Based in Dover

Vicky Dyer

It's Nice To Meet You

I'm a travel agent and I love it! My passion for travel and almost 20 years in the business enables me to create the perfect trip. If it's a holiday you're after then I can help. With support from our Head Office and our award winning technology I'm able to build simple or more complex itineraries that meet your needs exactly.

What sets me apart from the rest is the level of service and attention you'll receive, I get to know my customers and this is shown in my consistently high Customer Service Score. We want to make things as easy as possible for you so every holiday I book is 100% financially protected and we have a 24/7 Duty Office to help whilst you are away. My office is based at home so I'm happy to be available outside normal office hours too.

Don't take my word for it, have a look at my customer testimonials (click on the tab) or give me a call and enjoy the experience for yourself, I would love to hear from you!


Contact Me

Whatever your holiday needs I'm here to help you, so simply give me a call or send me an email with your contact details on and I can get things started for you:

Find me on social

My Videos

W Ibiza - New seasonal opening 22 April 2022


Much anticipated and off the beaten track, W Ibiza strikes a pose on the palm-fringed, sand-drenched beachfront of Santa Eulalia.

Northern Lights


Is searching for the Northern Lights on your bucket list? We have many types of holidays where this is possible - please get in touch to discuss your ideas.

Ras Al Khaimah


With over 7000 years of fascinating history and culture, Ras Al Khaimah is the perfect getaway offering magnificent landscapes and breathtaking coastlines.

SAii Lagoon Maldives


SAii Lagoon Maldives is a cerulean bolthole created for those in search of a playful destination getaway.

Veranda Paul Et Virginie - Mauritius


Adults Only escape with “barefoot vibes” in beautiful Mauritius

Devasom, Khao Lak, Thailand


Devasom Khao Lak Beach Resort and Villas is a luxury boutique hotel on Khaolak's stunning beach. Unwind into relaxing luxury and rewind the senses of time.

Disneyland Paris - 30th Anniversary


The magic grows with you and it's only just begun!

Domes of Elounda


Cosmopolitan explorers, and notable guests alike, have been drawn by the allure of exclusivity into the arms of Domes of Elounda, Crete’s multi-awarded getaway.

Odyssey of the Seas - Royal Caribbean


Introducing the newest Royal Caribbean® gamechanger, and the first Quantum Ultra Class cruise ship to sail in the US – Odyssey of the Seas?.

Scenic Eclipse - The World's First Discovery Yachts


A New Benchmark in Ultra Luxury Cruises - Where Luxury Meets Discovery

One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai


YOUR ARABIAN ADVENTURE Indulge in abundant space, nine inspiring restaurants and dramatic, Arabesque architecture at our luxury hotel in Dubai.

Disneyland Paris - Dining Offer


Up to 20% off all meals! Simply book a Hotel & Park Ticket package in a Disney® Hotel or Les Villages Nature® Paris by 12 Oct ‘21 for arrivals 9 Jan–30 Mar ‘22.

Celebrity Cruises - Always Included


Now, every Celebrity cruise always includes drinks, Wi-Fi, and tips on every sailing, in every room, every time. It’s that simple.

Voted the "Caribbean's Most Romantic Resort" year after year


Sandals Grande Antigua is located on the island's best and most famous beach, Dickenson Bay, and is the perfect place for couples looking to reconnect.

The Sandpiper - Barbados



Virgin Voyages


Adult-Only Cruises with Food, Tips, Free WiFi & Fitness Classes Included - Over $600 in value is always included.

Atlantis The Palm, Dubai


Striking in every way, Atlantis, The Palm is world-famous for its breathtaking design and luxurious features.

Coral Reef, Barbados


Set amidst 12 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on the calm West Coast of Barbados, Coral Reef Club is the epitome of West Indian elegance.

5 Reasons To Book With Me at Travel Counsellors


We've always provided a personal service but now more than ever I can help you navigate the rules and restrictions for travelling abroad.

Disney Magic At Sea


This summer, set sail on a unique Disney staycation at sea from the UK. Be immersed in Disney storytelling, thanks to an amazing collection onboard.

Antigua - Your space in the sun


Escape 2021 and visit Antigua and Barbuda, where we’ve got the sun, the sea and plenty of much-needed space.

Katikies Santorini Greece


Boasting a prime location on a clifftop 100m above the dazzling-blue basin of the caldera and in the most romantic village on the island.

Mykonos Blu, Greece


This boutique offering overlooks the Blue Flag-awarded Psarou Beach from whitewashed low-rise stone bungalows emulating the typical dwellings of the Cyclades.

Peak District Staycation


Making memories is what holidays are all about, here is a short clip of out recent trip to the Peak District. Please get in touch to arrange your Staycation.

Portugal holidays are possible now!


We finally have customers on holiday again! With Portugal & Madeira added to the green list, they are proving very popular - please get in touch to book today!

Dive Back In


Welcome back to travel whether it be for 2021 or 2022 and whether your plans are closer to home or further afield, take a look here >>

Elephant Hills, Thailand


Thailand’s first Luxury Tented Jungle Camps, combining the camp idea of African national parks with the Thai tropical forest environment of our elephant park.

Daiso Cove, Crete, Greece


Your own private sanctuary where attention is paid to the smallest detail. Daios Cove is a natural hub of beauty & serenity for you to explore.

Disney Magic At Sea


NEW! Disney Magic at Sea sailings go on sale Friday 30 April. #DisneyMagicatSea

P&O Cruises - ARVIA


P&O Cruises - New Ship - ARVIA . All-new winter 2022/23 holidays - are here!

We create...


This is what holidaying is all about - let's hope we don't have to wait too much longer!

Atlantis The Palm, Dubai


This Dubai icon is the ultimate holiday destination to make lifetime memories. From thrill-seekers to sun lovers, there is an unforgettable experience for all.

Trusted Travel 2


Our reviews on Trust Pilot speak for themselves, please do get in touch to discuss your holidays, I'd love to help - 01304 897810

Learn to Water-ski on all-inclusive!


In November 19, we visited Sandals Grande St Lucian & water-skiing is included with the all-inclusive, it took many attempts but super proud that I cracked it!

Stella Island Luxury Resort & Spa, Crete


Perfect for couples and honeymooners, this is an adult-only property with a balance between tranquility & sublime accommodation, including overwater bungalows.

The World Of Good


We all know that a holiday will do us the world of good after months of living in a more limited way. Get in touch today, I'd love to help plan your next trip.

Ozen Reserve Bolifushi, Maldives


An Indian Ocean haven where every experience is exceptional. Where sophisticated luxury blends with rustic, barefoot charms for a uniquely Maldivian experience.

Jamaica, Caribbean


Naturally charming and beautiful, Jamaica is the kind of place your whole family will enjoy – from exciting days packed with fun to picnics on the beach.

Mini Adventure in Devon, UK - Surf & Yoga!


Looking to tick something off your bucket list but don't want to venture too far? Take a look at this 2 night break which includes surf lessons and yoga!

Thinking of a family ski holiday?


This is a quick video of our FIRST family ski holiday, we stayed in a catered ski chalet in Les Arcs - give me a call if you are thinking of visiting the snow!

Who else cannot wait to have this view and hear this sound?!


This was in St Lucia - the last beach holiday I did before the dreaded Covid-19 currently wondering where I will enjoy this sound and view again!

Trusted Travel


For us, trusted travel has always been at the heart of what we do, but now more than ever, it is so important to make your holiday run smoothly.

Santa's Lapland


You may be aware we went on a Lapland trip in 2018 and it was completely magical and amazing, if you;d like to do this trip, please give me a call 01304 897810.

Aurora Expeditions


Would you like to visit some of the most remote coastal regions in the world? Aurora Expeditions can take you there - please get in touch for more information!

My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

Carlisle Bay, Antigua

22 March 2022

Carlisle Bay, ANTIGUA, is ideal for both couples and families Situated on Antigua’s unspoilt south coast, Carlisle Bay looks out over white sand, palm trees and turquoise water with a dramatic backdrop of tropical rainforest-covered hills. Each of the spacious 87 suites have cool, calm and contemporary interiors along with stunning views, while four restaurants tempt with home-grown treats and flavours from around the world. Whether you choose guilt-free inactivity, participate in complimentary watersports, take in a movie at the Screening Room or indulge in a spa treatment, the hotel brings chic and simple luxury to the beach. Highlights >Best resort beach in Antigua >Four fantastic restaurants >Wellness activity plans to complement the Cara Organic Beauty Spa >Great Cool Kids Club offered complimentary for children aged 2 years and above >Great teens activities programme during school holidays >Screening room Complimentary non-motorised water sports and best diving point just a 10 minute boat ride from the resort.


16 March 2022

Vancouver Simply a city like no other, Vancouver effortlessly combines the excitement and energy of a modern city with the invigorating appeal of the great outdoors. From spring’s abundance of cherry blossoms and summer’s sparkling waterfront days, through to the city’s fall cultural festivals and the snowy winter wonderland on the mountain peaks, Vancouver offers its visitors year-round adventure. • Vancouver is a cosmopolitan city surrounded by nature, providing easy access to both urban and nature activities. The city is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean with mountains in the city and situated in a temperate rainforest. • It is a year-round destination with four distinct seasons that each offer unique scenery, festivals and events as well as attractPasteions • Vancouver has a compact, walkable downtown core • The city is very bike friendly with designated bike lanes and a paved seawall path surrounding the waterfront • Multicultural city with a diverse culinary scene • Vancouver is a homeport for the Alaska Cruise with both one-way and return itineraries • Recommended length of stay is 3-4 nights

Gold Dinner - London

08 March 2022

I was lucky to be invited to Travel Counsellors Gold Dinner at the end of February. It was hosted in London at the Mayfair Biltmore. We were truly looked after! It felt a little strange after two years of no events like this but it felt so good to be able to see so many of my fellow TCs and staff at Head Office including the Directors. It’s been a tough two years in travel and I think we are all still feeling a little battered and bruised but the weekend was a celebration that we made it this far and will continue to do what we do best - look after our customers, to whom I am very grateful for the continuing support you have all shown. I stayed at the Conrad St James. Its in a great location and the service was impeccable. Breakfast was very good with lots of options and all very fresh. We had a great room with very large bathroom and I am told they have the same mattresses used by The Queen! Definitely a hotel I’d recommend for a London break. I didn’t have a huge amount of free time but we made the most of it by walking everywhere during the days to get from venue to venue as they were a little spread out. The daffodils in the parks were brilliant and we even caught a bit of changing of the guards (which resulted in us almost missing the train home!). Great city for a few days away though and reminded me that I must take the children again now they are a bit older. If you are thinking of a break in London, please do remember to give me a try, I'd love to help.

Costa Del Sol, Spain

01 March 2022

COSTA DEL SOL, SPAIN Located in the south of Andalusia, the breath-taking Costa del Sol is also home to gorgeous gastronomy, superb shopping, fascinating museums and some incredible inland landscapes; all of which combine to create a fantastic holiday destination for those looking for guaranteed sunshine, whilst being able to do something that little bit different too. Head to the Costa del Sol’s capital of Malaga and you’ll find some of the most fascinating museums in all of Spain. The birthplace of the great painter, Pablo Picasso, there are museums dedicated to not only art here, but also archaeology, wine, cars, glass and crystal, and much more. If you can prise yourself away from sipping Sangria on your sun lounger, you’ll find a stunning hinterland that’s home to breathtaking rural landscapes and picture-perfect Pueblos Blancos – the traditional white-washed villages that spill down from the Costa del Sol’s rugged hillsides.

Latitudes° Over Water Bar by Sandals

23 February 2022

Latitudes° Over Water Bar by Sandals . You can sip cocktails in paradise whilst sharing an over-the-water hammock for two. Drinks at sunset never looked so good! . You will find Sandals' innovative, over water bars at the following resorts in Jamaica: Sandals South Coast Sandals Montego Bay Sandals Ochi . Who would you share a sunset tipple here with?

2024 World Voyage

16 February 2022

Join Azamara on their 2024 World Voyage, a carefully curated collection of 10 segments that all join together to create a 155-night immersive journey across the globe on our newest ship, Azamara OnwardSM. While they'd love every guest to experience all 155 nights of this incredible voyage, they understand the need for flexibility, which is why they’ve made all segments available to our guests. All 2024 World Voyage segments are officially open for individual booking. Whether you would like to join Azamara for one segment, a few, or all 10, there is an option for them. Best of all, when you book a segment individually, you’ll receive an Experience More Essentials Package, offering free wi-fi, $300 Onboard Credit, and an upgraded premium beverage package.* Give me a call for more information 01304 897810.

Constantinou Bros - Athena Beach Hotel 4* Superior

08 February 2022

Constantinou Bros Hotels are proud to announce new developments at their hotels with new rooms and suites and a range of exciting new facilities for adults and children! Constantinou Bros - Athena Beach Hotel 4* Superior Great for families and adults and fully renovated last winter with a multi-million pound upgrade with new Superior swim up pool rooms and Superior suites, new children's facilities and a new adult only zone. All public areas, bars and restaurants have been refurbished with a new bar and all hotel rooms now offer new premium wood effect flooring with luxury bathrooms offering bath or shower. New Superior Swim-up pool rooms have been created with direct pool access from your patio. Furthermore the creation of an exclusive adult zone dedicated to adults with a separate adult only pool and a new adults cocktail bar as well as dedicated adult only Zephyr restaurant for breakfast and dinner. New children’s facilities have been added with the new Oasis Splash waterslides, landing pools, splash pads and spray toys guaranteeing endless fun for our young guests. More family interconnecting rooms have also been added with all new ‘Get Together’ experience for larger families and groups. Early booking offers are available on bookings made before 28 February 2022

Introducing a new property: Nova Maldives.

15 December 2021

Set to open its doors on the 1 April 2022, Nova Maldives offers a modern All-Inclusive Community concept; genuine hospitality with a personalised touch and innovative solutions. The island provides a laidback atmosphere, perfect for anyone travelling alone, with loved ones, friends or family. . Villas Located in South Ari Atoll, Nova Maldives can be reached by a short 25 minute scenic seaplane ride from Male airport. Boasting 76 land and ocean villas, each comes with private terraces and seemingly endless ocean views. . Dining Guests can nourish their souls at the resort's vibrant dining areas, pool and communal spaces. With 5 electric dining outlets to choose from, guests can indulge in specialty grill dishes, signature teppanyaki experience, international cuisines and light pool side snacks. . Explore the Underwater World South Ari Atoll is a renowned location for excellent marine life. Guests can explore the exceptional house reef accessible directly from the island, or venture to nearby spots to dive or snorkel with whale sharks and mantas. . Early Bird Offer Book 45 days prior to arrival and receive 15% off room rate on all room category. Get in touch to find out more.

Modern Beachfront Cottage in Cornwall

07 December 2021

How amazing is this modern beachfront cottage in Cornwall?! . Set looking over the charming village of Sennen, you will find this luxurious dwelling. Surrounded by the glorious Cornish countryside and the soft sandy beaches that line the shore, this stylish abode is the perfect choice for one or two couples, or a family of four travelling with their canine companions to this magnificent part of the country. Shop 0.6 miles, pub 0.9 miles. . Please get in touch to find out prices - available to book through to November 2023!

TRS Ibiza - brand new hotel opening June 2022!

15 November 2021

> TRS Ibiza Hotel lands on the White Island, as the first hotel to offer the exclusive concept of “all-inclusive premium” in an adult only atmosphere. > Opening Summer 2022 > TRS Hotels are pure adult only luxury, with 5-star facilities with 24-hour butler service and room service > This will be the first TRS hotel to open in Europe and is in San Antonio, Ibiza

Northern Lights Holidays

09 November 2021

These photos were taken by a member of our very special team in Iceland this month (November 2021) - we have an amazing partnership with Obeo - they really look after our guests in Iceland. Before they took these photos, they called all customers in resort to say go out that evening as the forecast showed a very rare 7 out of 9! These were taken from Reykjavik, in the heart of the city! If you'd love to plan a trip to try and see this spectacular phenomenon why not get in touch?

Summer Holiday 2023 - On sale now!!

02 November 2021

Summer Holiday 2023 - On sale now!! . We can book European beach holidays right through to October 2023 now with only £60 per person deposit! . Giving you plenty of time to budget - you can download our free App and pay monthly or just whenever you have a few spare pounds in your bank at the end of the month! . Whether you are looking for a luxury adult only break or a free child place, please get in touch today!

Titan Travel Are Now On Sale For 2023!

26 October 2021

Titan Travel are now on sale for 2023! . If you are looking for a bucket-list trip or just like to plan ahead why not get in touch? . Booking well in advance allows you to take advantage of Titan Travel's Early Bird Promise, which guarantees the best possible price on the holiday (with an automatic refund of the difference if the price is dropped to below what you paid). . Sensational South Africa, 14 days starts from £2999 per person South America Discovery Cruise & Tour, 24 days from £4299 per person Wild Costa Rica 16 days from £3699 per person . Why not get in touch to find out more - 01304 897810, I'd love to help.

Honeymoon Gift Registry

06 October 2021

Our Honeymoon Gift Registry Service An easy, stress-free way to manage your dream wedding and honeymoon online. Our Honeymoon Gift Registry service allows your wedding guests to give you the most memorable gift of all – your dream honeymoon tailor made down to the finest detail. You may already have all the bed linen and towels you need, or you may have a perfect honeymoon in mind but need a helping hand making your dream trip a reality. Whether it’s the ultimate adventure trip, a romantic city break or a luxurious retreat to faraway shores, the Gift Registry means you can have the honeymoon you always wanted. Get in touch to find out more -

The Best Homeworking Agency

28 September 2021

Such wonderful news! I'm delighted to say that Travel Counsellors has won the award in the best homeworking agency category at the Travel Weekly Agent Achievement Awards! These awards celebrate excellence in the travel trade and are highly regarded in the travel industry. At Travel Counsellors we work hard to show our customers the highest level of care and support, so winning this award means a lot. I look forward to helping you with your travel plans in the coming weeks and months too.

Looking for something in the UK but that is unique?

21 September 2021

Experience the sensation of true freedom on the open road on this adventure entirely of your own choosing in an iconic VW campervan. Whether you take the camper van for a couple of nights to explore the stunning scenery of the Lake District, or you decide to go a bit further afield, this is one adventure that will live long in the memory. . Pick up your campervan from your starting point just outside the Lakes and the Yorkshire Dales, and from there, it’s totally up to you where you travel. Note: Pick up is on Monday or Friday only. Lancaster pick up/drop off. . Winnie is a bright, cheerful orange campervan, kept in incredible condition since she was manufactured in 1971. She’s a 4 berth camper (the 2 beds in the pop up roof are hammock style and best suited to children – it’s like a den!) and comes with a heater, a mains hook up, a fully equipped kitchen and fridge, and a gas cooker. . Give me a call to find out more - 01304 897810!

Unique Stay in the New Forest

14 September 2021

UNIQUE STAY IN THE NEW FOREST! . This sprawling, circular (167sq m) treehouse stay is suspended 35ft above the ground in the New Forest. Part of Chewton Glen Hotel in Hampshire which has been voted ‘Best Hotel in the British Isles’! . The traditional British restaurant has garnered numerous awards, but don’t let that sway you – Chewton Glen has to be experienced personally to be enjoyed properly. With a staff-to-guest ratio of two-to-one, it’s impossible not to feel like pampered royalty at this world-renowned boutique hotel in Hampshire. #stayinatreehouse #luxurytreehousestay #chewtonglen #fivestarukhotel #ukhotels #luxuryukhotels #uniquestay

Alaska, a holiday of a lifetime

07 September 2021

Alaska, a holiday of a lifetime - with Princess Cruises You are invited to sail with the #1 Alaska cruise line in 2023. It is time to start exploring again and an epic adventure awaits on the holiday of a lifetime. You’ll encounter jaw-dropping scenery, abundant wildlife and experience a unique culture rich in history. The complete experience - From the moment you arrive in Alaska, Princess will share their 50 year legacy of the best places and experiences. From glaciers to untamed wildlife, from national parks to majestic mountains, and from the freshest seafood to memorable shore excursions, Alaska has it all. It is known as The Great Land and you’ll be left in no doubt as to where it gets its name. To find out more, get in touch at or by phone on 01304 897810.

Sky Safari

31 August 2021

SkySafari A SkySafari is more than a holiday. It’s a luxury safari immersion. These meticulously curated, air safari charters will whisk you right into East Africa’s most spine-tingling, hair-raising, mind-blowing wilderness…in comfort and in style. You’ll be fast tracked through airports, transported in a private charter aircraft, booked into the most exquisite camps in the best wildlife locations and immersed into life in the bush by some of the best guides in the business. Every detail will be taken care of – from optimising your chances of seeing the Big Five to knowing how you take your G&T. Travel to Kenya or Tanzania on a SkySafari and you won’t just see Africa, you’ll feel it. If you'd like to find out more, please get in touch!

Introducing the all-new Sandals Royal Curacao

18 August 2021

Book NOW for travel starting April 2022 . Limited time offer - save 45% on all room categories. . Nestled in the heart of the Leeward Antilles, the all-new Sandals Royal Curacao is a romantic paradise designed for lovers, with never before see Sandals signature accommodations such as first-ever Awa Seaside Bungalows with private pools, the first Kurason Island 2-Level Infinity Pool. With 12 all-new dining concepts, including Sandals first-ever floating restaurant and three new food trucks, as well as guests in select rooms enjoying a complimentary convertible MIN Cooper to explore the island - this brand new resort is redefining the Luxury Included experience. . Give me a call to find out more and for prices - 01304 897810

UK Staycations are still proving very popular!

10 August 2021

The UK is still my number 1 destination for this year! . Did you know I can offer quirky and unique accommodation as well as the usual hotels, lodges, cottages and so on? . Great for groups or if you are looking for somewhere special to celebrate an anniversary or birthday! . Which would you choose? A helicopter, double decker bus, a hobbit house or a railway carriage?

Mett Fred Olsen's new ship 'Borealis'

30 July 2021

Meet Fred.Olsen’s new ship ‘Borealis’ . This July, Fred.Olsen’s new ship ‘Borealis’ will be setting sail from Liverpool on her maiden voyage around the British Isles. This stylish, spacious and comfortable vessel will feature capacity for fewer than 1,400 guests ensuring an intimate experience for all on board as you sail from convenient UK departure points to discover the British Isles, Europe and the rest of the world. . As a firm favourite amongst the Travel Counsellor’s community, we were excited when Fred.Olsen unveiled plans for the new ship and as we near the date of her maiden voyage, we’ve taken a closer look at what she has in store for you. . Whilst smaller than many cruise vessels in terms of capacity, Borealis is still one of the largest ships in the Fred.Olsen fleet, ensuring you never feel overcrowded onboard. From its stylish bars, elegant dining venues and soothing spa facilities, to its 690 cabins, there’s abundant space for you to unwind and enjoy the experience. . Get in touch to find out more - I'd love to help - 01304 897810

Introducing Uniworlds Rivers of the World Cruise 2023

06 July 2021

2023 Rivers of the World Cruise. Uniworlds first annual Rivers of the World cruise is a truly breath-taking spectacle, offering by far the greatest river cruise experience available anywhere in the world. You will travel for a total of 46 nights across 9 different countries (across 2 continents) on board five stunning Super Ships. Beginning in Cairo, you will start your unforgettable journey with the finest opening ceremony, the perfect way to begin such an experience. From here you will cruise along the Nile and stay in Egypt’s finest hotels. After 11 days guests will cross the Mediterranean Sea into the Swiss Alps, before embarking on a journey to Milan and settling down on board the beautiful Super Ship La Venezia in Venice. No river journey would be complete without a cruise down the Danube, a constant favourite for new and experienced river cruises alike. After your Danube adventure you will board the Super Ship Joie de Vivre for a journey through Paris and along the Seine for the penultimate leg of this journey. The perfect ending to this once-in-a-lifetime adventure is experiencing the spectacular Douro River Valley onboard the new Super Ship São Gabriel. On board, you will enjoy our usual host of all-inclusive luxurious amenities, as well as Welcome and Farewell events. In every destination you will enjoy VIP access to a range of must-sees, as well as exclusive surprises along the way. All flights including internal flights will be included. This 46-night cruise will depart May 20, 2023. From £28,349 per person (including all flights and 10% Early Booking Discount) - 01304 897810 to find out more!

Sandals, Caribbean

30 June 2021

It's finally time to swap lockdown for touchdown in the Caribbean. 4 of Sandal's luxury all-inclusive resorts are now on the Green List. Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados are ideal resorts for pool people or those that love to partake in lots of activities during their trips. The resorts have a sleek finish, for those who opt for more modern rooms and suites. Flight time - 9 hours This resort is perfect for those looking for a relaxing escape from busy life, as the property has a laid back nature. It's also the ideal location for budding scuba divers, as the island provides some of the most amazing diving sites in the world! Flight time - 10 hours Your clients can stay in a resort that's steps from the islands best beach, Dickenson Bay. It's the longest on the island and is home to powdery white sand for as far as the eye can see. The resort showcases our rich Caribbean heritage through the décor, making it the perfect place for an authentic experience. Flight time - 8 hours 50 mins Email me to find out more!

