Jared Gelfand entered the travel industry in 2013 with Collette Vacations as a BDM for southwest Ontario.
"At the time, I wasn’t searching for a job in the travel industry, but rather, an outside sales position," Gelfand recalls. "I came across a Collette ad where it said something like "travel the world for free and earn lucrative commissions", so I was intrigued. After talking with Ron Lonsdale, his tone and enthusiasm really got me interested, and the next thing I knew, he hired me."
Now, as of July 2019, Jared has worked as the Ontario BDM for Scenic Luxury Cruise & Tours & Emerald Waterways, where he frequently meets with travel professionals to educate and incentivise to sell Scenic and Emerald product.
"I conduct trainings and search out group opportunities," Gelfand said. "I also look after our national account partners in Ontario and host our Ontario road shows."
Here, PAX checks in with Jared, who currently resides in Oakville, Ontario, about the adventure he splurged on, the unexpected trick for a solid in-flight sleep, and the three vacation spots he can't get enough of.
PAX: What are three essential items you always travel with?
Jared Gelfand (JG): Phone chargers, portable bidet and a book.
PAX: What are some of your favourite vacation spots?
JG: Croatia, South Africa, and Florida. The scenery in Croatia is phenomenal and the women are gorgeous! South Africa is totally different from anything I’ve seen before. The view from Table Mountain is breathtaking and I adore wildlife so going out on game drives is very thrilling. Florida has the beaches and the majority of my family lives down there.
PAX: What’s your favourite airport and why?
JG: Ottawa YOW because it is never busy and easy to navigate.
PAX: What do you love about your job? The travel industry?
JG: Fulfilling people's dreams of travel, I truly believe travel is one of the only items you can purchase that actually makes you richer.
PAX: What was the first vacation you ever took?
JG: My family would take road trips from Ottawa down to visit my uncle in North Carolina and then continue down to Florida to see my grandparents.
PAX: What’s the biggest splurge you’ve ever made on a trip?
JG: I took a prop plane over Queenstown in New Zealand with a few others from my group. We flew around Mt. Cook National Park to see the glaciers and ice fields. I figured I’d never get chance to see an aerial view like that again which is why I splurged!
PAX: What was the most memorable food/meal you ever ate and where did you eat it?
JG: Haggis in Edinburgh, Scotland.
PAX: What’s your biggest travel pet peeve?
JG: I hate airports and planes. I have to become very zen, and getting lost in a book or answering emails is a great distraction.
PAX: What are your hidden talents?
JG: The ability to make others around me comfortable. I think a lot of people think I’m a very serious person but I can make almost anyone laugh. I could have been a stand up comic!
PAX: When flying: window shade up or down?
JG: Shade up, I love looking out at the sky and stars. I'm hoping to catch a glimpse at a UFO one day.
PAX: What's your funniest travel anecdote?
JG: I struggle immensely to sleep on flights and I was coming back from a sales meeting in Fiji. My colleague from Chicago gave me a Xanax and said it would help. I thought about it and decided against taking it but then realized we were landing in L.A. and I’d have to go through U.S. customs. I didn’t want to take the chance and carry through a pill that wasn’t prescribed for me, so I swallowed that sucker back and within 10 minutes I fell asleep! I slept for more than 10 hours and I woke up to the announcement we are preparing to land. Best flight ever!
PAX: What are a few things agents should know about Scenic right now?
We offer an all inclusive experience for our guests where they won’t have to open their wallet while cruising. We aren’t limited to just Europe as we cruise all over the world and now are into ocean cruising.
Don't miss a single travel story: subscribe to PAX today!