Cover Stars: The Holiday Therapist Louise Griggs was wowed by Montenegro

The Personal Holiday Advisor, Constant Travel and mum-of-four says the trip has boosted her new homeworking business. Juliet Dennis reports

Q. What did it mean to go on the Cover Stars trip?
I lost my mum to cancer at the start of Covid and she would have been so proud of me setting up my own business, smashing it in the first year and winning a place on this trip. I kept thinking how much my mum would have loved Montenegro – she was a photographer and liked to travel. I entered because I thought it would be a great way to not only boost my social media in the first year of my new homeworking business but also to see Montenegro and meet new people – and get a few days away without children! I entered last-minute, thinking ‘You have to be in it to win it’.

Q. What was the highlight?
The photoshoot for the cover shot of Travel Weekly. It was taken in a bar on the beach at The Chedi Lustica Bay hotel just before sunset. The location was absolutely stunning. I was really nervous; I even requested a cocktail to hold as I didn’t know what to do with my hands!

Q. What was the VIP treatment like?
We were treated to the airport lounge at Manchester airport where we enjoyed a bit of fizz, even though it was early in the morning. The restaurants were truly amazing and my room at the Iberostar Slavija was the biggest I’ve ever seen. It was like a penthouse suite with separate rooms, including a bathroom and kitchenette, and there was a huge wraparound balcony with sea views. My bed was next to the patio doors and I could look out at the sea from my bed.

The restaurants were truly amazing and my room at the Iberostar Slavija was the biggest I’ve ever seen

Q. How was the flight and Jet2’s ‘Red Team’ at the airport?
The flight was quick and easy and all the meals were included. The Jet2 staff were great, as always. The Jet2 Red Team greeted us in Montenegro – you can’t miss them in their red T-shirts all over the airport. They were knowledgeable about the destination and made sure we got out of the airport quickly, without any problems.

Q. What was the food and drink like?
Amazing! We were offered platters of cheese, fish and meat everywhere. I’m gluten-free, which can be difficult with a language barrier, but most restaurants understood and made sure I got the right food. On the last night I had the most amazing gluten-free dessert – I was so pleased! The local alcoholic drink, rakija, was very strong and offered before and after meals. The local wine was also nice and the food generally seemed reasonably priced.

Q. Where did you visit?
It was a non-stop trip, with a packed itinerary. We visited Perast, Kotor Bay, the former royal capital at Cetinje, Lustica Bay and Tivat. All the resorts were stunning. It was really green and lush, the architecture was amazing, and Kotor Bay and the mountains were breathtaking. I was in awe of the surroundings.

It’s not a destination clients think of but when I show them my pictures they put it on their wish list

Q. What were the other Cover Stars like?
A friendly bunch. We all formed a great bond and plan to meet up in the summer. A few of us took the train down together to the Travel Weekly Globe Awards in January. The Globes were unbelievable. Not only were we sat right at the front for all the action, Jet2holidays treated us like royalty and we got to see Ella Eyre and Rob Beckett. We even met Ella backstage – my daughter was so jealous! I’m gutted I won’t get to go to the Globes every year.

Q. Have you booked Montenegro with Jet2holidays since?
I’ve made a couple of bookings, including one to the Iberostar Slavija where we stayed. I’ve been sharing offers on social media and they do well. It’s not a destination clients think of but when I show them my pictures they put it on their wish list. The destination caters for families and couples – there is loads to see and do. It’s a great short-break destination, especially a luxury trip for adults, although I’ve recommended family-friendly hotels to clients with children.


Louise’s travel career

I’ve worked in travel since 2002, starting as an apprentice at The Co-operative Travel in Wakefield. I was there 11 years, rising up the ranks to assistant manager. I had my first child in 2013 and took a couple of years out of travel, working with children and qualifying as a nursery nurse.

I missed travel, so in 2016, when I had the second of my four children, I took a job at an independent agency in Wakefield, until 2022.

Homeworking is the best decision I have made. I’m earning almost triple what I was in the shop

I made the break from the high street to work from home to give me a better work-life balance. I set up my own business, The Holiday Therapist, as part of Personal Holiday Advisors run by Constant Travel, in 2023.

It’s the best decision I have made. I’m earning almost triple what I was in the shop. I love my job and have just been shortlisted in the Leisure Agent of the Year category at the Agent Achievement Awards 2024.

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