Make A Splash With Our Top Pool Picks!

Iberostar Cozumel

Iberostar Cozumel – Cozumel, Mexico

When you think about a relaxing getaway nothing beats a day by the pool!   The warm sun, a tropical frosty beverage and the sound of the ocean breeze in the palm trees is all you need for a break from your day to day at home.  We asked our team what some of their favourite pools from around the world were.  Here are the ones they picked!   Enjoy this virtual pool day with us.

Let’s dive in!

Stephanie’s Pick:  Ocean View Swim Up Suite at The El Dorado Royale – Riviera Maya, Mexico

A swim up suite to have your own pool is a must try for everyone! This one is the the El Dorado Royale in the Mayan Riviera, and is complete with a ocean view too.

El Dorado Royale Stephanie

El Dorado Royale – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Karen’s Pick:  Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Harry Bailey Karen

Harry Bailey Aquatic Centre – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Although I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many beautiful pools with awesome views, water-slides, frosty beverage service and so much more around the world I will always consider Harry Bailey my favourite pool.  Harry Bailey was my grandfather and both myself and my daughter have spent some time on the Goldfins’ competitive swim team.  Nothing beats the place that feels like home.

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Annette’s Pick:   The El Dorado Royale – Riviera Maya, Mexico

I love the pool at the El Dorado Royale.  It is beautiful warm water with swim up pool bar with trees on two sides in the centre of the complex.  Great location and great service from the bartender who even brought us our drinks when he saw they were just about empty.

El Dorado Royale Annette

El Dorado Royale – Riviera Maya, Mexico

 

Jamie’s Pick:  Private Swim-up Pools at Secrets Vallarta Bay – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

My favorite pool just might be one of the private swim up pools for the Suites at Secrets Vallarta Bay.  If you want a place that will keep your group together, in a fun atmosphere with servers bringing endless drinks and snacks, this is the pool for you.  Whether its for “team building”, a “stagette” or a “wedding group”, this would make that party extra special.

Stephanie’s Pick:  Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos – Los Cabos, Mexico

I just love the whole pool setup at Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos. It lights up beautiful at night, has the most spectacular ocean views from the infinity pool, and just gives me the most relaxing feeling.

LeBlanc Stephanie

Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos – Los Cabos Mexico

Heather’s Pick:   Barcelo Palace Maya Riviera – Riviera Maya, Mexico

I am a pool person.  I would much rather hang by the pool than deal with wind and sand while on vacation.  Of all of the gorgeous pools I’ve enjoyed over the years, the pool at the Barcelo Palace Maya Riviera is by far my favourite.  This pool is huge so there’s no way you’ll have trouble finding a perfect spot in the sun or the shade.  It has everything you need like in-pool loungers, a hydro-therapy walk through area with jets and fountains, a large swim up bar, quiet spots for those looking to relax and an area for water aerobics and other activities.  There is also a really awesome kids area just off to the side with slides and spray fountains.  This is the ultimate pool experience for any type of traveller.

Barcelo Palace Riviera Maya Heather

Barcelo Palace Maya Riviera – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Barcelo Palace Riviera Maya Heather 2

Barcelo Palace Maya Riviera – Riviera Maya, Mexico

Stephanie’s Pick – Pool With a View at Soho Hotel Nha Trang – Nha Trang, Vietnam

Though the pool isn’t very impressive at the Soho Hotel Nha Trang, being on the 17th floor with amazing views of the bay more than makes up for it. It also helped that there was a bar where we could get beer for about $1 USD.

Soho Hotel Nha Trang Stephanie

Soho Hotel Nha Trang – Nha Trang, Vietnam

Colleen’s Pick – Infinity Pool at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

There are 3 infinity pools at the Grand Velas and all of them are the perfect place to spend a day.  They have great loungers with thick mattresses and terry towel cloth on them.  There’s a restaurant right next to the pool for an easy lunch or breakfast, a swim up bar and perfect ocean views.  Plus if you forget your sunscreen, the pool concierge offers sunscreen, sunglasses, magazines and books.  It’s perfection!

Grand Velas Colleen

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Grand Velas Colleen (2)

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Stephanie’s Pick:  Infinity Pool at Barcelo Grand Faro Los Cabos – Los Cabos, Mexico

I’m a sucker for a pool with a view. I also love the infinity pool at the Barcelo Grand Faro in Los Cabos. It’s the hotel’s only heated pool, so it’s usually pretty busy, but the beach and ocean watching is the best.

