Meet the team
Travel Advisor is a friendly website run by a team of mature travel industry
professionals with more years of experience than we care to number! Our backgrounds are
diverse, but we are all united by our passion for travel, and our aim is to
gather and offer impartial advice, information and recommendations which can be
The team includes ...
Debbie has 30 years travel experience including Crystal Holidays and Jetsave (where she was Managing Director until 2001), and from 2004 until 2010 at the helm of the award-winning villa specialist CV Villas (formerly CV Travel), and its sister company Ski Verbier. A keen skier, walker and adventurer, her favourite destinations, in no particular order, are Switzerland, France, Corfu, the Amalfi Coast, the Caribbean, the Dolomites and Alderney. She climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in early 2014 (read her Blog), and is learning how to master the art of ski touring (that's uphill skiing and it's as hard as it sounds!). She is also a non-executive director of The Thinking Traveller and Bailey Robinson, and has been inaugurated into the '60 for 60' influential women list at the Association of Women Travel Executives.
Taki, is of Greek origin and has spent many years
working in the travel industry developing reservations systems and websites. He
looks after everything to do with the website and has endless patience! His
favourite destinations are those with architectural and historical significance
such as Istanbul, Epidaurus and Granada (besides London, Paris and Rome of
course). He also enjoys visiting the Greek Islands and his native Princes
Islands in Istanbul, as well as touring & trekking in national parks &
nature reserves including Jasper in Canada and the Grand Canyon.
Creative and Communication Director
Jennie, a member of BGTW, presents The
Silver Travel Show on The Wireless interviewing destination experts and Silver
Travellers. A keen traveller herself, with experiences in the Caribbean, Europe
and Africa, her notable overseas moments include hill climbing in Gocek &
Kalkan in Turkey and two treks in the Namibian desert. Jennie has worked
with people from many countries and has a good knowledge of cultural
differences, and what to expect when travelling to Japan, Russia and
Kazakhstan! She loves islands and her challenge is to equal Ben Fogle, 'The
Teatime Islands'. Her favourite quote: "The world is a book and those who do
not travel read only one page", St Augustine.
Partnerships & Promotions Director
Gill has over 30 years experience in the cruise industry, resulting in her being a dab hand at Trivial Pursuit blue questions so long as they are about coastal geography. After learning the ropes with Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises, Gill led the marketing team which launched the Ocean Village brand (‘the cruise for people who don’t do cruises’) and as head of global PR, masterminded Cunard’s 175 anniversary celebrations when the fleet performed a ‘riverdance’ on the Mersey. Gill’s favourite destination is South Africa where one of the highlights was climbing trees to avoid an approaching rhino. A keen skier, mountain biker and windsurfer, Gill loves the great outdoors. Still on the wishlist are canoeing the Great Lakes in Canada and swimming with manta rays in the Maldives.
Head of Partnerships (non cruise)
Michelle has over 20 years’ travel and marketing experience within the travel industry leading marketing teams in the adventure market, with Explore, and in the escorted touring marketing with Collette. A keen walker and traveller, she certainly likes to get off the beaten track with her adventures, and a relaxing beach holiday never seems to be on the cards. She never believes in visiting a destination more than once, however, four times to Nepal broke that rule! She also enjoys climbing mountains in Scotland and the Lake District and trekking overseas, including the tour of Mont Blanc, the Annapurna Circuit, Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp, and the Inca Trail. Higher peaks in Nepal are already on the radar!Roger Bray
Roger is one of the UK's longest serving travel journalists and former Chair of the British Guild of Travel Writers. A veteran skier and hiker, he writes for Scotland on Sunday, and welove2ski.com, has contributed to major newspapers including the Financial Times, the Guardian and Mail on Sunday and has his own blog. Travel editor of London's Evening Standard, Roger has covered major news events in travel and aviation over three decades, winning recognition for his special contribution at the Travel Press Awards and as Best Travel Writer on France.
Veteran TV presenter John Carter has been our patron since the very early days of Silver Travel. A familiar face from the days of Wish You Were Here and The Holiday Programme, John is a much-loved and respected member of our team. These days he still be found globetrotting, although at a slightly slower pace, ambling rather than rambling. His popular 'Now and Then' compilation of amusing articles about his latest travels can be found in our Features section. Read more about John.
