While most people think of a trip overseas as a holiday, experienced Hibiscus Coast based travel agent Patty Brown can honestly say that when she is travelling, she is doing research.
“If I’ve experienced a destination, then I’m in a much better position to give good advice to my clients,” she says.
She has already crossed off nearly 30 countries on her travel list with plenty more to come.
“I’m a bit of a travel addict,” she says.
But, after 27 years of working for retail travel shops in South Africa and New Zealand including eight years in Orewa and Silverdale, Patty has decided to branch out on her own. She has joined The Travel Brokers, a network of about 100 independent senior travel consultants.
“Flexibility is one of the strengths of the network,” Patty says. “I can meet people wherever it is most convenient, including their own home or at my home-based office, and I am available seven days a week. Being independent means I can also beat any NZ-based company on price.
“Brokers have the time to spend with clients, to ensure we match them with the right supplier for their travel needs – it’s all about personal service.”
Without hesitation, Patty says her favourite destination is Hawaii because it offers a combination of fabulous beaches, great shopping, culture and excellent restaurants.
A popular destination at the moment is Croatia, which also offers travellers an interesting mix of culture, beaches and food, and at affordable prices.
“Competition amongst airlines has seen flights to Europe get cheaper and cheaper – it’s possible to get a return ticket now for around the $1000 mark.”
For the past two years, Patty has specialised in the cruise market.
“Cruises offer good value-for-money, particularly when the cruise departs from Auckland, because everything is included – travel, accommodation, food and entertainment. There are some very affordable options for families and they are a great way to have a really relaxing holiday.”