Location: Glasgow
Wanted: A young woman wants to travel across Australia for between 14 and 21 days. She is looking for an escorted tour, as this is her first time travelling alone. Budget: £3,500

Barrhead Travel
85 Oswald Street
95%
The spacious shop had some good deals in the window. An assistant got someone from the international department to help me. She asked many questions and knew lots about tours from Melbourne to the Outback. I was quoted £3,065 for a 16-night G Adventures holiday, including Emirates flights from Glasgow. It featured a 10-day tour plus four nights in Sydney, including the BridgeClimb Sydney and Sydney Explorer Pass. The second quote was for a 20-day trip costing £3,211, including a 13-day Melbourne to Red Centre tour. The enthusiastic agent took time to recommend exciting holidays. She emailed quotes quickly and sent a follow-up. The trips met my needs perfectly.

Flight Centre
20 Gordon Street
85%
The shop was well laid out. I was acknowledged immediately by an enthusiastic and well-presented agent. She gave me a verbal quote for a holiday costing just over £4,000. I was also emailed a quote for a 20-night holiday for £3,491. It included Emirates flights from Glasgow, accommodation and excursions in Sydney, and Topdeck’s 14-day Down South And Outback Tour. But I didn’t feel I was given enough choices.

Travel Planet
1494 Paisley Road
20%
This was a small but presentable shop with smartly dressed employees. I spoke to an agent straight away, and was given brochures with lots of tour options. She told me their system wasn’t working and someone would contact me later with some options. I later received an email saying they had been too busy to work on my query, and that they would get back to me a few days later. I didn’t hear from the agency again.


Winning agent

Victoria Garbutt, travel consultant

“Customer service is my strong point. I like to do everything I can for customers. Australia is not my speciality as I do more US holidays, but I knew G Adventures would be good and I knew where to go for the rest of the information.”


Verdict

Barrhead and Flight Centre did well, thanks to enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. Barrhead scored highest for providing two suitable options within budget. Travel Planet failed to offer a quote.


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