Location: Southampton
Wanted: A maid of honour is organising a date-specific two-night hen do for 14 people somewhere in eastern Europe, with a good nightlife and at least one fun activity.
Budget: £400pp

Barrhead Travel
30 Above Bar Street
90%
I was offered a seat immediately and asked lots of questions. The agent was very knowledgeable about European cities and invited a colleague to provide additional information about Krakow. Due to the group size, quotes had to be emailed, which they were within the promised two days. I was quoted two nights at the Spatz Aparthotel in Krakow, flying from Stansted with Ryanair, for £272pp. The second quote was for the Danubius Hotel Flamenco in Budapest, also flying from Stansted with Ryanair, for £193pp. The agent also suggested a ‘bath’ party in Budapest. She involved me in every step of the process and was very enthusiastic

Tui
West Quay Shopping Centre
65%
The agent understood what I was looking for and gave options. One of the quotes – sent via email by the Super Break – was slightly over budget. We were quoted £215pp for two-nights at the Belvedere in Prague, flying from Gatwick. We were also offered two nights in Plaza Boutique Hotel, Krakow for £433pp, flying from Gatwick. The email was not overly informative, as it did not tell us the airlines.

Hays Travel
91 Above Bar Street
45%
I saw an apprentice who struggled to come up with European destinations, so I had to steer the booking. They said they could not arrange activities and emailed their groups department for a quote. I was offered a Super Break three-night stay in Anyday Apartment, Prague, for £277pp, flying with easyJet from Gatwick. I was frustrated to be offered a three-day trip, but the agent is still learning and was polite and friendly throughout.


Winning agent


Madeline Rowsell, travel consultant

“With group bookings it’s vital to listen closely to the customers’ needs to offer the best trip. I would never book a customer somewhere I wouldn’t stay myself, so I get creative to secure the best for their budget.”


Verdict

A willingness to listen, teamed with valuable on-the-ground knowledge put Barrhead’s agent ahead of the pack. Most of the agents’ quotes were significantly under budget, but offering suggestions for activities secured this agent the win.


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