This is the first in the series of “Planning Your Travels Case Study”.
Having had over 35 years of experience in the travel industry. I really love to be able to help my clients with any bespoke travel needs that they may have.
This case study shows what and how I did it, in order to assist them.
Mr & Mrs Soubhi, and their adult daughter, wanted to spend a few days in Porto, in Portugal. In an ideal world they’d like to fly from either Heathrow or Gatwick, spend six nights away in the destination, stay in a 4*/5* hotel, and it must have a swimming pool. They each want a checked luggage allowance and transfers on arrival/departure, in resort. In order to save money on the accommodation, they would prefer a triple room.
Clients could travel from August 31, but had to be back by September 08.
I was given a budget of around £750 per person.
I contacted one of my preferred suppliers, Jetset, and found direct flights from London Gatwick to Porto, with TAP Air Portugal.
The carrier operates up to two services a day to Porto, one morning, one afternoon/evening. The return flight meant leaving around 0630, so it was decided to opt for the later return.
I looked through a range of hotels and found the Novotel Porto Gaia. This hotel is located across the river from the city, but it’s within easy reach of all the attractions. Most importantly, the property has an outdoor swimming pool. There is a €2 per person, per night, city tax, payable at the hotel, which is located around 45 minutes walk into town, or between €3-€5 for a taxi.
There were a number of room types available, and the clients opted for a standard sea view room, without meals (Mrs Soubhi & her daughter would only want a coffee and a pastry, so it wasn’t worth including breakfast in the cost). As an independent travel agent, I sometimes get the chance for a room upgrade. So as a gesture of my appreciation, I arranged a room upgrade to an executive room, with my compliments.
Finally, private transfers were included, meaning no drop-offs en-route, and thus a more exclusive experience.
This is the final itinerary, and cost.
31 Aug 19 TP 1331 Gatwick to Porto 1200 – 1420
31 Aug 19 Private chauffeur transfer, with meet & greet, on arrival, from the airport to the hotel
31 Aug 19 Novotel Porto Gaia – six nights in an Executive triple room, no meals
06 Sep 19 Private chauffeur transfer on departure, from the hotel to the airport
06 Sep 19 TP 1332 Porto to Gatwick 1750 – 2005
Price per person = £695.14 (coming well within their budget)
Although they weren’t required, I was able to offer a choice of chauffeur car service from their home to the airport, and on the return, airport car parking (if they preferred) and access to an executive lounge, pre-departure.
So, as you can see, I was more than able to assist my clients with their travel needs. Everything was booked with one supplier, under their ABTA and ATOL license, which offers financial peace of mind.
If you have any travel needs, with realistic travel budgets, then please do contact Paul, WOT Travel, with your travel requirements, in order to arrange a quotation.
Useful after-travel feedback from the clients
“The Novotel Porto Gaia have excellent staff and the service that they offer there is great. We had a breakfast and evening meal there, which are a buffet affair, but offer great variety and value for money.
The swimming pool was also good, albeit a little small and full of kids at certain times of the day, who were on their last week’s holiday.
Just one point about the Novotel re location and proximity to Porto.
The hotel is in Gaia, not Porto and is a fair distance away from Porto. It would take an hour to walk to the centre of Porto, which given the heat and hilly nature of the town, was a no-no for us.
The bus from the hotel runs every twenty minutes and is cheap, at €1 each. It does, however, only take you to Arrabida, which is about 3km over the bridge. You then need to take another bus in order to get into central Porto, which is another €1 each.
The nearest metro station on the south side is General Torres, which is a €1 ride, but it takes around fifteen minutes to walk to the right bus stop! From here, a further fifteen minute walk gets you to the Ribera which is where all the lovely restaurants and bars are.
The good news is that taxis in Porto are cheap and using Uber/Bolt, we found that the average trip to be €4-5, whih got us around most of the time.
The only reason why we feel it worth mentioning is more of an advisory for more elderly folk on a limited budget who may find the location more restrictive, and especially anyone with mobility issues. Therefore, a cab is basically your only option!
Please let me assure you, Paul, that these comments are in no way a reflection on your choice for us, as we did request a hotel with a pool, and within our budget, which the Novotel Porto Gaia most definitely fitted the bill.