Location: Woking, Surrey
Wanted: A single parent wants to take two kids to Lapland to meet Santa in December. They are eager to get as long a trip as possible for their budget.
Budget: £2,500

Tui
27 Wolsey Walk
79%
This shop was very bright and spacious and both members of staff were smiley. The window had a minimalist digital display. An agent spoke to me within five minutes. She asked the basic questions – enough to give a quote – but not more, although she mentioned the hotel was nice, as if she’d been there before. I was given a quote from Tui’s Lapland brochure for four nights’ half-board at the Snow Elf Hotel in a family room from December 9 with flights from Gatwick. It was £2,465 with no excursions, which I was told could be booked separately. The agent was positive and friendly, but I’d have liked more detail on excursions and a printed quote.

Chobham Travel Studio
61a High Street
76%
This store was quite small and a bit dull and cluttered inside, but the exterior was enticing. The agent who served me had booked similar trips recently. I was quoted £2,634 for a two-night Inghams Santa Break with flights from Gatwick on December 4, staying half-board at Saariselka Inn in a family room. The polite and friendly agent said the booking could be held for four days and gave me a business card, but didn’t take my details.

Sovereign Travel
3 Chobham Road
60%
This agency was dark and dull, and only one agent was on hand. The window was cluttered and the agent’s mobile kept going off, which was distracting, and they answered it during our interaction. I was quoted £4,036 for a three-night trip with Canterbury Travel, plus £1,595 for a one-day trip with the same operator. The agent wrote prices on the brochure rather than printing a proper quote. I felt the agent could have been more engaging.


Winning agent

Keeley Fruin, assistant manager

“We’ve got an interactive map in the store, which is always good to use as part of the enquiry, especially with kids. It makes it exciting and gets the customers involved.”


Verdict

Tui’s modern store made it stand out to the Mystery Shopper and the friendly agent squeezed the longest trip they could out of the budget.


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