Sent by Chantelle De Koker
Based in Benoni
Looking for help with your business travel? Find out how I can help here
I am a concierge travel agent running a Travel Counsellors business from my home in Benoni. Home based does not mean home bound and I am fully equipped to meet my clients in their homes or offices. I am also able to service clients all over the country, and even have the facility to assist clients who are based internationally. From dream holidays to corporate travel, car hire and accommodation, to visas, travel insurance and foreign exchange - I can do it all.
Being a concierge travel agent means that for your 02:00 am emergency check-in or missed flight I will be available to you. No more stress or hassle at having to try and fix any issues that crop up on your own, I will be on hand 24/7 to assist you.
Travel is a lifelong passion of mine, it started with my grandparents when they took me to three countries at the age of 10. I have been in the travel industry in various capacities since I was 18 – and I have worked in South Africa, England and the USA. I’m well travelled so whether you’re enquiring about trawling Bangkok’s night markets, gorge swinging over the Victoria Falls, sunning yourself in Mauritius or snowboarding in Bulgaria, the chances are that I’ve been there, done it or sent a client there and I would love to share my knowledge of our big wide-world with you.
Being a Travel Counsellor allows me to be available and to focus solely on you, my client, whilst still being able to better care for my family and young son. I’m available 24 hours a day - weekdays and for emergencies on weekends - and I will be more than happy to arrange a one-on-one meeting or simply handle your calls and emails. Flexibility is the name of the game, and with me being a Travel Counsellor I can offer you the perfect forum so that I can give you the best customer service possible.
Give me a call or drop me an mail today and let’s get started in making your travel dreams come true!
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.
19 June 2018
A wedding vow renewal ceremony is a ceremony in which a married couple renew or reaffirm their wedding vows. The ceremonies have been popular in Italy for decades and have existed in the United States since the 1950s, but it has only become popular there after the 1970s. Most take place in churches and are seen as a way for a married couple to renew their commitment to each other and demonstrate that the vows they took are still considered sacred. To some couples the ceremony offers the chance to celebrate the wedding they never had. Renewal ceremonies often take on the characteristics of a Western "lavish wedding", with couples often setting out guest books, buying new weddings bands, and hiring photographers. Some of the reasons couples hold a vow renewal include having passed through a difficult time in their relationship, celebrating a significant anniversary, or to have a religious ceremony if their original wedding had not been one. Renewal of vows packages can be created for just about anywhere - including on a cruise ship, and the after party arranged to suit the couple’s tastes, party size and budget. From an all-night disco to an a la carte meal I can arrange it all. If Champagne and Canapes are more your scene – that is no problem! For more information on hotels, resorts and destinations offering these types of packages please get in touch.
19 June 2018
No trip to South Africa would be complete without a visit to the diverse and vibrant city of Cape Town and her beautiful surrounds. Whether you’re going with a partner, friends, children or grandparents you’ll find something for everyone in the Cape, and if you’re a wine aficionado you will never want to leave! When visiting Cape Town city, it’s advisable to stay near the V&A Waterfront to be in the most central location for a lot of the sights and the Waterfront itself. The City Lodge V&A Waterfront is a great standard hotel option with modern comfortable rooms and some harbor views. For the more discerning client just up the hill from the waterfront is the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel – and for a good budget hotel The Fountains is located 7km away. For beaches head to Clifton or Camps Bay, or Strand or Sea Point, and for night life Camps Bay and the Cape Town City CBD and surrounds is where it’s all happening. Renting a car to get around is a great way to see the City and an uber or taxis are a very common sight on the streets of Cape Town and are very easy and safe to use. An absolute must do is the cable car to the top of Table Mountain – but for the very fit and adventurous or those not wanting to stand in the lines, you can hike to the top of the mountain. Be prepared to spend at least 1/2 a day when opting for the hike. Boulders beach for the kids is a gorgeous little side trip. Boulders is well known for the massive penguin colony that calls this beach home, the penguins are protected, and people are stopped from walking on the beach but can navigate the colony via a series of board walks. If you feel your nerves can stand it, head to Hout Bay and hop on a shark cage diving boat. Seal Island. Gansbaai is known around the world for their huge Great White Sharks and you are almost guaranteed to see one. From a world class aquarium and multiple museums in Cape Town, this city is a wonderful family vacation. Heading out towards Somerset West – around 35 minutes’ drive from Cape Town and onwards up to Franschhoek, Stellenbosh and Paarl, you will find yourself heading straight into the wine country. 5-star dining and world class wines are the order of the day here. Take the Wine Tram day tour to put a little old-world charm in your trip, while drinking and travelling safely on the wine farm tour. Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch deserves a day all of its own to experience farming the old way. This is considered its own little Hamlet. Spier boasts eight restaurants, a farm to table dining experience of absolute taste and quality. Picnics and Segway tours are both very popular on the farm as well as the Eagle encounter and spa. There’s not enough blog to be able to rave about Cape Town enough. Contact me today at 076 743 9974 to get your next African adventure planned!
