Bethany, who is still only 24, started out in the travel industry at a young age. 

She says: ‘I was just 16 and instantly fell in love in with travel. In 2018 I won ‘Young Travel Agent of the Year’ out of UK, Ireland and the Isle of Man. I was lucky enough to travel a lot with work, visiting many different countries which gave me so much knowledge.  

‘In 2020 I was promoted to assistant manager and after doing this role for a short period of time, I had a lightbulb moment one day and thought I would love to have my own shop and manage my own team exactly how I would want to be treated.’ 

She did her research and discovered Perfect Getaways, an independent travel agency based in the North West, which was set up in 2017 by Nicola and David Palmer. 

Bethany messaged them and asked if they would be interested in opening a branch on the Isle of Man. At first they said it was not on their radar but they agreed to meet Bethany for a chat. 

She says: ‘So it just happened I was in Liverpool and I met them that afternoon for a chat and, by the end of it, I’d managed to convince them to open up a shop here – so it was all very fast-paced.’ 

The arrangement proved ideal for Bethany as it gave her the chance to run the branch here but with the support of the Perfect Getaways team behind her. 

She found the ideal premises in Finch Road and opened the doors in January 2022 with just one member of staff, Scarlet Kneen who had worked with Bethany previously. Like all the people Bethany employs, Scarlett has travelled extensively and names her favourite destination as Canada. 

Another member of the team, Kelly Anne Drinkwater, hadn’t worked in a travel agency previously but she loved travelling and had worked on cruise ships. She has now visited 99 different destinations around the world and is looking forward to her 100th. Daniella Clarke and Tamara Kreisky make up the team. 

A love and experience of travel is, says Bethany, more important than having worked in the business: ‘It’s definitely what we look for in the hiring process,’ says Bethany, ‘I was really trying to create a dynamic team where we could cover everything. We have a team now where we’ve been to over 50% of the world so we do know a lot.’

It’s won them a lot of awards too, including Travel Weekly’s One to Watch Award in 2023 and Branch of the Year in 22/23 and 23/24. 

Bethany says: ‘It’s worked out amazingly and we’re just getting busier and busier so now we’re thinking that we might have to expand again soon with bigger premises and more staff.’ 

When customers have the option of sitting at home and booking a holiday online, you have to give them a good reason to come into town to an agency instead. The Perfect Getaways philosophy, which fits very neatly with Bethany’s own, is to create a friendly environment where customers can relax and enjoy letting the travel experts do the job for them. 

Bethany says: ‘We offer our getaway bar, serving hot and cold drinks, along with our children’s corner with a sweet shop, activities and colouring table. We also have our famous arcade machine which is popular with the dads. This means people can come in and relax knowing the children won’t be bored whilst they are securing happy travel memories.’ 

If you are now thinking that this suggests it is very much the women who are the decision makers when it comes to family holidays Bethany says you would probably be right: ‘I’d say most of the time yes but we do always find it nice when men come in and book holidays.’ 

She goes on: ‘We’ve got all different types of customers and we do sell everything but Turkey is always popular with families because you can get some amazing five star luxury properties for half the price of what you’d find in Spain. 

‘For couples we do sell a lot of long haul – Thailand and Bali – and we love selling long haul tailor made holidays: it’s one of our specialities.’  

Florida is another speciality and it’s a destination Bethany loves now she is a mum: ‘My partner and I have a little girl who’s four and he also has two children so it’s definitely one of our favourite places. 

‘All the staff have done Florida now and we know a good family holiday when we see one: we know what you’re looking for when you’ve got kids. 

‘Cruising is more popular than ever and we’ve got more and more cruise lines becoming family friendly: we’ve got MSC who have water parks on board so if you are looking for an all-inclusive deal for your holiday but you want to visit different places then a cruise is an excellent option.’ 

And, as she points out, if you book through a travel agent not only is your holiday ABTA protected, but the price with all the major operators is exactly the same as if you had booked it online – but without the hassle of doing it yourself: ‘We do everything for you and we’re here all the way. You don’t have to worry about anything apart from turning up at the airport.’

Bethany was named one of Gef's 30 Under 30 winners in 2023. Could you be a 2024 winner? Enter now at