Based in Dublin

Jeni Ringland

It's Nice To Meet You

Let's talk about holidays! I love planning travel and from our first phone call I will do my best to listen and really figure out what you are looking for and what will make your hard-earned holiday truly special.
If you want to meet in person, or get home from work in the evening, put your feet up and give me a call, I will be there. Think of me as your personal travel concierge; once you've booked, my work continues, putting all the little details in place, compiling tips and advice for your specific trip, checking you in and being on call should anything go wrong. I will make sure we don't forget a single thing and you have all the info you need to make everything run smoothly.

I am based in Dublin, where I grew up, but have lived in the U.K., Berlin, Amsterdam and Barcelona. I have travelled to five continents and over 40 countries so far. I love planning amazing holidays and helping others to have wonderful travel experiences, whatever their desires.

I have 14 years’ experience in tailor-made travel. My clients trust me to build perfect worldwide itineraries, whether it’s a month travelling around Australia while visiting family, an African safari or a coastal drive in the States; I have been there and I know how to make everything seamless. I have a certificate in sustainable tourism, I'm a cruise expert and I'm always looking for ways to ensure my clients' travel plans will have a positive impact on their destination.
I became a Travel Counsellor because no other travel company allows me to deliver such a personal service and their unrivalled technology and access to the world makes my life very easy. Give me a ring and together we can plan your next adventure.

I hope to talk to you soon.


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My Blog

I absolutely live and breathe travel and I love to write about my experiences! Please take a look through my posts - you might find your own holiday inspiration.

Sun and fun in Dubai

04 September 2022

This Spring, courtesy of Dubai Tourism and Emirates airline, I headed off to Dubai for a whirlwind tour of this always changing city in the desert. The region has been inhabited for just 200 years and Dubai itself really only came to life in the sixties so there is a sense of the new here in the U.A.E. We stayed in the marina area for the first few nights and I loved that you could walk out the door of the hotel and stroll along the promenade, with its fabulous shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. The beach here is a miles long strip with beach clubs, a big wheel, inflatables at sea for the kids; sunbeds for hire; there really was loads going on. All the hotels in this area have amazing sea views where you can see the magnificent man-made Palm Island stretching out into the Arabian Sea. That is where we headed next; I got to stay in the magnificent Atlantis for two nights; it's a large slice of Vegas for the Middle East and so much fun! Shaped like a Palace from Aladdin, and centred around a ginormous aquarium, this place makes for an unforgettable family holiday. It has one of the largest waterparks in the world, Aquaventure. If you are not staying at the hotel you can still buy day tickets for this park, and it has something for everyone, from a very long meandering lazy river to the scariest dead-drop waterfall ride. As well as Aquaventure and the Aquarium, (where we scuba walked with sharks!) this hotel has some really great restaurants by Gordon Ramsey, Nobu and more. There are buggies that take you from section to section at this resort and four different sun areas along the beach, from sleepy to Ibiza-style, there is something for everyone. The thing that stood out to me the most from this trip was the food, and that was a surprise. I love my seafood and have tried it all over the world and honestly, this was the best I have ever had. The sushi, barbecued fish, oysters, everything was so fresh and clean. Everywhere we ate I was blown away by the standard of cooking, the freshness of ingredients and the variety of cuisines on offer. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the new in 2022 'Museum of the Future'. This mind-blowing building was constructed with absolutely no pillars inside, it is impossible to figure out how it stands up. Inside the visitor is taken on a virtual journey into the future: you are beamed up in a rocket to a satellite station in the imaginary future, where people live and work in space creating and discovering new technologies to assist us down on earth. It is really believable and so well done. We made an obligatory trip out into the desert, where we had a camel ride and went sand duning in jeeps. I DID NOT like either of these, my nerves were shot, especially in the jeep, but others loved it! Overall I really enjoyed seeing how Dubai is embracing fun and the future with its incredible design led architecture, theme parks and incredible hotels. If you want guaranteed sunshine, great hospitality and a real escape from the norm, then I recommend a break in Dubai.