Research and Training
Jane (MA Marketing) is a CIM Chartered Marketer and senior marketing professional, who has worked in marketing, branding and publishing for over 23 years. She is an acknowledged expert on how to engage with the older generations – for many years she was director of Mature Times newspaper. She is frequently called on by national and local media as a key representative of her audience.Jane is a specialist in communications, research, marketing and sales for the 50+, and we’re delighted to welcome her to the Silver Travel family where her huge wealth of knowledge is invaluable for our research projects. Jane also runs a range of tailor-made training courses for our partners to ensure that they better understand the needs of silver travellers.
Social Media - meet Steve & Carole!Steve Newman
Social Media Manager (Cruise)
Steve is our Social Media expert who looks after our Facebook and Twitter pages when it’s all about cruising. Steve is a former teacher who gave it all up at the tender age of 30 to become a writer and photographer specialising in adventure travel. Be it jumping out of zodiacs to walk with penguins, swim with sea lion pups or walk across the deserts and mountain ranges of the world. A keen birdwatcher and walker he is passionate about the history, food and culture of his beloved Northumberland.
Social Media Manager (non Cruise)
Carole worked as a Senior Manager and Consultant in Education before taking early retirement to become a writer and award-winning photographer, and to indulge her passion for global travel. She loves exploring new destinations on foot and finds the best adventures and photographic opportunities are often away from the beaten track. She is a keen runner, hiker and bird/wildlife watcher, regularly seen trekking, splashing and skidding along the hilly footpaths around her home on the edge of the Peak District. Carole looks after social media for Silver Travel Advisor in all areas except cruise, working closely with Steve.
Some of our Silver Travel Advisors
Our Advisors are a very special team of vastly experienced and wise travellers, who between them have visited an impressive list of countries and enjoyed a whole range of different experiences, from cruising to elephant riding. They have contributed some fascinating reviews to our site, and are happy to share their experiences with you and to answer any questions that you may have to assist with planning your next trip.
Cruise Specialist & Forum Moderator
Alan is a passionate ‘cruise ship’ expert and travel writer, with over 100 cruises completed on nearly 60 ships of 18 cruise lines. He has travelled all over the world from the Arctic to Australia, USA to the Balkans and Russia, Black, Baltic and Red Sea, Asia, Middle East, South America and most Mediterranean ports. Alan, a Member of the British Guild of Travel Writers and The International Travel Writers Alliance says "There is something magical about stepping aboard a beautiful cruise ship, visiting multiple countries and ports but only unpacking once". He enjoys answering questions from Silver Travellers, particularly when he can use his research skills, and he is also a moderator on our Forum.
Boutique Hotel Specialist
Gillian writes about a wide variety
of destinations, but is known as a specialist on France. She studied at the Institut Français in
London and says that whilst her French is still fluent, her French shorthand is
a tad rusty! A freelance writer for nearly
40 years, Gillian wrote parenting articles when her two children were small,
moving on to personality interviews as they grew up. In
2018 she celebrated 20 years as a travel writer by winning the Best Cultural
Article in the French Travel Media Awards. A regular contributor to France
Today magazine and a variety of women’s weeklies and customer magazines,
Gillian travels to France regularly, and particularly loves exploring on foot,
both on city streets and rural tracks. Favourite
part of France? "Usually where I’ve just
been!" she says.
Peter is our specialist Rail Advisor. He is an author, travel writer & hotel reviewer and has written internet travel guides to England, Albania, Macedonia, Luxembourg and the cities of, Darwin, Dubrovnik Oxford and Reykjavik. He spent four years working as a freelance travel correspondent for an American newspaper and now writes regularly for the West Australian. He is also a contributing author for Great Train Journeys of the World (Time Out, 2010). He has travelled widely throughout America, Australia,
New Zealand, Europe and the Far East. His areas of special expertise are rail travel and wildlife conservation volunteering.
Sally has worked in travel industry since the age of just 16 in her local travel agent, followed by some happy years working for Pan Am & Continental, and then ten years at Tropical Places, travelling throughout the Caribbean, Far East and Kenya. Away from work she developed a love of walking holidays in the Pyrenees and Mallorca and European city breaks. The USA also became a firm favourite; especially the quiet side of Florida that often gets overlooked. In 2003 came the chance to source holiday prizes for Take A Break magazine. This led to writing and researching travel features and in 2006 she won the Visit USA award for best consumer magazine feature.
