I have always been the friend that plans the trips. Quick girls’ weekend in Vegas? No problem! I’m booking the hotel, getting the show tickets, and reserving the limo. Family going to Disney? I got you! I was coordinating room locations, scheduling dining reservations, and making fast passes for everyone. Do you need to fly home to visit the family? I was helping find the best airfare for friends. I loved it. I am a natural vacation planner, a scheduler, a coordinator. It’s what I have always done.
So, during our last PCS from CA to FL, when I struggled to find a job, I decided to reach out to a fellow travel agent to ask if they were hiring. Luckily, they were! I had no formal experience as a travel agent, but I had planned countless trips for myself, friends, and family. I have a Bachelors, Masters, and a Ph.D. and over a decade of experience helping others plan things (for retirement, school, life in general), so it seemed like a natural fit. When I was hired, I was so excited to be doing something I already liked to do and get paid for it.
Becoming a Disney Vacation Planner
The term “Travel Agent” seems so outdated. I prefer to use “Vacation Planner.” An agent sounds like someone who is trying to sell something, not someone you trust to help me plan an amazing family vacation, girls’ trip, or anniversary getaway.
What most people don’t know is that travel agents work on commission. A good vacation planner should absolutely never charge their clients for anything. For example, my pay comes directly from the vendor, whether that is Disney, Royal Caribbean, Sandals, or another vacation company. Travel agent commission is built directly into the price you pay, so you are paying for one whether you use one or not.
Before I knew anything about vacation planners, I always booked my trips on my own. I didn’t know I was paying for a vacation planner that I wasn’t even using. I am a military spouse—an expert in all things travel. A person who has planned multiple cross-country moves, complete with sightseeing stops and hotels that are pet-friendly along the route. But when I started to plan a large family trip to Disney, I realized I needed expert advice.
Why Use a Disney Vacation Planner?
Have you been to Disneyworld? It is quite literally a “whole new world.” There are hundreds of places to eat, dozens of hotels to stay at, six parks, golf courses, shopping, shows, experiences, and SO. MUCH. PLANNING. Dining can be booked 180 days in advance. Fast Passes 60 days in advance. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, Pirate’s League, dessert parties, my head was spinning. So, I used a vacation planner. She helped keep me on track. Told me exactly what I needed to do to get the dining, fast passes, and magic band colors I wanted. It was totally worth it, and it cost me absolutely NOTHING!
The question I get most often is WHY? Why use a travel agent? Well, for one, you are already paying for it—so why not give a kickback to another military spouse? But that’s just the simple answer. The real answer is because a travel agent will help you plan your vacation. That’s why I prefer the term vacation planner. I don’t just book your reservations and then disappear. I help you figure out the best time to go, which rooms are the best to book, what restaurants are the best, and how best to plan your days.
Here’s another great reason: If a better promotion comes out after you book, I can apply it to your reservation. If something goes wrong, I can spend hours on hold to fix it, allowing you the time to spend with your family. I take the stress off you. My job is to help you have the best time ever, so why wouldn’t you want me to help?
Next time you are planning that vacation, seek out a vacation planner! A military spouse who is also a travel agent is the best of both worlds. I have been all over the world and visited tons of places. I have friends in every state and lots of countries, and I have experience moving my household many, many times.
Military spouses are already expert travelers and we are also the best deal finders. I know all the military discounts and how to get the best bang for your buck. If you are ready to plan your next vacation, contact me and I’ll make sure it’s amazing!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Doing Disney World as a Military Family
Georgia Jones has been with Pixie & Pirate Destinations since February of 2018. She’s a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder and visits the parks often to keep up to date on Magical Happenings! Jones has also been to Disneyland several times, as she lived in California for five years. She’s am a military spouse, her husband has been in the Air Force since 2000. Also, don’t forget to check out her Facebook Page!
Photo Credit: Georgia Jones