Bespoke USA itineraries

22 June 2021

My private, independent US itineraries are customised to your every wish and need. Based on sample itineraries, they will be tailored to take in your own interests and passions, whether that’s food and wine, wildlife, wellness, culture or a mixture of some or all of these and more, and your travelling style. At the forefront are immersive educational experiences created in consultation with universities, museums, naturalists and educators, making learning a pleasure and a privilege. Food and drink > Foodie travel is on the rise, and my U.S. itineraries can embrace everything from farm-to-table dining and cookery classes to distillery tours and wine-blending – hands-on experiences that will bring you an unparalleled connection with your destination and its people. Discover the lobster shacks and hip craft breweries of the craggy Maine coastline, for instance, or swoop over the California countryside by helicopter to explore a Napa winery on an exclusive private tour and feast in some of the state’s Michelin-starred restaurants. Wildlife > Our hands-on, meaningful connections with the natural world range from meetings with scientists and naturalists to conservation-focused encounters with animals in the wild. To take just a few examples, you can fly to a remote beach in Alaska’s Katmai National Park to observe grizzly bears in their natural habitat, and tour the National Parks of Arizona, Wyoming and Utah by private jet, spotting bison and more on a Yellowstone safari. I can customise your U.S. trip to make it the long overdue adventure you've been longing for. If you can't see what you was looking for above, please get in touch - 01304 897810 or

Top 5 UK experiences with Intrepid Travel!

25 May 2021

Intrepid Travel provide small group tours and big adventures! Here are there 5 best recommended things to do in the UK! . 1 - Get a real insight into Roman history on the Hadrian’s Wall walk 2 - Uncover the best of the Welsh coastline hiking the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path 3 - Taste the tricks of traditional whisky making in the Scottish Highlands 4 - Soak in the scenic seaside scenery with oceanside yoga session in Cornwall 5 - Ride your way into some of the UK’s best loved scenery in the Lake District . Please get in touch to find out more about these and other UK group trips - 01304 897810

Iona is here!

18 May 2021

I’ve been fortunate enough to attend many ship launches over the years....but the Iona naming ceremony was a first! I had a front row seat at the virtual launch of P&O Cruises Iona. Accompanied by a good box and my own bottle of Britpop cider, I enjoyed the evening very much from the warmth of my lounge! Iona will carry up to 5200 guests. She is the greenest member of the P&O Cruises fleet and the first British cruise ship to be powered by liquefied natural gas LNG. P&O Cruises newest and most innovative ship was designed to invite the outdoors in. Gazing out from the stunning SkyDome, three-tier glass Grand Atrium or the brand-new Conservatory Mini-suite cabins, you’re never far from a spectacular view of the ever-changing horizon. Iona will take her maiden voyage on a UK cruise in August 2021 from Southampton and I can't wait for my customers to be sailing once again! If you'd like to book on board one of the summer UK cruises or any other of Iona's sailing over the coming months, please do get in touch, I'd love to help. #ionaishere #wewilltravelagain #iona #pandocruises #withusitspersonal

Make a splash in Jersey this summer!

11 May 2021

Make a splash in Jersey this summer For a small island, Jersey packs a punch when it comes to activities you can do off the coast, boasting unique experiences you wouldn’t find anywhere else in the UK. It’s hard to think of anything more exciting than crashing through the waves out at sea, leaving the rugged shoreline behind you. On a trip with Jersey Seafaris, you can do just that as you explore the coast, offshore reefs and islands in the waters around Jersey. One trip visits Les Écréhous, an archipelago off Jersey’s shores, where wildlife-viewing opportunities abound. It’s also possible to spot bottlenose dolphins and Atlantic grey seals on some Seafaris! Jersey is now open to tourists, so as soon as you’re ready, the Little Island with a Big Spirit is waiting for you.

Awards in the past 5 years

27 April 2021

When you're ready to travel again, I'm here to offer you an award-winning service. It's brilliant for us to be recognised for all the hard work that the Travel Counsellors community does in creating unforgettable travel experiences for our customers. Please feel free to get in touch with all your holiday enquiries - 01304 897810 or


20 April 2021

MOROCCO is the Kingdom that sits on the Atlantic Coast where it joins the Mediterranean. Only 2 hours away but worlds apart. Marrakech has so many contrasts! The modern city has wide palm-lined boulevards, whilst within the old city walls a world of history comes alive. Traditional craftsmen working gold, silver, brass and copper are here to see in the souk as well as the bartering for spices, material, local artefacts to name a few. There is the hustle and bustle of life but then the oasis calm of your choice of stay. From Marrakech excursions include the Atlas Mountains whose snow capped peaks often define the horizon. Don’t miss the Djemma El Fna the hub of Marrakech full of music, acrobats, story-tellers and snake-charmers. There is an array of accommodation from the Luxury Award-winning 5* La Mamounia to the delightful small riads. A riad is a type of traditional Moroccan and Andalusi interior garden or courtyard associated with house and palace architecture. The term is nowadays often used in Morocco to refer to a hotel or guesthouse-style accommodation This truly is a magical mystical destination with so much charm and authenticity. Please give me a call to book your trip to Marrakech - 01304 897810.

Spotlight on UK Spa Hotels

12 April 2021

SPOTLIGHT ON UK SPA HOTELS Another Place, Lake District Georgian grandeur gets a contemporary remake at Another Place –? a handsome home turned family-friendly hotel in the Lake District national park. Fell-flecked scenery unfurls from every window, sloping down to a private lake shore and Ullswater's sail-graced surface. Indeed, everything at Another Place flows back to the source, from the lake views you'll spy from almost all 40 rooms to the Swim Club spa with its water-facing pool. On the lake-step, you'll find running trails, horse-riding, cycling and kayaking – even wild swimming for the brave. But no pep talks needed for a trip to the Rampsbeck restaurant, which revels in regional produce, with local Herdwick lamb and Morecambe Bay shrimp. It's Another Place, entirely... Lime Wood, Hampshire Originally a mediaeval hunting lodge way back in the 13th century, this New Forest manor was reclaimed for royalty by the Duke of Clarence in the 1740s. Since then, Lime Wood hotel has had another extravagant makeover, giving this stately pile an air of perfection, with landscaped grounds, devotedly designed interiors, a super spa and a tantalising restaurant to prove it. Cliveden, Berkshire Ever since John Profumo first laid eyes on Christine Keeler as she basked in Cliveden’s pool, it’s been clear that this Berkshire boutique hotel was destined to be a Mr & Mrs Smith retreat of choice. As well as being a celebrated haunt for politicos and literati, this majestic neoclassical manor, with its air of not-so-faded grandeur, has had decadence, scandal and intrigue bound up in its walls since the day it was built - to house the Duke of Buckingham's mistress, no less. Chewton Glen, Hampshire It’s been voted ‘Best Hotel in the British Isles’ and the traditional British restaurant has garnered numerous awards, but don’t let that sway you – Chewton Glen has to be experienced personally to be enjoyed properly. With a staff-to-guest ratio of two-to-one, it’s impossible not to feel like pampered royalty at this world-renowned boutique hotel in Hampshire. Combining the old-school elegance of the Jeeves & Wooster era with a style-sharp modern sensibility (treehouse suite, anyone?), this hotel, spa, restaurant and country club is as seductive as it is suave. Please get in touch for more information and prices - or 01304 897810

Postcards & Chocolate!

06 April 2021

It's not often we receive postcards now, so you can imagine how delighted I was to get this one through the post with a chocolate bar attached! . It was a Thank You from the Grenada Tourism Authority for a booking that travelled just before the first lockdown but this was the first opportunity they had to send it! . Now all I need to decide is whether to keep it for myself or share it with the kids! . Known as the ‘Island of Spice’ on account of it being the home of nutmeg, cinnamon and many other exotic spices, the gorgeous Caribbean island of Grenada has so much to offer for all types of traveller. Home to sublime stretches of cashmere-soft sand beaches, breathtaking waterfalls and unforgettable dive sites, glorious Grenada is a place where untouched beauty meets warm and friendly people, to make a holiday destination that offers a vibrant and enchanting experience.

Delight in the beauty of Greece this summer!

31 March 2021

Combine Greece’s summer heat with its incomparable coastline views – think private pools, idyllic islands and long sandy beaches - and it’s easy to see why interest in Greece is naturally picking up. As more and more people look for seclusion, savvy travellers are heading to lesser-known islands for their relaxed coastal vibes and typical Grecian charm. I can arrange your holiday to Greece with full financial protection, giving you peace of mind to look forward to your trip in excitement. Link here >>

Wow Factor accommodation and it's adult only!

22 March 2021

Wow-factor accommodation and it's adult only! . This has got to be one of my most favourite wow-factor rooms, doesn't it look just amazing!!! So, where is it? Thailand... . Conceived as though by Nature’s own Architect, TreeHouse Villas, is a visionary new adults-only luxury resort design for those with a love of the environment, beauty of nature and a desire to rediscover their inner child. Set amongst the jungle’s canopy in a treetop location with unspoiled views to the sea and the ancient Jurassic massifs of Phang Nga Bay itself. . This hotel works particularly well with multi-centre itineraries in Thailand and can be twinnned with Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Elephant Hills and other islands - please get in touch for more information and prices - 01304 897810.

Great Little Breaks - UK Hotel Offers

16 March 2021

Great Little Breaks is one of our UK suppliers - they offer short breaks around the country very often with added value such as a dinner or afternoon tea, or maybe a room upgrade Our top-selling destinations and offers currently with them are: 1. Lake District - This all-inclusive deal is for the 3* Ennerdale Country House Hotel - 2 nights from £149pp including dinner, bed & breakfast, lunch and alcoholic drinks from 7pm-11pm. From £149pp 2. Chester - Chester dining offer at the 4* Crabwall Manor. Includes dinner, bed & breakfast and a glass of wine with dinner. From £74.50pp 3. Bournemouth - Bournemouth deal at the 4* Cumberland Hotel 2 nights bed & full breakfast, dinner on the first night and cake on arrival. From £116.50pp 4. Bicester Village Shopping Break - Stay at the 4* Mercure Thames Lambert Hotel including dinner, bed & breakfast and a discount shopping card for Biscester village. From £79.50pp 5. Newcastle - This deal is staying the 3* Royal Station Hotel with dinner, bed & breakfast. From just £54.50pp . To find out more about these offers and many more, please give me a call on 01304 897810

Walt Disney World, Florida 2022

09 March 2021

Walt Disney World Florida is on sale now for departure right through to December 2022! . Visit Mickey and Minnie at one of the 4 Disney Parks and enjoy the 2 Disney waterparks! . I've stayed on-site at WDW twice now and we love the complete experience - it's like being in a magical Disney bubble! Please get in touch to plan your magical trip - I'd love to help! . You can also check my blogs from the last time we visited in 2018 >>> Overview Restaurant recommendations 1 Restaurant recommendations 2 Fast Pass Tips

Hotel Spotlight - Ikos Andalusia - Dining

02 March 2021

Ikos Andalusia is home to seven inspiring restaurants which take customers on a gastronomic journey across Europe and beyond. These amazing dining experiences can also be complemented with the unparalleled dine-out programme. • Ouzo: contemporary Greek cooking with an inspiring a la carte menu created by Michelin-starred chef Lefteris Lazarou • Fresco: under the creative genius of Michelin-starred chef Ettore Botrini, enjoy fresh seafood, choice cuts of meat and hand-picked market produce • Provence: Provencal inspired cuisineby Michelin-starred chef Anthony Jehanno • Anaya: a la carte menu with vibrant aromas and flavours of Asia and the Orient • Beach Club: an all day menu of classic international dishes with a chilled ambience • Oliva: enjoy authentic Spanish dishes in relaxed surroundings, complemented with fabulous views over the pools and gardens • Flavors: Mediterranean restaurant with an amazing choice of dishes and an impressive selection of wines Please get in touch to find out more and for prices - 01304 897810 or

Honeymoon Gift Registry Service

10 February 2021

Are you getting married in 2021, 2022 or 2023? Or do you know someone who is? We have honeymoons available to book for all those years for some destinations and our fantastic Gift Registry service is ideal for those who prefer not to have a traditional gift list. Our Honeymoon Gift Registry Service -An easy, stress-free way to manage your dream honeymoon online - courtesy of your personal Travel Counsellor. Our Honeymoon Gift Registry service allows your guests to give you the most memorable gift of all – your dream honeymoon tailor made down to the finest detail. You may already have all the bed linen and towels you need, or you may have a perfect honeymoon in mind but need a helping hand making your dream trip a reality. Whether it’s the ultimate adventure trip, a romantic city break or a luxurious retreat to faraway shores, the Gift Registry means you can have the honeymoon you always wanted. And best of all this service is provided free of charge if your honeymoon is booked through me. Please get in touch for more information - 01304 897810.

UK Staycations – what am I able to book?

14 February 2021

The UK is looking particularly busy already for 2021, especially for the school holidays, so if you are considering a Staycation I’d urge you to book as soon as possible! Christmas and New Year weeks are also very busy already and did you know I can book up until December 2022 in many cases? We have a lot of UK suppliers so I wanted to run through some of the options I am able to offer you, all with the same great service from start to finish and 100% financial protection in the event of a supplier failure! Travel Counsellors has topped 3 surveys by MoneySavingExpert during the pandemic for looking after our customers, so with any booking you make with me, you will be well looked after. One of the most common requests at the moment is lodges with hot-tubs and wood-burners – we have lots of those all over the countries, including treehouse-style lodges! Our selection of private houses is extensive too. Our ‘unique collection’ includes overnight stays in a helicopter, an ex-World War II bunker, a hobbit hole to name just a few – we have many more quirky stays available too! The houses themselves range from budget to luxurious, from 1 bedroomed/open plan up to options that take 30 people or more! Some have private swimming pools, hot-tubs, games rooms, spectacular views and so on! Many are deemed family friendly and there lots of options along the British coast and in many of our beautiful National Parks! If you like a bit of pampering we have a wide choice of hotels, again all over the country and again ranging from budget to luxurious. We feature the exclusive Gleneagles in Scotland, The Laura Ashley Hotel in the Lake District and the Cliveden in Berkshire (where Meghan Markle spent the night before her wedding!). We have a range of family friendly hotels and a boutique range more suited to couples and of course, some that are adult only too. Many are also offering added value such as a meal included on your first evening, a bottle of fizz or maybe an afternoon tea. One of the more popular requests are the tours (often small groups) that enable you to meet others – they are often themed around interests such as walking, cycling, wildlife or discovery for example. More often than not, they’ll include a major spot of interest such as Hadrian’s Wall, Snowdonia, The Orkney Islands or historic buildings. For families of course, we can offer stays at many holiday parks where entertainment is included – many of these feature swimming pools (indoors and outdoors), have children’s play areas and offer additional activities to keep everyone busy during their stay! Independent touring has been another popular request – this can be entirely tailor-made to your requirements and the accommodation can be mix-and-match-style throughout the itinerary. We can even provide a motorhome for you to tour in if you fancy a little more adventure! A popular itinerary is the North Coast 500 in Scotland, Cornwall is always a top request but with it being so far for so many, making it into a road-trip allows you to enjoy different parts of the UK without a long drive at the beginning and end! Not forgetting our amazing islands too – I can offer all of the above on the Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, the Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man and Scottish Islands! With things still uncertain, the UK is proving more popular than ever before and as with holidays abroad, our UK suppliers are offering more flexibility than ever before! As with all trips, I can run through the conditions prior to booking so you know where you stand before you commit. And of course, I’ll keep you updated with all the latest travel restrictions and help with changes if lockdowns come into force and affect your trip. Whether you are looking for a 1 night stay or a month long UK adventure please do give me a try – I’d love to help. If you are looking for inspiration, why not join my holiday offers group here where you’ll find lots of ideas for the UK and abroad >> or check out my offers webpage here >>

Indian Ocean Destination Guide

09 February 2021

Picture the dream tropical island. Palm trees swaying softly in the breeze, crystalline waters lapping against talcum powder-white sand and a myriad of tropical fish darting through the shallows around their magnificent coral reef – all whilst the sun casts its warming glow across the horizon. Chances are you’re envisaging one of the dream-like islands that lay adrift in the vast Indian Ocean. With the help of our new guide to the Indian Ocean, and my expertise on the area, we can create your ultimate island hideaway for later this year. Take a look here >>> Please get in touch to plan your Indian Ocean trip, I'd love to help! Email: Phone: 01304 897810


02 February 2021

Bangkok is one of the most exciting cities in the world and is a hub of all things food, offering everything from street food vendors to fine dining. It is one of the greatest street food cities and when exploring the city, there is an abundance of delicious things to eat everywhere you look! Possibly Bangkok’s most famous street food vendor is Jay Fai, who earned herself a Michelin star for the quality of her food. The restaurant is usually booked out a month or two in advance so it’s worth arriving first thing in the morning to try and get on the walk-in list. Make sure to try the crab omelette, the stall’s most famed dish. The best areas for foodies in Bangkok include: • Chinatown: offering a great mixture of Thai and Chinese favourites, there are many street food vendors and tiny restaurants here and the cute tea shops are perfect for taking a break • Chatuchak: at the weekend you’ll find a great selection of food within the gigantic market as well as a food court where you can enjoy ready-made meals such as som tam (spicy papaya salad) and khanom krok • Thonglor: for an upmarket meal and less of the street food opportunities, head to Thonglor where you’ll find Thai, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and American dishes, among others • Khlong Toei: head here for a real taste of local Thai food with prices that won’t break the bank. You can also visit the biggest wet market in Bangkok and see where many restaurants source their fish and seafood. All holidays in Thailand can easily be twinned with this exciting city, so please do get in touch to arrange your tailor-made Thailand itinerary -

Thai Massaman Curry Kit!

11 January 2021

Earlier this month I took part in a Thailand training with Thai Tourism. . As well as learning some top tip ideas for luxury days out whilst in this beautiful country we also had a spotlight on the stunning Six Senses Yao Noi - 56 villas with private pools, their own space and a rustic but luxurious feel. The hotel showcases amazing views and blends in seamlessly with nature! Message me for more info. . A couple of days after the training I was surprised (and delighted) to recieve The Spicery Thai Massaman Curry with Nam Prik kit through my letterbox as a thank you for attending the training. Fast forward a few more days and a shopping trip later and we enjoyed a delicious meal - thank you Thai Tourism and Six Senses Hotels Thailand! . If you'd like to visit Thailand and experience this curry (and much more Thai cuisine) for real, then please get in touch, I'd love to help.

The World of Good

06 January 2021

I am sure most of us have been dreaming about a holiday and I think we all know that a holiday would do us the world of good after months of uncertainty, restrictions and not being able to see our friends and family. The past ten months have definitely helped me to appreciate what I already have, and I can't wait to spend quality time together away from the same four walls I've become accustomed to recently! We must remember, that travel is one of the strongest forces for good we have. Alongside the gratification we personally experience on holiday, there is nothing like visiting a new destination to draw out our ability to see the best in people, to experience a different culture and to understand a different point of view. Many communities around the world have a literal dependence on tourism, and increasingly, our hotel partners are making concerted efforts to ensure they have a positive impact on their locales. If we explore in a mindful way, it really can be of benefit to all. Here is our collection of holiday ideas and inspiration that will do you the world of good in 2021. Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions or need prices or advice -

We've won!

17 December 2020

I'm delighted to say that Travel Counsellors has been crowned winner of the best National Travel Retailer category in the British Travel Awards once again! This prestigious award is voted for by customers, so I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of my customers for your support this year, and I look forward to helping you with your travel plans in the coming weeks and months too. I'll be there for you every step of the way, keeping your safety and wellbeing at the heart of everything I do. Thank you to everyone who voted for Travel Counsellors #BritishTravelAwards #BTA20

Holidays in 2022 and beyond!

17 December 2020

Wow, what a year! I’ve had many customers who weren’t able to holiday this year and have transferred their holiday to 2021 or even 2022! This has meant that advance bookings are up massively compared to normal and 2021 in places is looking busy already (of course, we still don’t know what will and won’t be able to happen, but I am hopeful the vaccine will allow more travel than has been possible this year!). Our suppliers have seen this happening and therefore many have allowed us to make bookings further in advance than normal with many on sale for 2022. We have lots of cruises now on sale through to October 2022 and even beyond! Escorted tours are mostly available for 2022 departures too with some big bucket list itineraries available such as The Galapagos Islands, Rocky Mountaineer in Canada, Japan rail-tours and many more! Family summer holidays in Europe are also available to book for Summer 2022, some with a low deposit of only £60 per person, allowing plenty of time for budgeting too. We’ve also got family and couple holidays in the Indian Ocean and Caribbean much further in advance than normal! I think after this year, we all need something to look forward to, so please do get in touch, I’d love to help you get your 2021 or 2022 or even 2023 in the diary! Have a lovely Christmas and stay well.

5* Sani Resort, Halkidiki, Greece

08 December 2020

Sani Resort in Halkidiki, Greece is spread over 1000 acres in pine-forest including walking trails and woodland areas. It offers 5* luxury and with 5 hotels offer different options to cater right up to the very affluent! One of the hotels is a draw for famous footballers! In the heart of the resort lies a bustling marina. Its all pedestrianised and a great place to people watch! Sani Resort have a boat that will take guests out free of charge on either their half day trip or half an hour sunset cruise. The resort is home to several academies including football, dance, tennis and sailing. Along with those, the children’s clubs and the Adventure Park where you can zipline through the trees, there is plenty to keep the children entertained! And for those adults wanting to keep active, there is a running track! At Sani Resort there is over 5km of pristine sand beaches, the water is crystal clear and shallow so idea for toddlers! Every Wednesday they host a White Party with entertainment and a DJ. When I’ve had guests stay at this resort, the White Night has been one of their favourite nights! One of the big attractions of Sani Resort is their amazing dine-around programme. There are currently 23 restaurants, 22 of which are included in the Dine Around option. If you are booked on half or full board you can either dine from a set menu or get an allowance towards your bill if you choose to dine a la carte. This is one of our top-selling hotels in Greece. Although it caters for couples, it is predominantly family orientated, so if you’d like to make this your next holiday destination, please do get in touch. We have rates available to book for Summer 2021 (April-October) and Summer 2022 too.

Coronavirus and the world of travel!

