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Karen Simmonds
Director

Travel Matters Ltd

Travel Matters specialises in tailor-made holidays, with strong, professional relationships around the globe. Our expertise and service lets us create optimum itineraries to suit your interests, time and budget.

We promote travel that focuses on conservation not destruction, that does not exploit or harm animals and that strives to not leave many traces behind, supporting local economies which benefit host communities.

Our responsibility is to create memorable travel experiences in a world where local communities and our planet co-exist and flourish. Travel, when done right, can impact the world in a positive manner and can break down barriers – Travel Matters!

  • Specialisms
  • Accreditations
  • Agent Views
  • Gallery
  • Videos
  • Blogs
Languages:
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Russian
Year established:
  • 1999
The areas we specialise in:
  • Adventure travel
  • Beach holidays
  • Bespoke planning
  • Cultural trips
  • Ethical holidays
  • Family holidays
  • Honeymoons
  • Luxury travel
  • Rail travel
  • Road trips
  • Safaris
  • Short breaks
  • Skiing
  • Summer holidays
  • Travel planning
The destinations we specialise in:
  • Caribbean
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • India
  • Israel
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand

Australia – The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa

“Bryon Bay is Australia’s easternmost town, home to excellent beaches and lush rain forests. It really needs no introduction, having been a popular holiday destination seemingly forever. It was very much on the radar when my contemporaries were taking their gap year (we called it a year off!) and now my nephews and nieces back-packing around...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Barbados and St Lucia – island-hopping experience

“Not many people have the Caribbean on their summer radar and that really is a shame. The rates are unbelievably attractive and the weather is good. Humidity is higher, it is true, but on the whole it is sunny and hot with short spells of occasional rain, sometimes only several minutes long – and then...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

China – memorable experiences and cultural contradictions

“Another triumph from Karen and her excellent colleagues at Travel Matters and the incredible logistical magic of Wendy Wu and their wonderful local guides. For over three weeks in April/May 2019 the Luboffs travelled across the vast and populated country that is China, with its 1.4bn people, and ended with a few days exploring the...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Cyprus in Spring – is there a better time to go?

“Cyprus isn’t the place that people readily think of as a destination for Easter holidays, yet having just returned from this beautiful country I highly recommend April as the brilliant time to go. The temperatures are very pleasant and the weather is generally sunny. In fact, Cyprus boasts an impressive 326 days of sun per...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Dubai – Dizzy heights in the UAE

“Courtesy of If Only, I, along with other travel professionals, spent a few nights checking out the sights of Dubai, Ajman and Ras al Khaimah. The Burj Khalifa was the first visitor attraction we headed to. Bringing a new meaning to the term “sky scraper”, the world’s tallest building, standing at a proud 828 metres...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
A Sea Turtle swims through the clear waters of the Galapagos

Galapagos – The Galapagos Conservation Trust Cruise

“Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) is the only UK charity focussed solely on the conservation of one of the most unique and ecologically important, but vulnerable, areas in the world. With over 20 years of experience, they partner with Ecuadorian authorities, NGOs, local communities and leading researchers to support impactful science, conservation and education programmes across...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Ibiza – a weekend in Santa Eularia des Riu

“Santa Eularia des Riu is one of Ibiza’s five municipalities and is the second largest region in Ibiza. Located on the Eastern shore, it also includes an impressive stretch of coastline with more than 20 beaches as well as rural farmland. It’s a corner of the island far removed from the clubs of San Antonio...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Iceland – land of glaciers, waterfalls & geysers

“If you are a lover of nature and adventure then there are few places in this world that could compete with Iceland. Maryna was very fortunate to visit this beautiful country courtesy of Exsus. The beauty of Iceland is such that it was a location for many films and TV shows, the most recognisable of...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
Shopping in Cochin (Kochi)

India – Kerala with Karen

“Cochin airport, our airport of arrival in Kerala, is the first airport in the world to be run on solar energy. It has more than 46,000 solar panels which take the bright sunlight and converts it into energy. The airport is extremely clean, spacious and with this accolade to shout about – we were already...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