Barcelo Gran Faro Los Cabos Stephanie

Barcelo Grand Faro- Los Cabos, Mexico

 

Need more?  Check out our “Resort Tours” playlist on YouTube featuring many of these resorts plus a few other amazing vacation spots.

Want to experience any of these little pieces of paradise for yourself?  Our team is armed with the best current deals as well as all of the details on how various industry partners are adding new social distancing and disinfecting measures to make sure you have the best and safest vacation possible.  Reach out to us to start planning your dream getaway today!

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Our Bucket List Destinations

Think back to when you were a child, you heard of a far off destination on tv, in a book or from someone with tales of their own travels there.  You didn’t even know what a bucket list was but you were adding that magical place to yours.   Although your bucket list may have changed over the years, there’s something so special about having that dream you are yet to have achieved.

Destinations on your bucket list are special because they are somewhere that means something.  Maybe you know that you want to visit because of your family heritage or because you always dreamed of the destination’s beauty.  Maybe you can’t quite put your finger on why that place calls you but you know that you need to go there.   Whatever it is, the feeling when you finally get to the place on the top of your bucket list is so much more special than any other trip.

We asked our team what their bucket list destinations were and here’s what they came up with.


Jamie Milton – South Africa

One of the places that was always on my bucket list was South Africa.  I had the chance to visit South Africa for a conference in Capetown in 2012.  We made the most of our two week time frame and added a safari at Kapama Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park before our time in Capetown.  South Africa more than exceeded my wildest expectations.  We saw all of the animals up close (within a few feet of most of them!).  The first night we turned a corner in our jeep and there was a Giraffe, right in front of us, with the sun setting in behind.  It was one of the most magical travel moments I have ever had.  We did an Elephant back safari, saw Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Rhinos, Hippos, Wildebeast, Zebra, Water Buffalo and so much more.  It is 4 days I will never forget.  The friendliness of the South African people will also stay with me as a highlight.  Without fail, they went out of their way to help us and make sure we were safe and comfortable.  Once we made it to Capetown, we checked Shark Cage Diving, Sand Surfing, Penguins, Table Mountain and Robben Island off our bucket list (ok, only my husband did some of those, while I opted for a spa day at the One and Only Resort in Capetown :)) If you get the chance to visit South Africa, you should!


Cordell Strachan – Egypt

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My current bucket list trip is Egypt.  I would love to see the pyramids


Amanda Campbell – Dubai

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The architecture there is incredible and the construction of the palm islands fascinates me. Hot and sunny, beautiful beaches  – it’s the perfect destination!


Joanne Pidwerbetsky – Antigua

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I have always wanted to sink my toes into the sand of the beaches of Antigua.  I have a trip booked for this summer, hopefully I’ll get to go!


Czarina Sastaunik – Greek Islands

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I’ve been lucky enough to cross a lot of bucket list destinations off my list including Peru, Australia, Italy and Southeast Asia.  My next big adventure is going to be the Greek Islands.  I’ve always dreamt about Santorini and I can’t wait to swim in the Mediterranean again.  An island-hopping adventure mixed with some history and traditional Greek cuisine is just what the doctor ordered!


Colleen Lorenzen – Egypt

Since I was very young, I have read every book on Egypt and was always dreamed of travelling to Egypt.  In July 2011, we finally made it after some soul searching about travelling to Egypt as the Revolution had been in January and we were not sure if we should go.  I am so happy we went at that time as the numbers of tourists was very low and it allowed us to be virtually alone at all the sites.   My favourite things were being alone in front of the pyramids were usually 1,000’s of tourist came every day, being all alone at the Egyptian Museum in the room the housed the death mask of King Tut and the temple of Luxor.  All the things that I had read about come to life.  A once in a life time trip.


Amanda Campbell – Africa

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I would like to go on a safari to see the big 5 and others. There is a sanctuary Kevin Richardson runs in South Africa that I would love to volunteer at to check it out. The weather is always warm, beautiful beaches.


Annette Frey – Ireland

I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland.  History, beer, beautiful scenery… what’s not to love?


