Maldives - All
Australia & Pacific
I'm Sarah and live in Milnrow with my son Hamish.
Creating your dream trip is my business, so if you are looking for an experienced travel agent, I would love to have a chat!
I can help you with any of your travel plans either leisure or business - be it a one-night UK break, family holiday, around the world cruise, help to plan a dream wedding abroad or find the perfect honeymoon!
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a passion for travel! If I'm not actually travelling, then I am usually talking about it or helping someone else to plan their travels - so this really is my dream job! I have travelled extensively for both work and pleasure and can give you first hand feedback on lots of amazing places to help crate your dream trip.
I have travelled all over the US. I LOVE Florida and try to visit every year so am an excellent source for everything you need to know. I am a Walt Disney Expert and Universal Parks and Resorts Vacations Specialist and I will definitely make sure you get the most out of your dream trip!
I know the Caribbean very well and have visited Barbados, Antigua, Grenada, Jamaica, Mexico, the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos and have travelled around Australia and the Far East. I can recommend lots of fabulous places to stay and things to do to get the most from your trip
I love cruising and believe there’s a cruise out there for everyone and would love to help find the right one for you! I take my job seriously and am constantly updating my knowledge through travelling and training. I have attained Admiral Status with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara cruises and Commodore status with P&O and have first-hand experience of Royal Caribbean, P&O, NCL, Disney and Seabourn.
Previously I worked for British Airways in Sales, Marketing and Commercial roles and worked on the Concorde Brand Management team. I occasionally got to travel on it too which was amazing!
If you fancy a chat to see how I can help with your next trip, please get in touch.
Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so please either fill in and send the form below or simply give me a call and I can get things started for you:-
Sent in by Helen Hants
Bradwell, 21 September 2019
Sarah attends to every detail. She is simply the best!
Sent in by Catherine Barrett
Dublin, 29 July 2019
Sarah made our trip so stress free and special. It was amazing. Thank you!
Sent in by Susan Power
Oldham, 10 July 2019
Great at listening to requests/ ideas and working out what that meant in real terms for the holiday. Great patience with client discussing back and forth after family discussions. Enthusiastic, cheerful and very generous with your time.
Sent in by Amanda Hill
Oldham, 10 July 2019
Sarah is amazing and we always recommend her to our family, friends and colleagues.
Sent in by Samantha Fleming
Saddleworth, 10 July 2019
Can’t believe how much effort Sarah has put into finding our perfect holiday she has gone above and beyond to find the right holiday and accommodation that suits our needs. Would highly recommend Sarah.. Thank you so much .
Sent in by Marie Parkinson
Bolton, 10 July 2019
Sarah was fabulous at taking the initial information from me and looking at all package options through to booking our holiday. Being a busy, working mum with a young family she took all the hassle out of me searching the internet for best deals and booked our fabulous holiday. I would definitely use her again.
Sent in by Judith Firman
Audenshaw, 10 July 2019
Very knowledgeable wide experience of travel both abroad and in the UK. Always happy to look further and provide exactly what you are looking for .
Sent in by Mike Livesley
Heywood, 10 July 2019
Sarah is very professional and nothing is too much trouble.
Sent in by Bernard Kelly
Thornley, 10 July 2019
Sarah always gives a fantastic service!
Sent in by Phil Wainer
Stockport, 10 July 2019
Sarah is very helpful and has a brilliant knowledge of good places to visit and gets the best deals. We book all out trips with her.
Sent in by Peter Coldman
Norden, 10 July 2019
10 out of 10. Very responsive and helpful
Sent in by Colin Lambert
Heywood, 10 July 2019
Sarah has always done a fantastic job for us, not only arranging but also suggesting holidays.
Sent in by Jennie Morton
Milnrow, 10 July 2019
I give Sarah 10/10 because she is absolutely amazing!!
Sent in by David Finn
Dublin, 10 July 2019
This is the second time we've used Sarah to plan our holiday. Service as always is exceptional. Sarah is very meticulous in what she does and is very knowledgeable of the markets in which we've asked her to work - firstly South Africa and now South America.
