Holidays! We all look forward to that time of year when we don’t have to think about work and we jet off to somewhere new and exotic. But planning that perfect getaway can be a nightmare, what with accommodation, flights, tours visas and insurance to think about. And that’s before you’ve even contemplated language barriers and getting completely lost from your lack of map reading skills.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Lizzie Adamson-Brown is a Travel Counsellor, planning the perfect holiday for a whole range of different people travelling to countries all over the world. But what is a Travel Counsellor I hear you ask? Read this week’s She Means Business to find out exactly that!
What is a travel counsellor?
Travel Counsellors are a global network of friendly and professional travel gurus with one simple purpose: to help fulfil your dreams and create lasting memories.
We’re all about personal relationships. We’ll get to know you personally – your needs, wants and desires. Your aspirations and dreams.
And then we’ll build travel plans that suit you and your budget perfectly!
What is the process a travel counsellor goes through to plan the perfect holiday?
Firstly, I will ascertain the basic details, including budget, destination preference, number and age of passengers. It’s great to know where you’ve been before: Did you enjoy it and why, or if you didn’t enjoy it, that’s also really important. What are your likes and dislikes? What is it you want to experience from your trip? Are you an adventurer, like to experience the culture, love sports or relax on a sandy beach being waited on hand and foot?
I will then source the appropriate trip for you based on your needs and wants.
Why do you think it’s important to plan ahead before you travel?
I always say, the earlier you book the better. I know from experience, the longer you leave it, the more chance a property will become unavailable, scheduled flight prices will rise closer to departure and any legalities need to be in place in plenty time eg. Passports, visas, divorce papers (if planning an overseas wedding) etc
What is unique about booking a holiday with a Travel Counsellor like yourself?
We get to know you personally – it’s like having your own personal travel guru.
We are truly independent and that’s what makes us special. We can book with a vast range of travel suppliers, and we also have fabulous direct relationships with suppliers around the world enabling us to ‘cut out the middle man’ which means that you benefit.
Our financial protection is the best under the sun. Every single thing you book with us is 100% protected.
We’re a global company. We have over 1300 Travel Counsellors around the world, sharing their expertise. It also means that we’re available 24/7, 365 days a year.
We are 3 times winners of the Guardian Best Travel Agent, and have earned the UK’s highest business accolade, the Queens Award for Enterprise, on 2 separate occasions – a feat achieved by no other travel company.
Wow, that’s some impressive awards! What are your top three travelling tips?
Learn at least a few words of the local language. It’s social and fun. Even if you slip up, that doesn’t matter. Often locals really appreciate the effort, even if you don’t get it quite right (in fact, when you get it wrong, it can really break the ice by raising a smile or two)
Stay safe. Be aware of advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office – a good travel agent will ensure you are kept updated of any relevant advice; research some of the local custom; make sure you have all your documents and keep them safe.
Finally and very importantly – enjoy! You’ve worked hard to save for this holiday, now reap the rewards of your labour.
Where is your favourite holiday destination?
It has to be St Lucia. I got married there in 2012 and loved every thing about it. It’s a beautiful island, full of smiling, friendly locals who can’t do enough for you.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is the fact it doesn’t feel like a job. Every morning I wake up looking forward to the day ahead. It’s not my job, it’s my passion.
I love knowing that I have done my utmost to ensure that every single one of my clients has the best ever experience and hearing how wonderful their trip has been.
You also work with another travel company, Maiden Voyage. Tell us a bit more about that.
I am passionate about traveller safety, therefore when I had the opportunity to work for Maiden-Voyage as the North East Ambassador, I jumped at the chance. This is something I do voluntarily in addition to being a Travel Counsellor.
Maiden-voyage is a free social network for women business travellers. It was set up by Carolyn Pearson in 2008 after a lonely business trip to Los Angeles. It enables like-minded professional women to meet for dinner around the world, stay in female friendly hotels and use our safety tips to ensure their business trip is safe & social.
That sounds like such a good idea! If you could travel to a place you have not been yet, where would it be and why?
Vancouver, without doubt, I’ve always dreamt of visiting there. It’s been named as one of the best places in the world to live due to its natural beauty, amazing shopping, great for foodies (like me) and the range of outdoor activities is fabulous.
To find out more about Travel Counsellors, or to book your next holiday with Lizzie, check out www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/lizzie.adamson-brown
To find out more about Maiden Voyage, check out their website: