In times where the world of travel is steeped in doom and gloom, there is a beacon of hope in the form of Award Winning Travel Counsellor Emma Savage who can make your holiday dreams come true. This year is a big milestone for Emma as she celebrates 10 years in the business and I am beyond excited that she is joining me for the first Breakfast of 2021!
If you haven’t yet made her acquaintance, then Emma runs her own travel business as part of multi-award winning Travel Counsellors. By her own admission, she is a ‘Professional, highly experienced and award-winning travel consultant, who tailor-makes dream holidays and adventures around the world.’ Some of the amazing itineraries she has put together previously include:
- Bespoke tours to many different countries including Sri Lanka, Australia, New Zealand and America
- A honeymoon trip along Route 66 on a Harley Davidson
- Thailand bucket list trip to an elephant camp where you can bathe and feed the elephants then on to a jungle rainforest camp for jungle treks, kayaking and nature watching, then on to a luxury beach resort to relax.
- Trips to stay in a glass igloo under the stars to see the Northern Lights
Emma specialises particularly in ‘Honeymoons, bucket list trips and luxury travel but can offer almost any holiday you can think of, from cottages in the UK to tours round Australia!’ and says she also offers a complete ‘Travel Management Service for corporate clients.’ How truly fabulous is that?
On a daily basis, Emma works very hard to deliver the very highest level of Customer Service and says she was ‘Incredibly proud to win Best Customer Service at our local Mercury Business Awards 2019 and this really did make my year.’ Belated congratulations Emma! Love it!
As to why she does the job she does, Emma says that she ‘Loves exploring the beautiful world we live in and I enjoy helping others do the same. No two days are the same and travel is an exciting, fast-paced and fun industry.’ It most certainly is Emma and in recent times it’s become even more fascinating than ever!
Emma’s first ever ‘proper’ part time job was at Thomas Cook Uxbridge as a Saturday girl where she says she spent time ‘Stamping brochures, meeting and greeting, booking holidays and flights. This is where the travel bug bit me! I just loved everything about travel; the buzz, the excitement, the camaraderie in the store, learning about the world and arranging dream trips for customers.’ I remember that feeling so well Emma, there’s nothing but nothing like the buzz of the travel world.
Emma believes that ‘Customer Service sets businesses apart and if you want to build trust and loyalty, treat your customers well’ and says that she treats her customers as she would wish to be treated herself; ‘Courteously, efficiently and I always do right by them.’ Emma goes on to say that ‘Customer Service is about delivering what the customer needs and expects but good customer service goes beyond that, anticipating client needs and making suggestions based on what I know about them.’ Absolutely I couldn’t agree more!
Emma sees part of her job as getting to know customers – their ‘Likes and dislikes, places they’ve been and liked’ so that she make recommendations accordingly. She ensures that ‘Every detail is taken care of, from seat requests (one of my corporate clients likes a particular seat on every flight) to special room requests. ‘ This is the kind of thing I just love to read. Attention to detail in this respect is sadly lacking nowadays.
Over the years, Emma has been ‘Fortunate enough to build up a high level of repeat business’ and says her business has grown with her customers – some who came to her for their first couples holiday, then for their honeymoon, then their first family holiday etc. and she loves to stay in touch and see how they are doing. ‘Without my customers, I wouldn’t have a business. Travel Counsellors is rated 5* on TrustPilot; we all share the same ethos and high standards.’ That’s so good to hear Emma.
As for customer service gripes, Emma’s is ‘Promising and under delivering’. Her mantra is always ‘Do what you say you are going to do. If you are going to call me, call me when you said you would. If you promise me an email, make sure it is sent. ‘ Quite right too Emma and a mistake companies all too frequently make.
In 5 years time, Emma would like to see her business growing and expanding her Corporate Travel Management service as well as the luxury holiday market. Her top 3 travel tips for 2021 would be:
- Book with a reputable independent travel agent who can give you impartial advice and expertise.
- Ensure you have good travel insurance.
- Make sure your passport has at least six months validity on it as the rules have changed since Brexit and you will need at least six months to visit Europe.
Now to get down to real business- breakfast! Emma says for her it’s usually cereals and lots of tea but when she does have time, a fry up! If she could have breakfast with anyone then it would probably be Simon Reeve or Michael Palin; ‘Both travel heroes of mine and I would love to listen to their adventures! Or Barack Obama, as I am interested in American politics and I think it would be a really fascinating and enlightening conversation.’ Barack’s been a popular choice in the Breakfast with interview series Emma so you’re not alone there. Simon Reeve and Michael Palin are late to the party in this respect but still fabulous choices- as well as me of course!
Many thanks to Emma for taking the time to have breakfast with me today. If you’d like to find out more then you can find her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as well as via her website. I’m off now to check out Emma’s best travel recommendations, hope you do too.
Until next time everyone! Cin cin! x