Sent in by Irene Laycock
Bolton, 10 July 2019
Sarah is very helpful and booking my holiday with her was easy - even after changing my mind so many times!
Sent in by Andrea Stevenson
Rochdale, 10 July 2019
Fantastic service, professional, easy and very quick to respond. Sarah, selected and advised very efficiently, I’m very pleased
Sent in by Ian Shepherd
Rochdale, 10 July 2019
Sarah is brilliant and we recommend her all the time to people we meet on the holidays that she has organised for us Sarah always goes the extra mile
Sent in by Carl Whittaker
Newhey, 10 July 2019
Sarah is always attentive and responds with practical help almost at once
Sent in by Julie Connolly
Manchester, 10 July 2019
I am very pleased with the service I have received, accessible and speedy responses. Thank you
Sent in by Paul Griffiths
Manchester, 02 April 2018
Sarah was great. Nothing too much trouble and she managed to arrange everything we requested with additional upgrades to boot. Thanks Sarah
Sent in by Susan Orr
Euxton, 02 April 2018
I love my Travel Counsellor! Sarah Graham is the best and booking holidays is a real treat.
Sent in by Rachel Mulvey-Kelsall
Cheshire, 02 April 2018
Sarah has been supportive, patient and knowledgeable from start to finish! Will be using her services for all future holidays. Can’t thank her enough for pulling our dream wedding getaway together, it’s no easy task getting a family of 18 booked on one trip!
Sent in by Jenny Hornby
Clitheroe, 02 April 2018
Sarah was fantastic and found us the holiday we can’t wait to go on. I would definitely recommend to friends.
Sent in by Judith Firman
Audenshaw, 02 April 2018
Always happy to help nothing too much trouble very thorough and goes the extra mile.
Sent in by Claire Towns
Cheshire, 02 April 2018
Sarah was fantastic at sorting out all our holiday requirements and I would recommend her to all my friends and family
Sent in by Mary Walker
Middlesborough, 02 April 2018
I have booked several holidays through Sarah Travel Counsellors she always goes the extra mile with all aspects of the holiday, from helpful advice re destination to flights transfers, and other queries you may have she always helps sort things and reassured you, she takes all the worry away for you, all very willingly nothing is a problem for her. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Sarah every time.
Sent in by Colin Lambert
Heywood, 02 April 2018
Sarah has been really helpful from suggestions of holiday locations based her extensive knowledge, to hints and tips, the latest one being Fastrack Passport control which we used for the first time at the end of our recent holiday. Arriving back in Manchester the queues were huge for passport control and this must have saved us at least 30mins of queuing. Sarah was also helpful with a query that we had whilst away. We already have another holiday booked with her and it will not be the last.
Sent in by Peter Turner
Manchester, 02 April 2018
May I just say that it is always a pleasure when speaking to Sarah, I explained what we were looking for and having gone through various options Sarah came up with the right solution. Many thanks Sarah for your efforts both from myself and my wife Pauline.
Sent in by Jody Shaw
Littleborough, 30 July 2017
Sarah is the most helpful and friendly advisor. I'm so happy a friend told me about her, she has always been there at the end of the phone or email to answer any questions.
Sent in by Carl Whittaker
Milnrow, 20 March 2017
Sarah delivered precisely what was requested and could not have ben more helpful
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 0800 066 3680
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.
11 September 2019
South Africa has been top of my 'bucket list' forever, so when I decided to do my first Safari, I decided to do it in style! I have written blogs about my time in Cape Town and then my route along the Garden Route and this is my blog about my safari! The saying goes 'save the best 'til last' and I certainly did. Having had many happy clients that have stayed at and raved about Shamwari, this was always going to be my first choice. If it's good enough for Brad Pitt, it's good enough for me! Shamwari is in the Eastern...
09 September 2019
Whilst we started our trip In Cape Town, we were ending it in on safari at Shamwari. Whilst it is possible to fly between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth then transfer to Shamwari, we decided to take the ‘scenic route’ and drive out to Hermanus before continuing to join the Garden Route. If you have the time and decide to drive between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, there are many places you could choose to visit and stay depending on what you want to see and do. We had a driver throughout our time in Cape Town who then...
