Location: Sheffield
Wanted: A solo traveller in their 20s wants to go on an escorted group tour in America for around two weeks in April or May and wants to explore the options.
Budget: £3,000

The shop display was very organised, and I was greeted immediately by an immaculately dressed agent who went through brochures to see which holiday best suited my needs. I was offered two trips in May with Insight Vacations. The first was the nine-day Best of California trip with British Airways flights, for £4,218 including meals. The second was the seven-day Grand Canyonlands tour with British Airways flights, for £4,038. For both tours, I was given lots of details about the landmarks and the places that would be visited. None of the options given were within my budget, but the agent worked hard to meet my needs and was very enthusiastic about the trip.

I waited 10 minutes to be seen. When I finally sat with the agent, they did not fully listen to my requirements. I wasn’t given options for a tour until I repeated that I wanted a trip that was an escorted tour. I was offered the 10-night Splendours of the West tour with Hayes & Jarvis for £2,129, flying from Heathrow with United Airlines. While this came in under budget, the agent did not have a lot of knowledge about the tour ranges.

Virgin Holidays
I went into the store, which had nice visual displays, but I was told I couldn’t be seen as I didn’t have an appointment. I asked to book one, but the agent said there were none available. The consultant took my details and said they would send a quote at a later stage. I waited 48 hours, called the shop four times, left voicemails each time, and I didn’t receive a call back or my quote.

Winning agent

Claire Gateley, assistant manager

“I’ve been in the industry for 20 years and love that at Kuoni we can create unique trips and tours. It’s a wonderful feeling to find out what holiday someone dreams of and make it a reality.”


While the quotes were not within budget, the Kuoni agent’s enthusiasm, willingness to listen and in-depth knowledge of US tours saw her come out on top.

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