A Europe OE inspired Carolyn Hedley’s career in travel, and 30 years later, she is still in the industry.
She is the new face of Helloworld Travel Stanmore Bay – her second franchise.
“I have owned Helloworld in Hobsonville for three years. It’s a great store that is doing really well, so it was a good time to expand.”
Helloworld in Stanmore Bay was founded two years ago by previous owner, Mandy Bester. Mandy is still on the team, in a new role as a manager and senior travel consultant.
“My passion is helping clients, so I decided to go back to focussing on them rather than the business side of things,” Mandy says.
Between Carolyn, Mandy and senior travel consultant Sandy Theron, the team of three have over 83 year’s of industry experience and have travelled to a wide array of countries – almost too many to count.
The day before the interview, Carolyn had just returned home from Mexico.
“Mexico is underrated, and I definitely think more people should be travelling there. It is a beautiful place, and they have great cocktails, too,” Carolyn says.
“It is not often we send our clients to a place that we haven’t been to ourselves.”
Despite her wealth of travel knowledge, Carolyn says travel mishaps still happen to her, too.
“My husband’s suitcase was stolen from outside a car rental company in Rome. My daughter was on watch – but it was wheeled away while she was scrolling through her phone!”
Being able to call your travel agent when hiccups occur is one of the major benefits of booking through a travel agent, Carolyn says.
“If something happens, we are just a phone call away, and our client’s money is completely assured and insured.”
“We are also monitored by the Travel Agent Association New Zealand, so even on the off chance something happened to the agency, the client’s money is always safeguarded. Not all agencies are monitored though – so it pays for people to check.”
As well as helping locals get onto their next cruise, European tour or Pacific Island holiday,
Carolyn is also keen for Helloworld to play a part in the community at home.
“We are already sponsoring the Manly Bowling Club, and we are looking forward to being involved with more Hibiscus Coast groups and schools,” she says.