“I want to help people reach the best version of themselves and my avenue to do this is through travel,” Jessica Renshaw, a third-generation travel advisor from Renshaw Travel, tells us.
Since she joined the agency seven years ago, her focus has been on wellness travel (to boot, she has a background in kinesiology and wrote her honors thesis on physical activity promotion and how transformational leadership has a positive impact on people becoming more physically active). Renshaw’s original plans were to open a multi-disciplinary health clinic with her sister Carly, a nutritionist, but when they realized they could help people achieve wellness through travel, they joined family business. “Together, we prescribe travel for one’s wellbeing,” she says.
Renshaw says she sells a variety of travel (since she has a “loyal clientele who I enjoy working with time and time again”), but her niche is definitely wellness and active travel. Some of her favorite trips to book include remote wilderness lodges, ranches, cycling trips, expedition cruises, heli-ski trips and hiking trips — and if she has a client visiting a city, she always recommends hiring a private guide for a walking tour as a way to remain active. She adds her clients are “well-travelled, savvy and well-educated,” and “have limited time and appreciate the assistance of a professional.” All in all, we’re told her annual revenue is $2 million.
One reason why Renshaw has been selected as her agency’s Trendsetter is how wellness travel has evolved even in her seven years selling travel. “Wellness travel has now taken off, which has me constantly re-evaluating,” she says.
Going forward, Renshaw tells us she will begin leading her own small-group trips themed around physical activity. On tap are a mountain biking trip, a cycling trip, a hiking trip, a ski trip and a women’s-only fly-fishing trip. She adds, however, that she does not want to spread herself too thin.
“When dealing with such fine details for people, I want to make sure that the quality of the trips I prepare remain top-shelf,” Renshaw says. “However, as a product of such quality of trips I do receive a lot of referrals.” She tells us she has “two amazing assistants” but to help her grow her business without sacrificing any of the quality, she will be looking to take on more like-minded team members.
As far as her personal travel, Renshaw recently visited both Switzerland and Tanzania. In the former, she split her time between the mountains and the city (“I immediately fell in love with the Alps, the Swiss people and the lifestyle of the countryside,” she says) — and even found a way to stay active in Zurich (swimming in the river, we hear). In Tanzania, she hiked Kilimanjaro and followed that with a safari.
When she approached creating her business, she says she looked to her family for inspiration. “I blended the old-school, conservative approach and advice from my grandfather with the rogue, entrepreneurial style of my father,” Renshaw says.