Travel with Katie Butler: ‘A brilliant week for late bookings’

Majorca was the second top selling destination. Photo: StockAdobeMajorca was the second top selling destination. Photo: StockAdobe
Majorca was the second top selling destination. Photo: StockAdobe
​Peg out the washing or not? That has to be the big question so far this month, as we continue to experience some very mixed weather. At least the temperature is on the up and it is much warmer.

Katie Butler, Total Travel, writes: The sunshine and warmer temperatures last week, alongside plenty of rain, appeared to get our customers thinking about a summer holiday and we enjoyed a particularly busy week for the time of year. Many of you, it seemed, were keen to swap showers for sunshine.

Unfortunately, once again the Greek Island of Skiathos experienced adverse weather conditions. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service issued warnings for "heavy thunderstorms" affecting the Sporades archipelago island.

The island experienced gusts of 30mph and heavy downpours.

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Training event at the Queens Hotel in Leeds and hosted by Travel Bulletin.Training event at the Queens Hotel in Leeds and hosted by Travel Bulletin.
Training event at the Queens Hotel in Leeds and hosted by Travel Bulletin.

Flights were cancelled to travel on Friday, May 10 but thankfully our customers were on their way the following day and then out came the sunshine.

If you are travelling to Europe this summer and still hold the old style red passport I urge you to check the passport validity.

Last week alone, when checking-in our customers, we came across two separate families with an expired passport (when travelling to Europe), and it seems that an estimated 200 people per day are being turned away at the airport for this reason.

Although the passport expiry date may look absolutely fine you need to count exactly ten years from the date of issue and if your passport is older than ten years it will not be valid for travel to Europe.

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Even when you check-in online it will not flag this issue so please do check.

Thankfully our customers have managed to arrange fast-track appointments and are able to get their passports in time for their holidays.

If you are unsure we are quite happy for you to give us a quick call and we will be more than happy to talk you through it.

Last week staff from both our Ossett and Heckmondwike branches attended a training event at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, hosted by Travel Bulletin.

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Representatives from Visit Malta, La Palma Tourist Board, Madeira Islands, Calista Hotels, Ajman Tourism and Bellis Hotel, to name a few were there to talk about their products and enhance our knowledge.

In addition, last week Emma jetted off to Turkey on her trip hosted by Jet2holidays to experience their new agent learning programme ‘Destination Discovery’. We can’t wait to hear all about it. We do know the sun is shining and the food is amazing but more on this next week.

A brilliant week last week for new bookings and especially for late bookings which accounted for a whopping 42 per cent of our total sales.

Last week we also booked some special bucket-list holidays including a tour to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, an anniversary cruise on-board Cunard Queen Anne and flights to Australia to visit family.

Cruises departing from Southampton retained top spot for the top-selling destination but this week Turkey was knocked from the number two position with Majorca taking second spot.