Melanie Cox has worked in the travel industry for over 26 years, ten as Sales Manager at Epsom Coaches. She loves her job, especially her rapport with suppliers & clients. Melanie enjoys the industry’s social side, & considers Epsom Coaches her second family! Melanie won the ‘Unsung Heros’ award at the 2013 UK Coach Awards & ‘Coach Tourism Professional of the Year’ at the Coach Tourism Awards. She is on the Coach Tourism Council board.

The best group trip you have ever been on:

Easy! I used to work for a company specialising in holidays to Greece. To celebrate our 40th year of operation, all the staff and management went to Athens for the weekend. We all boarded the Olympic Airways flight full of the party spirit. Upon arrival in Athens we were treated to a city tour and on the Saturday night we were joined by our agent based in Athens and our two groups enjoyed a night ‘Greek style’: a fabulous meze, bouzouki playing, plenty of plate smashing and of course lots of ouzo! The next day we visited a market and finished off with a delicious lunch before boarding our flight bound for Heathrow. We all made it back into the office on time for work on Monday! I love Greece and have visited many of the islands; my favourite without a doubt is Paxos.

Enjoying the view across London from The Shard.

And the worst?

A skiing trip to Andorra. This was many years ago and it was on this trip I discovered my dislike for the sport! I loved Andorra, for the shopping and the après ski, but as far as winter sports are concerned I will leave that to other people to enjoy!

What’s your favourite UK destination for a group day out?

I don’t think you can beat London – there is just so much to see and do! There really is something to appeal to absolutely everyone. My ideal day in London would start with a visit to one of the many museums, a trip up The Shard or on the London Eye, a boat trip along the Thames and then a visit to a show, my favourites being Les Misérables and Jersey Boys. An evening at the Medieval Banquet is also a lot of fun.

A night out at the Medieval Banquet.

What makes a good group trip?

Pre-planning and the group itself. I think the people can make or break a trip and there is nothing more rewarding than visiting a new destination and coming home with new friends. You should always go on a trip with an open mind and be patient and tolerant of others in your group. Be prepared to try new things and embrace the way of life.

What do you always pack?

My camera, a notebook, my ipad for looking up any extra information about the destination. Also, never forget the charger for the ipad!

And what do you leave out?

Not much! I would say that the only thing I tend to leave out is my hairdryer as there is always one in the hotel room!

A great itinerary taking in the best of Wales

What was your favourite trip last year?

I didn’t actually go on holiday last year but as part of my job I do check out the hotels we use. My husband and I put together a small itinerary taking in Chester and Wales. We had a great time starting in Chester, then moving on to North Wales and then heading south. My favourite hotel was in Beaumaris, the scenery was stunning and it just so happened we had a group staying in the hotel at the same time so I could keep an eye on everything. We travelled on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, the Vale of Rheidol Railway and visited the Anderton Boat Lift, something I have always wanted to do!