Norwegian Getaway - Mediterranean Cruise

22 September 2021

Just last week I got the chance to sail on the fabulous ship NCL Getaway, from Civitavecchia, the port of Rome. It was so much fun! It was my first time to cruise and a lot was how I imagined but there were some surprises too. Our ship set sail at 5pm and sailed right through the next day arriving in Palma, Mallorca on day 3 very early in the morning. We set sail again for the return journey, with another full day at sea and arrived back into Civitavecchia the morning of day 5. The first thing I learned was that having a day at sea is so relaxing! Just knowing that you can't go anywhere instantly puts you into a chill mode. NCL ships have lots of sundecks on multiple levels and a wonderful crew to bring you drinks and towels while you laze by the pool or face out to sea in your sun lounger. There are quiet areas and lively areas, depending on your mood. So basically we spent these two days at sea moving between restaurants, sun loungers and the pool and it was heaven! I also treated myself to an afternoon in the spa! There are lots of options for dining onboard. Most cruise lines have one main very big restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, alongside a huge buffet restaurant for more casual round the clock dining. NCL has split that main dining area into 3 distinct restaurants with rotating menus, and this offers far more variety. The largest of the three, the Tropicana, is a gorgeous opulent room with live music through dinner. It has an art deco feel and harks back to old style cruising; it feels very decadent, and the food is fine dining standard. It was fun in the evening to pick one of the 11 bars onboard for a cocktail, most with outside areas, then relax over a long dinner and then head to a show or karaoke or the upper deck disco into the wee hours. Every night was different. There is an Irish style bar onboard too, no Guinness served though unfortunately. This bar had some of the best food though, the burgers were so good I went back a second time! Cabins on all cruise ships, regardless of who you sail with are compact and they don't really vary, although the bathrooms on the newer NCL ships are very spacious. What was a surprise for me was how well I slept. The design of these cabins mean they black out completely when you turn out the light, and the gentle movement of the ship means you are rocked into slumber. I would definitely recommend getting a balcony room every time as this really does give you more sense of space, and it is something special to wake up in the morning and take in the view of whichever port you have arrived at over night. Plus it is handy for drying your swimsuit! Palma, Mallorca was also a new experience for me. What a fabulous small city! It has a stunning citadel up on a hill and an enormous Basilica that rivals Alhaurin. It's clear to see what an important trade route this was, from the 13th Century and beyond. We had a fab tapas lunch in the old town and then collapsed on the gorgeous city beach. After two summers of Irish sea swimming it was a pure joy to dive into the warm waters of the Med, it felt like I was swimming in a bath. Ibiza style cafes by the beach provided a last goodbye and then we headed back to the ship, which had been in our sights the whole day as the port is right at the end of Palma Marina. Cruising is a great way to get a glimpse of a few new interesting places in a very relaxing way. It would be a fab way to see Alaska, or some Caribbean Islands. I would recommend NCL for anyone who hasn't cruised and wants to to have a holiday with a sense of adventure but who doesn't want to try too hard.

Rum and fun in Barbados

19 February 2020

From the moment I stepped into the British Airways Clubworld cabin I knew this trip was going to be special. With Barbados Tourist Board and B.A. as our hosts, we it was clear we were in good hands. I got to experience business class comfort for our 8 hour flight. This meant a few hours sleep in a flat bed with a real duvet and full-size pillow, but not before a glass of champagne at take off and a three course meal and a movie. Bliss! We arrived fully rested and ready to go! We were greeted at the airport with cold towels and bottled water, just what we needed as boy it was hot, hot, hot! Beautiful blue skies, palm trees and sunny smiles, welcome to the Caribbean! My room for the next five nights was at the divine SeaBreeze Resort. It is a boutique All Inclusive hotel, with a really inviting atmosphere; the hotel crew are really relaxed and friendly and always make sure you have a rum punch or coffee, or whatever you need. The small sweep of beach has beautiful white sand. When lying at the adults only pool, or out on the beach the staff bring cocktails, extra towels, little bowls of sorbet, without you ever having to move. We were 60 travel agents from the UK and Ireland on a trip to experience the best of Barbados. Every morning we had an early start and hotel inspections, and every afternoon we got to relax for a few hours by the pool. Each evening was different. We went to a fine dining seafood restaurant one night and ate lobster while the waves crashed against the side of the terrace. British Airways organised a mini festival at an old plantation house up in the mountains one evening, with a who's who of Barbados tourism in attendance. We had amazing fish tacos and breadfruit and lots of things I have never tried before, including limbo dancing! Another evening we got to sail on a catamaran for a sunset cruise; that was so much fun. I felt like I was in a Duran Duran video with my hair blowing in the wind, champagne in one hand, holding onto the ropes for dear life with the other! We got to snorkel on that cruise and we met beautiful turtles swimming all around our boat. Another evening we went to a Caribbean dinner dance show. If you think of a trip to Johnny Foxes when you have tourists in town, well this was that but Caribbean style. Dancers on stilts, fire eaters, whirling dervishes, pumping samba music and kettledrums and a barbeque on the beach. This is a once weekly experience not to be missed by anyone on holiday here. One morning we went on a jeep safari and drove right across the island, we saw Rihanna's home place, Simon Cowell's apartment, we drove through sugar plantations, but actually far more interesting were all the rural villages, each notable for their beautiful little churches and obligatory rum shops. These are tin shacks selling rum and other drinks and they are all over the island. The highlight of the jeep safari was a bumpy ride to the top of the hills in the west, where we got an incredible view of the coastline below. The beaches of the west coast are exactly how you imagine the Caribbean to be; blue, blue sea and white soft sand. The south of the island is better for water sports and surf and it is where you find the clubs and party areas. You can easily get everywhere during your stay in cheap taxis though, so it is worth exploring. Everybody walks really, really slowly in Barbados. I went to take a photo one day and strayed from the group. As I was running back a woman actually stopped her car, rolled down her window and said to me "hey lady, no running, you're on holiday!" She was right. What was the rush? When you are in the Caribbean you have to slow down, unwind, and enjoy. Life will take care of itself.

