Today, Fox Travel celebrates 40 years of making touring dreams come true

Today, Fox Travel celebrates 40 years of making touring dreams come true

THE WOODLANDS, TX – Co-owners of Fox Travel The Woodlands, Donna Daniels and James Bailey, had been in business together for eight years when they got married. In fact, the genesis of Fox Travel with their first ‘meet-cute’ encounter and their wedding day both took place at the same Houston airport gate. Since 1984, the duo has weathered the highs and lows of business ownership in the travel industry and family life with no signs of slowing down.

Husband / wife team celebrate business’ ruby anniversary

Today, Donna and James celebrate the ruby anniversary of co-owning and operating Fox, which has made countless hundreds of Woodlanders’ travel dreams come true for 40 nonstop years.

“Forty years to this day was the day we met when he asked to borrow my pen,” said Donna. “Six years later on that same day, he first talked about marriage. And two years after that on the same day, we married at the same gate we met at.”

Donna was asked by Woodlands Online if a vacation was in her and Jim’s plans to celebrate, and she laughed. “When we travel outside of our hosting or escorting responsibilities, it’s mainly just to see family. Sometimes Jim and I travel as part of a site inspection for a new resort, or to meet new suppliers. When we have time off, it doesn’t necessarily mean we have time to ourselves.”

That being said, they still manage to enjoy the personal aspects of travel even in the midst of a business trip. “Jim and I are extremely lucky,” said Donna. “If we can grab just one hour to be together, we’ll sneak off to a quiet corner of the resort – me with some champagne and him with some merlot in hand – and just talk. That one hour of talking together alone is worth more than the seven days of the trip itself.”

When asked about the main differences in the industry between the early days of the 1980s and today, she said, “When I first got into this business, I hand wrote tickets. When asked by clients about air fare prices, we’d grab our three-inch-thick books with all the flights and their costs and thumb through the pages.”

Though the process of researching, planning, booking, and taking cruises, tours, and getaways has become much more high-tech, Donna stresses that the human element is most important. “One thing that has expedited our learning curve is the familiarization trip – known as a ‘FAM’ – where we go to create relationships with suppliers. We experience the tours ourselves to gain firsthand knowledge. Sure, people sometimes come to us to find out about a package, or get research done, then go home and do it themselves. But with us, you have the opportunity to speak with someone who may have gone through the same thing.”

The Fox business model is one solid reason for the agency’s success over the decades. “In 2020, when the pandemic hit, so many agencies closed down,” said Donna. “But we had no debt, no accounts receivable, so we were fine. We didn’t shut our doors and we didn’t have the stress that others had.”

She is also self-admittedly ‘happy, pleased, and proud’ at Fox’s longevity. “It’s not about growing the fastest or being the biggest; we want to be the best, both in ourselves and with our clients. We must be doing something right because we’re still here.”

Asked about the future of Fox and if there was another 40 years of booking cruises and tours on her horizon, she again laughed and summarized with, “God willing and the creek don’t rise.”

Fox Travel 25701 Interstate 45 North, Suite 3A, in The Woodlands.

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