Sent by Bernice Baird-Dundas
Based in Dubai
With my passion for travel, I provide you with a travel service that is tailored to you. Your hard-earned holidays deserve nothing less than personalised attention and care. Let me take the reins, from researching your most desired destinations to suggesting the best itineraries.
Having called Dubai home for nearly six years, I come to you with a rich background as a former teacher, specialising in Geography and Travel and Tourism. Today, as a dedicated Travel Counsellor, I have the privilege of pursuing my passion for travel full-time, and I am delighted to share this with my valued clients.
Much of my business is for the gorgeous Indian Ocean islands. I celebrated my civil wedding ceremony in Seychelles and became engaged in the Maldives, so I'm able to handle enquiries for these bucket list destinations. Perhaps you’re keen to explore Asia, Africa, or Europe?
I’ve been lucky to visit more of our planet since moving to the Middle East. From the vibrant Golden Triangle of India to the serene beaches of Sri Lanka and the majestic wildlife of the Serengeti, I have been grateful to explore these beautiful parts of the world and I'm ready to share valuable insights to make your trip as hassle-free and amazing as possible.
Let's connect to create travel experiences just for you. Where will your next adventure take you?
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.
29 December 2023
Every journey back to the UK is an opportunity for us to include a European city break into our travels. Living a bit further afield in Dubai means we miss the luxury of spontaneous trips to the continent. This time, our stop was in Stuttgart, a quaint German city, decorated with the magic of Christmas markets, or as the locals call them, Weinachtsmarkt. Stuttgart, while not as sprawling as some of its larger counterparts, captivated us with its charm and easy to use metro system. The Christmas markets scattered throughout the city cast a festive glow, enticing in locals and visitors alike. Strolling through the cobbled streets, looking up at twinkling lights and smelling the aroma of mulled wine, we discovered unique handcrafted souvenirs and indulged in seasonal treats. My highlight was visiting the top of the world’s first-ever TV tower which provided gorgeous wintry views over the city from the cute café. The main purpose of the visit was for Tom to return to the small town of Reutlingen, south of Stuttgart, where he lived for several months. Although it’s a very quiet little town, we enjoyed it’s Weinachtsmarkt and even saw a local band performing festive songs. In addition, we conquered a Guinness World Record only found in Reutlingen – home to the narrowest street in the world (a record you certainly wouldn’t find in Dubai)! From Stuttgart, we jetted off to London, our previous home city of several years. We couldn't resist revisiting familiar haunts in Tooting, south London, especially the old pubs and markets we used to frequent. As we wondered down the high street, memories of our time in London flooded back. The local hangouts we frequented welcomed us warmly, offering a taste of the culinary diversity that makes south London truly special. Of course we also spent time in the more ‘touristy’ parts of London, having fun with friends at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, seeing Nicole Sherzinger take the lead in the West End show ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and enjoying a night of festive music at the Sky Garden. Everywhere was buzzing, full of locals and tourists soaking up the Christmas atmosphere. The final leg of our festive journey took us to Sheffield, where Tom is from. The football fanatic in him revelled in the local footy action at Hillsborough, where the cheers of the crowd echoed through the stadium as they scored a very late winner. The camaraderie of fellow supporters added to the excitement, creating memories that resonate with the passionate spirit of English football. The picturesque landscapes of the gorgeous village of Bakewell in the Peak District provided a serene contrast to the energetic football scene. With Tom's family, we enjoyed the unexpected bright blue winter sky that day and the beauty of charming cafes serving the famous Bakewell tarts. We very much embraced our festive adventure even though it was a lot of travelling. My top tip for anyone is to pack lightly if you are thinking of doing something similar, in addition to booking national trains well in advance. It was great to be able to make the most of the London Undergound and buses. I still believe London is home to the best public transport system in the world, due to being so user friendly, quick and affordable. This festive season, we were reminded that the essence of the holidays lies not just in the destinations we explore but in the connections we nurture and the traditions we cherish. The hidden gems were our highlight of all 3 destinations we visited – the TV tower of Stuttgart, the cozy London pubs and the stunning countryside of the Peak District. If it’s hidden gems you’re after for your next holiday, no matter the destination, do reach out and let me find them for you. It’s one of my favourite parts of the job!
