The Travel Franchise Proves To Be The Perfect Solution For Single Parents & Those After Flexibility
As we all know (or can only imagine), being a single parent is tough. When Chris Scoble’s wife, Jo, died at the young age of just 38, Chris suddenly found himself in this very position – the sole carer for his son Alfie, just three years old at the time.
Returning to work in the City and commuting daily from his home in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, was not only unsustainable, it was no longer feasible – who was going to take Alfie to school; be there for pick ups and the school holidays? Who would be there to care for him when he’s sick or to watch him run at sports day?
With life already changed irrevocably, after 35 years working in the insurance industry, Chris had to make a change in his career too. He needed flexibility. He needed to call the shots. He needed to work from home or remotely. He needed a good income. And, he needed to do something that, quite deservedly, gave him (and Alfie) joy.
The answer came in the form of The Travel Franchise. Being the fastest growing travel franchise in the UK for people new to the travel industry, Chris was retrained and up an running in just five days.
Just over one year after the tragedy, Chris launched Go Scoble Travel in 2017.
Today he has a shop on his local high street; has recruited an employee to help him and, having built his brand, is well known in the area as “the travel man”.
“Building relationships takes time, but it’s paying off. I always wear my branded T-shirt around town and people recognize the name – even if they don’t know me. So lots of people who I’ve never met before say ‘hello’.”
And, he’s now a bit of a star on the local radio as the ‘go-to’ travel expert.
“I’m on the list of about three radio stations and presenters call me to comment on various travel issues. So that’s worked really well to spread awareness.”
The PR is clearly paying off. Chris has a goal of £1 million in annual holiday sales this year, increasing that figure to £1.5 million pounds in 2024.
It’s a target that’s highly achievable, with a recent £50k single holiday booking – the second £50k-plus sale in six months. Average booking values are also on the rise with £10k bookings becoming a more regular occurrence for ‘Go Scoble’.
And his reputation for providing good customer service is clearly evident. If you Google ‘travel company in Tunbridge Wells’, Go Scoble Travel will be in the top four choices, with straight five-star reviews.
But, most importantly, for father and son, the career works a dream. Chris’s shop is literally around the corner from their home. Chris is able to do the school runs (although with Alfie now just started secondary school ‘Dad’ has to walk a few steps behind!) and he has the flexibility he needs.
“I can nip home after school to feed Alfie and work around his schedule,” says Chris. “But, while I love the flexibility the job gives me, I always try to make myself available – there are no set hours. If I nip out of the shop, then I leave my number on the door so people can contact me.”
And of course, there’s the travel perks. “Last year I took Alfie to Thailand. But this year we’re doing something different. We’re flying into Madrid, doing the Real Madrid Stadium tour, then catching the train to Barcelona to tour the Barcelona stadium before hitting the beach. It’ll be just me and him. The best holidays are when it’s just the two of us on our own.”