Family campsite holiday, Lake Garda

25 March 2019

OK so it wasn't really camping, we had a mobile home, far easier! This was our first campsite holiday and our daughters, 5 and 7, chose Italy as that's where Peppa Pig went on her holidays and they love pizza! Seems logical enough to me! We flew to Milan Bergamo and rented a car for the 90-minute drive to Lake Garda. I had selected Silvella Camp for its simplicity. It is a small camp, just 250 mobile units, right on the Lake with two pools but no slides or water park. We booked an Al Fresco two bed unit and we had plenty of space. Glass double doors opened out fully onto a large deck with table, chairs and sun loungers so we ate all our meals outside in the sunshine. They are laid out in such a way that each deck is private, and you can park your car right up beside your unit. This was definitely the most relaxing and laziest holiday we have ever had with the kids, it was bliss. We quickly fell into a routine. I would wake first and tiptoe out of the house and walk 200m to the lake and dive in for an early morning swim. I had the lake to myself most mornings, it was so peaceful. Then I would pick up fresh baguettes from the bakers and head back to the deck for breakfast. Italian cheeses and salami, freshly brewed coffee, watermelon; beats a bowl of porridge any day! We did a big supermarket shop the first day and spoiled ourselves with the best food that Italy has to offer. We barely cooked all week after that, just picking on antipasti all day and barbecuing in the evening. After breakfast the girls went to the kids camp from 10-12 and my hubby and I grabbed two spots by the pool and fell back asleep/read our books. Our mobile was just 100m from the pool and café area, so everything was just so easy...forgot your sunblock, no problem, head back up and get it. We would wander home to make a few ham rolls and bring them back poolside, all nice and easy. Most evenings we would barbecue on our deck and then every night at 8 the music would start up and the girls would turn completely hyper; kiddie disco time! The entertainment team of 20-year olds from all over Europe would take the stage and act out all the moves, and the kids would all stand and follow the steps. They all learned songs in Portuguese/Spanish/Italian/Dutch/German/English off by heart, no bother to them! It only lasted half an hour, but it was the highlight of every day for my two! Then after there would be a magic show or karaoke or a family quiz. One night the team put on an hilarious version of Lion King, the kids loved it, and everything was always over by 21:30. We only ventured away from the park 3 days out of 9, which surprised me, but we found the camp so relaxing we just never got around to it most days. When we did though, Lake Garda is a gorgeous part of the world to explore, although some of the roads are a bit scary to drive. My favourite little town that we found was Salo. We had lots of fun wandering the cobbled streets and secret alleyways that linked them all. Throughout the town there are murals and flowers hanging everywhere, or gigantic hams drying in shop windows. I must have taken 100 photos. We also took a ferry to Sirmione, a little peninsula at the south of the lake. You can walk from the ferry to the highest, furthest point where you'll find a huge Roman Villa complex, and what a view! Walking through the ruins you really can imagine yourself back in Roman times. The town itself is thronged with tourists but you can see why, as it is so pretty. I would recommend going early if you are there in summer, but it is definitely worth a look. We are now hooked on campsites and this summer we are heading to the South of France and have a camp on the beachfront. It will be interesting to see how wet sandy towels and wet sandy kids add to the fun of mobile living! Charlotte and Rosie both have their swimming certificates now too so the camp has a lazy river and a few slides I am brave enough to let them play on. There are hundreds of family campsites dotted across Europe and it can be overwhelming trying to choose which one best suits your family at the age they are. I have done the legwork and know what's that so let me help you choose. September/October is the ideal time, pricewise, to put down a deposit.