05 September 2019
As my first time in Cape Town and with so much to see and do and eat and drink, it was hard to know where to start and deciding where to stay was another decision as there is such a huge choice of hotels and there is somewhere to suit all tastes and budget. We opted to stay at the Waterfront and chose The Cape Grace and this was the perfect choice for us. This is a lovely 5-star hotel in a quiet location but just steps to the heart of the Waterfront with its vast array of restaurants, bars and...
19 July 2019
If you are considering a short break to 'fly and flop' I can highly recommend Vilamoura! We hopped on the Jet2 flight from Manchester on a Friday morning - and we were by the pool before lunch time! We chose to stay at the fabulous Tivoli Marina. There are lots of great things about this 5-star hotel and here are just a few of the best bits: - The location - in the perfect spot right on the marina. - The spa - is newly renovated and fabulous! It's Thai-themed setting is the perfect place for a spot of pampering - The Puro...
21 May 2019
I was recently invited to spend a couple of nights on-board Celebrity's newest ship - Edge - before she set sail for the summer in the Med. The much-anticipated ship is the first in the Celebrity Edge class and the first thing you notice as you approach the 16-deck, 2,918-passenger ship is the Magic Carpet - designed by Burj al Arab hotel designer Tom Wright. The size of a tennis court, the platform overhangs the side of the ship and moves up and down. At its lowest level, it can help facilitate embarkation and disembarkation, while on deck 14 it is...
08 December 2018
Golden opportunities should always be seized, especially if they involve golden bucket list itineraries. When I was offered a trip to India to experience the Golden Triangle I jumped at the chance! The Golden triangle takes in Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, three cities steeped in history and incredible architecture. British history is woven amongst Indian colour and culture. Our five-night trip started in Delhi where we were met on arrival by our private guide and driver and taken to the fabulous Shangri-la hotel. I can highly recommend staying here. The views from the club lounge are amazing and watching the...
08 December 2018
Last year I was asked by one of my clients if I could help with finding the perfect venue for her son's wedding. Whilst not a wedding planner, I jumped at the chance the help bring to life the perfect wedding! What followed was lots of discussions about various locations around the world and research into the practicalities and legal procedures of the different options. The brief was to find a stunning beach location that could accommodate their guests and offer a range of different accommodation to suit a range of budgets. We needed to find somewhere not too big but...
09 December 2017
The next stop on my California Road Trip was Big Sur. The drive south from Santa Cruz was peppered with frequent pull-overs to take photos and soak up the breath-taking views so I would recommend having enough time for this! The dramatic coastline and changing scenery was just wow! As you pull in to the Post Ranch Inn you know life is about to slow down a little. Nestled in the heart of Big Sur National Park off Highway 1 and just 30 miles south of Carmel, Post Ranch Inn really is something quite spectacular. This hotel is not somewhere ‘just...
05 December 2017
With endless sunshine, amazing cities and iconic natural treasures, it's not surprising that Californian road trips remain a popular choice for couples, groups and families. With so much to see and do, planning the perfect road trip can take time which is why I decided to fly to San Francisco and explore some of the many options available. I flew into San Francisco on one of the double-daily British Airways flights from London Heathrow and within an hour of landing I had passed through security, taken the transit train and was ready to collect my Alamo rental car. I decided to head...
20 October 2017
The last stop on our fabulous Queensland trip was back to Brisbane for two nights. We stayed in the amazing FV by Peppers. This brand new hotel offers the most amazing one or two bedroom apartments with floor to ceiling windows showcasing breath-taking views of the city. The food on our trip has been amazing - and I feel a blog just on food will be coming soon! I have to mention the amazing Thai restaurant we visited on arrival. Longtime is a must for anyone looking for amazing Thai food with great staff and a truly awesome setting! Historically Brisbane has been...
