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Old 01-21-2007, 12:49 PM   #1
sl_underwood
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Becoming a certified Disney Travel Agent?

I am not sure if this is the right board to post this on but I have been trying to find ways to earn money and stay at home. Several family members mentioned since I love Disney I should become a travel agent and help families plan their disney vacations. It sounds like it would be something I would enjoy and might make a little money as well to put in my disney fund. Anyone have info on how to do this? What kind of start up costs are there? Classes? Do you start your own business or are there companies you work for? Any info would be appreciated!
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sl_underwood View Post
I am not sure if this is the right board to post this on but I have been trying to find ways to earn money and stay at home. Several family members mentioned since I love Disney I should become a travel agent and help families plan their disney vacations. It sounds like it would be something I would enjoy and might make a little money as well to put in my disney fund. Anyone have info on how to do this? What kind of start up costs are there? Classes? Do you start your own business or are there companies you work for? Any info would be appreciated!

I'd love to know more about this too.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:55 PM   #3
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Hey me too..
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Old 01-21-2007, 01:21 PM   #4
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Just a suggestion, but a lot of people have been posting that their local adult ed. programs have had Disney planning courses. That might be an idea.
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:52 PM   #5
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I'm not a travel agent, but I've looked into it before for the same reasons as the OP. From what I've been able to gather, if you get a job as a travel agent, then you can take the disney college of knowledge program online and that is how you become certified in disney travel. This could be wrong, but that was my impression based on what I could read up on online.

A couple years ago I sent my resume and other info to an online disney agency and they had a startup fee of $395 which included some things like web access, insurance, etc. I didn't pursue it at the time because my youngest was only 10 months old and I didn't have a lot of time to myself to be on the phone without kids in the background. I might have to revisit it now that they are both in preschool a couple mornings a week.

I'd start by checking out the different disney vacation agencies and seeing if their website says anything about "join our team". I'm sure some of them are probably hiring. HTH.
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:51 PM   #6
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Just bumping, hope some disney travel agents will respond.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:06 PM   #7
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I want some more info too! I am in school to become a TA and hopefully a Disney TA!
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:37 PM   #8
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This question comes up frequently here. I'll try to find the last one but the search function is not one of my favorite things.

Bottom line is that this is not really a great way to make money. There is very little commission left in the travel industry. You have to work really hard when putting quotes together, then you don't get paid unless someone actually books a trip with you.
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:51 PM   #9
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Ok found it. Some actual TA's posted on this thread. It's got some great info

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1312128
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:06 PM   #10
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Try emailing Small World Travel. I know TA's that work for them and they make much more than people that work at McDonald's.
You also don't need a host agency if you are just booking Disney. You can book directly through them.
You do need a CLIA number.
Here is a site with some good info:
http://www.hometravelagency.com/trav...t-license.html
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:53 AM   #11
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I'm interested in doing this as well. I tried Small World at the end of last year, but she said they had already hired all the agents they needed for
2007. I live in a small town, so there aren't any places around here that offer courses for this, not even at the community college just down the road. I don't know if I really need to take any courses since it appears that you don't have to be certified or have a license to become a travel agent.
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Old 04-24-2007, 12:34 AM   #12
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We are looking too...

Soooo many people asking for help planning their trips. Anyone ever work with Mickey Vacations?
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:16 AM   #13
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subribing for the great thread attatchments!
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Old 04-27-2007, 02:47 PM   #14
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I posted this on the thread that was linked, but I'll put it here to.

Quote:
I'm a TA, although corporate rather than leisure. I make much, much more that McD's, but I've been doing it for 10 years now, and paid my dues, as it were. Corporate work isn't as much fun as planing a vacation, but it's much more reliable in terms of job security, and I'm not on commision and get full (and excellant) benifits. As other's have mentioned, travel benifits are going the way of the dodo, although deals can still be found. And for the Disney nut, Disney does offer very good agent rates. The deluxes you see in my sig were only possible due to my agent discounts.

Anyway, one thing to keep in mind that Disney vacations, unlike almost any other destination out there, has a HUGE % that book themselves without using an agent/agency, just look at the Dis boards if you need proof of that! So if you become a Disney only agent, you are going to be severly limiting your client base. Hooking up with a Disney only agency will help, but in terms of finding your own clients, good luck! I can't even get my own family to book with me half the time!

Unless you get hired on to an agency that pays salery, you'll be on commision only. That means you only get paid IF a client books (after hours of endless reaserch) and only AFTER they have traveled. That means that you could be working without pay for several months until the bookings you've made become completed trips. And it's also like any other straight commision job, it's very hard to predict income, one month you can do great and the next you get hardly any pay at all. Unless you're both lucky and very, very good, you won't make big money as a leisure agent. Good extra money for a houshold that has other sources of income , but dependable pay that you can rely on...not so much.

As for classes, unless you're going to work for a full service agency, you really won't need one, especially if the agency you work for offers training. Of course no knowledge is ever wasted, and if you do decide to work for a full service agency, not only will it give you basic knowlege but it can also open up job leads, and show pontential employers that you are serious about the industry. If you decide not to take classes, then I recomend you READ. Read everything you can get your hands on about the travel industry in general, and destinations in particular. Even Disney. You may think you know all there is to know about Disney, but there is always some hidden fact, new ride, new promotion, changes in the way Disney does things. You can become quickly out of date, and there is nothing worse than having a client that knows more than you do about something (trust me on that...).

I'm not saying all of this to scare you away. I love travel and it's been good to me. I just want to make sure you know the "bad" as well as the good!
I also wanted to add, that if you become an outside agent, your taxes and Social Security are not withheld for you, so your tax situation will become more difficult. Also, you may need to carry your own Errors and Omission insurance, that's like malpractice insurance for travel agents. Mistakes can be expensive! Some agencies do provide it to their outside agents as a part of their deal with you, but check and make sure, never assume!
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Old 04-27-2007, 06:39 PM   #15
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I also wanted to add, that if you become an outside agent, your taxes and Social Security are not withheld for you, so your tax situation will become more difficult. Also, you may need to carry your own Errors and Omission insurance, that's like malpractice insurance for travel agents. Mistakes can be expensive! Some agencies do provide it to their outside agents as a part of their deal with you, but check and make sure, never assume!
This is true of any job when you are considered an Independent Contractor and you get a 1099, you are responsible for your own taxes, as you are NOT an employee of the travel agency.

E&O insurance for a home-based agent is as low as $350 per year for $1M worth of coverage.

There are 2 excellent sites that explain all of the ins and outs:

hometravelagency.com and homebasedtravelagent.com
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