When they’re not ‘down the nick’, these police officers are selling travel


As full-time police officers, Paul and Tracy Franklin already have their hands full. Add to that, three children, two dogs and elderly parents to look after, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’d be no more time for anything else. Think again. 

In the little spare time they have, this dynamic husband and wife team are travel consultants – and they’re pretty good at it too. 

Although it’s a currently only a side-line, joining The Travel Franchise back in April 2023 has boosted their income and given them both a new lease of life. 

“We’re both police officers – and we say that very proudly – but it’s a difficult place to be at the moment. It’s a tough gig,” says Paul. Having been in the Force for over 15 years, and in Tracy’s case 20 years, the couple were looking for “something different”. 

Different is exactly what they got.

“As part of our daily job, we deal with members of society who [on the whole] are either really vulnerable or in some cases rather challenging, sometimes both, and either way, often don’t really want to engage with us,” says Tracy. 

Working in travel is at the completely opposite end of the spectrum. “The travel industry is full of people who are very, very happy all of the time,” says Paul. “And the enthusiasm that they show for their subject area is unbelievable. It’s actually quite infectious.”

“The support we’ve been given has been excellent, always cheerful and positive, and that’s not just from our business development manager and everyone at head office, but also from among our peer group,” says Tracy. “We’ve made some really nice friendships, from among the other consultants. 

“Coming from public sector backgrounds we thought it would be quite competitive internally, but we haven’t experienced anything like that. On the contrary, everyone just seems to want everyone else to do really well.”

And of course who doesn’t want to talk travel? 

When coming home from a shift, the prospect of researching and booking holidays is one that the pair look forward to. “We genuinely love it. And even more so when we get great feedback from our clients. They tell us that they were caught in a spiral of ‘doom scrawling’ and just didn’t know where to go and then we book them their perfect holiday. It gives you a great sense of satisfaction – and getting paid to do it makes it even better.” 

While the couple has never actually worked together, they have discovered that they make great business partners. Paul has mastered sifting through the competition online to find the best deals for customers who want straightforward package holidays, whereas Tracy loves researching destinations she’s never been to and crafting tailor made, bespoke itineraries. 

Tapping into the 450 suppliers that work with The Travel Franchise, the couple are able to book thousands of holidays – many of which are not available to the public. 

Bookings range from everything from car hire right up to a 19-day trip to Canada in search of polar bears. Tracy recently organised a trek in Nepal and a trip taking in all the best bits in Vietnam. 

“Just because we’ve taken out a travel franchise, some people assume we’ve been everywhere and know the ins and outs of every single country that exists – which of course we don’t,” says Tracy. “But I love learning. I’m a geek. If it’s a request for somewhere I don’t know, I get my teeth into it.”

Yet, they are not alone. If they get stuck they simply need to turn to their Business Development Manager (BDM) – an experienced travel industry mentor. All franchisees within the company are appointed a BDM, on hand to offer assistance, advice and business strategy recommendations. 

And of course working in the travel industry has ignited their love of travel even more. “That’s the beauty of this job – we can do it from anywhere. Last year we were on the phone to customers while we were around the pool in Turkey. Plus, it allows us to be able to experience places we may not have thought about going before, because we can use our trade partners to help us get good deals,” says Paul. 

But knowing your way around the world is only half the challenge they say. “Far more important is learning what your customer wants – that’s how you transfer an inquiry into a booking by delivering on that,” says Paul. 

Enthusiasm, good communication skills and a passion for travel are the key skills to succeed they say. “You’ve got to have a lot of enthusiasm and be positive about whatever it is that you’re selling. And we naturally gravitated towards holidays because that’s what we like. We love to travel. If we were selling something that we weren’t too bothered about, it may not be quite as easy to do.

As they move into their second year, their business is evolving. “Now we’ve got the foundations in place, it’s about having a strategy to continue that growth. I’m getting great satisfaction from the fact that I feel like I’m becoming more competent and more efficient at what we’re doing. Recently, rather than sending several options over to a client, we simply sent them one. They came straight back to say they loved it and ‘let’s get it booked’. It shows we’re becoming more efficient, which ultimately means we can process more customers and the greater the business will grow,” says Tracy. 

Justifiably, this disciplined couple are proud of their achievements. They’re proof that you can launch a business and run it in your spare time without giving up your full-time job. 

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