18 October 2017
OOne of the most popular trips from Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island is to go out to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet and looking at the pictures it's not hard to see why! Unfortunately, the day we were due to do this the weather took an unseasonable turn for the worst with winds and rain forecast so our trip was cancelled. Whilst gutted, it also gives me a great excuse to go back! Voted 'best beach in South Pacific' and 'best beach in Australia' in 2016 Trip Advisor Travellers Choice Awards, Whitehaven Beach is a pristine beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest...
16 October 2017
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the seven natural wonders of the world and is a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site. FASCINATING FACTS: Did you know the Great Barrier Reef is larger than the Great Wall of China - and is the only living thing visible from space? Covering over 3,000km, with over 3,000 individual reef systems made up of over 400 kinds of coral and hundreds of picturesque tropical islands. It is home to 1500 species of tropical fish, 200 types of birds and a breeding ground for migrating humpback whales, it's not hard to see what this is one of...
15 October 2017
After saying a fond farewell to the amazing Boomerang crew, we took the 45-minute catamaran trip over to Hamilton Island and checked into the Reef View Hotel. Perfectly located in front of a gorgeous white sandy beach, all rooms are large and spacious and sea facing with amazing Whitsunday views. The hotel is perfect for couples, families and groups. When I stepped out on our balcony I was greeted by not one but two cockatoos from the very many that were flying around the island - and then I realised why our group had been given our name! There are 74 islands...
13 October 2017
After a wonderful farewell reception at The Star Hotel, it was time to move on. In groups of around 12 people we all set off to explore different parts of this amazing country. Each group was given an Aussie wildlife nickname and we were the cockatoos. We flew up to Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands. The flight with Virgin Australia was so easy and only took around 90 minutes. TOP TIP: I would highly recommend requesting a window seat as the views of the Whitsundays as we came in to land were amazing! From the airport we were whisked to the marina...
11 October 2017
The first stop on our Corroboree West 2017 epic journey was on the Gold Coast where we stayed at the newly renovated Star Hotel. This gorgeous 5* hotel has 596 rooms and was winner of the 2017 Queensland Hotel Association Deluxe Accommodation Award. Whilst this is a large hotel with 596 rooms, a range of restaurants and bars, cinema and casino, the hotel never felt busy. Breakfast was amazing and very well organised. This is hotel is perfect for leisure and business guests as it's just a short walk to the exhibition centre and the rooms were spacious and spotless with...
09 October 2017
Tourism Australia invited 100 top Aussie specialists from the UK along with another 200 from around the world to meet with over 120 of Australia's best suppliers. The aim was to improve our knowledge and build personal relationships, so we can promote and sell this amazing country. After three days of intensive training and networking, we were then split into smaller groups to get first-hand knowledge of a specific area. I was fortunate enough to be invited to sample the very best of Queensland with a trip up to the Whitsunday Islands and Brisbane. Getting 300 Aussie Specialists out to the Gold...
24 May 2017
Situated on some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean, Sandals has sixteen adult only, luxury ultra-all-inclusive resorts in six different countries in the Caribbean and Beaches has three amazing family resorts – one in Turks and Caicos and two in Jamaica. Tropical settings, exquisite beaches, premium branded drinks and a wide choice of rooms types ranging from Luxury to Concierge and Butler Suites – there’s something for everyone. I have been lucky enough to visit many of these resorts and I would say that Beaches Turks and Caicos is possibly my most favourite place to go! It’s easy to understand why...
21 May 2017
Since taking my first ever cruise 4 years ago, I am now completely in love with cruising. I have heard lots of great things from clients that I have booked on Celebrity Cruises so thought it about time I tried it. This two day mini cruise on Celebrity Eclipse from Southampton to Le Havre sounded perfect so I rounded up some friends and off we went! Boarding was very well organised and we were on-board and sat at the Martini bar before we knew it. Our cruise included the standard drinks package and we upgraded this on-board to the premium package...
09 December 2016
As I was fast approaching a 'significant' birthday I wanted to do something special! I have been to LA a few times before but felt I still didn't know it well enough. It's a large, sprawling City and I decided it was time to get to know it better! I love staying in different places as I think it's the best way to get a real feel for the hotel and area and really helps me to recommend the right places for clients. Although this was a short trip, we managed to stay at four different hotels in...
