Imagine the perfect travel agency; a warm welcoming space decorated in vibrant hues, dotted with exotic palms, and infused with the aroma of tropical coconut. Instead of an intimidating bank of desks, there’s comfy sofas where clients can enjoy a glass of fizz, gaze at a dramatic Californian seascape or peruse travel brochures, guided by expert holiday designers.
Good news globetrotters; this place does exist in the form of ItsSo Travel in Cambridge’s Grafton shopping centre, run by passionate husband and wife team Paul and Claire Welling.
Seasoned travellers and entirely independent, the couple work with major holiday companies and tour operators, including Jet2holidays and Sandals, creating bespoke packages, from short UK city breaks to New York Christmas shopping weekends, African safaris to escorted New Zealand tours. There’s even Virtual Reality goggles on hand, so you experience diving into azure Maldivian shores, strolling through Rome or embarking on safari.
ItsSo Travel launched five years ago in St Ives, bringing together Paul’s 35 years’ experience in the hotel and leisure industry and Claire’s lifelong banking career. Within a year, the company had upgraded from office to High Street shop, such was the popularity of the friendly, family enterprise. In November 2019, the flagship store was opened, after the couple answered an appeal by The Grafton for independent businesses to pitch for retail space. Their vision to reinvent the traditional travel agent as a luxurious destination, where the booking process is as exciting as the holiday, wowed the judges, who awarded ItsSo Travel a year’s rent-free unit.
There’s now five Cambridge staff - and customers are loving the inviting feel to the agency, created by local interior designer Katie Malik. The plush décor, rows of brochures on bright back-lit shelves and flat screen TV beaming images of divine destinations, can’t fail to inspire a spirit of wanderlust.
Tel: 01223 643089