30 Years of Friendship, Family and Fun at UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel

 

We’re so excited to be celebrating UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel’s 30th anniversary this week.  As we reflected on the past 30 years we checked in with our staff to see what working here means to them.  Here’s what they had to say.

 

Marcy Melnyk – Travel Consultant

Marcy 30th Blog

The first time I flew on a plane I was 13 years old and we were headed to California on a family vacation. When I was 15 years old I participated in a French exchange program and went to France for 2.5 weeks with a group of fellow students and chaperones.  As they say, I was bitten by the travel bug.  I suppose it’s a natural progression that I should be working in the travel industry.

Working with Uniglobe Carefree Travel for the last 11 years has given me some amazing opportunities for travel that I may have never experienced otherwise.  I’m fortunate that Uniglobe supports it’s staff in fulfilling their own personal travel adventures.

One of my favorite vacations was a week spent at the extraordinary Sandals Grande Antigua.  Pristine beaches, gracious hospitality and the best homemade coconut ice cream ever!


Czarina Sastaunik – Travel Consultant

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I love planning holidays because it makes people happy.  Every trip is special but some are extra special to me.  One that really stands out is reuniting a wonderful client with her grandfather, a Canadian soldier buried just outside of a small town in France called Arras.  He died on the battlefields in WWI and his granddaughter (now in her late 60s) was finally ready to meet her granddad.  It brings tears to my eyes when I think of them and that special moment where they could finally be together.


Jam Dhez Hieras – Accounting / Administration

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I have been working for Uniglobe for 8 months. I must say nothing has changed since day 1, everyone is always very welcoming! I am always excited to come in to work everyday to see the beautiful happy faces my co-workers have and I always look forward with all the laughs and stories we would share that day. Everyone is treated like a member of the family in this office which I think makes everyone’s job less stressful than what is could be as everyone in this office knows that help is just always there for each of us.

I really like travelling even before working here, and working here makes it a lot easier knowing that all my travel agent co-workers are always there to help me get good deals on any trip and give me ideas on where is the best place to visit. I am very excited to share with you that I have booked my first ever ALL-INCLUSIVE trip!!! And I think this wouldn’t be possible without the help of my co-workers! 😊


Joanne Pidwerbetsky – Travel Consultant

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Happy 30th Anniversary Uniglobe!

Over the last 24 years of working at Uniglobe Travel I have helped many clients make their travel dreams come true.  I have made many great relationships with clients and with wonderful coworkers over the years.  This career has given me many opportunities to travel around the world and make lasting memories.  There are still some uncharted waters that I need to circumnavigate around the globe and hope to do that in my future years with Uniglobe.


Helen Klassen – Travel Consultant 

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When I started working with Uniglobe Carefree Travel 4 years ago, I felt nervous to be starting with a new company.   However, I quickly felt at ease and I am privileged  to have built some great relationships with the staff as well as former and new clients.  I am extremely honored to be included in the “Counsellors of Excellence” group for the past three years.


Kristy Boardman – Accounting / Administration

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I started working in the accounting department with Uniglobe a little over four months ago and from day one I felt very welcomed by everyone! I have a great group of coworkers who are always there to help. I enjoy coming to work every day with this wonderful group of people. I look forward to continuing to get to know everyone and for many future travel opportunities.


Kyra December – Travel Consultant

 

My favourite travel memory since I have been a travel agent with Uniglobe Carefree Travel was mine and my fiancé’s first trip ever together and his first trip anywhere.  We went to Grenada in June 2017 and stayed at the Grenadian by Rex Resort.  We had a stressful travelling day where we only had about 15 minutes to connect in Toronto due to flight delays leaving Saskatoon.  We made our connection (thank goodness), made it to our resort in Grenada, and were lucky enough to receive a beachfront room!  After we got settled, we decided to take a walk along the beautiful beach and then Tristan proposed to me!  It was super sweet and totally surprised me!  The beach is my happy place so everything was just perfect!