05 October 2020

I can’t believe we’ve been living with Covid19 and the massive consequences it has had on our lives for over 6 months now! Travel, as I am sure you can imagine, has been pretty badly affected and we’re not even close to being back to normal. But over the past couple of months I’ve had clients away again and it feels great! The most popular country by far for my current bookings and enquiries is the UK! Please do remember to give me a try. I can offer lodges with hot-tubs (the number 1 request at the moment!) and also hotel breaks (all budgets and types), private cottages and houses, theme park breaks, holiday parks, escorted tours, city breaks, go-active breaks, singles holidays, Belmond British Pullman, rail holidays and a lot more! My knowledge of the counties has definitely been improved over the summer! There are still a handful of places abroad that you can travel to quarantine free (both ends) too at the moment, although the countries on this list has changed frequently and we expect that it will continue to do so. But it is possible to get away and I’m finding most bookings come in very late, usually within a week of departure. I’m happy to book an appointment with you if you’d like a last-minute holiday, just get in touch and we can arrange this. My clients that have travelled abroad over the summer have been so happy that they persevered and were able to get away and the feedback from resort has been excellent. There are other countries you can travel to (some further afield too), where it is possible but quarantine may be required on arrival and/or also for 14 days on your return – this hasn’t stopped many people visiting these places and having a holiday! I think we all need one after this year! There are many more rules and requirements to adhere to but if you really want to get away, let me know and I’ll help you navigate through it all. I’m happy to be available whilst you are travelling and can help whilst you are in resort too if needed, and we have a 24/7 Duty Office available for all of our customers should you need it. So, if you are looking to get away, please do remember to give me a try. I’m on 01304 897810 and would love to chat. (The picture is from May 2019 in Puerto Banus, Spain)

Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady Launch at Dover Cruise Terminal

26 February 2020

Last weekend I was very lucky to be invited on board Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady! Virgin Voyages is a brand new product and something very different to anything on the market and Dover was Scarlet Lady’s first visit in the UK after being delivered on 14th February! Over 24 hours we were able to sample some of the restaurants and entertainment and view some of the cabins. The food and restaurant concept I love, rather than having one main dining hall with smaller speciality restaurants (usually at a charge) like other cruise ships, Scarlet Lady has 20 smaller eateries around the ship (6 the equivalent of a speciality restaurant and others more casual) and they are ALL included in the price of your cruise. We dined at Pink Agave which is a Mexican restaurant and the food was really very good (and plentiful!). The service was excellent and we learned from our waiter that Virgin Voyages want the crew to be themselves, so our waiter, who had worked on other cruise lines before, for the first time was able to wear his earrings and face piercing and show his tattoo on his arm. All the crew are kitted in uniform for comfort so most wear trainers. Also included in the cruise fare are tips/gratuities, unlimited WiFi, group workouts and basic bevvies (still and sparkling water, non-pressed juices, soda, teas and drip coffee). We saw most (if not all) cabin types. The décor is clean, modern and I think it’s fair to say in the mainstream cabins no-frills. The bathrooms were compact but the showers were a reasonable size (for standard cabins on a cruise ship) and worked well. Apart from the suites, the cabins weren’t carpeted. The suites were definitely a step up from the other cabins and there seems to be a great choice on board – definitely worth it if the budget can stretch. The focus definitely seems to be on music and evening entertainment with shows starting past midnight and live bands and entertainment in various locations throughout the ship (although we didn’t get to experience this side of the entertainment). They want the feel of a festival where it’s impossible to see all of the acts. The theatre (The Red Room) is a completely different lay out to any other theatre I have seen at sea and is relatively small, almost guaranteeing being up close and personal with the performers. Virgin Voyages wanted their ship to have the glamour of a boutique hotel at sea and took inspiration from yachts to make it feel different to other cruise ships. It is an adult only ship and they used designers who have never worked on cruise ships before to make it elegant and sophisticated. They want their crew to say “it’s the best gig they have ever had” and so give them added benefits that are not available on other cruise lines. They want “eager explorers who want to play hard” on their ship and they want them to enjoy a voyage not a cruise. Virgin Voyages want their ship to be glamorous and luxurious but for nobody to feel out of place and for it never to feel so cool or exclusive that you don’t feel at home, they don’t wish for it to be stuffy or formal They have a focus on wellness throughout the cruise, not just in the spa. Group classes are included on board and they have vegetarian and vegan options in all of their restaurants, they even have a vegetarian restaurant. Alcohol is not included but in every bar you can buy a beer, glass of wine or cocktail for under US$10 – they don’t add on any extra like tax or tips – the price you see on the menu is the price you pay. They don’t have drinks packages but you can pre-pay a bar tab if you wish to have alcohol ‘included’. They also wanted to be carbon neutral from day one so will be off-setting fuel usage from the start. They have no single use plastic on board and encourage you to fill up a reusable bottle at the water stations around the ship. They also have no buffets on board which results in less food wastage (and also means everything is cooked to order so generally of a better and consistent standard). What did I think? I loved the ship and contemporary design but I’m not sure its for me, However, the customers they are looking for will LOVE it, they’ve definitely found a gap in the market and I love what they have done to make it anything but a traditional cruise. If you’d like more information about Virgin Voyages or wish to book, please do get in touch, I’d love to help.

Our first family ski holiday!

06 January 2020

As a child I was fortunate to travel to Europe 5 times for skiing holidays but until recently hadn’t skied for 20 years! So, I was a little nervous but mostly excited to be taking the family on our first ski holiday just before Christmas. We stayed in Les Arcs 2000 in France in a chalet with 2 other families. None of the six children had skied before and it was ideal as they were all placed in the same ‘learn to ski’ group. We were extremely lucky with the weather (with it being the first week of the season) as it had been snowing a lot in advance of us arriving and the 2 days before we arrived they had almost a metre of snow according to the forecasts! We had a mixture of clear, sunny and windy days for the first 4 days. The wind was a challenge but thankfully not every day and it didn’t stop us skiing, it just meant there were restrictions on which lifts were open. Me and hubby had lessons as it had been such a long time since we last went and it was brilliant as we were taken all over the resort of Les Arcs and managed 19 miles in one of the 2.5 hour lessons! I think if we went again we’d have lessons again but maybe not for the full week! The kids loved the skiing and all passed the beginners class and can’t wait to go again. In the afternoons we did a variety of things. The first few days we didn’t take them out skiing as they were still learning the basics so we took advantage of the hotel’s swimming pool, built snowmen, had snowball fights and just generally enjoyed the snow. One afternoon we took the gondola and cable car on foot up to the top of Les Arcs at 3226m where the views were spectacular – this was included in our lift pass too. The last couple of afternoons after lessons we took the kids out and did a few short runs and it was absolutely amazing to see how they’d conquered the basics! Over the last day or two, we had heavy snow for quite a lot of the time – this was amazing to see and I’m so pleased the kids were able to be out with it snowing properly! Having a chalet was ideal and meant we had our own bedrooms but also a large lounge area where we could relax, eat and play games. It was nice not to have to dress up for meals and for the kids it was perfect, I’d definitely recommend this for a group particularly with children and we’d definitely book a private chalet again! Everything went brilliantly until the last morning of skiing when my eldest fell over and broke his leg! He is in a full leg cast and we are 2 weeks in of the 6 he has to have it on! Even now though when people ask if he wants to go again, he enthusiastically replies “YES!”. He is hopefully on the mend and I’m so pleased it hasn’t put him off as we had such a good week otherwise! If you’d like to take your family skiing please do get in touch, I’d love to help!

Hilly but beautiful St Lucia!

09 December 2019

It’s been a while since we’ve visited the Caribbean, in fact I’ve not been since we had children so I was super excited to be going back and even better that it was in our winter! St Lucia didn’t disappoint either. It’s a very green and very, very hilly island. At 27 miles by 14 miles it is more than twice the size of Antigua but the long windy roads mean it’s pretty much a three hour car journey from top to bottom! We stayed in the North at Gros Islet which was a great location, around 1 hour 45 minutes transfer from the airport. Sandals Grande St Lucian is a three minute walk from Pigeon Island so we took advantage of this on one of the rainier mornings! It is US$10 per person to get into the National Park and has a large garden area, old buildings and two peaks, one of which has Fort Rodney on. The first part of the walk up to Fort Rodney doesn’t take too long and although up a slope is sheltered by trees and not too steep and you are rewarded with a viewing platform, even at this level the views are pretty amazing. It gets a little bit more fun from here when the path gets a little steeper and at the top you have to climb a steep wooden ladder with narrow rungs! You can sit on the wall of the Fort here and admire the view whilst recovering from the journey up, a few people who arrived before us had bought picnics and were enjoying those! We then ventured down to the viewing area again and had a look towards the second higher peak (the lookout). It wasn’t clear what was there but we thought we should go and have a look! After another fairly gentle slope the terrain changes and you find yourself climbing, walking amongst rocks and some parts are quite steep! We kept going and some areas looked closed off but decided to carry on as once you’d got past those areas the track was back in place again! The last ‘climb’ was quite steep and over rocks but on making it to the top we were quite pleased we’d made the effort! The views of the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean on the other side were pretty awesome and we got a great view of our hotel too! We’d taken our umbrellas so when the showers came we were able to take cover under those and the trees before carrying on again once it cleared which thankfully never took very long! We’d already booked a hike of the Gros Piton for the next day and little did I realise that the Pigeon Island walk was extremely tame compared to the Gros Piton hike! Gros Piton is one of the two famous Pitons you see in all the pictures of St Lucia, they are in the south of the island so it meant an early start (6.30am pick up) so we could do the almost three hour journey to make the start point. The Piton is 2619ft and the starting point for the hike is 600ft. I still didn’t realise quite what I was letting myself in for at this point, I just knew it would take us around 2 hours up and 2 hours down. They break it down into four half hour sections with a rest between each and it was when they said we will see how you feel at the second stop before we decide whether to carry on and that we also needed at least two litres of water per person, that I started to think this wasn’t going to be the leisurely walk in the park that I’d had in mind! So we set off and thankfully it’s pretty much all under the cover of trees and the ‘track’ is around the edge of the Piton and the first section is manageable with some rock climbing. The second section is also manageable and definitely wasn’t the full half an hour with our group. For the first two sections you go around the Piton but sections three and four are more straight up so we knew we had the hardest part to come and we were all a little tired already and getting through our water! The third section was the hardest I found, it was definitely longer than half an hour and the first time we’d done almost all climbing and it was a little wetter up there so we were starting to get muddy too! This was when some of the group (of 12) started to struggle! We managed to keep going and had a longer break at the third stop! I think once we’d got that far we knew we’d make the top and after more climbing and scrambling (you have to use your hands and the well placed rails!!) we made it to the top! The view was pretty spectacular (although you can’t see Petit Piton from the top due to the trees) but it was not what I was expecting at all! I expected a cleared area with picnic benches, that’s normal, right?! But no, the top is a few, uneven rocks so if you want to sit down you have to find a relatively flat one to perch on the edge of!! It was totally worth it and because we’d lost a few of the group we got to enjoy our achievement and the view for a good half an hour or so. A while later though, the rest of the group made it and we were our full group again! So, at the top we’d done the hard bit....or so I thought! But actually coming down is almost as hard, although it isn’t physically as exhausting, it’s steep and was slippery in places so you really had to control every step so as not to slide down the edge of a cliff! My legs were tired by then so I was also struggling with jelly legs! It took us just as long to get down as it did to get up. With four guides for our group, they said it was rare for a group of that size to all make it up and down and with no injuries too so we were proud of ourselves with that achievement!! We were all pretty tired and I’m not sure what the mini bus must have smelled like after our long journey home but we had such a brilliant adventure! If you can manage the physical side of this it is well worth a try and I’d definitely do it again if we ever return to St Lucia! We were only in St Lucia for 6 nights but managed to see a bit of the island and I loved what I saw and it definitely reminded me of why I love the Caribbean so much!

Luxury Included

11 December 2019

I’ve been booking customers to Sandals and Beaches for the past 20 years but until last month had never made it myself, so when the opportunity arose for me to visit for a few days, I could hardly say no! I stayed at Sandals Grande in St Lucia and booked a Club Level room. So, what makes Sandals different from a regular all-inclusive? For me there were several things that stood out compared with other hotels I’d stayed at in the past. 1/ Restaurants – this is the biggie for me. At this hotel alone there were 12 restaurants and they are ALL included in the price and there is no limit on how many times you can visit particular ones, so over a 6 night holiday we were able to dine at a different one each evening and lunch time and not repeat any of them! The standard was excellent and choice of food was good. For breakfast there was a French café where you could get a continental breakfast, the main buffet (excellent standard and choice for a buffet) and the Italian restaurant served an a la carte breakfast with indoor and outdoor seating. For lunch you could have crepes at the French café (these were A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!), hot dogs at Doggies (never got round to having these), pizzas from a wood-fired oven at Dino’s, Jerk chicken at the Jerk Shack (a must!) and of course a buffet lunch at the Bayside. For dinner we dined at Bombay (the Indian, this was my favourite although only had indoor seating and I do like to be outside when away!), Toscanini’s Italian, Barefoot by the Sea (seafood restaurant and as we visited on Thanksgiving they had an extra choice to celebrate this too!), Gordon’s Pier Restaurant (lovely setting, International cuisine), Kimono’s (the chef cooks in front of you, this is great for a lively entertaining meal!) and Soy (the Sushi restaurant) – all of these were included in the price. Three were bookable in advance and we had no problem getting reservations. The rest you just turned up to and we were always seated immediately, there was never an issue with availability. 2/ Tipping – no tipping is allowed at the hotel (with the exception of your butler if you book a butler level room or if you have a spa treatment). Many of the staff wear badges saying “No tips please, my smile is included” - I love this concept and the staff are instead rewarded when they get good reviews on Trip Advisor. Overall the service was excellent and nothing was too much trouble. It was nice not to have the awkwardness of “Should I tip? How much should I tip?”! 3/ Water sports – there was a wide range of water sports, again all included in the price with tuition if needed. I learnt to water-ski while I was there and had 4 sessions overall – this was brilliant fun, a whole lot harder than it looks and I felt such an achievement when I made it up on the skis! The instructors were really patient and wanted me to succeed!! We also took a kayak out for half an hour whilst we were there. They had hobie sail boats, again they could give you tuition and you were then allowed out by yourself with them and they also had paddleboards available. The other biggie for Sandals is the diving, if you are already PADI qualified you can dive for free! They also had jet-skis available from the beach but these weren’t run by Sandals and so they did have additional charge if you wanted to use them. 4/ Club Lounge - as we'd booked a Club room we had access to the Club Lounge which gave us some nice little extras. Three of the evenings we were there they had special events in the evenings - a wine and cheese evening, a cocktail evening and a canape evening. It was nice to go to the lounge before going to dinner and was a good opportunity to meet other people if you wanted to. They also did a free trip to Pigeon Island once a week which was only available for Club guests. The lounge itself was available 24 hours, staffed for most of the day and meant you never had to go to the main reception - having this, made everything really smooth and we enjoyed this side of the room category. --- There are lots more inclusions that I haven’t mentioned but the above were the main ones for me, it meant a very stress-free holiday and no bill from the hotel at the end of our stay. We will definitely visit a Sandals again and hope to take the kids to Beaches too!

Stunning Seychelles

30 October 2019

Earlier this week I attended a Seychelles training evening at the Abode Hotel in Canterbury. Scattered through the presentations from the suppliers we enjoyed a Creole-inspired meal of red snapper, chicken and rice and for dessert we had the most delicious coconut mousse with passion fruit sorbet! We learnt about the beautiful islands and a handful of hotels available. I actually visited the Seychelles on a work trip in 2000 so this was a great trip down memory lane for me! The Seychelles has three main languages – Creole, English and French and they make it very easy for us Brits – they drive on the same side as us and have British 3-pin plugs! The main island is Mahe where the international airport is and the capital Victoria is worth a visit with it’s vibrant and colourful daily market (except Sundays). The locals day off is Sunday so bear in mind that all beaches are public and will be much busier on Sundays than other days. The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands, some are granitic with lush green mountains and others are coral islands which are very flat. A very useful snippet to know is that the Seychelles are the only islands in the Indian Ocean that are outside of the cyclone belt! Despite the 65 beaches available on Mahe alone, Seychelles is not a fly and flop destination – it is brilliant for island-hopping and there is a lot to do during the day. Rum-tasting and horse riding along the beach are popular as is sailing, snorkelling and diving, fishing, golf, they even have zip lining and rock-climbing available for those looking for adventure. It is a very romantic destination too so Seychelles is a great choice for that exotic wedding abroad. A few of us asked why there aren’t any/many all-inclusive options and all the hoteliers said the same – with such amazing surroundings and so much to do outside of the hotel, why would guests want to be tied to the hotel all day? Many hire a car and during the week it is often possible on Mahe to find a near-deserted beach. It isn’t as expensive as you might think when you are out and about either, if you find a local restaurant you can have lunch for a very reasonable price and experience the local way of life. Praslin is the second main island after Mahe and is home to the Vallee de Mai Nature Reserve – well worth a visit. Many visitors to the Seychelles stay on Mahe, Praslin and then one of the smaller islands with only one resort (such as Desroches, Denis Island or Silhouette Island), the destination is fantastic for this and it’s very easy to get between the different islands by plane, helicopter or boat. Seychelles is also a great option for a “digital detox” – Denis Island for example has no mobile signal, no TV in the rooms and has 50% repeat business. There is one TV and free WiFi in the library only, if you really need it! When I visited back in 2000 I stayed at the Coco de Mer on Praslin and one of the owners was at the training so it was lovely to hear about all the updates they’ve done since I went. This was my favourite hotel (and we visited quite a few!) and has a lovely boutique feel and is a 4* so more affordable than many of the 5* luxury hotels available. They also have the Black Parrot Suites available if you’d like something a little more special. The main thing I do remember was the beaches, to date I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an amazing beach as the one at the Banyan Tree (which was being built when I went!) so if you really are a sandy beach person, you really need to take a trip to the Seychelles! Give me a call if you are thinking about a trip to this beautiful Indian Ocean destination on 01304 897810, I’d love to help.

Inghams, Ski Esprit & Santa's Lapland Training

08 October 2019

Today I spent a few hours training with our rep from Inghams, Ski Esprit and Santa's Lapland. It was a really informative training session as it was only a small group so we were able to ask lots of questions! Having already been on a Santa's Lapland trip I already knew lots about the product but it was great to get a refresh and also learn about their Aurora breaks which have more inclusions than the Magic break that I did! They still have availability for this Christmas (this is quite rare but a few circumstances have led to this) so if you'd love to visit Santa this Christmas do get in touch and I'll see what we can find for you. I absolutely loved this trip so more than happy to make recommendations based on our experience last winter. We touched briefly on the Ski Esprit product too and the main learning point that came out of this was that the children's lessons were really very different to 'bog-standard' lessons so it's absolutely perfect for young children and first-time skiers too. Inghams is also one of their companies and it's probably the one you may have heard of. They have been in the past very much a Lakes and Mountains product, whether that be summer or ski. Things have moved along the last few years though and as well as all the well-known destinations they can book, they also have a tour program that includes Iceland and Norway. These are great alternatives for those not wanting to cruise to these destinations but also want someone else to do the organising! They also now offer a fab family itinerary (ideal for teens) in France called 'Peaks of Perfection Activity Week' - this tour includes cycle rides, hiking with a local guide and white water rafting. Inghams also feature Lapland, it's a completely different way to visit compared with Santa's Lapland but this helped cement the difference between the two for me. I'm happy to chat through the options to say which might suit your needs better. Inghams have longer durations available too and feature Lapland through the whole ski season so though to March - so if you aren't worried about seeing Santa this is a great option allowing you more time to enjoy the snow. They also feature a comprehensive Italy program now too - almost all of the itineraries for these are tailor-made. With Italy being so well connected by rail, it's a great country for twin or multi-centres. The rep from Inghams had just come back from a twin-centre, they stayed in Bologna and then went to the Adriatic Coast and stayed in Rimini. She was very impressed with this side of Italy's coast as it's definitely a lesser known part and one that is likely to be up and coming. Not forgetting of course, Inghams extensive ski options - they have a really great ski program covering lots of resorts, a good range of accommodation and all the added extras you might need. Overall, it was a few hours well spent and gave me a really good understanding of the new products they are offering. If you are looking to do a trip with Santa's Lapland, Inghams or Ski Esprit, everything is bookable through me with 100% financial protection and the great service you expect from Travel Counsellors. Get in touch today, I'd love to help - 01304 897810.

REU-nopoly charity walk for Reuben's Retreat

20 September 2019

On 15th September myself and 8 other Kent Travel Counsellor's walked the London Monopoly Board for one of Travel Counsellor's chosen charities for 2019 - Reuben's Retreat. We set the date back in 2018 and over the course of the year planned how we would go about it! Several people had done this before so we used their blogs to get ideas and came up with our own route - we decided doing the most economical mileage would be best to accommodation all abilities, rather than in the board order which would have been a MUCH longer day! We did all the streets, the 4 stations, the 'go to jail' (we chose Royal Courts of Justice) and 'in jail' square (we chose Tower of London) and free parking. We estimated it would take us around 7 hours and using google maps we guessed around 21.5km. The number 23 is special for Reuben's Retreat because the Graham family had the lovely Reuben for 23 months and so we hoped to finish on 23 point something kilometres and we'd allowed a little for getting lost, finding signs and so on. But on the day it was not to be, we ended up on 26.9km in the end and it took us 7 hours 22 minutes with only a ten minute pit stop in Regent's Park! We had fun along the way, only went the wrong way once, generally managed to find signs fairly quickly and saw parts of London we'd never seen before! So we knew we'd have a 23 somewhere along the lines we set our fundraising target at £2300. We did however smash that and to date we are at over £4000 with Gift Aid and we've been well and truly overwhelmed with everyone's support, so a massive thank you from all of us. Reuben's Retreat was born out of the loss of a beautiful boy, Reuben Michael Graham in 2012. The charity was set up in his name and to date has supported over 760 individuals. They support families who have lost a child and those who face an uncertain future due to their child living with a life threatening or life limiting condition. They offer counselling, support groups, well-being activities, holistic therapies and respite breaks to families. They are currently renovating their forever home in stages to create a holiday home from home for families to visit together and make precious memories with their children. Every penny & pound donated will enable them to take a step closer to completing their retreat and providing a sanctuary for families who desperately need that special time together. If you'd like to know more this is their website

Royal Caribbean Training Visit

30 July 2019

It’s been a busy month for cruise ship visits and trainings! Earlier this week I was lucky to be invited on board Brilliance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean in Dover. Brilliance is one of Royal Caribbean’s smaller ships, although at 90,000 tonnes, still not particularly small! But Oasis of the Seas is three times the size of Brilliance so it gives you an idea of just how big some ships are now! Brilliance of the Seas is part of their Radiance Class, which along with Vision Class ships are their 8 smallest – they are all fairly similar in style and facilities in these two bands. The other classes are very different. Radiance and Vision Class ships all have a ‘Centrum’ which is the heart of the ship and where many of the events take place. None of the other classes have these as they have the promenade. Radiance and Vision don’t have as many facilities, for example they don’t have the Flowrider, ice-skating rink or zipwire. Brilliance of the Seas did however still have a rock-climbing wall and small splash area with a waterslide, a mini-golf course and a sports court – all included in the price. These 2 smaller classes of ships which tend to do more destination led itineraries and the smaller ports such as the Baltic, Greek Islands and Alaska. Jewel of the Seas is pretty much identical to Brilliance of the Seas as they are sister ships. Jewel is in Dubai in the winter and as Royal Caribbean don’t operate in Europe in winter that makes her the closest ship to the UK for winter sunshine. On all their Dubai cruises, there is at least one overnight in Dubai meaning you can really make the most of this amazing destination and the surrounding area. The cruises also visit other ports in UAE such as Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Oman. On the larger class ships, they have some amazing experiences included (unlimited too!). Flowrider (a surf simulator), ice-skating rink, zip line, rock-climbing wall, laser-tag and carousel. Some ships even have an Escape Room (this is chargeable though at around US$12-15 per person). Another great benefit with Royal Caribbean is that you can re-book on board with extra benefits not available when you come back. But you can still pass the booking back to me to look after - a great opportunity to take advantage of some extra benefits and one worth remembering! A top tip I learnt whilst on board – if you book My-Time dining you can go onto your cruise personaliser prior to departure and book your table reservations, meaning you don’t have to wait on the night if the restaurant is full! The average age across the fleet is around early 40s but some itineraries and smaller ships have a higher average age up to around early 60s. A real bonus though is that everything is always in English. When you sail out of Barcelona it’s English then Spanish. If you cruise out of China, it’s Mandarin then English. Occasionally if they have more than 5% of another nationality on board, they will add another language. Overall, compared with some other cruise lines this is really limiting announcements – some cruise lines do the announcements in several languages and this can get a little boring! Every Royal Caribbean ship has a Schooner Bar – a really nice, spacious area with a great atmosphere. In the evening it can get quite lively! Most of the ships also have an English pub which serves draft beer, shows sporting events on TV and again is really popular, sometimes lively option of an evening! Each ship has a solarium (mostly open air, the odd covered one and some with retractable roof) which is an adult only pool area – this is complimentary – a nice touch as many other cruise lines charge for the adult only area. Chops Grille is a speciality steak restaurant (supplement applies approx. US$50 per adult) which I am told is well worth a visit. The Italian speciality dining (approx. US$40 per adult supplement) is also a really nice choice and actually really great for families with many sharing platters available. Children also pay for speciality dining but at a much reduced rate (usually around US$12 per child) and every restaurant except Chef’s Table has a child’s menu available. Before you go you can take advantage of offers online for the speciality dining so it’s worth a look before you embark. I really liked the main restaurant, it was really bright, open and spacious with white chairs (sometimes the main restaurants can be a little dark on some ships but this one wasn’t at all), the main menu changes every night and you get three courses (a choice of around 6 per course). If you fancy something more casual for a meal the Park Café by the pool is available and included – this is available for breakfast (often much quieter than the main buffet restaurant), lunch and dinner (open till around 2am!) Kids clubs are available and included in the price for 3-17-year olds. The teen lounge which is more drop-in is available until 2am. The clubs for 3-11-year olds are complimentary until 10pm but they also have a late night party zone 10pm-2am where it’s chargeable at approx. US$12 per hour per child. The kids club staff will even take your kids for dinner in the buffet restaurant for you! For under 3yrs there is more of a babysitting service (rather than club), this is available at a charge of approx. US$12 per hour per child. And this is a good one to know, you can leave your children on board whilst you enjoy an excursion providing you book an official Royal Caribbean excursion! And one last top tip – the plugs are American or European, but UK plugs will not work in the cabins! If you fancy a cruise on board Royal Caribbean please get in touch, I’d love to help!