25 June 2016
Having cruised on some of the world's largest ships, I was really looking forward to trying something different - and Seabourn Sojourn didn't disappoint! With only 225 suites, this is an entirely different experience to cruising on a large cruise liner. The size of the ship means that it can go into some of the smaller ports that the larger ships can't go and our itinerary was spot on and we set sail from Barcelona to St Tropez, Calvi, Sete, Marseille, Palamos and back to Barcelona. Being able to sail so close to St Tropez was amazing and felt very...
20 May 2016
Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is the world’s largest cruise ship and I was invited on board for a couple of nights to test it out before its inaugural trip this week. I have sailed on Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas and loved them so had high expectations for this new ship and I wasn’t disappointed! The ship certainly has the WOW factor! Obviously it is HUGE and the view on approach is stunning. Boarding was seamless and fast and then it was up the escalator (first one I have seen on a ship) and...
22 April 2016
The last time I visited Disneyland Paris was in 1992 when it first opened so I thought it was worth re-visiting as they has been so many changes over the years. I always like to be able to offer the very best information and advice to my clients which is why I try and travel as much as I can to keep my knowledge current. There are a few options of how to get to Disneyland Paris. There’s the Eurostar, the ferry and you can drive or fly. We decided to fly from Manchester to Paris. Getting...
14 February 2016
Washington is somewhere I have always wanted to visit but never quite made it - and it was definitely worth the wait! We flew out with British Airways on the new A380 which was fabulous. We stayed at the J W Marriott which was in a perfect spot. The hotel in on Pennsylvania Avenue and a five minute walk from the Whitehouse and walking distance to many of the places on our 'to do list' like the Smithsonian Museums, the Monument and Ford's Theatre (where Abraham Lincoln was shot). Our room was lovely and spacious and the hotel has a...
05 February 2016
February is a great time to visit New York if you are looking for good value for money. You can usually pick up some fairly cheap flights and find some great hotel deals too. We flew with United from Manchester to Newark, hopped into a yellow taxi and we were at the Westin Times Square just 40 minutes later. The Westin in centrally located and within reach of a lot of the places most people want to see - Times Square, Empire State Building, Central Park, Rockefeller Centre and Macys - and the hotel is surrounded by bars, restaurants and theatres. The...
20 November 2015
Barbados remains one of my most favourite places to visit and this trip was just as wonderful as all my previous stays. I am lucky enough to have some great friends out there and this time I stayed with one of them who is in a lovely spot in Dover on the south of the island. The main purpose of my trip was to visit some more of the island's hotels as I will always match my clients to the right hotel and I believe nothing beats first-hand knowledge of a hotel! My first stop was the newly opened Sandals Resort which was...
20 August 2015
Think Dubai and you’d be forgiven for thinking about a luxurious, pampering escape where you’re surrounded by world class hotel facilities, attentive personal service and you’re never far from a refreshing poolside drink. But there’s another side to Dubai – one which is aimed at the adrenaline-fuelled holidaymaker always on the lookout for the next big thrill. If this sounds like you, read on for a guide to some of Dubai’s biggest attractions for the sports and leisure enthusiasts out there! Skiing down a snowy mountain, boarding from the peak of a sand dune, speeding around a racetrack, galloping across the...
05 July 2015
We have just returned from a week at Beaches Turks and Caicos....and we can't wait to go back! The Turks and Caicos Islands consist of 40 islands and cays, eight of which are inhabited. The islands are located 550 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, just below the Bahamas chain and just to the east of Cuba and the island of Hispaniola. To get there we had to fly to Providenciales. At the moment, British Airways fly once a week from Gatwick via Antigua or there are various options to fly in via Miami. We stopped in Antigua for a few...
02 July 2015
We decided to stop for a few days in Antigua to break up our trip to Beaches Turks and Caicos and thought we would try their sister hotel – Grand Pineapple. Located in picturesque Long Bay which is one of the prettiest stretches of beach on the island, Grand Pineapple is a lovely three star all-inclusive resort. We found all the staff to be friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble. In fact this was one of the friendliest places we have ever stayed. They offer a range of room types from standard rooms located towards the back of the...
