Reach for new heights

Travel World of Crosby receives honors

By Marissa Howard, Staff Writer mhoward@minotdailynews.com

A Crosby travel business has officially reached new heights.

Travel World of Crosby, a business with the goal of providing worry-free travel with endless possibilities, won an Outstanding Sales award for highest sales in 2014 with Uniglobe’s network of preferred cruise lines and also received an additional award in 2014 as one of Uniglobe’s 21 “Million Dollar Producers.”

As one of 230 travel agencies under Uniglobe Association with over 500 travel agents working in these 230 agencies, this accomplishment is not one to overlook.

Steve and Ardis Joraanstad, owners of Travel World of Crosby, grew up in Crosby, the small North Dakota town with a big heart.

After owning a clothing store and deciding they needed to do something different, the Joraanstads started the travel company that soon became Travel World of Crosby.

“We decided to go through with the company in about 20 minutes,” said Steve Joraanstad, chuckling. “It really took off from the start. We became a top travel agency within months.”

Steve and Ardis Joraanstad, along with their daughter Jody Nelson, now escort people on five group cruises per year, as well as escort the FBLA and FCCLA chapters in high schools throughout North Dakota for their national conventions every summer, as well as high school students from Georgia in HOSA, an organization created for future health professionals.

They have been doing the FBLA national leadership conference for 20 years, with around 275 attendees each year, the FCCLA for 13 years with 110 attendees each year and the Georgia HOSA for 9 years with around 305 attendees each year.

“We get to judge some of the high school contests while we’re escorting the high school groups and it’s amazing to see how well some of them do,” said Steve Joraanstad. “You really get to know the kids that way.”

Travel World of Crosby began taking groups on cruises in 1993 and escorting high school groups in 1996.

If you look beyond the awards and facts, at the heart of the company are three people with a passion for traveling and for others–what some would call an ideal combination for a travel company.

“We traveled a lot when I was younger and it has just become something we love to do,” said Steve Joraanstad. “And many people come on these trips with us year after year– some have even been with us all 20 years–so we really get to know them like family.”

And no matter the size of the group, the Joraanstads make it a point to know their customers personally. The first night of the cruises, they host a group cocktail party and go around the room, introducing everyone by name.

“Everyone likes to be called by their name, I don’t care who you are,” said Steve Joraanstad. “Remembering people’s names is the least you can do if people are spending that kind of money with you. You should know who they are.”

To make the most of their time when escorting larger groups, the Joraanstads often bring family along to make sure everyone is attended to and taken care of.

“We basically call it a working vacation,” he said with a smile. “We have free time some, andwe stay busy some. But it also allows us to be able to spend a good amount of time with family each year, which is wonderful. Our family has been lucky.”

Steve and Ardis Joraanstad’s three children, as well as the grandkids, have all helped with escorting trips in the past.

“We make sure it’s worry free travel,” said Steve Joraanstad. “We meet our customers at the airport, fly with them, let them know each night what they are doing the next day and book it all for them. Our customers know that if they travel with us, they will be taken care of. I think that’s why people keep coming back.”

The Joraanstads rely on word of mouth for much of their advertising, and rightly so. Word of mouth has, in the past, kept their business busy each and every year.

When asked his favorite places he has been to, Steve Joraanstad said the Danube River Cruise in 2012 was breathtaking, with castles, churches, cathedrals and more sprinkled in settings that looked as if they were straight out of a painting.

Ardis Joraanstad had nothing but good things to say about theAlaskan cruise, a cruise they have taken groups on for nine years in a row and yet it is still stunning.

“I’m not tired of traveling yet,” said Steve Joraanstad with a laugh. “I think it’s the kind of thing that just never gets old.”

To contact Travel World of Crosby, call 1-800-965-6232, email travlwld@nccray.com or visit www.travelworldofcrosby.com.

 

The Joraanstads were interviewed for an article in The Journal.

History: As there was no travel agency in the area we thought there was a need for this type of
business. We started out in October 1990, as Travel Now of Crosby and switched to our current name in August 1992.

What do you like best about doing business in Divide County?
We know the people we are doing business with and they know us.

What do you think your customers like most about your business?
They know us personally and know they’ll get friendly service. Many like coming in and talking to
us face to face about their travel arrangements. What is one thing that you would like people to
know about your business? We can do all types of travel arrangements, to anywhere in the world, whether by air, cruise ship, Amtrak, or car rental. We can also make any lodging arrangements, and provide escorted motorcoach tours.

What is your busiest season and why?
Spring with our escorted band and choir tours
and national high school groups and fall for winter vacations.

What is the most satisfying part of your business?
Helping people get to their destination in a timely manner and hopefully creating good memories of vacations taken at a reasonable price.

Describe one little known thing about your business:
We can send anyone to any destination in the world.

What can you say about the travel business:
It is always changing. To be sure you’re getting the best deal check and compare with us for the best price before you book. Because of our associations with different travel groups we get better prices than if you call on your own, and most times we equal or beat internet prices. Plus, we give you the personal touch. If you buy a ticket through the internet and you need to change your ticket, good luck in getting help. By purchasing your ticket or making your travel arrangements through us we are here to help you if any changes are needed.

No matter where you live, no matter where you're going
We can handle all the details for all you travel plans.
Call us for a familiar voice and hometown service