India – Maharajah style

“India has always been considered a land of riches and abundance. No wonder it has been an apple of discord for so many nations for centuries. I had a privilege to experience India in what I can only describe as Maharajah style. In India they take luxury to a whole new level. The hotels, both...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

India – Reeling from a trip to Rajasthan

“I was excited as well as eager to return to India after several years. I had travelled to Goa for the beaches and Karnataka in my 20’s, enjoying the World Heritage listed buildings of Hampi, which are set among extraordinary volcanic boulders. Back then, I remember we had to hitch a lift on the back...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
Our accommodation in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

Israel and Jordan – Eat, pray, sunbathe

“This year I decided to celebrate the new Wizz Air route Luton to Eilat by booking my holiday to Israel and Jordan. Afterall visiting Jerusalem – the heart of the ancient world and a sacred city of three religions – has always been on my bucket list. Israel offers so much more than religious sites...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
Dunns River Falls, Jamaica

Jamaica – Far more than a beach holiday

“If you are after a restful holiday in the Caribbean but also don’t want to feel like you are stranded on an island with nothing to do then Jamaica should be on the cards. It is the third largest island in the Caribbean and offers rich history as well as varied landscape. Being a larger...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
Hippos in the Mara River opposite Karen Blixen Camp, Kenya

Kenya – A 7-day Safari

“The taxi delivered us to the Nairobi Air Safari terminal in early morning darkness. A smiling, sweaty, beanie clad face greeted us, the Manager unlocking the terminal door. Welcome to Kenya where the locals run to and from work. We boarded our flight out to the Mara, with a full view of the cockpit and...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Liguria – Cinque Terre and Portofino visits

“Liguria is a region in northwest Italy and its Mediterranean coastline is known as the Italian Riviera, stretching from Tuscany to the French border. Ligurian coastline is simply stunning. There are no beaches to speak about but each little cove is just so pretty and inviting often with small ladders attached to a rock for...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Madagascar – A unique wildlife holiday experience

“Madagascar is a strong contender for offering the most distinctive wildlife holidays on the planet. The island separated from the African mainland some 165 million years ago and much of its fauna and flora have evolved in a unique way – an astonishing 80% is endemic. Madagascar’s almost bizarre array of wildlife echoes the 88...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Madeira – a huge botanical garden

“Madeira resembles a huge botanical garden, for a nature lover like myself it is a constant feast to the eyes, ears and the nose. Even in winter many flowers stay in bloom and the island retains its lush vegetation. With its mountainous landscape and abundant greenery Madeira somewhat reminded me of St. Lucia in the...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Malaysia – Borneo, beyond your wildest dreams!

“Visiting a country with the highest biodiversity was a dream of mine for a long time. There are only a few places in the world which offer to encounter wildlife in its natural habitat and Malaysia is one of them! Walking through some of the oldest rainforests while indulging yourself in subtropical diving paradise sounds...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Maldives – Island hopping is pure bliss

“I have been dying to go to the Maldives for years. Not only is this the place with the most luxurious hotels you can imagine it is a quintessential place to kick back and relax. And relaxed we did, in fact I do not think I have experienced such a feeling of pure bliss and...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Martinique – Six highlights of the island

“Martinique, locally named Madinina – The Isle of Flowers, is enormously popular with the French, not surprising considering it’s history and the number of direct flights from Paris. However, with croissants and palm trees, all perched near a live volcano, Martinique is the definition of a refined French-Caribbean island and is an excellent base from which...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Morocco – an ideal winter sun destination.

