Travel Stop was established in 1991 by Bridget Keevil where she has always lead from the front. Her ‘hands on approach’ has been the driving force behind her team’s success.
Since Bridget first came into the travel industry she has travelled extensively both for business purposes and pleasure.
And in 2015 she decided to see the world from a completely different perspective and embarked on a journey like no other! In August 2015 she set off from London to become a circumnavigator in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Her participation in this 40,000 mile ocean challenge took her to South America, South Africa, Australia, Vietnam, China, the USA before returning to London 11 months later in July 2016.
Therefore, whether it is a holiday for the discerning customer in the luxury that Bridget is usually accustomed, or a more adventurous bespoke or tailormade holiday such as some of the challenges upon which she has embarked in recent years or short breaks away, she can advise from first-hand experience and make suitable recommendations.
In Bridget’s spare time, she enjoys walking the dog and eating! She starts a diet every morning when she wakes and has usually ‘fallen off the wagon’ by mid morning – with the vow that she will start it again the next day! The proverb ‘Tomorrow Never Comes’ would seem to be quite apt!
Madeleine has been in the travel industry since 1972 and contributes an unrivalled level of experience and expertise to Travel Stop where she joined in 1999. Apart from five years she spent in the airline industry as cabin crew, she has been in the retail sector of the travel industry for all this time.
An avid cruiser, Madeleine has now personally taken more than 55 cruises on a huge variety of cruise lines, most latterly with Oceania Cruises. She spends almost a couple of months each year in the USA, one month in Florida and three weeks enjoying a fly-drive in a different area of the United States. In between this, she takes every opportunity to make a short trip to a European destination and, as such, has travelled most extensively. She therefore brings to Travel Stop a huge amount of first-hand knowledge and experience which she enjoys sharing with her customers.
Anna started working with Travel Stop in 2014, having enjoyed a career break from her previous job to have her first baby.
Anna completed the Travel & Tourism course at college upon leaving school, whilst gaining work experience at Thomas Cook one day a week, before joining them full time upon completion of the course. In 2006 Anna decided to work overseas and worked for them as a resort representative in Tenerife and Gran Canaria for a couple of years before returning to the UK and her previous job, before becoming the Assistant Manager at Thomas Cook in Woodbridge.
After her maternity leave and joining Travel Stop, Anna has been in an administration role, taking care of all the finer detail after the bookings are made, such as the issuing of visas and tickets in preparation for travel.
Since the birth of her daughter in 2016, much of Anna’s spare time is spent taking care of her young family.
Annette joined Travel Stop in 1995 and has a wealth of experience from a varied background, having spent over 30 years in the travel industry. She worked for a tour operator in Paris, Qantas Airlines, and a large high street travel agency chain before joining Travel Stop, bringing with her a vast amount of knowledge and experience in all areas of the business.
Annette is passionate about travel and has travelled extensively for both her personal holidays and in her work. Every opportunity which has presented itself whilst with Travel Stop, Annette has taken with much enthusiasm and she has most recently visited China, India and Vietnam. She has also had the good fortune to have travelled to many wonderful places for her own holidays. She finds it difficult to choose her favourite place as there are so many and for varying reasons. She loves Brazil, especially Iguacu Falls (the place she thinks is the most beautiful and stunning place on earth!) and cruising down the Amazon (an experience she says shouldn’t be missed). She also loves South Africa, especially going on safari and the amazing Great Wall of China & Terracotta Warriors (a must see). She considers India and the glorious Taj Mahal, and Tahiti and its spectacular paradise islands and Atols as places which much be visited. Annette also loves cruising, being such a relaxing and sociable experience with gourmet food!
Outside work, Annette enjoys playing golf and has enjoyed playing on golf courses in South Africa, Borneo (dodging Iguanas!) Tenerife, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. Other activities that she enjoys are wining and dining with friends and family, painting (not the decorating kind!) and avoiding gardening whenever possible!
Karin has worked in the retail travel sector since 1980 straight from college, joining a large independent local travel company, John Hilary Travel, in 1982 and working her way up to branch manager. Through various mergers she ended up working for Thomas Cook as a branch manager from 1998 until joining Travel Stop in 2013. She loves travelling and has been to many destinations around the world and enjoys sharing her first-hand knowledge with her customers. Since joining Travel Stop she has been to Grenada, India, Tanzania and Zanzibar.