New York Revisited

22 March 2019

I went to New York with my two best friends this October, and we had a blast! Neither of them had been before and it was my 5th visit so it was lovely for me planning out the perfect trip, but also seeing everything through their excited eyes. Quite a bit had changed though, and all for the better. We stayed in the Evelyn in Nomad, just a stone's throw from the Flatiron. It was so swish; newly refurbed in glorious art deco, we were offered vouchers for a free cocktail at check-in, what a way to start our trip! The first night I wanted to bring the girls to East Village, my favourite part of town. We had dinner at Yakatori Taisho. It's a real local’s kind of place where you just have to pick some random dish from the menu and cross your fingers, but trust me, everything is amazing! A Korean couple sat alongside us at our bench, heard our accents and bought us warm saki! He loves to golf in Mayo, loves Ireland...yep, we were in New York alright! A pub crawl later we fall into our beds, ready for an early start the next day. Sunday morning early in Manhattan is magical; jetlag had us up and out at 8am, hunting for a Jewish deli for our breakfast. We were almost the only people on the street, it was so quiet. Two hours later, when we came back out from Eisenhowers, full of coffee and salmon bagels, the noise hit us like a ten-tonne truck! The peace didn't last long! This morning we walked the Highline, a new experience for me. Spanning from Hudson Yards on 34th all the way down to Gansevoort Street, this raised up walkway on a disused railway track gives a fabulous view into the backs of apartments, showing New York and everyday living from a completely new angle, great fun! Plus, now you have the amazing new Hive at the start of the walk; 3 miles of sloping staircases and viewing platforms in a rose gold monolith, built just for looking out on New York. We stopped for lunch at Gansevoort Market and then Chelsea Market for dessert, both essential for people watching and food from all over the world. I had Colombian beans and rice! We walked Greenwich village that afternoon with 'Free Tours by Foot'. They are a wonderful sustainable company that give employment to local people, walking around their own area and showing you all the sites you would miss if you walked alone. You pay what you can afford. I have been to Greenwich many times but really enjoyed this local lady's perspective, she had so much gossip! That night we went to the Village Vanguard for jazz. It’s one of the originals and best. Monday the girls headed off to the Empire State while I said I would queue for discount theatre tickets. Here's a tip: if you skip Times Square and go to the Lincoln Centre, round the back is a tiny desk where the local's go. It opens at 12 and there are never more than a handful in the queue. I got tickets for School of Rock and then had a few hours strolling Central Park, eating sushi to die for, and met my friends again at Central Station. That afternoon we headed to Brooklyn and after a few pizza slices and more coffee, we walked Brooklyn Bridge. We got really lucky with the sunshine and had a fab view of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline as we made our way through the throngs crossing the bridge. As we came down from the bridge, there was a gathering around some buskers and a gorgeous little park with hotdog stands and kids running around, a little low rise oasis in the middle of all the skyscraper madness. Tuesday was our last day but not flying until late we packed loads more in. We went to the 9/11 memorial, which was new for me too. That area of the island has really transformed into a thought provoking but fun and vibrant part of the city, with it's incredible Oculus Shopping Centre, shaped like the skeleton of some weird alien, it has to be seen to be believed. I would recommend getting up early and going to bed earlyish… go online to find the happy hours...they are all over the city and some last right up to 9 p.m. Fit in some live music, whatever takes your fancy, there is no better city for it. Take in Manhattan one section at a time and use the subway! It's fun and cheap. New York is all about street food, it is everywhere and there is something for everyone so make sure you try it! Our next trip together will be Chicago, can't wait!