Karen Katelnikoff – Germany

When I travel I love learning about the history of the place I am in. I have always wanted to go to two different places to learn more about where my families are from. One I have been to, Germany. The other one remains on my bucket list and am hoping to start planning in the next couple of years. This is Russia. While this is not on everyone’s bucket list I want to go to learn more of my own history.


Heather Peters – Egypt

When I was in grade 6 (and 7 and 8 and 9… but that’s a different story) my teacher would often talk about her travels around the world.  One of the places she had been that was so mysterious and magical to me was Egypt.  I had been fascinated with the ancient civilizations for quite some time before that but hearing her talk about her experiences discovering all that Egypt has to offer just set it in stone for me.  Since then I have always held Egypt in a place in my heart and when I was a travel agent it was one of my favourite places to sell to my clients because I could live vicariously through them.  I haven’t made it there yet, but one day I will see the pyramids and feel history at my fingertips.


Joanne Pidwerbetsky – Romania

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Bucharest to see Dracula’s Castle.


Annette Frey – South Africa

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There’s just something so exciting about the wilds of Africa.


We hope you enjoyed your journey through our bucket lists.   Where does your bucket list take you?

Although it’s important that we all stay home and do our part at this time, brighter days are ahead. If there is a dream trip that you want to start researching or if you simply have questions about anything travel related, our team is happy to help. Feel free to reach out by phone or email and say hello. The world is waiting patiently to welcome you back and so are we.

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Uniglobe Carefree Travel’s Souvenir Showdown

When you travel you bring a lot of things home with you.  Your memories of the amazing experiences you had, your photos and videos to share with friends, new friendships you met along the way and your souvenirs.   It’s no secret that our staff is well travelled. So what are our most cherished souvenirs that we’ve brought home with us from our adventures?   Get ready for the Uniglobe Carefree Travel Souvenir Showdown!

(this is not a competition, we just wanted to keep the spirit of travel alive by sharing our special things with you)
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Czarina’s Photo Frame Collection

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Czarina’s Photo Frame Collection

I love to collect picture frames from all the new destinations I travel to. They are all over my house with my favourite memories.

~Czarina


Karen mugs

Karen’s Mug Collection

If anyone has been to my house they know I have a very large mug collection. It may look like I just buy a mug from any place I have visited but it has to also hold a special memory for me. It needs to be able to take me back to that place with a smile on my face or it just doesn’t not make my collection.

~Karen


Annette Iceland poncho mitts

Annette’s Iceland Souvenirs

This trip to Iceland was amazing it is such an interesting country. The mitts and poncho are great for our Saskatchewan winters.

~Annette


Colleen Garuda

Colleen’s Garuda

Here is my picture of a Garuda that I bought in a wood carver market in Indonesia.

~ Colleen

What is a Garuda?
Garuda is a bird creature from Hindu mythology that has a mix of eagle and human features. He is the vehicle (vahana) of Vishnu and appears on the god’s banner. Garuda represents birth and heaven, and is the enemy of all snakes.


When I heard about this Souvenir Showdown, I didn’t even have to think about which one I would choose. Sure, I had started a small collection of miniatures, each of which has it’s own story… but there was one which stood above all. And his name is Piggy!

At the end of May 2019, the HB and I were at the tail end of a trip I’d dreamt of since I was a teeny four year old watching Big Bird In Japan.  We’d spent almost two weeks doing more walking, climbing and photographing than either of us ever had before. By the time we hit Kyoto we were already well wiped out. It turns out moving that many miles a day makes for achy feet and legs.

Still, we persisted. We’d spent the morning getting lost amongst Kyoto’s considerable temples and shrines. We had missed breakfast and were both on the smooth approach to Hanger. As we tried to navigate our way to a bus stop, ignoring the angry throb of our worn out feet, we happened upon a small shrine.

Go’o Shrine is located on the western edge of the Imperial Palace. As you approach, you start to see representations of boars. The shrine itself is Boar themed from top to bottom. We didn’t know it then, but we learned later than many people visit the shrine to heal leg and foot ailments.

I purchased Piggy the boar bell from the tiny shop while the HB rested his aching trotters on a bench outside.

~Charles

 


Joanne clogs

Joanne’s Mini Dutch Clogs

Visit Zaanse Schans to See Traditional Dutch Clogs Being Made.  Hard to believe the locals make clogs out of a piece of wood.

~Joanne


Debra Keychain

Debra’s Piece of the Dominican Republic

This was from my very first all inclusive hot holiday in 2004 and I’ve carried some of the Dominican sand with me ever since.