In Europe she particularly likes the Greek islands and Italy. There are still many places to visit on her ‘Wish List’ including Vietnam and Cambodia, Australia and South Africa.
In her leisure time she enjoys watching sport, especially when it includes her son and daughter who are both footballers. She loves socialising with friends and family over a meal and drinks and enjoys a good party. She occasionally gets to the gym and enjoys walking her dog Maisie.
Anne joined Travel Stop from outside the travel industry in 2006, from a previous role in customer services. She brought with her a great understanding of just how important good service is and, in her role as manager, continually leads by example and strives to ensure the team delivers in this area.
Anne applies an extraordinary amount of care, attention to detail and thoroughness to all her enquiries to ensure total suitability. It is because of this focus that her loyal customers return to her year after year to look after their holidays.
Her position with Travel Stop has allowed Anne to travel to many destinations, something which she loves and appreciates.
Out of work Anne loves to spend time with her family, especially with the addition of two grandchildren in the last couple of years.
Walking and eating out in nice restaurants are two pastimes which are also high on the list!
Cheryl has been in the travel industry since 1984, having spent time working for a large multiple travel agency as well as a couple of independent agencies before joining Travel Stop in 2002. Prior to having her family, Cheryl spent time working in the Customer Relations Department of Thomas Cook and after the birth of her second child, she spent five years teaching the AS and A2 Level courses in Travel & Tourism at a college. But, missing the customer contact, she returned to the retail sector when joining Travel Stop and has remained here ever since.
Having a family did not deter Cheryl from travelling and they have simply joined her from a fairly early age, enjoying family holidays to Dubai, Mauritius, the Caribbean, San Francisco, skiing in Lake Tahoe, cruising in the Mediterranean and, more recently, having been to South Africa where they included a safari.
Still on Cheryl’s ‘Wish List’ is a visit to Australia which is currently in the planning, and a trip to Japan which she would love to combine with the Olympics in 2020.
Outside of work, she spends much of her time on the sidelines of a football or hockey pitch or on a cricket boundary, watching both her children play their various sports.
Sonia’s career in travel began straight from school in 1988 and she has remained in the retail sector of the travel industry ever since, working with various travel agencies and only taking a couple of short breaks due to maternity leave. She joined Travel Stop in 2007 and has always displayed a high level of enthusiasm and is extremely passionate about her job. She gets an enormous amount of pleasure from putting together itineraries and recommending destinations and loves to hear from her clients upon return from their travels.
She loves to travel and, to date, her favourite trip was a journey on the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer in 2013. Her favourite cruise line is Celebrity Cruises and, in particular, the Celebrity Eclipse on which she sailed in 2010 and 2011.
Out of work, she spends her time walking, cycling and Geocaching and, at every opportunity, searching for the most remote or well-hidden Geocache which she travels the length and breadth of the UK to find! And not only the UK – she always makes time to find at least one when on her travels overseas too!
Helen has been in the retail sector of the travel industry since 1987, straight from school, and joined an independent travel agency to gain her qualifications whilst as a Youth Training Scheme student. She then joined Thomas Cook where she stayed for over 25 years, working her way up to Cluster Manager, responsible for four shops, before joining Travel Stop in August 2015.
Helen enjoys travelling around the UK as well as places further afield and loves to share her knowledge with her customers. More recently, Helen has travelled on a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords, South Africa and what has proved to be her favourite destination so far, and Canada.
In Helen’s spare time, she enjoys reading on her Kindle and watching dramas, historical and nature programmes.
Paul is Bridget’s husband and has been involved with Travel Stop, in one capacity or another, from the very beginning. He fitted the first shelf in Elmswell in 1991 when the company was first started, completely refurbished the Claydon office when purchased in 1999 (it was originally the village post office). In 2013 he completed a transformation of the corner store to the Hadleigh branch and again in 2018 turned The Bell House Gallery in Buntingford into the latest Travel Stop office.
Trained as an electrical engineer Paul was keen to learn about computer control in the 1990’s and he now looks after all of Travel Stop’s IT requirements for the 20 staff over the four offices.
