Our Travel Experts get to experience a lot of our beautiful planet, which means they can bring you the best holiday itineraries out there. After all, what’s better than a first-hand recommendation? We caught up with Nikki James, Assistant Manager at our Flight Centre Leeds store, to find out what she loves about her job, why she adores travel and what travel experiences she can share with her customers:
Okay, let’s start with a bit of quick-fire: city or beach?
That’s a really tough one! Both? If I had to choose probably city; I love that feeling of exploring somewhere new for the first time.
Train, plane or hire car?
I only learnt to drive a couple of years ago so for me probably train. I used to love watching the world go by on the train when I lived in California.
Posting travel photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
What’s the one item you can’t live without on your hols?
My iPod definitely, I’ve got songs that remind me of places I’ve visited, or people I met from either listening to them when I was there or singing along to them.
Travel videos vs. travel photos?
Photos for me.
How long have you been working for Flight Centre?
Just coming up to two years now.
How has your career progressed in that time?
I’d worked for the company for about eight months when I was promoted to Assistant Manager. I’ve been in that role for just over a year now but am helping to manage our other Leeds Retail team while our General Manager is on sabbatical.
What do you love most about your role?
Getting to know my customers and helping them get excited about their holidays. It’s great to hear a couple getting excited about their honeymoon, or a grandma going to see her grandchild for the first time. You learn so much about people’s lives, not to mention their own travel experiences and recommendations.
How many countries have you visited in your lifetime?
Total tally at the moment is about 20 or so – a lot more to get ticked off!
What’s your favourite place on the planet and why?
I fell in love with South Africa when I was there. It was everything I wanted it to be – incredible landscapes, breathtaking views, wildlife encounters that were straight out of a David Attenborough documentary. Everyone we met was ridiculously friendly; it’s made me want to go back ever since.
Where haven’t you been yet that you really want to go to?
I love Japanese culture and movies so that’s probably top of my list at the moment. Also Cambodia, Egypt and Mauritius… the list is pretty endless.
Tell us about the best travel experience you’ve had.
Waking up whilst on the Indian Pacific, travelling through the Australian Outback, was pretty spectacular. I was the only one awake in our carriage and watching the sunrise over the desert has always stuck with me.
What’s your top travel tip?
Be prepared to experience something outside of your comfort zone, you never know what you’ll end up enjoying!
Last one: where are you jetting off to next?
I’m actually off to climb Kilimanjaro with fellow Flight Centre staff in November! We’ll be raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society, a charity close to me and my family.
Has Nikki inspired you to pursue a career in travel? Or has she simply kick-started your wanderlust? Check out our Flight Centre jobs page here, or speak to one of our Travel Experts today about your next tailor-made holiday.