18 October 2023
Planning and booking a holiday can be an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful and time-consuming. With so many options available, deciding where to go, when to go and how to get there can feel overwhelming. That's where a Travel Counsellor comes in. Travel Counsellors are travel industry professionals who offer personalised travel planning services and customised holiday packages to meet your every need. In this blog post, I will explain why a Travel Counsellor should be your first call for your next holiday, and how we can make the process of planning and booking a holiday a breeze. 1) We Save You Time and Effort: One of the biggest advantages of using a Travel Counsellor is that we can take care of all the details of your trip, from flights and accommodation to transfers, tours, and activities. This means you don't have to spend hours searching for the best deals, comparing prices, and reading reviews. Your Travel Counsellor will do all of this for you and provide you with a range of options that meet your budget, preferences, and travel needs. We can also take care of any special requests or requirements you may have, such as dietary restrictions, accessibility needs, or specific experiences you want to have. 2) We Provide Expert Advice and Insider Knowledge: Travel Counsellors have extensive knowledge and experience in the travel industry, and they keep up to date with the latest trends, news, and changes in the industry. We can offer you expert advice on destinations, accommodations, tours, and activities, based on our personal experience, feedback from our clients, and our professional network. We can also share insider knowledge and tips on how to get the most out of your holiday, such as where to eat, where to shop, what to avoid, and how to stay safe. This can help you save money, avoid common mistakes, and have a more authentic and enjoyable travel experience. 3) We Offer Personalised Service and Flexibility: Travel Counsellors are not tied to any particular provider, supplier, or tour operator, unlike many online travel agencies. This means we can offer you a more personalised service and flexibility, and tailor your holiday to your specific needs and interests. We can also provide you with a range of options that suit your budget, preferences, and travel style, and help you navigate any changes or unexpected events that may occur during your trip. Whether you want a romantic getaway, a family vacation, a group tour, or a corporate trip, your Travel Counsellor can create a unique and memorable travel experience for you. 4) We Provide Value for Money and Peace of Mind: Although many people assume that using a Travel Counsellor is more expensive than booking online, this is not always the case. Travel Counsellors have access to special rates, promotions, and exclusive deals that are not available to the general public, and they can help you save money on your holiday. They also offer value-added services such as travel insurance, airport transfers, and pre-departure support, which can give you peace of mind and protect you from any unexpected costs or issues. Furthermore, travel counsellors are often available 24/7, and can assist you with any emergencies or issues that may arise during your trip, such as flight cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies. In conclusion, a Travel Counsellor is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to plan and book a stress-free and enjoyable holiday. We offer personalised service, insider knowledge, expert advice, and access to exclusive deals and promotions, all of which can help you save time, money, and hassle. We also provide value-added services and peace of mind, which can make your holiday experience more enjoyable and stress-free. So, if you're planning your next holiday, consider reaching out to let me take care of the details for you. Thank you for taking the time to read about how using a Travel Counsellor would benefit your next trip. Happy travels!
27 September 2023
Have you ever felt the pull of a career change, a desire to venture beyond the familiar and embark on a journey filled with excitement and even perhaps risk? I'm Nicky, a former Head of Humanities at a Dubai-based British school, where I specialised in Geography and Travel and Tourism. Now, as a Travel Counsellor, I have the privilege of following my passion for travel full-time! This huge decision was driven by a deep desire for a more flexible lifestyle, where I could manage my time and responsibilities while pursuing my passion for travel. It felt like the perfect fit. With over 30 countries under my belt, my friends often comment at my meticulously crafted itineraries! When I got married here in Dubai, I even created an online personalised Dubai guide for my wedding guests travelling here for the occasion. My first impression of Travel Counsellors was nothing short of fantastic. My first day was quite special in that it coincided with the UAE annual conference held at the exquisite Park Hyatt in Dubai. It was an inspiring day, featuring engaging guest speakers, a bustling trade show connecting with global suppliers, and a glamourous awards dinner in the evening hosted by our local Dubai celebrity, Kris Fade. The conference set the stage for my journey into the world of travel counselling, filled with enthusiasm and possibilities. In the initial phase of my induction, I embarked on a learning journey that blended home-based training modules with on-site sessions alongside the remarkable team at head office in Business Bay. I practised creating enquiries, piecing together quotes, and crafting on-brand marketing materials to clients. During my training, I delved into the essential concepts and skills required for my role, primarily focused on mastering Travel Counsellors' in-house booking platform. The system is truly remarkable, offering a vast array of options tailored to each client's unique needs. One aspect of my training that stood out was the extensive coverage of social media, an ever-evolving landscape. As an Instagram enthusiast myself, I'm considering exploring the world of TikTok to enhance my outreach, but one step at a time! During my induction, I encountered fascinating insights into the world of travel, some of which took me by surprise. Did you know that the highest-selling destination from the UAE is none other than the UAE itself? This revelation underlines the growing appeal of staycations and exploring the treasures within our own borders. Since, I've been developing my industry knowledge about staycations in Dubai, in line with this new knowledge. A particular highlight was a site visit to Nikki Beach Resort, which provided invaluable insights into the offerings of this fabulous city escape. Naturally, the Maldives, a bucket-list destination for many, enjoys immense popularity among UAE residents due to its accessibility. Its pristine beaches and overwater bungalows are a testament to its appeal. With a decade of experience as a secondary school teacher, I've developed crucial skills that transcend into my role as a Travel Counsellor. As fellow Dubai educators can attest, we know the importance of clear communication, from navigating conversations with students, parents, school leaders, to government inspectors. Travel Counsellors' training modules have further honed my communication skills, ensuring that I can effectively understand my clients' travel aspirations. Transitioning to a new career path always comes with its share of challenges. One hurdle I encountered was my limited experience in business networking. To overcome this, I took the initiative to join a fantastic female networking group during the summer. The camaraderie and support I've received from fellow members have been immensely valuable. I believe these connections will not only contribute to expanding my client base but also enrich my personal growth. In fact, I'm even contemplating rekindling my passion for tennis, a sport I haven't played in over 15 years, as another way to connect with those who share similar interests. As I reflect on my comprehensive training journey, I stand ready and equipped with a full toolkit to embark on this exciting adventure as a Travel Counsellor. Already, I've received a handful of enquiries, and I’m eager to dive into crafting personalised travel experiences for these new clients. So, I'm now officially open for bookings! I can't wait to assist you in planning your dream journeys and turning your travel aspirations into unforgettable realities. Give me a call or connect with me via Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or email to begin curating your next adventure together!