Thank you for choosing to visit my travel page.
My name is Shara Smith and I am a Global Tour Operator.
Travel is a necessity and a luxury.
We all travel, but we travel differently. I’m independent, so there are no hidden loyalties with suppliers. I work hard to find the exact holiday that suits you, not the other way around. I'm here to take care of the finer details so you don’t have to. I particularly focus on building your long haul and/or specialist Europe trips. I have a number of high profiles clients, I come from being an Executive Assistant for many years so I understand the need for a discreet, personal service.
Being a Tour Operator means I'm with you through the full cycle of your holiday - from searching and booking to your return home. I offer my clients a personal, 5-star bespoke service, giving you the full attention, you deserve. I have thousands of destinations, accommodation and flights available at the click of a button, nothing is too much to arrange. Booking with me also means you'll be 100% financially protected by Travel Counsellors and ATOL, who are the very best in the industry.
I'm a qualified African specialist in April 2018. I've reached country number 11 on this magical continent travelling as a solo female, so who better to arrange your special African adventure then someone who knows all the best tips, not forgetting some of the best local connections.
Many clients ask about how they can travel and perhaps feel a little easier about their Carbon Footprint. This later inspired me to qualify with the Travel Foundation last year, meaning I can now design your holidays to include any 'sustainable travel' options you require.
Whatever your preferences or special requests are I'm waiting to hear from you. You dream it, I find it.
My business is built on referrals and repeat business, so if you've had an outstanding service from me, why not tell someone you know about me today? Let me help you discover all this wonderful world has to offer.
Life's a journey • Live Boldly • Travel Differently
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 Pauline Smith
Stevenage, 16 October 2019
Shara has booked two holidays now for my friends and I - one walking holiday with Inghams and we just booked our Croatian Sailing adventure with her too for Just You. Shara was very reasonable and came in at a better price than going direct, she already has our details so its just a case of saying 'yes go ahead'! I also know that as a nervous traveller, she takes care of me, booking my seats, printing paperwork and even checks us in! Shara, you will go far. You are very good at what you do, my thanks as always!
Sent in by Babara Higgins
Stevenage, 14 October 2019
Need to book a holiday? Then look no further than Shara Smith at Travel Counsellors. I told Shara what I was looking for, she came back with a solo holiday for me with Just You, meaning I could travel in a group around Canada. It was incredible and credit to Shara understanding my needs. It was so easy and she even comes in with a better price than going direct and added service! She popped around to help with my Visas and then posted them for me too. Whatever you're looking for, Shara can sort it out for you and always with a smile ?? Just a lovely lady and nothing is too much trouble. Give her a go, you won't regret it.
Sent in by Elaine & Ruth Pert
Hertfordshire, 13 September 2019
Shara Smith is a great Agent! As busy people, we gave her a task of finding us a cruises that covers a Friday to Monday and within a couple of hours came back to me with choices. She's now booked me 2 cruises and has been wonderful even with advising about the BA strike that was going to affect us. Thank you Shara you have been amazing and will have no hesitation booking with you again and again and certainly recommending you to others.
Sent in by Sarita Gray
St Albans, 10 September 2019
10/10 Shara's excellent and we ended up booking a holiday that we would probably never have considered left to our own devices...excited and cant wait to see how the whole thing unfolds. Thank you
Sent in by Michaela Morris
Hertfordshire, 29 August 2019
Sent in by Margaret Fellows
Herefordshire, 28 August 2019
What can I say. This fantastic lady helped me put together my dream holiday. Nothing was to much trouble, even though I changed my mind for my holiday destination after she'd put together a fantastic trip - and we started all over again. She is more than 'just someone' to contact. Nothing is to much trouble, she's passionate, knowledgeable, friendly, lovely to talk to and unflappable. Will I be using her services again...you bet I will! We all need a Shara in our lives. ??
Sent in by Alison Ashman
loughborough, 17 August 2019
Incredible! From a very vague brief, that we changed several times, Shara managed to put together an unforgettable trip. Her choice of hotels was perfect every time. Every little detail was taken care of, from check in to help with lost baggage, and the app helped us keep track of flight updates/ changes. She was so patient with us, and nothing was too much trouble. It gave me so much reassurance, knowing that we had support before and during the trip. I am very grateful for all she did- we have a lifetime of amazing memories from this holiday, and it wouldn't have happened without Shara.
Sent in by Abigail Langridge
Rochester, 13 August 2019
She's so attentive! When assisting a client with a complicated holiday, Shara knew all the questions to ask so that everything was covered. Her travel experience definitely shines through as she can personally recommend places. I highly recommend her to book all aspects of travel, including flights.