Sea Princess - Cruise Ship Visis

11 July 2019

Earlier this week I was lucky enough to be invited on board Sea Princess at the Dover Cruise Terminal. The thing that most impressed me on board was the outdoor space and two swimming pools - one of which had a large, shallow overflow area which meant you could paddle or sit on the side and dip your toes in - I'm sure small children would love this feature too (and it was warm, even in Dover!) They also have the big screen for Movies Under the Stars. Unfortunately, we weren't on anywhere near long enough to experience this but I can imagine being somewhere warm and tropical up on deck in the evening with a box of popcorn, laying on a sunbed enjoying a movie! It's definitely a thumbs up for Princess Cruises for that feature! The ship was mid-cruise and fully booked so we weren't able to view any of the cabins. We viewed the public areas including restaurants, the gym and spa, The Sanctuary (adult only area available for a small supplement) and the bars. Every Princess ship has a Wheelhouse Bar (English-style pub) which proves very popular and often has musicians playing. All the ships have a similar feel to them and look the same, they use the same colours across the fleet to ensure the vibe is the same - it felt very relaxed although when I was on board, a lot of the guests had disembarked for the day. The space to passenger ratio is important on board so even the 'smaller' ships feel spacious and on the large ships they try to create a small ship feel. All the Princess ships are family friendly but if you want something very family focused, Caribbean Princess is the ship to try. Princess are also one of the only cruise lines who allow parents to go ashore on their excursions and leave the children on board in the kid’s club (one to remember!) Coming soon there is a new benefit for kids too, until now they've not gained any loyalty benefits but going forward this will change! They do limit the number of children on board each cruise though so it's highly recommended that families book early, particularly for school holiday dates! Princess give additional benefits to military and shareholders which are combinable with the current offers. All of these offers are bookable through me too. We also use the same Captain's Circle (loyalty club) numbers you would use directly so you get all the same benefits booking through me. So, if you are interested on sailing on board Princes Cruises please do get in touch, I'd love to help.

James Villas Training at Chapel Down Winery

03 July 2019

When I got the opportunity to visit a winery for a training day, I couldn't miss it! I did have to drive though so had to make use of the bucket provided! Chapel Down Winery is in the beautiful Kent countryside and we were so lucky with a gloriously sunny day! If you want something a little different to do, I'd highly recommend the tour and tasting followed by lunch in their restaurant, we had a lovely afternoon there. Before we were treated to the tour, tasting and lunch we had a training with our supplier James Villas. They feature a massive range of villas (3000+), all with private pools. They have a variety of standards suiting every budget from their classic collection up to their luxury villas where we can sometimes even arrange your very own chef! They have villas that are completely isolated and they also have options that don't even require car hire due to their central locations, so something for everyone! They also have a handful of baby and toddler friendly villas - swimming pools with small children can be a worry so not only do these villas have gated pools, they also provide a variety or things you need when travelling with small children from highchairs to potties and from plastic table-wear to a small selection of books & DVDs! In many countries there are villa managers available in resort who often live in these places (they aren't just there for the season!). Greece is one of their biggest growing areas with a large choice of islands and resorts available and some quite off the beaten track. Algarve remains a firm favourite for villa holidays as do Cyprus and Florida. They do have late availability for this summer but their main promotion currently is for 2020 with early booking offers available across many of their villas from free car hire to free welcome packs. If you fancy your own space and private pool (no fighting for sunbeds!) for 2020 then do get in touch, all their holidays can be packaged with flights and car hire giving you complete peace of mind and of course, all bookable through me.

Cunard Ship Visit - Queen Victoria

01 July 2019

Last month I was very fortunate to be invited on board Cunard’s Queen Victoria for the day. I’ve done quite a few ship visits over the years but until now I had not made it onto a Cunard ship so I was very excited to see it! The ship has a lovely welcoming and homely feel, quite relaxed and understated. The ship is Edwardian in style and is decorated in dark wood throughout much of it. (Queen Elizabeth is lighter inside and has more of an Art Deco style on board and QM2 has a completely different feel altogether). Cunard itself is very much traditional cruising but with a modern twist and at the height of luxury (compared with the mainstream operators). Relaxed and casual during the day but making a real event of the evenings where the ship and atmosphere is transformed into elegance, luxury and indulgence. The staff have very strict White Star Line training that they must pass in order to work on board Cunard’s ships meaning only the very best service is available on board – they are one of the only mainstream cruise lines to maintain a member of crew for every 2 guests on board too. The four values they must show guests are to be charismatic, thoughtful, refined and proud. That leads me onto the dress code. Cunard have more formal nights than other mainstream operators so on a week long cruise you might expect 5-7 formal nights. For men this means a tux and bow tie (or jacket and tie is also acceptable although most do go for a tux so you might want to join in!) and for ladies ballgowns and formal dresses. They often have grand themed nights too such as Cunard Balls, Masquerade Balls, White & Black Theme Nights, Egyptian Nights, Royal Ascot themes and so on. On the other nights, men are expected to wear a jacket but open shirts are acceptable, for the ladies it’s a bit easier with dresses or nice two-piece outfit. So, onto the ship herself. We saw the main 4 types of cabins – Britannia (inside, outside and balcony), Britannia Club, Princess Suites and Queen Suites – each category has its own restaurant. You can’t dine up, but you can dine down if you wish to dine with guests who are in a different category to you. Aside from the suites being larger than the other staterooms there are many more benefits. At the Queens & Princess Grill restaurants things are a little more flexible, there is no set dining and many more tables for 2 guests. There is an outdoor space reserved just for suite guests with luxurious sunbeds. There is also a courtyard restaurant for al fresco dining which is shared among both categories and was really pretty even in the daytime but I imagine it would be lovely in the evenings with the traditional street lamps. Queen suites also come with your very own butler! There is a lounge with a private concierge so you don’t have to queue with everyone else for any questions you need answering or tours you need booking. It is only the suites that have baths available too, all lower category staterooms only have showers. One of the great British traditions of Afternoon Tea happens every day at 3.30pm in the Queens Room with White Glove service, all included in the cruise fare. This room also hosts the Captain’s Cocktail Party. It has a large dance floor and bands often play in here. They also have dance hosts available for those travelling by themselves which is such a lovely touch. If you don’t fancy getting dressed up one evening there are 3 dedicated casual areas – The Lido Restaurant (buffet, where you can get complimentary tea, coffee, juices and water for much of the day), The Winter Garden with its retractable roof and The Golden Lion Bar (one of the busiest places in the evening!). Just bear in mind that a large majority will be dressed up so not everyone would feel comfortable in casual wear on these nights! If you enjoy your cruise and want another voyage to look forward to, they have an onboard special offer too giving you additional on board credit for the new booking – just ask for it to be put back to your travel agent and it will be looked after as normal in the same way – you just benefit from the extras. The desk can get busy though at the end of the cruise so they advise not to leave it til the last 2 days as you don’t want to be disappointed if you can’t be seen! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a little about Queen Victoria and my day trip – if you’d like to experience her then do get in touch with your cruise enquiries, I’d love to help. I have also posted more photos on my Facebook page here

Sunny Spain

18 June 2019

For our summer holiday this year we had to take it easy on price as we’ve been updating a couple of rooms (including a new en-suite!) at home. We are really lucky to have access to a family villa in Spain and so we were able to get an almost 2-week holiday in the sunshine still! We stay around 20 minutes south of Alicante and, as we’ve been a few times before, the kids had a list of things they wanted to do again. I think we’d been in the villa less than half an hour before they were asking when we’d be going up to the pool (it isn’t a private pool and is positioned a couple of villas up the hill). We had lots of days at the pool and the kids loved the dive sticks and spent hours retrieving them from the bottom of the pool! We took flippers and some skimming balls too which also kept the kids occupied! We also visited the beach which is around a 5-minute drive away. It’s a lovely sandy beach and although it can get busy with locals at the weekend, its generally pretty quiet at this time of year. The sea can be a little rough, but you can go quite a way out and it’s still relatively shallow, so we had fun playing in the waves. Their favourite activity at the beach is to dig a castle and then a huge hole in front of it (close enough to the sea that some waves will go in), then they absolutely love watching the water slowly erode the sand away and eventually taking their castle with it – it’s a full day activity and never disappoints when the final bit of castle falls in! We can never quite work out the tide there, it isn’t like at home, at times there seems to be a small one but just when you think it’s changing it goes the other way again so it’s much easier to do this there, than it would be back home! Benidorm is around an hours’ drive from where we stay, and we sometimes take a day trip up. This year we decided to visit Mundomar which is a sea-life park as the kids love animals. I’d been with my hubby, Chris, long before we had children, but we hadn’t been as a family. It was a brilliant day and wasn’t overly busy, so we were able to do most of the shows twice. We also got our photos with a rather large sealion and a dolphin. The kids loved the dolphins and sealions and I think would have been happy just sitting at the window watching them all day! I’m still in two minds about whether it’s a good thing or not but they mentioned about plastic quite a few times and the kids really took it in – they have asked several times about plastic in the sea since we’ve been back and often ask if their plastic will end up there and they want to do their bit to help, so I guess if every child comes away with that view then that part at least must be a good thing. We are also lucky to have a very local waterpark which we visited twice. This is still the kid’s favourite thing to do and they loved it just as much this year. Now that they are both competent swimmers for their ages, I think this year we were able to make the most of the facilities even more than usual. We all went on every one of the slides available (first time that’s happened!) and we all stood under the tipping bucket which Chloe has never wanted to do before (I’m not saying she enjoyed it but she was brave enough to try it once!) It's amazing how much difference a bit of sunshine makes, so having come back to the rain the week after, we are counting down to the next holiday!

Marvellous Marbella

15 May 2019

I'm recently back from Travel Counsellors' annual Gold Weekend, which was hosted in Marbella, Costa del Sol this year. The last time (and only other) time I have visited Marbella was in 2008 at our annual main conference so I didn't get to see much of the area as we were in sessions for a lot of it so it was a great opportunity this time to see a bit more of the resort. I've booked many, many customers to this town in Southern Spain and it's particularly popular among ladies celebrating special birthdays as well as hen parties and now I can see why. It has a beautiful beach that stretches along the coast and a stunning Old Town that very much had a city feel. Lots of narrow pathways full of shops, cafes and restaurants - all full of flowers and joining up with the main square - Plaza de Naranja. We stopped for a drink here and watched the world go by for an hour or so. We stayed at Gran Melia Don Pepe which is around half an hour walk from the Old Town but there is a pedestrian promenade that runs all the way from Marbella, past the hotel and onto Puerto Banus. We hired bikes and cycled to Marbella but navigating the Old Town by bike is not really possible, so we then had to push them around which wasn't ideal, so do make sure you have a padlock if you do this! The hotel itself was really stunning, rooms a modest size but light and airy and the view from the balcony if you have a sea view is really lovely over the pool with great sunsets. The service really was second to none and nothing was too much trouble. The food was also particularly good, the breakfast choice was excellent (although not sure about the sausages and 'bacon'!) I particularly enjoyed the fresh fruit stand with a lovely choice and delicious options. We also had a buffet lunch and amazing barbecue dinner here during the weekend - each and every meal was outstanding at the hotel so even though it's a bed & breakfast hotel, I'd recommend eating here for a meal or two. If you have Red Level access with your room, the lounge (with indoor and outside space) is also of a very good standard with drinks and snacks available at certain times during the day - a nice extra benefit to have. In the other direction Puerto Banus is a bit further, it took us 30 minutes to cycle (very leisurely) and the promenade pretty much takes you straight to the marina. The front is full of designer shops and the odd bar and restaurant. We only had limited time, but I understand if you go one row back there are more affordable options too. As we wandered around the Marina, the catamaran 'bus' service pulled in and so we decided to experience a boat ride back to Marbella. It takes around 20 minutes or so and one way cost us 8.50 Euros each. It was nice to be on the ocean and we got a great view of our hotel from the sea, it was also a little more relaxing than the journey there and rounded of the afternoon perfectly. All in all, a really fantastic destination and I haven't even touched on the many other things there are to do in the surrounding area. Perfect for a short break and leaving the cold and rain behind in England for a few days in the sun was complete bliss! If you fancy staying at the Gran Melia Don Pepe or visiting the resorts of Marbella or Puerto Banus please do get in touch.

Caribbean training event

02 April 2019

Yesterday evening I was invited to a Caribbean Training event in Canterbury at the Abode Hotel. It was a fun evening and I picked up a few new contacts and a lot of useful information. Here's a very quick snippet of some of the knowledge I gained - ARUBA "One happy island" Aruba is in a great position outside of the hurricane belt making it a great year-round destination. It has many award-winning beaches and is very safe. Locals speak English and you won't be harassed on beaches or at attractions. Due to the many direct flights from the States it's a great island for doing a twin-centre with somewhere more active the first week and a relaxing beach stay for a second week. Barcelo They have lots of hotels all round the world, but we concentrated on their Mexico options last night. My favourite was one of their smaller, luxurious, adult only options - Royal Hideaway Playacar. This hotel is part of 'Leading Hotels of the World' and has a prime beachfront location in Playacar. It has a full-service spa and 24 hour rooms service - what more could you want?! Palladium and TRS Hotels Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort is one of Mexico's best kept secrets. Most resorts along the Cancun coastline are south but Costa Mujeres is north of Cancun and here you can discover virgin beaches, vibrant coral reefs and thriving natural reserves of lush flora and fauna. You can also enjoy an oasis of tranquillity in one of the most exclusive areas of the Caribbean. St. Kitts - "Follow your heart" St Kitts definitely lends itself to a more independent Caribbean. With one main road around the island, car hire gives you freedom to explore and it's almost impossible to get lost (they also drive on the left-hand side too!) Nevis is a short boat ride away offering an unspoilt authentic Caribbean too. Couples Resorts - "Elegant indulgence for discerning romantics" Couples resorts, like so many in the Caribbean, are all-inclusive but there's more than average included here. At Couples Tower Isle and Couples Sans Souci in Jamaica, a Dunn's River Falls Tour is included (I absolutely loved this when we did it a few years back). At Couples Negril and Couples Swept Away in Jamaica you have a trip to a local Sunset Waterside Bar included. There's also a whole lot more included from scuba diving and water skiing with instruction to reef snorkelling and from unlimited premium brand drinks to all gratuities. Bahia Principe These hotels have outstanding locations, excellent satisfaction ratings and many international awards. Their treasure experience offers unique locations, their escape experience is exclusively for adults and their family and friends experience is for just that! They offer entertainment day and night for a variety of tastes and offer an exclusive and delicious choice of culinary options. Elegant Hotels Waves Hotel is one of 9 of their current hotels in the Caribbean and offers wellness all-inclusive. It's recently been redesigned and is a great option for those wanting a mind and body holiday. It offers 2 pools (1 adult only) and up to 4 complimentary spa treatments. Motorised water sports are also included, as is Wi-Fi. Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic I'm not sure there is another hotel quite like this! It is 7000 acres in all, including a full-service marina and yacht club. Live concerts with world class acts take place in a 5000 seat Grecian-style amphitheatre and it is not unusual to see a celebrity or two whilst staying there. It has a pristine and private white sand beach and access to two secluded islands. Golfers will be in their element with 3 championship golf courses and horse lovers can saddle up at one of the best Equestrian Centres in the Caribbean! I hope you enjoyed my top picks from the Caribbean event, but if you have any questions or wish to holiday at any of these amazing places, get in touch, I'd love to help.

MyTC App

15 February 2019

If you haven't already downloaded our amazing App MyTC you really should think about doing it! Here are some of the main benefits and features of it: - -It's free of charge and it's constantly being updated with new features. -Clients rate it 4.5/5 as an average score. -It can eliminate the need for any physical paperwork (but only if you want it to!) -There is a holiday countdown for each booking you have - this is my favourite bit!! -You can nip on any time of day and night and make a payment towards your holiday making budgeting easier - seeing the balance get smaller is very rewarding! -All quotes can be received via the App if you wish -All your booking details are stored here so any time you need to check anything it's all there for you -After the initial set up, any new bookings automatically update on it -If there are any alerts for your flight, they will be sent to you -You have all of my contact details stored here too :) -It's very user friendly and easy to navigate (no manual required!) -You can take part in our preference centre survey, which means offers that we send you (via email, no marketing is sent via the App) will be personally tailored to you -Don't worry, if you have a surprise booking, these won't show on the App. I absolutely love it for my holidays and on a rainy day, it's nice to pop onto the App and see how many days until your next adventure, it's also great for easy reference if you need to check anything whilst out and about. If you haven't downloaded the App but wish to have access to it, do get in touch and take advantage of this great tool we have available to all of our customers.

Magical Lapland

09 January 2019

There is no other way to describe Lapland other than magical. It felt a bit like I imagine Narnia to feel! It's a trip I've always wanted to do, even before I had kids, so to have been and done it is amazing! We had a cabin for eight of us over Christmas with our own host (you have to register around two years in advance for this so if it's on your list for the future get in touch now!) As a sun-lover and someone who feels the cold very easily, I wasn't really sure how I'd get on in Lapland, so I went well prepared! Thin layers (I wore 7 at one point!), thin gloves, and a couple of pairs of socks under the thermal all-in-one, mittens and boots that they provided helped keep me warm so actually the cold didn't worry us too much - even the kids coped ok with it. On the first day we had a free afternoon, so we went to check out the toboggan run and had some fun walking up and whizzing down that, before heading back to our cabin for our evening meal. The next day was Christmas Day and the day we had our activity day - everything we did was included in our package as we opted for one that included it rather than having to pay locally. There were lots of 'little' activities around the site. We did snow hockey (we all had a go at this, great for warming you up if you were starting to feel the cold). We also went on skidoos which are small snowmobiles for the kids. There were tents where we could warm up around a fire with some hot berry juice and biscuits, a couple of small toboggan runs, an ice bar, fixed skis (I have no idea of their real name, but they were good fun!) and elves were around the site singing and dancing! These things were available all day. We had a husky ride included - for us this was the highlight of the day (sorry Santa!) The adults were given the opportunity to 'drive' and so my husband took on that role, although we could have swapped half way round, me and the kids settled down and enjoyed whizzing through the forest. Search for Santa, although not my highlight, was still brilliant fun. We were taken off in a sleigh (pulled by a snowmobile) and went through the forest to try and find Santa's cabin - of course we managed to find him, and the real Santa really is pretty awesome. The kids were given a pressie too and they loved the elves who entertained us while we were there (they sneakily took some selfies on my camera too! Another inclusion was our reindeer sleigh ride - this was a gentle walk around in the forest, which was nice to do but I'd recommend doing this earlier in the day before the other activities. We also got to go in a snow igloo (a first for me!) and learnt how reindeers fly with a short 20-minute show. There was a real variety of things to do throughout the day. We arrived around 10am and there were rolling buses back to the village from 2-5pm. We were pretty fortunate with the weather as it hovered around -10 C so we actually managed to stay out all day and took the 4.30pm bus back. The next day was our free day and we started early with a snowmobile drive through the forest. Having never done this before, I was a little nervous but as we'd opted to have our own snowmobile each (the kids were pulled behind a tour-leader in a sleigh), I had to give it a go and I'm so pleased I did - it was brilliant fun. The scenery was beautiful and there were no hiccups! After this we went back to the cabin where our lovely host Sonya had fresh pancakes ready and waiting for us. After this, we decided to climb to the top of the toboggan run which takes around an hour. We got lost but we made it eventually and by the time we'd got to the top we were sweating! It was good fun climbing and the trees and views up there were worth it! But we were up there to try a 2km toboggan run and so that's what we did! We had no idea how to get back down again (there appeared to be a few routes!) or where we'd end up! The run itself was fantastic (note to self: next time, as well as bringing the kids goggles, bring mine too!) It’s quite steep in places and very fast. It was from using our feet to slow down that our faces got sprayed with snow and at times I couldn't even see where I was going! The kids loved it too and at the end, by pure chance, we'd ended up at the bottom of the chair lift! I didn't fancy the climb again (not with an 8 and 5-year-old anyway) so we enquired about getting a lift pass. At 62 Euros for 2 hours for the 4 of us we decided to go for it and so did the run another three times. It was cold sat on the chair lift so after a couple of the runs we went into the conveniently placed café at the bottom for a quick hot chocolate to warm up! Our last morning was a quick one before our lunchtime flight home so we made the most of our last couple of hours tobogganing just outside our cabin! We took a few last-minute photos too and decided that we might have just fallen a teensy bit in love with Lapland!

Whistle Stop Tour in Scotland and Conference!

19 November 2018

Travel Counsellors annual conference this year was held in Glasgow and having not been to Scotland before it seemed a good opportunity to extend my stay by an extra night. Despite the forecast being pretty awful, we were really lucky with the weather and didn’t really get wet the whole weekend which was a pleasant surprise particularly on the first afternoon where we opted for an open top bus tour! For two hours we were taken around the city and learnt a bit about the history of Glasgow and the stories the city has to tell. I was pleasantly surprised by the city centre which we spent a few more hours wandering around, doing a bit of early Christmas shopping and enjoying some free time. After a lovely evening meal, we found a local fish and chip shop and tried a Scottish delicacy – a deep fried Mars Bar! Not even the staff asking us if we were sure we wanted one each put us off trying it! And I actually really enjoyed it, I’d definitely have one again! The next morning, we ventured a little further afield as we visited Glengoyne Distillery and Loch Lomond. A few people had recommended we do a distillery tour (even though I am not a whisky drinker at all!) and I’m so pleased we did it – the tour guide was brilliant, and the tour was long enough to see the process but short enough to keep my attention. A whisky breakfast at 10am was also one I won’t forget in a hurry! I’d definitely recommend this tour if you find yourself in Scotland! After that we ventured on to Loch Lomond. The scenery here was stunning and the guide said being there in November was a delight with very few other people (versus the summer where it would be heaving!) We had a wonderful pub lunch right by the Loch with an open fire and Bailey’s hot chocolate! It was then time to head back to Glasgow ready for the beginning of Conference 2018! As always, we were treated to great entertainment over the course of the weekend (including TC Choir singing The Greatest Showman, Craig David and Marti Pellow). For me, it’s always the motivational speakers that I look forward to which this year included Nisha Katona (Mowgli Street Food), Dr Paul Redmond and of course, the truly inspiring Sir Chris Hoy! They were all amazing and gave us an insight into their success and how it can help us in our lives. Directors and team members from Head Office also updated us with what to expect for 2019 and highlighted some of the fantastic achievements in 2018! At our Pow-Wow we had the opportunity to speak directly with our suppliers – this is invaluable for our businesses. It allows us to gain knowledge, ask questions, build relationships, find out 2019 news and generally keep one step ahead of the competition. Another memorable weekend that has left me feeling even prouder to be part of Travel Counsellors and what we can offer to our customers #withusitspersonal #tcexperience

Sun or sights in the Algarve?

04 October 2018

Our Gold Conference Weekend this year took place last week in Anantara Vilamoura, Algarve. We were very lucky to have around 10 degrees above the average temperature for this time of year, so we enjoyed temperatures in the 30s every day. The Anantara Vilamoura is a stunning hotel with a golf course on-site. The rooms are large with open plan bathrooms also of a good size. It’s around 5km from Vilamoura Marina but they run a free shuttle bus. You can walk it (around 1 hour 15 minutes), some more energetic Travel Counsellors among us jogged it to burn off a few of those holiday calories and we did cycle one morning too. Service was excellent, all the staff were friendly and helpful. Breakfast was included and had a nice choice of good food. The beaches (either side of the Marina) were amazing, very wide, clean and sandy. We did a catamaran trip from Albufeira which was lovely to see the coastline. Although I’ve been before (20+ years ago) I didn’t remember the cliffs at all and there are a lot of them! I even swam in the sea and although cold at first, it wasn’t unpleasant once you’d been in a couple of minutes. The last two days we were faced with glorious sunshine and the option to do nothing – this is a very rare occurrence back home or even on our own holidays as the kids will demand our attention. So, we delighted in doing just that – nothing! We just enjoyed lazing by the pool, a bit of reading and just generally not having anything on the agenda! And we couldn’t have had more wonderful surroundings to do it. I’d highly recommend Vilamoura as a resort, our hotel was set back so ideal if you want a quiet base. The marina was busy with plenty of restaurant and bar options, as well as a few shops. The beaches were amazing. What more could you want from a week in Europe?

