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Old 01-07-2012, 06:54 AM   #16
cricketgirl
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I should seriously look into this. Everyone I know tells me it is what I was meant to do. Right now I do it for free for all my frineds going. Maybe getting paid for it would be nice.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #17
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Oh my this is right up my ally, I think about it all the time. I would love to quit my job and be a Disney TA full time, but I just know that's not possible right now, but part time would be great! Can't wait to hear if someone has advice on this
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizfan4life View Post
I should check into that ! Every other month I have friends facebook me asking me to help them with decisions regarding their Disney vacation! In fact, my cousin just called me last night to have me help her and she told me I should be a travel agent for Disney! I checked into it a while back and one stipulation was that you had to stay at various resorts and at that time I was one short from their requirements! I would SOOO love to do this!!!
I hate to sound jaded. I thought the same thing before I got into it. There are lots of people who will ask you for advice and then go book it themselves. Even friends.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #19
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Oh yes...people want the quick answer, they don't want to pay you for the advice or they would talk to those who are currently agents.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:27 PM   #20
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I hate to sound jaded. I thought the same thing before I got into it. There are lots of people who will ask you for advice and then go book it themselves. Even friends.
Yup.... well aware of that.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:41 PM   #21
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Best job ever. The College of Knowledge was informative and it is such fun making Disney dreams a reality.

Good Luck!!
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:47 PM   #22
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Having thought about this myself, here is my question: if you work full time, when do you plan on doing this? Nights and Weekends or while at your other job? What would you do on a day Disney releases a discount...call in sick? Unless you have flexible hours at your full time job, I can see some serious issues here.

My Disney TA lives at her computer. I have talked to her a few times about it, and quite frankly, the hours are definitely a turn off!
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:10 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by JuneCleaver View Post
Having thought about this myself, here is my question: if you work full time, when do you plan on doing this? Nights and Weekends or while at your other job? What would you do on a day Disney releases a discount...call in sick? Unless you have flexible hours at your full time job, I can see some serious issues here.

My Disney TA lives at her computer. I have talked to her a few times about it, and quite frankly, the hours are definitely a turn off!
I dont mind living at my computer I'm wondering if this is a job, where I could work for one of the on-line Disney travel companies and work from home (full time would be alright). Anyone know how to look into this?
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:27 PM   #24
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I do it on a part-time basis and have another career that I do part-time as well. Honestly, while it IS GREAT getting some extra $$ for our vacation fund - it is a lot of work for very little benefit. And, I know that many of us are 'already doing it' without getting paid, but the big consideration is that after you get paid - you have RESPONSIBILITY. I have had clients (friends) call me to double check things on their reservations that I am CONFIDENT are fine, but now because of the paid thing -I feel I need to call and confirm with WDW for them - which usually involves at least a 1/2 hour conversation. Then the same family will call the next day and want to change the # of days on their tickets from 8 down to 7....And again another call. And I get nervous with some clients who 'expect a lot' - that they will get mad/annoyed with me if everythign doesn't go 100%. Now don't get me wrong I haven't truly had anyone 'blame' me for things...but some things havnen't been perfect either. For example, one client wanted to go in November, so I booked her. Kept waiting for discounts and I happened to be out of town when free dining came through. I had trouble getting a cell signal where I was but ended up having to spend 2 hours plus on the phone to get free dining added. Another client's dates didn't work for free dining and she 'sort of' blamed me (they had always had free dining offered during her time - but they excluded a week in 2010).

I ONLY do the basics - I only do the WDW portion, not the air - so I don't make as much money. But airlines change things so frequently that I feel I would need to be on top of that every day - and there's no way I can do it when I'm at my other job 3 days a week. Also, I don't do dining reservations - I would end up making about 5 cents an hour with some people who want to constantly tweak/change things. So while I'm sure if I dedicated more time to this - I likely could do a lot better. I am happy enough doing just the basics - bookign the trip - providing all my planning worksheets - even tailoring a personalized basic tour plan. I think I provide WAY MORE INFORMATION than most TA's (there are some in my agency who book WDW trips who honestly don't even know what Chef Mickey or a Fastpass is) but I don't provide as much hand holding as many.

In the end - it's OK overall. I get very frustrated at times, but then am happy when the checks come in. I do not feel that I get many perks - they do offer some ticket discounts - but I go during free dining 90% of the time - so need to buy tickets for that anyway.

One big benefit is that I am going tomorrow for a big family grand gathering...5 rooms books. So I would say about 1/3 of my trip will be paid for with the commissions from those rooms. Times like this I like it a lot. But it honestly is not everything I thought it would be....not even close.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:22 PM   #25
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Yes, you spend time on your computer and on the phone with clients but it is such fun making Disney Dreams a reality...!!
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:37 PM   #26
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I was a Disney and Cruise TA for a bit (home based) I actually had to give it up when I went back to working 5 days a week.... it was just not fair to my clients that I could not commit to be available 24/7 to get on the phone with the vendors when bookings and/or changes needed to be done.
Just a word of caution, you NEED to have a huge list of clients- the agencies will not refer clients to you, nor will they help you find them as a new agent. The veterans with each agency get those. They will expect you to bring in new business for your cut of the commission. Also, your friends and family might be onboard at first, and may even book with you, but at an average of one trip every year or two for the average family, you are not looking at steady income. And don't be surprised if your brother-in-law/cousin/friend/neighbor, etc pump you for info, then book on the internet themselves because they feel they got a better deal, or prefer not to share credit card info with you.

