Paul and his parents established Spa Travel in 1980 and have seen the business grow from a small traditional Travel Agency to one of the top award winning independent travel specialists in the UK. He has no doubt that the success is down to the hard work and commitment of the team and of course the loyal clients.
Paul’s skill lies in his vast knowledge of destinations and hotels and therefore he concentrates on what he does best which is sell holidays, full time in the front office!
There are not many places he hasn’t been to over the years but his favourites include Caribbean, Andalucia, New Zealand & India. Having been lucky enough to have visited India three times now, he has certainly fallen in love with this truly amazing country and loves to share his experiences with anyone wanting to know more about it.
His most memorable experiences were flying First Class on BA and his action packed trip to New Zealand where he did a Bungee jump, Parascending, Quad Biking, Dolphin watching & the Queenstown Luge.
He admits that the place that was the biggest surprise to him was Maldives. He really wasn’t prepared for how much he would enjoy these idyllic islands and definitely hopes to return there.
Paul would class himself as a true encyclopaedia of travel destinations, which is only achieved by personal experience.
Jackie joined Spa Travel after doing ‘work experience’ from school back in 1982 and apart from a short spell at Victoria Travel, she has been here ever since!
She worked full time selling holidays until she had her children and then part time when they were young. She then took over the accounts & admin side of the business for years until becoming Office Manager and now takes care of everything from the office in the back.
She too is pretty well travelled and has been to New Zealand four times. Her most memorable experiences have been flying Business Class all the way home from New Zealand in the lay-flat beds and also a Luxury Safari to Zambia & Zimbabwe where she did White Water Rafting on the Zambezi. This year she went on a Star Clipper cruise which she says was absolutely amazing experience. Her favourite place is Greece, and over the years has been to Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Kefalonia, Peloponnese, Skiathos, Thessaloniki, Kos, Lesvos & Thassos.
Other places she has been include Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand, Algarve, Caribbean, Florida, California, Canada, Turkey and city breaks include New York, Boston, Bergen, Madrid, Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Bruges, Cadiz & Seville.
Whilst attending a conference in Malaga she was surprised to discover what a fantastic City Break destination it was! It gets overlooked as mostly visitors stay on the coast and never get the chance to see its cobbled streets, fabulous architecture not forgetting the great shopping & weather.
She has been to many places over the years including Cape Town, Canada, Mauritius, Thailand, Singapore, Melbourne, Malaysia, Caribbean, Florida, Spain, Canary Islands, Lapland, Dubai……..to name but a few! She has also enjoyed ski-ing holidays as well as City Breaks and Cruising. Her favourite places have been Bellagio, Lake Como and Maldives, and she would love to go one day to Latin America.
Having completed the Canadian Specialist Programme she visited Vancouver, Victoria, Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Newfoundland, Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary plus the memorable Rocky Mountaineer. She loves to get a Canada enquiry and use her knowledge to put together a personalised itinerary.
Her most memorable work trip was to Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. The sheer luxury was amazing – not to mention the fact that Sir Paul McCartney was staying in the Villa next door!
Hollie is Paul’s niece and is a welcome addition to the team. After being in retail management & customer service management for a while she finally joined the family business in August 2011 and hasn’t looked back!
The clients love her and she couldn’t imagine working in any other industry now. Since joining us she has been to Italy, Northern Cyprus, Malta, Turkey, New York, China and Canada but she has also been to Florida, Grenada, Tenerife & Menorca.
Her favourite place so far is New York as she says ‘It’s like being in a film set all day every day!’
When asked what she loves about the job, she answered – ‘Every day is different, every enquiry is different. The feeling is brilliant when you find the right holiday for your clients and they have an experience that their families and themselves will remember forever. Also the opportunity to travel and see the world is a privilege I don’t take for granted and every new place I go is more knowledge and experience I can pass on to my customers’.
Hollie too has completed the Canadian Specialist Programme and visited Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Whistler and did the Rocky Mountaineer.
Hollie has been awarded ‘Young Travel Professional of the Year’ at the Elite Travel Awards. We are very proud of her!
Her dream destination is Costa Rica.
Lucy had always wanted to work in travel but didn’t start until she was 24 yrs old and has never looked back. She says “I love my job so much, I love helping people find their perfect holiday & I love working on complicated itineraries.”
She has mainly been to European destinations although she was lucky enough to win a trip to Mauritius. “It was the biggest surprise ever when I got an email to say I had won an educational trip with the tourist board, I thought it was a joke!” she said.
Lucy is our expert on Disneyland Paris, having been 5 times herself. She can’t wait to do Disney in Florida!
Her work trips include the Red Sea, Kefalonia and Croatia, where she saw both Dubrovnik & Split. They drove between the two which meant seeing the amazing scenery. Her luxury Honeymoon was in Maldives. She recently visited America which has always been a dream.
Karen is currently full time (covering maternity leave to September) but usually job-shares with Helen. She has been in travel for around 15 years gaining her qualifications at college. Prior to joining us a few years ago she worked for Going Places, The Rising Sun, Apollo Travel & Normanton Co op.
She has been to Maldives, Menorca Greece, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Benidorm, Algarve, Mauritius, Iceland and skied in Andorra.
When asked about her favourite she said “all of the above in their own way. Each destination has its own charm and memories. If I had to pick one for Europe it would be Zante because of the people and because you can explore the whole island at your own pace. Worldwide it would have to be the Maldives, because of the unique setting of being on a small island and the snorkelling was amazing”
Her dream destination is Bora Bora. There is so much to see and do on this little island from 4×4 safari to diving in the crystal clear turquoise lagoon and barrier reef.
Karen says she loves working in travel and checking every possible option to find the client the best holiday to suit them. She especially loves it when a family goes away for the first time, seeing not only the children’s faces but the parents too when they get their tickets!
Spa Travel has expanded and we now have three Homeworkers which we are delighted about, Pam Furness – Sarah Gill & Sarah Sunderland. They are all well-travelled and have been in the industry a long time so we know that the levels of service are consistent with our own. Pam used to work with Lucy up in Northallerton, Sarah Gill worked here in the office before leaving to have her children and Sarah Sunderland worked in Wetherby for years. We are proud to have them as Homeworkers.
We are always looking to expand further so if you are experienced, do not live in the immediate area and are interested in being a Homeworker for us, please contact Jackie at firstname.lastname@example.org in the strictest of confidence.