What happens when you post a one-line teaser for an “insanely priced family cruise” on your Facebook page on a Friday night at 10.30pm?
You get a backlog of messages, emails and responses and go on to take over £123,000 in cruise sales!
This is what happened to Emma, one of our homeworking consultants, when she noticed that a key trade partner, P&O Cruises, was going to release a fantastic deal the following Thursday onboard its brand new ship Arvia for the Welsh Easter school holidays in 2025.
“With prices for a balcony cabin starting from as low as £2,788 for a family of four for two weeks I knew it was a fantastic offer so I thought it might have potential. The response was incredible.”
At 8am on Saturday morning, Emma posted a 20-minute video revealing more about the itinerary, the ship, the on board facilities, the choice of cabins and the various package prices.
She then opened up an appointment system asking those who were genuinely interested to book a slot with her to discuss their individual needs.
Emma initially made 32 slots available in her diary – they all went within the first day.
“I had people messaging me saying: ‘I can’t get a slot. How do I get a slot?’ So I had to make more slots available. [Before Thursday] I had spoken to 45 different families, with 40 of them paying a deposit. On the day of the launch, we booked all 40 in just 90 minutes. It was insane.”
With just a small window to secure the bookings at the fixed price, Emma’s business development manager, Natalie, helped arrange support from members of the operations team at Not Just Travel’s head office and a fellow travel consultant.
Emma also turned to her two regular employees who she recruited in 2023 when her business got too big to handle on her own. She has a virtual assistant who works 10 hours a month doing back office maintenance and admin, she also has a local assistant, who works 12 hours a week, helping Emma prepare quotes, resolve any issues with suppliers or answer customer questions.
“I genuinely couldn’t run my business without these two ladies. If I’m out of the office, on a fam trip or touring a new cruise ship, they keep things ticking over for me in the office.”
Considering Emma only launched her travel consultancy with Not Just Travel a few years ago in 2019, these new recruits are evidence that her business is thriving, even though she previously worked in advocacy.
While many of Emma’s customers are based locally and include parents from her daughter’s school and members of her local choir, a huge number also come via social media.
The combination means she has a good cross section of bookings from families and couples to a wide range of destinations from Disney and Lapland to bucket-list holidays on Orient Express trains and to cruises around the Galapagos.
“I’ve built a good Facebook following. And there are a few local pages where if someone wants travel advice, 20 people will recommend and tag me – it’s very compelling if the same name keeps coming up again and again.”
With around 1,700 followers on her Not Just Travel page and additional followers on her VIP members-only page, Emma has got into the habit of posting every day.
“I post a mixture of videos, offers, travel tips and reviews. I’m very honest in my posts and direct. It’s what my customers want. They want honesty. They want integrity. I won’t just sell them anything.”