Esther Smit

Worldwide Destination Expert at the Western & Oriental



About Me

Having grown up in the USA and the Netherlands, and moved around every few years, the travel bug started at a very early age for me. From exploring the different states and visiting family in Holland whenever possible, I started getting more involved in my family’s itineraries during my teens. My interest in travel, along with my organisational skills, led me to study Tourism Management in Amsterdam, and then continue to do a Masters in Eco Tourism in Edinburgh, before moving to London five years ago to get a full-time job in travel. During my studies I worked for KLM selling airline tickets for an incoming travel company, and planning itineraries for leisure and corporate clients. I thoroughly enjoyed both, so choosing to work for a luxury tailor-made tour operator allowed me to combine these skills and arrange all aspects of my clients’ holidays.

I have been lucky enough to travel to most of Europe for work over the last few years, and I’ve visited lots of places further afield for my own personal holidays with friends and family. Recently, I spent over two months discovering all the beauty, hidden gems and culture of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, and I am delighted to be the most recent addition to the Worldwide Team at Western & Oriental, specialising in the Far East, but selling all our W&Onderful destinations!

Favourite Places

I already knew I loved Thailand the first time I visited 12 years ago, but fell in love all over again when I was there last October and December during my big trip. With the amazing food, rolling hills and local tribes in the north, and all the wonderful wildlife, stunning temples and beautiful beaches in the south, who would not love Thailand? My favourite island was the tiny and off the beaten path Koh Tao, just north of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. It is a mecca for diving and a really authentic Thai island and beach experience!

My colleague Lucy Greenwell (one of our Europe specialists) and I recently returned from visiting a new destination for Western & Oriental – Iceland! It was the first time for both of us, and we were both amazed at how beautiful and diverse it is! Visiting in the summer you can see green fields with sheep and Icelandic horses, glaciers, stunning waterfalls with multiple rainbows, moon-like lava fields, snow-capped mountains and being able to walk across two continents is amazing! It is now one of my favourite places and I would recommend it to everyone!

Tips

- Pre-book as much as you can in advance, this will ensure you make the most of your time in resort and avoid disappointment.
- Eat out in the places you visit – most are very safe and you will enjoy some fantastic food!
- Scan your passport and email it to yourself so you always have a copy with you.

 


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