GLOSS Issue 20 FEB 2015 - Page 46

In the same way that I always put my clients first, I empower my team to do the same.’ He speaks French, Spanish, Italian, German, and a little bit of Gaelic (‘I always speak better when I am in the country itself’) and the next country on his personal bucket list is Bhutan, currently known as the happiest kingdom on Earth. Then? Off to South America - Argentina and Brazil. I am not even going to mention Bali. Suffice to say, if he ever needs a Bahasa speaking tour guide at the agency, I feel a new career coming on. This is a bloke who is dedicated to his industry, his clients, and to a business he loves. Now if he can just leave his desk long enough for that Bhutan bucket list trip... I think it sets us apart from the rest of the industry – we feel very much that one size doesn’t fit all. I want people to walk away getting exactly what they’ve told them they’re going to get. I am very careful in relationships with our suppliers for this reason – the client must be well looked after. They are our priority every single time. Always make sure your Travel Agent has a copy of your passport and any travel visas on file, (and anyone travelling with you too) in case yours gets damaged, lost or stolen. Keep an online storage facility backed up with your travel documents, passport, copies of your credit cards (do you know how many people get into trouble each year when their wallet or purse is misplaced?) so that you can access in an emergency. We suggest Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or some apps can also handle documents – TripIt is a good example. We insist upon this with all travellers to ensure that we can assist whenever possible. We all know that baggage handlers play football with our checked in luggage! Keep any toiletries inside a sealed plastic bag – a snap seal sandwich bag is ideal. This will stop your clothes smelling of Listerine for a week! Use specialist websites to keep you updated with your travels. We recommend www. checkmytrip.com where you can store all your upcoming trips, plus keep a history of all your travel – including copes of e-tickets etc, plus you can automatically upload to your PDA calendar or desktop calendar, and be notified of changes that may occur Don’t waste time on the internet trawling for cheap deals. Weigh up the time it takes you against using a professional who knows where to look and when! Is it really worth saving $10 on a trip, and then finding out that you have little recourse when things go wrong? When Eyjafjallajökull erupted in Iceland in 2010, travellers who had booked direct or online, were stranded, and spent hours and days trying to get through to airlines. Our travellers were contacted before they knew they had problems, with new flights all confirmed and ready for them. Only your trusted travel agent can do this