~Debra


Karen Pins

Karen’s Disney Collection

I love souvenirs that I can spend the time to collect. Not only do I have all of these, I can pick up on my collections anytime I visit Disney.

~Karen


When I saw this kangaroo coaster in Australia I just had to hop on it and bring it home!

~Joanne


Cordell's Dallah

Cordell’s Dallah

I picked up this Dallah while in Abu Dhabi.  Traditionally it would be used to brew and serve Qahwa (Arabic coffee) and is commonly seen during special events.

~Cordell


Annette Mexican Glass

Annette’s Mexican Glass Collection

A few things that I have picked up in Mexico. The piggy bank in the centre is my favourite item I have picked up for now.

~Annette


Joanne Paddington

Joanne’s Guardsman Bear

Here is my Guardsman Bear from Harrods in London.

~Joanne


Heather

Heather’s Christmas Ornaments

At some point in my career as a traveller I started collecting Christmas ornaments.  At another point I stopped but this is making me realize that I need to start up again!  This collection does not properly reflect my travels around the world.  As you can see in some destinations, and some seasons I had to get a little creative with what counts as a Christmas ornament.  My favourites are my whales from Vancouver and Ucluelet and the Santas from the ABC stores in Hawaii and Las Vegas.  I can’t wait to add one to reflect the Dominican Republic (a country I have visited 3 times but never picked up an ornament) and my Destination Wedding in December.

~Heather


Karen Germany

Karen’s International Items

This is my very favourite moment collecting souvenirs. My daughter competed for Team Canada’s tap dance group in Germany. There were groups from all over the world and everyone brought things from home to trade. We remember all the new friends we met from places we haven’t even been.
~Karen


Favourite souvenir-prints from South Africa. We got engaged there and these now hang over our bed. Little known fact…the paper the prints are on is made of elephant dung!

~Jamie

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Jamie’s African Prints


Joanne Lava Rock

Joanne’s Lava Rock

Here is my lava rock from Iceland.  Can you believe that there are 130 volcanoes in Iceland?

~Joanne


We hope you enjoyed this tour around our special stuff.  It’s so great to bring home a little piece of wherever we go so that we can remember the amazing times we had there.

Do you have a special souvenir or collection?  Tell us about it in the comments or tag us in a post about it on social media.  We would love to hear all about it and bet that your friends and family would too!

 

Travel Agents Never Stop Learning

Never Stop Learning

In the best of times a vital part of being a travel agent is constantly learning and brushing up on what is new or changing in the industry and around the world.  Things may be different these days but between changing and cancelling bookings as well as helping to process insurance claims our team is still making sure to use some of their time to brush up on their product and destination knowledge.   Here’s what we’ve been learning about this past month.

Karen has been working on her Insight Vacations, Trafalgar and Contiki certifications. She has also brushed up on her existing Accessible Travel Certificate Program, done some Manulife Insurance training, taken some G Adventures classes and made sure her annual re-certification for the Disney College of Knowledge was up-to-date.

Czarina has been brushing up on a little bit of everything including Crystal Cruises, Ama Waterways, Solo Travellers, Azamara Cruises, Rocky Mountaineer, Carnival Cruise Line, Oceania, Manulife Insurance, the Hawaiian Islands and some customer service classes.

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Amanda loves cruising and helping her clients cruise so she’s been getting refreshed on Princess Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruise and Seabourn.  She has also taken some classes from Manulife Insurance, Collette and AMResorts.  She recently finished her Accessible Travel Certificate Program.

Annette has been making sure to keep up with the airlines with a special focus on Air Canada and Delta.  She’s also taken some Manulife Insurance classes, updated with AMResorts and Velas Vallarta, took some customer service classes and is now a specialist on Jordan and Wales.  Next up is reviewing all that Fairmont has to offer.

Kyra is now a Jordan specialist, an Aruba specialist and an Xcaret Hotel & Park Xpert. She’s also taken a few AMResorts and Manulife Insurance classes.

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Xcaret Park

Joanne has taken some extra insurance classes and is now a Grenada specialist, Globus specialist and Avalon Waterways specialist.  She also took some classes from Iberostar Resorts.

