This afternoon I was mid-way through writing an article for this week’s Travel Tuesday feature when an email dropped into my inbox from Kay Halton, Luxury Travel Counsellor and Your Business and You Guest Author. I had been writing and reminiscing about the first trip Mr B and I had taken to Jersey last September, watch out for this article soon. Suddenly the contents of Kay’s update transported me all around the world. 5 minutes of day dreaming accompanied by the words and voice of Tony Walsh (aka Longfella). His dulcet tones may not be everyone’s cup of Yorkshire Tea but his Northern twang gives me goosebumps.
World Class Customer Service
What threw me off track was the video below created by Travel Counsellors HQ to promote the awesome experiences they can tailor make to ensure your perfect holiday experience. There are over 1900 Travel Counsellors across the world, all micro business owners, with more than 1200 of them based in the UK. Each TC is a franchisee, the company ethos is to be the world’s most caring travel company. With offices in Dubai, Netherlands, South Africa, Ireland and the Headquarters in Manchester, each individual Travel Counsellor has back office support at the end of a phone or email.
In July 2020, while many of us were trying to navigate the websites of Ryanair, Loveholidays, even Virgin, with little success of money being refunded due to Covid cancellations, Martin Lewis, the campaigning Money Saving Expert guy , wrote a News piece on the Money Saving Expert website. He highlighted the 70 best and worst firms for travel refunds – top for refunds was Travel Counsellors. Though it might be perceived that a one woman or man business offering travel agency services from a bedroom /office may not be in a position to refund you promptly, the support network surrounding them helped each of those individuals to continue offering the world class customer service they have a reputation for.
Top Marks From Me & Mr B
The aforementioned Jersey trip was our first experience of using Travel Counsellors. Previously I have spent way too much time circumnavigating the world wide web looking for the best travel deal before booking directly with the accommodation I found as part of my preliminary search 3 days before. Most of us have been there I am sure but never again. Our small window of 5 day opportunity in September 2020 was restricted not only by work commitments but the potential of pending quarantine when we returned, something neither Mr B or I could risk. I called Kay, someone I had known for some time, and asked where she could recommend. She came back to us with a number of options, all independently owned because she knows this is important to me. There were options around the options – lots of choice, a quick link click to take a look at the accommodation she recommended and that was it, our first trip to Jersey was booked. No need to worry about airport parking, Kay sorted it. Checking in, Kay sorted it. Restaurant recommendations, Kay shared feedback from other clients. Jersey Government changing their self-isolation policy hours before we flew, Kay clarified what we could do. We arrived at the Golden Sands, St Brelade’s Bay, to the most beautiful sea view and a box of Jersey fudge, Kay had sorted it!
Support each other, create a micro business eco-system of trade
Despite the behind the scenes support Travel Counsellors receive from HQ, like millions of micro business owners their financial and mental wellbeing has been impacted over the past twelve months. Emotional stories listened to by empathetic individuals who care for their customers, many of whom have returned year up on year because of a caring service, can have a serious impact on mental wellbeing.
As micro business owners it is important we support each other, especially those in sectors like hospitality, hair and beauty, retail, events and travel that have been heavily impacted by Covid-19 restrictions. Let us start our own eco-system of trading, giving referrals to other micro business owners and ensuring reciprocal business transactions where we can. Together let us ensure the wellbeing of a micro business and its owner is as good as it can be.