Suppliers in Focus: Not Just Travel

Sally Ward – Not Just Travel

It’s not that often that you meet someone, learn about what they do, and instantly realise what a fantastic service they provide, and ask yourself, why doesn’t everyone enlist their services? This is what happened when I met Sally Ward, a travel consultant and owner of Not Just Travel.

Now, you might initially think I can book my own holiday, it’s really not that difficult!

Well, yes, you can. Though think back to the sheer amount of time you have previously put into booking your holidays, the angst involved in thinking exactly where to go and when, the endless trawling of TripAdvisor reviews, and the agonising over whether you’ve got good value for money or paid massively over the odds. If you ask Sally to help you, all of this goes away and, get this, you won’t pay any more than if you had done it all yourself. No, you didn’t read this wrong. For all this additional help, support, time-saving and organisation you won’t need to pay any more for your holiday than if you were to do it all yourself!

How Does It Work?

It all starts when Sally meets new clients to find out exactly what kind of holiday they are after. At this research call it is important that clients come prepared with an idea of what they would like from a holiday in order to get the most out of it and for Sally to be able to generate quality options for them to consider. You can be quite specific in your requests. It could be a city or seaside break, it could a break in the mountains or on a ship, it could involve visiting more than one country, or any combination of these…and much more.

When Sally has obtained the range of preferences, she quickly finds suitable options across a range of budgets. With a little more refining to help the client to find the perfect match, Sally then books the holiday for the client and supports them at every step, with help on check-ins, and advice about any rules and regulations in their chosen destination.

Sally is even on-hand should anything go awry during the holiday. She recounted one story of a couple who arrived at the airport in Jamaica only to find that due to strikes, their flights had been cancelled. They sent Sally a text and within a very short time she was able to book them into another hotel, send the receipts to the supplier and get’s a full refund for them. Wouldn’t everyone want that kind of support when you’re stuck in the airport in a foreign country?!

Why Sally?

As with anyone you book, hire, or buy from, what you want is honesty, integrity, in-depth knowledge, and a passion for their business. Sally has these qualities in droves. And she’s such a lovely person!

Travel has always been an interest of hers, and as we were all emerging from the pandemic, she decided to follow her dream of setting up on her own travel business. She undertook an intense training course early in 2021 which then enabled her to launch her business that summer. Anyone who has changed careers and set-up on their own knows the courage it takes to do that. It is also a sign of just how committed Sally is to her business and to her customers, and you can see this from the fantastic reviews and feedback that she gets.

With Sally it isn’t only expert knowledge of various locations around the world and excellent prices that you can tap into, it is also the other factors that you don’t necessarily think about when booking a holiday but are essential, such as insurance and travel regulations. These aspects usually remain under the radar but how many times have you had a last-minute panic that you should’ve organised a visa, or your flights have been delayed or cancelled and you’ve had to work it out for yourself?

Three Myths Busted

  • Sometimes people think Sally charges for her services. She doesn’t! Sally derives her income from the suppliers that she uses. Effectively she earns commission, which is her benefit, and the benefit to her clients is that she can secure cheaper rates – so everybody wins! Sally only gets paid when clients actually travel, so she does place trust in people to go through her with their booking after all the time, effort and expertise she puts in to designing their holiday.
  • Sometimes people think it must be more expensive to book through Sally. It isn’t! On occasion you might pay the same as you would have if you’d organised it all yourself, but it’ll take you a fraction of the time with Sally’s help and you get all the support before, during and after your holiday. You’re also getting all the benefit of Sally’s advice, recommendations and support for free.
  • Sometimes people think Sally just organises honeymoons. Wrong! In the week in which I was interviewing her, she was organising honeymoons in South Africa, the Maldives and an Iceland-New York combo; a last minute ski holiday, some short-hops to Europe and a big family holiday in the UK

Small businesses and sole traders

Small businesses and sole-traders put a huge amount of effort into their work. They have to, as they don’t have the resources and infrastructure of a big company. However, just as the time and effort is high, so are the rewards. Just as I get a thrill as I play the piano live at someone’s wedding and see and feel the reaction, Sally gets a huge buzz from the excitement of her customers when everything is booked and just as they are about to go on their holiday, and post-holiday reviews and sincere thanks that she receives. This stuff really matters. You won’t get a higher level of support and customer service than you will from a sole-trader or a local small business. Here is a list of some that Sally works with and particularly recommends:

Finally, Sally has excellent working relations with Jet2 and Easy Jet and over 400 suppliers who are affiliated to the Hays Consortium.

This article was written by Robbie Roberts – a Wedding and Event Pianist

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