What a year 2020 turned out to be! I have spent most of the last 10 months changing or cancelling your holiday plans which has been heart-breaking. I would like to thank you again for your support and patience, it has been very challenging and you have all been brilliant with me. Lots of agents and operators have had to give up on their businesses, luckily I have the support of my husband who has worked throughout and savings. I am determined to look forward to times when we will travel again and will not give up on the job I love doing. I only use trusted suppliers and everything I book is financially protected through the Travel Trust Association. This year has highlighted the pitfalls of booking online or booking flights/hotels separately. I have heard some awful stories of not receiving refunds, not being able to speak to anyone, spending hours on hold etc etc etc. I really hope everyone will remember the benefits of using agents like myself once we get back ‘to normal’ Who would have thought that Eamon Holmes would become the travel industry hero!
2020 hasn’t all been doom and gloom though. I’ve had two couples get married in paradise. The first couple got to Mauritius just before lockdown and the others just managed to get out to St Lucia before 2nd lockdown (after having it changed once already) I am truly privileged to be a part of these life events, congratulations again
Mr and Mrs Green in Mauritius
Mr and Mrs Stanbridge in St Lucia
Every single holiday is important to me, I know you work hard and look forward to them all year (or up to 3 years in some cases!) I pride myself on my individual service and I know you appreciate it from the thanks and reviews I receive.
I’ve had some amazing press exposure this year with several appearances on the BBC (yes the beeb!!) Central TV and lots of radio interviews . People ask me if I get nervous- my honest answer is not really as I’m only talking about what I talk about to you daily, although I have to admit the first TV appearance in lockdown was a hair challenge lol!! I feel proud that I am a ‘go to expert’
More positivity arrived in the shape of our little fur ball in May. Monte is an absolute delight and he’s already managed two UK breaks.
Be prepared to hear him ‘guarding his mom’ when you call me, he hates the postman lol
He made his radio debut by barking when I was on BBC Radio 4, the presenter though it was hilarious ha ha!!
We also moved house in October, we’ve stayed in the village but have bought our forever home (I have no plans to move again ever!) I have a nice big office and a bar in the garden (separate buildings I promise!) I’ll share some pics in the new year.
As I write this the first vaccine in the world has just been given, we really believe that this will be a game changer for travel next year and are already seeing a rise in bookings. I have booked my holiday for next year – I have a significant birthday so am going back to Vegas with a little road trip added in October- I cannot wait!!!
I can arrange to ‘see you’ by zoom/messenger video/skype or Facetime or we can arrange your holiday by phone/email. I work flexible hours so contact me to book your appointment
Next year will continue to see some challenges. Different airlines/countries/cruise lines will all have their own regulations to ensure we are kept safe. Keeping up is a challenge, if you book with me, I promise to keep you updated with the latest info. Lots of suppliers have changed their booking conditions to allow more flexibility and their programmes to meet demand (even private tours in group or family bubbles!) There has been a surge in request for villas and self catering properties although it is expected that Turkey, Greece and Egypt all inclusives will do well due to the facilities they offer (TTG December 2020) Package holidays are certainly the best option in these uncertain times, with full protection and support provided.
Brexit looms- yes that’s still going on after all this time. It remains to be seen what will change for travel, we do know that we need 6 months validity on passports so now may be a good time to dig them out and see when they expire.
The staycation looks like it will be popular again though next year. Summer this year was crazy busy and accommodation owners could literally name their price. I urge you to contact me ASAP if you’re planning a UK holiday- I book cottages, lodges, apartments, hotels, hot tub breaks, manor houses, caravans, holiday parks even converted helicopters, windmills and railway carriages!! Theme parks, sporting events and other events like the Chelsea Flower show are likely to have reduced visitor numbers so to avoid being disappointed book as early as possible.
I’ve seen an increase in ‘special trips’ or ‘bucket list trips’ with people saying ‘stuff it I’m doing it ‘ next year after not going anywhere this year. I couldn’t agree more, we can’t take anything for granted and should do what we can whilst we can. There has also been a rise in demand for longer stays as people have discovered working remotely- a little work in the morning followed by an afternoon on the beach in the sun sounds great! The world needs our tourism spend too, lots of hoteliers, restaurants, excursion operators to name a few are desperate to welcome us back.
Lots of suppliers including cruise lines have launched their 2022 holiday programmes which is earlier than ever, I have seen demand for these. Booking early gives something to look forward to and the opportunity to pay monthly to ease the costs.
I decided not to send Xmas cards this year, as you know I support the Me and Dee charity https://www.meanddee.co.uk/ by donating when you book holidays. This year has been awful for them so I have donated gifts from their xmas list in lieu of xmas cards. If you can help here’s the link Amazon Gifts Me and Dee
I hope you all have a safe, peaceful Xmas and here’s hoping for a much nicer 2021 with lots of fabulous travelling.