Sent in by Jacqueline Cunningham
Hitchin , 23 July 2019
Shara Smith was truly amazing. She has been so attentive and responsive whilst booking our holiday and during our stay. She has been the best travel consultant we have ever used, and we have booked a number of holidays with Travel Counsellors over the years. We have exceptionally fortunate to have had Shara booking our holiday and would highly recommend her to anyone! 10/10
Sent in by Glenn O'Grady
St Albans , 08 July 2019
10/10 Shara has been excellent.
Sent in by Sukeana Bartlett
Stevenage, 04 June 2019
We just want to say a Massive Thankyou to Shara Smith. We've never used a Travel Counsellor to book our holidays before, Shara's service levels were amazing from start to finish. The hotel was beautiful, the transfer service was spot on and we were right in the heart of everything. Even the fact that Shara responded to our questions whilst she was on her own holiday is fantastic. Anyone that wants the perfect holiday should look into using a Travel Counsellor - and we highly recommend Shara.
Sent in by Anita Mohabeer
Baldock, 11 March 2019
Shara is just amazing! She has such a passion for travel and finding the perfect holiday for you. We asked Shara to source us a holiday to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We had asked for a specific area of the world but it wasn't working out and her advice was second to none. We now have a holiday of dreams booked and we cannot wait to get there in October. I had many requests and kept shifting the goal post, but this didn't deter her. Always really happy and has such a zest for life and travel. Thank you so much Shara you really are awesome!
Sent in by Maria Isaeva
St Albans, 11 March 2019
Shara's knowledge of the world, her bespoke service and travel knowledge is incredible. She takes the time to listen, understand and then creates a personalised experience that exceeds all expectations. She is attentive, very efficient and her positivity is infectious! If you're thinking of booking your honeymoon or the holiday of your dreams - get in touch with Shara, you won't be disappointed!
Sent in by Ruth Goodmaker
Watford, 18 February 2019
Thank you Shara for finding the cruise for me. I just don't have the time and you were a great help and also thank you for the goodies you sent me in the post, a really nice touch.
Sent in by Krystal Woodbridge
Hertfordshire , 26 January 2019
Shara really listened to what we were looking for for our perfect honeymoon. She got back to us very quickly and sent us a range of options in great detail. Because she had listened so intently, she found us the perfect match just in the first round of options! Booking it was a dream - all we needed to do was complete a simple form and Shara took care of the rest. Booking a holiday has never felt so easy, and all we need to do now is look forward to it!
Sent in by Christopher Hardwicke
Herts, 02 January 2019
10/10 We haven’t booked our holiday yet but Shara has been amazing helping us set up our wedding gift registry and talking through possible honeymoon plans.
Sent in by Sonia Bassey
Liverpool, 27 November 2018
I booked this travel on behalf the Mandela family and must say that Shara (Travel Counsellors) made this experience so easy and stress free!
Sent in by Michaela Vaux
Cambridge, 21 August 2018
Sent in by Katie Pierre
Hitchin, 20 August 2018
Sent in by Nic & Dean
Stevenage, 20 August 2018
Where do I begin? I usually book my own holidays but during a busy time I wanted some reassurance and some help with the leg work! Shara took on board what I wanted and found me the best for my budget. However, the dreaded thing that we are all scared of happened. My flight was cancelled a matter of hours before I was due to fly. Thanks to Shara I was informed of this before I left for the airport. (Many weren’t that day and were hours in the airport.) Shara was understanding and kind and supportive in a situation that was totally out of her control. Despite the fact I was gutted and she couldn’t really change that, having a sympathetic, kind person at the end of the phone instead of a call centre that didn’t care meant the world. Booking through Shara means I am financially protected so thankfully Shara has informed me I will receive a full refund. And we hopped on the ferry and enjoyed a few nights in Paris instead of Barcelona! Shara continued to check in on us and ask if we needed advice or research doing on our behalves. If you want peace of mind then Shara is your girl. She can’t control the airlines but she personally won’t let you down!
Sent in by Debra Hull
Stevenage, 31 July 2018
10/10 - Good communication and understanding of requests. Polite and knowledgeable
Sent in by Nicola Hankin
Stevenage, 01 July 2018
Shara found exactly what I asked for within my budget! Cannot wait to get there!
Sent in by Sarah Gledhill
Uk, 30 June 2018
I cannot express how much Shara helped us find our dream holiday. We changed our minds so often and were at a loss to find a holiday we really wanted and could afford. With time, patience and humour it was Shara who focused on what we really wanted and came up with the idea of Sri Lanka. Our perfect holiday is now booked and we can’t wait to be on a plane. She was always available to talk through ideas even on a Friday night and never rushed you. We can’t thank her enough!