Helen is now a Via Rail expert.  She also did a class on Lufthansa and the Munich airport and a few with Delta Air Lines including one specifically on group travel.  She’s working on her South African specialist and her Marriott certificate as well.

Cordell is making sure that he’s up to date with all of the parks and hotels under the Xcaret umbrella as well as Palladium resorts. He’s also taken some classes from Viking Cruises, Collette, Holland America and Royal Scenic.  Up next – the Jordan specialist program.

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No matter what you do in life, it’s so important to keep learning and expanding your knowledge.   As you can see, our team is becoming even more knowledgeable on many different topics in the world of travel.  We can’t wait to start sharing all that we’ve learned with you.

Although it’s important that we all stay home and do our part at this time, brighter days are ahead.  If there is a dream trip that you want to start researching or if you simply have questions about anything travel related, our team is happy to help.  Feel free to reach out by phone or email and say hello.  The world is waiting patiently to welcome you back and so are we.

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Travel Agent Day 2019

Happy Travel Agent Day!

This year we celebrated with a surprise for the members of our team every hour!  Check out some of the things they received.

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We also asked each of our agents to share something about themselves that our customers and their co-workers may not know.  Here is what they had to share:

  • Joanne Pidwerbetsky – I always buy limited edition food items.
  • Karen Katelnikoff – My grandfather was Harry Bailey and I used to compete on the Goldfins.
  • Annette Frey – I lived in Kamloops BC from age 3-16. I still have a fond place in my heart for BC.
  • Kyra December – Two of my toes on each foot are webbed.
  • Jamie Milton – I learned how to do the Flying Trapeze at Club Med.
  • Amanda Campbell – During my free time I enjoy my Zumba and Pilates classes.
  • Marcy Melnyk – I am the first born grandchild on both sides of my family. My maternal grandmother has 15 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and still growing…… We have to host our family Thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings in a hall.
  • Czarina Sastaunik – One of my goals in life is to make it to all the destinations in the song Kokomo by the Beach Boys! So far I’ve made it to 7 out of 10.
  • Stephanie Afseth – When I was 15, I received my 1st Dan Black Belt in Taekwon-Do. I used to teach classes at a school not far from our office. I’m secretly a ninja 😉 *Stephanie is currently on maternity leave but she’ll be back later this year.*
  • Correna Tymchen – My first plane ride was when I was 35 years old and to Vancouver. First All Inclusive trip was when I was 39 and we travelled to Puerto Vallarta
  • Colleen Lorenzen – We have 2 sets of twins in our family and I am the middle of both. My older sisters are 4 years older and my younger sisters are 4 years younger.
  • Cordell Strachan – I have a bachelor of arts four year Anthropology degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
  • Helen Klassen – My grandparents were some of the 1st pioneers to settle in the Muenster area here in Saskatchewan. Because of this our family was featured in the May edition of the National Geographic Magazine in 1979 including a photo of all of us in front of the original house they built.
  • Casie Schmidt – When I was a kid I ate tomatoes like they were apples

 

We hope you had fun learning a little more about our team.  If you haven’t met your travel agent face to face, here is a little video showcasing each of them.

Want to know how to show some love to your travel agent?  Why not leave them a review on Google or Facebook, refer your friends and family to them or simply send them an email telling them that you appreciate them!

Get Social With us @UniglobeCarefree on Facebook and @uniglobeYXE on Instagram and Twitter

Annette & Joanne’s Avalon River Cruise – Part 3

We had 2 days of sleeping in and enjoyed all the activities on board the ship as we sailed along the river admiring the beautiful scenery.  We even took part in the power walking class on the sky deck.    Our next stop was a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum with its fabulous collection of paintings by Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso to bring a little culture to our trip.

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Then on to our next stop and the highlight of our trip the Keukenhof gardens, also known as the Garden of Europe.  There are more than 7 million tulips, daffodils and hyacinths that fill over 32 hectares with colour and fragrance. These gardens are only open for a total of 8 weeks during the year.

We ended our trip with a canal cruise in the wonderful city of Amsterdam.  Our experience with Avalon Waterways was amazing and we would definitely recommend it to everybody wanting to see Europe.  Can’t wait to cruise again!

If you are interested in a river cruise of your own or have any questions about the experience, you can reach Joanne by calling 306-934-3400 or emailing joanne@uniglobevacation.com.

