Hannah Foster Travel Counsellor is a local travel agent with global buying power and global support!
Tell us about yourself
I’m from a big family and love to travel. I started travelling when I was 17 as I received a scholarship to study in Italy for a year and thus was born my travel bug and the yearning to see more of the world!
I moved to Sydney after high school and worked with Flight Centre for nine years starting as a consultant, working my way through to Assistant Team Leader and Team Leader positions. Towards the end of my time there I worked with Travel Associates, a niche brand within the Flight Centre group who cater for business clients and the more discerning traveller. This move allowed me to concentrate on my repeat and referral client base that I had grown throughout the years. During this time, I was fortunate to travel around the world which has been great in expanding my destination and product knowledge.
In May, I decided to start my own business with the support of Travel Counsellors and have been fortunate to assist many new clients including several Inner West Mums with their travel plans.
We are expecting our first child in January, our first little traveller, and we’re looking forward to globetrotting together as a family! Working for myself will allow me to balance motherhood and my business. For many years I was searching for a work life balance and I’ve realised that it doesn’t exist – my work is my life and I love it.
Tell us about Hannah Foster Travel Counsellor
I have a passion for travel and I love creating personal holiday plans that meet my clients’ needs. If families or groups want a truly special trip, I can bring that to life for them by building rapport quickly and understanding their specific needs.
I love getting to know my clients and learning what holidays they have enjoyed in the past and building a holiday itinerary that will be sure to meet their expectations. I have been to some really exciting destinations and love sharing these experiences with my clients! Some favourites include Africa (Botswana), South East Asia (Thailand and Vietnam) and the South Pacific (Fiji and Cook Islands) Oh! And the Maldives. All of these experiences mean I am well placed to give travel advice.
Being an independent business owner with Travel Counsellors means there is a lot of support available; we have great buying power and a global network of travel gurus to offer the best service and care.
Travel Counsellors have been in the UK for 25 years, in Australia for 10, and are in seven countries around the world. I wanted to be able to provide the very best rates and service with the backing of a global company. We have a 24/7 duty of care team ready to respond if our clients need additional and local support. It’s great to know that when you book with Travel Counsellors you have peace of mind regarding your safety and that our team are there for you to access.
Travel Counsellors offer 100% financial protection, which means you can’t lose any money if you book with me. If something happens, you have 100% financial protection to cover your flights, airport parking, car hire, and hotels – every penny is protected. We are one of the only travel companies to offer this outstanding service to our clients.
What services do you provide and what are some great ideas on types of holidays?
The awesome thing is that I can help you with so many different services. I have thousands of travel companies at my fingertips and I can create a travel plan unique to your wants and needs. Popular holidays are as follows:
There is no limit to the type of holiday I can book for you!
Do you have a speciality in terms of a type of trip or an area of the world you know particularly well?
I love creating holidays for families as helping kids learn about other cultures gives them life skills and unmatchable unique experiences. Whether renewing vows, taking kids overseas for the first time, or bucket list holidays – I love holidays with heart.
One of my favourite trips I booked was a tailor-made ancestry trip. My client did not know a lot about her family history and her parents were from a little town in Italy. I was able to organise a guide to spend a few days in the town library to research and find out where her ancestors had lived and worked prior to them arriving. This holiday was life changing for my client who was able to meet and explore their family ancestry and in turn, learn more about herself.
What prompted you to go out on your own and start your own travel agency?
When I left the travel industry I missed it and I knew deep down that one day I would return to my true passion, but I wanted to do so in a way that would offer the best service so I could really be there 24/7. I like to go above and beyond, this includes being available outside of business hours and on the weekend whenever required. It’s really important for me to be accessible and flexible for my clients to provide the best travel booking experience. I’m empathetic in nature which allows me to connect easily with all types of travellers, and really understand what they want out of their trip.
Why did you choose this profession?
The travel bug is definitely hard to kick and it’s so true that wherever you go, on the train, on the bus or when meeting friends you hear about people travelling. Travel is something people dream and talk about, they plan their next trip or share experiences from trips they have been on. I love helping people plan their well needed and deserved trips.
If you could only travel with 5 possessions, what would they be and why?
Sunglasses, my phone for keeping in touch with family and friends and to listening to music, my swimmers (or for the New Zealanders out there, togs), comfortable footwear as who wants to be hobbling around with sore feet on a trip of a lifetime, and a smart casual sundress suitable for day and night.
A defining travel moment?
Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe really took my breath away! I remember wearing my raincoat because of the waterfall spray which felt like rain. I had tears of absolute joy and for that moment I felt that this is truly what travel was all about. It was a goose bump moment; a truly magical travel experience.
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be?
Michael Jackson at the MTV Music Awards in 1995, or any MJ concert really!
What does a perfect holiday look like to you?
We arrive at our tropical destination and the private transfer is waiting for us, there’s water and a cool refreshing lavender scented face towel in the car. We check in at our luxury resort and awaiting us is a chocolate and fruit platter with champagne. We’re staying in a lovely room with ocean views just steps away into the clear azure water. Canapes and champagne are enjoyed daily at the club lounge where we feel like VIP’s.
All these things including lots of time spent in the day spa allow us to let the stresses of the city life disappear and enjoy our downtime.
Favourite spots in Sydney’s Inner West?
I love the Hide and Seek café in Leichhardt to catch up with friends, and my favourite coffee is at Leichhardt Espresso. I love relaxing with a float session at Saltuary in Five Dock, an incredible way to truly relax; if you haven’t tried float therapy I highly recommend it!
Getting to know… Lorena Cristante Fazio of Nomad Nesting
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