BBC Breakfast Interview: Jen’s Top 10 Tips

Read blog

Jennifer Atkinson, Chairman | 4 Jan, 2019

Did you see our Chairman Jen Atkinson being interviewed on BBC Breakfast? Here she shares her top ten tips for travel and how to get the most out of your ‘Sunshine Saturday’ deals this January…

1. The best way to get a great deal is a) to be flexible on the time you can go and b) be flexible on the destination. For example, if you’re looking at visiting the Caribbean this spring, waiting until the summer could actually save you a huge amount, plus the resorts will be quieter and you’re likely to experience minimal ‘liquid sunshine’. Sandy Lane on Barbados for example has some great summer savings for families… plus it’s my all-time favourite holiday destination!

2. If you’ve got a specific place that you want to go to, then the best thing to do is to book well in advance. We’ve got people currently booking for next Christmas and beyond! For example, if you’re getting married this summer, booking now for a long-haul honeymoon in the Indian Ocean for next winter can give you time to save, but also means you secure the best possible dates and accommodation to suit your preferences.

3. If it’s a shorter term thing then it’s just about saying generally – where do you want to go? And then speaking to someone you trust, like the team here at the Inspiring Travel Company. Otherwise you’ll spend half a day of your life saying “oh I found it slightly cheaper there” and you won’t know which website to believe. If you can literally pack and go, how about our three last minute savings to the Caribbean, departing at the end of January/beginning of February and staying in either St James’ Club Morgan Bay, St Lucia, St James’ Club & Villas, Antigua, or Waves Hotel and Spa by Elegant Hotels, Barbados? Your Travel Specialist can tell you more…

4. Claire in South Wales said that with “ill health I can only travel short-haul, where is good for some sunshine?”. Well I would recommend the Canary Islands, year-round sun, 4 ½ hour flight… Tenerife is actually one of our most popular destinations. In fact, if you’re travelling as a family, you could save a whopping £1,090 on travel to the island in our Sale to Bahia Del Duque Resort.

5. People are going further afield. Long-haul travel has really increased in popularity. South Africa as an example: it’s on the same time zone as the UK, it’s a great destination and it’s really, really great value. Tempted? My recommendation is a stay at the sublime One&Only Cape Town… which is also in our New Year Sale!

6. People of course are always going to want a beach holiday, but what we’re finding as a business is that increasingly they want an experience as well. They want to go and see a bit of culture, do a few things, have a wellness break… do something that has a lasting memory as opposed to just a suntan that fades within a month. That’s why we’ve expanded our range of tailor-made tours to ensure greater choice for those who wish to not just visit a destination, but truly immerse themselves in it. Our multi-centre holidays are a great option if you want the best of both worlds.

7. Japan is one of 2019’s hottest destinations for long-haul travel and the momentum is likely to continue throughout the year thanks to the Rugby World Cup. If you’ve not been before, a Classic Japan tour is a great introduction to this incredible country, taking you to many of its most fascinating points of interests.

8. Tim and Sean got in touch with the same question: about people travelling alone. It can be expensive and it’s actually a growing market for us as a business. What we’ve started to do for single travellers, from a social perspective as much as anything else, is small group tours. As an example, we have a small group tour to Madagascar through Rainbow Tours, which is priced competitively, but you also get to have dinner with everyone at the end of each day. From my experience, that’s what solo travellers want.

9. Viewer Fiona wrote in to ask where are the best value options at the moment? Which was a great question, as clearly with the exchange rates fluctuating so much at the moment it’s making European destinations quite expensive to travel to. One of our sister businesses – Regent Holidays – specialises in eastern European cities, and so if, for example, you might have thought of Prague as a destination, a great value alternative to that might be somewhere like Tallinn in Estonia. Your money will go further, the restaurants are cheaper, the food is cheaper… so if it’s about value, it’s also about knowing the destinations where you can get more for your money.

10. Overall, what we find as a business is that nothing can replicate the fact that somebody has been there – “I’ve been to that destination, I’ve got firsthand experience”. People increasingly want to talk with someone who they can trust. Across the ITC Travel Group this unique, personal insight is the cornerstone of our service and why we ensure our team is amongst the best travelled in the industry. Nothing beats speaking to a holiday provider who can give you a personal account of your destination, hotel and experience as a whole.