Organizing a summer holiday

Linda’s equipped to plan her own family holiday, and just did. But for the amateurs among us, a travel agent has a wealth of knowledge and can help you create a holiday your bunch won’t soon forget.

family vacation

Linda Loewen Travel
Linda Loewen

So you have decided to take a trip. What are some of the things on your “to do” list? I suppose that really depends on where you are traveling, right? A great start would be a visit to your favourite travel agency. With a wealth of knowledge and resources, a travel consultant in an initial consultation will help you create the best possible holiday –- be it your annual winter vacation to the southern sun or the dream adventure on the top of your “bucket list”.

Started with scubas

Today, I am putting together the final details for our family trip. Once it was decided that we were going to visit Australia, I asked my husband and daughter what highlights they wanted to include. A fairly vague “I want to be in and near the water for most of the time!” was not very helpful. But since my husband is a scuba diver, I thought a dive trip from Cairns would fulfill this request. Spending time viewing the spectacularly colourful underwater life of the Great Barrier Reef is included in almost every visit to Australia.

Then my daughter decided to put a bit of effort into research. Swimming with the whale sharks in northwestern Australia was at the top of her wish list, followed by a trip to the Blue Mountains. I’ve visited Australia on a few occasions, and a visit to my favourite area – Airlie Beach and the islands of the Whitsunday Passage – was to be considered. At last, the start of a plan. And this is where partnering with a travel consultant will make this process considerably less overwhelming.

Creating a trip with the outline above required a bit of juggling. The first challenge was how would we get to Ningaloo Reef? We considered renting a car from Perth so that we could also stop at Monkey Mia to see the dolphins. With return travel totaling about 20 hours – two full days of driving – a flight sounded much more practical.

Since we are going to see the whale sharks I wanted to allow a day or two extra to do another trip if we didn’t see one of these huge creatures on the first outing.

The next job was to figure out flight dates. There were several things to consider here. We needed to allow 24 hours between the time of our last dive and a scheduled flight. We needed to schedule our flights from Cairns to connect with the flights to Learmonth. This requires an overnight in Perth, but the connecting times are good. Lastly, I wanted to be in Perth on a weekend to visit a teacher friend. We are scheduled to return to Perth on a Saturday, so that has worked out, too. I wrote the process in a few sentences, but it took some time to work out the logistics of this trip.

Surprises await you

A travel consultant is able to navigate through the details and will often offer tour suggestions that you may not have considered. They can suggest activities based on your specific interests as well. For many countries, there are considerations such as vaccinations and entry requirements. If you are booking a winter sun destination holiday, you could be offered an amazing holiday package at a new property or in a new destination location. Have a chat with a travel agent, and discover the world!

Next month, I will be sharing some highlights of our Australian adventure. Stay tuned!

Linda L. Loewen is leisure travel manager with Uniglobe Geo Travel in Winnipeg.

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