BEYOND Personal Travel Companion Service
no limits, new horizons


Here, Sally answers a variety of questions that you may have about her BEYOND Personal Travel Companion Service, including some suggestions as to why you might want to engage a PTC, and how the service works.

First ... I'll address the BIG one on everyone's lips - COVID-19!

Okay, so it's here and it's not going away in a hurry. Heightened travel restrictions mean no one is going anywhere and this has severely impacted my ability to provide my specialist Personal Travel Companion Service. If you would still like to travel within NZ, perhaps to visit friends and family, and you'd like to have a companion by your side for extra safety and assistance, I can help, so please contact me. However, it is probably best to just stay put and keep well - with an eye on travelling when things settle.

My RECOMMENDATION, for when travel restrictions lift and it is safe to go places, is to join me on a trip to Norfolk Island. It is small, nearby and isolated. It's a gentle destination with a temperate climate, and it has good medical facilities as well as clean air and a pristine environment. 

I intend to run regular trips to this magnificent island when things settle down and we can travel again - it's such a brilliant destination.

For more information and advice about COVID-19 contact Healthline on 0880 358 5453 or contact your GP.

Now ... back to the usual FAQs!

WHO is the BEYOND PTC Service for?

It's for anyone and everyone: the elderly, the young (and everyone in between); male, female; singles, couples or small groups of friends.
It's for anyone who'd love to travel without stress and with a Personal Travel Companion to take care of everything.

It could be just right for YOU!

WHY use the BEYOND PTC Service?

You're keen to see the world but ...

  • the thought of travelling alone seems overwhelming;
  • it may not be possible or practical for family or friends to accompany you on a trip - but you don't want that to compromise your travel;
  • you wish to travel independently but desire support and companionship;
  • you've lost your spouse/travel partner and going it alone feels too difficult;
  • mobility, anxiety or minor health issues may be holding you back.

My BEYOND PTC Service can assist to take you beyond travel limits and dilemmas so that enjoying yourself is the only thing you have to focus on.
It's a personally curated service so you can travel the way you wish to, without any worries.

WHAT does the BEYOND PTC Service offer?

My aim is for you to get the very most out of your travel, from start to finish. There are a variety of ways I can assist.

  • Planning & Preparation
  • Accompanying you on flights, train journeys etc, or driving you on a road journey
  • Assisting with travel, transfers, hotels, sightseeing, mobility, medications, logistics, safety, dining, socialising
  • Delivering you safely to family/friends
  • Sharing experiences, meals and laughter
  • Ensuring your trip is enjoyable and streamlined - I'll take care of all the details and sort any issues that may arise

I can escort you for part or all of your trip. It's up to you.

HOW does it work?

  • You contact me, we talk about your plans and Wishlist.
  • If you decide you'd like to go ahead, we make it happen.
  • You cover all my travel costs and associated expenses (to be agreed).
  • You arrange appropriate travel insurance for yourself (all travellers must have insurance).
  • You pay a PTC Fee for my time/services - the fee will depend upon the nature of the trip.
  • A deposit will be required upon engagement of my services, with the balance to be paid prior to departure.
  • Once you're happy with everything planned for your trip, and everything is sorted, we head off for a fabulous and memorable time!

If you have an unusual request, run it by me, I'll aim to help. Anything is possible, I'll help you explore the options.

For more information about Fees click here.

What are some reasons I might want to use your PTC Service?

There are many reasons to engage me as your PTC.

  • Would you love to attend a family wedding or milestone occasion in another city?
  • Do you long to see the Taj Mahal? The Tower of London? The Statue of Liberty?
  • Would you love to see your grandchildren who live far away?
  • Do you dream of visiting Paris? Rome? Hong Kong? Morocco?
  • Would you enjoy revisiting favourite travel destinations from younger days?
  • Do you yearn to sail on a cruise ship?
  • Would you adore to take that train trip you've always dreamed of?
  • Do you wish to explore a far-off land and share the delights?
  • Would you like to pop over to Australia to see your son/daughter?
  • Do you want a relaxing short break in the sun and would love someone to chat with over a cocktail or two?
  • Would you like to visit war memorials around the world to honour those who fought?
  • Do you want to reconnect with an old friend out of town?

Perhaps you have something really specific in mind, or want to tick off a few more things on your bucket list. For example:

  •  Is there a show you'd like to see on Broadway? In the West End? In Melbourne?
  • Have you been yearning to go to the Melbourne Cup? The Kentucky Derby? Royal Ascot?
  • Want to walk through Central Park? Hyde Park? Kew Gardens? See the blossoms in Kyoto?
  • Is there an iconic sports event you'd love to attend?
  • Have you always wanted to go on safari but never thought you'd get the chance?
  • Want to visit famous ruins in Greece, Italy or Mexico?
  • Is there an art gallery you've always wished to visit? The Guggenheim? MOMA? The Louvre?
  • Have you been thinking about getting dental work done in Thailand?
  • Want to experience the hustle and bustle of Shanghai? Delhi? Cairo? Tokyo? Marrakesh?
  • Keen to relax on a tropical island in the sunshine?
  • Want to attend that workshop, festival or course that you've often thought about?