In September 2015 he became more involved in the business by taking over the accounts to enable Bridget to compete in the eleven month “Clipper Round the World Yacht Race”, until she returned to take back the reins in August 2016. He remains an integral part of the business.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys working out at the gym, going on holiday, and good Argentinian Malbec red wine! His holidays however, do seem to consist of being ‘dragged around the world’ by Bridget who seems to have an insatiable appetite for the more ‘out-of the-norm’ style of holidays and destinations very much ‘off-the-beaten-track’ – but he has kept up admirably!
Linda started out in the travel industry in 1988, spending 16 years working in travel agencies in both Clacton-on-Sea and Chelmsford. She got married in Mauritius and remained in the retail sector until taking a career break to have her two children. She then joined Travel Stop in 2010 when she became a very welcome addition to the existing team due to the exceptionally high level of customer service she always strives to provide.
In her spare time Linda enjoys spending time with her two boys and husband and walking the family dog, Lily. She enjoys eating out, going to the cinema and socialising with friends and family.
Linda would like to visit Canada and Australia and also return to Mauritius one day, maybe to renew her vows!
Hannah joined the company in early 2016. After leaving school, Hannah went travelling for four months around Australia and New Zealand before completing a BTEC qualification in Travel & Tourism.
Following this, Hannah worked for Galloway Coach Travel before leaving here to go travelling again for another four months!
Hannah loves working in a customer service focused role, with her passion for travel she has proved to be an outstanding member of the team. In April 2018 she became the Manager of the Elmswell office.
Outside of work, she likes to socialise with friends and family, and keeping fit by walking, running and swimming.
Having worked for Thomas Cook for nearly 7 years, and after a very short gap Louise soon returned to the travel industry doing what she has a passion for and subsequently joined Travel Stop’s Elmswell branch in March 2018.
Louise enjoys working in a customer focused environment whilst making dreams come true and loves how one day to the next are never the same.
As well as holidaying overseas Louise also likes to explore the UK. Outside of work she enjoys going to the gym to keep fit and spending time with family and friends.
Jackie entered the travel industry straight from school, joining an independent travel agency in Didcot for three years where she qualified in both the retail and business travel side of the business. With a hunger to further her career, she relocated to the City of Bath to join Thomas Cook as Branch manager in one of their busy shops. It was here that she met her military husband in 1989 and began a journey into the unknown!
Fortunately her career did not suffer as, working for a high street multiple, it enabled her to transfer around the UK every two years or less, with ease. Jackie has always had a passion for aircraft and had periods working for airlines as cabin crew for Dan Air Services and Monarch, and as Cabin Manager with Airtours International. She also was Base Coordinator with Jet2.com, based at Stansted.
Being married to an officer in the Royal Air Force presented a number of opportunities and challenges. Jackie feels honoured to have met people from all walks of life and having experienced being part of what is one big military family. She particularly enjoyed her role in supporting wives and partners, listening and helping to lead those that faced difficulties and long periods of loneliness. She organised a number of fund-raising events for the service personnel together with the local communities and as a measure of her commitment to support her husband, she took up the voluntary position of Chair for SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) Force Help In-Service at RAF Honington for two years where they raised £12k for the charity.
Hayley has worked in the travel industry since 2007, in a variety of customer facing roles, including working at Trailfinders.
Her travels took her to Australia where she stayed for three years – her favourite place in the world! She lived in Sydney for 2 years, spent one year exploring the East Coast and working on a Banana Farm!! She has since returned to Australia for holidays including touring the West Coast in a motorhome.
Hayley has also been involved in voluntary work in various locations in the world on Whale & Dolphin research projects including the Azores, Hawaii, Scotland & Australia. She even spent five weeks in Gran Canaria counting scales on Geckos!
With her parents living in Spain, she goes there a lot and has destinations of Canada, New Zealand, South Africa & Antarctica remaining on her bucket list!
Outside of work, Hayley enjoys spending time with friends, cooking, eating at nice restaurants, and watching Netflix!
Tracey started in the travel industry straight from school, working in Blackpool, then Preston before moving to Newmarket in 1985. Two years later she started and managed a travel call centre where she stayed for the next 30 years.
In 2017 she decided on a six month career break and travelled to Fiji. She volunteered as a Community Project Leader in the Dawasamu District which had been devastated by a cyclone. Her project involved creating a large nursery garden providing fruit and vegetables to school children.
She now works at Travel Stop arranging exclusive departures and in-store client events.
Her dream is to visit the Antarctic.