TC Kids Day

20 September 2018

There aren't many companies out there that put on training days and invite your whole family along! Travel Counsellors is one of them though! In the school summer holidays Club Med kindly sponsored a day of training, games and fun for me, my hubby and the kids along with lots of other TCs and their families. We headed up to Norfolk (it was a long day) where we met the Club Med ladies. Games were put on for the kids along with face painting while I went into the training session. Afterwards we have a tasty buffet lunch and then we moved on to Go Ape in Thetford. I'm pretty lucky to have adventurous kids so all four of us headed into the trees for the junior Go Ape course. At 5yrs and 8yrs the kids did brilliantly as we made it round twice and had a brilliant afternoon swinging around like monkeys! What can I tell you about Club Med Ski that I learnt that day? They are an all-inclusive ski product - they even include lessons (if needed) and lift passes. They also include premium accommodation, gourmet cuisine (they can cater for vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets) and branded drinks. The lift pass varies depending on the accommodation but generally includes a local lift pass with their 3 Trident properties and an area one with 4 and 5 Trident properties. Trident is their own rating scheme with 5 being the best. Lift passes are available for the day after arrival. As well as the skiing they often have other sports and activities available such as a gym, snowshoeing, sledging and maybe a swimming pool. Kids clubs are provided for much of the day and are included in the price for 4 to 17-year olds. They do provide a club for 4 months - 3 years old too but at additional cost and babysitting is also available on request for an extra charge. The kid’s clubs are pretty comprehensive and can provide activities, ski lessons if wanted, sledging, games or general snow fun. They can even stay for lunch and dinner! The durations of their holidays are very flexible from 2-22 nights and their flight packages include transfers in-resort too (which can be tricky to arrange otherwise). Although ski hire is not included they do have ski rental available for an extra charge in the hotels. If you are looking for a particularly family friendly resort then Club Med Grand Massif Samoens is one to look up - it's even good for infants! Whether you fly into Geneva (1 hour 15 minutes) or Grenoble (2 hours) the transfers are relatively short for ski transfers. They even have family rooms with a separate kid’s area including a TV for the kids! Another big plus is that it’s ski-in ski-out. I have fond memories of my skiing days as a child when mum and dad took us all. My dad always got lumbered with our skis plus his own and never seemed to grumble about carrying 5 sets of skis to the nearest ski lift! When I think back on it now, it definitely makes me want to do ski-in ski-out if we ever get around to taking our children skiing (it's on the list for next year though so who know!) All of the kids clubs and ski lessons will have English speaking staff too so a great option for us Brits! If you'd like to consider a Club Med Ski holiday (or any ski holiday) please do get in touch, I'd love to help plan your trip whether it be for a family or just for adults, hope to hear from you soon, Vicky.

Summer 2018

07 August 2018

Wow, what a summer it has been so far! What a difference the sun makes, long may this glorious weather continue! I know there are some (probably many) out there who might think the weather has been too hot recently, but I love it. I was definitely not born to wear socks but normally I’ll be in them to keep my feet warm. But this summer I haven’t needed to wear them, my flip-flops have never been used so much. I’ve been able to work in my office with my patio door fully open (and yes, I wished at times I could be enjoying the sunshine outside but at least it’s been there to enjoy!) A couple of times when it really has been too hot, I’ve taken my laptop outside and sat under the apple tree at the table working away (sunglasses made the screen just about manageable). It’s been a crazy few weeks with work. During the World Cup it went very quiet, in fact the whole first couple of weeks in July were the quietest I’ve known in July for a good few years. It generally is the case during the World Cup and Olympics that things quieten off a bit but this year I think with the fantastic weather too it was particularly quiet. But something happened on Monday 16th July (no idea what!) and things went crazy. Absolutely crazy! I’ve been working a few 12-hour days to keep up and it hasn’t really let up for 3 weeks. I’m not complaining of course, when you are self-employed busy is good and I love it! So, what have I been booking? A bit of everything really. I’d say probably equally split with late holidays up until September/October time (there is still availability and some good deals to be had) and 2019 bookings. The furthest booking in advance that I’ve done to date is for October 2019 and we have lots on sale that we can book that far in advance, it’s a great way to budget and gives you much longer to pay it off. Generally, it’s long haul that gets booked in advance, so it’s been places like Florida, Maldives, cruises, Thailand and honeymoons. For the late holidays Greece has been super popular – they have some amazing 5* hotels now but also, they are offering good value at the lower end of the market too and flight prices aren’t too high like they have been in previous years. Mainland Spain for me has dropped off a little but the Balearics has picked up – particularly Majorca and Ibiza. It’s been a real mixture. It’s been a juggle with the kids off (there are advantages and disadvantages to being self-employed and working from home!) but this sunshine has certainly helped. I’m lucky my hubby works shifts so he’s been at home some days which has enabled me to work full days and I’m lucky to have parents and in-laws locally who have loved having the kids a couple of days a week too. We took our main holiday in May so don’t have any holidays planned for the summer – normally I’d mind but this year I haven’t, if we had summers like this every year I’d be happy to stay at home. We’ve visited a few beaches locally already and I’m sure we’ll visit more if the weather continues. We have a few days out planned still to come – we’re off to France for the day next week and we have a Travel Counsellors Kids day at Go Ape the week after. I’m sure they’ll be more late nights and weekend working in order to keep up, but rest assured I’m still managing to get back to everyone in a timely manner. I love the buzz of summer and school holidays, the madness and the crazy juggling, the lazy mornings and later evenings but I’m sure by the end of the holidays I’ll be glad to get back to more of a routine. Do get in touch if you are looking to go away, I’d love to help. If you aren't looking to go away just yet but want to stay in touch, please like my Facebook page which is updated daily - In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine, long may it continue, and I hope to speak to you soon!

Disney Fast-pass Tips

03 July 2018

I've tried to remember as much as possible and I hope these tips will help make the most of your Disney holiday! Before you go you can also personalise your band - this includes choosing the colour and choosing the name written on the back. (You'll need to be able to differentiate because of who the fast-passes will be linked to!) You can also buy bands in the shops there if you want something themed, they had all kinds of designs, but we were happy with the ones included. They are also adjustable (it took 3 days before a Cast Member pointed it out!) The grey bit on the outside of the straps peels off leaving a shorter band for those with thinner wrists (of the 3 of us, only my husband kept his full length) and it was a relief when the kids ones were shortened as they no longer had a huge strap flapping around that we never got around to cutting! If you are staying on-site at Disney you can book your fast-passes 60 days before you arrive and if not, then 30 days before you arrive. The benefit of doing this is huge so please make sure you book them as early as possible. Plan before this though! Get a map online and look at where the rides are. When the parks first open you don’t need a fast-pass for most rides so it’s good to book your first fast-pass for around an hour after the park opens. Each fast pass gives you an hour window (unless it’s a show, then it’s usually a 15-minute window for arrival). You can’t overlap any fast-passes (even by 5 minutes). You can pre-book 3 fast-passes per person per day (each person in your party doesn’t have to do the same fast-passes). It’s best to do these early in the day because you can’t book any more until you’ve used them all. Try not to end up with 3 consecutive fast-passes at each end of the park, it’s better to get them closer together! As soon as you’ve zapped into the last fast-pass with your Magic-band you can book the next one so if you then have a small wait before getting on the ride you can get on with booking the next one. Now that there is free wi-fi you can do this via the App or I just used the website on my phone. As much as I hated having my phone out all the time it was well worth it! When booking fast-passes it will give you a selection of times but maybe not a time you want. There are buttons at the top of the page with different times of day (morning/afternoon etc) and then buttons with times (10.00/10.30 etc). Clicking these will give you different available times. What I found though was if you wanted 7pm for example, by clicking 7pm it gave you times much later or earlier but by clicking the earlier or later times e.g. 4pm or 10pm, you sometimes (and eventually if you pressed it enough times) got roughly the time you wanted. You just have to persevere. This won’t work for the very popular rides e.g. Avatar and it wasn’t always successful but many times it worked! If you are having days off-site at other parks or shopping days then it’s great to use your fast-pass for the evening shows, most of them have these available and it meant we got good views with little queuing. You can change your fast-passes if you want to on the day and it doesn’t matter if you don’t use them. Only thing to note is you can only have 3 per day so if you want to change to something else you can’t see what is available until you’ve cancelled one of your 3. You can’t have fast-passes booked for more than one park per day but once you’ve used your 3 in one park you can hop to another park and get fast-passes there (or again as soon as you’ve zapped in for your last one you can book your 4th for another park). Everyone has a Magic-band (3yrs and above) and fast-passes are linked to the individual bands, so the kids had to zap themselves in – they loved this and there was no better feeling than seeing the Mickey Mouse light up green! If a ride closes for any reason and you have a fast-pass booked, they email you to advise you, so you don’t trek all the way over and find out its closed. They then give you the options you have so you don’t lose the fast-pass. We used the fast-passes alongside the queue times App which meant we never queued more than 45 minutes (partly through choice as we chose not to do the very long queues, partly through being smart with the fast-passes and queue times info). Here is a list, by park, of the ones you really needed fast-pass for if you didn’t want to queue more than an hour… HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS – Frozen Sing Along, Star Tours, Toy Story Mania, Rock n Roller Coaster (queue for this was nearly always 90 minutes+), Tower of Terror EPCOT – Mission Space, Test Track (queue was generally 2 hours+), Epcot Character Spot, Soarin’, Frozen Ever After MAGIC KINGDOM – Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain (on sunny days, not so bad on overcast/rainy days!!), Thunder Mountain, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (queue for this was nearly always 2 hours+), Princess Fairytale Hall, Tomorrowland Speedway, Space Mountain ANIMAL KINGDOM – Adventurer’s Outpost, Na’vi River Journey, Avatar (queue for this was nearly always 3 hours+!), Kilimanjaro Safari, Everest, Dinosaur Please bear in mind this was based on the days we were there (May half term 2018) so it might not be the same availability of fast-passes at the time you travel but hopefully gives you an idea of the more beneficial ones to fast-pass! And of course, if you have any fans of any of the rides/shows then definitely fast-pass those so you know you won’t have any problems! Hope you found it useful and if you need help planning your Florida holiday please get in touch, I’d love to help – or 01304 897810.

Disney Restaurant Reviews - Week 1

02 July 2018

GARDEN GRILL, Epcot This was a set menu of meat, potatoes, veggies and mac cheese and it was all you can eat – the food was very good. Four characters came around and we saw each one at least twice. We didn’t realise until a good hour into the meal that the restaurant was rotating! It was expensive so glad we were on the Dining Plan! Would we go again? Yes! Matthew - “We got to meet Mickey, Chip n Dale and Pluto so it was great” THE BOATHOUSE, Disney Springs This was a two-token restaurant and the food did reflect this. I had an amazing lobster and hubby had scallops. The kids’ meals were served in cardboard cars and they got to keep their cups. Next door they had a “car boat” launch where they launched cars down a ramp to sail round the river! Would we go again? Probably not but only as we don’t tend to do many two-token restaurants and there is a big choice so we’d want to try something different, but I would recommend it for something a bit nicer than average. CORAL REEF, Epcot This had a huge wall of windows looking into a ‘reef’. You could see all sorts of sea-life including giant stingrays, sharks, large shoals of fish and a lot more. The kids love sea-life and absolutely loved this. It’s set on three levels and unfortunately, we were right at the back of the restaurant which meant our view was not as good had we been closer to the windows. Kids did struggle with the menu choice here. Would we go again? Yes definitely but would try and get a table next to the window for added wow factor! Matthew - “It was brilliant watching everything swim around but I wish we had been closer!” TUSKER HOUSE, Animal Kingdom This was the only buffet restaurant we did. There was a reasonable choice and the food was actually very good (can you tell I’m not a buffet fan?). It was character dining which is why we chose it. But it was superfast paced, and I felt we were very rushed through the meal, even the character meets were whizzed through (the only time I’ve ever felt like that in a character meet). It was also very noisy, think school canteen! The kids did love it though and they loved being able to go up by themselves to choose their food. Would we go back again? Sorry kids but no, much too noisy and rushed for our liking! Chloe - “Goofy had some musical instruments and danced around the restaurant, it was funny!” CINDERELLA ROYAL TABLE, Magic Kingdom As we went into the restaurant we heard a couple trying to get into the castle and being disappointed they couldn’t as the only way to get in was by eating at the restaurant which was fully booked, so I felt a bit smug walking straight in! It was worth the two tokens just to say we’d been in the castle! We came away with a wand for the girls and swords for the boys (even we got them) and the kids also got a wishing star each. Four princesses came around and with them being so popular in the parks for the general meets it was nice to have a few minutes with each of them at the table. The food here was good but not outstanding, it was the experience and lovely setting that made it worth the two tokens rather than the food although the kids got to decorate their own cupcakes for pudding which went down very well! Would we go again? Yes Chloe - “This was my favourite because I got to meet lots of Princesses and go into their castle” WOLFGANG PUCK, Disney Express I’d not realised the Boathouse was two tokens when I booked it so we opted for a quick service meal one evening to balance out the Dining Plan. We were actually really impressed and the menu choice for the kids was far better here than at most of the other restaurants. It was also much quieter and it was nice to have a ‘normal’ meal for once (pizza and spaghetti Bolognese)! Would we go back again? Yes

Disney Restaurant Reviews - Week 2

02 July 2018

OLIVIA’S CAFÉ, Old Key West Hotel We ate here at the hotel the evening my parents surprised the kids by arriving for our second week. Their flight landed into Orlando at around 5.30pm and I knew my mum and dad would be bursting to see the children and finally give up the surprise we’d been hiding for the past year or more so we booked a meal here, so we could see them the evening of arrival. It’s a really nice setting and a little quieter than the restaurants in the parks. The food was good too and it’s a good option for an easy evening. Would we go back? Yes, probably but wouldn’t be high on the list and only if we were staying at the same hotel. SCI FI DINE IN THEATRE, Hollywood Studios This was a brilliant theme with all the tables being cars and a big movie screen to watch. With two small children though it wasn’t really ideal. We were a party of six and the table we were allocated was three rows of two facing forward so we essentially didn’t dine together as a party. It was very dark so seeing your meal was challenging! The screens showed black and white movie clips for most of the time with the odd Tom & Jerry show thrown in so had very little appeal to the kids. That said the food here was above average and we did still enjoy it. Would we go back? Maybe as a couple without the kids yes, but definitely not with the children. Matthew - “We got to eat our dinner in a car and there was a big TV screen which was really cool, but it was a bit dark!” T-REX, Disney Springs This had a really good theme. The restaurant was split into areas – an ice cave, under the sea and jungle area. Food here was very good. Every 15 minutes or so there was a rumble, the ice cave glowed bright red and the Octopus on the ceiling moved its tentacles – the kids loved this and though it was brilliant. We opted for the pudding for 4 people which was a volcano, it came out with dry ice spilling over a cocktail shaker – everyone looked to see what it was, definitely one to remember and I'd recommend ordering it for a bit of excitement for the kids! Would we go again? Yes Matthew - “T-REX was my favourite restaurant because the room kept turning different colours and the ice lit up” BE OUR GUEST, Magic Kingdom A few people had recommended this, and it gets booked up super quickly, so it was a no-brainer to try it. It’s an impressive hall with two smaller dining rooms off to each side. We were in the farthest room which was very dark and was a bit of a shame in our opinions. We were expecting to hear the song at some point, so I have to admit I was disappointed that we didn’t. There also appeared to be no reference to or sight of Chip, the Candlesticks etc. The Beast made a five second appearance every half an hour or so to welcome us to his castle. Chloe kept asking when we’d see Belle, so we asked the waiter and was told Belle didn’t live in the castle, so we wouldn’t be able to see her there. I had high expectations and so was a little disheartened with the whole experience. The food however was very good, one of the best meals we’d eaten and of course we tried the “Grey Stuff” for pudding! After your meal you could queue to meet the Beast which was an added bonus at the end too. Would we go back? Probably not although it is being changed to a two-token from the summer so may be worth trying again in the future to see if they have made any changes. Chloe - “They had pretend snow outside which I liked and I liked meeting the Beast too” 50’s PRIME TIME DINER, Hollywood Studios We had been to this restaurant before and had fun so decided we’d go back. You are told the rules of the table at the beginning and if you don’t adhere to them, you will be told off! Nanny and I were told off for playing with our “walkie talkies” at the table (oops, we were trying to get last minute fast passes for Toy Story Mania!) Grandad and Dad got told off for having their elbows on the tables. The kids thought it was absolutely hilarious and regularly reference back to it! Would we go back again? Yep, definitely. YAK & YETI, Animal Kingdom This was the second restaurant we chose to go back to that we had been to on our previous visit. Hubby had great memories of tender ribs cover in a delicious sauce. The food was once again very good but definitely wasn’t as good the second time round. Unfortunately, the kid’s meals came out and ours followed a good half an hour later, so by the time we got ours the kids had finished theirs and were ready to go! This did make it a bit more stressful than needed and was a bit of a shame! Would we go back again? We try not to go back even a second time unless it’s very good but after this, we wouldn’t go back. I’d still recommend it for very good food though and hope that the service this time was a one off! MARRAKECH, Epcot This restaurant was well hidden at the back of Epcot (in Morocco on the World Showcase). We had trouble finding it and we knew it was there somewhere, but you’d never happen across it! As a result, this restaurant was by far the quietest we’d experienced, the majority of others were completely full whereas this was no more than 25% full when we arrived, it made such a nice change and made for a very enjoyable last evening meal. Grandad and Dad opted for the feast too, I don’t know how they managed it all, it was a huge meal even by American standards! It was the first time we paid a supplement (US$10 extra per person for the two of them) but it was good value for what they got. Would we go back again? Yes Chloe - “They had a lady dancing in this restaurant and I wanted to go up and dance with her!”

Two weeks of Disney

18 June 2018

Where to start? Two weeks in Disney (just Disney!), very tired feet, hundreds of photos but definitely memories to last a lifetime. It was my fifth visit to Florida but the first time for my youngest (second for my eldest but as he was 2yrs old last time he can’t remember it!) We booked it over a year in advance and as a result we all had quite high expectations after a long countdown! It didn’t disappoint. We decided just to do Disney to get the best value for money and also, so we could ‘do’ Disney and next time concentrate on the other parks again. However, being back there among all the magic I’m not sure I could go to Florida and miss out Disney, but we’ll have to see! We stayed at Old Key West which has a brilliant location, close to Epcot and Hollywood Studios and just a 15 minute boat ride to Disney Springs. The resort is very spread out and it’s worth bearing in mind it has 5 bus stops, meaning any journey can take a while just to leave the hotel! Staying at Disney you can use their transport to get around (including boats, buses and monorail), which meant for the first time we didn’t hire a car and I can’t say we missed having it. The room (studio) was a pretty good size although a little dated and we would stay there again. We went to the 4 main parks (most we visited on at least 3 different occasions). I can’t pick out a favourite as they are all so different. Animal Kingdom had an Explorers Book available where the kids could collect badges which they loved. We also did the safari, “It’s a Bugs Life”, Everest a few times, Rivers of Light night show plus so much more. Yak & Yeti restaurant is one of our favourite restaurants! Magic Kingdom was great for short queues on a lot of the rides as there are so many smaller rides. We found it busier if we wanted to meet the characters here compared with other parks. The firework show here is still my favourite out of all the night time shows and at 9.15pm it wasn’t too late for the kids! Hollywood Studios has a great new addition with Toy Story Mania and more is due to open later this month. There is a heavy Star Wars theme and we regularly saw Stormtroopers marching through the park with shows going on throughout the day. The Frozen Sing-Along was also brilliant (even hubby enjoyed it despite being dragged in) and not in the way you’d expect. There were 2 presenters who were very comical which actually made the show but we all sang along too! Epcot is great, and we discovered a lot more than we usually do because we had time to explore each ‘country’ properly this time. Test Track was a hit with the kids and with fast passes we managed to get on it a few times! We did lots of character meeting around the World Showcase here and the queue times were no more than 20-30 minutes, some much shorter, which was a real bonus. We also did both of the waterparks and we agreed Typhoon Lagoon was our favourite. The 6 foot wave every few minutes was the clincher! It’s got great areas for smaller children and some rides we could all go on together, but the kids were just happy in the wave pool. We ended up spending 3 days throughout the holiday here! Blizzard Beach was also good, and we loved the surf board type mats which allowed you to go head first down a few of the slides. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t great the day we visited and after the park was shut for the second time because of lightning we gave up and went back to the hotel early in the end! The weather was changeable, the first week it was quite overcast with some very heavy showers as there was a tropical storm in the area. It was still warm though and somehow, we managed to dodge the showers (others weren’t so lucky!) We had a few thunder storms and very often the rain was late afternoon. The second week was sunny intervals and it was much hotter and stickier, but we were glad to see the sun! Would I go again at this time of year? Yep! The only day that the weather affected our plans was as mentioned above when we were at the waterpark and we ended up leaving probably an hour or two earlier than we would have liked. Everything else was adaptable around the weather. They do close the water parks and outdoor rides at the main parks if there is lightning, but if we had a fast pass for a ride that was shut we were able to go back later that day instead. Here are some top tips… 1/ Absolutely book restaurant reservations in advance, we were always seated within 10 minutes of arriving usually quicker. 2/ You can book 3 fast passes per person per day (60 days in advance if staying at Disney or 30 days otherwise). This made such a difference to our day and queue times, take the time before you go to plan your trip 3/ After you’ve used your third fast pass, get onto the App or website to book your next one. Once that one’s been used do the same again and so on. Fast pass queues were very quick compared with standby lines in most cases (if the lines were short anyway, having a fast pass didn’t always help! If the queue was 20 minutes on standby, fast pass would be around 5 minutes, if the queue was 1hr+ on standby you’d probably wait no longer than 15-20 minutes on fast pass) 4/ With free Wi-Fi now available in the parks, I used my phone to check queue times. This meant we could head towards rides with shorter queue times and we could also keep an eye on the busier ride queue times and go to them if we saw them a bit shorter than normal. The longest we queued for anything was 45 minutes which I think is pretty good going in the school holidays! We did also make the decision to avoid any large queues and only went on those rides if we could get fast passes 5/ On waterpark/off-site days get fast passes for the evening shows 6/ If you stay on-site use the Extra Magic Hours – we got so much done during these hours and this is when you could get on those busier rides much quicker without a fast pass 7/ If you need a late check-out room at a Disney hotel, ring housekeeping on the day of arrival (I forgot to ask until 2 days before we left, and they didn’t have any left!) I hope this gives you a little insight into our 2 weeks, if you are planning to go to Disney please get in touch I’d love to help and watch out for my next blog which will review the restaurants we ate at.

Club Med - Ski & Sun

11 May 2018

Club Med are a valued partner with Travel Counsellors and we had them in Head Office just last month. I thought it was a good opportunity to let you know, firstly that I can book them with all the usual Financial Protection offered by Travel Counsellors and secondly a little bit about them if you aren’t already familiar. They have two products, their summer properties and their ski properties. They are all premium all-inclusive products. In the summer programme they can guarantee inter-connecting rooms (subject to availability of course) and along with this they also price children as children. This may sound obvious but actually the majority of operators will charge an adult price for the first 2 people in a room regardless of their ages, but Club Med don’t do this. You’ll still benefit from child prices even if they’re in their own room! Another great offer is that all children under 6 years of age stay for free (just pay for transport). As for ski, it’s the most unique product on the market as the only all-inclusive operator. They include lift passes, guiding or tuition for every level, child care, all meals and a free bar! Here is some of their latest news… • NEW - Cefalu in Sicily is their first 5 Trident resort in Europe. Some room types have been sold out for certain dates for a couple of months already – it’s a unique product in Sicily where there isn’t much in the way of all-inclusive available. It’s the first of its kind to open in a long time on the island and is already proving popular. • Sadly, their resort in Turks & Caicos was hit quite badly in the hurricane last year and so they made the decision to completely renovate it and upgrade it to a 4 Trident resort – it’s also adult only so a great option for couples! • They are currently spending millions on various resorts, for example, both Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and Cancun in Mexico have been refurbished including all the rooms (which will be finished by the end of the year). • Hot off the press – they’ve bought Beachcomber in the Seychelles and this will be opening as a new Club Med resort in 2019. Generally, hotels aren’t all-inclusive in Seychelles so this is a great addition to their portfolio – bookings will be available soon! • New for the coming winter season they are opening a brand new resort in Les Arcs, France – Les Arcs Panorama. This property will become their flagship property for the coming ski season and is on sale to book now! If you’d like more information about Club Med or would like any quotes, please get in touch and I’d love to help.

