Hi, I’m Gilly Bachelor, the face of the business!
I’m a travel professional based in Brewood, in South Staffordshire. I operate differently from an online holiday provider, or a high street travel agent, as together with my team, we offer a highly personalised service. However, you can be assured you’re in safe hands as we work under the umbrella of Hays Travel as part of Not Just Travel, so everything we book is ABTA and ATOL protected.
‘My mission, from the start was to offer competitively priced holidays - protected under ABTA guidelines, the Travel Package Regulations and ATOL - tailor-made to my clients’ unique requirements, all underpinned by a personal service.’ Gilly Bachelor
I’ve always had a passion for travel, and before I set up my travel business I had travelled extensively, though I did find the booking process a bit of a minefield, and this was before Covid!
I had booked holidays using online travel agencies (including Expedia, booking.com and lastminute.com), online package holiday companies (Jet2 Holidays and Tui), tailor-made specialists, for trips to Africa, Morocco, and Italy, and by compiling my own itineraries, with all the elements – i.e., the flights, hotels, car hire and transfers – all booked separately. It was clear to me that each of these different ways to book a holiday had pros and cons.
Typically (though not always!) the online travel agencies will be cheaper, but there’s no advice or customer service, and when something goes wrong, in my experience there’s no support, as so many people have found out in the past two years. And booking separate elements can be problematic too when the flight is cancelled (or rescheduled), or the hotel you’ve booked is unexpectedly unavailable.
In March 2022 I was joined by Stephanie Minton, who is our ‘Holiday Admin Whizz’. Stephanie is a wonderful addition to the team as her focus on admin (and there’s more than ever!) allows me to spend more time with clients planning and booking their holidays!
It was devastating in March 2020 when the impact of covid started to be felt with mass holiday cancellations, as going on holiday abroad was banned. However, unlike many travel agencies who closed, or mothballed their businesses, we decided to be proactive. We worked hard to secure amendments and refunds for our clients, whilst we also became a ‘customer-champion’ within our local community, for anyone that had a holiday-related question or concern. We offered a helpline, online holiday surgeries (and face-to-face meetings when it was allowed), and responded to hundreds of Facebook enquiries, as people were struggling to get hold of the holiday company they had booked with, and needed advice and reassurance, which we were able to provide, and continue to offer today.
Taking a holiday abroad expands our world view and takes us out of our comfort zone. It can inspire creativity and can help to build confidence; it’s also a lovely way to meet new people, or simply to relax. With so many benefits, it’s our joy to support our clients’ travel dreams, and those of the people within our local community in general. Particularly those people who are finding themselves ‘digitally-excluded’ as having an email address and smartphone are more essential than ever when taking a holiday.
If you’ve already booked your holiday and you’re looking for independent holiday advice as you have a question or concern, we will do our very best to assist you, as we understand just how challenging things can be right now.
Professional travel advice is as important as ever as we emerge from the impacts of covid, and whilst in general we’re seeing the simplification of destination entry requirements, and improvements in travel insurance policies, they are still difficult to navigate.
Our clients all want a level of personal service, and to book their holiday with someone that really cares that they have the very best possible travel experience. Whilst we book a complete range of holidays, we specialise in tailor-made itineraries, bucket-list trips and honeymoons.