Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Wanted: A retired couple who don’t like flying are seeking a 10 to 14-day European coach tour with a local pick-up point.
Budget: £3,000

Baldwins Travel
27 Grosvenor Road
84%
This shop was welcoming and tidy, but there was so much information in the windows, it felt overwhelming. The staff were not in uniforms but were neatly dressed. I was acknowledged when an agent became available. They had a lot of choice of coach holidays and offered two quotes: Leger Holidays’ 12-day Imperial Capitals: Prague, Vienna & Budapest, for £2,928 for two people; and Shearings’ nine-day Prague, Vienna and Budapest, for £1,606. Both included local pick ups. The agent gave me her full attention, listened to my needs and was enthusiastic. Both quotes were within budget, but the agent could have
done more to close the sale.

Tui
117 Mount Pleasant Road
77%
The shopfront was clean and attractive and the store was tidy. The agent wasn’t sure they offered coach holidays. She had only one brochure, but I liked the tours she suggested, which she presented enthusiastically. I was given quotes for two Shearings breaks: the 15-night Delights of Croatia and Dalmatian Coast, for £3,964; and 12-night Grand Tourer Coach, for £2,986. Both included Eurotunnel rather than flights.

Flight Centre
10a Camden Road
73%
This shop was neat, with clutter-free desks. I was greeted immediately and talked through a variety of tours. I was quoted for two, both with Trafalgar. The first was a 10-night European Delight, from its CostSaver range, for £2,850. The second was the seven-night European Dream, costing £3,300. Both started in Rome and travelled to London, but did not include flights, which I realised only after I was emailed the quotes.


Winning agent

Katie Ochmann, trainee travel consultant

“People want convenience, whether they’re flying or going on a coach holiday, and we have a pick-up point near the branch so we can make coach holidays really convenient.”


Verdict

Local pick-up points helped Baldwins Travel and Tui beat Flight Centre, which confused the shopper with a lack of clarity on flights.


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