For those of you that don’t know me I feel like we need to start from the very beginning…
In middle school I bought candles and a pack of stickers from the Dollar Tree. I went home that evening and decorated each candle in a unique way, wrapped them in a clear bag, and hid them away in my backpack. The next day I took them to school and sold them to a few kids during science class.
Looking back now I realize two things. One, that was totally against handbook rules and two, I didn’t charge nearly enough! (Haha)
In all seriousness though this was just a small example of how I have always had an entrepreneur mindset. “How can I sell what I already know how to do??”. It has been a burden and a blessing my entire life! One of the biggest struggles I have had is not having my hand in too many projects. “Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”
Okay… we are getting off topic here. So you want to know How and Why I became a travel planner? (Most people call me a Travel Agent but it doesn’t sound as chic.)
In 2010 I was 19 and struggling with what the heck I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Apparently we are supposed to have it all figured out while we are in college. My life has been anything but traditional up to this point and I was craving adventure. So deciding to take a break from classes, I applied to work at Walt Disney World under the Disney College Program Internship. Best and craziest life changing decision ever made.
January 2011 I began working at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and remained there until my internship was over later that May. Growing up in a small southern state like Mississippi it doesn’t take long for word to spread about my sabbatical to Disney. People started messaging me on Facebook while I was still on the internship asking my advice on planning their next Disney World Vacation. “Where should we stay?” “What type of tickets do we need?” “What rides should we do first?” “When is the best time to visit?”…
Coming back from my internship I was on a magical Disney high so to say I LOVED talking about all things Disney was the understatement of the year. In the fall I had to go back to class and the high started to fade as reality hit. Helping all of these families plan trips only made me miss being a part of the magic that much more! So I started thinking… What if I could make money off of helping people plan their vacations?? I had always wanted to work as a Wedding Planner (Which I did eventually do) but how would this be any different??
Down the Google research rabbit hole I went. Even though it was only 8 years ago there is SO much more information available these days than there was back then. I couldn’t find ANY clear instructions on how to start your own Travel Planning Business. There was random articles on Travel Agent certifications and a few agencies hiring “Experienced” agents, but no clear instructions on how to get said experience as a beginner!
Another thing you should know about me is that I am a major fan of “Fake it till you make it!”. Ever seen a job you wanted to apply for but you didn’t meet their exact qualifications? APPLY ANYWAY! I always have applied for the jobs I wanted even if I didn’t meet the necessary requirements, 99.9% of the time I got the job. This was exactly the case when I applied to work for my first Host Agency as an Independent Travel Agent. I applied, listed my Walt Disney World experience and by the end of the day I had a contract in my Inbox.
That was 8 years ago and so many blood, sweat, tears, and lessons learned. It hasn’t always been easy and for sure isn’t the type of job that makes you money over night, but I have loved every second! Since then I have changed agencies and went from being an agent to training others to become agents themselves! Again, I don’t particularly like the term “Agent”. It feels so out dated! We are planners, consultants, adventures guides…. we are so much more than a fuddy dud agents.
While I have explored other career paths over the last several years I always made my way back to travel planning. Not only has it opened so many doors for my family, from being able to travel across the country and not have to worry about taking off work, but also allowed me to be able to stay home with my babies while still have an income rolling in. It has also been the one career that always lights me up and gives me a rush of excitement to help each and every family I work with plan their next big adventure! Pivoting into a leadership role where I help others start, market, and grow their own travel planning business has only taken my passion for the travel industry to the next level!
I think it is important to note that this career choice hasn’t been a “Get rich quick” kinda job. However, it has opened so many doors and offered so many perks to the travel obsessed girl in me that I can’t see my self ever giving it up.
So you are reading this you are either curious about my crazy travel filled life or you really want to learn more about becoming a Travel Planner. If you are the latter then I am going to break it down for you as simple as possible because I wish someone had done this for me when I was first starting out! Below you will find a few additional blog posts that dives into this topic a bit more.
- 8 Reasons why you need a Travel Planner
- What does a Travel Planner actually do?
- How does a Travel Planner get paid?
- Steps to becoming a Travel Planner
Interested in becoming a Travel Planner?
The Jolly Holiday Travel Company is currently accepting applications to join their team of travel planners!
No experience required as training, mentorship, and coaching is provided to you! Are you ready to start your next adventure?
Hey friend! Real quick before you go, I just wanted to say thank you for stopping by and supporting our little place on the internet!
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Hoping all of your days are magical!
Mouse and Moore