Location: Northampton
Wanted: A couple are seeking a long weekend in a Baltic city with culture in September.
Budget: Not set but must be good value

Thomas Cook
88 Abington Street

88%
This tidy shop had neat, well-stocked brochure displays. I was acknowledged and greeted almost at once. The agent didn’t have a great knowledge of the Baltics – although she said her parents had been – but she listened closely to my request. I was given two quotes, both dynamically packaged through Thomas Cook’s FlexibleTrips brand. The first was for three nights’ B&B at the Corner Hotel, in Vilnius, Lithuania, for £379. The price included Ryanair flights from Luton and transfers. The second option was on a B&B basis at the Green Park Hotel in Tallinn, Estonia, again flying from Luton with Ryanair, for £359. The agent also looked at flights to Riga, Latvia, but did not provide a quote.

Goodyer Travel
46 Main Road

83%
The shop was tidy and I was served quickly. The agent hadn’t been to the Baltics but had sent clients there. I was given quotes for three three-night B&B breaks, all with Ryanair from Stansted: at the Clarion, in Riga, for £238 with Osprey Holidays, plus £78 for transfers; £612 for two at the Amberton Cathedral Square Hotel in Vilnius, including transfers, with Jetset; and £585 for two, plus £70 for transfers, at the Von Stackelberg Hotel, in Tallinn, with Osprey Holidays.

Anetta Travel
94 Wellingborough Road

77%
As this first-floor office had no window display, it wasn’t obvious that it was an agency. I was greeted on entering, and left with quotes for three three-night B&B breaks. Using Thomas Cook’s FlexibleTrips, the agent offered me a break at the A1 Hotel, in Riga, for £408, with Ryanair flights from East Midlands; at the Panorama Hotel, in Vilnius, flying Ryanair from Luton, for £306; and at the Apartwawel in Krakow, Poland, flying Ryanair from East Midlands, for £457.


Winning agent

Alison Valentine, travel consultant

“Although the Baltics are a little off the beaten track for us, I have experience of sending family members there. Using FlexibleTrips, our dynamic packaging system, allows us to sell areas we do not offer as mainstream packages.”


Verdict

This week’s report shows that a good agent can plan a great trip to  a destination they know little about, as Thomas Cook and Goodyer Travel’s agents proved.


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