Travel Unravelled With: Claire Wardle

We’ve got another Travel Unravelled blog for you – this time Claire Wardle discusses top service in Dubai, umbrella wars in Portugal and a near miss at the Acropolis…PLUS a top Seychelles deal, so make sure you read ’til the end!

Bio I have only ever worked in travel since leaving school (so that’s been for 27 years!) and I can’t imagine doing anything else as it’s such a lovely job. I have worked for Holidaysplease as a homeworking Expert Travel Advisor for 8 years.

claire wardle

Questions:

Best ever holiday and why: I loved the Seychelles as it’s such a beautiful place with dramatic tropical scenery and it’s very unspoilt so quite unlike anywhere else. We visited a few islands to get a different experience and it was all fantastic. The flights were upgraded too and I was in Business Class going there and First Class coming back! That is the one and only time I have flown in First Class.

Top travel tip: Rub fresh aloe vera on mosquito bites and it instantly soothes it and the lumps go down in no time. A lot of hotels have this growing in the grounds so ask the staff to pick and peel a leaf for you.

Dream holiday and why: There are so many great places I would love to go to. I quite fancy the Galapagos Islands to see all the weird and wonderful animals there and the unique habitat. It would be a dream to cruise around the islands on a luxury sailing boat.

Something you don’t get on the plane without: Face moisturiser, lip balm and hand cream. The air conditioning dries skin out so you need to keep moisturised.

Best experience of customer service on holiday: At the Anse Chastanet hotel in St Lucia when I got off my sunbed for a dip in the sea and the staff put a fresh towel on my sunbed for when I went back.

Worst experience of customer service on holiday: At a hotel in Portugal where the staff just completely ignored people or there was never anyone around to ask for help. They took all the sun umbrellas in at night but didn’t want to give them out again the next day and it was so painful trying to get one.

Most embarrassing moment: I took far too much luggage on a trip to Australia once and we were going on some train journeys and the luggage weight was limited per bag so I had to sit on the station platform transferring half my luggage from my suitcase into a laundry type bag they gave me to balance out the weight. The train staff could not believe how much stuff I had! I have learnt to travel a bit lighter now.

Favourite world cuisine: It’s got to be curry.

Funniest moment on holidayI was in Lindos in Rhodes where there are lots of donkeys that take people up to the Acropolis high at the top of the ancient village so when you’re wandering around the alleyways you have to watch out for donkeys (I even think they have right of way!) but it’s very tight and one day a donkey stopped right by the side of me and I saw its tail lift up and I just managed to squeeze myself into a doorway in the nick of time and escaped getting splattered by about a millimetre!

Worst holiday and why: I can honestly say that I have never had a bad holiday but if I had to pick one for being the worst it would be the Portugal holiday with the strange staff.

Strangest request from a customer: None of my clients have strange requests, anyone’s wishes can be fulfilled!

Most expensive holiday booked or holiday you were most jealous of that you booked? A trip to South America including a cruise to Antarctica with an expedition to the Emperor Penguin Colony. A very unique and once in a lifetime trip.

How could travel improve? There needs to be more room in economy on flights to make the journey a bit more enjoyable.

What’s the most over the top customer service you have heard of in travel? Dubai has a very high level of customer service compared to anywhere else and there are hotel staff everywhere asking if you’re OK or need anything. You don’t even need to press the lift button yourself as they always beat you to it!

And finally, the thing you love most about travel: The excitement! It’s exciting when I travel myself but also when arranging holidays for my clients.

The plug

Replicate Claire’s best ever holiday and book a trip to Seychelles! Stay in one of the stylish Junior Suites at the gorgeous 5* Constance Ephelia for 7 nights in May or June on a Half Board basis and save nearly £1,000pp! Get in touch with Claire for more details on this brilliant deal by calling 024 76675719 or emailing claire.wardle@holidaysplease.com

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