In the travel industry for 35 years
I initially trained as a French teacher (having graduated with a BA Hons Degree in French and Italian), but soon realised that teaching wasn’t for me (even though I had enjoyed teaching English for a year in France). I was offered the position of PA to the MD of a local independent Travel Agency, however they were short staffed “on the counter” so I was asked to help out and there I stayed.
I progressed within 2 years to Assistant Manager for Pickfords Travel and then Manager for the next 20+ years in the Kent/East Sussex area. We merged with Hogg Robinson to become Going Places and then with Thomas Cook-the company was getting bigger and bigger, with increasingly less opportunity to give good old fashioned personal service and an alarming move towards selling inhouse products even when not the best match for our clients.
My husband Bill and I had our first child, William, in 2003 and I went back to work as a full time Manager. Lily was born in 2005 and full time was no longer a realistic option, so I did some part time work under the new Thomas Cook management and researched alternatives. I’ve run my own Travel business from home in the village of Ticehurst, East Sussex for nearly 8 years now and it’s the best decision I could have made-I am able to work flexible hours to suit you and myself, so you won’t have to find parking and wait to be served in a High Street store or trawl through the internet. I have built an excellent reputation for taking all the time and trouble necessary to find the best possible match for your requirements-I thoroughly enjoy my work and am totally committed to selling only what is right for you, my client. There is no better proof of this than my increasing repeat business and referrals from existing clients. Clients frequently comment how easy I’ve made booking their trip!
How my business grew
My home based business as a Personal Travel Agent under the Midcounties Co-operative grew beyond all expectations and the time was right to develop my own brand Julie Hill Travel Inspirations, which I run under the Co-operative Travel Consortium to ensure that I have the best possible support. What does this mean for my clients? I am an Abta member and preferred agent for over 200 brands, a mix of well known and niche. I also have access to the Consortium’s atol licence, which enables me to securely package together a huge range of tailormade options including low cost and other flights, car hire, a variety of accommodation, transfers and attraction tickets.
We cater for all budgets and situations
Whether you are a solo traveller or group, a family or a couple, looking for adventure, relaxation, culture or even a mixture of them all, rest assured I will give independent advice on the best deals available to virtually any destination. I have travelled extensively over the years both within the UK and around the world including the Caribbean & Mexico, Australia, USA & Canada, Greece, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Lapland, Dubai, Tunisia, Madeira and Sweden. Barbados was the beautiful setting for my own wedding and I have good experience of booking weddings overseas as well as honeymoons. I have personal knowledge of most Cruise lines and am a South Africa and Sri Lanka specialist. I have also owned and ridden horses since I could walk and can advise on and book your horse riding holiday to most destinations whatever your ability.
My real passion is inspiring my clients to visit destinations they may not even have thought of. I have a few preferred suppliers of small group “experience” tours around the world where you will see the “real” country, meet the locals and stay in family run accommodation accompanied by a local guide. I fully support ethical and responsible tourism and raise funds for the Travel Foundation.