Jamie Angus – Milton – Managing Partner

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My favourite Uniglobe Moments have often been at our annual conference.  It’s always such a fun event with a wonderful group of people, who have become friends over the years.  It’s hard to pick just one moment, but this conference in particular – April 2014, we were celebrating the retirement of Ed Buchholz (Ed hired me way back when and was an amazing mentor and business partner) and also winning Uniglobe Agency Owner of the Year award.  It was a memorable event!


Correna Tymchen – Travel Consultant

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My first day at Uniglobe was 10sept2008. This was a huge moment for me as I had went back to school in my 40’s and I decided that I wanted a career in travel. I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to take a chance on a middle aged women with no experience in the travel industry but Ed and Colleen must have saw some potential as I just had my 10th anniversary with Uniglobe.


Ami Prescesky – Accounting / Administration

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I can say I have felt like a part of the family since basically day one, as though I’ve been here several years already and I haven’t even finished my first 3 months yet. Everyone has been so patient and kind, and I even got a HOMEMADE cake and card signed by everyone on my birthday which is something I’ve never had in the workplace. I can definitely see why the company has employees whom have been here there for their whole career.


Colleen Lorenzen – Operations Manager

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I think my favorite milestone working with Uniglobe has been my 30th anniversary with the company.  Sounds like a long time right!  But it has gone so quickly and I have enjoyed working with a lot of great people and feel privileged to call Uniglobe my second family.


Casie Schmidt – Travel Consultant

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My favorite travel moment since working at Uniglobe was going to Europe for the first time! I went to Greece with my mom and sailed the islands. It was her first time out of North America which was an unforgettable experience! After Greece I went to Italy by myself and met the most amazing people on a G Adventures Tour! We stayed in contact and almost a year later I went to Toronto to visit them. We visited Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls. From going to Europe I also got to experience my own country more.


Annette Frey – Travel Consultant

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In my 27 years with Uniglobe there have been many special things that I have experienced, too many to single out.  My one joy is my satisfaction in serving our customers and helping them have a good travel experience.   I enjoy hearing their stories and knowing I was a part of making their travel experience a good one.  I have been very fortunate in being able to travel to some wonderful countries like Curacao, Tanzania and Australia.  I hope to travel to more interesting places in the future.


Heather Peters – Marketing Coordinator

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A few years ago I switched my career path.  After six and a half years of being a leisure travel agent I made the switch to become UNIGLOBE’s Marketing Coordinator.  I can genuinely say that this position is an amazing fit for me and I’m so grateful that I work for a company that prioritizes marketing!  My day-to-day job involves sharing the beauty of the world, amazing deals and the experiences of our team with our customers (among many other things).  I get to work with a product that I love in a more creative way than I ever did before.

When I think about my new position and working here at UNIGLOBE one specific “job” comes to mind as extra special.  At our annual Fall Product Launch I get to spend time chatting with our clients about their past travels or future plans while playing simple games and handing out prizes.  I literally feel like Santa Claus.  I don’t have clients anymore but still love talking travel with people so this part of my job helps fill that void.    I love the expression of joy as I hand over the prizes, some people even hug me; they’re so thankful.  This is one of my very favourite parts of my job.


Cordell Strachan – Travel Consultant

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Although I may be the newest member to the Uniglobe team, I have had the opportunity to work with a few of the agents in the past.

It can be difficult to select one moment that I would categorize as my favourite and thus I would like to reflect a theme I have noticed within the company.  The unconditional feeling of belonging has been evident and clear since starting with the team.   The team has offered so much to make me feel welcome and integrated.  A strong indication of company success is the level of laughter with the office environment, which is plentiful at the location I am at.

I may have been here for a short while but it feels like I have spent my whole career here.  Happy anniversary!!


Karen Katelnikoff – Travel Consultant

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One of my favorite places to visit is Disney!  When I have families come to me for help with their once in a life time trip, I take great pride in it. I want Disney to also be their favorite place to visit. I have one family that will always stand out to me. They came to me to help them plan a multi-generational Disney trip. I was over the moon to help. On their return home and still to this day they tell me they would not have changed a thing. They tell everyone they know that I am their Disney expert and why would you not use an agent for a trip like this. I have lost track of the amount of families I have had the privilege of turning a holiday into magical memories. It is the best feeling in the world when they can see Disney through my eyes.