21 May 2015
The CLIA 2015 Cruise conference was held in Southampton and it was a great opportunity to take 4 days out of the office to find out what's new in the world of cruising. One of the great things about the conference was that the seminars were hosted on-board three different, equally amazing cruise ships - Princess Cruises' Royal Princess, Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas and P&O Cruises' Britannia. Not only did we get the hear about developments and updates in both ocean and river cruising, it was also a great opportunity to meet new suppliers, catch up with old colleagues...
03 May 2015
Having recently got the cruise bug, I was dying to try out the latest additional to the Royal Caribbean family - The Anthem of the Seas - and decided to take a trip of one of the 3 night taster cruises. It ended that a group of ten of us went and all tried different cabins ranging from an inside cabins with the new virtual balconies, balcony suites and the two bedroom Royal Suite. I can honestly say that the Anthem had something for all of us and is a perfect venue for families and mixed groups to have a fabulous...
08 March 2015
One of the best parts of my job is building strong relationships with my suppliers. This helps me to get the best deals and up to date information for all my clients. P&O Cruises is a company that we have a great relationship with and I was fortunate enough to be invited to spend a night on-board the gorgeous new Britannia ship before her launch. As I arrived into the dock at Southampton my first view of her was breath-taking! She is so big - 141,000 tonnes - and so majestic! The statement Union Jack livery and crisp white exterior looked...
03 December 2014
Having had the opportunity to visit the Disney Magic in Barcelona for a tour one recently I thought it would be a good idea to actual go and sail on a Disney ship to get a better idea of what goes on. We decided on a 4 day sailing from Miami to Nassau, with a stop off at Castaway Cay on the way and Key West on the way back. Boarding was a doddle! We arrived at Miami Port where our bags were quickly taken from us and the check in process was quick and easy. We had our photos taken and...
26 September 2014
Beaches is the award-winning sister company of Sandals aimed at families. There are currently three Beaches resorts - two in Jamaica and one in Turks and Caicos. As part of the FAM trip to the Caribbean we got to stay at Sandals in Nassau before taking a small plane over to Providenciales in Turks and Caicos. The resort is spacious, well laid out and perfect for families. Spilt into different areas that capture the ambience of the Caribbean, France, Italy and Key West situated on a 12 mile beach with some of the most turquoise sea I have ever seen. I had a Club suite...
22 September 2014
I was lucky enough to win a trim on a FAM trip with Sandals to Royal Bahamian in Nassau. FAM trips are arranged to allow agents to spend some time in resorts exploring the hotel and surrounding areas, allowing us to offer the best possible advice. We flew to Nassau with British Airways in World Traveller Plus from Heathrow and arrived in Nassau in 9 hours. As Sandals offer complimentary transfers to all its resorts so it wasn’t long before we were sat in the Club Reception with a cocktail being checked in. The resort is spit into the areas - Balmoral Tower,...
11 August 2014
Did you know that 1.5m Brits experience Disney every year? I know many of us have heard of - and possibly been lucky enough to experience - the wonders of Walt Disney through the theme parks in Paris, America or further afield.....but did you know they also have Disney cruise ships? If you have read my other travel blogs you will see I am a recent devotee to cruising and I am also very fond of Orlando and theme parks, so when Disney invited me to take a trip over to Barcelona to inspect one of their ships, I jumped at...
25 June 2014
Having loved our Caribbean cruise at Christmas I thought I would try one around the Mediterranean next with family and friends. We chose P&O Ventura again as we loved the itinerary - Italy and Croatia - which included a few places on my all-time wish list. We flew into Pisa and decided to drop our bags at the train station and wander into the centre and see the Leaning Tower and sample our first pizza. It's an amazing thing to see and well worth the trip! As our ship was leaving from Genoa in a couple of days...
