More than just a Travel Agent

When I tell people that I own my own Travel Agency or that I am a Travel Agent you would be surprised by the number of people who ask “oh do you book flights too”.

I know. I don’t understand either.

Rather than launch into a (badly) rehearsed sales pitch about all the fabulous extras I can provide, I usually just reply politely with “yes”.

I don’t have a huge shop front or a neon flashing sign above my door screaming “VIPTRAVELUK” , in fact I shouldn’t be surprised that people don’t really know what I do. I always assumed everyone knew Travel Agents booked flights (and holidays).

Flights-from-UK-to-the-Maldives Yes I can book these!

 

I was severely let down by one company who I booked with in particular. When things went wrong they failed miserably.

This experience is always where I return to when dealing with any customers or business clients. I want to ensure from start to finish that they have the best and easiest time booking their holidays (or business flights) with me.

So, why am I more than just a Travel Agent?

Well, I am the call centre too!! This was where I had the worst part of customer service and so I feel that if while you are away you have ANY  requests , complaints or emergencies you should call me. After all I’m the one who booked it for you. Yes, its true I will even give you my mobile number and drop everything (except my two year old) and attend to your need.

I am the Excursion / Events coordinator – Before you leave I will arrange all the tickets to the shows, parks, experiences you require and if you are extra lucky or pressed for time I will do your itinerary for you (which of course you can change / ignore) complete with addresses for those sat navs in your hired car (which I booked and remembered to request a child seat for you) .

I will even be your travel buddy and come with you just to make sure you get there safe and sound (you’re paying of course 😉 )

If you are time pressed, loath internet searches and just want a human to talk things over with – I’m here.

I book many repeat business flights / accommodation for some very busy clients who simply email me their dates and destinations and leave the rest to me. I plan , book and confirm everything and save not only money but valuable time spent on the ground waiting for necessary connecting flights. If you check out our Linkedin profile you will see how happy one of our clients is.

Some of you may or may not know what ABTA / ATOL is – if you don’t, have a Google as I don’t want to bore you further. But when you have, you just need to know that as well as being a very good travel buff, always giving you top class service no matter the time of day – I’ve also got you covered if things do go wrong. Which sometimes, they will. But you don’t need to worry about that you just need to tell me where you want to go next !!

travelfunny

 

 

 

Advertisements

Vacation Vs Staycation

On the 1st of June 5 adults and 3 children boarded a ferry and set sail to… the Isle of Wight!

Wightlink2

Being a world traveller I had never vacationed in the UK. Until I had my daughter.

Packing, Airports, Flying with an energetic 2 year old – It just doesn’t set my travelling senses alight as it once did. Perhaps mostly because I don’t want her to be bored.

As much as laying on the beach / by the pool all day appeals to me , I somehow don’t get the feeling she would be so thrilled. I have travelled with her (Europe and Florida) but that was before she knew she had a mind of her own !

Content with open spaces, a bucket and spade and the company of her cousins this year we decided that a week in the UK would be our holiday.

I discovered places I never knew existed. Learnt to use my imagination again. No thrill seeking rollercoasters to awaken my senses – but a fantasy land by the name of Blackgang Chine.

www.blackgangchine.com

for the grand total of £22.50 you were given a 7 day freedom ticket to return as often as you liked, and on top of this also granted access to another adventure park by the name of Robin Hill

www.robin-hill.com

Educational, Fun and full of open spaces.

Probably not appealing to those over the age of 10 but as the children we had were 2, 6 and 9 I can say for sure it would suit the unders.

We visited beaches, drove across the island (one side to the other took us under 1.5 hours!!) , Visited Carisbrooke Castle and of course The Needles. ( I say of course as though I had ever heard about it before!)

theneedles-img

We stayed in a hidden cottage , surrounded by woodland with enough space to lose all 3 children if you tried hard enough 😉 . It wasn’t 5* and personally I would say it needed some updating but it was clean and very well equipped and lets be honest – kids dont care about that sort of thing.

Bourne-Cottage-Fishbourne-nr-Ryde-Isle-of-Wight-Isle-Of-Wight-large

One of the best things about our week away was the weather. We came back with tans as though we had been to the Med, no less than 22 degrees each day and rarely a cloud in the sky. Yet we were only 3.5 hours from home. We were still in the UK.

971494_10152873192570713_1927220074_n As happy with a bat and ball as she would be seeing Mickey Mouse again !

It got me wondering where else in the UK we should go next.

I’m not a fan of holiday parks , I like my own space.

Being a Travel Agent of course I have access to properties all over the world and I can advise people on the greatest of well kept secrets in fawaway countires. But I know next to nothing about the very country I have spent my entire life.

Please – Share with me your Staycation ideas, educate and give me some inspiration for my next discovery!

Fear not – I will be headed for Bulgaria in 2014 but for now Staycationing is winning for me.

Florida – The Parks and other places

Florida seems to be popular for VIPTRAVELUK at this time of year with everyone booking their summer 2013 holidays and are keen to know which parks are the best and where is good to stay.

Whilst I think that the Disney hotels are outstanding and you can grab some amazing deals such as free dining and free money (yes FREE $$) they aren’t for me. I am an International Drive junkie. I will stay at the basic, yet well equipped hotels and save my money for the array of other things there are to do out there.

For us we went in February this year with our almost 1 year old. We visited Sea World, Island of Adventures, Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios …… you know THE PARKS!

But being strapped in a pushchair or carried all day is no fun for a little person so we sought out other places she could crawl / almost walk around

Hidden among the shopping malls and the bright lights of the parks are some great places to let the kids run and play without costing too much.

Firstly, Chuck E Cheese.

My American friends who have children cringe at the sound of it , they will tell you it is the worst place in the world… why? Because there are kids having a ridiculous amount of fun and its loud! But that is the whole point – To have fun !

 Games for all ages!

For more noise and madness (and lots of fun for the little ones 12 years and under) there is Monkey Joe’s which is located in the Festival Mall. Monkey Joe’s is a good place for kids to run, bounce, slide and simply burn off pent-up energy. Snacks can be purchased at the concession stand. The facility is open for walk-in play time seven days a week. This is a good option to keep in mind for a rainy day or to couple up with a day reserved for hitting the shops!

Along International Drive and impossible to miss is Wonder Works.  It’s in the upside-down building on I-Drive. Kids of all ages will enjoy the many hands-on activities within the amusement/science centre facility. The hurricane ride (65mph winds), the earthquake ride (5.2 magnitude), the virtual coaster and the bed of nails are just a few of the popular features to be found. There were many interactive arcade-like science stations located throughout the exhibits. Also at Wonderworks is the nightly Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show…a mix of high-energy comedy, improvisation, magic and audience participation….suitable for the whole family.

Without a doubt visit the parks… after all that’s why people choose Orlando but I would highly recommend that people take a stroll around I-Drive and jump on and off the I-Ride Trolley ($10 for a week pass and you can ride as much as you like) and discover the places they don’t advertise on the high street.

Places we discovered but did not get the chance to see this time were : Fun Spot and Gator Golf (You can buy a small tub of hotdogs and feed the baby alligators out front without having to play inside) but we will certainly get around to that next time!