Stop thinking and dreaming - let's make it happen!

What do you consider the most important part of your service?

I understand the delights of travel, as well as the pitfalls, and everything in between. We don’t want difficulties to deal with while on holiday and one of my main roles is trouble-shooting so that problems don’t arise, and taking care of them if they do.

What makes you suitable and well-equipped to be a PTC?

I have travelled for many years to many places (40+ years of travel, 40+ countries visited, 40+ airlines flown, 40+ ski resorts enjoyed). I am a tour leader with Maher Escorted Tours and a travel writer. I am a Europhile and a Kiwi at heart and know New Zealand top to bottom. People and travel are my passions.

Professionally, I have organised and run conferences throughout Europe and the world, overseeing every aspect from travel arrangements, venue/accommodation, local transport, meals, entertainment etc. I have travelled with, assisted, hosted and cared for people from every continent and many cultures. I've organised groups of 100+ as well as small groups of less than 20.

Over the years I've experienced every travelling style, from back-packing to 5-star. I understand the nuances of travel - from the delights and luxuries to the pitfalls and hardships - and everything in between. I aim to eliminate the pitfalls and hardships, we don't need those on holiday! Troubleshooting has become second nature and I put in the work behind the scenes to ensure things go seamlessly.

For many years I have worked in the fields of health, wellbeing and disability. I have a natural affinity with elderly people and a good understanding of the various needs and nuances associated with ageing. I have an eclectic skill-base – along with my passion for travel and people, I’m a designer, artist, facilitator, administrator and long-time committee person.

I am flexible and adaptable as well as culturally and socially savvy. Conversation comes easy. Being with people and enabling a good time, wherever that may be, is top of my list! That's why I love my role as a Tour Leader with Maher Escorted Tours and why I set up this special service.

I love languages - I have a reasonably good knowledge of French and German, an awareness of Italian and a smattering of Spanish. I have a handle on the Cyrillic and Greek alphabets. Even though, these days, most people do speak English, and there are translation apps, it helps to know a bit about the local lingo and I enjoy this side of travel immensely.

Why did you decide to set up this service?

Throughout my travels and dealings with people, I noticed that some people, especially in the older age bracket, would speak of how much they wanted to travel but they didn't feel they could tackle it on their own. Or they were travelling, but it was becoming an effort and too much like hard work. Family were busy, friends passing away, health deteriorating - travel was getting put in the too-hard basket. It had become something they couldn't accomplish alone but, with support, it was definitely something they could still enjoy.

One such person was my mother-in-law Muriel (who features in the photos on the Home page). She was a well-travelled and independent woman but had got to a point in life where travelling alone was no longer possible. She often talked of wanting to go on a cruise so, at the age of 92, we headed off to Tahiti for a wonderful week's cruise. We had a fantastic holiday and she remembered it for the rest of her life. She passed away in 2017 aged 97 and memories of this trip were with her until her dying day. This is what I want to enable for others who have the same travel dreams.

Taking on a role as Tour Leader with Maher Escorted Tours was my next step - and from that came the idea to set up my Beyond Personal Travel Companion Service for people who need more individual support or prefer the one-on-one experience.

Sometimes the reticence to take the bold step and travel outweighs the desire to make it happen. I am proud to be able to offer a personal and professional service to assist people to take that step. The thing is, if you leave it another year, you’re only going to be a year older when and if you do it. Leave it any longer and you may not be able to do it at all.

Do I have to pay the full travel costs for my you as my PTC?

Yes, you will need to pay for me to enable me to travel with you. You'll need to cover all travel costs (on a separate rooms basis) and associated expenses, as well as a PTC fee. Final costs are dependent on the individual nature of your trip and we'll discuss this in detail.

If you wish to fly business or first class, and you don't feel you need me to be with you throughout the flight, I am happy to fly economy. It's up to you to decide what suits you best. There are many variables and we can discuss these. For more information about Fees, click here.

What if you're not available on the dates I need a PTC?

It may be that I am not available to assist you on the dates your require my services. However, I have a highly-capable, hand-selected team of PTCs on standby to assist if, due to my commitments with other clients and engagements, I am unavailable. I will organise for one of them to assist and will ensure a good fit for you. You can find out more about me and my team here. Check the News & Trips page to see dates I am unavailable.

Best to enquire early!

Does your service include personal care such as showering and dressing?