Sent in by Silas Zindel
Switzerland, 23 June 2018
Shara was so helpful and welcoming, thank you!
Sent in by Jill Claridge
Stevenage, 12 May 2018
Sent in by Anthony Pierre
Little Wymondley, 09 May 2018
Sent in by William Pateman
Stevenage , 23 April 2018
I usually plan my own holidays but as I have been so busy I thought I'd ask for Shara's help. From start to finish she was brilliant and nothing was too much to ask. Shara is very knowledgable and passionate about her job and made sure we got a lovely place to stay. She is kind and friendly and always a pleasure to chat to! Look forward to booking our next holiday with you, thanks!
Sent in by Natalie Harris
Stevenage , 21 April 2018
An amazing lady who couldn't possibly do any more for her clients! Passionate about her job and loves what she does which reflects in her work! Cannot recommend her enough!
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 01438 850008
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.
17 October 2019
So, you think you know Africa? That was me. I thought I knew. When you know what you don't know, you then realise, you knew nothing. I’ll let you into a secret, Africa is why I’m here right now, in this job, enjoying my life, feeling happy, healthy and traveling the globe. Might sound a little dramatic, but it’s the truth. I always worked in busy, reactive industries, eventually took their toll on me. I pressed pause in life. I had no forward plans at the time I gave up my employed job. I didn’t stop there either, I decided to sell...
29 September 2019
What a wonderful week spent working and exploring Guernsey and Herm. The Channel Islands are on our door step, with so much charm, history, sights and beautiful reasons to visit for your holiday. The second-largest of the Channel Islands, Guernsey is home to stunning beaches, spectacular coastal walks, hidden coves and beautiful countryside filled with wildflowers. Discover an 800-year-old fortress guarding the harbour, absorbing museums and the compact capital St Peter Port, often described as Europe's prettiest harbour town. I stayed at The Old Government House (Red Carnation Hotel), the only 5 star hotel on the island. I visited 8 other...
09 August 2019
You may remember that one lucky client got to come away with me on a free QM2 Cunard Cruise. If you didn’t apply this time, please remember to follow my social media and sign up to my offers (pop me your email address if you'd like to be on there) as this is where you can be in it to win it! We spent one night, two glorious days in NYC really fitting in as much as we could in the Big Apple during our weekend. ~QM2~ Speciality Dining In the Verandah, I have to say the food was incredible. Being my first...
11 June 2019
“Your Caribbean Dream - any way you want it.” Casa de Campo Welcome to paradise. I was invited to spend 7 nights here in La Romana, not something you would really want to say no to. But when I arrived, the realisation of just how much there was to see and do hit me. I come from a shooting background, English Sporting, this was one of the main attractions for myself and my guest, who just happened to be Victoria Knowles-Lacks, owner of The Shotgun & Chelsea Bun Club. We were staying in an Elite room with a balcony which overlooked one...
12 April 2019
With the start of golf’s biggest annual event, the Masters, I decided to pool together the knowledge and expertise of our Travel Counsellors and get their recommendations for the world’s top golfing resorts. If you want to play 18 holes in the day then retire to the lap of luxury in the evening, read on to find out where you could be enjoying your next golfing escapade. Pine Cliffs – Algarve, Portugal The multi-award-winning Pine Cliffs Hotel, a Luxury Collection Resort, promises an opulent stay for any discerning travellers heading to southern Portugal. Perched on a clifftop overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Pine...
08 April 2019
Marrakech, Morocco’s best-known city, has a life of its own. With its frenetic energy, the city is a constant hive of activity through a maze of bustling streets and lively squares. The famous Djemma el Fna square in the heart of Marrakech really comes to life as dusk falls, with musicians, dancers, acrobats and snake charmers all adding to the unique atmosphere. Escape to the labyrinth which forms the souks of the old medina and barter with the competitive locals for colourful carpets and fragrant spices, or simply relax in the welcome shade of the palm trees. My visit brought me...
08 April 2019
Back to Marrakech... The Fairmont hotel awaits. You're 'wowed' from the moment you drive into the entrance gate of this hotel. The immaculate grounds, the elegant, classy touches throughout. The staff are worthy of a mention, they took the time to learn my name and remember it. Those are the caring touches that I certainly remember when I relayed my stay to friends, family and clients. The Fairmont Marrakech 5 Star Nestled in a natural landscape of 231 hectares of palm, olive and orange trees, lying in the shadow of the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains, Fairmont Royal Palm is the...
