Wanted: A couple are seeking a long weekend in a Baltic city with culture in September.
Budget: Not set but must be good value
88 Abington Street
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.
46 Main Road
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.
94 Wellingborough Road
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.
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.”
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.
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