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 encyclopedia 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. A few years ago she went on a Star Clipper cruise which she says was an 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, Italy, Spain, Cambodia & Vietnam. City breaks include New York, Boston, Sydney, Bergen, Madrid, Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Bruges, Cadiz, Seville & Venice.
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.
Hollie is Paul’s niece! 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, Switzerland, Barbados, China and Canada to name a few!
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 they & their families will remember forever. Also the opportunity to travel and see the world is a privilege that I don’t take for granted and every new place I go is more knowledge and experience which I can pass on to my clients’.
Hollie too has completed the Canadian Specialist Programme and visited Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Whistler and did the Rocky Mountaineer. Her dream destination is Costa Rica.
Out of work Hollie has become a fitness addict who puts the rest of us to shame by training nearly every day!
Karen has been in travel for many years gaining her qualifications at college. Prior to joining us 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 is 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 email@example.com in the strictest of confidence.