18 June 2018
A trip to Victoria Falls should be on everyone’s bucket list. The ‘smoke that thunders’ is such an apt and descriptive name for what is likely one of the most awe-inspiring places I have ever been lucky enough to visit – and I’ve been three times! Victoria Falls is easily accessible, just 2 hours by air from Johannesburg and a short road transfer from either Livingstone airport in Zambia or Victoria Falls Airport in Zimbabwe. What many people don’t realise is there are two sides to the Falls, a small but significantly beautiful section of the Falls can be seen from Zambia – while the larger Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park is located on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls and is roughly a one-hour walk – depending on how much time you take to marvel and stand in awe of the beauty that is the thundering water of the Victoria Falls. The best time to visit the spectacular Victoria Falls is from February to May, directly after the region's summer rains, when you'll see the world's largest sheet of falling water flowing at its greatest volume. While it is still a marvel in the drier season, the full effect is seen once the rains have been. I have visited during peak and off season and both times it was a wonderful trip. The only downfall with peak season is that when the Falls are at their fullest there are some areas of the Falls that the view is hidden by the immense spray. The Kingdom Hotel – located on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls is a personal favourite of mine both for location and the room size and comfort levels. The A’Zambezi River Lodge is also a lovely choice and is further from the Falls it is located right on the river banks so the game viewing and evening views are to die for. Crossing over to the Zambian side of the falls - another favourite of mine was the Royal Livingstone Hotel – this hotel is not only on the banks of the river with a gorgeous cocktail deck jutting out over the water – it’s also within walking distance of the Falls and the cost to enter is already included. When we stayed here – not only did the roaring of the water make the most pleasant back drop to fall asleep to, we were also able to visit multiple times a day and see the Falls in all lights, and all levels of flow at no extra expense. For the adventure lovers Victoria Falls offers a multitude of things to do – the sunset cocktail cruise is not to be missed (we had the pleasure of seeing a snorkelling elephant), the helicopter flight over the Falls offers you sights you cannot compare with anywhere else in the world, and for the braver a swim in the Devils Pool is a must! The Devils Pool is an enclosed section of water just above the lip of the Falls. There is elephant back safaris and lion walks, canoe safaris and hiking and even white water rafting for the adventurers. Explore local craft markets and try the local beer and breads, hike through the park, and don’t forget the obligatory pose at the statue of Livingstone, or just relax with a cocktail at the river banks. Victoria Falls has something for everyone and as one of the Natural Wonders of the World and is something every traveller should see! Contact me now to get your next family adventure vacation booked to the Mosi-Oa-Tunya – The Smoke that THUNDERS!
