Vacancy – travel consultant
We are recruiting!
While our new travel consultant will initially be part of our lively bookings team (training will be given on our bespoke reservations software), we are seeking a candidate willing to progress within the company, with opportunities when ready to take responsibility for the maintenance and development of our walking routes and their associated hotels and other services.
You should have excellent and up-to-date computer literacy (Word/Excel/Outlook), be outgoing, assiduous and confident, have a professional yet friendly telephone manner and excellent written English. You are likely to be a committed walker in your spare time, and should have an understanding of Europe and its cultures, as these are central to the On Foot product. Language skills (in particular Spanish/Italian) would be an advantage.
The job is full time with some evenings and Saturdays (time off in lieu). Excellent prospects for advancement for the right candidate. Initial salary negotiable (from £22,000 pa), 28 days paid holiday (including bank holidays), generous pension contributions, and the opportunity to walk our much-loved routes.
Important: When applying, candidates must write a personal covering paragraph as to why they think they are a good fit for this particular position. Applications without will not be acknowledged.
To apply, please send your CV, with a paragraph describing why you would be perfect for this post, to Simon Scutt, Director of On Foot Holidays, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Occasionally we are asked “what are your favourite routes?”, a question which recently caused us to take a quick poll in the On Foot office. Interestingly, everyone came up with different answers, which hopefully is a credit to the diversity of our holidays!
This year we’re seeing lots of early interest in booking ahead for next year, and thought it timely to share just a few of our staff recommendations to help you consider where you’d like to walk in 2024.
Northern Portugal – Mary’s choice
Mary has a fondness for Portugal, having lived and worked there for a while. She says the Peneda-Geres National Park is particularly special – a place where you truly feel you are stepping back in time. Here the stone-built rural villages feel almost untouched by modern life, where oxen are still used to farm the green slopes.
The eclectic accommodation includes traditional B&Bs, a sympathetic modernisation of village houses with a remarkable restaurant, and a touch of grandeur at the final Pousada.
Slovenia – Debbie’s favourite
Our walk through the Karst landscapes and vineyards of Slovenia has been in the On Foot portfolio since its early days, and is still as good as ever.
It’s a favourite for Debbie, who has walked it and tweaked it many times, keeping it up-to-date for our clients. She says this route makes a great introduction to self-guided walking holidays, with well-marked paths and nothing especially strenuous – perfect for those trying this type of vacation for the first time.
There are some fun farmhouse stays too, where you can’t refuse the local produce, especially the Prsut ham, honey and Teran wine.
Andros – Heather’s recommendation
If you’re looking for a Greek island where tourism still has a light touch, Heather recommends the green haven of Andros in the Cyclades. The only way to get there is by ferry, so don’t rush, and just enjoy the gentler way to arrive.
You’ll find friendly hosts in the picturesque little town of Chora, and flower-fringed mule tracks that have been painstakingly restored by local volunteers for hiking. Drop into the cool of a monastery courtyard along the way, and take advantage of the many opportunities for a swim.
This is a single-centre holiday, so you stay in the same accommodation throughout. You have the flexibility to choose which walk to do each day, with the help of buses and our wonderful local family of taxi drivers to get you to the further reaches of the island.
Welsh Borders – Simon’s top walk
On Foot’s Director has walked more of our routes than anyone else, and covered many miles searching out the best hiking for you in all corners of Europe. Despite this, his top pick is quite near to home – he loves the hills and valleys along the Wales/England border.
Starting at the quirky little town of Bishop’s Castle with its imaginatively painted houses, the route winds southwards to bookish Hay-on-Wye. Offa’s Dyke Path forms much of the route, following the 8th century earthwork that defined the border.
The walk is quite a leg-stretcher, but never difficult, and you’re rewarded with expansive views and some hearty pub meals along the way.
But what about your favourites?
In 2023 it has been the perennially popular countries of Italy, Spain and France that have proved to be the big draw in the first year that we have been properly free of travel constraints. The Amalfi Coast has been extraordinarily busy, closely followed by Southern Tuscany and Galicia’s Lighthouse Way. The beautiful landscapes of Lake Maggiore and rural Dordogne complete the top five. So if you are considering these lovely walks for 2024, book early to secure your preferred dates. Or try our recommendations above for something a little different – as always, we’d love to talk to you and help you choose!
Would you like to hear more?
Would you like to receive more recommendations like this, and all the latest news hot-off-the-press from On Foot Holidays? Sign up to our email newsletter here, and you’ll be the first to hear about new routes, as well as getting gems of information about what makes our holidays special. You’ll hear from us two or three times each month, and you can unsubscribe at any time (but we hope you won’t!).
Excitement is mounting, the clock is ticking down, and you want to be ready for your holiday! What are the things you need to prepare before you go away, so you can enjoy your trip without stress? Here are a few tips.
Walkers’ Pack – this is a comprehensive package of information for your holiday, including your personalised itinerary, detailed maps and route notes. There’s also lots of background information, suggestions of what you will need to take, places to eat, some basic help with language, transfer advice including timetables, luggage labels, a waterproof map holder, and sometimes a regional map or small guide book.
We will start to prepare your pack as soon as we’ve received your final payment and details of your intended travel plans. You should get it about a month before departure. We suggest you familiarise yourself with the contents in good time, as you may need to take action on some things.
Planning your journeys – you’ll have already discussed this with our bookings team, and we’ll send timetables in your pack relevant to your local transfers. There are some handy links on our website too, and do please ask if you need any help planning your journey.
Training – unless you are a regular hiker, you might want to take some longer walks than usual in the weeks before your holiday, not least so that you are aware of your stamina levels. Most importantly, wear the boots and backpack you’ll be travelling with, and make sure they’re comfortable! Bear in mind that there is likely to be different weather and terrain on your holiday route too.
Set up GPS – we highly recommend using GPS tracks for your holiday, and we supply these by email at the time we send your Walkers’ Pack. Even if you don’t want to use them all the time for navigation, they are invaluable for checking your location when in doubt. We can talk you through the set-up process too, so you can practise before your holiday. We also suggest downloading the what3words app, for quick and easy locating while offline.
Packing – your Walkers’ Pack will suggest the items to bring, including everything from clothing to first aid. Check what sort of weather to expect before choosing what to pack!
One of the frequent questions asked by clients is about walking poles. They’re a standard part of the hiking kit and are useful uphill and downhill, in poor weather and to steady yourself when crossing streams. However, they can be problematic when travelling by air, and you will need to pack them in your hold luggage – do check with your airline. If in doubt, plan to buy poles when you arrive.
The dull stuff – check in good time that your passport is valid and whether a visa or visa waiver is required – see your home country’s government website and don’t forget that you may need some months of validity on your passport after your return date. You’ll need some cash in the local currency (airport exchanges are not the cheapest way to do this!), travel insurance (and an EHIC/GHIC card if you are a UK citizen). Your mobile phone should be enabled for use in Europe, and it’s helpful to save the number of your Local Contact on your phone before you travel. And don’t forget to check the Covid regulations in the country you are visiting, as there may still be some entry requirements and rules for use of face masks.
See more useful links for UK citizens about travelling to the EU here.
But most of all, remember to take with you your sense of adventure, a mind that is open to new discoveries, and willingness to enjoy whatever happens along the way.