Hi, I'm Lani, your personal Travel Counsellor.
I live in Newcastle with my lovely family - hubby Ben, Bella aged 7, Harry aged 4 and our fur baby Banjo the labrador.
Travel is an amazing thing - it allows us to recharge our batteries, meet new people and learn new languages. It can take us out of our comfort zone, show us parts of the world we never knew existed and at the same time teach us new things about ourselves.
For as long as I can remember I've had a passion for travel, exploring over 35 countries now (with many more still on the bucket list!). I've ziplined in Borneo, stayed in Chateaus in France, driven from coast to coast in both Canada and the US, skied in Slovakia, white water rafted in New Zealand, whale watched in Alaska, and swum with Whale Sharks right here in Australia. I even met my wonderful husband whilst living and working in Ireland!
I love being a Travel Counsellor - for me, planning and researching a destination has always been as exciting as the trip itself, and being with Travel Counsellors gives me access to the best technology and a much more extensive range of suppliers than when I worked for a retail agency, in turn meaning I can truly book you the holiday of your dreams. In fact, I love it so much that in 2016 I was awarded Best Newcomer to the company and in 2017 I won the Biggest Business Increase award!
Whatever travel means to you, be it a week of downtime on a cruise ship, a busy month exploring Europe, an escorted tour of Canada or something completely tailor made, I'm here to help, taking all the stress and guesswork out of the planning process and being a mobile agent allows me the flexibility to come to see you at home or at work and at a time that suits you.
I can’t wait to hear from you!
Please send me your holiday or travel requirements and I will do my best to help you.
I absolutely love travel! Take a look through my posts - you might find holiday inspiration where you least expect it...
30 October 2019
On my recent trip to Antarctica I decided to take advantage of a well timed Air New Zealand special and treat myself to Premium Economy between Sydney and Buenos Aires to see if it was worth all the hype and in summary....it sure is! Starting with a priority check in counter and 2 included pieces of checked in luggage plus 2 carry on, the extra benefits kick in before you've even boarded the flight. That's followed by priority boarding, hot towels before take off and lovely roomy 19.3 inch (49cm) wide leather seats with a 5 inch (12.7cm) arm rest...
26 June 2019
I have a confession to make – I'm a technophobe! I’m not someone who can just pick up a new gadget and know what to do with it and I’m not an embracer of dozens of apps, games and programs. I am a pen and paper girl at heart and you’ll always find a stash of good old fashioned books at the bottom of my suitcase whenever I travel…but I am a great lover of the Travel Counsellors myTC app! This brilliant piece of tech has been built from scratch by our in house IT department with lots of feedback...
31 March 2019
As a Novocastrian living 2.5 – 3 hours from Sydney Airport, I often find myself spending a night in Sydney before an early morning flight. Over the past couple of years I’ve used the opportunity to test a number of hotels both around the airport and in the city centre, all with their pros and cons, so I thought it was about time I did a review of some of them! In the City Centre: The Ultimo This one is a bit of a gem and my firm favourite if I’m travelling solo as they have great single rooms with plenty of space,...
15 March 2019
The gorgeous ship Viking Orion was recently in Newcastle and I was lucky enough to be one of a handful of agents invited on board to have a look around. I have been a huge fan of Viking Cruises ever since I inspected a sister ship, the Viking Sun about 18 months ago and the Orion certainly lived up to the Viking standard with gorgeous furnishings (hello leather handrails and king size beds covered in luxury linens!), cooked to order meals using the finest ingredients, free WIFI on board and a maximum of only 930 guests at any one time. Viking Cruises...
11 December 2018
Recently I was lucky enough to be one of the first agents in Australia to step on board the new Princess Cruise lines ship to sail here in Australia, the Majestic Princess. Setting sail on her maiden voyage just last year, she will spend 6 months of the year here in Australia and 6 months in Asia, catering for 3500 passengers at a time, so she is the newest and biggest ship to date in the Australian fleet. One of the first things that struck me on board was how roomy the cabins were, particularly the inside ones which traditionally can...