Cruise Event April 2018

24 April 2018

I attended a cruise event at The Old Brewery/Cutty Sark in London last week where we were treated to canapes and cocktails (non-alcoholic ones for me as I was driving!) Several of our cruise suppliers were there and this is a little bit about each of them. Cunard Cunard feature the transatlantic crossing between Southampton and New York. This is such a famous experience and one that features on many peoples bucket lists, including my own! It’s on board Queen Mary 2, the world’s only true ocean liner. Everyone I’ve sent on this trip says it’s a truly spine-tingling moment arriving in New York and seeing the Statue of Liberty and definitely worth the early alarm call. Holland America Line Their spacious mid-sized ships have far fewer guests than many cruise lines and with a ratio of nearly one crew member to every two, you are in for an attentive style of service. They are investing an impressive $300 million in enhancements to secure their position as the leader in premium cruising. P&O So much is included on "Britain’s favourite cruise line" and with many departures from the UK (no-fly meaning no airports) it’s no surprise this is one of my top selling cruise lines. With endless choices on board, guests can enjoy their holiday, their way. All guests can enjoy pools, three meals a day plus afternoon tea and pool-side snacks, air-conditioned en-suite cabins, use of the gym, spectacular entertainment, children’s clubs and dance classes! American Queen Steamboat Company On board an iconic paddlewheel riverboat you will enjoy daily enrichment provided by resident riverlorians, Broadway-calibre entertainment every evening, exquisite multi-course fine dining with speciality and casual options and award-winning, comprehensive shore excursions in each port of call. With amazing itineraries this really should be on everyone’s list for a truly unique and wonderful experience! Royal Caribbean Family fun guaranteed! With an incredible choice of fantastic onboard experiences for all the family to enjoy this really is the ultimate family holiday! Unmissable features include the rock wall, surf simulator, laser tag, escape room, H20 splash zone, roller disco and sports court. They also have award-winning kids’ clubs from aged 3 years up to 17 years. Fred Olsen As they cruise from Dover (the port is around 15 minutes’ drive from me) I also book a lot of clients with Fred Olsen. There are few better ways to start a relaxing cruise than watching the white cliffs drift from view. There are many departures from Dover throughout 2018 and this iconic port is your gateway to some of the world’s finest, most beautiful destinations! Celebrity Cruises In the words of Celebrity Cruises themselves “Celebrity Edge changes everything. The way you experience the world; the way you connect with the ocean; the way you play, dine and unwind at sea. Revolutionary on every level, she’s the ship that’s setting a new standard of luxury and innovation at sea.” They wanted cuisine to match so the ship boasts an impressive 29 restaurants, cafes, bars and lounges! Regent Seven Seas Known as the most inclusive luxury experience! With most cruise lines you’d pay extra for unlimited Wi-Fi, shore excursions, speciality dining, unlimited beverages and premium spirits and 24-hour room service but with Regent Seven Seas this is all included. Massive thanks to Regent as I was also lucky enough to win their prize of the evening - a l'Occitane hamper!! MSC Cruises I was fortunate enough to cruise with MSC last year (see my other blog) and it was great to get a reminder about the fantastic value for money that they offer. With a ship in Southampton for the first time this year, they have made lots of changes to crack the UK market. I could go on for hours talking about the fantastic suppliers we met but instead of reading about them, if you are thinking about a cruise please do get in touch and have a chat, I'd love to hear from you. From the unique to the iconic, from the more budget options to 6* luxury and from no-fly UK departures to – month, round the world itineraries we can book a massive range of cruises - there really is something for everyone.

A Weekend in Dubai

13 March 2018

This trip was a reward for 10 BA top sellers to experience Dubai like a VIP and we weren't disappointed. After an eventful Friday of snow and disruption in the UK, eight out of the 10 of us made it to Heathrow and with Club World flights and access to the BA lounge we were soon de-stressed and ready for our trip. It was only my second business class trip and very enjoyable, I even managed to get a couple of hours sleep on the lay flat bed! A White Company duvet, blanket and pillow are provided now with Club World and I have to say they were a step up from what I am used to! On arrival on Saturday morning, we were taken to our hotel - The Palazzo Versace. This hotel is amazing, and our rooms were huge (a Grand Suite!) It's in the Cultural Village area and at the moment everything around it is being developed. This does mean there is nothing you can walk to but the hotel itself is a resort style hotel on the Dubai Creek. The breakfasts were great, pool facilities good and service outstanding. Soon after lunch, we were taken to La Perle (currently the only Las Vegas style show in Dubai). It was truly astonishing, I'd highly recommend it and until this trip not something I would have mentioned to clients beforehand. The stage is set up really well and the seating is wrapped around a large part of the stage. The seats are quite steep too, so the view is pretty good wherever you are. After this we were treated to a 'Taste of Persia' at the Palazzo Versace's Enigma Hotel. The food here was fantastic and quite theatrical - we had dry ice and they made the ice-cream in front of us. Definitely one to remember if you would like a special meal. On Sunday we had the thrill of a Yellow Boat RIB Tour, which started in the Marina. The last time I visited Dubai (2006), this area was a building site and I hadn't realized at the time it would eventually form the Marina. It's now a lovely area and although we didn't see it in the evening, I am told it has a great atmosphere for a wander around. Sailing through the marina at slow speed was a great experience before making it out past the "world's largest Ferris wheel" (or at least it will be when it's finished!) We then sped up and enjoyed the bouncing and spray as we went along the coastline in the direction of the Palm. We stopped at the iconic Atlantis The Palm hotel for photos before going off again. We made it to the Burj Al Arab for some more photos and then whizzed back to the Marina. Overall, it was around an hour and a half and it's not recommended for those who get sea sick! I'd love to take my family on it though, I'm sure they'd love it. Of course, the weather helped too, it was around 25-28 degrees most days (a stark contrast to what we had left behind in the UK!) After the RIB Tour, we were taken to Nikki Beach Hotel for lunch (amazing) and a very quick guided tour. Then we had the rest of the afternoon at Nikki Beach Club. This is a luxury, party venue with DJs playing throughout the day, something different and definitely one to tick off the 'to do' list! For us it was lovely to relax with a great atmosphere and enjoy the sunshine. It has a nice stretch of beach too although the sea was a little rough. I'm one to feel the cold and it was a little chilly getting in, but once I was in it was heaven. I sent some photos back to the kids and hubby, just to rub it in a little more! Due to the waves, getting out wasn't particularly elegant but I made it in one piece and was pleased I'd gone in! For dinner we went down to the Walk and went for a casual meal at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes. It's worth noting that any restaurants and bars that aren't part of a hotel cannot serve alcohol. It was great to see The Walk as I'd heard a lot about it and talked about it to clients but being there helped me put things into perspective in terms of size and location. If you are staying around this location, it's nice to have the option to walk around here and the Marina without having to get into a taxi. They saved the big one for the last day, a seaplane experience over Dubai! I've never been in a seaplane before and I'll be honest and say I was a little nervous. The take-off and landing though were surprisingly calm and smooth and I'm so pleased I did it. Seeing Dubai from the sky is awesome, you can get a really good idea of the size of it and how much of it is still not developed. The Palm had to be the highlight. It was fantastic to be able to see it from up there! We did the 20-minute trip and got to fly up and down the Creek, over the city (we saw the QE2 which lives in Dubai now), up Sheikh Zahed Road past the Burj Khalifa and then over the Palm and Burj Al Arab. I’m truly lucky to have done it and would highly recommend it. There are longer trips as well if you prefer! There was no rest after this, we were whisked straight back to the hotel for a hosted lunch at Vanitas – the Palazzo Versace’s signature Italian restaurant. The food here was stunning and it’s a lovely restaurant. We were hosted by our partner company in Dubai who we use to plan our clients’ holidays. It was great to meet some of them in person and talk to them about Dubai and what they can help with. Although the meal was incredible, spending time with our suppliers is invaluable and it really was a great opportunity for us all! With a free afternoon before our final evening, we decided to venture into the Spice & Gold Souks. I enjoyed just wandering round and even managed a bit of bartering along the way! We took the 1 Dirham (approx. 20p) Abra across the Creek too, just to say we’d done it! Our final evening took us to the One & Only The Palm. This is a lovely boutique hotel (that’s boutique for Dubai anyway!) It’s very tranquil and even when it’s full it doesn’t feel busy. You can see the amazing skyline of Dubai and at night time it was a great sight! They have very high repeat business and I can see why! Overall, Dubai didn’t disappoint, and it had changed a lot since my last visit. I’ll definitely be going back but maybe in a few years’ time to see what has changed the next time round. There’s still a lot of building work going on but it doesn’t seem to affect the overall enjoyment and it appears to just be normal scenery for Dubai. It’s definitely one of those places that everyone should visit at least once! An amazing trip with lots fitted in to a few short days – highly recommended!

Gold Weekend - MSC Mediterannean Cruise

20 February 2018

At Travel Counsellors, we are recognised once we get to and maintain a certain level of sales and service, as a Gold Travel Counsellor. Each year there is a trip we are taken on and in 2017 it was a weekend cruise in the Med with MSC. We arrived in Genoa port to a rather spectacular site of our home for the next few days - MSC Preziosa. Despite being late October, the sun shone and the ship looked amazing. We were very lucky to have a balcony cabin, which was a reasonable size and nicely decorated. The ship was beautiful inside with many 'wow' features but what made this trip for us was the stops. We were able to disembark in Barcelona for a day after enjoying the previous night on board. We'd already signed up for an electric bike tour but on waking up we found the weather to be awful - torrential rain that promised to continue for the whole day. The tour had been fully booked but it soon became apparent only a few would brave the weather! I'd never been to Barcelona so felt I should continue with the plans! It turned out to be very memorable and is a day I will never forget! The electric bikes were fab, and we were able to cycle up to where the cable car took us even higher. We had a brilliant guide who gave us lots of information throughout the day and after our descent into the city centre we were rewarded with a drink and tapas stop. At that time the rain got worse but we all decided we would like to take the long route home, so we could see La Sagrada Familia. I'm glad we did as, even from the outside in the pouring rain, it's an amazing place with interesting history. I didn't realise until then that it is still to be finished! After that it was time to head back to the ship, dry off and warm up! We were rewarded that evening with a lovely meal at the speciality restaurant Eataly (where you can order a metre-long pizza if you wish!) The next day we had another bike tour planned for Palma, Majorca so on waking up the first thing we did was look outside at the weather. Thankfully it was a huge contrast - blue skies and sunshine! It was an easy cycle from the port to the cathedral and a lovely way to see the city, ideal for a short trip like ours. I'd love to go back to Palma for a short break and it was great to see it as it isn't somewhere I'd really think of if clients were asking. With the added benefit of the weather, it makes a great weekend away. On our final day we decided to have a day on board the ship enjoying the facilities and as the weather was sunny again, I felt obliged to try the onboard water-slide which is great for the kids if you go with family. Overall, a great trip and as with any cruise, it was nice to see so many places in such a short time.

Back to School

05 September 2017

And so it begins another school year In general I’m sad but I could also cheer I’m know I’m not the only one Who has mixed feelings that the holidays are gone My youngest is starting primary school My eldest is in year 3, which he thinks is pretty cool For us Mum’s we’ll enjoy the peace for a few days But after that I’ll miss the noise and play Six weeks is a pretty long time to fill I’m not looking forward to that credit card bill This summer we went camping in the UK But next year I think we need a sunny holiday If you are thinking along the same track Get in touch now the kids are back

River Cruise Budapest to Vienna

07 December 2016

When I heard I'd be embarking on a river cruise as a reward for achieving 'Gold Travel Counsellor' status, I was a little unsure about what to expect! We sailed onboard Scenic Jewel and the hosts were amazing. I can highly recommend Scenic, the service was unbelievable, the food was delicious, cabins surprisingly spacious and the scenery was stunning. We were lucky enough to have a cabin with a balcony - I'd highly recommend booking a balcony cabin as we found it really relaxing just watching the scenery go by. Obviously very different compared with sea cruising as on a river cruise there is much more to see. We only had a morning in Budapest so we decided to relax, after a whistle-stop coach tour of the city we were taken to the Szechenyi Baths which had a total of 18 pools ranging from very cold to hot and everything in between. My favourite was the outdoor pool which was a great experience in late October! We then had a 24 hour up-river sail from Budapest to Vienna, it was great to experience a lock aswell which I have never done before. I couldn't believe how close the ship was to the side (see the photo!) In Vienna, we were able to visit the Schonnbrunn Palace which was a great experience and some quite interesting history involved! A must if you ever visit Vienna. We visited on a Saturday and they had a huge food market which we heard was worth a visit too! We were also taken on a 'Scenic Exclusive Enrich Excursion' where we have a private opera and ballet performance at the Palace Liechtenstein - a lovely evening and memorable experience. It was lovely to see the city in the evening as well as the day time. The ship itself was impressive and exceeded any expectations I had. The staff were very attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The food was excellent and varied and definitely a large part of the holiday for me and something I would particularly look forward to if I were to go again. Overall, we had a brilliant weekend and it's definitely something I'd recommend to my clients, particularly those who enjoy cruising and are looking for something different!

Relaxing in Zakynthos!

07 December 2016

This was the first summer holiday we've actually had to take in the school summer holidays, so I was a little apprehensive about what to expect! I was hoping it wouldn't be too hot for the kids (3yrs and 6yrs) and also hoping it wasn't going to be so busy that it made it unenjoyable! We were pleasantly surprised though! The temperatures were ideal, early to mid-thirties every day and the sea was lovely and warm. We stayed in Kalamaki which has the perfect beach for small children. They can walk out pretty far and it still be only up to their waists. The water is crystal clear and there are plenty of shells to be found! We did have a storm in the middle of the holiday which meant the seaweed was disturbed and there was lots in the sea and piles of it on the beach but this was soon cleared away and normality resumed within a couple of days! We enjoyed a couple of lunches in roadside bars/restaurants close to the beach and its pretty good value for money. More recently, we've been to mainland Spain a lot, so it's a while since I was last in Greece, but we found it much cheaper here than in Spain for food and drinks and general souvenirs. The main strip in Kalamaki had the usual touristy shops and a few restaurants and bars. As we stayed at an all-inclusive we didn't venture out in the evening with the kids as they were tired from their sand-castle building and shell-collecting but during the day the Strip was pretty enjoyable to stroll along and not busy at all. Zakynthos is well known for being a turtle-nesting ground and on the beach the nests are protected, if you get up early at the right time of year and are lucky enough you may see turtles hatching and making their first journey into the sea! We took a pedalo out from the beach to try and spot a turtle but didn't have any luck! So we then went on a boat trip from Laganas further along the coast and were fortunate enough to spot two turtles in their natural habitat, which the kids though was completely amazing! The entire reason for this holiday was just to relax and spend time as a family so in the 10 days we were there, we didn't do anything else! We just spent the time at the beach and around the pool and for that it was just perfect (if not great for a travel agent!). I'd definitely recommend and would go back - friendly people, good value for money, not too long a flight and ideal weather.

Disneyland Paris - Newport Bay Club

07 December 2016

I've actually lost count of the number of times I've been to Disneyland Paris but we still love it! OK, so it's really not Florida but for a quick fix of Disney, it's brilliant. We're lucky enough to live fairly close to a Eurostar station so getting there is pretty quick and arriving just at the park gates is ideal! We stayed at the Newport Bay hotel this time which has recently been refurbished and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It's about a 10-15 minute walk (with a 3 and 6 year old) to the park entrances but we prefer this option to the shuttle bus and it takes you through Disney Village which adds a bit of distraction for the kids too. My little girl (the 3 year old) has been before but it's the first time she's been old enough to properly appreciate it and the new Frozen show was a big hit with her, she loved singing along and thought the 'snow' was hilarious! My little boy (the 6 year old) is a big Lightening McQueen fan so despite having sat through 'Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular' more than a dozen times already, this was a must for him and he still loves it, particularly the 'remote controlled' car! We love the parades and always make time to see at least one, they bring a lovely atmosphere along with them and having the music adds to the experience. We are the ones who bag our space half an hour before it starts though to make it more enjoyable when it does arrive! Something we do every time and I'd really recommend it, is having dinner at Café Mickey. I don't think it’s the best food available in the park but some of the characters come round to your table and you can have a photo with them and get the all-important autograph, the kids love it and it's certainly something we consider to be a 'must-do'. One last thing to mention is 'It's a Small World', every adult pretends to hate it, the kids love it but one thing is for sure, you'll be singing that tune all day long for days after you've been on (and now maybe again too, after you've read about it)! I do like the fact that it takes a lot of people at a time so the queues are often much shorter than for other rides. So, another successful short trip to Disney, to keep us going until the next big one to Florida!

New York New York!

14 March 2016

I have just returned from an amazing weekend in New York. This is what we did - Woodbury Common (shopping outlet) which is around an hour away from the city. It was really good, well worthwhile if you want to shop. Although saying that there were lots of offers on clothes etc around 5th Avenue which I wasn’t expecting, thought it would all just be full price. Allow a full day here – even with this we didn’t finish all the shops! We also walked the Highline (disused railway which runs from about 35th to 3rd Street), it is much calmer than at ground level and runs about 3 storeys high between the skyscrapers and is nice for a leisurely walk IF the weather is good – it closes at different times in the evenings depending on time of year but we did it in the dark and during the day – worthwhile if you want an hour or so a bit more relaxed. If you want somewhere nice to eat, Morton’s Steakhouse is very good but look at the prices as it isn’t cheap! We also ate at The Park (Greenwich Village area) which is nice, it has a conservatory so it’s almost like eating outside and the prices here were more reasonable. There are lots of McDonald’s/similar if you just want somewhere very cheap to eat. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Moe’s. Moonstruck Diner is nice for breakfast/lunch – very American with lots of booths and very good value and tasty food. We went to see the show ‘School of Rock’ – this was outstanding. It my choice of shows and I didn’t have high hopes but can highly recommend it. The stars are 10-15years old and boy, do they have some talent! There are lots of shows to choose from and I’d definitely recommend a trip to the theatre. We also went to a Jazz Club which was different, we enjoyed it as something different but it wasn't geared up for tourists so felt a little out of place!! Definitely glad for the experience though!! We pre-booked an Explorer Pass (well worth the money and I would highly recommend this), this included the following 6 attractions (you can get different numbers of attractions with this pass): Empire State Building – a must, views are great and doesn’t take much time – probably allow 1-2 hours depending on what time you go. It opens at 8am and we went shortly after that and there were no queues at all so I’d recommend that if you don’t mind getting up early, we just went for brunch afterwards rather than breakfast beforehand. Circle Line 2.5 hour Best of New York Cruise – this was really good and the views are amazing and you sail past Statue of Liberty. This cruise goes all the way round Manhattan Island but if you are limited for time there are ones that just go past Statue of Liberty and as far as the Brooklyn Bridge which takes you past the Financial District which has a pretty cool skyline and back again. 9/11 Tribute Centre & Walking Tour – we thought we had the museum included so I was disappointed when they said it was the Tribute Centre (didn’t really know about this beforehand) but actually it was brilliant. I would still do the Museum next time I go but the Tribute Centre has a tiny museum (it was hard reading all the things anyway so an hour in there was plenty, it is truly heart-braking) but after that we got a walking tour with 2 people who were involved with 9/11 – one was a journalist who camped there for 14 days as once you were in it was easier to stay in, rather than leave and try and get back in. And the other was a fireman who was on holiday and who had to help with the search and rescue in the days after. It was fascinating and we learnt so much more doing it that way than going to the museum so really chuffed we made the mistake in the first place, we saw the Fireman’s monument which I am sure 99% of people miss as it’s hidden away and found out about the ‘Survivor’s Tree’ which we wouldn’t have known about without the Walking Tour. We also had a quick wonder round Wall Street and saw the NY Stock Exchange and Battery Park which only needed about 30-45 minutes but good to do while we were there. We took a Subway from Grand Central Terminal (good to see if you can) to Wall Street and it was US$3 per person each way. We did this on a Sunday, not sure what Wall Street etc would be like on a working day! Central Park Bike Tour – this was 2 hours and I haven’t been on a bike for about 8 years but it was brilliant and made me realise I need to buy a new bike!!! Again guided, so found out things you would have never have otherwise known if you had just walked around. It’s massive - 4km long and 800m wide - so you wouldn’t have got to see much in 2 hours if on foot. It’s worth going to see, however you do it, but I’d really recommend the bike tour. We even got to cycle in NY traffic (which I was extremely nervous about) back to the depot at the end which is something I never thought I’d do!!! The Ride – bus tour/show. Didn’t really know what to expect and don’t do this if you want a bus tour but it was absolutely hilarious as a show with a tiny bit of sightseeing along the way. I won’t ruin it but if you want something funny and a bit different, then do this!!! You have to pre-book this even with the pass whereas we didn’t pre-book anything else just turned up when we wanted to do it. Top of the Rock. Another observation deck with great views. We did this one at night so we had the contrast of Empire State Building in the day and this at night. People who have done both in the day say this one is better but is less well known. With this pass (or any others) do check before you go when things are available so you can plan your itinerary. I have been in travel 17 years and this was my first visit to NYC but it was well worth the wait and am sure it won’t be my last!

Mauritius - Heritage Awali

25 March 2013

This was my first visit to Mauritius and we loved it! The hotel was lovely and I would highly recommend it for a good value, good standard and the all-inclusive option. The deluxe rooms are quite large and I would be happy to stay in this room type again. The food and service was excellent! We went with our two year old and the hotel was very family friendly. We also saw a couple of weddings while we were there, so it is suitable for all kinds of clients. We were lucky with the weather as although there was a lot of rain it pretty much all fell overnight and just one morning and one afternoon of downpours during the daytime. We did a day trip to the Chamarel Waterfall and the Seven Coloured Earth. This also included a visit to the Sacred Lake and the Crocodile Park, where we really enjoyed feeding the giant tortoises! A day I would highly recommend!

Fun in Orlando!

06 December 2012

This was my fourth visit to Florida, but the first time I have stayed on-site at Disney and the first time I’d been as a family (with a two year old) rather than as a couple. I wasn’t really sure what to expect! We booked when they were offering a free dining plan, which they regularly do now if you book early. Any doubts were soon squashed – it was a fantastic experience. We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and had giraffes, zebras and lots of other animals regularly wandering around outside our hotel room. The dining plan offered superb eating options and we found ourselves eating in much nicer restaurants than the usual Denny’s and McDonalds we’d experienced on previous visits! It’s also the first time we’d arranged an itinerary before we left and I would strongly urge anyone going to Orlando, with a lot to fit in, to do this as it did make more of our time. What can I say - the parks, as always, were fantastic. We also visited Legoland which opened last year and for anyone with a car, it’s worth the 45 minute drive. It’s much quieter than the Disney parks but has a few different bits to keep everyone entertained. We also visited Seaworld , one of my favourite parks, and managed to fit four of their shows into one day! My two year old won’t remember any of it but he had the most amazing time and I’d do it again if I could. For anyone travelling with young children you just need to pace yourself and allow time for naps and quieter days. Overall, another great trip to Orlando – can’t wait for the fifth visit!

Vegas and Chicago!

12 December 2008

Las Vegas really is one of those places that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime as it is impossible to do it justice in words and pictures alone! Everything is on such a large scale, it is hard to take it all in! It wasn’t our first choice of destination but my husband has wanted to visit Chicago for many years and with Las Vegas we wanted to go and see what all the fuss was about and so we decided on a twin centre. The plan was to have one day relaxing round the pool and then one day sightseeing and so on. After one day seeing what Vegas had to offer we did something every day and just sunbathed in the morning for a couple of hours! It is strange that the attractions are the hotels themselves. I felt like I was on a working trip with my list of which hotels I wanted to go and see! We walked for miles but luckily we stayed in a spa suite at the Luxor Hotel which after a long day meant we could sit in the Jacuzzi and rest our aching feet! We went on the rollercoaster at New York New York, visited the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, watched a comedy show at our hotel, watched the dancing fountains at the Bellagio and walked through almost every casino on the strip (well, at least that is what it felt like!). It is amazing how everywhere you go you have to go through a casino and it is very easy to get disorientated (maybe that’s what they are hoping for!!). One of the things we were really looking forward to was the shopping as we had been saving up for this trip and had not done much beforehand. On our first full day we hit one of the outlets and came back with lots of bargains so we were pleased our patience had paid off! While we were staying in Vegas we took the opportunity to visit the Grand Canyon. Wow! It is just the most amazing sight, even when you are there it is really hard for your eyes to take in the sheer size of it. We walked round about 3 miles of it and even in that small space the colours and sights were spectacular, a must see for anyone in the area. We stopped at the Hoover Dam which is quite an awesome sight too but it is quite sad to see the water level so low at the moment. After our busy week we were off to Chicago next. I am not really a city person but I loved Chicago. There are lots of green park areas and with the Chicago River and Lake Michigan - it feels open and not like a city at all. There is quite a lot to do there too – in one day we were able to visit the Planetarium which we had great fun at, we also went to the Field Museum which is a huge natural history museum – I would have liked more time as there is so much to see! In the evening we wondered along Navy Pier and had a nice evening meal outside as we were lucky with the weather. On the Sunday we went to an NFL game. This was actually the main purpose of our holiday as my husband is a Chicago Bears fan and had always wanted to see a live match. We had a real struggle getting tickets and were very excited by the time it came round! I only had a very basic understanding of the rules and it wasn’t really my ideal day out but I have to say even I had an amazing time! The atmosphere was fantastic and it was very exciting to be there. We had really great seats and although the Bears lost after extra time it was still worth the inflated price we had paid for the tickets! This was the first time we had done a twin centre but the two places were a great combination and as always we enjoyed the plentiful food and welcome that we received from the Americans!

