The Travel Team
Sam Smith (Managing Director)
Sam has years of experience travelling around the four corners of the globe. His expertise and experience means that he can recommend excellent holiday destinations to our clients at the drop of a hat. He is the Managing Director and founder of Sam Smith Travel, has 50 years of operating both retail and business travel, together with 7 years as a Tour Operator. He is also the Consul for Norway, The Netherlands and Tunisia and is currently Vice Chairman of ABTA in South Wales. Sam is also a qualified ‘Aussie Specialist'.
Favourite Destination: Sri Lanka
Jim Strachan (Director)
Jim Strachan has been involved in the travel industry for over 50 years. Prior to him establishing Strachan Sports Travel, he was the Director of Travel City Sports for 8 years and previously the Managing Director of John Cory Travel Ltd for 19 years. During that time he has been involved with travel arrangements for numerous Commonwealth Games, Rugby World Cups, Six Nations, Wales tours and Cricket World Cups plus being the Official Travel Agent to the Welsh Rugby Union from 1969 to 1999 together with handling the Welsh regional teams since 2000. For many years he has worked closely with Wales’ national teams with sports ranging from Athletics to Weightlifting, including Disability Sport Wales. In addition, he has served ABTA (the Association of British Travel Agents) in several capacities including Chairman South Wales Region, Chairman Shipping Committee and National Council Member. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel & Tourism.
Angharad Griffiths (General Manager)
Angharad has been working in the travel industry for 21 years, and has a strong passion for travelling the globe and discovering new places in far out lands. She loves most sports and is especially passionate about Rugby making her perfect for our 6 Nations, Rugby World Cup, British Lions and Wales Rugby Tours. She is also actively involved with international lawn bowls events, gymnastics and hockey tours along with inbound rugby events.
Favourite Destination: All of Asia
Emily Sanders (Operations Manager)
Born and bred in Wales Emily has been involved in groups and sports travel for 13 years, first working for WRU Travel in 1995 before moving to Gulliver’s Sports Travel for three years. She then moved to Travel Places on the south coast where she established a Scouts department. During this time she managed the travel and tour arrangements of six UK Contingent events on behalf of The Scout Association – the highlight of which was delivering successful arrangements to all 4,000 passengers travelling to the 23rd World Scout Jamboree in Japan. Alongside these major events she also managed a number of other bespoke smaller trips for county or local scout groups all over the world including community projects in Tanzania, watching the great solar eclipse in USA, a Mount Kilimanjaro climb and travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Mongolia and Beijing.
Outside of work Emily has a keen interest in sport, she is a qualified swimming teacher and taught swimming for 10 years in the past. Nowadays she likes to set herself a fitness challenge, her latest achievement was cycling the Taff Trail for Ty Hafan. Aside from this she loves to support the Welsh Rugby team on match days. She is often seen with a paint brush or a spade in her hand on the weekend, as she always has a creative project on the go – this summer’s project was to lay a patio and build some pallet furniture.
Favourite Destinations: Japan, Mongolia and Kenya (but there are plenty more destinations on her bucket list that she would like to explore)
Suzanne Cumpston (Sales & Commercial Manager)
Suzanne has worked in the Travel Industry for nearly three decades, previously working for TUI & Kuoni in Management Roles. She has been privileged to have travelled to most continents & amassed a huge range of travel experience, including Thailand, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives (9 Islands),Mauritius, South Africa, Dubai, Caribbean (most Islands), Ski (France, Austria, Norway, Canada, Vermont, USA) , Canada, USA, 14 Greek Islands, Scandinavia, Portugal, Morocco, Switzerland and France.
Suzanne specialises in Long Haul, Luxury (inc First Class), Boutique, Ski & Beach, as well as Honeymoons, Groups & Cruise and of course is expert in getting the most competitively priced quotes.
Favourite Destination: So many to choose from, however, In Malaysia I love the tiny Island of Langkawi, the Datai hotel is the nearest thing to Paradise. I also love a Spring trip to the Greek South Aegean Islands, preferably staying at Boutique Hotels. Next on my list is Japan or maybe South Korea.”
Louisa O'Neill (Leisure Travel Executive)
Louisa has worked within the travel industry for almost 20 years.
She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise which has been gained from
travelling to many corners of the world and her time spend working for a
tour operator overseas for 3 years. She has a passion for discovering places off the beaten track and sampling different cultures. Louisa specialises in bespoke luxury holidays to long haul destinations.
Favourite Destination: Jamaica and Sri Lanka
Melanie Barnett (Leisure Travel Executive)
Melanie has worked in both independent & multiple Travel Agents for over 20 years and has accrued a wonderful database of clients mainly due to her superb client service and of course vast travel experience. Melanie has travelled to Greece, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Turkey, Disneyland Paris, Malta, Tunisia, Red Sea/Egypt, Madeira, Aruba, Mexico, Jamaica, South Africa, Florida, Thailand, Sierra Nevada (Ski), Cuba & Dubai.
Melanie specialises in Cruise, having travelled on most cruise ships, family holidays, adult only (couples) Mediterranean & Long haul as well as multi centres, beach, groups and city breaks.
Favourite Destination: Cuba was pretty special, particularly Havana. I also loved the scenery in Madeira-stunningly picturesque