Agent Diary: ‘Blog posts help our customers experience a destination from their sofa’

Arundel Travel’s Helen Parry encourages more agencies to embrace their creative side by writing about their trips

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who’s grateful for the recent wet weather. I bet I’m not the only one who’s doing secret little rain dances (actually, maybe I am) in hope the conditions will encourage more people to commit to booking.

We’ve had a great start to April and there’s a fantastic atmosphere in the shop. Our customers are excited to feel the heat, see some sunshine and dry out from the April showers!

I bet I’m not the only one who’s doing secret little rain dances (actually, maybe I am) in hope the conditions will encourage more people to commit to booking

What’s been lovely is the number of new customers we’ve had through the door – customers who would normally book direct or try to package everything themselves. For many of them, we have been recommended by friends and family, which always gives us a huge boost.

It’s not only our customers who are looking forward to feeling the sand between their toes and immersing themselves in a new culture – our team is too. From Bratislava to Skiathos, Ibiza to Oman, Lapland to Gran Canaria, it’s great that team Arundel loves to travel and it’s fantastic to hear staff share their passion in the shop. But how do we share our expert knowledge with the wider community?

Blogs are investment

The best way, in our opinion, is via a blog, and we encourage our team to embrace their inner creativity and write to inspire whenever they can.

We see blog writing as an investment. It creates content for our website and social media and we can share the links with enquirers and bookers, which helps our customers experience a destination from the comfort of their own sofa. Another benefit is that the readers get to know our team the more they read their blog posts, which makes them feel more confident to pop in.

We see blog writing as an investment. It creates content for our website and social media and we can share the links with enquirers and bookers

It isn’t just our own holidays that we blog about – any fam trip comes with the expectation of a blog post. The team has been lucky to travel all over the world over the past few years, even ticking off bucket-list destinations including Nashville with JTA, Sri Lanka with Premier Holidays, Malta with the Malta Tourism Authority, Mexico with AMResorts, Disneyland Paris with Air France, Portugal with Jet2holidays and Peru with Latin Routes.

Fams are invaluable

We try to accept all fam trips we are offered, even if we need to rearrange holidays or drop to a skeleton staff, because the experiences gained are invaluable. We’ve had amazing success from the knowledge learnt on these trips and hope that more exciting ones coming up will prove to be as successful. Among the fams on the horizon are Marbella with AS Training and Palladium Hotels, Canada with Canadian Affair and even a day trip to Amsterdam with Leeds Bradford airport and KLM.

We’ve had amazing success from the knowledge learnt on these trips and hope that more exciting ones coming up will prove to be as successful

For a team of technophobes, we’ve come a long way since 2017. And now it’s time to hand over the reins of the social media and marketing to someone much younger as we begin our search for a content creator Level 3 apprentice, instead of a sales consultant. I have no idea about evolving tools and communication adaptation, so I’m hoping that, along with our apprentice, I’ll also become a social media whizz-kid (well, kid might be a bit of a stretch…)


Some bookings are a privilege

This week we had the pleasure of booking two very special trips, which reminded us how privileged we are to do this job. The first was for a wonderful man who, aged 94, had just received his new passport and was eager to use it. His tales of adventures all over the world filled our office with laughter as we booked him somewhere he had never been. The second had us talking sandcastles and beach balls with two fabulous young people, who were delighted when we helped mum and dad book their first overseas trip. I’ll admit I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as they shrieked with delight. These are the kinds of experiences that remind me why I love what I do.

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