“They say that travelling is a great educator and educated me it did during my recent trip to Morocco. For some reason, I always thought that Morocco was nothing but a desert, speckled with lonely palm and olive trees. And orange trees of course, because who hasn’t seen Moroccan oranges at a supermarket?  All I...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Myanmar – South East Asia’s Golden Wonder

“I’ve been to over 120 countries, trying to visit at least 4 new countries every year and have ticked off nearly every region of the globe.  However, there’s been one country that’s been on my wish list for over 30 years, from when I lived in Hong Kong back in the 80s. Back then it was...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Norway – Larvik & Oslo City Break

“The trip begins here. As I sit on a train which is travelling on the only track it can, I realise that my thoughts are freed from the tracks they are usually on a Thursday. Surely travelling away from your own direction of thought is one of the best escapes you can have?  Another realisation...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Portugal – The Vidago Palace in the enchanting Douro valley

“For the the last 16 years I have been privileged to experience many hotels and destinations worldwide, but my true passion is still exploring hotels and destinations less known to travellers in Europe. Porto and the surrounding region is not on everyone’s bucket list, but it should be. This area offers beautiful scenery with rolling...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

South Africa – one of the most spectacular countries in the world

“There is no denying that South Africa is one of the most spectacular countries in the world. Distances are vast covering areas that not only differ in terrain but also in climate and flora and fauna. And there is no better way to discover a country than on a road trip. My husband and I...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

USA – Charleston is a real Southern Belle!

“Charleston is home to rich history, well preserved architecture and one of the most exciting food scenes in the US. Church steeples not skyscrapers dot the skyline, the streets are cobbled and the buildings pastel coloured. The city oozes old world charm and is now much more accessible with the launch in April of a...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Venice – island-hopping and more.

“Venice needs no introduction, if you ask what is the most famous city in the world is I am sure it will come up right there at the top of the list.  As well-travelled as I am, I have never been to Venice before. One of the main reasons was over-tourism – Venice has been...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Click to enlarge

Tourism declares climate emergency logo
28th January 2020

Travel Matters declares Climate Emergency

As a business, we encourage people to travel in a sustainable way, using tourism as a force for good. Our…

READ MORE →
A gentle stream in a forest
20th January 2020

An introduction to forest bathing or Shinrin-Yoku

The concept of forest bathing originated in Japan around the 1980s. It is a practice believed to bring numerous physical…

READ MORE →
Nurturing the Earth's resources
20th January 2020

5 Ways to Be a More Sustainable Traveller

Planning a holiday has never been easier. But what does that mean for local communities, wildlife and the environment? Being…

READ MORE →

Travel Matters Ltd

  • Contact Details
  • Company Bio

Travel Matters Ltd
Director

Travel Matters specialises in tailor-made holidays, with strong, professional relationships around the globe. Our expertise and service lets us create optimum itineraries to suit your interests, time and budget.

We promote travel that focuses on conservation not destruction, that does not exploit or harm animals and that strives to not leave many traces behind, supporting local economies which benefit host communities.

Our responsibility is to create memorable travel experiences in a world where local communities and our planet co-exist and flourish. Travel, when done right, can impact the world in a positive manner and can break down barriers – Travel Matters!

More about Travel Matters Ltd

Languages:
  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Russian
Year established:
  • 1999
The areas we specialise in:
  • Adventure travel
  • Beach holidays
  • Bespoke planning
  • Cultural trips
  • Ethical holidays
  • Family holidays
  • Honeymoons
  • Luxury travel
  • Rail travel
  • Road trips
  • Safaris
  • Short breaks
  • Skiing
  • Summer holidays
  • Travel planning
The destinations we specialise in:
  • Caribbean
  • Costa Rica
  • Cyprus
  • France
  • India
  • Israel
  • Kenya
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand

Australia – The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa

“Bryon Bay is Australia’s easternmost town, home to excellent beaches and lush rain forests. It really needs no introduction, having been a popular holiday destination seemingly forever. It was very much on the radar when my contemporaries were taking their gap year (we called it a year off!) and now my nephews and nieces back-packing around...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Barbados and St Lucia – island-hopping experience

“Not many people have the Caribbean on their summer radar and that really is a shame. The rates are unbelievably attractive and the weather is good. Humidity is higher, it is true, but on the whole it is sunny and hot with short spells of occasional rain, sometimes only several minutes long – and then...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

China – memorable experiences and cultural contradictions

“Another triumph from Karen and her excellent colleagues at Travel Matters and the incredible logistical magic of Wendy Wu and their wonderful local guides. For over three weeks in April/May 2019 the Luboffs travelled across the vast and populated country that is China, with its 1.4bn people, and ended with a few days exploring the...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Cyprus in Spring – is there a better time to go?

