Haslemere Travel's Gemma Antrobus shares her top tips on booking the perfect holiday in 2017
PUBLISHED: 09:26 26 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:17 03 April 2017
Surrey-based luxury travel agent Gemma Antrobus, owner of award-winning Haslemere Travel, gives her expert top tips on how to get the best out of your holiday experience in the year ahead
If you are not a travel expert, then book with someone that is...
Not only will a professional with many years of knowledge save you time and effort, but your own experience will also be greatly enhanced. With political unrest and currencies fluctuating constantly in a world of economic uncertainty, make sure you are spending your hard-earned cash wisely and safely.
Ensure you are booking with someone who has visited the destination that you are travelling to, knows the resort you are booking and has first-hand knowledge of which rooms are best for your needs. Glossy, colour brochures and websites may look tempting, but nothing beats first-hand information about the destination – such as how far the rooms are from the beach, which one gets the best sunset, if the ski chalet is too far from any lifts…the list of checks is endless.
Value for money…
It’s not about getting the cheapest deal as this often means a room overlooking the rubbish bins or next to a noisy lift, it’s about value - how much can you get for the amount you spend. It’s also the little extras that an expert consultant can invariably offer that you will remember on those cold, winter evenings in the future…such as complimentary room upgrades or additional amenities in your rooms.
It’s not just who you know, it’s who they know too…
Does your travel agent have direct contact with the general manager or director of sales of the hotel you’re booking? If not, then find someone who does. Are they a member of any reputable, well-known travel organization? If not, then ask why not? Find out how long have they been established, or if they have been recognized for their work with industry awards in the past?
Be flexible and open minded…
This can lead to cheaper prices, more exciting experiences. The experts should introduce you to a whole new world of options you may not have considered before – following sloths in Costa Rica, rallying in the desert in Jordan or driving a fast car in Tuscany…these are the memories that stay with you for years to come.
Can you afford to get it wrong?
I would like as many pounds as the number of clients who have come to us after a disastrous experience booking direct online or having booked with a company that is not ATOL-bonded. Always look for the ATOL sign - as it is a protection scheme, it means your money will be safe, whatever happens – and that you will be offered assistance if your plans are disrupted. Peace of mind means you are free to enjoy yourself on your well-earned break.
Book a holiday made for you…
Not for just anyone looking on the internet - your needs are not always the same. Impeccable service and 24/7 access is the perfect recipe for a good trip, whether it is a safari in Tanzania or a weekend break in Paris. A good travel consultant will sit down with you face to face and discuss your likes - and most importantly dislikes - and hone the itinerary accordingly.
Haslemere Travel, 2-4 Petworth Road, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2HR. Web: haslemeretravel.co.uk