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Annette & Joanne’s Avalon River Cruise – Part 2

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We boarded our Avalon river cruise which was docked just 5 minutes from the Mövenpick hotel. We sailed on the Avalon Tranquility which can accommodate 130 passengers.  We walked into our panoramic suite and were amazed by the floor to ceiling, wall to wall French balcony.  What a great way to watch the scenery go by.  After a leisurely lunch we took an optional excursion to Zaanse Schans where we saw windmills, cheese making and watched a wooden clog making demonstration.  Then back to the ship for dinner and evening entertainment.

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Amazing food onboard the Avalon Tranquility

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Clog Making

Our highlight the next day was our tour to the bulb farm where we saw tulips growing inside and outside.  We learnt all about the lifecycle of the tulip and just what it takes to grow the world’s most beautiful flowers in land reclaimed from the sea.  We also saw an amazing hyacinths field in full bloom.

We loved experiencing the Dutch culture as we wandered around the towns on guided walking tours which were included in our cruise.  It was such a beautiful day in Kampen that we decided to take in the true dutch culture in the local square by sitting on a patio people watching and having a few beverages.

Windmill

Stay tuned for more from our sailing onboard the Avalon Tranquility.

Check out our Instagram for more photos from Annette & Joanne’s trip as well as pictures from all of our team’s travels.

Annette & Joanne’s Avalon River Cruise – Part 1

We flew with Westjet from Saskatoon to Calgary then KLM to Amsterdam.  Both flights were uneventful which is something we all want when we fly.  It was our first time on KLM and it is a very good airline.  The direct flight was nice.

Appies from club lounge at movenpick Amsterdam hotel

Perks of the Executive lounge at Mövenpick Hotel

Upon arrival in Amsterdam we decided to take a cab from the airport to the Mövenpick hotel.   The cab ride was $80.00 Euro.  That was a very interesting experience! They drive very fast and in and out of traffic but we made it to the hotel in one piece.  The Movenpick hotel was a very nice hotel and it included breakfast.   It was very handy as it was right next to the cruise ship terminal.   We walked from the Movenpick hotel to the city centre it was about a 20 minute walk.

We spent our first day in Amsterdam wondering around the streets on our own taking in the Dutch lifestyle.  We stopped  at a local pub and had a local cider,  then wondered around  the different shops and stumbled upon the red light district.  We stopped for supper at a place that had a hot dog in a pizza bun and a waffle coated in chocolate.  All was very interesting.  Thankfully we brought our heavier coats as it is chilly as you walk around especially at night.

Tomorrow we’re on to our next adventure the Avalon cruise – Tulips of Northern Holland.

 

 

 

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

Czarina 13th anniversary

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

Jam 2019

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

Joanne 24th Anniversary 2018

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 

Helen Klassen

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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TRAVEL AGENT DAY 2018 – GET TO KNOW OUR TEAM

Today, May 2nd 2018, is Travel Agent Day!  It’s a day that we take to celebrate all that our hard working agents do.  There is so much dedication, knowledge, time and love that goes into each trip they book and we know they do their very best to make sure everything about your travel arrangements is carefree!

We had each of our agents take a few minutes to answer some questions so that you can get to know a little bit about who they are.  Check it out!

Travel Agent Day 2018 - Elena photoELENA KUBE

What is the one thing you always travel with? My Bathing Suit you never know when you’ll find a pool.  My blow up floating ring if it’s a beach/hot destination.  And slippers, I don’t like walking on hotel room carpet.

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet? Greece, Croatia, Bali, Ireland

What is your top travel tip? Pack at least one clean pair of undies and a shirt in your carry-on bag.  If your bag goes missing at least you have something clean to change into.  Plus a water bottle, fill it up after security so you have it on the flight or while your touring around on your trip.

What is your favourite destination to visit and why? Every trip I’ve been on has been my favorite for one reason or another.

Tell me about your favourite travel moment(s)? Taking an Alaskan Inside Passage Cruise with my mom, grandma and my sister for my birthday.  Going to Turkey & Egypt with my cousin for my 30th  Being proposed to on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  Landing in Abbotsford and having my 2yr old nephew greet me.

Why did you become a travel agent? I was 18yrs old and right out of high school and went to Australia. I returned I knew I should go back to school so I thought why not become a travel agent.

