Location: Derby
Wanted: A family of four is looking for a short theme park break in Europe but not Disneyland Paris as they’ve done that already.
Budget: £1,600

82 St Peters Street
The agency was very tidy, with well organised window displays. I was immediately welcomed in, and the agent asked lots of questions to get a clear picture of what I wanted. She showed excellent, personal resort knowledge and said the quotations included PortAventura tickets, insurance and airport parking and hotel. She told me that they could book everything to save me the hassle. The quotes were both from Jetset Flights, for four-night breaks in April, flying with Ryanair from Manchester to Barcelona. The first was staying at El Paso Hotel, for £1,501, and the second was at the Sol Costa Daurada, Salou, for £1,249. The quotes were good value for money and matched my scenario – and I dealt with a personable agent who had fantastic local knowledge.

Thomas Cook
Intu Centre
I was immediately welcomed and the agent spent a lot of time looking at options for two four-night breaks in April. The first quote was with Thomas Cook, departing Manchester, and staying at Hotel Legoland, Denmark, for £1,146. The second was flying from Manchester to Amsterdam with easyJet, staying at Amrath Hotel Brabant, for £1,018, near Efteling theme park. She told me how to book the theme park tickets that I wanted online. The agent generated great ideas which were within my budget, and was knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

Co-operative Travel
Intu Derby
The window displays were rather difficult to read as they were written with a thick pen. My first quote was with Jet2Holidays in April, for seven nights, flying from Manchester to Barcelona and staying at Hotel El Paso in PortAventura World, for £2,056, including PortAventura park tickets. The second was for four nights in April, flying with Ryanair from East Midlands airport, staying at PortAventura’s Hotel Roulette, for £1,655, and tickets for the theme park were £324. The agent was not enthusiastic and said I was better off going for a week.

Winning agent

Olivia Barnsley, assistant manager

“We do a lot of family holidays but we don’t often do theme parks in Europe, other than Disneyland Paris. I knew a lot about PortAventura as I went as an apprentice with work to Costa Dorada.”


Tui and Thomas Cook performed well, but the winning agent triumphed as she offered to book every element of the holiday, rather than suggesting I book park tickets online. The Co-op agent seemed keener to book a longer holiday than requested.

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.