Sent by J Lekoto
Based in Eldorado Park
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Welcome. I am Astrid, a Travel Counsellor based in Eldorado Park, South of Johannesburg.
I have more than 18 years of experience in the travel industry. In 2017, I started my own franchise business with Travel Counsellors. I have always loved to travel and experience new cultures. Therefore, becoming a Travel Counsellor was a natural progression. I’ve gained much experience and knowledge that will enable me to make your holiday one to remember.
I have travelled to the United Kingdom, the USA, UAE, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Mauritius, Brazil, Victoria Falls, Bali, Maldives, and throughout South Africa. Experiencing the Rio Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore, and a milestone birthday in the Maldives have been my most memorable holidays.
What I love about being a Travel Counsellor is having the ability to create and assist you with travel arrangements that will leave you with lasting memories. I am ready to create your dream holiday. I have access to over 700,000 hotels, airfares, car rentals, tours, and packages, and find a holiday that suits you will be easy for me.
I hope to share my passion for travel with you and help you make some special travel memories.
I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.
16 February 2021
After a tough year of not going anywhere (2020) my family and I spent a few relaxing days at Warmbaths, a Forever Resort. Road tripping with my family always allows us to share stories and laugh, a great distraction on a very busy route. We arrived early afternoon. The check-in process took a bit longer than usual as we all needed to complete forms and to be screened due to COVID policies. The check-in staff are always so friendly and cheerful. When we finally got into the chalet, it was like everybody could finally move into "holiday-mode" including my 9-month-old nephew. The 10-sleeper self-catering chalet was perfect for my big family, it had so much space and everything that one needs to prepare meals. The entire chalet was neat. There is a cleaning service each morning which is optional. Everything you need is supplied in the chalet, from pots to cutlery to crockery. The bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces were spacious enough for everyone. Not once did we feel like we were stepping on each other's toes. As soon as everyone got settled, within minutes, my daughters were ready to be beside the pools. Because of COVID, the number of people staying at the resort was limited. Day visitors were also not permitted to enter. However, the atmosphere was relaxed, there was no anxiousness when my daughters went to different pools/rides because there weren’t so many people. The food that we purchased from the different vendors was plentiful and delicious. And even if you forget to bring something along, like Aromat, there are a lot of shops nearby to get all you need. The resort also has an onsite convenience store that operates at certain times. They sell everything from cooldrink, chips, chocolates, toilet roll, souvenirs and more... The Hydro is a must when you go to the resort, the warm water relaxes your tired muscles and helps aid good sleep. They also offer an array of beauty treatments like facials, mani's, pedi's and massages that one can book during your stay. Forever Resorts Warmbaths is a great getaway spot for families for a weekend or week.
18 June 2019
Rio de Janeiro has always been on my bucket list since I was 15 years old. Finally I got to go this year for my birthday in March when the Rio Carnival was in full swing. I travelled business class on LATAM Airlines from Johannesburg via Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro and it was an amazing experience. The food, cabin crew and entertainment on the aircraft was great though their product needs a little updating. Upon arrival in Rio, I was greeted by the most enthusiastic driver that I have ever met, for my transfer to my hotel in Copacabana. The hotel that I stayed at was situated right opposite Copacabana Beach so the views were amazing. The hotel offer their guests an exclusive service of beach chairs, assistance and umbrellas on the beach, so there was no need to purchase these. On the beach there are these make shift bars that serve the most delicious drinks like pineapple caipirinhas, and once you purchase a drink from them, they offer a WIFI code so you can post all your pictures. For purchases on the beach, I would suggest using cash rather than your card, just for safety. The hotel, for the time period during the Carnival also had their own security which made me feel real safe. While in Rio, I also did some sightseeing. I visited the icon of Rio, the Jesus My Redeemer. Seeing this statue was just so awe inspiring, I just could not believe that I was standing at the feet of the magnificent statue. I arrived there just after 1pm so there was a rather massive crowd trying to take iconic pictures of the statue. I also visited the Selaron Steps and Maracanã Stadium. It was finally time for the Carnival! Many hotels are able to pre-arrange transfers to and from the Carnival to ensure that guests have a safe experience in getting to and from the Sambadrome. I would highly recommend taking advantage of this as its cheaper than catching a normal taxi or uber and its also safer because you'll know exactly who the driver is. It's quite important to remain alert while walking to the Sambadrome and being inside while watching the Carnival as the crowds are massive. I travelled with little as possible and had a little sling bag that contained essentials like my phone, money and hotel address. The experience of the floats, dancers, music and food at the Sambadrome were proudly Brazilian. I had so much fun dancing with strangers trying to do my own version of the Samba. One thing I learnt about the Brazilian people, they love their culture and take so much pride in it. They enjoy sharing this with visitors and that is just one of the reasons why I will definitely visit this city again.
