About Hop Abroad

Charmaine Hawke |Wellington Travel Broker
Let's talk travel

The world map is our workplace!

We bring bespoke travel knowledge to the complex combination of flights, trains, buses, accommodation, sightseeing and special experiences that groups or individuals may want. 

Hi there, I’m Charmaine Hawke, a travel geek with a passion for travel, good food & beer, experience, culture and fun!

I pride myself on matching your passions with your overall travel experience and helping you bake that perfect travel cake.

 

How it all began.

I have been in the travel industry for 18 years, out on my own for nearly 14. The catalyst was the birth of my daughter with many of my clients saying they wanted me to focus on her but still book their travel – so was there a way I could do both?

As it happened brokering was starting to become an option for us senior agents who didn’t want to work full time in a retail agency but still wanted to keep doing what we loved.

My clients built my business and in the early days even helped with child care/distraction as my daughter was considered, by them, part of my sales team so she had to come with me when I visited them.

Each day is different, I get bored easily so planning a Gold Coast holiday one minute and a Northern Lights experience the next gets me going. I love to learn and there is nothing like being paid to learn about the best places to go, what to see and do and where to eat.

Universal Studios

With my support crew!

The story I laugh most over was when I had 2 couples I was working with planning nearly the same trip, (at this stage I had no idea they knew each other) who, after a discussion over a wine or 2 had agreed that they could not decide whose agent was going to book the trip so they would both get their agent to quote it.

It was only when they met at the door of the store to pick up the quote (yes this was the days before email and dial up was still a thing) that they realised I was the agent looking at the trip.

What a compliment to have 4 people fighting over whose agent was the best one (apparently it had got quite heated) only to discover they were all talking about the same person!

Universal Studios

The story I laugh most over was when I had 2 couples I was working with planning nearly the same trip, (at this stage I had no idea they knew each other) who, after a discussion over a wine or 2 had agreed that they could not decide whose agent was going to book the trip so they would both get their agent to quote it.

It was only when they met at the door of the store to pick up the quote (yes this was the days before email and dial up was still a thing) that they realised I was the agent looking at the trip.

What a compliment to have 4 people fighting over whose agent was the best one (apparently it had got quite heated) only to discover they were all talking about the same person!

Santorini Greece

Always there when you need me...

My best save was in 2004, a former colleague had made a clanger of an error so one Saturday morning I was confronted by a couple who were going on their honeymoon and facing not making it back to NZ! Their  flight from Greece after their cruise of a lifetime, was landing in London 1hr before their flight back to NZ departed, not enough time to get bags and check in again.

I convinced them to leave the cruise a night early, stay on Santorini at our expense and have plenty of time in the morning to connect.

A few weeks later they saw me and said that last night was the best part of the trip, Greece had won the UEFA cup and that night Santorini had a massive celebration and the other people on the ship had wanted to stay on the island.

Our clients had been taken from house to house in celebration and had an experience they could never have bought.

Always there when you need me...

My best save was in 2004, a former colleague had made a clanger of an error so one Saturday morning I was confronted by a couple who were going on their honeymoon and facing not making it back to NZ! Their  flight from Greece after their cruise of a lifetime, was landing in London 1hr before their flight back to NZ departed, not enough time to get bags and check in again.

I convinced them to leave the cruise a night early, stay on Santorini at our expense and have plenty of time in the morning to connect.

A few weeks later they saw me and said that last night was the best part of the trip, Greece had won the UEFA cup and that night Santorini had a massive celebration and the other people on the ship had wanted to stay on the island.

Our clients had been taken from house to house in celebration and had an experience they could never have bought.

Santorini, Greece

Kyoto, Japan

Hoboken, United States

I am passionate about every trip you make and am happy to do as much or as little as you need me to do.

I am 24/7 support for you when you travel, so if something goes awry, I know what is happening and can very quickly take action to resolve it for you.

Charmaine has saved my bacon twice now with difficult routes after I had searched for several days without success.
She sorted everything from the other side of the world within 48 hours.
Thank you soooo much!

Karena de Souza 

Wellington Travel Broker

Member of The Travel Brokers, division of Helloworld (NZ) Limited, 66 Wyndham Street, Auckland.

Booking.com affiliate