Tell us a bit about your business?
Travel Counsellors is a unique home-based travel business in partnership with an award-winning, personal travel company. We are not like any other travel company. We put the customer back at the heart of their own travel experience, and we’re proud to lead on service rather than price. We have a business model that is robust and proven and has allowed us to build on unrivaled customer satisfaction score and amazing repeat business.

What did you learn from your previous experiences as a cabin crew and teacher that helped you open your business today?
Travel is my passion and as a Cabin Crew for more than a decade with three of the most outstanding airlines in the world, I was fortunate enough to visit more than 40 countries. When I settled down I had to make that tough choice of changing my career to something that would suit my lifestyle as a mother and a wife. I tried teaching for a couple of years and absolutely loved it but travel remained my number one passion. My fascination towards travel led me to write about them.
My travels have changed me as a person. It brings about that positive change in you and your perspective towards life changes significantly. As a Travel Counsellor, it’s very rewarding to know that my clients are having a grand time on their holiday based on my recommendations. I create memories for others and this is something very special to me.

Who do you think your clients should be?

  • Anyone who loves to travel.
  • Anyone who wants the convenience of having someone plan their trip for them.
  • Anyone who enjoys quality over quantity.
  • Anyone who needs guidance with a complex itinerary.
  • Anyone who wants to add a personalized touch to make their holiday more special and memorable.

Do you travel often with your child often?
I have been to a few places with my son Luca who is 4 yrs old now. We have one big international trip planned every year to escape the sweltering temperatures in Dubai. We also take advantage of the short breaks during the school year to book a staycation

As an X cabin-crew, what is your advice to mums traveling with their children?

  • Keep it simple.
  • Planning is the key.
  • Be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Carry how much only your one hand can hold.
  • Don’t be afraid and shy to ask for help.

Any advice on kid-friendly destinations and activities to enjoy them as a family?
Our popular ones are:

  • Sri Lanka, Colombo
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Bali, Indonesia
  • Hong Kong
  • Florida, USA

In addition to the above, a lot of families with children and senior members now prefer cruising. It’s the hassle free-way of traveling where you don’t have to pack and unpack every time you are exploring a new place within your trip.

What have you learned from motherhood that you would like to share with a new mum?
Mothers are in a default mode always to care about their brood first before anyone else. Something that has stuck with me from my training days as Cabin Crew ‘In case of an emergency look after yourself first before assisting others.’ This is so true and resonates with me when I need to make that shift from the default mode.
Motherhood is challenging at every phase of your and your child’s life. The only way to overcome is to have female companionship. Get out there, connect, share and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Most of us are or have been in the same boat.

Can you briefly describe a typical day?
Mornings are the most productive time of my day. After I drop Luca off to school I head straight for my yoga class. I set my intention for the rest of the day and work on my pre-planned schedule. I work until Luca is back from school. Rest of the evening is family and dinner time. After I have tucked my little one in bed I work for a few hours more if I have any pending bookings to be made.

Do you have a support system?
I was overwhelmed with the kind of support that I got from the expat community living here in Dubai when I first moved here and also when Luca came into our lives. People in Dubai are all so open and welcoming to other cultures and this is one of the things I enjoy being part of this melting pot of cultures. You make friends from all parts of the world here. I am very lucky to be able to build a strong support and network of friends who are like your family away from home.

Favorite quote to live by?
‘’The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.’’ – William James

Who are your role models? What do you admire the most about them?
I get my inspiration from my daily experiences with people and even from the nature around me. I don’t have a particular role model that I look up to. I am my own role model. I have stumbled many times in life to be what I am today and I am happy for who I was, who I am and who I will be.

IG: @varshapherwanitravelcounsellor
FB: @tcvarsha

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