04 June 2019
Experiencing the F1 Singapore Grand Prix cannot be put into words, but I’ll try to share this bucket list travel destination. The grand prix is in September, it’s the only day and night street circuit race on the entire F1 calendar. I spent 5 days in Singapore and stayed at a very well located hotel, which was just the perfect choice. Not only could I see the circuit from my room, but I could hear the cars. Another bonus was that it was just a short walk away from great shopping mall. This city is amazing and its underground network of trains run like clockwork, they are always on time, they are clean and most importantly, it is safe. I had pit grandstand tickets, which is only accessible through gate 1 so I had to take a train from a station close to the hotel to another stop which was close to gate 1, all in just under 10 minutes. You can enter through the other gates however the walk to the pit grandstand would be a long one. With having access to the pit grandstand, I also had free access to the Singapore Flyer which is a great birds eye view of seeing the race. Being seated across the pit was an amazing experience. From hearing the engines being started to having all the teams line up on the grid for the start. I got to see some of the F1 drivers up close like Riccardo, Leclerc and Raikkonen walk to the circuit on the race day. These guys are on another level and they always acknowledge their fans… My favorite part of the trip was race day at the track. The food, the shopping at the merchandise stores, the live music and the atmosphere was amazing. I felt safe the entire time in Singapore. I returned to my hotel every morning at 2am because there was just so much to do. This city is definitely on my “visit again” list for the future.
17 April 2018
My husband and I celebrated his birthday in May 2016 by heading off to the UK to watch the last game of the English Premier League season, Manchester United vs Bournemouth at Old Trafford. We spend 1 day and 1 night in London. We stayed at the Bloomsbury Park hotel in London. We started our day off with breakfast at the Starbucks next door and then it was a full day of sightseeing as it was my husband’s first international trip. The best way to see any city is the Hop-On-Hop-Off buses. We visited Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the Tower of London and my favorite, Madame Tussauds. We also walked a lot through the streets and decided to make our way back to our hotel as we had an exciting train ride the following morning. We made our way to Euston Station where we boarded a Virgin train to Manchester. We pre-purchased our First-class train tickets before leaving South Africa, so we had a seamless experience. First class on board the Virgin train is so relaxing, and the countryside scenery is beautiful. When we arrived at Manchester train station, we hopped in a taxi for a short ride to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express. This hotel is just what you need, it has a great location, great staff and good breakfast. The following morning, after breakfast, we took a taxi to the cricket venue for our Matchday VIP Experience. The cricket stadium and venue are merely a 5-minute walk from Old Trafford. At the Matchday VIP Experience we had a 3-course lunch, champagne and watched an interview with a former Manchester United player and photos with Fred the Red and the triumphant game where Manchester United beat Bournemouth. And, the cherry on the cake while standing in the rain, we managed to get 5 signatures from 5 of the players. Chris Smalling and Juan Mata to name a few... If you love watching Premier League soccer, visiting your team's home ground is definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
Cape Town 02/09/2019