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Saturday,  July 13, 2024 1:11 PM 

Monday Minute: Sandy Knox of JWS TRAVEL – Journeys With Sandy

  • Agency
  •   06-10-2024  1:30 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Monday Minute: Sandy Knox of JWS TRAVEL – Journeys With Sandy
Alberta's Sandy Knox of JWS TRAVEL – Journeys With Sandy spends her winters living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. (Supplied)
Pax Global Media

The Monday Minute is a weekly feature in PAX that highlights the movers, shakers, leaders and rule breakers in Canada's travel advisor community. Wanna be profiled? Wanna nominate someone? Email!

Name: Sandy Knox

Business: JWS TRAVEL – Journeys With Sandy

Where do you live? Red Deer, Alberta and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (three months in the winter)

How long have you been a travel advisor? Almost nine years

What is your specialty?

As I classify myself as a Mexico specialist, I sell mostly all-inclusive packages to Mexico and the Caribbean.  I also sell cruises, tours, specific itineraries, and Disney.  Small groups and weddings are also in my portfolio.

What inspired you to become a travel advisor?

I was seeking a career that would enable me to work remotely while residing in Puerto Vallarta for part of the year. I am grateful for the opportunity that has presented itself.

What’s the first trip you ever took?

My initial travel experience occurred at the age of 10 when I ventured to Weslaco, Texas to visit my grandparents. The trip provided me with the opportunity to explore new surroundings. I was so enthralled by the variety of candy options that differed from those available in my small Canadian hometown. It is the little things that count. We also swam in the Gulf of Mexico. That left a lasting impression on me.

What travel trends are you seeing these days?

I am finding that people want to book further in advance but still make sure there is flexibility to change or cancel their trip should something arise. Since the pandemic, clients are also seeking more upscale options and are willing to spend a bit more for the upgrade. I am also booking more multi-generational trips that make family memories a priority.

Of all the bookings you’ve made, which itinerary are you most proud of?

This is a tough one. I pride myself with each and every booking that I do. I provide great customer service and cannot single out one specific trip that made me prouder than the others.  If I had to pick, I was able to put a wedding group together in less than three days when another agency did nothing for them in three months. I felt like a rock star even if it was only flights for 50 people. 

What’s the most memorable trip you ever took?

Having a home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has restricted my travel a little. We seem to be there a lot and it has limited me to where I have been. However, the most memorable trip for me was a trip to Jamaica. We went to an orphanage and took supplies for the school. The kids were so grateful with what little they had and clung to us as we read them stories and played games with them. It was a very heartwarming experience and one that I will never forget. 

What are your future goals?

I would like to focus on a specific sector in travel. I still need to narrow down what that means to me but that is part of my future goals. Thus, allowing for a better work/life balance which I struggle with. I think this is common in this industry as it is very addicting. 

What’s one new skill you’ve acquired recently? 

I am working on not taking things so personally. When changes or cancellations happen, I feel so bad for my clients and I work hard to make things as best as I can. It causes me a lot of stress and anxiety. 

What’s one thing you would change about the travel industry?

The support for travel agents. I feel that we don’t have the support of our suppliers like we did in the past. We work hard to support their business. I wish they provided us with the same. 

What’s the secret to being successful in this business?

Consistency is key.  Although I work from home, I get ready for my day as if I were heading to an office. This keeps me on track. Setting goals is also important. You need something to strive towards. 

What is your motto?

Journeys with Sandy – one journey at a time. 

What is your number one piece of advice to other travel advisors? 

To not take things personally. When travel goes sideways it is not our fault. Also, be honest with your clients. If you don’t know something, it is okay to admit that and let them know you will find the answers.  We cannot know everything there is to know about the world. Be proud of yourself!

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