Location: Liverpool
Wanted: A family of five want a cheap and cheerful seaside break in the UK with their dog
Budget: £1,000

Crown Travel
21 Booker Avenue
80% 
I was served immediately and the agent gave me lots of options – but didn’t try to close the sale. Both quotes were for self-catering caravan holidays with Hoseasons, departing on May 25 for seven nights. The first was Cayton Bay, Scarborough, for £799 – described by the agent as pet-friendly and with children’s activities. The second was Talacre Beach, Holywell, north Wales, for £1,129 – nearer to home and cheaper to reach, so we could spend more and afford a higher-quality resort. Unfortunately, the agent said there was no way to print off quotes, which would have been handy for clients without internet access. The experience was quite slow, but I felt the agent understood most of my needs.

Hays Travel
76 Allerton Road
66%
The agent initially assumed I wanted a holiday abroad and started to search for this when a colleague suggested she ask me where I would like to go. She advised me to search for more holidays at home and call the agency to book it for me. Both quotes were for self-catering caravan holidays with Hoseasons, departing on May 25 for seven nights. The first was Talacre Beach for £1,039 and the second was Challaborough Bay, south Devon, for £599. The agent failed to add the cost of bringing a dog although I asked for that.

Thomas Cook
88-90 Allerton Road
64%
I was dealt with straightaway and the agent was reasonably enthusiastic – but didn’t try to close the sale. The seats were at an angle to the desk, so customers could see what the agent searched for on the screen. Both quotes were for seven-night self-catering caravan holidays with Hoseasons in May. The first was Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, for £539, and the second was Ty Mawr, Abergele, north Wales, for £479. The experience was no better than booking the holiday myself.


Winning agent

Alison Moran, personal travel consultant

“I have lots of experience with Hoseasons, so it was second nature to try them. We mostly book luxury holidays, tours, China, Dubai and the Caribbean, but we do still feature UK breaks, and I know Hoseasons offers a lot of activities, both indoor and outdoors.”


Verdict

All agents offered self-catering holidays with Hoseasons, with prices ranging from £479 to £1,129 – and two of them suggested Talacre Beach in north Wales. Crown Travel offered the best options but couldn’t print out the quotes. Hays had a slightly cheaper price for the north Wales park but didn’t factor in the cost of the dog and suggested I search by myself at home. Thomas Cook had more room in the budget to offer something better, and didn’t seem to find anything that someone searching online at home couldn’t discover.


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.

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