More than the White House

09 October 2019

When my other half said he had to go to a conference in December I initially thought poor you, that was until he told me it was in Washington and I jumped straight on the laptop and booked a second seat. It may not be on everyone's bucket list, but it was certainly on mine! As a lifelong follower of American politics and the theatre of the election process over there (as well as being an avid fan of the West Wing) I just couldn't wait to see D.C. for myself. D.C. really surprised me. We arrived late and had booked a hotel in the newly gentrified Wharf district, so our first night we wandered along the waterfront and stopped off for beers and food. Although it was winter and very cold, the bars have outside fireplaces and blankets and there was an atmosphere of sophistication and money but fun, nonetheless. The following day, before Eoghan had to head off to conference I had booked a walking tour of the Capitol and surrounding area. This is something I would always recommend doing in a new city. Our guide was a local history teacher subsidising his income! He brought us to the Supreme Court and the Jefferson Library, which blew my mind. So many movies have included it, and the murals inside the main lobby and the reading room are really beautiful. It would be almost impossible not to write a Booker Prize winner in a room like this. It was useful to have our guide orientate us so we could see where we were in relation to the White House, then he left us at the top of the Hill and handed us our tickets into the Capitol Building. Inside there we took another tour of this old, domineering monolith and it was cool to see all the statues of previous presidents and door names like Paul Ryan and Speaker Pelosi. Weirdly enough, one of the best parts of the Capitol Building was the canteen! I am slightly obsessed with food and they had the canteen divided into U.S. regions, so you could have Southern, Tex Mex, East Coast Lobster; every part of America had a dish on offer and the food was really good. Plus, its subsidised of course so happy days!! After lunch we headed out and walked the famous Mall getting to the bottom and the Lincoln Memorial just at dusk. Some people say never meet your heroes, and I believe that some famous sites can be occasionally underwhelming, such as the Sphinx in Egypt. But the Lincoln Memorial was incredible. This giant sculpture of the sitting Lincoln is dwarfed by the chamber in which he sits, which is eerily lit and engraved inside with the Gettysburg Address and his second Inaugural address. The Memorial gives pause for thought and it was interesting to see how American schoolkids were also there and reacting so reverentially to it. Dusk is the perfect time to visit as you get an amazing view back down along the Mall. That evening was great craic! I had the genius idea, if I say so myself, to seek out a local comedy club. We found this great bar in the student area of Adam's Morgan. It was called Madam's Organ and was basically a dive bar with amazing pub grub and a comedy night on Monday's. It was open mic night, so we saw about 15 funny people try their hand and making us laugh. Some were more successful than others, but even bad comedy can be hilarious. We got chatting to lots of locals here, it was a fun night. I spent the remaining 2 days visiting the museums and the many Modern Galleries on the Mall that make up part of the Smithsonian Suite of Museums. They are all free. The highlight for me was the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture. It covered so much, from a whole floor dedicated to African American music, everyone from Nina Simone to Tina Turner, right down to the full-scale model of a slave ship in the basement. This interactive museum taught me so much about a subject I thought I knew from books and movies. You have to get tickets months in advance, but I recommend it. So overall, I was delighted by the diversity I found in D.C. So many varying neighbourhoods to walk and explore, brilliant public transport, including a free loop bus that stops everywhere a tourist would want to go, GREAT food at good prices. Walking the Mall and seeing the gigantic sparkly white buildings along it is incomparable to anything I've seen in other cities. It's also interesting to see democracy in action. We came across so many peaceful protests on every subject under the sun. If your interest in taking a trip to the US Capital contact me to find out all my insider tips!

Orlando - More than just the Parks

14 September 2017

Three generations of my family got the chance to head to sunny Florida last October. With seven adults and a three-year-old in tow, we were sure we would like to see more than just the parks, but we got tickets to Universal all the same. No matter your age, an American theme park should be on everyone’s bucket list, it’s just uncompromised fun!!! Every second day of our trip we spent between Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure, both right beside each other. We experienced what it’s like to actually be in a tornado! We got turned into minions in a virtual reality universe, a magic wand chose me in Harry Potter World, I rode the scariest indoor Rollercoaster EVER and watched a live open-air concert by the Blues Brothers! Even the queues are entertaining, with interactive shows happening as you wait. Staying in a house rental really helped us feel almost like locals. We were like excited kids when we opened the door of the house and found a huge American style open kitchen, filter coffee maker, gigantic microwave, even bigger TV’s everywhere! We knew we were in the States alright. The garage with pool table and table football and a fridge for beer really confirmed that for us. It was the perfect base for a family trip, and best of all, sliding doors from the ‘den’ led to our very own swimming pool! There was even an alarm on the doors so you would know if a child went out unsupervised. Most of the houses on our street were owned by regular families, as we discovered on Halloween night. It was so much fun to see literally hundreds of kids in fancy dress going door to door trick-or-treating. It was like being on the set of E.T. We could walk to the local Walmart, of course we were the only ones who ever did!! That is a fun experience in itself, you can buy everything from blow-up beds to Hunting rifles to ten litre tubs of ice-cream. There was even a sports bar ten minutes’ walk away from the house. The waitresses all had cowboy hats and each beer came with a big bowl of peanuts, and the locals just threw the shells on the ground in big piles! Everyone is so open and friendly in Orlando, you feel welcome everywhere you go. We went orange picking at ‘Showcase of Citrus’, a really fun place to go with kids too. It’s a real working farm where you get wheelbarrows and pick your own grapefruits, oranges, whatever is in season from Autumn through to Spring. They have a gorgeous market shop and playground, and it is off the highway and in the countryside, yet easy to find. A $30 Walmart juicer and we were good to go for the whole trip. We went to Gatorland on our last day to kill a few hours and ended up having the most fun! Literally hundreds of alligators and crocodiles of all shapes and sizes, along with parrots, giant turtles, and lots of other animals. Our toddler loved it and the feeding time was scary but impressive to watch! We took a trip to Celebration, the Disney town. That was a strange but fascinating place. It is a real working town with churches and schools and normal working people, but all designed by Disney, so it is pretty to within an inch of its life. The kind of place where happiness is compulsory. Truly not like any town I’ve ever seen anywhere, well worth a look and only 15 minutes’ drive from downtown Orlando. I’d recommend a breakfast in Cracker Barrell just one of the mornings, for authentic country style pancakes and coffee, and a movie night is really fun as everything is supersized; from the seats and screen and sound to the popcorn! Broaden your horizons on a trip to Orlando, and you’ll be rewarded.

