- Chelsea Guffy recently started a side hustle as a travel agent specializing in Disney vacations.
- “I thought, ‘Okay, this could be something really cool,'” Guffy said when a friend she helped advise on a Disney vacation suggested she do it as a job.
- This is the story of Chelsea Guffy, told to writer Jamie Killin.
This essay is based on a conversation with Chelsea Guffy, who recently started a side hustle as a travel agent specializing in Disney vacations. This has been edited for length and clarity.
Last year I noticed on social media that one of my sorority sisters had started working as a travel agent on many Disney vacations and working for a travel company called ET Family Travel.
I had a Disney vacation in November, and I already had everything booked, but I asked her if she could book restaurants for me, because that’s the hardest thing to get at Disney World, and she agreed . She helped me get all the restaurant reservations I wanted.
Then she said, “Chelsea, you know Disney inside out. You should be an agent.” So, I thought about it, and when the new year came around, I was like, “Okay, this could be something really cool.” I joined the team and fell in love with it.
Travel is right in my blood, and I love to book vacations for my family, so it was a no-brainer.
I grew up in Florida about two hours from Disney World and grew up going there.
The first time I went there I was probably three weeks old. I’ve always loved traveling – I studied abroad in college, and when I was young my family took trips at least once a year to different places in the country.
Travel is right in my blood and I love to book vacations for my family, so it was obvious that I would like to do it for other people.
The agency I work for focuses on Disney and family travel, so most agents focus on theme park vacations. However, we do all kinds of trips. I mainly focused on Disney at first, but then I got requests from my friends, so I decided to branch out.
I took a trip to the UK for a friend of mine in June, and now I’m taking another trip to the UK as well as a trip to New York. I have also helped with trips to California and even staycations.
My clientele is mostly made up of friends and members of my network, but I now have two clients I didn’t know before – one contacted me through my social media and the other was referred to me by the agency.
I am able to help my clients save a lot of time. I have a lot of knowledge; while they may need months to plan a trip, I can do it for them in three weeks. Sometimes I also find lower prices for them.
I also make sure to tell my clients that this is my second job and that I have a full time job. I try to spend as much time as possible with my clients, but I make sure to set expectations.
I also get perks like free Disney tickets and hotel discounts.
As a side hustle, it’s nice to have some extra cash. I am an independent contractor who earns money from commissions from theme parks and hotels. The time I spend at work varies, but I average 12-15 hours a week on top of my full-time job. I start as soon as my son goes to bed, so 7:30 and 10:00 p.m. are my preferred times.
I also get perks like free Disney tickets and hotel discounts. I have to reach a certain commission within a year to qualify for certain benefits. One of them is the CLIA card, which focuses on cruise travel, and once you hit their commission minimums, you can get special travel agent rates. For example, there are Disney cruises in October that would be available for around $20 per person per night.
I’m really looking forward to having access to these benefits.
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