THIS week our travel columnist Angela Perkins looks at half term breaks and the most popular destinations for couples As the children go back to school the countdown to the next half term begins for children and teachers everywhere.

October half term is always a popular time of year for families to head off on holiday seeking some winter sunshine pre Christmas.

There are very few places that are still warm enough to sit in the sunshine and swim in outdoor pools and this is one of the many reasons it’s essential to book your holiday early.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Morocco, Turkey and the Canary Islands are popular destinations with families this year, as well as some of the closer to home European cities.

This time of year is popular for families booking their holidays for the year ahead but it’s also the couples too.

This month has seen the start of my ‘Love Is’ campaign where I have been focusing on offers for couples every day throughout September.

These holidays are specifically for couples and are perfect for honeymooners, second honeymoons, special birthdays, anniversaries or just to simply spoil yourselves.

So far I have featured some fabulous destinations such as Bali, the Maldives, Mauritius, New York, cruises and tours.

Swim up rooms, water bungalows, adult only, luxury resorts and unique travel experiences are proving increasingly popular and I have teamed up with some of my top tour operators and hotels to bring readers exclusive offers.

Warrington Guardian:

Travel expert Angela Perkins

This year I have seen many new ‘travel agents’ opening up without any experience or qualifications.

Unfortunately the travel industry is allowing untrained individuals with a ‘passion’ for travel to become a travel agent overnight.

This even extends to individuals with multiple jobs being a travel agent in their spare time!

These new ‘travel agents’ are advertising their services and offers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Linked In without actually advising the general public that they have no industry experience, no related qualifications and are currently on a training scheme.

For many years I used to recruit and train travel apprentices both as a store manager, regional manager and a training manager and these people can become an amazing asset to any business – but they need to be fully trained first and this takes many years.

When I was a store manager I used to always ask clients’ permission first if my trainee could manage their enquiry as many clients don’t actually want a trainee taking care of their holiday unless it’s under strict supervision.

Personally, I have worked in this industry for 25 years after studying travel and tourism at college and working my way up the career ladder from being at a trainee at 17.

I pride myself on the experience I have.

I have built up my destination knowledge, industry knowledge and have experience of the various legal complexities associated with travel.

After 25 years in the industry I have solid relationships with suppliers, tour operators, hotels and airlines that I have built over years and years. This type of experience cannot be created overnight.

I tell you this so you can choose your travel agent carefully and be informed. Not all travel agents are the same.

Your holiday is precious. It’s a big investment in time and money... make sure you invest wisely.

  • Angela is an award-winning travel agent with 25 years of experience and embarked on the journey of setting up her own business five years ago.
    The mum-of-two from Penketh, who was highly commended in our Warrington Guardian Customer Service Awards earlier this year, is available to answer your travel questions. You can get in touch by emailing