12 November 2018
We have recently returned from a 3 week family adventure in British Columbia, Canada, with a week of that spent in Vancouver. When your mum/ wife is a travel agent you don’t just stay in one place for the whole week, you use it as an opportunity to test drive 4 properties! Vancouverites LOVE to tell you all about how expensive the property market is (they clearly haven’t been to Australia!) and as a result of the booming economy accommodation can be expensive, especially during special events like the Seawheeze marathon which shut down half the city while we were there....
18 October 2018
Our family recently took the adventure of a lifetime to Vancouver and Whistler and we flew over direct with Air Canada from Sydney. The direct flight takes between 14 -15 hours depending on the direction you're travelling and is the quickest way to get to Canada....which is very appealing when you're travelling with young kids! Check in at Sydney International was super speedy and as soon as they saw we had kids they ushered us from the self-serve kiosks to a staff member to speed the whole process up. We also got the option to board early with the kids...
03 July 2018
On my recent trip to Florida, I tried out the new Qantas direct flight from Sydney to Dallas which made customs a breeze and took a couple of hours off my travel time too. More and more Aussie are taking this option when heading to the east coast of America, but not everyone stops and checks out Dallas... so I thought it was time to have a look for myself and see whether it's worth a visit! Well if you'd like the short version...yes! I LOVED my 2 days in Dallas, in fact I could have done with another couple as...
25 June 2018
Last week I test drove Qantas' direct Sydney to Dallas flight on the A380 en route to Miami to meet some international colleagues. The beauty of the direct flight to Dallas is that it allows you to avoid customs in LA (which can save you an hour or more), it gets you closer to the mid west states of America and it shaves a couple of hours off your overall travel time if you're heading to east coast destinations like New York and Florida. The last few times I travelled to the US it's been with other airlines, so I haven't...
25 June 2018
I have just returned from a whirlwind trip to Florida with 10 international Travel Counsellors from the UK and Holland, where we had the opportunity to explore the West Coast of the State, visiting Sanibel, Captiva Island and Fort Myers Beach overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Only 2-3 hours’ drive from the well-known Miami and Fort Lauderdale, this region feels a million miles away. Sleepy little towns, mostly low-rise hotels, gorgeous little local diners and beautiful beaches make this a wonderful option for some R&R (perhaps after a busy week exploring theme parks in Orlando or after hopping off a...
16 April 2018
As unbelievable as it may sound for a travel agent who has been selling the destination for years, I visited Bali for the first time ever last month! I was there as part of a whirlwind trip with Travel Counsellors and in 5 days we visited Nusa Dua, Ubud and Seminyak (with a quick morning to Legian and Kuta just to check them out). Each of these 3 areas had a really different atmospheres and each suit a different type of traveller, but they all have a range of accommodation to suit all types of budgets - which is half...
16 April 2018
Recently I was fortunate enough to be invited onboard Viking Sun to do an inspection during its inaugural visit to Australia as part of a 3-month voyage around the world. Viking is well known for its luxury experience, but it's one thing to "know" this and another to experience it! Fortunately, all it’s ocean ships are sister vessels to the Viking Sun, with almost identical layouts, so it was a great opportunity to get a taste of what my clients will experience on a Viking ship no matter where they are in the world. Before getting onboard, we were invited to...
16 March 2017
I’ve just returned from a week exploring the Coral Coast region in Fiji and I’ve not only come home with some great contacts and product knowledge but also a very full heart after spending so much time with some of the happiest people in the South Pacific! In every village we drove through, every fisherman we sailed past, every school we went near we would not just receive a cursory wave but be greeted with massive smiles, enthusiastic waves and screams of “Bula, Bula, Bula”… it’s impossible not to smile and feel joyful when you’re around this kind of happiness...
18 February 2017
Recently I did a ship inspection of P&O's Pacific Eden at White Bay in Sydney. This was my first experience of P&O, and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised! P&O have worked really hard in recent years to work on their "party" image and make their ships a bit classier and that was really evident as we walked around Pacific Eden - beautifully furnished cabins (with the coolest sofa bunks I've ever seen!), larger than normal bathrooms (some with a bath) and a huge variety of bedding and interconnecting options to suits all sorts of requirements. Food is a...