12 November 2018
We all deserve a little bit of luxury in our lives, especially when it comes to a holiday. Luckily, now many resorts around the world offer high-end suites and services for a fraction of the price. We’ve put together a handy list of some of our favourite five-star abodes for three-star prices, so that you can holiday in style without a hefty bill at the end. Majestic Malacca Hotel, Malaysia What makes it 5*? Stunning Colonial architecture with a regal feel, and stunning views of the river from each and every room. The beds are wonderfully comfortable, rooms are designed with an...
31 October 2018
If you’re thinking of planning a family holiday this winter, it’s worth considering flying privately. It’s a hassle-free solution that ensures your next family holiday is extra-special. One of the main advantages is time-saving, as you can bypass busy airports and spend more time with your loved ones. Flexibility can transform your holiday and flying privately allows you to plan the timings and your departure airports to best suit you. I will work closely with Air Partner to create a bespoke getaway to suit your needs. Here are some of the ways we can help create an unforgettable family holiday this winter. Be...
27 September 2018
Dobro Dosli! Welcome to Croatia. Experience the old-world charm of Croatia on a sailing odyssey from Dubrovnik to Split. I spent days cruising around impressive coastlines, exploring lush national parks, wandering through medieval towns or rolling off the boat into warm, turquoise waters to swim. Contrast this emergence into Croatia's natural beauty with regular doses of the unique culture and tastes of the lively restaurant and bar scene, indulged in fresh seafood and regional wines while looking onto stunning coastal vistas. Sound like your idea of heaven? Read on! Why you'll love this trip... • What better way to see the historic towns,...
21 September 2018
My trip broken down... Bienvenido a Cuba! Welcome to Cuba! I had organised a tour in Cuba. I felt, as a solo traveller, this was the best way to get around to seeing all the flavours and style Cuba had to offer. Arriving at the small warm airport, you soon become accustomed to the relaxed character of the Cubans. The luggage will arrive when they are ready, and not a moment sooner. It brought a smile to most of us waiting, and the sheer joy when you are reunited with your case! I got a taxi outside of the airport, I...
19 September 2018
From Cuba's historical streets of Havana to the pristine shores of the Caribbean, stroll through World Heritage cities, relive a fascinating colonial history and experience the rich heritage of music and dance that Cuba is renowned for. Dive into the incredible marine world and history of the Bay of Pigs, prepare to be wowed as you discover Baracoa’s mountainous surrounds, visit the birthplace of salsa and admire Trinidad’s unrivalled ambience on this two-week adventure. From historic cars to fragrant cigars, and with plenty of rum and rumba in between, this adventure will take you into the heart of all things...
15 July 2018
A safari is a great family adventure that needs careful planning and expert advice so that you and the kids can make the most of what is probably a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With some exceptions, wildlife viewing in Africa is best in the dry seasons, when animals are more visible due to sparser vegetation and tend to congregate around water sources. The main dry season in equatorial east Africa (including Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) is June to October, with a second one lasting mid-December to mid-March. That said, it can rain at any time in east Africa and there is some...
16 June 2018
Coming home feels like a complete contradiction. On the one hand it brings me joy to see my family and friends, hearing their voice and just being in their presence - especially my 4-legged best friend! On the other hand, it is completely overwhelming how little has changed. How little everything has changed but me. I’m no longer the sheltered, insecure and indecisive 33-year-old that left for my first solo adventure years ago. For starters the change I have experienced in the past year in particular runs much deeper than any number of months or years I have travelled. It’s in...
11 May 2018
With summer fast approaching, it’s time to decide where your next adventure will take you. Although it’s a popular time of year to go away, there are plenty of destinations to go around and we have selected seven of the best. Whether you’re looking for non-stop adventure in New York, a luxurious escape to Dubai or an immersive tour of Thailand, discover a destination that will get you in the holiday mood. New York Experience summer sizzle in the Big Apple – it’s a great time of year to explore the city on foot or by open-top bus. If you’re feeling a little...
06 May 2018
The Blue Train The Blue Train is regarded as one of the most luxurious trains in the world and offers a truly unique journey across South Africa from Cape Town to Pretoria (or in reverse). Aimed at creating a hotel on wheels experience, the Blue Train is a sumptuous choice for a pan-South Africa journey with beautifully crafted wood-lined suites. The Blue Train takes 27 hours to travel from Cape Town to Pretoria with an off-train excursion included at Matjiesfontein in the Karoo - a perfectly preserved Victorian settlement where you feel like you have truly stepped back in time. On...