Amanda Campbell – Travel Consultant

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My clients are like my family and I take care of them the best I can. I try to go above and beyond their expectations.  Many people are overwhelmed by the internet and appreciate having someone narrow choices down for them based on what suits their needs.  In our offices we have been to many places around the world and stayed at many hotels, done many local excursions and tours.  The personal experiences are what help us help our clients better.  We give personal attention to our clients and go out of our way to make sure they have the best vacation and a very memorable experience.  We always look out for what’s best for them.  My clients are very important to me and I put my best effort into organizing and taking care of their vacations.  This is why I love my job and working for Uniglobe.  It is because of my amazing clients, that I am encouraged to continue to learn more about places I am not familiar with and that we truly care about each and every person we work with.   I love my job, and my clients are what make me happy to come to work every day.


As you can see, there are two main things that have made the past thirty years at UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel extra special.  The feeling of family within the workplace and YOU our clients, our friends our family.  Thank you for helping us reach thirty years as a local Saskatoon and area business, here’s to the next thirty!

If you’re in Saskatoon on Thursday, February 14th please feel free to stop by either of our offices for cake, coffee and a contest to celebrate this special day.

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Celebrating 30 Years of UNIGLOBE Carefree Travel

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On February 14, Uniglobe Carefree Travel will celebrate 30 years in business. Thanks to “Google”, I have learned that 66% of businesses fail within the first 10 years. 30 years in business seems like a good time to reflect on what I have learned and what has made us successful.

1.  Take a chance. Uniglobe Carefree Travel was started by a wonderful couple; Ed and Karen Buchholz. For some reason, 21 years ago, they decided to take a chance on an 18 year old girl who had no experience in the travel industry. They went on to be incredible role models and mentors and 10 years ago encouraged me to take on ownership of their company when they began to look at an exit plan. The foresight and trust they had in my abilities is still remarkable to me. To Ed and Karen – thank you for taking a chance on me and for encouraging me to take a chance on myself. 

 

2. Adaptability and ability to manage change. When I think back to when I first started in this industry, it astounds me how far we have come. I remember the days before we had email and online booking engines, when we were still able to handwrite tickets. I remember when you didn’t need a passport to travel to the United States or Mexico. I remember travelling to foreign countries with no Facebook, Instagram, internet, email, 24 hour accessibility, cell phones or digital photos to timeline every moment…..when you just took in every moment and enjoyed it. I remember buying guidebooks to plan a trip, right down to train times because there was no “Google”. The travel industry has survived the Internet, 9/11 and numerous other obstacles and we have not only survived, we have thrived and we continue to grow.

3.  Local, hands on ownership. Unlike many larger consortia, UNIGLOBE Travel has remained a 100% Canadian owned company and our Uniglobe Carefree Franchise has remained not only 100% Canadian owned, but 50% Saskatchewan owned and 100% managed by local ownership. The ability to make decisions at a local level means we can offer personalized service and immediate service resolution to our valued clients. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, we know the Saskatchewan and Canadian marketplace and we have built our company around the ability to manage that business. We employ 21 people full time in Saskatoon and we actively support the local economy.

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Volunteering at the Saskatoon Food Bank Garden Patch

4. We give back. At a local level, we support charities such as the Food Bank, the Friendship Inn, Local Companies that Care and countless others through donations of money, time and products.  At a regional level, Uniglobe Travel Western Canada supports popular travel destinations through a “give back” project each year. The past two years, we have fixed up schools in Mexico. At an International level, we have supported PLAN Canada and UNIGLOBE’s “The Laurie Radloff Foundation” (in conjunction with PLAN)for many years – mainly through their “Because I am a Girl” campaign. In addition to charities, we also participate on boards and committees that improve our industry and our communities, such as ACTA (the association of Canadian Travel Agencies), the NSBA, the Chamber and the Air Services Group.

5. Our Culture. Our people make us special. We work hard and we like to have fun. We recognize that without our employees taking such great care of our clients, we would never have gotten to where we are today. We thrive on the knowledge that our customer service sets the industry standard and make sure we go above and beyond for each and every client. You aren’t just another sale to us, you are our friends, our family, our community and we care about your travels as we would our own.

