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:
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.
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.
Benjamin Lepage came with unrelenting determination and incredible composure even though his professional experience had nothing to do with tourism. We counted on his adaptability which we detected very quickly, and on his field knowledge which he had gained thanks to his curiosity and his admiration for New Zealand. He is an excellent recruit.
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.
Carolyn, I thought we should tell you how much we enjoyed the trip. NZ was great - the people, the food, the scenery. We liked all the places you booked for us. Thanks so much f... - Glynis Williams, USARead all reviews