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My side hustle is working as a travel agent, especially with Disney vacations, and these are the perks I love

Chelsea Guffy recently began a side hustle as a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. She says she joined a travel agency as a contractor and fell in love with it.

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Chelsea Guffy has recently launched a second career as a Disney vacation specialist. Guffy said, “Okay, this could be something really cool” when a friend she advised on a Disney trip suggested it to her as a career.

Written by Chelsea Guffy herself, with help from Jamie Killin.

This “as-told-to” piece was inspired by a chat I had with Chelsea Guffy, a Disney vacation expert who recently launched her own side business. Both the length and clarity have been adjusted.

I saw on Facebook last year that one of my sorority sisters had started working for a company called ET Family Travel as a travel agent, and that she specialized in Disney vacations.

Despite the fact that I had already booked my entire November trip to Disney World, I asked her if she could secure me dining reservations, which are notoriously difficult to come by. She was invaluable in securing all the dinner reservations I required.

She turned to me and said, “Chelsea, you know Disney inside and out. I think you would make a great agent. When the new year rolled around, I gave it some more thought and realized, “Okay, this could be something really cool.” I decided to join the team and quickly became obsessed with it.

It was an easy decision because I have always had a deep interest in travel and enjoy organizing vacations for my loved ones.

I spent many happy childhood days at Disney World, as I grew up in Florida, just two hours away.

Around the time I turned three weeks old, I went for the first time. When I was in college, I had the opportunity to study in another country, and when I was a kid, my family would take at least one trip a year to a new location within the United States.

It was only natural for me to enjoy planning trips for other people, as I have always had a passion for travel and enjoyed doing so for my own family.

My company caters to families, so most of my coworkers and I specialize in Disney and other family-friendly vacations. However, we engage in a wide variety of trips. Initially, I was only interested in Disney-related topics, but after receiving requests from my peers, I began to explore other areas as well.

In June, I traveled throughout the United Kingdom on behalf of a friend, and this month, I’ll be doing the same for New York. I have arranged trips to California and even stayed-at-home vacations.

While the majority of my clients are friends and acquaintances, I have recently taken on two strangers who found me online and were referred to me by the agency.

I am able to save my customers a great deal of time. They might need months to plan a trip, but I can do it in three. Even better, I often find deals on them as well.

I also let my customers know that this is not my full-time occupation. I do my best to accommodate my customers’ schedules, but I always make sure they know what to expect from me beforehand.

In addition, I receive perks like reduced hotel rates and free Disney tickets.

It’s nice to have the extra money as a result of the side job. Aside from my own business expenses, I rely on commissions from resorts and amusement parks to cover my living expenses. There is no set schedule for my work week, but I usually put in an extra 12–15 hours beyond what is required by my regular employer. My most productive hours are between 7:30 and 10:00 p.m., when my son is in bed.

I also receive perks like discounted hotel stays and free Disney tickets. In order to receive certain perks, I must reach a yearly sales quota within the first year on the job. The Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) card is one such option; once you’ve reached their commission threshold, it entitles you to travel agent pricing on cruises. In October, for instance, you can take a Disney cruise for less than $20 per person per night.

I can’t wait to take advantage of those benefits.