Treetops Lodge, Kenya

16 July 2017

When I decided to go on safari in Kenya my grandmother insisted that I try and stay in the Treetops Lodge, as she was familiar with the imagery from Queen Elizabeth II’s honeymoon visit, when she had arrived a Princess and left a Queen. We booked a week-long tour in Kenya, staying in luxury campsites everywhere we went but an overnight in the Treetops Lodge, in the middle of our trip, was something entirely different and really magical. Our first introduction was to be driven to a grand ex-colonial Governor’s house in a nearby village, where we were greeted with iced tea and asked to wait in a drawing room filled with old photos of the Lodge throughout its history. Here we checked in and received a small talk on what to expect. It was explained that the all-wooden Lodge is built up on stilts, it is not actually a treehouse, and the structure has been in place longer than any local animals have been alive, and so they are completely accustomed and unperturbed by its towering presence on the landscape beside a large watering hole. We were excited to see it and boarded a bus. Following a short journey, we arrived at the Lodge and were ushered quickly and quietly inside. This is not a luxury Hotel. Everything is basic and it feels like possibly nothing has changed here in 100 years. Our cabin, one of around 30, was really no larger than an average Irish box room but the view from the window was incredible. When we arrived through a secret passage at the back of the Lodge, there were about 20 elephants out the front and we now had a great view from our window. Each room has a buzzer too, so that at night if there is any exciting activity at the watering hole, the buzzer sounds and flashes red to alert you to go to the viewing area on the roof. Of course you can turn this off, but we didn’t and it was so exciting at 3 a.m. to awake and then, wrapped in blankets and clutching hot chocolate, we watched a group of hyenas skulking around the watering hole. Stephen, the guide on night duty told us that he thought there might be a rhino around, and sure enough, after a little while our patience was rewarded with a fantastic full view of a wonderful black rhino, cautiously drinking and looking around for danger. It really was like watching your own live David Attenborough documentary. The highlight for me though was having a real up close and personal viewing of the elephant family. Although the lodge is on stilts, there is a little windowless ground level bunker and at the front of this room they have cut ta few letterbox-size viewing holes at various heights. This meant that we got to be just centimetres away from the elephants! It was really fun to spy on them without bothering them at all, and I must have stayed there for hours because we arrived just after lunch and I remember them calling us to get ready for dinner. It was absolutely fascinating to see how the generations of elephants interacted with one another, in a way very similar to humans. Treetops Lodge has a very special atmosphere and the animals seem to live in such tranquillity, it is a very inspiring place.

