There’s never been a better time to have a travel expert on your side.
It’s been over two years since Covid first took our travel freedoms away, yet our desire to travel hasn’t waned. In fact, we all crave the opportunity to explore the world, now more than ever. Travel has changed since the pandemic hit. As the country (and the world) is opening up to South Aussies, a good travel agent has never been more important.
Here’s a snippet of what our friends at Phil Hoffmann Travel have been doing to keep people travelling during Covid.
REUNITED IN CANADA
When the pandemic hit, Avril and her husband Richard were separated from their children who were both living abroad at the time. Their daughter, Brooke, was based in Vancouver, Canada, and their son, Kodie, was in Lyon, France. After two long years of not being able to visit each other, the news of international borders reopening was a welcome relief, and Avril immediately contacted their travel consultant, Alex from Phil Hoffmann Travel, to secure flights to Canada.
The family of four Facetimed whilst Alex was finalising their booking, and when it was all locked in, they found themselves in tears of joy together, Alex included.
When the time came to travel, Alex had prepared all the documentation they needed and even sent them a checklist for the extra travel requirements that came with travelling during a pandemic — vaccine passports, 72- hour PCR prior to travel, transit requirements in Sydney, PCR test on arrival. The list was thorough and detailed and made the whole thing so much easier for Avril and Richard.
After an emotional journey, they touched down in Vancouver, and Kodie and his partner flew from France to join them. The family spent a wonderful 12 days together, celebrating the holidays and going for hikes on Vancouver Island. It even snowed every day — their white Christmas was a dream come true!
The couple have plans to travel to Kodie’s hometown in France next Christmas, and when they do, their first phone call will be
to their trusted travel consultant. More than just practical advice for Avril and Richard, Alex’s attention to detail removed the stress of travelling in such an uncertain time, giving this family the gift of reconnecting with the people they love the most.
MEET ALEX PICKERING, PHIL HOFFMANN TRAVEL CONSULTANT
What inspired you to work in the travel industry?
In 2016, I booked myself on a 26 day tour of Europe — my first big international trip on my own, and it was petrifying! That trip changed my life and inspired me to make travel my career. I love sharing this passion and helping clients to plan unforgettable trips.
What’s been your most challenging day in your role?
On Sunday 16 February 2020, information started flooding in about cruises being cancelled due to a new virus. As we now know, it only got worse from there. The most challenging part of that day, and the days that followed, was trying to get the best outcomes for my clients in an environment where the rules were changing constantly — whether that be refunds, credits or urgent flights home.
Where are you planning to travel next?
I have booked to travel to Canada and Alaska in July — my bucket list destinations! I can’t wait to do a cruise of the Inside Passage and spend some time with a dear friend in Calgary.