Location: Manchester
Wanted: A young couple are getting married in May and are seeking a seven-day honeymoon in the sun away from the usual ‘touristy’ destinations that won’t break the bank.
Budget: £1,000

Trafford Centre
The window displays looked professional and an enthusiastic agent offered to help as soon as I entered. After asking several questions, the agent gave me a brochure to look at different options. I was given two quotes, both for seven night Tui holidays in Kefalonia, departing from Manchester on May 7. The first was for a B&B stay at the Hotel Livadaki Village, and cost £938. The agent said the hotel was far enough from the town to be quiet, but close enough to walk to. The second quote was for a room with a mountain view and balcony at the Hotel Mediterranee, on a half board basis. At £1,158, it was overbudget, but the hotel had more facilities.

Trafford Centre
The shop was small, with well-maintained brochure displays. I was offered a drink and a mince pie by a helpful and informative agent. They suggested seven nights’ B&B at the Ajman Saray in the UAE, flying from Manchester with Emirates on May 5. The cost of £2,392 was more than twice my budget, but the agent said it was one of the cheapest options they had for the time of year. A full quote was sent by email.

Thomas Cook
Trafford Centre
The visuals in the window were not eye-catching. The agent was unable to print any details because of problems with her computer, so I took a photo of the screen featuring the holiday information. Another agent was on the phone with a customer complaint, which was off-putting. The quote was for seven nights’ all-inclusive at the Sentido Carda Beach Atlantica, Kos, flying from Manchester on May 6, for £1,102 with Thomas Cook.

Winning agent

Holly Goodwin, travel advisor

“Customer service is part of the job that I love. I like to get to know the customer to help create their dream holiday.”


The Tui agent was the clear winner with two ideal quotes. Kuoni’s agent was helpful but the quote was more than twice the budget, while the Thomas Cook consultant was hampered by IT glitches.

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