Pampered in Peru

14 September 2017

I decided to opt for a ‘Comfort Tour’ with Intrepid for my trip to Peru as I didn’t have time to hike the Inca Trail and I wanted to fly between destinations rather than take long bus journeys. The accommodation on these trips is a little more comfortable too. The trip I chose focused on the Amazon and Machu Picchu, and we had many interesting detours in between. Lima was a surprise, full of Spanish colonial architecture and wide boulevards. Our Peruvian guide took us along a windy route through the cities old town and even into a huge, spooky ancient crypt that I doubt we would have discovered on our own. I love walking around a city with a local, as they point things out to you that you may never have noticed and usually know where to get the best coffee! We flew on to Puerto Maldonado and from there took a riverboat along a tributary of the Amazon to our Jungle Lodge, Corto Maltes. We could barely see it from the river, as it was so well hidden within the jungle. This lodge was teeming with wildlife; toucans and parrots flew everywhere and as the sun went down, the noise from the insects and frogs and birds was exactly as I had imagined, but louder! I loved this lodge, it is run by a French couple, and the food was practically haute cuisine, and all grown and reared locally. We spent three days here, taking boat trips, relaxing in hammocks on our private decks, swimming in the jungle pool. It was just a small taste of Amazon life but I felt very lucky to be there and experience this lush landscape, more alive than anywhere I’ve been before. Next we flew to Cuzco. Known as a starting point for trips to the Sacred Valley, it is so beautiful I could have easily stayed longer. Surrounded by a really stunning mountain landscape, Cuzco is bustling, friendly, full of shops and cafés. We then took a short bus trip to Aguas Calientes, as staying the night here means being among the first to reach Machu Picchu the next morning. I quite liked the higgledy piggledy ramshackle town with its swirling white-water river. We woke in the middle of the night to be the first to board the gorgeous bright blue Inca train at sunrise. The train was full of early riser tourists but also local people heading to the world-famous Machu Picchu to sell their wares. The site itself was far larger than I imagined and once again having our own guide who has been with us all along, meant that we avoided queues for tours and could get straight in there. He brought us around the site via an alternative route, so we didn’t miss anything but weren’t traipsing round with hundreds of others either. Another flight, this time to Puno, our base for a trip to Lake Titicaca. Here we visited the floating islands of the Uru people. Only a few hundred people now live on these islands made from reeds grown on the lake. Such a unique and disappearing way of life, it was really interesting to walk on the bouncy reeds and very hard to imagine allowing your babies to crawl around on them as the locals do, they were totally fearless!! This trip offered me a varied, colourful, easy insight into Peru, mostly showing me how it was in the past. I was most struck by the ingenuity of the Incas and the architectural skill they showed, in creating complex towns and cities in remote mountainous landscapes, capable of surviving earthquakes and invasions. I will return some day and hike the Sacred Valley, but for now, this snapshot was a joy.

My customer stories

Sent by George T

With relatively short notice for a query, Jeni was able to respond very quickly and sort us out expertly with little no or fuss. Very knowledgeable with some great suggestions based on our budget and easy going to deal. I would 100% use Jeni again when planning big adventures further afield than Europe.

Sent by I Burger

Very calmly helped me and my family rearrange and book etc our holiday in August 2023. Efficient and brilliant.

Sent by L Costello

I recently got a quote from Jeni for a trip we were planning for a while. I also got a quote from 3 other companies for the same trip but the reason I chose to book with Travel Councellors was simply because of the service I received from Jeni. She actually put effort and interest into creating the itinerary, it didn't seem like I was just another number or target she had to meet. She showed genuine interest in making the trip as exciting and memorable for us as she could. She recommended places to stay and ideas I hadn't even thought of to help make the trip better for us. I would highly recommend her to other people looking to book.

Sent by M Tennyson

Jeni is most helpful whenever we contact her about anything related to our travel plans. She makes us confident that all our plans will be exactly as we request.

Sent by N Hegarty

Jeni has been marvellous: responsive, approachable, adaptable; great communication skills. We have felt in excellent, friendly, and professional hands throughout, and she has designed our trip perfectly. Many thanks.

Sent by M Caffrey

Jeni is very approachable with an infectious enthusiasm for your holiday. In my experience, she does her best to design the best possible trip for her client.

Sent by Erika M

Jeni has been absolutely fabulous. She is amazing at her job. She organised our honeymoon and messaged us when we went to Mexico to make sure all was well. She is now organising our big family holiday for 10 people and she's just amazing!

Sent by T Foley

Jeni Ringland was recommended to me by a friend who booked a holiday with her last year. I found Jeni really helpful and she made booking a holiday with small kids really easy. She gave us plenty of options and tailored the holiday for our family. Jeni was friendly, responsive and very efficient when booking our holiday.

Sent by J Warren

It was great working with Jeni she was brilliant and I would recommend her to anyone.

Sent by S Flanagan

I have recently come back from a wonderful holiday in Thailand all thanks to Jeni. Myself and my wife decided we wanted to do something special for our 50th birthdays at the start of 2021 but we hadn’t a clue what to do. This is where Jeni comes into her own. She came and met us face-to-face to understand our likes, dislikes, and budget and then she came back with several options. Thailand ticked every box we were looking for. Jeni put together an itinerary that covered all our wishes and organised the planning of moving between three locations which included longboat and speedboat transfers! Her communication was first class, everything went swimmingly, and we had an amazing time. If you are struggling to came up ideas for a truly memorable exotic holiday, contact Jeni.

Sent by Pamela Kent

Excellent service, Jeni is so helpful and I feel that I know her even though we have never met. It was great during the covid pandemic as I didn't have to worry about anything, she did all the work. I have already booked my vacation for next year with her.

Sent by G Hunt

Jeni is a super Travel Counsellor. I have already recommended her to a couple of friends and I will recommend her in the future also!

Sent by Margaret C

Excellent service by Jeni Ringland in all our trips

Sent by R Doyle

Absolutely amazing from start of planning to finalising everything - could not be happier and looking forward to a long friendship in booking travel.

