Catching Up With Kensington’s Lynne P.
Q: Tell us a little bit about you.
A: I was born in Eastern England and my first job was as a Front Office Manager of a 15th century hotel: The Maid’s Head Hotel in Norwich, Norfolk. After three years, I was hired as an Air Hostess for BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) for their international routes. I would spend two to three weeks at a time flying to the Middle East, Singapore and Australia. Then, I started three-day trips to the USA and then seven days to Nairobi and Johannesburg.
After some time with the airline, I married a Canadian and moved to Toronto subsequently working for fifteen years with Horizon Holidays, and have been with Kensington Tours for the past seven years selling the UK, Ireland, France, Benelux and Switzerland.
My passions lie in 19th and early 20th century novels, exploring new cities and visiting museums. My favourite cities around the world are Paris and London.
Q: Can you tell us about your FAM (Familiarization) Trips with Kensington?
A: I have been on about five FAM Trips with Kensington. It is so important to experience the service our clients will have on the trips we are booking for them and to understand exactly how they run.
This also gave me some wonderful opportunities to meet with our suppliers and bring home memories to share with my clients, like my very first morning in Zermatt and seeing the breathtaking sunrise at The Matterhorn; or strolling in The Old Town in Bordeaux and sampling the vintage wines with our wine connoisseur guide in St. Emilion; or driving through a sleepy village in Wales and coming across a red telephone box which was being used as an honour system book exchange! These little details are always the ones people will remember friend their trips.
Q: Tell us about a unique experience you’ve had on your travels.
A: Staying at Temple House near Sligo was one of the most unique experiences I had while travelling in Ireland. Temple House is a member of The Hidden Ireland, a collection of private homes run by the owners as bed and breakfast establishments. We had the marvelous experience of staying in an Irish stately home, welcomed by the owner at the front door as if we were old friends. I was able to meet the most interesting guests for afternoon tea in the drawing room and again for a delicious dinner in the family’s historic dining room. The authentic experience was one to remember.
Q: Tell us about a memorable experience with a client who has booked Kensington Tour through you.
A: I was working with a travel agent whose client was a woman travelling with her two daughters. I sent the agent an itinerary proposal for London, Paris and Florence and after a few revisions the client booked the trip. About a week before the trip I received an email from the client – she told me that she was sitting on her bed in tears. She had never been out of the USA before and her husband of 30 years – her high school sweetheart – had passed the previous year. Her late husband had always talked to his girls about traveling to Europe and visiting all of these wonderful, magical cities that he and his wife would take them to one day. Sadly he passed before he was able to fulfill his promise, and his wife told me that the trip she had booked with Kensington was in his memory. It was truly moving to be part of such a momentous trip for this family.
Q: What do you love about Kensington Tours?
A: I love that every day is completely different, and we work with such a wide variety of clients and agents. Although I have been here for several years, I continue to learn something new every day. I simply love my job and working for one of the very best companies in the travel industry.
Q: If you could recommend just one itinerary from your region, which would it be, and why?
A: I would have to recommend the Scotland itinerary: “Highland Lochs and Castles.” It has a variety of travel by train (public rail and heritage steam train), shared tours, and private transfers, and visits some of the most quintessential places in Inverness, Edinburgh and Fort William.
Q: What is an absolute “must-do” in some of the regions you sell?
A: In London I would definitely visit The Tower of London and have afternoon tea at Harrod’s. In Edinburgh visit Edinburgh Castle, and in Paris, Montmartre and The Louvre are unmissable.
Q: What is your number one tip for people travelling to your region?
A: It would have to be to enjoy every moment. It is always great to do some research before you arrive because the hours and days fly by so quickly once you arrive. Buy a travel guide from your local bookstore (Fodors, Lonely Planet, Frommers all offer tips, restaurant suggestions and historical information). Check out restaurants and cafes where you can just sit and people watch the passers by – for example at a quaint cafe in St. Germain for an hour. These understated moments will be the moments you remember years from now.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A: Simply that when you look back on your life, it is the two weeks you spent in Paris or London or any amazing city around the world that you will recall, not the 50 weeks at the office. Travel is the very best experience you can give yourself.
To learn more about traveling to Europe with Kensington Tours, email Lynne at email@example.com.