18 February 2017
We often visit family in Brisbane at Christmas time, but we so rarely do any of the "touristy" things, so this Christmas we decided to head up to the Sunshine Coast and visit Australia Zoo for the day. Australia has so many great zoos (Taronga & Dubbo are family favourites) that I wasn't expecting to find much new or amazing about Australia Zoo, but our family had such a fun day and the staff are all so passionate about what they do, we had an absolute blast! There are numerous presentations by the keepers throughout the day and of course the main...
07 December 2016
In April this year I was lucky enough to cross a long time item off my travel bucket list – Borneo. 10 other travel agents and I stayed in Kota Kinabalu for 5 nights and it was the perfect base for exploring not just the city but the whole region, coming and going on day tours and being led by Alvin, our amazing guide from Sabah Tourism. If you’re new to travelling in Asia, or haven’t done it in a while, Kota Kinabalu is a very “easy” city to visit. English is widely spoken, the traffic is fairly orderly (I use...
07 December 2016
Daydream Island is a resort island located in the stunning tropical Whitsundays in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, only half an hour by boat from either Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island. We flew in to Proserpine and took the hour long shuttle ride in to Airlie and were dropped right at the door of the ferry terminal so we could check in our bags and spend a leisurely couple of hours lunching, shopping and exploring before we were due to leave. The ride out from the Port of Airlie was a stunning introduction to the region, with crystal clear water...
06 December 2016
I recently had the opportunity to spend a couple of nights in Los Angeles en route to San Diego and stayed in West Hollywood for the first time. Although it has some of the most popular tourist attractions in LA, Hollywood itself has some pretty sketchy parts, especially after dark and I wasn’t keen to repeat the experience of staying there again. West Hollywood is only 5 minutes down the road at the base of the Hollywood Hills, but you feel like you’re in a completely different city – lots of gorgeous boutique hotels (many of them blending in so...
05 December 2016
I’ve travelled a lot to the United States but on the West Coast I’ve always travelled via LA or San Francisco, so whilst San Diego has been on my “to visit” list, I’ve never quite made it. Then just recently I was offered a place on an agent trip as a guest of San Diego Tourism and Gate 7 (their representation company here in Australia) and I jumped at the chance! I’m a huge fan of train travel, so when I get to arrive somewhere by rail, it’s a great start! We took the Pacific Surfliner from LA’s Union...
05 December 2016
My family and I recently cruised on the Carnival Spirit, sailing out of Sydney, and we loved it so much we’re already looking at another! I have to admit, pre children my husband and I never thought of ourselves as cruisers but it’s such a booming industry here in Australia and with all the inclusions onboard, it’s appeal has definitely grown to the point where we felt it was time to try one with our kids (now aged 6 and 3)…. and now we are completely sold! In this day and age you so rarely get the chance to truly...
Sent in by Sue-Ellen H
Raymond Terrace, 24 December 2019
You're the travel agent I didn't know I needed!
Sent in by Kerrie M
Whitfield, 21 November 2019
Lani is awesome and such a pleasure to deal with. She has such a friendly and relaxed approach whilst still being incredibly professional. I would definitely recommend her to other and I have done so.
Sent in by Emma C
Oakleigh South, 22 October 2019
Lani's service has always been amazing, going above and beyond our expectations. I have recommended Lani to many people already and will continue to champion her business in the future.
Sent in by Tiron M
East Maitland, 22 October 2019
Thanks so much for allowing us to take a few days away after our wedding by arranging it all for us at short notice. We couldn’t have done it without you and it was an amazing trip and was exactly what we were after.
Sent in by Lauren E
Warners Bay, 21 October 2019
Always has been so helpful with planning trips. Given us ideas, so many quotes, & was happy to answer all our questions. Lani was so great at planning our trips for us
Sent in by Rod McL
Waratah, 26 September 2019
Lani, you're the best!
Sent in by Laetitia W
Lambton, 22 September 2019
Using Lani to help us plan and book our family holiday to Europe has been a really positive experience. I would definite recommend her services and use her services again in the future.
Sent in by Shelley M
Gerringong, 29 August 2019
Lani is thorough, profession and prompt. Which we love!
Sent in by Lauren B
Kotara South, 13 August 2019
Amazing customer service, answered our 5000000000000 questions and made sure we chose the right cruise for all our needs. Would definitely recommend Lani!
