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"What I learnt from travelling with my mum", TTC Managing Directors reveal all

It's cat fights and disagreements when you're at home, but step outside the confinements of every day life and suddenly the bond between mother and child evolves to one of understanding and appreciation.

It’s cat fights and disagreements when you’re at home, but step outside the confinements of every day life and suddenly the bond between mother and child evolves to one of understanding and appreciation.

Just ask these Managing Directors from The Travel Corporation, who ahead of Mother’s Day this weekend reflect everything they learnt from travelling with the woman who gave them life:


Alexandra O’Connor, Managing Director, Insight Vacations


My Mum is infinitely practical so what I’ve learned travelling with her is that you’ll go a long way with a good pair of walking shoes, a raincoat and local currency for a glass of wine. Mum can bargain the hind legs off a donkey – Turkish carpet salesmen end up paying her for their wares so any negotiating skills I have come from her.

We’ve done plenty of amazing trips as a family but my favourites were the trips to Europe while I was living in London. Whether trawling through antique jewellery stores in Prague or enjoying a white Christmas in Austria, travelling with Mum is like having the best bits of home with you wherever you go.


Rachael Harding, Head of Sales, Trafalgar


Travelling with my mum taught me just how similar we really are! From how early we felt we should arrive at the airport to the mix of activities we wanted to do whilst we were away, I was surprised at how often we had the exact same thoughts.

You grow up being compared to your mum and sometimes you don’t always see the similarities but when I travelled for the first time to with her I realised just how accurate those comparisons really were. Don’t get me wrong, we still have those typical mother daughter disagreements every now and then but my mum is one of my favourite travel companions and I love sharing my passion for travel with her.


Katrina Barry, Managing Director, Contiki


When travelling cheap – you never have buy lunch!  This one is a bit cheeky and she’ll be mortified I am relaying it – but my mum is a classic cheap kiwi and that has been solidly impressed on my values.

If staying in an expensive city and at a hotel we were definitely taught to take a banana and a muffin or a bread roll from the breakfast buffet to solve for lunch!  Alternatively if at a B&B – eat up well at breakfast and no need for lunch!   Trust the thrifty kiwis to to save a few dollars in expensive overseas locations!


Fiona Dalton, Managing Director, Uniworld


I am quite sure I inherited my love for travel from my Mum. She is a great inspiration to me – having recently celebrated her 80th birthday and still managing at least  2-3 international trips a year with Dad. She’s never one to shirk a journey, and particularly not a journey to a new destination.

Already this year they’ve sailed to Bali and later have booked to experience our beautiful River Queen on the Rhine and Moselle Rivers in Europe. Mum’s best asset is that she’ll strike up a conversation with literally anyone while she’s travelling –she’s interested in everyone’s story and it’s the people that bring a destination to life for her.

I think that’s a great lesson , despite how embarrassing her grandchildren find it. For to her, the people are everything and she gives so much of herself in return. It makes travelling with Mum truly a gift.


Neil Rodgers, Managing Director, Adventure World


Growing up in Belfast I had a yearning to leave behind overcast grey skies and city life in favour of blue skies and adventure. I believe my mother had the same dream as my inspiration came from reading her old National Geographic magazines.

She always encouraged and supported me to  pursue my travel ambitions which has lead me across seven continents and settling in Australia.  The trips I remember most are the ones we have done together in South America, Alaska and Africa. June will see us take an epic road trip together exploring Oregon.


Tina McIntosh, General Manager, Busabout


I’ve travelled the world with my best friend who also happens to be my mum. We share a passion for travel and we’ve been fortunate enough to share unforgettable adventures throughout Europe, India and Asia together.

I lived in London for many years so Mum and I would plan an annual trip so we could spend quality time together and it was also an opportunity to show Mum snippets of my life ex-pat lifestyle of working hard during the week and then jetting off somewhere fabulous for the weekend.

I love seeing the world through Mum’s eyes because she’s up for trying anything once and she’s open to pushing herself out of her comfort zone whilst maintaining her sense of humour at the same time.

There are so many highlights to recall but being trackside at the Monaco Grand Prix and spending New Year’s Eve at the Maharaja’s Palace in Rajasthan would be up there with the unforgettable experiences we’ve shared. I hope that one day I can create more unforgettable travel memories with my own daughter and have the opportunity to see the world through her eyes.

What did you learn travelling with your mum?