No, this is not part of the service. We can offer mobility assistance, help with medications and general needs but it is not a personal care service.

Do you offer assistance to people with visual impairment?

Yes, I do offer assistance to visually impaired clients as long as personal care is not included. I worked with people with vision impairment for many years at the Blind Foundation and am familiar with issues related to sight loss. If you have vision impairment, I'm very happy to be your guide!

Tell me more about the Tour Leading work you do

I've been a Tour Leader for Maher Escorted Tours since 2018, leading a couple of tours a year. They specialise in tours for mature travellers, young at heart and I love assisting mature travellers to maximise their travel enjoyment. This occasional role ties in nicely with my Beyond Personal Travel Companion Service, and keeps me abreast of the needs of older people and what works (or doesn't).

If you're interested in group travel with fabulous itineraries, Maher Escorted Tours will likely have a trip to suit. Find out more here. If you prefer a one-on-one personalised experience, contact me! They're different experiences, both are wonderful.

Do you put together your own Escorted Group Tours?

Sure! If you'd rather travel in a small group, you may be interested in one of my own Beyond Tours that I design and lead. These are carefully designed based on my travel experience, knowledge and personal contacts, and then curated with experts in the travel industry. Unique and fabulous!

Some trips will be put together specifically for those who need assistance and have limitations when travelling - these will be for very small numbers. Some will be for more independent travellers who enjoy exploring the world with other people.
Some trips will have a specific theme - art, gardens, food/wine, horseracing, golf, skiing - the options are endless.
Some trips are just purely to go explore what's out there!
Check the News & Trips page for details on upcoming trips.

What if I want to engage you as a PTCS but the trip doesn't appeal to you?

There is no such thing! I love all trips. If I've been somewhere many times, I love going again. If I'm off to a new place, that's great. Climbing mountains or doing high-level dare-devil physical activities are not top of my list - however, if you're up for it, I probably am too. We can conquer anything together!

I'd like to go on a ski trip - is this possible?

Yes! I love snow and winter and skiing and am very happy to accompany you on a ski trip anywhere in the world. Skiing is a passion and although I prefer to ski easy these days, with a few rests throughout the day, I'm an advanced skier who loves being in the snow and mountains and can tackle most runs. I've skied 40+ resorts across Europe, USA, Canada, Japan and NZ. It goes without saying that I enjoy the apres-ski life too!

What happens if I decide not to, or am unable to, travel after I've engaged a PTC?

Cancellations will be dealt with on an individual basis. I understand that circumstances can change for many reasons. It is important for you to establish criteria around insurance to ensure costs associated with travel cancellation are covered if it due to illness, accident etc before departure. If you are feeling unwell before travel date, you will need to think very seriously about whether you are able to go ahead with the trip. Getting sick on holiday is never a good thing. A partial PTC fee will be payable to me if the trip does not go ahead.

Why do I need to pay a partial fee if the trip doesn't go ahead because I have to pull out?

When you engage me as your PTC, I am making the commitment of time to travel with you and there are implications on account of that. I am unable to take on other clients for the duration I have committed to be with you and I will have invested time and energy in the lead-up to the planned trip.

When did you get the travel bug?

I was lucky enough to participate in a school trip organised by Epsom Girls Grammar School - it was for students studying German and it was my dream trip. As a young girl I had always dreamed of going to Switzerland and, at the age of 15, I found myself as Heidi! It was a truly eye-opening and fantastic trip, hugely ground-breaking at the time. There were 16 Kids, two teachers, many cities and a raft of life-enhancing experiences.

In December 1977, at the end of School C exams, we flew out of Auckland International Airport (when it was still part of the current domestic terminal) on a PanAm 747 jumbo jet and arrived in LA for the start of our two-month trip. After exploring Disneyland, we flew to Frankfurt and form there we toured around Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It was winter, it was cold, it was beautiful, but alas we didn't get the white Christmas we were hoping for in Nurnberg. We visited Christmas markets, we went to galleries, operas and the ballet. We drove to East Berlin through East Germany. We skied in Switzerland, we visited Neuschwanstein in the snow, we had New Year in Munich. Our bus crashed off the autobahn in a blizzard (we were all okay). We stayed mostly in youth hostels and small pensions. We were billeted for two weeks in Dusseldorf where we went to school - and I played golf on a frosty course with my host family. We tried to polish up our German. We then visited Paris and London before returning home via Hong Kong. We arrived back to the newly opened Auckland International Airport with many stories to share and a new level of maturity and worldliness.

I returned home feeling more enlightened and energised than I'd ever felt in my whole life. I had the travel bug big-time! I wanted to return to London as soon as I could and explore more of Europe and the world. That's exactly what I went on to do!

If you have any other questions, please contact me! Sally on 021 480 323