Personal Service Travel is on the move in Grove Road, Eastbourne.

But it’s only moving one door down.

It’s about to occupy the former opticians.

Owner Martin Wellings said that the move gives a great opportunity to re-open after the lockdown with a fresh look.

Here Martin offers his views on the travel industry:

Having been in the travel industry for over half a century it is impossible not to look back and see how much has changed in the intervening years – gone are the overnight sleeper trains to destinations all over Europe, the regular shipping services to faraway places and the huge change in the airline network.

So much for history, what about the future? Airfares are about as low as they are likely to go, and there will be more non-stop routes; Qantas has already paved the way with its flight to Perth in nineteen hours and it will not be that long before they extend to Sydney.

On the shipping front, whilst there are no more A to B shipping services, we now have a huge range of cruises to all sorts of destinations, and for those who don’t fancy the high seas, there is a growing number of river cruises.

Finally, it is a resurgence of rail travel with the tunnel coupled with the ultra-fast TGV trains making for a more relaxed and sometimes actually quicker way of getting to your destination. Alas, no more sleepers unless you treat yourself to a trip on the Orient Express to Venice; that is something special!

I count myself very lucky to have had some great travel experiences at a time when the actual journey was truly a part of the holiday. I have many great memories of trips I have been and are too long to mention here, but suffice to say that my most memorable have to be seeing the blast off of Apollo 11 in 1969, being on the jump seat in Concorde for a zero visibility when landing in Washington, passing the Statue of Liberty as the QE 2 entered Manhattan, a self-fly trip in Australia and a cruise to Antarctica which can be thoroughly recommended.

With all these delights of travel, I have so far not mentioned the one big impediment to holidays at the moment – Covid 19. Although we have officially emerged from lockdown, travel is far from back to normal with many destinations either not possible at all, or requiring a quarantine period of two weeks on arrival and this is coupled with a sharp cutback in air services as many airlines don’t reckon to be fully back to normal until at least 2023. Cruising is far from immune as ships are simply anchored off ports around the world waiting to resume sailings currently scheduled to re-start after mid-October.

We have managed to reschedule many of our clients holidays until next year and certainly I would advise people to hold off until at the least the end of this year, or preferably 2021 as it will hopefully give more time for things to settle down and there is more experience as to how things are working out at airports and on board the aeroplanes themselves. It is only just recently that the government has suddenly imposed a quarantine period for everyone returning from Spain – hardly very helpful when people have just left and have work to get back to!

So, I am afraid wishing everyone a good holiday this year will be a bit of a forlorn hope, so I just hope that after all this the holiday scene will be considerably better next year.

Martin Wellings

01323 410500