23 May 2014
I was invited by Travel2 to Barbados and we had a blast! The purpose of our trip was to experience the very best the island has to offer and discover new places - and we certainly did. We were there the same weekend the Top Gear team were out there filming and we just missed Lewis Hamilton and Jeremy Clarkson on the beach apparently! We flew out with British Airways and were met by our own VIP arrivals host who whisked us through security and immigration. Our driver for the week was waiting for us outside and we were...
07 December 2013
Having booked many happy customers and completed extensive cruise training programmes with a wide range of companies including P&O, Cunard, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Azamara and Princess, I decided that it was time to actually go and try cruising for myself, so in December 2013 we boarded P&O's Ventura in the Caribbean. I have to admit to having some reservations about cruising: would I feel claustrophobic confined to a ship? Isn't it for older people? Would I be bored? Would I get sea-sick? The answer to all my worries was NO! We flew from Manchester to Barbados where we were taken...
04 September 2013
Our next stop was Marco Island. We were staying at the Marriott resort and we didn't arrive until after 10pm. The room we were shown to was great – I was impressed by the size and décor. It was large and well laid out with lots of wardrobe space. We tried out the sushi bar in reception that evening which was lovely. In the morning I opened the curtains and was speechless at the view that greeted me! From our 10th floor balcony, the view over the beach and the gulf was just stunning! As it had been...
10 July 2013
After a week in Orlando we decided to venture further afield for this trip ... and we were so glad we did! We picked up an Alamao car on International Drive and headed out west towards Sarasota. Sarasota is located in the south of the Tampa Bay Area and includes Sarasota Bay as well as several gorgeous islands (known as keys) along the Gulf of Mexico. Many of the keys are linked by a series of bridges that seem to majestically rise out of the sea. The first night we stayed at the Holiday Inn on Lido Beach. Our balcony...
05 July 2013
My son and I would probably both agree that Orlando is top of our list of favourite places to holiday together. It has the sunshine, the theme parks and even the shops! It's somewhere we can go and both find things we want to do together so it was no surprise we found ourselves back here! We have visited many times before but we still find new places to visit and things to do each time we go - as well as repeating a lot of the stuff we've done lots of times before! We flew into Orlando International airport...
01 July 2013
Having spent quite a lot of time in Los Angeles when I worked for British Airways, it was great to go back after a gap of about 13 years. We stayed at the J W Marriott in LA Live which is the media and live events area of downtown LA opposite the Staples Centre where all the big acts perform. Beyonce was on the first night and Fleetwood Mac the last and it was interesting to see the different crowds they attracted! The hotel was brilliant. It's a large and vibrant place with a great roof top pool. We...
28 June 2013
My first trip to Las Vegas was in 1989 and I fell in love with it! I have been back a few times since and even got married there - and yes, Elvis WAS at my wedding - but as I hadn't been there for a while I was really looking forward to seeing how much it had changed. We flew out with British Airways and travelled in style in their Club World cabin and had the luxury of the fabulous flat beds. Out trip coincided with a heat wave so temperatures got up to 116 degrees whilst we were there...
18 June 2013
I have just worked out this was my seventh trip to Barbados and it's still as stunning as I remember! If you have a vision of white, soft sand and clear turquoise sea then you are spot on! It’s only 21 miles by 14 miles so it is possible to easily discover different parts of the island. As I visited in June I was expecting some rain as during our summer it is ‘wet season’. ‘Dry season’ is from January to June. Therefore there were a couple of showers, but generally the rain came during the night leaving most of...
03 May 2013
We picked up a car at the airport and stayed in a lovely family-run hotel in Stalis called Anastasia which was perfect for what we were looking for. The hotel was spotlessly clean and maintained and I can honestly say that the service was some of the best I have experienced - ever! The hotel Manager, Michalis, never seemed to leave. He seemed to know everyone and was always on hand to help with any questions. Every staff member was happy to help and they were always smiling! Our room was spacious and spotless with a great balcony overlooking the mini golf...