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We welcome you to come in to either of our locations and say hello to our staff and see our difference for yourself.

You can find us at:

Circle Drive – 4-415 Circle Drive East
Sutherland – 2-800 Central Avenue

Jamie Angus Milton
Managing Partner

Thinking Of Cruising? Amanda Is Your Go-to Girl!

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Soaking up that Florida sunshine

I recently spent 6 days in Fort Lauderdale Florida attending an event called Cruise360 where I was able to get up close and personal with a bunch of cruise lines! I also learned valuable information about many different destinations and suppliers of all sorts.  Here are some of my favourite things that I learned:

ROYAL CARIBBEAN LINE is my go to for a high quality, high energy experience.   These family friendly cruises feature the best entertainment at sea – many of their ships have 4 stages for shows on ice, water, air and of course a standard stage.   Workers in the kids club have their CPR and a 4 year childcare degree.  The ships also have so many activities to do onboard.

PONANT CRUISES is a French line featuring 12 small luxury ships with another coming in 2021.  This new ship will have the Blue Eye lounge which is a multi-sensory lounge at the bottom of the ship under the water.  You can watch all the underwater sea life.  It looks very neat.

CRYSTAL CRUISES has some great Yacht expedition cruises available around the world; some include Butlers, a 3 man submarine and a speedboat.

CARNIVAL is known as the “Fun Ships”.  They are a great choice for relaxed extraverts looking to have a great time.  With 14 home ports around the world Carnival is one of the easiest cruise lines to access.

SCENIC LUXURY RIVER CRUISES offers an “all inclusive” experience with meals, beverages, excursions and more included in the cost.  Special exclusive events like dinner in Vatican City or a Vienna Concert could be included on select sailings.   You’ll experience locally sourced gourmet meals, be able to use complimentary bikes in the ports and every stateroom has a butler!

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE is building new ships!  The Encore will be ready in 2019 and Leonardo later in 2021.   These new ships will be more modern than previous ships.   NCL is also building a new terminal in Miami which should be opening in 2021.

ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL-for those of all types of needs (ex. food allergies, physical disabilities, any other sort of special needs).  There are so many different resorts and cruise ships that accommodate those with any sort of special needs.  Ask me if you have any questions or need for special accommodations that you may need for your vacations.

GROUPS! Are you a part of a group that would be interested in travelling together?  Cruises are a perfect fit for ANY type of group.   Whether you are a part of a church group, a sports team, want to plan a reunion, are interested in food and wine or anything else, I can help you build the best group gathering and vacation you ever dreamed of!

Interested in cruising?  I would love to chat with you about my experiences and help you find your ideal ship!   You can call me at 306-934-3400 or email me at amanda@uniglobevacation.com.

Here are few pictures from the ship inspections that I did.

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A Special Mother’s Day Message

 

This year we wanted to take a moment to celebrate Mother’s Day and what it means to us.    We had our team write special messages about being moms sharing the world with their kids, about travelling with their moms or about those other special people and moments that give them happy mother figure feelings.   Grab your tissues and take a read!


ElenaEvery girl needs to have their own cheer team and I can say I’m lucky to have these two beautiful women in my corner.

Over the years they’ve travelled with me to Dance Recitals, to the gridiron to cheer me and the Saskatoon Valkyries Women’s Tackle Football Team on.  And in between we travelled to Alaska with Holland America.

“It doesn’t matter where you’re going it’s who you have beside you”

Mom, love you to the moon & Grandma, Love you both big time

Love Elena

 

 

 


Karen

I had an amazing chance to travel with my daughters to Germany. My oldest daughter was competing with Team Canada on the tap team. After the competitions were all over we got to spend an extra six days exploring our family history and some of the best Christmas markets in the world. Our youngest daughter brought a German phrase book with her everywhere we went and would try to figure out how to order our meals for us. I loved showing my daughters there was more to life than their own backyard.