“Cyprus isn’t the place that people readily think of as a destination for Easter holidays, yet having just returned from this beautiful country I highly recommend April as the brilliant time to go. The temperatures are very pleasant and the weather is generally sunny. In fact, Cyprus boasts an impressive 326 days of sun per...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Dubai – Dizzy heights in the UAE

“Courtesy of If Only, I, along with other travel professionals, spent a few nights checking out the sights of Dubai, Ajman and Ras al Khaimah. The Burj Khalifa was the first visitor attraction we headed to. Bringing a new meaning to the term “sky scraper”, the world’s tallest building, standing at a proud 828 metres...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
A Sea Turtle swims through the clear waters of the Galapagos

Galapagos – The Galapagos Conservation Trust Cruise

“Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) is the only UK charity focussed solely on the conservation of one of the most unique and ecologically important, but vulnerable, areas in the world. With over 20 years of experience, they partner with Ecuadorian authorities, NGOs, local communities and leading researchers to support impactful science, conservation and education programmes across...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Ibiza – a weekend in Santa Eularia des Riu

“Santa Eularia des Riu is one of Ibiza’s five municipalities and is the second largest region in Ibiza. Located on the Eastern shore, it also includes an impressive stretch of coastline with more than 20 beaches as well as rural farmland. It’s a corner of the island far removed from the clubs of San Antonio...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Iceland – land of glaciers, waterfalls & geysers

“If you are a lover of nature and adventure then there are few places in this world that could compete with Iceland. Maryna was very fortunate to visit this beautiful country courtesy of Exsus. The beauty of Iceland is such that it was a location for many films and TV shows, the most recognisable of...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
Shopping in Cochin (Kochi)

India – Kerala with Karen

“Cochin airport, our airport of arrival in Kerala, is the first airport in the world to be run on solar energy. It has more than 46,000 solar panels which take the bright sunlight and converts it into energy. The airport is extremely clean, spacious and with this accolade to shout about – we were already...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

India – Maharajah style

“India has always been considered a land of riches and abundance. No wonder it has been an apple of discord for so many nations for centuries. I had a privilege to experience India in what I can only describe as Maharajah style. In India they take luxury to a whole new level. The hotels, both...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

India – Reeling from a trip to Rajasthan

“I was excited as well as eager to return to India after several years. I had travelled to Goa for the beaches and Karnataka in my 20’s, enjoying the World Heritage listed buildings of Hampi, which are set among extraordinary volcanic boulders. Back then, I remember we had to hitch a lift on the back...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
Our accommodation in the Wadi Rum desert, Jordan

Israel and Jordan – Eat, pray, sunbathe

“This year I decided to celebrate the new Wizz Air route Luton to Eilat by booking my holiday to Israel and Jordan. Afterall visiting Jerusalem – the heart of the ancient world and a sacred city of three religions – has always been on my bucket list. Israel offers so much more than religious sites...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
Dunns River Falls, Jamaica

Jamaica – Far more than a beach holiday

“If you are after a restful holiday in the Caribbean but also don’t want to feel like you are stranded on an island with nothing to do then Jamaica should be on the cards. It is the third largest island in the Caribbean and offers rich history as well as varied landscape. Being a larger...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd
Hippos in the Mara River opposite Karen Blixen Camp, Kenya

Kenya – A 7-day Safari

“The taxi delivered us to the Nairobi Air Safari terminal in early morning darkness. A smiling, sweaty, beanie clad face greeted us, the Manager unlocking the terminal door. Welcome to Kenya where the locals run to and from work. We boarded our flight out to the Mara, with a full view of the cockpit and...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Liguria – Cinque Terre and Portofino visits

“Liguria is a region in northwest Italy and its Mediterranean coastline is known as the Italian Riviera, stretching from Tuscany to the French border. Ligurian coastline is simply stunning. There are no beaches to speak about but each little cove is just so pretty and inviting often with small ladders attached to a rock for...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Madagascar – A unique wildlife holiday experience