Sent in by Amanda M
Dapto, 22 July 2019
I already have referred Lani! She is amazing. She put up with all of my changes and I will certainly be using her again.
Sent in by Margot McL
Brighton, 13 May 2019
We have had great service from Lani - would absolutely recommend her to friends & family!
Sent in by Ben S
North Curl Curl, 02 May 2019
Amazing service... Very knowledgeable...
Sent in by Katie C
New Lambton, 14 April 2019
Lani was extremely knowledgeable and helpful with location advice. Really quick at getting quotes to us and liasing with us on all facets of accommodation etc. Lani took the stress out of booking such a big holiday.
Sent in by Jacqui Y
Elermore vale, 15 March 2019
The personal service is great. It is so convenient to message, call, email, at any time and get thorough responses timely. Also, lovely too not to feel 'pushed' in making decisions ...decisions which we are still making.
Sent in by Joel A
Hamilton, 10 March 2019
I have no idea how I ever travelled without Lani looking after me! I travel heaps for my job and Lani has made the whole process quick and easy for myself and my clients. She has also gotten me out of a few hard times (on my end!) where I have been stuck and she comes to the rescue! Lani is the best thing that has happened to my business in a long time!
Sent in by Leah S
Kotara, 10 March 2019
Lani is always a pleasure to deal with! I always recommend her.
Sent in by Zoe W
Pymble, 10 March 2019
Thanks for your help Lani - great that you were able to find a package that suited our needs so well. Also appreciate you checking prices on fares which meant we saved $3000!
Sent in by Kristyn R
Singleton, 13 February 2019
Lani was super helpful and made the whole process stress free!!
Sent in by Jill B
Warners Bay, 13 February 2019
Very professional and friendly.I am really pleased and confident with all arrangements made by Lani.
Sent in by Paul C
Kotara South, 07 December 2018
Lani is fabulous at what she does and goes above and beyond. In a time of family crisis, Lani booked us flights and had everything organised in the quickest turnaround with so little fuss. Amazing!
Sent in by Donna E
Bolton Point, 06 December 2018
Lani has been fantastic. We have a complicated holiday to plan and her helpfulness and expertise have been excellent. She is thoughtful and a pleasure to deal with. I would highly recommend Lani to all holiday planners!
Sent in by Janine C
Coogee, 30 October 2018
Lani has been brilliant and we have another perfect trip planned. I will continue to always use Travel Counsellors because it's stress free.
Sent in by Kellie W
Marmong Point, 17 September 2018
Very professional and friendly service. Nothing was too much trouble. Lots of options were made available at our request to allow us to choose our holiday. Would definitely recommend. Thankyou.
Sent in by Adam W
Merewether, 14 August 2018
Lani was fantastic. I would highly recommend her to others I know looking to book travel. I travel a lot for my work and I wish that I could use her instead of the company that we currently use.
Sent in by Wendy D
Wanneroo, 05 July 2018
I am overwhelmed with the excellent service, especially as I am in a different state. Referred by a friend, so happy they did.
Sent in by Lisa S
New Lambton, 24 May 2018
Amazing - couldn't have been more helpful!
Sent in by Laura & Sarah S
New Lambton, 10 May 2018
Lani was so much help and we would have been lost without her!
Sent in by Rachel M
Wauchope, 10 May 2018
Lani is absolutely brilliant. She is always able to answer my questions quickly, no matter what time of the day or night I email her. She makes me feel as if whatever weird and wonderful adventure idea I may have is never too much trouble for her to organise. Thanks Lani
Sent in by Litsa K
Queanbeyan, 29 April 2018
I think that you are the number one . I have traveled a lot with different travel agents but you have been my favorite, thanks Lani, keep up the good work.
Sent in by Tammy I
New Lambton, 29 April 2018
Fantastic, fast, friendly service, and made booking so easy! Highly recommend Lani to anyone, absolute pleasure to deal with, nothing was a problem!
With independent access to hundreds of travel suppliers around the world, I can pick out exceptional offers with amazing added value. Take a look through my latest selections – but even if nothing catches your eye, let me know what you’re looking for and I’ll do my best to find it for you!
Contact me on 0433 414 712