good night’s sleep we headed to Anuradhapura, en route visiting Pinnawela elephant orphanage. It was fascinating watching these magnificent animals being washed in the river and then seeing the babies being fed with bottles. For a small fee you can buy tickets to do this locally. Our accommodation for the night was the beautiful 5 star Ulagalla Wallawwa Resort. This hotel is one of the Small Luxury Hotels of...
02 April 2014
I have recently returned from South Africa on an educational of a lifetime. I joined seven other Travel Counsellors and David from African Pride on an adventure that took us to the wine lands, Cape Town and then onto Kruger National Park. Our first night was in Franschhoek, which is about an hour’s drive from Cape Town and we stayed at the stunning La Residence. It is truly a beautiful hotel, set in a 30 acre estate with stunning views of the mountains beyond and has a unique style of its own. The food and wine were excellent and the...
08 October 2012
I recently travelled to Tuscany where we stayed in the 3* Hotel Villa Ricci in Chianciano Terme. This is a great location to use as a base for exploring the area. We visited Montepulciano, which is famous for being used as a location in the 'Twilight' films. It is a beautiful city and well worth a visit for its lovely little shops and restaurants, palaces and churches. We also had the opportunity to visit Florence, somewhere I have always wanted to travel to. The buildings and churches are lovely, particularly the Duomo and Santa Croce Church. The city really is beautiful. The...
30 November 2011
November 2011 and an educational to Boston & Stowe. Boston is lovely - a beautiful city and small enough to walk around easily. We stayed at the Taj Hotel, overlooking the Common. We visited the Fairmont Copley Plaza and the Boston Harbour Hotel too. One of the highlights for me was the Duck Tour of the city. It took in all the main attractions plus a cruise along the river too for a totally different aspect and view of the skyline. The Wrentham Shopping Outlet was well worth a visit for some great bargains! After 2 nights we travelled...
09 September 2011
I have just returned from a brilliant trip to the Caribbean Island of Barbados. Barbados offers something for everyone, from fantastic restaurants to beautiful beaches. The highlight of the week for me was taking a 4 x 4 safari around the island, taking in Edge Cliff, Bathsheba & Joe's River Forest - on and off road! We had the opportunity to take surfing lessons at DaAction Surf Shak, managed some karaoke with the locals at Holetown and enjoyed swimming with turtles on a catamaran cruise. There are some fantastic restaurants and eating experiences. No Friday night would be complete...
02 July 2010
Bruges is the perfect weekend destination. We travelled from London St Pancras by Eurostar to Brussels, with a connecting train to Bruges. The journey took approx 3 hours. It is a beautiful city that is easily explored by foot over 2 days. The historic centre of Bruges has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000 and Bruges' most famous landmark is The Belfry on the main square. We climbed the 366 steps to the top & the views were well worth it! We rewarded ourselves with hot chocolate and a Belgium waffle which I have...
26 February 2009
A group of Travel Counsellors and I visited Chicago on an educational visit in February. Despite the bitterly cold weather, it was a wonderful city break and a worthy alternative to New York. Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, this city is crammed with things to do, yet the atmosphere is not frantic or claustrophobic. The impressive architecture is best appreciated from a trolley tour, a 2 hour hop-on, hop-off bus tour around the main city areas. Or between May and November you can enjoy a tour along the river. The best vantage point to see the many sights has to be...
18 April 2008
New York is an amazing city to visit, not only for the great sights, museums and shopping but also for the incredible, indescribable buzz that hits you the minute you arrive! I’d been to NY before but I wanted to share a girlie weekend there with my Mum and my daughter Megan to celebrate her birthday. We started with an open-top bus tour which you can hop on and off as often as you like. It’s a great way to establish the geography of this vast city and takes in many of the major sights. Then we took the Staton...
09 February 2007
There’s good reason why Florida is referred to as the ‘fun capital of the world', it has a host of theme parks and attractions for kids of all ages! Our family of 4 spent a fortnight at a villa in Emerald Island, Kissimee to enjoy the whole Disney experience. We headed for the parks early each morning to beat the queues, allowing us time to recharge our batteries with a swim back at the villa before returning for the spectacular evening firework displays. To recover from the non-stop thrills, I’d recommend a few days rest or you run the risk...
20 October 2006
To celebrate my husbands 40th birthday, I organised an unforgettable surprise weekend with a couple of our friends to the luxurious principality of Monaco. Monaco lies between France and Italy and benefits from a micro climate boasting an average 300 sunny days a year. Even our October weather was fantastic! So bathed in sunshine, we walked through the tunnel along the Formula One Grand Prix race track, visited Princess Grace’s Rose Garden, and had a coffee at the Café de Paris. The marina boasts the most amazing yachts and the roads are crammed with prestigious cars. Of course no trip to Monaco...