The best decision I made was eight years ago when I took the plunge and decided to join the family of Travel Counsellors and to run my own travel business from home.
Like most Travel Counsellors, it was a decision that I discussed at length with my husband Dave and family. I had been working in a High Street travel agency for nearly 20 years and had a family with two small children. I was desperately trying to balance my working schedule along with the hectic school week/family life. It had become increasingly stressful and I was beginning to lose the love I had for travel, along with little time I had with my young family, I realised this needed and had to change.
Since that day, I’ve never looked back. I literally couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Working from home gives me so much freedom and flexibility to work when I want to work and take time out when it's needed. It also meant I could work around those special school days (Nativity or Sports Day), as well as helping with the times tables, spelling tests and now GCSE homework too. I feel really lucky to have such a perfect work and family life balance!
When working on the high street I was always restricted to traditional office working hours which looking back, really hindered my productivity. Now, by having my office at home I have the flexibility to be available for my customers whenever they need me. It is refreshing to be able to discuss their holiday plans when it is most convenient to them – I really am available 24/7. My business is built on providing tailored, personal service and working remotely means that I have more time to focus and look after my customers in able to take my personal service to the next level.
Earlier this year, one of my customers contacted me distraught late one evening after discovering her daughter had left her very precious and much loved teddy in their hotel room at Disneyland, Paris that same day. So after her call I contacted the hotel and my colleagues at Disney and within a few hours “teddy” was found and sure enough within a few days he was back at home reunited with the family! My customers were over the moon and couldn’t believe I’d not only managed to track him down, but get teddy home so quickly! It is situations like this which make me really value my ability to be there for my customers if any problems may arise.
Although I work from home, I am always connected to a global network of Travel Counsellors. I can watch daily TCTV broadcasts from the company’s head office, plus there are various training days, events and conferences throughout the year. If I need a recommendation for a great restaurant in Cape Town or perhaps a suggested excursion in Sydney, I can contact my TC family within these areas for their advice and expertise - this is something truly unique which my customers love!
I guess what I love the most about my job is that it is so much more rewarding than my previous roles. My customers are more like friends to me, whether I’m popping in with their tickets and a cuppa or receiving a text when they’re away to say what a fabulous time they’re having – it is simply the best job in the world!