17 February 2013
New York in February was always going to call for lots of layers, but this was cold on a whole new level. But it didn't spoil the fun! This was a bit of an exploring trip to see some of the things I had not seen on previous trips and also to go and have a look around some hotels to keep up to date with the best places to recommend - as well as fitting in a little shopping and the obligatory trip to the top of the Empire State Building! As ever, New York didn't disappoint. The shopping was as...
22 December 2012
This year we decided to do something different for Christmas so the whole family set off for Gran Canaria. We stayed in Playa Taurito which is just round the bend from Puerto Rico. The weather was exceptional with every day bright and sunny. The hotel we stayed in Playa Taurito hotel and they had gone all out to make it feel Christmassy. There was a huge Christmas tree in reception and lots of decorations dotted around. It was great to see Santa taking time out of his busy schedule on Christmas day to pop down to the pool and give out...
17 October 2012
Having never been to Ibiza, I decided that it was time we visited! We picked up a car at the airport and drove up to the top of the island to Portinatx where we were staying. It had been a while since I'd driven abroad, but I found Ibiza really easy to drive around. It's not a huge island so it was easily navigated and well sign posted. Portinatx is a quiet, family resort with nice little coves, stunning views with regular buses to get around the island. Making full use of our car, we spent our week touring...
04 July 2012
Mexico has been on my ‘to do’ for ages and so off we went in July to Riviera Maya for two weeks to stay at the H10 Coral Sea & Turquesa. Our private transfer took just 25 minutes from Cancun airport. Check in was a doddle and we were soon in our room. Our spacious room was modern and had 2 large beds as well as a sofa bed, table, desk and a large sea-facing balcony. The hotel is proud of its conservation commitment and the grounds had plenty of natural habitat as well as a spot on the beach...
23 June 2012
Reached by train in less than an hour, Casperia couldn't be further away from the hustle and bustle of Rome. Once on the train, it is not long before the gorgeous Umbrian country-side starts to unfold giving way to fields of sunflowers and olive groves. Having booked to go on a yoga retreat, I was expecting peaceful but this was on a whole new level! Perched high on a hill, Casperia is a small medieval walled village in the Lazio region of Italy with winding cobblestoned streets with century old small houses - and no traffic! My room was in the Village...
20 June 2012
This was my first ever trip to the amazing Italian capital and it was everything I hoped it would be - and more! The taxi ride from the airport was an experience! I had heard about the driving, but experiencing it is something else!! Driving into the city is wonderful - weaving in and out of streets that mix modern office buildings with bits of ancient Rome! We stayed at the stunning Trevi Palace Luxury Apartments just a few steps from the awesome Trevi Fountain. Our room was spacious and clean with a balcony overlooking the street and the...
29 December 2011
I would struggle to suggest a more magical place at Christmas than New York. We spent 4 days between Christmas and New Year and loved every second of it! The view of Manhattan as you approach it in a yellow cab from JFK airport never fails to take my breath away. The skyline is truly amazing - no matter how many times I see it. We stayed at the City Club Hotel just off Times Square which is a lovely boutique hotel just above Daniel Bouluds DB Bistro Moderne's restaurant. In line with most Manhattan hotels, the room...
18 August 2011
I’ve been to Orlando many times but I can honestly say it gets better every time! This time we decided to spend a few days at Walt Disney World and then a week at Portofino at Universal Studios. On arrival at Orlando International Airport we hopped on the complimentary ‘Disney's Magical Express’ that took us straight to the hotel. Disney has a wide range of on-site hotels to suit all tastes and budgets but I think that the All Star hotels are the best priced. Whilst everything is slightly more basic, you still get all the benefits of staying in...
24 February 2011
On this, my second trip to Jamaica, we stayed at the Iberostar Rosehall Grand Hotel in Montego Bay. We were looking for a relaxing break to unwind and chill and this fitted the bill perfectly. Just 20 minutes from the airport and situated right on the beach, this hotel really was like paradise! Our room was stunning and was spacious, luxurious and very quiet. We even had a butler to attend to our needs! Our room came equipped with a fully stocked mini-bar, DVD player and docking station and a Jacuzzi-style bath. The Grand is an adult only hotel...