Making Your Family's Disney Vacations Pay
If your friends and family consider you the expert when they’re planning their Disney vacations, becoming a Disney travel agent may be the perfect job for you. It offers flexibility, which is super-important for any working mom. You can make the business into as much or as little as you want, plus you’ll earn discounts on your family’s own Disney vacations. What more could you ask for?
Disney travel agents are the best of the best when it comes to Disney knowledge and planning a vacation. Agents eat, sleep and breathe Disney, so that when it’s time to book a vacation, they know all the Disney opportunities available and which package will fit a family best.
Most Disney travel agents book vacations to any Disney location, including hotels, amusement parks and cruises. These vacations also frequently include airfare and car rentals if necessary.
It’s important to note that Disney travel agents are independent contractors. That means that you complete work for a company, but you have control over when and how much work you perform, and you can leave at will. You can invest enough time to be a full-time Disney travel agent or only book vacations for family and close friends; it’s your choice.
Disney travel agents are generally not required to have a degree, but experience as a travel agent is helpful. If you’re not a travel agent yourself, you’ll need to register with a Disney Authorized Vacation Planner. Plenty of companies are available that don’t require any sort of monetary commitment to register.
Most companies that agents work for prefer that you have experience traveling to various Disney locations, not to just one specific hotel or amusement park. The more variety you have in your Disney travels, the better you’ll be at catering to different types of families and needs.
Many Disney travel agencies require that you complete Disney’s College of Knowledge online after applying and being accepted by their company. The course covers sales and marketing basics, the features and the benefits of many Disney resorts and information on booking Disney vacations. It’s self-paced, so you can finish at your own time and pace.
Disney travel agents are paid on a commission basis, and the percentage of commission you earn depends on the travel agency you register with. Most agencies earn a standard 10 percent commission on vacations they book. Of that 10 percent, you might be entitled to 75 percent commission. For example, if you book a $3,000 vacation, the company receives $300, and you’ll earn $225 of their commission.
The average pay for a Disney travel agent is $21,951 a year, according to glassdoor.com. That’s at the lower end of the average pay scale for travel agents in general, which ranges from $20,670 to $61,890, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Keep in mind that as an independent contractor, you’ll invest as much or as little time into the business as you want, which makes a big difference in how much you earn.
As an independent contractor, you will have plenty of flexibility. You will work from home, which means you can work anywhere in the United States, including while you’re on vacation.
You probably already have everything you need, including a computer, internet access, a private work area and a phone.
Although you have the benefits of working from home, being a Disney travel agent may mean very early hours, waking to sign up a family for fast passes as soon as the reservation window opens. Alternatively, you may have late nights trying to figure out the best plan for each individual family.
Years of Experience
Your commission percentage is unlikely to change as you gain more experience, but the number of clients you have will most likely grow, which means more commission opportunities.
As you gain experience and book more vacations, you also have the opportunity to gain additional travel agent certifications, which opens up more discounted travel for your family.
Your knowledge of Disney and the travel possibilities also grows with time, giving you better insight into the best vacation for each unique family.
Job Growth Trends
Job growth for travel agents in general is on the decline as travelers book their own vacations on the internet, but prospects in this area are best for agents who specialize in specific areas such as Disney. As a Disney travel agent, people should continue to seek out your knowledge and experience.