Karen

 

 


I’ve been lucky enough to travel with my mom a few times. So far my favorite has been Greece! My mom was a farm kid growing up and never thought she’d ever leave North America. Getting to experience this adventure with her was unforgettable. We sailed the Greek Islands with G Adventures and met some amazing people! This was definitely a trip I’ll never forget!

Casie


JoanneI travelled with my niece, Steph to the Mayan Riviera in Dec 2017.

I can’t Thank you enough Steph for taking care of me when I had a medical emergency in Mexico even though I scared the life out of you. You are my hero and not sure what I would have done without you.  A niece is a gift whose worth cannot be measured except by the heart.  I am so proud of you and will love and cherish you forever.

Joanne


 

My happy place is on the beach with the people I love the most!  My little guy is just like his mom… Loves travelling and loves the sunshine!  We always have the time of our lives in Mexico.  I will always hold these travel memories dear to my heart.  Being a mom is the biggest adventure of all!

Czarina


Correna

As a travel agent we do tend to travel a little more than the average bear.  With our love of travel it tends to spill over into our families and our friends lives.  The first vacation that we took as a family was to Puerto Vallarta a few years ago.  Now to say we had to do some talking to convince our Mom that Mexico was safe was an understatement.  We finally convinced her and off the 7 of us went and had the best time.  She still talks about how much she enjoyed her trip and that she felt totally comfortable and safe for the 10 days we were there.

Correna

 

 

 

 

 


Jamie

I love travelling with my mom.  As a kid, we went on plenty of family holidays, but you see your parents in a different light as you get older.  You can connect with them as an adult and appreciate everything they did for you when you were younger.  Being able to travel with my mom and create new memories is a pleasure and a joy and something I don’t take for granted.

You never know when the memories will be all you have, so treasure the time together when you can.

Jamie

 

 

 

 

 


Mother's Day Blog- Kyra

The only trip I have really taken with just my mom and I (no other family members) was my high school travel club trip to France.  My mom came as a parent chaperone and even though there was a bunch of others on the tour, it was still really special for us!  It was her first trip to Europe and our first trip together!  I have such fond memories of our adventure exploring France together that will be cherished for a lifetime!  One of my favourite memories from the trip was in Paris!  We both have always wanted to see the Eiffel Tour and we had the opportunity to go up at night!  I really wanted to see the Eiffel Tower during the day as well and we had free time on our last day.  My friends all wanted to do other activities so my mom and I decided to figure out the Metro by ourselves and made our way to the Eiffel Tower!  We got the hang of the Metro very quickly and had a great afternoon bonding!  I can’t wait for my next adventure with my mom!  Happy Mother’s Day!

Kyra

 

 

 


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When I think about travelling with my mom so many AMAZING memories pop up.   I think about riding bikes together in the Mayan jungle to find ancient ruins, floating in the perfect Caribbean Sea in Negril or trying not to melt to the sidewalks in Las Vegas.   Mostly though, I just think about the fact that we are so blessed to have been able to travel together just the two of us and with our extended family creating countless memories along the way.   Here’s to our next adventure together!

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
Heather


Colleen

Just about every year my sisters and I like to take a trip with Mom to some of our favourite destinations. This year was a little special as we were travelling to my sister’s home in Honduras.  There is nothing quite as fun as travelling with Mom and just my sisters.  It makes you feel like you are living at home again with Mom still running the show.  On our way down to Honduras, Mom and I were upgraded to Business Class hence the picture with the free wine.  Everyone should travel with family.  Life is short and memories of great trips are long.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom.
Colleen


 

My most special “mother” trip has to be going to Ireland in February 2018; I had just recently found out that I was finally going to be a new momma myself! Traveling while pregnant was definitely a new experience, but I didn’t let it slow me down from doing all the sightseeing I wanted to do throughout Ireland. Luckily I was on a coach tour with Cosmos, so I had lots of opportunities to get in some afternoon naps along the way.

Though the little one won’t be here yet for Mother’s Day 2018, it’s going to be an extra special one for me. Happy Mother’s Day to all the mother figures out there!

Stephanie


 

We hope that you do something extra special with the special people in your life very soon. If you would like to plan a trip with your mom we would LOVE to help you make it a vacation to remember.  Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

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