Brazil - Rio and Salvador

05 August 2008

When they started operating charter flights to Brazil, we must have been among the first to book! The first thing that strikes you about the country is the sheer size. When we started talking about trips to Rio and Iguassu Falls we realised the logistics of visiting both places in such a short space of time were not ideal so we opted just to visit Rio from where we were staying on the coast. Rio is an amazing place and you can see in a fairly short space of time the very poor areas and the very rich areas. We were on an escorted trip and as such felt pretty safe the whole time we were there. Our hotel was a short walk from Copocabana beach, where we spent quite a long time just wondering along watching all the different activities going on. We were there at the weekend so the beaches were packed with locals, it was fascinating seeing a normal weekend in Rio! As part of the trip we also went to see Sugar Loaf Mountain. Access was by two cable cars which take you up to the different levels. Even if you are afraid of heights, it is worth trying to overcome this as the views are amazing. From here Christ The Redeemer looks really small! Next we were back on the coach ready to board the train that takes you up to Corcovado. The statue of Christ The Redeemer is really huge and very high up offering really spectacular views! A 2 hour flight took us back to our beach hotel. The food here was fantastic – we had a choice of restaurants including Japanese. Having never tried sushi before this was a great opportunity for us to try new things! There was also a traditional Brasilian Steak House which was similar to the one we had dined at in Rio. They serve all kinds of meats on skewers and they basically keep coming until you tell them to stop! Our hotel was around 3km from a little village called Praia do Forte. Unlike Rio it was really safe here and we were able to walk along the beautiful beach. Although it is quite hard work walking on the sand in the heat it was well worth it as the beach was really unspoilt and almost deserted. Praia do Forte is a pretty little village, it has lots of shops (some quite expensive) but also has a lot of stalls to get your souvenirs and bargains. You’ll find things cheaper here than at the hotel. There is also a Turtle Reserve, which is only a couple of pounds to get in and although it is fairly small it’s nice to go in and do your bit. Turtles nest on the beaches in this area and like everywhere they have a very low survival rate so this is to try and help their chances. Also, definitely try a ‘Coco Gelado’, we asked for a Coke and this is what we got but we were grateful of the error! It’s an ice cold fresh coconut with a straw and it cost us US$1! Another great day out was the Imbassai River Trip. This took us in a 4x4 with no glass in the windows, (which was very windy!), to a river in the local area. The river is completely safe and there are no piranhas or crocodiles! Then we canoed for about 3km down the Imbassai River in Canadian canoes. We stopped for a quick dip, and the water was very warm and very clear, in fact the locals were doing their washing in it! Then after this we walked for about half an hour along a completely deserted beach as the sun was going down, to a local village called Sant Antonio. It got the name from a statue of Sant Antonio that was washed up on the beach, and that was why they decided to build the village there. The village is very small, and before the tourist road was built about 10 years ago it took them 2 days to get to the next village. Overall, we had a great time in Brazil but barely scratched the surface – there is so much to see and do and I am sure we will return again in the future to see other parts of the country.

Chill out in the Maldives!

21 May 2008

If you want to truly relax and forget about all the stress back home – then you have to try the Maldives. We were unfortunate enough to be in the middle of the plane in row 1 on our outbound journey. While everyone else was admiring the fantastic views before landing we were straining our necks to try and get a glimpse of where was to be our home for the next two weeks. On arrival we waited for our speedboat transfer. It wasn't quite what I had imagined – a little noisy to say the least! But it was worth it. From the moment we stepped out onto the jetty we knew we would enjoy our stay. Beautiful white sand awaited us and as we walked over the jetty we could already see fish in the sea. We opted for an individual beach villa and with a wooden interior and open bathroom; it was stunning. My husband is a bit of a TV addict so with no television in sight it took him a little while to adjust but for me it was great! The open bathroom at first was also a little strange but we soon missed it when we were back home. We spent the first few days just enjoying the peace and quiet and great views. We played the odd game of table tennis before dinner and went for walks around the island but other than that it was just a complete wind down from being away from home and work. While sitting on the beach we had seen a few people go past in canoes and decided we would have a go. We thought it would be really nice to row around the island and would give us a different perspective. We got around half way but when we turned against the current it became really hard work. It was quite funny really as everyone going past looked like they were having a great time and we thought we would give it a go. We were glad we had done it but we didn’t go back out again! The next day I could hardly move – my arms were really aching. We had come across the spa while exploring the island and decided we would book a massage to ease the pain! Neither of us had had a proper massage before so we didn’t know what to expect. They were so good we went back for another two during the holiday! We also went snorkelling a few times as you can snorkel in a couple of feet water and see the most amazing things. We saw quite a few reef sharks just a metre or two from which to begin with was a little unnerving but you soon got used to. They never seemed to be around when we had our camera though and it became our mission to get a close up picture of one – we did succeed in the end! The island offered a couple of boat trips too so we decided to try them out. One was a sunset cruise (a boat takes you out a few hundred metres, the sun sets while you are drinking a cocktail, then you come back!). What they don’t tell you is that there is a great chance of seeing dolphins and we saw quite a few which was quite awesome. We also enjoyed a night fishing trips which is not something we would usually be interested in. We were given a fishing line with a hook on the end and told to dangle it over the edge, we did actually catch a few fish each – most of them we couldn’t identify but my husband caught a barracuda which was quite exciting! With regards to food, there were alternative restaurants but the main buffet restaurant was excellent and the choice was quite varied so we didn’t feel the need to try the others. For us it just the perfect destination where we came home feeling really chilled out. We enjoyed great food, great weather (most of the time!) and great hospitality and will definitely be going back!

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Always great, helpful, insightful and patient.

Sent by Hannah Crowther

Vicky is always so helpful and answers any questions or queries very quickly for me.

Sent by Howard Gilbert

Vicky Dyer is a wonderful travel agent, always quick to find quality holiday bookings and alternative suggestions. Fast and efficient in every way, and calm and reassuring in dealing with any emergency situations, such as when we were delayed in motorway hold ups and almost missed our cruise to St Petersburg sailing on The Queen Elizabeth!! I always try Vicky before any other Travel Agent and she is so good I never have to move on elsewhere.

Sent by Allison Garnett

Vicky was extremely patient and attentive with our changing requirements.

Sent by Barbara Small

Vicky is very attentive to your needs. Nothing is too much trouble, always willing to help.

Sent by Terry Skelton

I've dealt with Vicky for many years, I wouldn't change her for all the tea in China, So very friendly, very professional, nothing is to much trouble, thank you Vicky, keep up the good work.

Sent by John Cox

Once again a top quality service from Vicky many thanks

Sent by Paul Denne

When using Vicky for our travel requirements she totally understands what we require and seems always goes the extra mile to make our holiday stress free and enjoyable. Would never use anyone else and would always recommend her to our friends and family.

Sent by Lyn Vassey

If I could score more I would we would never trust our travel arrangements to anyone else .

Sent by Alison Savva

Vicky is at all times the consummate professional and deals with any enquiries quickly efficiently and with a friendly approachable manner. No matter how many variations is requested Vicky always rises to the challenge. We have always and will continue to recommend her services.

Sent by Rosemary Stutchbury

Only at the early booking stage so a bit early to say but so far very good

Sent by Alfred McBratney

Always the very best of service

Sent by Neil Minter

Always very quick and helpful supporting with whatever the needs are! 100% will continue to speak with Vicky for future needs and will recommend to anyone else that needs support with their holiday and travel planning.

Sent by Andrew Seymour

I have used Vicky on a few occasions be it holidays, flights or advice and always is a good experience.

Sent by Jeffrey Bartlett

Vicky is regularly informative, helpful and friendly. During the past two years she has efficiently managed some difficult situations.

Sent by Sara Callen

As always, Vicky is so helpful, tailoring arrangements to our specific requirements

Sent by Geoffrey Garner

Great service : fast, efficient and friendly. The Government could learn a lot from the way Travel Counsellors work and operate particularly Boris Johnson! For travel arrangements home and abroad, I would have no hesitation in recommending you to my family and friends.

Sent by John Garlinge

Vicky dealt with my request very quickly , very efficiently and in a very pleasant manner. thank you Vicky

Sent by Terence Dix

Vicky was very accommodating, helpful and professional with our enquiry and has guided us through the process so far towards reaching our final goal of a fantastic holiday in St Lucia.

Sent by Paula Blanchard

Vicky was amazing I couldn't of asked for more.

Sent by Richard Webster

Vicky has been excellent in helping us over the last 2+ years with our ever changing travel plans, which were severely impacted by covid. Thanks Vicky.

Sent by Hayley Boakes

I was very pleased with how quickly quotes came back from Vicky and how she tweaked and changed anything that I needed, in regards to budget she was very understanding and changed the trip accordingly.

Sent by Christine O'Sullivan

Vicky is always extremely helpful and makes our holiday booking so easy ! Wouldn't travel without her !!

Sent by Mark Cowens

Excellent service and very knowledgeable, our needs would appear to have been met perfectly without any stress. Highly recommend.

Sent by Timothy Melsom

Vicky was very helpful, prompt and knowledgable , I would certainly use her services again.

Sent by Darren Neal

Vicky has been really helpful and quick in getting back to arrange our holiday, highly recommend

Sent by Claire Robson

Vicky is wonderful. No matter what I've asked her she has always got back to me promptly weather its during the day or on an evening. She is friendly and approachable and very understanding. A pleasure to deal with.

Sent by Karen Royer

Vicky always goes the extra mile to make sure that booking a holiday is a pleasurable and stress free experience. She is very knowledgeable and patient.

Sent by Peter Davey

Not only a very friendly and amenable person, but fully committed to ensuring that you get exactly what you want and once She knows you, She can tailor make your Holiday quickly and make the whole process painless and enjoyable. We have had several issues over the last 2 years with the pandemic and each time these have been dealt with quickly, with no additional issues and always with a satisfactory resolution.

Sent by Mark Flatt

Been using Vicky at Travel Counsellors for years within our business - never had an issue

Sent by Lisa Lockett

I have received a very friendly and professional service so far from Vicky and have already told several friends and family about her. I have not booked a holiday for several years and did not know where to start, Vicky listened to what we wanted as a family and has booked us what looks like an amazing family holiday. She has put us at ease with all the Covid requirements (and throughout the whole process) and we are very much looking forward to our much needed family holiday.

Sent by Anne Neame

Without hesitation I score Vicky 10. I had absolutely no idea where to start & Vicky has made everything so easy. She has been extremely helpful & put my mind at rest with all of my questions & queries. Thank you Vicky

Sent by Stuart Samons

Helpful and informative as always

Sent by Susan Andrews

I cannot express the gratitude i have for Vicky at Travel Counsellor. Her expertise , service and expertise which all in all makes her the best at arranging a perfect holiday.

Sent by Anne Amos

Vicky is always very professional, polite and nothing is to much trouble. She always goes above and beyond for you

Sent by Kevin Broadley

Vicky always provides a first class service

Sent by Stephen Morley

Super service so easy to deal with

Sent by Lilian Carlington

Really helpful and found us the perfect holiday thank you !!!!!!

Sent by Matthew Fay

Vicky has been extremely helpful throughout the process.

Sent by David Field

Very good professional service

Sent by Claire Haines

Booking with Vicky is so easy, she has a wealth of knowledge and is there every step of the way. During COVID this was a godsend. We have now booked a number of times with her and will continue to do so.

Sent by Carl Denne

Vicky was fantastic, she knew exactly what I was looking for in a holiday and provided a nice range of hotels and flights to pick from, I would highly recommend her, In fact I have already recommended her to family and friends! I am looking forward to booking another holiday with her!

Sent by B Plaister

Always had very good service from Vicky, very helpful and knows our needs

Sent by T Hazard

We have been dealing with Vicky for years now. Nothing is ever too much trouble and she goes far beyond the usual remit in order to help you find the holiday you're searching for. Vicky is also on hand when plans change or you have questions - she remains calm, efficient and friendly - what more do you need! Thanks Vicky

Sent by B Sutton

Vicky is a joy to deal with, always bright & Friendly. Nothing is too much trouble. Happy to recommend her anytime.

Sent by Jenny Abbott

We have just returned home from Lapland, Finland with our two children and would like to thank Vicky for all of her hard work and dedication in ensuring our holiday was a trip of a lifetime. From the moment we first contacted Vicky, she made us feel at ease and relaxed, knowing that she would answer all questions honestly and to the best of her ability. It was really useful to be able to communicate with someone who had previously been and who was able to share all of her useful tips and experience. Vicky was always very thorough and quick to respond to our emails or telephone calls. During the pandemic, she has maintained regular contact to ensure that we were fully informed of any changes. She definitely went above and beyond to support us as a couple who had no idea about planning a snowy holiday! Even useful tips like packing lots of snacks come in useful when it was cold and children's energy was waining. Vicky's communication always felt personal, like she genuinely was excited for us and that it was important for her that our holiday also was a success. She never rushed our telephone conversations and was very personable. We would highly recommend Vicky as a travel consultant and look forward to booking with her in the future. Kind regards

Sent by A Storrie

Vicky, you’ve been great. You take the worry out of booking a holiday and you have the experience we don’t have. This makes for a more enjoyable experience. Thank you!

Sent by Janice Northwood

Brilliant, kind, honest, hardworking service

Sent by Lyn Vassey

I don’t believe that you can better the service we receive from our Travel counsellor, she provides an amazing service, from booking aircraft seats to private transfers to resort, even when we call from Mexico getting her out of bed at 1am U.K. time she was cheerful, helpful and really made sure we were safe and well, can’t ask for anything else.

Sent by V O'Sullivan

Efficient, prompt, fast customer service.

Sent by John Cox

Fantastic service as always, many thanks to Vicky

Sent by David Field

Vicky is very thorough and professional and has a passion for her customers enquiries and bookings also providing professional aftercare.

Sent by Terry Skelton

Vicky has always been so helpful, honest, and very friendly, I always book my holidays through Vicky, I've never had a problem booking a holiday, I would not book with anybody else, she is so reliable.

Sent by Vicky O'Sullivan

Efficient, prompt, fast customer service.

Sent by Graham Rogers

Been very helpful and have already recommended to friends and family

Sent by Lesley Pritt

Vicky was super helpful as always. She always goes above and beyond which is much appreciated

Sent by Lisa Bickerstaff

Personally, I hoped that the scores would go up to 1000! That’s how I score Vicky Dyer: reliable, professional, kind, helpful, confident, knowledgeable, polite, friendly, patient and always makes the customer service a pleasure to be a part of. Always recommend Vicky!

Sent by Sara Orchard

Vicky is completely dedicated to making sure everything is perfect for your holiday. I wouldn’t go anywhere else to book a holiday.

Sent by Jeff Bartlett

During the difficult times in 2020/2021, Vicky has provided considerable assistance.

Sent by David Blatchford

What is important to me re personal travel and the place I book? Honest opinions, trust in the person, advice based on knowledge of the customer, reasonable prices, back up when things change, getting the best resolution when things go wrong, not abusing the trust I place with the person. My relationship with TC and specifically Vicky more than ticks all the boxes and this has truly been tested and satisfied over the past 2years.

Sent by Jenny Hollingsworth

Booking through Vicky gives us complete peace of mind. She goes the extra mile every time, nothing is ever too much trouble, her experience is of the highest standard and her knowledge is extensive.

Sent by Anne Morfey

I used Vicky on recommendation from my sister and have passed on her recommendation to others in the past and will do so in future as her service is amazing.

Sent by Amex Leech

Great service, support and attention to detail. Also knows what going on which is very useful when traveling today.

Sent by Dom Meehan

Vicky is so patient and has been amazing in supporting us over all the Covid travel nonsense from the Government!

Sent by Dean Bowey

Excellent service Vicky is always willing to help & finds great holidays & locations

Sent by Jill Evans

Whenever I use Vicky I feel confident that she will look for the type of holiday that I like. She will then organise additional things for me, like car hire. She is always professional and I feel that she looks after me. Part of using Vicky, especially at the moment, is that she is there whilst I am away. I am looking forward to going away but feel reassured when Vicky tells me that she will contact me near the end of my break with any updates necessary. In these troubled times it is comforting to use Travel Counsellors and I have always used Vicky.

Sent by Zahra Mohamed

Vicky was very helpful right from the beginning, from looking at vacation options up until our departure! Even with out many changes. Nothing was too much to ask for and she was available to answer any and all questions we had. Re COVID, Vicky was very helpful. If she didn’t know the answer on the spot she always came back with the answer right away! We would definitely recommend all our friends and family to book through Vicky!!

Sent by Dave White

Vicky always goes out her way to get me the best deal possible. Vicky is so professional that She takes out all of the stress of arranging a holiday. I can’t remember how many years or holidays for me, all of which have been perfect. Anyone booking a holiday through Vicky have no fear she will look after you.

Sent by Helen Dixon

I can’t praise Vicky enough. I am due to travel next week to the Oman. Whilst I have yet to make my journey Vicky’s help in preparing for the journey has been invaluable. In short I wouldn’t be considering it without her assistance.

Sent by Lyndsay Reynolds

Vicky is truly outstanding and so helpful and patient. She got back to me really quickly with a variety of great options for our break and explained everything so clearly. We narrowed it down to 2 and she made a couple more enquiries on our behalf before sorting out the booking for us. It was so easy and nice to have a stress-free and safe way of booking our holiday - we totally recommend her to anyone! We’ve used her for a big honeymoon trip and shorter stays and wouldn’t book anything anywhere else. Thanks Vicky!

Sent by Barbara Seymour

Vicky is an amazing Travel Counsellor. Wouldn’t use anyone else. Her service is gold class.

Sent by Rachel Roberts-Turrell

Fantastic communication and informative. Kept us update to date on everything. Highly recommend!

Sent by Tracy Hazard

The personal touch Vicky brings to the role, cannot be underestimated. She has remained positive and willing to find a solution throughout. We are immensely grateful to have her on the end of the phone and believe that she will always go the extra mile to ensure her clients are happy. Thank you Vicky!

Sent by Helen Dixon

Vicky has been brilliant. I haven’t seen my son and family for over a year. I am booked to go to the Oman in January and I truly believe that without Vicky’s assistance I would not have got this far. I would recommend her without hesitation.

Sent by Kirsty Harper

Vicky did an amazing job sorting the best flights and accommodation for our trip to New Zealand and Fiji. She is so well experienced, gives great travel advice and makes sure she finds everything to suit your perfect holiday.

Sent by Anne Bulpin

I have been booking with Vicky for a number of years, her service never varies, she is very thorough will finding flights that have good stopover times, always checks that visas etc are in place. She has been particularly helpful over the last few weeks with Coronavirus, she has checked and checked again to get us a flight back from Australia. I would always recommend Vicky if you want worry free travel. She is amazing

Sent by Christine Jones

I can thoroughly recommend Vicky as a top travel counsellor. She arranged everything for us and was extremely good with her communication. Any messages left were quickly answered and explained. We would not hesitate to use her services again.

Sent by Lyn Vassey

Vicky has now arranged a few holidays for us from helping us choose where to go to arranging a car to meet us at the airport. I cannot imagine ever allowing anyone else to help us, even now we live so far away. 1st class professional service and, I have to say, never minded my ever lasting questions.

Sent by Sara Orchard

I have booked several holidays with Vicky, sometimes not knowing where to go. I say what I would like to do and what style hotel and Vicky has never failed me with absolutely outstanding places, thank you Vicky

Sent by Gill Pragnell

I will and have recommended Vicky Dyer from Travel Councillors for peace of mind-one to one-her personal touch and her friendly professional approach too.

Sent by N Steel

Vicky is excellent. She is always available to help with any issues either before or during the holiday and I would thoroughly recommend her.

Sent by Tracy Hazard

Vicky is extremely helpful, knowledgeable and personable. She provides a great service and is a fabulous ambassador for Travel Counsellors.

Sent by J Lane

The ease of contact with Vicky was very comforting when there were problems with the flight home due to weather conditions. That alone will make me use your company for future bookings.

Sent by M Jones

Vicky was very helpful,. I told her what I wanted and she organised the rest. It was such a simple process for me. All I have to do is look forward to going around the world visiting family in New Zealand. I would defiantly recommend her to friends and family. Thanks Vicky x

Sent by J Wilson

Absolutely a 10! Vicky has planned a few holidays for us long haul with friends and a couple of short breaks for just us two. Her service has been efficient, friendly and clearly within the parameters we gave her. I am sure that we will be back.

Sent by Simon Boulding

Vicky is fantastic. She does the extra mile to ensure we get the right holiday and for the best possible cost. Always look to use Vicky and highly recommend her to all our family and friends.

Sent by Phil Day

Vicky was very helpful and gave me several options, I always felt supported

Sent by Richard Webster

Vicky has been excellent in working our a very interesting trip which matches our specific requirements. She has been very quick and flexible. Thanks Vicky

Sent by Rebecca Handford

Great service, very knowledgeable and available at convenient times. Definitely will use Vicky again and would recommend to friends and family.

Sent by Laura Beetlstone

Vicky has been absolutely fantastic! I have already recommended her and she is an asset to your company! Nothing was too much trouble and she went over and above to get us what we wanted!

Sent by Elizabeth Ogilvie

Vicky is efficient, thoughtful, knowledgeable and a lovely person to do business with. Booking with her makes the holiday experience great from the start to the end. Would have NO hesitation in recommending her to others, have done before & they've been equally delighted. Thank you again Vicky.

Sent by Warren Golding

Excellent service. Very friendly and informative definitely recommend

Sent by Robert Bruce

Excellent service from Vicky Dyer for the last five years.

Sent by Emily Rigney O'Hanlon

Vicky was very approachable, courteous, generally made us feel like she wanted to find us the best holiday based on our needs and budget. Overall, I would book again with Vicky in a heartbeat.

Sent by Ann Hardman

Vicky made everything so easy, she listened to all that we required and pleased with the resulting itinerary which we are looking forward too.

Sent by Ryan Smith

I will defiantly recommend this company and Vicky especially to anyone looking to book a holiday. Vicky had our holiday booked quickly and efficiently with plenty of options in a short space of time especially over the Christmas period. Many thanks for you’re great service.

Sent by K Leech

Very helpful and friendly with fast efficient service!

Sent by Janice Northwood

Nothing too much trouble. Gold service from a lovely lady!

Sent by Trish Lofting

Always ready to help

Sent by Helen Levett

Vicky was as always excellent, answering all our queries prior to booking and finding us the best value for what we wanted. She always goes above and beyond.

Sent by Jeffrey Bartlett

In our relatively brief acquaintance, Vicky is continuing the prompt and helpful service that we are accustomed to.

Sent by Michael Knowler

The service and quality is always second to none, need I say more.

Sent by Peter White

Vicki could not have been more helpful. Now I have found her I will be using her regularly.

Sent by Jennifer Abbott

Vikki was exceptionally helpful. She was able to answer all questions thoroughly and was could offer a personal insight. We were very happy with her service

Sent by Susan Dixon

Travel counsellors have done my bookings for a few years now they are very helpful and nothing is to much trouble for them they offer good advice if you Have a problem and will try and get it sorted for you. I would not think about booking anywhere else.

Sent by Matthew Boulding

Couldn't do anymore. Vicky was really helpful and made the booking process really easy. Can't wait for my holiday.

Sent by Hannah Yearley

Very very quick to respond, full of knowledge, extremely helpful and friendly. And will be booking my holidays through Vicky from now on!

Sent by Ann Holdsworth

Very helpful, came back with perfect holiday. Already recommended to my son who wants to go to New York. I will get Vicky to book a cruise next year.

Sent by C Flemmings

I found Vicky very obliging and helpful

Sent by Paul Martin

Great service, fast, efficient and most importantly very friendly. I do use and would recommend this service without a moments hesitation.

Sent by Sara Callen

I have worked with Vicky several times over the years to plan itineraries and book holidays that need research and attention to detail, and have always been well pleased. She gives a truly personal service.

Sent by Neil Minter

Excellent support and guidance provided by Vicky time after time. Have used her 4 times now to book stuff and friends have used her support too. Highly recommended!!

Sent by Lisa Bickerstaff

Perfect service, fast, efficient, friendly, helpful, tireless and always a pleasure!

Sent by Les Hill

Very efficient and listens to what you require.

Sent by Andrew Martin

Excellent service 100% Happy

Sent by Gill Pragnell

Great support and very knowledgeable adding that personal touch

Sent by Gillian Smissen

Vicky was Brill. She kept us informed every step of the way.

Sent by Marcella Mulhearn

Always more than willing to help no matter how many times circumstances change

Sent by Michael Knowler

Vicky is always extremely helpful and nothing is to much trouble.

Sent by Helle Kjaergaard

Vicky is excellent ! So efficient!

Sent by Jacqueline Hatton

Really excellent friendly advice , and great knowledge, would always recommend to use the service from Vicky

Sent by Heidi Rocks

She’s been extremely helpful and the prices were very competitive. I’ve already recommended Vicky to a friend and will use her again for sure.

