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A Q&A with Arlene Rickard of The Toon Travel

Updated: Nov 25, 2019



The Toon Travel is one of our newest Managed Partners, having only joined us in September. Their Manager, Arlene Rickard, began her career in the travel industry 18 years ago with Thomas Cook as a Teletext consultant.


Since then, Arlene has worked in numerous areas of the business, gaining experience in online and offline sales, airlines, special assistance and more. We grabbed her for a chat recently to find out more about her journey to joining Brilliant Travel!

What made you want to work for yourself?


After I was made redundant from Thomas Cook, I began to look for the next step in my career. I explored alternative career paths however nothing ignited me with the same excitement that travel did. I’ve always known people who worked for themselves, and after a little encouragement from my family, I decided to take the leap!


I received a call from a former colleague who had also been made redundant. It was my friend Brenda who was looking for a reference from me but instead she recruited me to become the second member of the team at The Toon Travel!


What attracted you to Brilliant Travel?


A friend of mine initially recommended that I apply for a store manager role at Barrhead Travel. But after I got in touch and explained my ambitions to the HR team, they referred me to the Brilliant Travel team who let me know about the opportunities available for people wanting to start their new shop!


I spent time researching the best avenue to take. I was attracted to Brilliant Travel because of the reputable name and competitive package available, however it was the incredible support system in place that concluded my decision. The Brilliant Travel team took time to truly understand what I wanted to do and kept my best interests at heart throughout the whole process.


How will your business operate?


The Toon Travel is located on 42 North Street, Bo’Ness, EH51 0AG.


The team is made up of two people, me and my long-term friend Brenda, and we offer expert travel advice on all areas of travel. We are available on the phone, social media and of course face-to-face. Dedicated appointments are also bookable online via the company website.


Opening hours:


Tuesday 10.00 - 17.30

Wednesday 10.00 - 17.30

Thursday 10.00 - 19.00

Friday 10.00 - 17.30

Saturday 09.30 - 16.30



What do you do when you’re not running your own business?


When I’m not at work, I’m either spending quality time with my grandkids or travelling to new places with my husband.


What’s your favourite holiday destination and why?


Definitely Barbados! I’ve returned many times to experience all that the island has to offer. The atmosphere is amazing and there is something for absolutely everyone.


And if you had one piece of advice for a Travel Consultant looking to open their own travel agency, what would it be?


I’d advise anyone who is looking to go out on their own to do their research. Check the location, speak to local retailers and find the best base for you. Don’t be too daunted, it’s exciting!

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