Sent by M Tennyson

Jeni was very helpful and patient with all our requests. We certainly have no problem recommending her to family and friends.

Sent by Jessica A

Jeni made the whole process so easy. She gave excellent advice, replied promptly and got us a fabulous deal. We will definitely use her services again.

Sent by L Mooney

Jeni went above and beyond to find us availability for a holiday to Lapland when we were concerned everything was booked out. She also gave us lots of ideas for family holidays during the Summer. I would definitely recommend Jeni when booking your next trip away!

Sent by S Scully

Jeni was very helpful and made organising the holiday easy.

Sent by Emma D

I was recommended Jeni and having her to book my trip was excellent! I would definitely recommend!

Sent by Laura K

Jeni was an absolute joy to work with and helped us book a family holiday of a lifetime in South Africa!

Sent by Gary C

Jeni was amazing, she really listened to what we were looking for in our honeymoon, sourcing the perfect location that suited us and our budget.

Sent by Daniel G

Jeni is very helpful and accommodating. I was looking for a very custom type package to see 2 different parts of Sicily and Jeni created a really amazing package covering 3 areas. Customer experience 10/10. Definitely will book with Jeni again!

Sent by Margaret C

Jeni Ringland is amazing - a pleasure to work with.

Sent by Andy H

Very efficient, always calls back, always at hand. Five stars.

Sent by P Kent

Great support and knowledge and knew what I wanted. When the Covid crisis happened I didn't have to worry about anything, she looked after everything and even held onto my money and rebooted my trip for this year. I'm going to book another trip with her for September.

Sent by B Walsh

Prompt, efficient, helpful and very friendly service. Very satisfied.

Sent by Stephen F

Jeni has been amazing so far, myself and my wife were initially set on a different holiday and Jeni used her experience to advise us what had changed since we first decided on that location. She then had the arduous job of helping us from scratch where we came up with all sorts of ideas. She was patient and helpful in looking at those options and gave us great advice. Finally she came up with the idea of Thailand, which we'd never thought of before. Then she gave us fantastic options to choose from. We're delighted with our choice and very excited about our holiday. This is all down to Jeni.

Sent by Mike Grogan

Jeni has arranged two super holidays for my family since we met in early 2018. We intend to keep asking her to plan and arrange them for us. It is extremely helpful to be able to give Jeni the criteria and budget and she will come back with suggestions and that extra personal touch, such as booking a celebratory lunch or organising car seats for the boys. She organised everything and all we had to do was turn up at the airport. The app is really handy too; it held all our documents and can be used to pay off your trip over time. It also gives flight alerts should anything change. We’re delighted we met Jeni and Travel Counsellors!

Sent by Rob Roe

Jeni Ringland makes your dream holiday a reality. A Travel Counsellor giving really personalised service, a true professional and a pleasure to deal with. Five stars is not enough .

Sent by Clare Furlong

We went to Italy and Jeni was brilliant she really knows how to make sure you have a hassle free holiday from start to finish. Her attention to detail and all the little personal touches were so lovely. She really knows her stuff. I have highly recommended Jeni and Travel Counsellors to all my friends and family. Can't wait for the next one .

Sent by Eamon Tuffy

Jeni is excellent. Efflcient, personable, responds quickly, including at the weekend. No more stress of finding holidays myself online, I wiill go to Jeni from now on. 5 Stars.

Sent by Adrienne Quinlan

Jeni you are always so helpful I don't know what I would do without your travel assistance, always friendly and totally professional.

Sent by Jean Evans

Very attentive and went beyond the call of duty to source options that would work for me and my family, despite difficulties and lack of availability. Jeni came up with the goods and we managed to get it all booked, so I'm a happy camper.

Sent by Clare Walsh

Jeni is absolutely fantastic. She organised our whole holiday from start to finish. Flights, accommodation, car hire, train tickets, it was so hassle-free for us. We gave Jeni a brief outline of what we wanted and I could not have chosen better myself it was exactly what we wanted. Jeni is so easy to talk to and has a great understanding of her clients needs. We would highly recommend Jeni and Travel Counsellors. We will be using them again.

Sent by Leanne Williams

The professional yet personal touch from our travel counsellor Jeni Ringland was amazing so helpful in every way, would recommend this service to others.

Sent by Breda Holohan

Very well organised, articulate and knowledgeable of all aspects of our trips.

Sent by Edel Donohue O'Reilly

Such a lovely experience. Jeni was completely accessible no matter the time of day. Very friendly and a good sense of humour! I've passed on her details to family members too!