Mystery shopper: Kettering & Wellingborough, cycling in Europe

Mystery shopper: Kettering & Wellingborough, cycling in Europe

Location: Kettering & Wellingborough, Northamptonshire
Wanted: Four friends want to go cycling in Europe for a few days including a day of relaxation at the end. Their first thought was the Alps, but is it too expensive for their budget?
Budget: £600pp

Millington Travel
1 Gold Street, Kettering
83%
The shop was in excellent order and had undergone a recent refit. I was acknowledged straight away by a helpful agent who asked lots of questions. He suggested an Explore itinerary with Ryanair flights on May 6 from East Midlands to Murcia, Spain. He emailed a breakdown of the six-night trip, including cycling to Caravaca de la Cruz, Cieza and Calasparra via the 15th-century Moratalla Fortress-Castle. The trip was too long and over budget at £825, but I felt the agent was very efficient and helpful. He didn’t have the brochure, but emailed it to me, along with the quote, very swiftly. I was pleased with the service and felt the agent did as well as he could.

Bailey’s Travel
6 Pebble Lane, Wellingborough
77%
The refurbished shop was tastefully decorated. The agent was helpful and made me a coffee. They suggested a self-guided Exodus Catalonia tour, with flights from Birmingham on May 6, at £825 for seven days. They gave me an Explore brochure and emailed a price for the Exodus trip. It was above my budget and for seven days, but the agent had tried hard. They could have got back sooner with something more comprehensive.

Tui
31 Gold Street, Kettering
31%
Everything looked good inside and out, and brochures and windows were neat. I waited for the agent to finish on the phone before we spoke and took calls several times during our chat. The agent said a colleague was better placed to deal with the query and it would be researched with details emailed to me. They held the phone the whole time, which was off-putting. No email was received. It was all very disappointing.


Winning agent

Steve Guy, senior travel consultant

“We don’t get a lot of cycling holiday enquiries, but I immediately thought of Explore as I’ve used them with other clients before and they have a good range.”


Verdict

With cycling holidays on the rise, the agents were challenged with a tight budget. Explore and Exodus were the favoured operators, but came in over budget. Millington Travel made the most effort to nail the brief.


Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location

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