Andrea Bailey, travel counsellor Image Credit: Abhishek Sengupta/XPRESS

Dubai: Still haven’t made travel plans with your family for the extended Eid Al Adha weekend? Anxious that it may be too late to even start looking at deals? You could try the services of a new line of ‘personal travel counsellors’.

High-heeled travellers themselves, these ‘work-from-home’ professionals will help you pick your destination suiting your budget and choices and get back to you with confirmed packages within hours. “The best thing about us is that we are a call or a whatsapp text away, 24/7, unlike most travel agencies or firms here in Dubai,” says Andrea Bailey, 38, from India, a travel writer who has been a travel counsellor for three years.

For those who haven’t made any plans for Eid yet, she is recommending Oman and UAE for short breaks and Georgia, Armenia, Cyprus, Zanzibar, Cebu, Djibouti City, Kochi and Ho Chi Minh City as destinations for a longer Eid break. “The prices of course depend on the duration and type of holiday, but it’s as a good a deal you will get in the best of places for its price, that’s a guarantee,” she says.

Finer details

German Petra Weidl, 44, who has lived in Dubai for 15 years has been a personal travel counsellor like Bailey for the last two years. She says there are many things she does differently from a regular travel agency, but mostly it’s the personal advice and high level of service that she provides that count. “Often, it’s the finer details of arranging a client’s favourite seat on the aircraft or making sure the hotel knows about his or her room preferences or food allergies. Whatever it is, I get to know my clients over time and make their hectic lives easier by taking care of everything before they travel,” says Weidl who is suggesting Europe as a destination this Eid because of its proximity to Dubai. “However next year plan ahead because you can get really good deals,” she adds.

Lebanese travel counsellor Anne-Marie Doumett says she and her fellow counsellors give a different take to a holiday with their ingenious planning. Doumett, who planned six trips to Sri Lanka in the last eight months, said, “Not one trip looked similar to the other. The last trip was a longer journey for a couple wanting to do Sri Lanka by train. Comfort in travel is very personal and I believe paying customers deserve to have someone listen to what they like and make sure their holiday is tailored according to what makes them happy.”

Doumett said the biggest benefit of working with people like her is that they remain the main contact for their clients before as well as during their trips. “In case of unplanned changes, obstacles faced, delays, etc. they only have to let us know instead of calling the end suppliers themselves,” said Doumett who is working on a motorcycle exploration in Sardinia for a couple this Eid.


For more information and to find your your travel expert, log on to: www.travelcounsellors.ae