Founder – Yvette Hayes
“Travel puts everything else in perspective” E.Reeve
Where do I start? The idea “a place to find all the best travel information” has gently bubbled away in my head for 30 years. From the age of 17 and in my first job in a travel agency, I was inspired. I loved talking to people about travel, I loved learning about travel and I loved travelling.
I was so inspired I dedicated 25 years to the travel industry, becoming a Travel Manager, Travel Trainer and a Board Member of the 4th Largest travel group in Australia. I spent years sharing my love of travel as a consultant and really helping my clients, many of whom had diligently saved for that all important trip. Being part of their journey and assisting them with detailed travel information and travel knowledge was an extremely rewarding and satisfying pursuit. I was also very priviledged to build long lasting relationships with my clients who are, I think, the best teachers, sharing their stories and experiences.
The Challenges of the Travel Industry
In 2001 I started my own travel agency “Da Vinci World Travel,” with the support of my wonderful husband “Peter” we committed A$50,000 to the venture. The bulk of this money was sent off to the various authorities a few days before September 11, 2001. Unfortunately overnight people stopped travelling and we thought we had lost everything. I persisted by not taking a wage, keeping costs down, (even keeping my children in the office after school to save on childcare) and through sheer determination and support from my family, I kept going. The industry slowly recovered! The following years though brought other challenges. SARS, the Bali Bombing, terrorism threats and the looming GFC. I like many others in the industry quickly learnt to be resilient….
Increasingly though, the threat to travel agents was the internet with travel information readily available to everyone at the touch of a button. As a result clients thought that if they did their own bookings it would be cheaper.
I knew I had to fight back and for 7 years I and my team dedicated our lives to our clients by offering exceptional service. Our company motto “the client is Number 1.” drove us. I also educated other travel agency business owners to offer more than just an airline ticket and encouraged them to provide quality information in exchange for a service fee and prove the worth of a travel agent. By 2008 “Da Vinci World Travel” was thriving, my team and I had built a client base of over 2500, creating long lasting relationships with clients and colleagues and working cohesively with each other. We won several awards for the fine tuning of our quality service and systems. Our systems ensured that nothing was forgotten or missed and that the client had everything in a beautifully laid out itinerary.
Then sadly illness forced me to let it all go. In 2008, I sold my business, I then dabbled in website development in 2009 and created an online travel club. Then the GFC hit, and the travel industry took yet another blow. I decided to walk away… it had finally burnt me.
A change in Direction
My journey took me into the field of Sustainability and Community Development which I studied and worked in for 7 years. I also kept my hand in teaching, working to create greater opportunities for people with disabilities, whilst also pursuing my interest in website design and development.
Travel though was still in my blood.
To satisfy my need for a dose of travel, every few months I would Book my own Travel to somewhere interesting using the internet. I found the internet easy to use and easy to navigate to the websites which would give me the best information. My family and friends would also ask for help and I would spend hours researching for them and giving them suggestions and information based on the best options.
Over the years and as the internet has grown and millions of travel websites have been created, I and many others have found it increasingly difficult to find relevant information. Advertising and high paying keywords dominate search results and the information is not always the most helpful. A number of Travel Surveys provide evidence that over 50% of travellers find it difficult finding the right travel information online.
In 2015 I decided to combine my interest in building websites with my travel expertise. The aim was to create a website that makes it super easy to research and book travel. Free of adds, free of sign ins, free to use and has “all best travel information in one place.”
Bookmyowntravel.com was born…
For the past 2 years (with lots of input) we (the great team I work with including researchers, IT developers, Marketers) have worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition.
Thousands of hours of research has been completed so we can collate all the best information and bring it to users in 5 simple steps. This saves valuable time as anyone can easily Find, Plan, Cost, Book and Finalise their own trip. Only reliable sources are used and only relevant links and helpful information provided. There is no cost to the users to access this information and no sign-ups. Why? Because we believe in community and building something that is long lasting, relevant and really easy to use!
We haven’t stopped there, we are also working to include paid membership which will allow members to have their own private space to save notes, create their own itinerary, ask for help and contact other travel community members. We are also building a Book My Own Travel App.
We hope you find Book My Own Travel helpful, useful and user-friendly. If not please give us feedback and we will add in improvements. Help us to help you!
Book My Own Travel
Designed and developed just for you