29 April 2018
Seeing the natural wonders of the world isn’t limited to backpacking treks and rough camping. There are many outstanding hotels and resorts that are tailored to giving you the luxury hotel experience, whilst also being at one with nature. Elephant Hills As the name suggests, a safari holiday at Elephant Hills gives you the chance to get up close to elephant herds at the local camp. You’ll bathe and feed the animals, giving you incredible access to these magnificent creatures. You’ll also enjoy comfortable full board accommodation, well suited to guests of all ages. Each safari lasts between two and four days, depending...
29 April 2018
The world’s most treasured places are precious. We have a responsibility to help make sure they stay that way. Here are some tips on how you can ensure you have a positive impact on the people you meet and places you visit while also having a more enjoyable, authentic experience on your holiday. These tips have been compiled with the help of the sustainable tourism experts, the Travel Foundation. Buy Local Buying local means the money you spend on holiday stays in the local economy. Ask me to suggest excursions using local companies and guides. When you arrive, try to buy locally-made...
24 April 2018
Chobe National Park, Botswana A population of zebras surprised biologists by making a more than 300-mile beeline across parts of Namibia and Botswana—the longest big-mammal migration ever documented in Africa. In the wilds of Africa, food and water come and go with the seasons, and animals follow. The Serengeti is the site of what most consider the most dramatic migration, with giant herds of millions of animals—some 750,000 zebras and 1.2 million wildebeests as well as gazelles and eland traveling from the Ngorongoro area in southern Tanzania to the Masai Mara in lower Kenya and returning as the rains dictate. But when it...
21 April 2018
Some great shooting tips. More and more established grounds are offering fantastic safe, professional facilities in the UK and abroad. Shooting in Europe in particular is becoming more and more popular with UK shooters, though there are a number of things to consider and much planning and preparation is required. There are many precautions you need to take before and during your shooting holiday, alongside making sure you have the right shooting accessories and equipment. Ensure your chosen country accepts firearms. Ensure your airline accepts firearms. Leave plenty of time for check-in. Safely store your firearm and ammunition for the flight. Store your gun safely...
03 April 2018
In no particular order! 1) Trips on Table Mountain Aerial Cableway start at 8am and end as late as 9.30pm, but these times vary seasonally and are weather-dependent. Check on the day by calling the information line on +27 (0)21 424 8181. Be prepared that if you go up and the cable car shuts, you'll need to make your way down. If you haven't booked in advance, the tip is go on line get your ticket there and then it saves the queue! 2) Whale watching: For the best land-based whale watching in the world, try the Cape Overberg coast from...
03 April 2018
ALGERIA: Read a love poem written in French, one of the languages of Algeria ANGOLA: Give a back massage with palm oil, sourced in Angola BENIN: Listen to a bedtime story sung by Angelique Kidjo from Benin, a Grammy-Award winner BOTSWANA: Buy a piece of jewellery (maybe a ring?) with diamonds mined in Botswana BURKINA FASO: Serve a gluten-free sorghum beer, brewed in Burkina Faso BURUNDI: Bake heart shaped cookies with sugar exported from Burundi CAMEROON: Make a ceramic heart-shaped dish, with the clay found in the highlands in Cameroon CAPE VERDE: Drink Portuguese-style wine, made in the vineyards of Cape Verde CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: Make a rich,...
01 April 2018
Local Villages; In two days I've had a baby and got married to a guy I'd only known for an hour (all pretend of course, I'm not a super woman). The locals demonstrated what you would need to do to prove you're ready to get married. I wanted to experience everything they had to offer. I prepared food (picking, peeling, grinding etc), cooked, looked after the children, made rugs (women need to have hand made eight), sold produce at market, learnt to balance basket of Yams on my head (didn't drop any), danced and got married to a very muscly handsome...
01 April 2018
The pinnacle of cultural and natural experience can be found when venturing out to South Africa for a family holiday adventure. Representing a wonderful introduction for children and teenagers to the African continent, inviting cosmopolitan cities, accessible road networks and swift public transport allows for safe, straightforward travel through majestic landscapes and activity-rich locations. When taking children over the age of six, a safari holiday with game drives will likely be top of the itinerary. Well-equipped lodges welcome children with a range of child-friendly facilities, often including dedicated bush school programmes with experienced guides showing them the...
20 March 2018
Gorillas It was one of the hardest, steepest, beautiful mountains I've ever climbed after day three of not sleeping due to travelling. But, oh boy, what an incredible reward at the end seeing the Gorillas. I had a great group. There was a couple from the USA; it was the chap's 70th birthday that day. He was an inspiration and they put my fitness to shame. I'm told Uganda is a little tougher than Rwanda, which can reflect in the price in the permit. They were so playful and funny – everyone asked, 'But did you feel safe'? Yes, it...