Petra Shepherd is a freelance travel writer with 30 years experience in television, 19 of which were were with Travel Channel International, the leading global travel broadcaster, where she was responsible for award winning documentary style travel programmes. Prior to this Petra was a celebrity booker and has met everybody from Dame Edna Everage to Donald Trump! She's visited over 100 countries, has lived in Hong Kong and Italy and is a great advocate of solo travel, in 2013 she spent six months travelling alone around South America. Petra is a member of The British Guild of Travel Writers and when not getting of the beaten track and being as adventurous as possible divides her time between London and visiting her 12 god-children around the UK.
Dinah spent the first few years of her working life in France and Italy. Her first job was with Thomas Cook and then followed several years in Italy, France, Austria, Greece and Switzerland, returning to the UK in 1974 where became Product Director for Italy. Now retired, Dinah has more time for travel, and has visited both polar regions, dog sledged in Norway and Sweden (sleeping in a tent in -5C), been horse riding in Mongolia, in the Sahara in Tunisia, Wadi Rum in Jordan, Mexico, Costa Rica,the Thar desert in Rajasthan, India and across the Andes. She also enjoys small ship cruising in the Indian Ocean, Indonesia, French Polynesia and the South Pacific islands.
David has been an editor and travel writer for regional papers and magazines for over 20 years. He travels regularly and loves short breaks both in the UK and abroad. He visits Europe regularly and has taken well over 80 cruises. He loves both ocean and river cruising and reporting not only on the latest amazing mega cruise ships, but also the more intimate smaller ships. A member of the team since the start, David's many reviews can be easily found and read by typing his name in the search box. He hopes you enjoy his travel features and videos on Silver Travel Advisor!
David has been a professional journalist all his working life, starting as a provincial reporter, then moving to national newspapers (18 years with the Daily Mail in Manchester), national Sunday newspapers and the Manchester Evening News for 20 years and has been fortunate enough to travel widely. A keen skier, his favourite spots are in Switzerland and Austria. He and his wife Dorothy - she ran their home in the Pennines as a thriving guest house for many years - have two daughters, one who specialised in travel and worked in Majorca and the other lived in Greece, both providing a perfect excuse to spend as many weeks a year as possible in the Med.
Steve retired from his job as an IT Programme Manager some years ago and decided it was time to indulge his love of travel with his wife Linda: cruising (big and small ships), trekking, camping (mobile home), city visits, finding things off the beaten track. They have been to the Maldives, Bahamas, Thailand, Malaysia (including Borneo), USA, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Greece, Turkey, France, Germany and many other countries. Steve has written about many of his travels and his series about Malaysia achieved recognition when he won the award for the Best On-Line Media at the Sabah Tourism Awards 2013. He is also a moderator on our Forum.
Ship Visits CoordinatorPeter Godliman
Peter caught the travel bug relatively late in
life, only flying for the first time after achieving silver traveller
age in order to spend one week cruising the River Nile. He first
discovered cruising in 2007 to celebrate his silver wedding anniversary,
and became hooked. He now has 49 ocean and 4 river cruises to reminisce
over. When not cruising, Peter’s main hobby is ship visits –arranging
them, as a volunteer, for members of Ocean Liner Society (OLS), for whom
he has organised 100+ visits over seven years. Peter brings this
experience to Silver Travel Advisor where, in partnership with OLS, he
has taken on the role of Coordinator for our Silver Traveller Advisor
ship visits programme.
Silver Travel Book Club Literary EditorAndrew Morris
Andrew may have spent a lifetime working with numbers, including spending most of the 1980s in a rum-induced haze in Bermuda, but he is now enjoying a second career combining his real passions of travelling, writing and reading books. He gravitates towards mountains and adventurous activities when travelling. Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, skiing around the pistes of Europe and flying above the cloud forest canopy in Costa Rica on zip wires are just a few adrenaline-fuelled highlights. But he is equally happy exploring the quieter corners of the world, meeting local people and trying to understand their history and culture, whilst enjoying authentic food and drink. And as a lover of literature, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine travel and books as Literary Editor of the Silver Travel Book Club, thanks to his association with TripFiction. He still enjoys drinking rum.
Other regular and valued contributors to Silver Travel Advisor include Eleanor Wasley, Glynis Sullivan, Paul Brown, Maria Meredith, Pamela Walker, Gillian Thornton, Jacqueline Jeynes and Kay Wiseman. Put their names into the Search box and you can enjoy reading their wide-ranging and varied articles.
Our UK offices are based near Euston in central London. Postal address:
Silver Travel Advisor, c/o Age UK, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA.