Our global community of Travel Counsellors is growing by the day and we’re delighted to welcome Rebecca Whitmore who joins us for her induction training this week. She tells us why she decided to start her own home-based travel business…
Tell us about yourself and what you did before joining Travel Counsellors.
I started my career in travel as a modern apprentice for a well-known UK-based travel agent, before moving to work overseas for them as a holiday rep for a number of seasons. The most exotic place I worked was Goa, and it certainly changed me as a person, opening my eyes to a fabulous culture.
When I returned home I worked as a wedding and events coordinator in a hotel in Chester. Although out of travel, it was still within hospitality and a role of making dreams come true, much as we do with holidays! I have most recently been working from home as a self-employed travel agent.
What does becoming a Travel Counsellor mean for you and why did you decide to take the plunge?
This is a huge step for me and, whilst I'm excited to take the leap, I'll admit to being a little anxious. Although it was a big step when I initially went self-employed, I had some security as I was provided with a steady stream of leads. This feels so much more daunting, but from what I have experienced so far, I have felt completely reassured that there is help and guidance out there for me.
It's also great to not have to worry about asking for time off to go the school sports day or collect the kids if they're sick. I want to be a great role model to my children and to show Elsie that women can have successful careers and still raise a family.
I've always loved travel and the memories we created and the joy those times brought to us all are irreplaceable. I love working in travel as it's my way of helping bring this joy to other people. Yes, I could achieve this by working on the high street, or for an employer, but I believe I can earn more money by running my own business with the support of Travel Counsellors. It gives me so much more flexibility by setting my own hours to suit my clients and my family, rather than having my working hours dictated to me.
What are you looking forward to most about being a Travel Counsellor?
The feeling of teamwork, even though we are all self-employed. It can be lonely working from home but so far everyone I've met or spoken to at Travel Counsellors have been so welcoming and helpful. I can’t wait for events that are held at head office and my daughter is keen to get involved in the family events.
Even though I'm self-employed, I feel that I’m not just by myself! I'm also looking forward to seeing how far I can go, how many leads I can generate and how much income I can make.
Have you set yourself any goals or milestones for what you want to achieve in your first year and how will you make your business a success?
My main goal is to earn £50,000 income for myself in year three. In terms of what that means in in the first two years, I am focused on getting my name out there, shouting about what I can do and offer, and building a strong reputation for myself in my local community, creating a database of loyal repeat clients and their referrals.
The first thing I will do is re-contact existing clients to give my contact details and see what travel plans they are considering, which should give me some leads to get started with.
What do you love most about working in the travel industry?
How much everything changes and trending destinations, seeing where people want to go to and why. I have so many families now looking for something a little more unusual, a real experience for their children.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Can I have two? The first is Walt Disney World! This is the lifelong dream I never got to experience in my childhood. I can't express how much I would love to take my children and I'm not sure who would enjoy it more – them or me!
I’d also like to visit Transylvania in Romania. This would be for just me and Andy. It looks so unspoilt and undiscovered! The old churches, walls, cobbled streets and boutique hotels look like just the kind of place we love. It is on my bucket list for sure.