Sent by Les Bryan

Our counsellor, Vicky, is quick, thorough and full of helpful recommendations. We’ve never met her but she treats us like good friends.

Sent by Christina Higgins

I made quite a few changes along the way, and nothing was too much trouble. Vicky was also very quick at coming back to me, .

Sent by Tammy Gilson

Vicky has been amazing through everything, I honestly couldn't of booked this holiday without her advise and care.

Sent by Claire Hay

First impressions very good. Contactable and efficient in responses. Price was in comparison to others which was great. Also offered other alternatives apart from our choices.

Sent by Pamela Howard

Always pleasant, helpful and very patient with any changes.

Sent by Jenny Page

Vicky is extremely helpful, always quick to respond to emails, has lots of advice and is lovely to talk to on the phone.

Sent by Sarah Hart

A great service provided by Vicky, I have already recommended her to colleagues.

Sent by Melanie Smith

Excellent service - I was recommended by a friend who had used Vicky. This was not a straightforward booking as the holiday I was booking was not for me personally. Vicky dealt with the whole matter in a friendly and highly professional way. I would have no hesitation in recommending her.

Sent by George Legate

We’ve known Vicky for over 10 years now and she is always friendly and gives superb service. Thanks Vicky.

Sent by Kerry Powers

We've used Travel Counsellors a few times now and have always had outstanding service. We've never felt like "just another customer": the service is very personal and you always feel as if you're the only one that matters. We'll most definitely be using Travel Counsellors for any (and probably all) future holidays and travel!

Sent by Luke Langford

Vicky has always been so helpful and efficient whenever we've made an enquiry or booked a holiday through TC. She takes all the hassle out of researching options online and presents everything really clearly, which makes our decision making so much easier. I have already passed on her details to several friends and will continue to do so!

Sent by Lisa Jarratt

Amazing customer service and I would highly recommend Vicky. It was stress free.

Sent by Miles Phillip

We have used Vicky for a number of year now and she always delivers on our brief.... I always recommend her

Sent by Peter Davey

Well, Vicky came recommended by friends as a very traveller focused person, with a nice manner and a wealth of travel/holiday knowledge. Our experienced would endorse that and add a very friendly disposition, and a no problem attitude.

Sent by Simon Boulding

Always a fabulous service from Vicky. Very efficient and helpful. Always look to recommend Vicky.

Sent by Kerry Irvine

Vicky is always excellent in her service, very reliable and knowledgable. Would always recommend Vicky.

Sent by Martin Twyman

Vicky Dyer is so `on the ball`. Nothing is too much trouble and is so quick with keeping you informed on the progress of your request. And then delivers! What more can you ask?

Sent by Lynn Regan

Most efficient and helpful service. Really prompt and speedy on any replies or queries. Can highly recommend.

Sent by Hanna Gavendo

Vicky is helpful, responsive and efficient. I'd recommend her to anyone.

Sent by Donna Bowey

Fantastic service - took out the stress of booking a family holiday with small children. Thank you

Sent by Louise Appleton

Kept us well informed and found us a holiday suiting our requirements. Thank you

Sent by Paul Thomas

Vicky was outstanding and went above and beyond, already recommended her to my son and other family members

Sent by Michele Moore

Vicky is the most responsive, efficient and reliable individual I know, let alone other travel agents. If all service providers were like her the world would be a better place. Everyone I have recommended her to has gone on to recommend her to others.

Sent by Janice McDonough

Such a lovely well as being so professional.

Sent by Yvette De Barr

Your help took away my stress of trying to find the right place for me and my friends. I will definitely use you again and will recommend you to all my friends.

Sent by William Roberts

Along with the rest of our family we have used Vicky for a few years now and have already sent her details to friends over the time. Very good service

Sent by Alison Cooper

Vicky was very patient with us as we changed our minds a few times. She wanted us to be happy with our holiday choice so gave us lots of options. Very happy to recommend Vicky to family and friends.

Sent by Phil Day

Vicky was very helpful, as she has always been and took all the stress away of booking a break.

Sent by Chris Marchant

Very friendly, professional service. Excellent travel knowledge

Sent by Barbara Seadon

Vicky is very efficient and nothing is too much trouble. Very pleased with her service and would and have recommended her.

Sent by Alan French

Coped well with us changing dates and trying for the same rooms (being returning guests).

Sent by Michael Knowle

I found Vicky very easy to talk to with a extremely pleasant and helpful attitude.

Sent by Scarlett Font

Vicky has been super helpful and accommodating. She helped us put together our dream holiday and we are so grateful. I would 100% recommend Vicky to friends and family.

Sent by Alan Gibson

Cannot fault the service!

Sent by Sarah Parker-Yates

Vicky provided us with a first class service from start to finish. She went above and beyond to ensure our holiday was everything we wanted it to be. We wouldn't hesitate to recommend her and already have done! Big thanks to our favourite travel guru.

Sent by Jenny Watmough

Extremely impressed by the knowledge and ability to match the requirements completely. Warm and friendly conveying complete confidence that what is booked for you will be good.

Sent by Jo Barber

Vicky has been so helpful finding me a last minute holiday for my family. She really listened and took on board our requirements. We had a few issues with flight tickets and seating but Vicky went above and beyond ensuring that it was sorted out. Thank you!

Sent by Sarah Diamond

Vicky is consistently amazing at her job. She responds quickly to enquiries and everything she does thereafter is efficient.

Sent by Carla Wearing

Vicky gave me the confidence to book a holiday on my own for the first time and has been very supportive throughout the process!

Sent by Donald Richards

Outstanding knowledge of locations, excellent value options. Extremely helpful and quick to respond.

Sent by Stuart Elgar

We have already recommended Vicky to friends and family who are very happy with the service she provided.

Sent by Andrew Martin

Refreshing Customer Service, 10/10!

Sent by Helen Francis

Vicky is a pleasure to deal with; helpful, knowledgeable and passionate about travel. She goes above and beyond to provide great service including sending us a handwritten card to our home address saying thank you for booking with her. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her.

Sent by Christopher Marchant

Really enjoyed the service as it takes the strain off organising it yourself, I thought this was going to be difficult because I've tended to do this all myself. Thankfully Vicky made it easier so I will definitely use her services again.

Sent by Jessica Taylor

Vicky is very patient and thorough in her search for my perfect trip. Her professionalism gives me complete confidence in knowing everything will run smoothly.

Sent by Mike Fuller

Vicky provides a very friendly, efficient and personal service and is always there to help.

Sent by Mark Ashley

Excellent service. Will always use Vicky to help book our holidays.

Sent by Louise Allen

Vicky was lovely and friendly and gave us lots of options for our honeymoon!

Sent by Sharon Hammond

Absolutely amazing and personal service. Vicky just gets it and knows exactly what suits you. 10/10

Sent by Kevin Broadley

Excellent service, always kept up to date.

Sent by Nicki Nickolls

Really, really helpful and I liked how Vicky used both emails and WhatsApp to keep me up to date with everything.

Sent by Steve Waite

Vicky is always very helpful and makes the holiday booking process really easy every time.

Sent by Lesley Wilmer

Always like to book with Vicky as I never have to worry about anything she is always one step ahead anticipating anything that needs to be done and going the extra mile.

Sent by Ben Barnett

Very helpful and friendly advice. And quick responses, which are hugely appreciated.

Sent by Katy Beer

Vicky was recommended to me by a friend and I was so impressed with the personal, friendly and comprehensive service I received. Vicky was so knowledgeable and always available to answer questions and make recommendations. I felt very safe in her hands and will continue to keep in contact with her with any questions as they arise. I’m looking forward to her Disney blog!

Sent by Paul Wood

Vicky always does that extra bit to make our life easier

Sent by Lorraine Middlebrook

Vicky was incredibly helpful from point of enquiry with our holiday requirements and was able to offer a wide range of accommodation choices based on our brief. Using the Travel Counsellors service allowed us to hone our holiday plans quickly and efficiently, which prevented a lot of unnecessary searching and surfing the internet. The personal approach offered by Vicky enabled us to ask questions about the hotels, villas and destinations in person or via email, giving us a more tailor made service, as a pose to an anonymous online booking experience. Vicky's wealth of knowledge allowed us to work with her to create a good family holiday. I would definitely encourage others to use Vicky and the Travel Counsellors team.

Sent by Jaki Snelling

Vicky at Travel Counsellors has once again helped me find the perfect holiday, taking away all the stress and worry for me of online booking. First class personal service. Thank you

Sent by Maureen Edmond

Vicky is always extremely professional in her approach to her work and she is unfailingly courteous and helpful.

Sent by Janice Northwood

Fantastic service, so helpful and reliable. Thank you!

Sent by Richard Gillingham

Excellent response time, and in particular information on requirements for holidays abroad invaluable.

Sent by Jacqueline Lane

Very good experience. Now that high street travel agents only deal with their own brand holidays, the independent advice was very helpful.

Sent by C Jones

Very efficient, attentive to customer’s requirements. She made it effortless!

Sent by Liam Roberts

I have used Vicky before, very friendly and helpful and knowledgeable. On one occasion when we had at problem at airport she was very easily contacted and very helpful.

Sent by Sally Jenkins

Vicky was extremely helpful, as always. She was very quick in giving me information, and went the extra mile with advice and suggestions with how to make our trip to Paris and Disneyland as easy as possible. She makes it a pleasure rather than a stressful experience! Thank youl

Sent by D Campany

Vicky was very helpful, informative and welcoming would definitely recommend.

Sent by Kerri Brennan

Vicky has been so helpful and would highly recommend.

Sent by Laura White

Vicky has been friendly, knowledgeable and flexible which is exactly what I needed. She ensured I found the holiday I wanted and it was booked very quickly. Well done and keep up the great work!

Sent by Sarah Ryan

Vicky has gone above and beyond to assist us with our travel arrangements, she is a great asset to the company. Fantastic service all round.

Sent by Sue Norman

Really appreciate all of your help sorting our fab holiday out. I know it's been a while in the planning but as usual, you have been really patient and fantastic with your knowledge, suggestions and the efficiency with which it's all been done. What really helps is that over the years you have taken the time to understand us and therefore know the type of holiday or experience we look for. That's what makes you a special Travel Counsellor and keeps us coming back to you time after time. It's a long time to wait while being this excited, but really looking forward to it.

Sent by Sara Orchard

Very quick service and sourced wonderful places to view. All our requirements we catered for. Wonderful lady.

Sent by M Twyman

We have always found Vicky most helpful, efficient, quick and so on the ball. Her follow up is brilliant too. So full marks!

Sent by Carol Flemmings

I found the service I received from Vicky was excellent, efficient and extremely professional.

Sent by Terry Skelton

Vicky, is very very good at the job, nothing is to much trouble, I could ask her something to do with a holiday, she says I will be in touch shortly, and sure enough within 10 mins, I have an answer. Vicky, is very honest, truthful, I would and do tell my friends and family to get in touch with Vicky.

Sent by V Watts

Vicky is helpful, friendly and very knowledgable.

Sent by D Laslett

Great service, always available when needed. Would definitely recommend. X

Sent by Lisa Bickerstaff

Vicky has always been professional, helpful beyond duty, reliable, immediate with replies and responses, delightful to deal with and very courteous. I always highly recommend her whenever the opportunity arises.

Sent by K Mulryan

Great support and patience whilst we wait for passports to arrive, nothing was too much for Vicky to find prices for as originally was not sure which of three options to go for. Vicky helped narrow it down, and once we had decided gave several options for 10 or 14 days, different types of accommodation.

Sent by C Sullivan

Vicky could not have been more helpful it was a pleasure working with her.

Sent by Ian Dickinson

Brilliant service and money saving advice.

Sent by Anne Cardus

Vicky is always very efficient and helpful and we know we can book our holiday with confidence.

Sent by Julie Austin

Friendly , nothing is to much trouble , good value

Sent by L Hudson

Vicky is always so helpful. She always goes the extra mile to get the best options for you, thereby you end up with a package tailor made for you. This is especially important when you are females travelling. I would never hesitate to offer Vicky's service to any one.

Sent by Mary Shorten

Vicky will find you the best option for your journey, and you will be totally relaxed knowing she is available 24/7 if anything untoward occurs because she will sort it out pronto.

Sent by Sally Dunn

Vicky was very friendly, efficient and, above all, found some excellent flights for me at extremely good prices. What more could you ask.

Sent by Chris Capon

Awesome travel representative :).

Sent by Clare Irvine

Vicky was great, really understood my vision for our anniversary trip. Vicky was knowledgeable and was able to answer all my queries promptly enabling me to make decisions around the holiday. Vicky was available out of the usual office hours, which for me was essential. Vicky was able to clarify all information discussed via email/messenger and post which was most useful due to having problems with my phone. I would very much recommend Vicky to friends and family.

Sent by Anne Bulpin

Vicky is always very helpful and professional you only have to ask and Vicky will find the answer.

Sent by Bob Bruce

Efficient, helpful and polite.

Sent by Lesley Wilmer

Always reliable, takes the stress out of booking and goes the extra mile.

Sent by Lucinda Quin

Vicky was friendly, informative and was able to book what we wanted with little fuss. We shall definitely use your service again.

Sent by Andrew Seymour

I believe I've booked a holiday with Vicky at least 3 times now and it's never too much or a problem for her!! It's always a pleasant experience and I feel confident that my holiday will reach my expectations.

Sent by Beverley Savage

Vicky has arranged lots of holidays for us now, she is always very quick to do the research and gets back to us with lots of options in all price ranges. I believe Travel Counsellors to be very competitively priced also. I would most definitely have, and will in future recommend this excellent service. Vicky takes all the worry and stress out of booking our holidays. Thank you x

Sent by Lynne Hulme

Vicky gives 100% in her service to us. Not only is she knowledgeable she is quick and efficient and very friendly in her approach to helping us find and book our holidays. We already recommend her to our friends and family.

Sent by Alan Gibson

Very prompt service, many thanks.

Sent by Sam Dixon

Vicky was excellent at helping us to book our honeymoon, I would highly recommend her to my friends and family! She was always available when I needed her too!

Sent by Simon Boulding

We have used VICKY at Travel Counsellors for a number of years and highly recommend her for all travel needs. She has given fabulous service, knowledge and gets a good deal.

Sent by Linda Hudson

Absolutely fantastic service. Nothing is too much trouble, great to have peace of mind that your holiday has been tailored made for you.

Sent by Ro Cross

Exceptional service and Vicky gets back to you so quickly if you have a query , so would thoroughly recommend her.

Sent by Keith Norwood

Would just like to say Vicky was fantastic from my first contact through to the booking. I would definitely recommend her to friends and family and will be using her again very soon for my next holiday.

Sent by M Twyman

Having dealt with Vicky for the last few years we have always been really pleased with her professional and friendly approach. She has always managed to arrange our holidays, which are rather last minute requests, getting the dates and best deals for us. Also, which is so important to us, the after sales service!!! So highly recommend Vicky.

Sent by Jill Evans

Vicky is always very helpful and tries very hard to find what holiday I would like, even if at times I change the criteria. Her demeanour and attitude is to make you feel that you are important and that your holiday and her choice does mean something to her. Such a rarity now; which makes me come back to her each year.

Sent by Alan Green

Vicky is absolutely the very best! Nothing is too much trouble for her and her speed of response is absolutely amazing. We would never consider going to anyone else for help in planning our holidays.

Sent by B Savage

I have already recommended Vicky to many of my friends. She is excellent at her job and not pushy at all which I like a lot. She is happy to readjust all recommendations how ever many times you change your mind!! All without a hint of annoyance. I will definitely use Vicky again and again. Vicky also came to us through a friends recommendation!

Sent by Carly Roberts

Vicky is always so helpful and is so quick at coming back to me with options for whatever type of holiday I am looking for, I've booked via Vicky many times and have recommend her to friends and family in the past and would continue to do so.

Sent by Paul Clements

Very friendly, efficient service.

Sent by Alex Barnett

Vicky's service is first class & nothing is too much trouble, I have already given her details to others with the highest recommendation.

Sent by Helen Barker

Vicky is always very helpful and informative and ready to answer all my queries.

Sent by Linda Hudson

I always find the service very efficient and friendly, nothing is too much trouble. Unlike booking with other travel agents you have peace of mind throughout the whole process right through to the actual holiday. Would highly recommend it.

Sent by Vijay Mithal

Absolutely brilliant. Very supportive, and straight forward.

Sent by Cathryn Bennison

Vicky Dyer has been very helpful throughout and always responds to my queries on the same day. I was very happy with her throughout my booking.

Sent by Pamela Howard

Friendly, efficient and very helpful service. Vicky always does her best to find us the holiday we ask for.

Sent by Chris Pitt

Vicky has been looking after our travel arrangements for some time and has always been very efficient, available and charming, we have had marvellous service and always been delighted with all her arrangements and recommendations. Thank you Vicky!

Sent by Sharon Newman

Vicky has been absolutely fantastic, extremely patient as I was very fussy on my destination choices. I would highly recommend your company in future to friends and family and most definitely book through you again. Very professional, friendly and helpful. Thank you!

Sent by Ray Clayton

Very happy arranging our trip to Oz with Vicky. No hassle, no tricks, just the facts and figures and we did it all over a Bank Holiday weekend. Excellent Service.

Sent by Sam Wallace

Vicky is a star and always manages to get us the right holiday and a competitive rate. She responds quickly with all the information and is extremely organised. She goes above and beyond. We have no hesitation in recommending Vicky and often do.

Sent by Jill Evans

Vicky is always very helpful and listens to what is being said and therefore able to find the holiday that you are wanting. I have used Vicky on other occasion and will continue to do so.

Sent by Jade Vandross

Vicky is an absolute star when it comes to booking our holidays. She always goes over and above and gives you the best service. The little things like sending us a postcard for when we return makes booking with Vicky special. I recommend Vicky to everyone I know booking a holiday.

Sent by Reg Tyson

Vicky always responds to any problems or information we require. She is always very professional and knowledgeable. My wife and I feel that with Vicky it is about the best you can get. So much so we have recommended several clients to her. She is a great asset to the company.

Sent by Andrew Seymour

Vicky has been fantastic and has dealt with everything in a prompt, proficient and totally professional way. I would recommend using Vicky to anyone who needs a holiday.

Sent by Dave White

I have been booking my holidays with Vicky for many years. She always puts a lot of effort into getting me the best deal and getting the right holiday for me. Vicky knows exactly the type of holiday and the standards that I expect from hotels and overall holiday. At my age I have had a great deal of holidays and I have never yet met anyone else that comes even close to looking after my holiday needs that Vicky does. I have no hesitation in recommending Vicky to other people, whether friends or not.

Sent by Sara Callen

Vicky was recommended to us by neighbours Bill Reynolds and Margaret Rudgely, so we contacted her last year to arrange a multiple centre, multi activity holiday in the US and Canada. Vicky's suggestions met our requirements, within our price range, and his attention to detail was impeccable. This year we contacted Vicky again, and she, and her colleague Joanne again found what we wanted, and Joanne's concern that all should be what we want was very evident. I will certainly call Vicky again for future holiday planning, and recommend her and Travel Counsellors to family and friends.

Sent by Wayne Elvin

I have passed on Vicky's details to all my family already as I received great customer care/great advice and Vicky answered every question I had (and I had a few!) The email communication was great with pdf documents containing various hotel/resort options, the detailed flight descriptions and every detail I needed was laid out so I could easily find all the information. I was very happy with my experience with using a Travel Counsellor (Vicky Dyer) and will recommend my family/friends and work colleagues to use this service to receive a bespoke holiday package.

Sent by Mary Spencer

Vicky was really helpful and quick to find me solutions when I was unsure of what I wanted and I would definitely book with her and again and recommend to my friends.

Sent by Carol Osborn

Vicky was recommended to me by a colleague. I was stuck for ideas on holiday destinations, so I gave Vicky a rough idea of the things we would like and she came up with several choices. One of which we chose, was somewhere I would never have thought of. Very happy customer. Thank you.

Sent by Stacey Kennedy

Vicky was extremely helpful and went out of her way to help us book her honeymoon. She couldn't have done more to help us. I emailed back and forward several times as our itinerary was complicated, but she was so helpful every time and didn't make me feel like I was being a pain. Thanks so much Vicky!

Sent by Alan Green

The quality of service that Vicky provides is truly exceptional. Her speed of response, her unfailing cheerful manner and her diligence in digging out and providing a range of possible options is amazing. I really can't imagine how the service that Vicky provides could be improved upon.

Sent by Keith Garner

This is the second time I have booked a holiday with Vicky and she is brilliant! - extremely helpful, She is very approachable and super efficient.

Sent by Anne Cardus

Vicky is always friendly, helpful and very efficient. She found the perfect holiday for us very quickly and saved us money too! I would recommend her whole heartedly.

Sent by Helen Farmer

Vicky was brilliant when we booked our honeymoon and also when we booked a four day break to Italy for our friend's wedding. These two bookings were for very important events and we feel Vicky managed the process excellently, nothing was too much trouble for her, she was always available to speak to and she made a big fuss of our honeymoon booking especially. Thank you Vicky we can't wait to go on honeymoon and look forward to booking more holidays with you in the future!

Sent by Sally Venn

Vicky Dyer was my Travel Counsellor and I could not fault her. She was quick, efficient and extremely helpful. It was also a lovely surprise to receive a card thanking us for booking via Travel Counsellors. A lovely personal touch and we cannot wait for our honeymoon in June. Planning a wedding is stressful on its own let alone trying to book your perfect honeymoon at the same time but Vicky made it easy and stress free and I have no doubt that we’re going to have an amazing time. Thank you again for all your hard work.

Sent by Andrea Tickner

Vicky has provided us with an excellent service for many years now. She is helpful and professional and I would recommend her to anyone looking for genuine help with booking a holiday.

Sent by Dalene Howard

Vicky is a fantastic Travel Counsellor! Nothing is too much trouble and she is always very quick to reply to any questions and continuously keeps us updated.

Sent by Tony Morris

Vicky was quick, efficient and very pleasant to work with. Top marks.

Sent by Tara Bensted

This is the third time I have booked a holiday through Vicky and I am always recommending her service to friends and family. I cannot fault the service she provides; it's professional yet friendly and she never complains about all my questions. Vicky is always at the end of the phone and is extremely efficient when replying to emails. I will always go to Vicky when I want a holiday.

Sent by Cheryl Cooper

Vicky was very helpful. She was patient and made me feel like my holiday needs were very important to her . Vicky gave me lots of her time and was happy for me to contact her at any time . She was quick to respond to my calls and e-mails . Vicky asked me about my holiday choices and requirements and with her help we found the perfect resort and hotel. I was very happy with Vicky's personal service and would definately recommend her as a Travel Counsellor and will use her services again .

Sent by Terry Hunt

After booking many holidays on the internet I found Vicky's approach both refreshing and helpful.It was also better priced than any of the internet deals I could find. Great way to book a holiday free of all hassle. I will be using her again for all future holidays

Sent by Matt Stein

Vicky was extremley helpful, professional and reliable when dealing with my requests for information about resorts, hotels and flights. She takes the stress out of booking a complex travel itinerary and always offers different options. Her knowledge of the travel industry is extensive and I would have no hesitation in recommending her services to clients. I fully intend to seek her help in making my travel plans again in the future. Many thanks!

Sent by Linda Sales

We have always found Vicky very accommodating and one of the few people who goes that extra mile. Especially, when we have had a few problems she has always managed to resolve quickly for us . Well done, Vicky keep up the good work.

Sent by Susan Foster

Vicky checked out the destination that we chose and came back very quickly with details on hotels and prices -all relevant information about our holiday .The price was competitive . We recived all the information and confirmation in a lovely compact wallet Details and information were very clear. If I had any query or wanted further detaiis Vicky was quick to respond . The personal service that Vicky offers is excellent .

Sent by Bette (Elizabeth) Ross

I think Vicky is the most helpful person she always does her very best to help you and you can always ask her a question and it is no trouble for her to find out the answer if it is possible. Vicky has always been very helpful to me and always asks after myself and the family she is like a friend who I have never had the pleasure to meet.

Sent by Dalene Howard

What a star! Vicky was incredibly helpful, nothing was too much trouble and thought of everything we needed. We wouldn't hesitate to use her again and have already recommended her to friends and family. Thanks for everything. Dalene, Chris and Jacob.

Sent by Denis O'Sullivan

Vicky is so helpful - we say what we would like - and she finds us the perfect holiday solution ! The service we receive is always very professional , Vicky's attention to detail and personal service means our holiday planning is always stress free !

Sent by Patrick & Tracy Dix

We cannot thank Vicky enough for her excellent service and advice.With our silver wedding anniversary approaching next year we wanted to do one or two things both home and abroad but making our ideas become reality was becoming a bit of a headache.We contacted Vicky and she gave us excellent advice and made all the necessary arrangements.We cannot thank her enough for the way she handled our dilemma with such expertise and understanding and would recommend her services.