18 June 2018
When I first started my own business as a Travel Counsellor, a few people asked me “what is it exactly that you do?” and “Why is a Travel Counsellor different to any other Travel Agent?” so I hope this tells you a little bit more about myself and Travel Counsellors. * Why is Travel Counsellors 'Travel's best kept secret'? Travel Counsellors is one of the world's biggest home-working travel companies and it gives me the ability to run my own travel company. It means I have complete financial protection for my customers (the best I've ever seen) and I can provide a personal travel service from start to finish. * What is a Travel Counsellor? In all honesty, there are many different names for what a Travel Counsellor is! In general terms though, I am a travel agent and I sell holidays. I am a different to the average agent though, my travel life started in car hire, and I have worked in every aspect of travel right down to cleaning hotel rooms so in relation to booking a holiday, it means I know how to use different companies and systems to get you the very best rates and deals. I can build complicated itineraries without the help of a third party which can add costs, so I can book my customers their perfect holiday. Being part of a Global company means we have exclusive rates on 1000’s of Hotels and Flights and I take all the stress away from you by searching for the best deals and places to go for you. I get to know you – your likes and dislikes therefore I can recommend the holiday that is best suited to you and then craft it all for you. * Why is my service so personal? As your Travel Counsellor, I work locally, meet my customers, hand deliver tickets and speak to them when they come back from a holiday. You deal with me, and me only, from start to finish, no after-sales teams, no call centers, no sitting on hold, no repeating yourself plus I still have a full support of a head office team. I am available 24/7 at a time that is convenient to you, I get to know my clients and understand their needs – you only have to look at my client testimonials on my web page to see how amazing my personal service is. I truly believe I am more than a travel agent, my travel knowledge is undisputable. I have been all over the world travelling and I have seen 100’s of hotels! I can add extra value and special requests to your bookings, help if you need anything while away and make your holiday so much more special. * What about prices, this must come at an extra cost? I believe that I know what makes an amazing holiday. I will go the extra mile to make sure everything is right for you. I will listen to you, have a good and thorough conversation about your needs and then together we can work out exactly what you require. I don't need to book something from a brochure chosen by someone else, I am not seduced by images – many times I will have been to where you want go, I have seen the hotel, seen the rooms, know the area, shops, bars and restaurants and probably know the hotel manager and if I haven’t then I have 1800 other Travel Counsellors who are located around the globe that I can speak to, plus I have access to 1000’s and 1000’s of trusted reviews from Travel Counsellor clients all around the world that I can check. My specialty lies in tailor-making travel. If you want me to tailor make a tour of India or Australia, book your once in a lifetime safari or that magical Disney trip then please give me a call, you will not be disappointed. You will receive value for money when you book with me and with the global buying power of Travel Counsellors I get access to incredible rates. Travel is my passion along with providing the best customer service possible. It is so important to me that I find you your perfect holiday so that you book with me time and time again. Whatever stage you are in thinking about your holiday, maybe it is just a destination you need advice on or a full-blown quote you want me to price for you please give me a call for a no-obligation quote. Test my knowledge and my prices for yourself on 076 743 9974. I look forward to hearing from you.
08 June 2018
When it comes to taking a cruise there really is a lot of choice, so many different cruise lines and destinations and it can be hard to know where to start. So I thought it might be quite handy to put together a little guide on some of the Top Cruise Lines and what they have to offer. You may be thinking of taking a cruise for the first time or indeed be an experienced cruiser that is thinking about trying another crise line, hopefully this guide will give you some insight into what each cruise line has to offer and of course you can always call me for more advice. * P&O CRUISES: P&O cruises currently has 7 ships in their fleet: the newest being their flagship Britannia which can hold over 4000 passengers. A new ship called Iona will be launching in 2020. They are known for offering passengers Strictly Come Dancing