At the very beginning, it was just us: Adeline and Franck, a French couple who settled in Auckland in January 2009 with our two children.
We launched Once Upon a Trip from our home, working day and night, whenever we managed to get some time off while our kids were busy or asleep in a country where we had no family close by. Since then we’ve obtained permanent residency and have even added in April 2012 a little kiwi girl to our family. We do not regret anything.
We have years of experience in the tourism and customised trips industry in France. Adeline specialised in Southern African destinations, while Franck's expertise was on Northern Europe, with a true passion for Iceland. Our focus on niche markets allowed us to gain an in-depth knowledge of our destinations as well as of our local partners. Many of them have since become close friends.
The idea was to do pretty much the same in New Zealand.
Once the adventure had started, the potential of Once Upon A trip quickly became promising and we needed help.
After employing a few staff whose ties to NZ were too tenuous, we decided it was time to give back to NZ the opportunity she had given us. Today we count as part of our team:
Carolyn Stanton, a young kiwi at just 24 years of age who shows a maturity beyond her years. In just a few months she has been able to master all of the tools of the trade and the art and skill involved in selling made to measure travel packages.
Camille Tone, married to a Samoan Kiwi, she was originally an English teacher in France and had been working in the tourism sector in New Zealand with a campervan hire company. Searching new opportunities and challenges she joined our team.
In Laura Luet we recognised a commercial flair and a passionate temperament, she just lacked the local knowledge for the job which she eagerly acquired behind the wheel of a hire van as she toured the lower north island and the whole of the south island for six weeks.
Maxime Kubiak, who was first hired under a temporary working holiday visa, is now a permanent New Zealand resident and he is in charge of all the bookings. It's a tough and intense job but thanks to his methodical skills and absolute calm, he masters at it.
Valentin Puech, has started as a guide for us but he was so curious and interested by the travel consultant job that he now shares his time between the two positions and still manages to save time on weekends for his passion for music.
To assist our travel consultants and Maxime with the logistical work we take on an extra person who is in NZ on a working holiday visa, for up to 6 months from time to time.
The organisation by OUAT was excellent, communication was brilliant, facilities on the Milford Track were of a high standard and Hippo Lodge in Queenstown was very good value. W... - John Dalli, AustraliaRead all reviews