COLLEEN LORENZEN Travel Agent Day 2018 - Colleen photo only 3

What is the one thing you always travel with?  I always  travel with my reader as it saves me carrying so many books

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet? We have been talking about walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain for so long and we are finally going to do it this summer.  Super excited.

What is your favourite destination to visit and why? My favourite is Maui because we have such a relaxing holiday when we go there.  I love that we can travel around the island with no worries.

Tell me about your favourite travel moment My favourite travel moment was when we were at the Pyramids in Giza and because we travelled shortly after the revolution in Egypt there were only a handful of tourists so you felt like you were totally alone with some of the most beautiful monuments in the world.

 

Travel Agent Day 2018 - Stephanie photo onlySTEPHANIE AFSETH

What is the one thing you always travel with?  I never go anywhere without my earbuds. Music or movies help me zone out, especially on long flights, so they are usually the first thing in my bag.

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet?  Africa is the top of my “one day” list. I’d love to safari in Kenya and Tanzania. Both my husband and I love animals, and I can’t wait for the day I get to see a hippopotamus in its natural habitat.

What is your favourite destination to visit and why? So far I love South East Asia the most. The culture is so different from North America, the food is so flavorful, generally it’s cost effective once you are there, and you can’t beat having warm weather all the time.

Tell me about your favourite travel moment.  I’ll never forget my first coach tour. I spent 14 jam packed days in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia with Contiki. It was my first introduction to Asia, and to group touring. It’s such a great way to meet people, and many of us keep in touch via Facebook. Seeing the sun rise over Angkor Wat, riding elephants in Laos, and taking the overnight train to Chiang Mai are some of the highlights I’ll always remember.

Travel Agent Day 2018 - Kyra photo onlyKYRA DECEMBER

Why did you become a travel agent?  I became a travel agent because I have a passion for traveling and seeing the world and I love helping my clients experience the world as well!  I love making their experience as stress-free as possible from the moment they start planning until the moment they arrive back home from their own adventures!

Tell me about your favourite travel moment.  My favourite travel moment so far would have to be the hour long helicopter tour over Kauai that I had the opportunity to partake in this January!  I have always wanted to do a helicopter ride and Kauai was the perfect setting for it!  The views of the Waimea Canyon, countless waterfalls, and the Napali Coast were absolutely breathtaking!  We even seen some whales from our helicopter!  An opportunity of a lifetime that I highly recommend!

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet?  I  want to see as much of the world as possible, however, one destination I dream of visiting is Croatia!  It looks like such a beautiful country with a mix of beaches, history, culture, and nature!  I plan to make my way over there one day!

Travel Agent Day 2018 - Correna photo onlyCORRENA TYMCHEN

What is the one thing you always travel with?  Well Hopefully my passport lol.  You can read about Correna’s stolen passport adventure here  https://goo.gl/kg3WCS

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet? Romania to see Dracula’s castle is #1 on my bucket list.  I can’t wait to see where Vald the Impaler lived and ruled.

What is your top travel tip? Always have your snacks and water as you never know if you will have a long delay.  Also, if you are a dress wearer I recommend wearing a maxi dress on the plane as it doubles as a blanket.

What is your favourite destination to visit and why? My favourite is Puerto Vallarta by far.  The weather is usually always good, it is a quick flight and the food and people are amazing.

Tell me about your favourite travel moment.  I would have to say my trip last year to Scotland, we visited one of the castles that was used in the show Outlander.  I can still see Jamie walking out of the castle right into my arms ahhhh.

Why did you become a travel agent? To help make people’s dreams come true.  I work with a few amazing people and companies that help people plan their dream vacations, this is by far the best part of my job.  There is nothing better than to help families make lasting memories.

JOANNE PIDWERBETSKYTravel Agent Day 2018 - Joanne photo only

What is the one thing you always travel with?  Always travel with a small blanket on the airplane.  I always freeze.

What is your favourite destination to visit and why? My favourite destination is Iceland.  I still dream about bathing in the Blue Lagoon.  It is exactly like the pictures you see.  Truly amazing!!

 

 

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KAREN KATELNIKOFF

What is the one thing you always travel with?
The one thing I always travel with is my noise cancelling headphones, you never know when you need a nap!

What is your favourite destination to visit and why?
My favorite destination is of course Disney World. There is something magical and carefree that takes over the moment you walk through the gates at Magic Kingdom and you set eyes on Cinderella’s castle. I does not matter how many times I have been there the feeling is always the same.