at sea and for their celebrity chef Food Heroes on-board ships. They offer the most cruises out of Southampton, including lots of mini cruises and world cruises that depart in January A checklist to see if you would enjoy cruising on P&O if; •You like home comforts such as tea and coffee making facilities in your cabin and it has a “British” feel. •You want an adult only cruise, as you have the option to sail on one of the adult only ships which are called Arcadia and Oriana •You want to sail with children as you could enjoy one of the family friendly ships such as Aurora, Oceana, Ventura and Britannia . * Royal Caribbean Cruises Royal Caribbean have 25 Ships in their fleet and they range from small to super-size! Their current largest ship Symphony of The Seas can take up to 5,400 passengers. Don’t let this put you off, their ships may be big but there is plenty of space onboard and with activities like Sky Diving, Bumper Cars, Surfing, Rock Climbing, Ice Skating and a full-size carousel onboard some of their ships there is plenty to do. The Independence of The Seas has been voted the UK’s favourite cruise line and has just had a multimillion pound makeover including new bars/restaurants and cabins and the very first Trampoline Park at Sea! You know that you will enjoy cruising on Royal Caribbean if… • You are a family (the kids and teens clubs are amazing) • You want a more relaxed atmosphere on board • You like West End Show Productions and great entertainment • You are a first-time cruiser as there are lots of different ships, you will find one that suits you. * Cunard Cruises Cunard are very much a traditional cruise line, I would say more Liners than cruise ships, and very similar to that of Titanic. There are 3 ships, one being the Queen Mary which was built specifically to do a Transatlantic Sailing (Southampton to New York) This particular ship is the only one I am aware of that also has its own deck for dogs, with kennels, a full time “doggy” butler and you can visit your pooches at certain times during the day. As well as the Transatlantic Cunard also operate world cruises in January, mini cruises and sailings from Southampton throughout the year . You know that you would like to cruise on Cunard Cruises if … • • You like formality and tradition • You like exceptional service • You like to dress up of an evening • You can’t bear to be parted from your furry friend whilst on holiday * MSC CRUISES MSC Cruises are a predominately Mediterranean Cruise Line, including their newest ships there are currently 17 in the fleet, they sail mostly in the Med, The Caribbean, Dubai, Northern Europe and South America. You may have just seen the MSC Meraviglia on Channel 5 recently on Cruising with Jane McDonald, like Royal Caribbean the majority of these ships are big ships but again offers lots onboard for guests to enjoy including water slides and a bowling alley. MSC are a little different, being Mediterranean you will find that the food, entertainment etc reflects that, however they do have a ship called Magnifica which is sailing from Southampton this year to Northern Europe and this ship will have a more British feel, with tea & coffee making facilities in the cabins, British Comedians and more British inspired food. You will enjoy cruising onboard MSC Cruises if … • You have a family with children (kid’s prices are normally very good with MSC) • You want to mix with lots of different nationalities • You want to visit lots of ports • You are price conscious (MSC are very competitively priced) • You enjoy a few drinks – MSC have one of the best priced drinks packages at sea! * Celebrity Cruise Line Celebrity are what I would put as a 4 Star type of a Cruise ship, a little bit classier than say Royal Caribbean and Norwegian but not as formal or traditional as say Cunard. They have lots of specialty restaurants onboard, Martini bars, Wine bars and even on some ships a lawn club with real grass where you can have a picnic. In my opinion although they do cater for families and have kids and teen clubs there are no so many things onboard for kids to do and for couples or groups of friends they are brilliant and have some amazing itineraries. Including Europe Celebrity cruises to lots of different places including Antarctica, The Galapagos, India, South Pacific, Hawaii, Australia & New Zealand, Caribbean Asia, Alaska to name but a few. You may have seen in the news about their newest ship which will sail from 2018 called The Edge, the design is like nothing you have seen before and will be a real game changer for cruising. You will like Celebrity if … • You are a couple or travelling with a group of friends • You like to eat out in different restaurants • You want to cruise to different destinations I hope this helps you in trying to decide on which cruise line would suit you and your family, but please get in touch with me as I would love to help you in making your cruise line choice.
