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The Travel Associates Treasure Trove

3rd May 2018

All travel agencies are not made equal. This is something you’ll discover within moments of stepping into a Travel Associates office, although you won’t find them on main commercial streets. Our offices are havens of comfort; welcoming spaces that invite you to relax and explore the possibilities of your holiday dreams.

Using decades of industry experience, our Travel Associates advisors design your trip to fit your preferences, like a barista brewing your ideal coffee. Their passion and dedication ensures that the service doesn’t end with a ticket – they are on call in case of a sudden change of plans, and are eager to hear about your adventure after you return.

At Travel Associates, our experience is our treasure, and this is how our advisors make it work for you.

My experience got my clients to a wedding they would have missed.

My greatest superhero moment: I learned that the Dubai airport was shut due to a fire on the tarmac. I had clients en route to Belarus via Dubai and Moscow for a wedding, and their timeframe was incredibly tight. While they were in the air, I called Dubai Airport and had a supervisor help me plan a path through the terminal to get my clients onto their connecting flight.

They didn’t make it... but I had booked precautionary seats on the next flight. I had also arranged a hotel so they could overnight in Moscow and get the first flight to Belarus the next day! They made it to the wedding, and I know this wouldn’t have happened without my assistance. My experience meant that I knew what steps to anticipate and made sure all contingencies were covered.

Meaghan Wolf, Wolf & Turner Travel Associates, VIC

My experience created an unforgettable 60th birthday celebration.

When you work in the industry as long as I have, you collect wonderful contacts from all over the world. It is this collection of hoteliers, general managers and tour guides that truly make a difference.

A special client of mine was turning 60 and she wanted to have a day to remember in Dublin, so I got to work using my network of contacts.
The crowning jewel of her birthday was a private concert by the local school boys’ choir at the spectacular Saint Patrick’s Cathedral. Organising this concert was quite an undertaking, which involved liaising with the Verger and arranging to have the boys perform during school hours, just for my guests.

My clients enjoyed a day so moving that the memory gives them goose bumps. As a designer of travel it brings me great pleasure to be able to create and manage such truly memorable moments.

Jo Kennedy, Kennedy & Turner Travel Associates, QLD

My experience saved a holiday in a financial fiasco.

I had a client travelling to Cuba who ran out of time and didn’t obtain extra cash prior to her departure. I got a panicked call from Cuba – just one week into their one-month trip and she was out of money, there were no ATMs available and her credit cards would not be accepted.

I rushed to the post office to wire money to the Canadian Embassy, as there is no Australian Embassy in Cuba, but the permitted amount just wasn’t enough. Fortunately I have a wholesale contact with an affiliate in Cuba. She wasn’t involved with the booking, yet she arranged a transaction so my client could pick up cash from their Cuban office, which I paid for on my end. In a country that deals almost only in cash, this situation could have brought a holiday to an abrupt end. I’m so glad my experience and contacts counted when it mattered!

Tony Freedman, Freedman Langhorne & James Travel Associates, VIC

My experience helped my clients dive deeper into an ancient culture.

When my clients told me of their desire to visit Jordan, I knew exactly how to ensure the couple had a life-changing experience. They didn’t know that you could tour Petra by night, but I assured them that experiencing it by starlight and returning the next day to explore further is the most breathtaking way to uncover the lost city.

It wasn’t just about making sure they saw hot spots such as Wadi Rum, where Lawrence of Arabia was filmed, and the River Jordan, where Jesus was allegedly baptised. Thanks to my experience, I was able to paint an Indiana Jones-style picture in their minds of what it is actually like to walk down the Siq and approach the wonder that awaits you at Petra.

It helped them to appreciate the significance of these ancient marvels with every sense.

Shelley Brice, Brice & Turner Travel Associates, WA

My experience saved the trip of a lifetime.

You’re never alone when you’ve booked with a Travel Associates advisor. I once planned an epic round-the-world trip for a couple who had recently retired and booked their dream holiday as a celebration.

On day one I got an emergency call – the husband had blacked out on the flight to Hong Kong, and needed to return home for tests and treatment! I got them safely back to Australia as soon as possible, and got to work on saving the trip they’d always dreamed of.

Despite an unhelpful travel insurance policy from an unfamiliar provider, I was able to save this trip. Thanks to my close relationships with our superb travel partners I sent this couple on their lifetime trip 10 months later, with minimal additional costs. There is no way this would have happened so seamlessly without the resources of my experience.

Alan Reis, Reis & James Travel Associates, ACT

My experience helped shape a political interest.

With the travel market overflowing with choices, it’s our experience and relationships with others that make the difference when creating ideal holidays for our clients.

I recently had the pleasure of working with a family group that contained two teenagers. The family was heading to Washington DC as part of a USA adventure and I suggested a private guide who I had gotten to know well.

That behind-the-scenes tour of DC had a monumental affect on the family. The eldest son was so inspired by the world that this tour exposed him to that he now commentates on politics and – no surprise – ended up basing himself in Washington. It’s funny to think that if this family had not dealt with a travel expert they may have chosen an everyday tour of the capital. Things may have turned out completely differently for that young adult!

Greg Ashmore, Ashmore & James Travel Associates, VIC

My experience overcame the hurdles of mother nature.

I had couple who had just set off for their luxury European river cruise when I had a call to say that it was cancelled due to high waters. My clients were checking in for their flights and had two minutes to decide whether to go ahead with their trip or not.

“Can you plan us another holiday?” they asked. Then they boarded the plane and left the details to me. I had 15 hours to plan a new holiday itinerary.

Upon their arrival to their Dubai hotel, there was 40-page itinerary waiting for them with details of their new tours, accommodation and transfers, all ready to go. Two nights in Rome, a seven-night cruise in Greece, some time in Athens and Budapest before a last hurrah in Paris. All my clients had to do was set off on their amazing new adventure!

Becky Kent-Perchalla, Perchalla & Turner Travel Associates, SA