Meet Natalie Daw of Helloworld Camberwell
Article posted: March 26, 2019
A keen interest in geography as a teenager led Helloworld Camberwell owner Natalie Daw into the travel industry, even before she had set foot on an aeroplane.
Mrs Daw has owned the local travel agency located in Burke Rd for the past 15 years, helping locals craft their dream holidays and adventures.
“When I was 15, I thought travel would be a good idea, while not knowing much about it,” she said.
“I hadn’t been on an aeroplane and I wasn’t a child that got to travel and things like that. At the time, I thought I would get some work experience to see if I wanted to work in travel, and I haven’t looked back.”
The Helloworld team work on travel escapes for people of all ages, whether it’s for school trips, gap years, jet-setting families or river-cruising retirees.
They also manage corporate travel, overseeing some small business accounts.
“We understand that time is precious, so we try to work out the best way to get to where you need to go in the shortest amount of time,” she said.
“But we can’t turn back the clock and we can’t stop time either, even though a lot of people ask us to.”
A changing travel industry
Like many sectors, the internet and other technologies have fundamentally reshaped the travel industry.
People travel more today than they ever have. The number of flights available has skyrocketed over the years, driving down the cost of flying and travel in general.
“When I first started in travel, everything was done by books and telephone, whereas now you can punch your details into a computer, and it gives you an airfare,” Mrs Daw said.
The growth of the online travel industry has been good for consumers, who can now research and plan better for their holidays.
However, online booking for flights, accommodation and tours has hurt local travel agencies, which are often left to pick up the pieces when mistakes are made online.
The Helloworld Camberwell team has dealt with a raft of problems arising from online booking over the years, such as bookings made on the wrong dates, people getting incorrect insurance or forgetting visas.
These are the sorts of errors that travel agents can help avoid by overseeing itineraries from start to finish and asking expert questions that the everyday traveller may not be aware of, Mrs Daw said.
Organising the perfect holiday
That said, Mrs Daw still recommends using the internet to research as much as possible.
“The best advice would be to do some research on your own, but then book through a travel agent for your security,” she said.
“Arm yourself with as much information as you can because it helps us in the booking process – I’m sure we don’t know everything about everywhere because the industry is changing all the time.”
That constant change is one of the joys of the job for Mrs Daw, as well as the friendly locals who ring up or pop into the store just to have a chat.
“It’s never boring. We never know what the day is going to bring. People never stop surprising us, and I don’t think they ever will,” she said.
Visit the store
941 Burke Rd, Camberwell
Phone: (03) 9909 5197