I started working for Fred.\ Holidays in 2014, but my experience working in the travel industry goes back to 1974. Over the years, I’ve worked for many renowned companies including Thomas Cook and Co-Operative.
Land-based holidays are what I specialise in, and I have a really good knowledge of Far East Asia. The people are fantastic, the hotels are very nice and the food is sensational.
Across the Far East obviously, but also to North and West regions of Australia, Malta, Turkey, Italian lakes, Slovenia, Croatia, Egypt and many more. One of my favourite experiences, though, was when I was Thailand and I was introduced to the King and Princess through a friend who worked as a security guard.
One area I’ve never been to is the South Pacific. I’d love to experience Polynesia and Bora Bora in particular. What I love the most about travelling, though, is encountering hidden treasures and secret gems.
My favourite cruising experience has to be on board a traditional gullet off the coast of Turkey. These two-masted wooden boats offer a truly unique experience. You take your shoes off when you climb on board and every day the captain will ask you where you would like to go. Every morning, you wake up to somewhere new. It’s fantastic.
Antwerp in Belgium is one of my favourite Christmas markets. It’s very accessible from the UK as you can embark on a short cruise from Tilbury and dock directly in the city centre. All visitors are warmly welcomed and the ferris wheel and ice rink really add to the atmosphere. The city’s cathedral is magnificent and definitely worth a visit.
I love busy holidays and being out and about. Slovenia is really nice, particularly Lake Bohinj. In the summer, you can take a cable car up one of the surrounding mountains and enjoy the scenery and then, after walking down, there’s a hut at the bottom where you can sample all kinds of schnapps.
I love taking the grandchildren to Turkey. We normally go either half board or B&B, which gives us some flexibility on trying local restaurants and sampling the cuisine. The blue lagoon is fantastic for seeing turtles and they really do come up close to you. The children love it. You can also take a day out on a boat, where the crew will teach you how to fish.
Sorrento in Italy is very romantic. Its location in the Bay of Naples makes it a fantastic coastal area and ideal for travelling by rail to Pompeii and Naples. It’s very easy to get around and the food is fantastic.
We’re not really a travel agent in the traditional sense. We operate tours based on whatever you want to do. I receive so many phone calls from people saying: “We’re not sure if you can do this…” and most of the time, we can. Combine this with the vast travel experience throughout the team. No one else can offer what we do.