Passengers know they’re in good hands with Eastern Eurotours’ operations manager Sally, who has been in the travel industry ever since graduating from school, and has enjoyed every minute of it.
“I’ve loved the career my whole life,” enthuses Sally, “I’ve never wanted to leave. Travel is in my blood. I love the different cultures, which never cease to amaze me, and the people make it exhilarating.”
Sally’s extensive experience across all facets of the industry means she’s the go to person for solutions when hiccups arise.
“I know the most important thing for my clients is that I ensure they have a really enjoyable experience, while I take away all the hassle or pains out of their bookings,” she explains.
“I’ve seen all sides of the industry, from reservations through to document quality control. I have an interest in the whole process, and making sure it’s a smooth as possible for our clients.”
Sally attributes her career in travel to a little bit of serendipity and luck.
“It was fluke, really,” she says. “I was always interested in travel, but I was too short to be an air hostess, which had been my original aspiration and which I would have enjoyed. Through my sister, I managed to get an interview for a coveted role with Jetabout Holidays (part of Qantas Holidays). I walked out with the job, and have never looked back.”
During her time in travel, Sally has been fortunate to head to Europe numerous times. Her favourite destination is Italy, followed closely by Spain.
“Italy is definitely top of my list. I love the fact that there’s a sculpture on every corner, the local culture is enchanting, the beautiful outdoor dining, the colours of the town squares… What’s not to love?”
“I love the main destinations like the Amalfi Coast, Positano, and of course Florence, Venice and Rome, although perhaps not as much in the middle of summer. We should never take them for granted. The beautiful walled city of Assisi is awesome too.”
She suggests the architecture in Italy, the romance of France and the many cultures of Spain as some of Europe’s must-sees.
“For the first time traveller, I’d definitely recommend Spain, which is pretty amazing, Italy and France. A simple wine and cheese on the Seine, the palaces in Madrid, the colours of Barcelona, the Musée d’Orsay… They’re easy to get around, English is well spoken, and they’re beautiful.”
One of Sally’s most memorable experiences in Spain was having group cooking lessons where they learnt how to make paella. She says the smell, taste and comradery together made it an amazing experience.
As the go to person for challenges, she’s also had some unusual requests from clients.
“The most unusual was probably a request to travel by ferry from Cyprus to Scotland,” she says.
“My initial reaction was ‘that’s going to be interesting’! I did manage to find an option of a freighter ferry, which was going to take 22 days. Needless to say, the client decided to fly. But I’m always up for the challenge.”