For those who never really stopped being passionate about selling travel and customer service, Travel Counsellors offers a career path that is liberating, rewarding and puts you in control. The ‘Return to Travel’ programme has been designed especially to help those who left the industry more than four years ago, to get back up to speed in all things travel, progressing to running your own successful travel business with the world’s best loved and most supportive travel company.
We spoke to two Travel Counsellors, Criona Buggie and Melanie Cahill, about their return to travel journey and why they chose to do so with Travel Counsellors.
Criona said: “I am so glad that I made the decision to join Travel Counsellors as I missed working and the travel industry, but I now feel that I have the best of both worlds combining my home and work life – definitely the best decision I have ever made.”
In May 2011, after working for over 20 years in the travel industry, Laois-based Criona decided to leave her job to spend time at home with her two daughters. She had started working in travel in 1989 and worked for five years in a busy agency in Portlaoise, in both retail and tour operations, followed by four years in a travel shop in Dublin, then 13 years in a busy Holiday Travel Club.
After six years of not working she decided to return to travel, but she no longer wanted the daily commute to Dublin and her family had become used to her being at home, so she particularly liked the flexibility that Travel Counsellors offered her.
Criona continued: “The main difference between Travel Counsellors and my old job is that I don’t need to commute to work, which was taking me over two hours each way daily. My hours are flexible, so I can work around my family life and I am my own boss! Becoming a TC has changed my whole attitude to life – I have become a lot more organised and I love the social aspect of my business, such as TC training days, travel events and meeting my clients.”
We asked Criona what her advice would be for someone who is thinking about becoming a Travel Counsellor: “I would recommend Travel Counsellors and the Return to Travel training to people like me who had left the business a while ago.”
Melanie, based in Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, had been working in the travel industry for over 20 years. After moving to Ireland 15 years ago, she ventured from the travel industry into interior design for a few years. Above, Melanie (centre) is with Sales Support Executive Ciara MacConnell and Travel Counsellor Diane Bowman at the 2017 Travel Counsellors Ireland Conference in Fota Island Resort, Cork.
She told us that: “Travel is in my blood and the experience I have gained in travel over the years has opened so many doors for me, but I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I should have been. I didn’t realise just how much I missed it until I returned to travel. I now feel a huge sense of achievement reaching my sales goals, I feel valued and, most importantly, even though we all work alone I feel part of a team, a huge global team that are my TC family!”
We also asked Melanie what advice she would have for someone who is thinking about becoming a Travel Counsellor. She replied: “It was something I toyed with for a while but once I had taken the jump I never looked back and I certainly would recommend to anyone to give it a chance. Remember – you are in charge, it’s your business, if you want it to work it will, but you’re not alone because the other Travel Counsellors and the Head Office team are always on hand for support and advice. Everybody wants success for each other. I would also be happy to answer any of those nagging doubts that someone might have and happy to chat!”
Travel Counsellors puts personal relationships at the heart of what we do, and our company allows people with a love for travel and an entrepreneurial flair to take control of their work/life balance. Melanie continued: “It’s the commitment from all the Head Office team to continuous development, both for ourselves and the investment in technology. I am also getting to explore more of this wonderful world. I have always loved life, but now I love MY life!”
Isn’t it time you got back into travel? If you have been out of travel for more than four years, or know someone who has and misses it, it’s time to find out more. There is no better way to get back into travel than with Travel Counsellors.