“Madagascar is a strong contender for offering the most distinctive wildlife holidays on the planet. The island separated from the African mainland some 165 million years ago and much of its fauna and flora have evolved in a unique way – an astonishing 80% is endemic. Madagascar’s almost bizarre array of wildlife echoes the 88...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Madeira – a huge botanical garden

“Madeira resembles a huge botanical garden, for a nature lover like myself it is a constant feast to the eyes, ears and the nose. Even in winter many flowers stay in bloom and the island retains its lush vegetation. With its mountainous landscape and abundant greenery Madeira somewhat reminded me of St. Lucia in the...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Malaysia – Borneo, beyond your wildest dreams!

“Visiting a country with the highest biodiversity was a dream of mine for a long time. There are only a few places in the world which offer to encounter wildlife in its natural habitat and Malaysia is one of them! Walking through some of the oldest rainforests while indulging yourself in subtropical diving paradise sounds...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Maldives – Island hopping is pure bliss

“I have been dying to go to the Maldives for years. Not only is this the place with the most luxurious hotels you can imagine it is a quintessential place to kick back and relax. And relaxed we did, in fact I do not think I have experienced such a feeling of pure bliss and...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Martinique – Six highlights of the island

“Martinique, locally named Madinina – The Isle of Flowers, is enormously popular with the French, not surprising considering it’s history and the number of direct flights from Paris. However, with croissants and palm trees, all perched near a live volcano, Martinique is the definition of a refined French-Caribbean island and is an excellent base from which...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Morocco – an ideal winter sun destination.

“They say that travelling is a great educator and educated me it did during my recent trip to Morocco. For some reason, I always thought that Morocco was nothing but a desert, speckled with lonely palm and olive trees. And orange trees of course, because who hasn’t seen Moroccan oranges at a supermarket?  All I...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Myanmar – South East Asia’s Golden Wonder

“I’ve been to over 120 countries, trying to visit at least 4 new countries every year and have ticked off nearly every region of the globe.  However, there’s been one country that’s been on my wish list for over 30 years, from when I lived in Hong Kong back in the 80s. Back then it was...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Norway – Larvik & Oslo City Break

“The trip begins here. As I sit on a train which is travelling on the only track it can, I realise that my thoughts are freed from the tracks they are usually on a Thursday. Surely travelling away from your own direction of thought is one of the best escapes you can have?  Another realisation...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Portugal – The Vidago Palace in the enchanting Douro valley

“For the the last 16 years I have been privileged to experience many hotels and destinations worldwide, but my true passion is still exploring hotels and destinations less known to travellers in Europe. Porto and the surrounding region is not on everyone’s bucket list, but it should be. This area offers beautiful scenery with rolling...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

South Africa – one of the most spectacular countries in the world

“There is no denying that South Africa is one of the most spectacular countries in the world. Distances are vast covering areas that not only differ in terrain but also in climate and flora and fauna. And there is no better way to discover a country than on a road trip. My husband and I...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

USA – Charleston is a real Southern Belle!

“Charleston is home to rich history, well preserved architecture and one of the most exciting food scenes in the US. Church steeples not skyscrapers dot the skyline, the streets are cobbled and the buildings pastel coloured. The city oozes old world charm and is now much more accessible with the launch in April of a...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Venice – island-hopping and more.

“Venice needs no introduction, if you ask what is the most famous city in the world is I am sure it will come up right there at the top of the list.  As well-travelled as I am, I have never been to Venice before. One of the main reasons was over-tourism – Venice has been...”

READ FULL
Karen Simmonds
Travel Matters Ltd

Click to enlarge

Tourism declares climate emergency logo
28th January 2020

Travel Matters declares Climate Emergency

As a business, we encourage people to travel in a sustainable way, using tourism as a force for good. Our…

READ MORE →
A gentle stream in a forest
20th January 2020

An introduction to forest bathing or Shinrin-Yoku

The concept of forest bathing originated in Japan around the 1980s. It is a practice believed to bring numerous physical…

READ MORE →