Our Story

Jacqui Budd, President

I got the travel bug early! I was born in England where my father travelled extensively on business, frequently taking the family with him to the United States and Europe. I went on to work in the travel industry in London for many years, crafting customized tours to Europe and Asia.

I moved to Canada in 1996, when at that time, I was honoured to manage all Canadian travel to the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, including hosting our Canadian sponsors, where we were privileged to sit with the King of Malaysia at the Opening Ceremony.

Over the years, I have designed countless packages and tours including credit card rewards programs where I specialized in crafting once-in-a-lifetime experiences. These included arranging tickets to the Masters for golf fanatics; afternoon tea in London with a Downton Abbey actor; a trip to the Charlotte NASCAR Races and awards ceremony; Most exciting of all? Arranging an exclusive trip to attend the Oscars in L.A. including invitations to after-show parties. Along with managing lifestyle reward experiences, I spent many years attending electronics, housewares and specialty gift shows sourcing amazing and unique products for cardholder redemptions.

I have dabbled in art since my school days. I love art and wine, antiquing and upcycling yard sale finds to create uniquely painted pieces, including furniture and glassware. Over the past year I have built a successful art business and most recently, combined my two passions of art and travel offering custom tours and retreats for artists who love to offer their clients and followers an opportunity to join “Come Paint Away with Me” small group trips.

In the Fall of 2021, whilst chatting with my long-time friend Cheryl Nicholson about our common love of travel; with a combined total of over sixty years experience working within the travel industry; the desire to create a delightful customer experience in receiving and unpacking a quarterly box filled with unique products and items promoting the desire to travel, evolved. I was therefore delighted when she agreed to become my strategic partner. This shared appreciation brought us together and provided the vision for GateCheck.

My Certifications include:

TICO Travel Manager; Cruise Lines International Association Accredited Cruise Manager (CLIA - ACM); NCL Cruise Academy Certificate of Competence; Wine Sales & Marketing Credit from Niagara College; Triangle Concierge Master’s Academy; Negotiation & and Communication, Service Achievement from A+ Training Management Inc.


Cheryl Nicholson

Cheryl Nicholson, Strategic Advisor

The first time I flew alone on an airplane, I was 5 years old. I flew from Toronto to spend the summer with my Nanny and Grampy in Halifax. It was the beginning of a long relationship with the love of travel. Each trip taught me something new about people and the world.

I appreciate all types of travel. Whether a budget trip sleeping in hostels or a 5-diamond resort, each trip inspired new destinations for my bucket list. The hardest question I’ve been asked is, “Where is your favourite destination?” My favourite destination is the one I haven’t been to yet. I have had the privilege to visit almost every continent – don’t worry Antarctica, I’ll get there.

After years of travel, I was fortunate to turn my passion to a career. I’ve worked for almost 20 years in various leadership roles in the travel industry. As an executive in financial services, technology, travel and not for profit, I will always have a special affinity to my friends and colleagues in travel.

I hope that my commitment to GateCheck will help to inspire others so that they might continue to explore the world through our curated products. May you feel that excitement everyday that I first felt on that plane bringing me to my beloved grandparents.