01 September 2017
Tsarabanjina Island is very remote. Constance Tsarabanjina - the hotel that is solely situated on the island is a place of beauty and is so majestic that the word beautiful doesn't even begin to cover it. We flew direct with SA Airlink to Nosy Be in Madagascar and we were picked up at the airport and given very cold towels and ice water by a super friendly and informative guide. The drive to our boat pick up took about 15 minutes through a village of ramshackle and skew houses made of Palm leaves. The boat transfer to the island took around 90 minutes and just as you're beginning to get tired of being on a boat the island looms out of the horizon to give you the first glimpse of what will later show itself to be possibly one of the most beautiful places on Earth! The beachfront villas are the epitome of luxury while retaining a very rustic charm. The ocean is less than 100 meters from the edge of your terrace and the sound so loud that the first night I woke up thinking there was a storm brewing with winds gusting. The view is so blue and intense it makes your heart beat a little faster. The hotel staff bring a new level to the words service - the entire hotel is geared towards making relaxation the total focus of your stay. You are instructed to leave your shoes behind, there is no need for them after your arrival, as no matter where you go your toes are in the sand. There is a unique vibe created when eating fine dining 3 course dinners barefoot and in shorts. Its this feeling of you can live luxury while maintaining your 'you - ness'. While relaxation is the focus at Constance Tsarabanjina there is a daily list of things to do, should you want to participate in the activities. Snorkelling was at the top of our list - with seas so clear and blue and in such abundance in ocean life it was an insane experience. The off the boat snorkel took us around a mile out to sea with clear visibility up to 30 feet. Blue spotted rays, Lionfish and even a Barracuda sporting a rusty hook lip piercing along with the tropical fish all around you. My husband took the stand up paddling (SUP) class and nailed the art of getting up off the board, whilst I sat sipping the most delicious gin cocktails on the beachfront bar terrace. There were lectures on Madagascar, lessons on how to prepare the local Iced Tea (that I drank by the gallon) and the most beautiful private dinner that they arranged for me as a surprise from my husband to me. There is no television, and there is not a single car on the island, Wi-Fi is barely useable and is only available in the bar area. For romance, a dream honeymoon, or for a break from your busy life style or perhaps a time to reconnect with nature, yourself and your loved one - this is THE place to be head to. I felt like I could breathe again for the first time in a very long time!
17 December 2014
The moment you step onto a Celebrity Cruise ship the luxury, service and pampering envelops you in what can only be described as a warm hug of relaxation! Your luggage is taken off your hands at check-in and replaced with a cold glass of welcome on-board champagne. While the rooms are readied and your luggage delivered you’re invited to lie on a sun lounger at the pool deck while a waiter panders to your every need and the restaurant smells entice you to enjoy a lunch of just about anything you could think of. Or, if you don’t feel like lounging about, there are roughly 8 floors of ship to explore and orient yourself with. The cabins are large enough to be comfortable, with the suites and balcony suites beyond comfortable, they are luxurious. Even in the inside cabin – which we travelled in – the beds are soft and super comfortable, the space sufficient for two people to not have to squeeze past each other, and the shower divine. When on a cruise the cabin is really not the place you’ll be spending most of your time but Celebrity has really ensured the cabins are comfortable and spacious enough. So what makes Celebrity different – why choose Celebrity? Celebrity is not just a cruise! Travelling on a Celebrity ship is a lifestyle choice. It means good wine and food are important to you, it means that health and wellness are a part of your everyday life, and that the gym, spa and healthy meal choices are what you are looking for. Destinations are important to Celebrity, so when you’re travelling on a Celebrity Ship be assured that the destinations you’re travelling to are chosen to ensure the passenger can get the most out of their trip, with more overnight stays than any other cruise company, and day trips that allow for maximum sightseeing both coastal and inland. So when you’re on your next Celebrity Cruise ship, indulging in your passions, remember to give Q sine restaurant a go. At $50 per person additional charge, the culinary guides will take you on a round the world taste sensation while you enjoy the Alice in Wonderland esque decor and attentive service. The Martini flight at the Martini bar is a $20 drinks show. Your barman will amaze you while he pours 6 martini tasters in one go. There is no shortage of bars, lounges, after dinner theatre shows, with Celebrity bringing the Celebrities on-board to entertain you. Bring the kids along too. There is fantastic childcare and day activities on-board the ship. Let your teens play the latest X Box games, or learn how to make, edit and show a GOPRO short film of their own making. The little ones are kept entertained with the best in educational and fun activities. Your kids may just run right past you while on a ship wide treasure hunt. Families are important too, and mom and dad will most definitely be able to relax on-board a Celebrity ship. For the couple or young families that enjoy travelling multiple destinations but hate repeatedly having to unpack and get settled, for the people who enjoy the finer things in life, and for those who want to combine travel with their other passions – then Celebrity cruising is the ideal holiday.
Somerset West 03/09/2018
Somerset West 03/09/2018
Cape Town 03/09/2018
Marloth Park 06/06/2018
Somerset West 06/06/2018