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Sarah's Blog: How I survived a pandemic in travel

I don't think any of us will forget where we were on 23rd March 2020. I was like most of the country I'm sure - sat on my sofa, glass of wine in hand poised in the hope that Boris was going to announce the country would go into lockdown.

In the previous few days I'd slowly watched every country in the world close its borders, my notification emails were going crazy and I was in constant contact with clients on the other side of the world. In Australia and New Zealand they were very calm, wanting to continue their holidays as life didn't seem any different there. Within 24 hours though it was very clear they needed to get home or face being stuck Down Under for quite some time - much longer than any of us could've imagined sadly. Thankfully I managed to get them all home, without drama but just in the nick of time before the UK was officially closed to the world.

Then what?? Imminent departures were moved to later in the year - surely it will all be okay by then? How wrong we were. So in the midst of home schooling, a husband now setting up his office in the front room and a very wise purchase of two new kittens just before lockdown, we headed into the unknown - emotionally, professionally and personally, like many people. It's been one of the toughest times of my life.

I spent the next 18 months moving holidays (sometimes 3 or 4 times), cancelling holidays but also booking new holidays to give lockdown weary folk something to look forward to.

And I'm still here. I've come out the other side as that's how it feels right now. There's still lots of hoops to jump through to travel, I've had clients crying on me - mainly tears of frustration - but they are once again travelling and enjoying wonderful holidays. I finally feel like the job I love is getting back to some sort of normality. Today I received a thank you letter from our directors at Holidaysplease, an attempt a summing up the last 18 months in a few paragraphs - no easy feat and it was rather emotional! Throughout the pandemic we've consistently scored 5* reviews on Trustpilot and had a cancellation rate of just 15%. Considering the challenging times we've been working in this is something we are all extremely proud of and a testament to our clients’ loyalty and their trust in us to look after them.

I still love my job. I love to travel and I love hearing all about my clients’ holidays too. It seems we've finally reached a turning point and we can start to travel more freely, so hopefully you'll find some inspiration from me for your next amazing holiday!


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