Founded in a former hairdresser’s salon in 2012, Deben Travel has a charming team headed by owners Lee and Sarah Hunt.
When you step into the shop, you might get the subtle feeling you’re already relaxing abroad. That’s because this cosy and well-presented store has covered every detail to ensure customers feel comfortable and in the holiday mood – from readily available reading glasses to ceiling diffusers emitting exotic fragrances. Locally made dark-wood furniture and a comprehensive brochure rack further add to the cultured ambience, while the window display theme changes every season, with offers updated regularly.
The team’s expertise spans more than 100 years across specialisms including weddings and honeymoons, luxury and winter sports. In the past 12 months they have honed their product knowledge by embarking on 11 educational trips, and share their learnings with clients and teammates through social media and weekly email newsletters.
Their proactive attitude also sees them fund their own trips to fill gaps in their knowledge. Newly opened in 2018 just around the corner is its own cruise store, complete with knowledgeable cruise consultants and a foreign exchange desk.
Welcome home calls, flowers for clients’ special occasions, hampers for top customers, wine and chocolate are all par for the course with Deben, but what makes this agency stand out is its attention to detail with customer service.
Recent examples include packaging Bounty chocolate bars with a client’s tickets after hearing the customer was worried about the lack of the confectionery in their destination; organising for a hotel to include plus-size dressing gowns in-room; and completing a complicated India visa for one bewildered customer. In fact, the team handles all visas for their customers, no matter how complex.
Deben is also proud to serve its local community through various initiatives, including Choose Woodbridge, an association of local businesses aiming to promote the town. In 2018 the agency raised funds for St Elizabeth Hospice and pledged to support The Bus Shelter Ipswich – a decommissioned double-decker school bus for homeless people. Every so often the shop opens its doors to local schoolchildren to help them learn more about the travel trade.
All in all, Deben’s unwavering dedication to its customers and community make it a travel agency that’s a cut above the rest.