 

 

 

JAMIE MILTON Travel Agent Day 2018 - Jamie photo only

What is your top travel tip? Always be early – there is always the chance of long lineups, shortage of staff at security, road work, traffic accidents, etc that will delay you getting to your destination or departure gate on time.  You don’t want to miss a flight/excursion/event because of unexpected delays that could be avoided by leaving a bit early.

What is your favourite destination to visit and why? Hawaii.  There is always something new to see and experience and each island is so unique.  I love the freedom and comfort of being able to drive around, eat anything, drink anything and go anywhere with my family.  It is a feeling of being at “home”, but the setting is 1000 times better!

Tell me about your favourite travel moment.  We were on our second day of a Safari at Kapama Game Reserve in South Africa.  It was the most amazing day.  We went for a morning game drive, then spent the afternoon at the spa.  On the evening game drive we saw all of the animals we had been waiting for – elephants, white rhino, water buffalo, lions and even the elusive leopard at the very end of our night.  There was a full moon and it felt magical.  After a dinner with the staff singing and dancing, we went for a walk and that is where my husband proposed – on a dry river bed, under a full moon in the middle of a beautiful lodge in South Africa – a perfect end to a perfect day.

Travel Agent Day 2018 - Czarina photoCZARINA SASTAUNIK

What is the one thing you always travel with?   – My phone!  Besides being my camera and my way to contact home, I love utilizing travel apps to help navigate my trip and make it a little easier.  Zomato is one of the best food apps for any travelling Foodie looking for restaurant ideas!

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet?  Egypt!  I would love to see the pyramids in person.

What is your top travel tip?   Take copies of your passports and travel itinerary and leave with trusted family or friends.    (I can change this if someone has used this.)

What is your favourite destination to visit and why? Too many to list but I have a special place in my heart for Italy.

Tell me about your favourite travel moment.  Feeding kangaroos in Australia was pretty special.  I love the wildlife there!

Why did you become a travel agent?  It’s a family affair!  My mom is a proud retired travel agent and my youth was filled with fun trips all over the world and lots of plane rides.  Becoming an agent has allowed me to travel all over the world.  A new stamp in my passport is always such a thrill for me!

MARCY MELNYKTravel Agent Day 2018 - Marcy photo only

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet?  Bora Bora

 Tell me about your favourite travel moment.  Seeing the wide eyed look and beaming smile on your young daughter’s face the moment she gets to meet in person her favorite Disney princess at Disneyland.  Priceless!

Travel Agent Day 2018 - Helen photo onlyHELEN KLASSEN

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet?  I have always dreamed of travelling to New Zealand. I have heard so many positive and amazing aspects about it.

What is your favourite destination to visit and why? Ireland was my favorite destination to visit. It is such a beautiful country with it’s stunning scenery, and fun and friendly people. The country offers something for everyone; from it’s poetry and history, to their local cuisine, numerous pubs, and magical charm.

Tell me about your favourite travel moment.  My favorite travel moment was taking my two children to Disneyland when they were young. Seeing the excitement on their faces and watching them believe in the magic of that atmosphere is something I will never forget.

ANNETTE FREYTravel Agent Day 2018 - Annette photo

What is the one thing you always travel with?   The one thing I always travel with is granola bars and Pringles. You just never know when you have a snack attack.

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet?  The next destination I would like to travel to is Ireland.  The pictures look amazing and a place with Beer can’t be wrong.

 

 

Travel Agent Day 2018 - Casie photo only

 

 

CASIE SCHMIDT

What is the one thing you always travel with?  I always travel with my camera. I love being able to look back at the places I’ve been and memories I’ve made.

What destination do you dream of visiting that you haven’t made it to yet?  I have always dreamed of going to Australia and New Zealand. I would love to go sky diving in New Zealand!

What is your favourite destination to visit and why?  Italy has been my favorite destination so far because of the people I met. It’s a beautiful country to explore plus so much pizza, pasta and wine!

Why did you become a travel agent?  In grade 12 I went to Vietnam and that was my first big trip. I completely fell in love with travel so I became a travel agent to help people make their dreams come true. I think there is so much to see in the world and everyone should experience it.


Want to know more about the adventures our team has been on?  Check out our YouTube channel or our Instagram page for tons of fun content from our own trips.