Unfortunately, everyone wants to be in the business (as this thread proves) and there are not enough clients to go around. It's a tough business, be prepared to sell yourself and be pushy and extremely dedicated.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:44 PM   #27
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I'd like to thank Bryolmom for her post. Because, many people who think this will be an easy job because they've planned trips need a reality check.

Being a TA is a fun job, and I find it really rewarding, but it is NOT easy. As bryolmom mentioned, you have RESPONSIBILITY to your clients. Your friends may come to you, but once you take them on as a client, you have to be prepared to see their trip through from booking until they come home. You have to be ready to fix anything that goes wrong. If you book their air and their flights are delayed or worse, cancelled, are you prepared to drop everything to fix it? Are you willing to monitor rates and get that discount for them?

I do book that air, and I do make those dining reservations. I pride myself on the service I provide and have rearranged my family life to make sure my clients are happy. Can you do that?

Even if you are working part-time, you need to bring in clients. Are you willing to put in some time and money to market yourself? Do you know how to sell yourself - because you are selling yourself, and not travel - so people will actually book with you and not take your information and do it themselves? Do you know how to retain clients so they come back to you? Are you prepared to engage in ongoing continuing education?

If you can do all the above, great. If you are not willing to put in that time and effort, then please don't pursue the job because you are just doing a disservice to your clients. It's a lot of fun, and like I said, rewarding, but it's definitely not easy.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:37 PM   #28
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I hate to sound jaded. I thought the same thing before I got into it. There are lots of people who will ask you for advice and then go book it themselves. Even friends.
I agree! So true!
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:01 AM   #29
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I would agree that you really need to think it through - yes, it can be the most amazing job in the world - making dreams come true but it can also be the worst. You're dealing with a lot of things you have no control over - flights, hotels, Disney etc and what happens when it doesn't turn out how they wanted - they blame you.
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:50 PM   #30
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Well, I posted in one of these posts a few months back to find out more info. Since then I took the plunge! I e-mailed Dreams Unlimited on a couple occasions but they never contacted back (probably not looking for a part-timer with no background), so I did a search as was mentioned and signed up with an agency. Finished my Disney School of Knowledge in just a few days, set up a website (scrapbook-travel.com) and got completely addicted!! I loved the whole learning process so much that I have now done the travel specialist certification for Universal, SeaWorld, Carnival Cruise, Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruise, Atlantis in Bahamas, and even Hyatt Hotels. You can also get access through agentrez and VAX to book any hotel, car, air, etc. that you would book through a place like Expedia. SO here's the lowdown on how to get started... much of this has been said, just trying to bring it all together more clearly.

Step #1 -- Find an existing travel agent that will bring you onboard as one of their Disney Travel Specialists
You can't just go to Disney and do the School of Knowledge, you have to have a CLIA/IATA number of your own or use one from the agency you work for in order to take the classes and get setup. If you only want to do Disney, you can finish the required schooling and prep in a week... literally.

Step #2 -- If your company does not supply leads and you need to generate your own leads, you should consider setting up a webpage.
Weebly or Wix offer some great free sites, you just have to pay for domain. But understand just because you build it and even if it is a good site, if you plan on doing enough business to make this pay off even part-time, you will have to put forth the effort to generate business in other ways. I set up my web page, got everything running tight, put it on facebook and then (queue the cricket sounds) nothing! My page has been up for a couple weeks, with 150-200 visits to my page a day, and not one lead as of yet. My only sales have been through handing out business cards, letting FB friends know... marketing myself.

Truth is even if your agency will give yo some leads, you really have to get out there and market yourself to make this worthwhile.

Step 3 -- Expect to put in some time and effort (and a little money) into this.
Ordering in brochures... handing out cards... getting Google Ads set up so your ad ever shows up in Google... It's simple, you will not generate any movement without working at it.

Couple other thoughts about comments by PP's
mdsoccermom & brymolmom.... Well said! While it is still alot of fun helping, this is not just chatting with friends. They have expectations, and it is your "job" to make things right. Hanging out in chat rooms and giving hints to friends about our love of Disney is fun! This is work... it can be fun work, but it IS work.

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Originally Posted by Pooh Girl 71 View Post
I actually do this on a part time basis. .. I enjoy doing it but I don't earn enough to get my own IATA or CLIA number so no awesome discounts for me.
this was probably one of my biggest disappointments. Basically all of the Disney discounts/special that are offered to agents require that you have your own CLIA or IATA card. These are official cards that show you are a travel agent. The problem is you work FOR a travel agent, you aren't one. The CLIA card (Cruise Lines card) will allow the agent to hand out 4 cards to their "staff", but since most of the agencies you will work for all have dozens of agents, chances you will get a card from them is slim. With the agency I am with, I can get an IATA card, but not until I do at least $5000 in sales. Now that is doable if you put some effort into it, so I am hoping I can get my card in a couple months... but without the card, most of the benefits that are offered by Disney, Universal, Carnival, etc. are not available to you

So if you are thinking you will sign up just get discounts on your personal trips... have some fun planning trips... have truly inflexible hours to offer...

Just enjoy the boards and help people here
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