If you haven’t visited Disney in a while, you might question the need for all the planning. I know on our first several trips to Disney, there really was no need for much planning. We picked a resort, made a dining reservation, and winged the rest!
Now, the parks have grown so much, and are so much more crowded, that planning is the only way to be able to do anything. I’m not saying you have to plan out minute by minute (while some do just that). I’m saying the days of deciding on Monday that you want to do Disney next week are all but gone.
The first decision is when you want to visit. This used to be simple, but now, not so much. There really are no more uncrowded times to visit. When Disney sees the rooms aren’t filling as fast as they want, they might throw a limited promotion out to get more people in.
And, as much as I love Disney, I have to agree it is getting harder and harder to do Disney inexpensively. The days of Disney being a cheap vacation are long over! Those promotions? They are always very limited. The number of rooms available for that promotion on that date in the room category of the resort you want, were probably grabbed as soon as the promotion was released.
With all the crazy 'stuff' happening in the world today, I thought we should revisit this topic!
Do I recommend Travel Insurance?
Another year has come and gone. Every year people make tons of resolutions.
Exercise more. Eat better. Be a better (fill in the blank). Spend more time with my family. And on and on.
Everyone gets busy and things you meant to do get lost in the endless ‘work’, and suddenly you forget that trip you had meant to plan with your family until it was too late to get what you really wanted or you end up spending way more money than your budget liked. I can relate!
This year, how about you make some resolutions that are more fun. Ones that you can easily keep for a longer period of time. And, maybe include some of those other resolutions that often get pushed to the background.
That’s right. It is as simple as TRAVEL. Want to spend more time with your family? Travel with them. Want to Exercise more? Travel to a beautiful location that will scream “get out and enjoy!” Want to save money? Book your travel EARLY! Want to be pampered? Cruise! Want to catch up on some reading? Travel to a nice beach resort.
Yes, it really IS that easy, and I’m here to help. I plan amazingly stress free family vacations for busy families who want a magical getaway before the kids are too old to enjoy it!
Yes, I do Disney and Universal, but I do so much more! Are you looking to cruise? How about a Caribbean All Inclusive? Yes, I can do that and so much more!
Ready to get started?
Give me a call at 770-207-0135 or email at Jeanne@JMorrisTravel.com.
One last thing about host agencies, look at their preferred suppliers. Are these brands that you feel comfortable selling? Would the majority of your prospective clients be serviced by these suppliers?
With smaller agencies, the main benefits are their size. You aren’t just a number, you are a person. Each agency will offer some training, it will vary greatly between agencies. A minimum will include training on the major preferred suppliers the agency chooses to partner with, as well as back office services including a way to report your sales. Most, if not all will include a CRM, some training and you have the opportunity to use their industry credentials. For this, most will charge a fee- either monthly or annually.
However, some may offer it for free...at a cost! Various agencies have a different commission split. Some are based on the fee you pay; some are based on your sales with preferred suppliers. Your split may not be the same as other agents simply because of the variations of the contract you signed. Basically your split is better if you have higher sales or pay a higher fee. It is possible to get a 100% split at a much higher fee; as it is also possible to get no fees at a much lower split.
ow does this work, And what difference does it make to me? Which is better? A higher split or lower fees? Let’s take a look at that in a bit of detail. I warn you, these numbers are just for example. I like simple math, so these are not actual commissions or fees!
Let’s say your book a cruise where the total commission is $100. You are on a 60/40 split (meaning you keep 60% and the agency/host keeps 40%). You have no monthly fee. If that is all you sold for that month you get $60.
Now, let’s say you have a 90/10 split and pay $30 monthly for fees. On that same cruise, you would keep $90, and pay out $30 of that in fees. If that is all you sold you would come out the same.
So, now let’s say you booked two cruises with each being a $100 commission. With the first scenario you would net $120. With the second, you would net $150. And, let’s not forget that in the months you don’t have any sales you still pay the $30 monthly fee.
The subject of fees and splits is not as cut and dry as it appears at first. This is one of those places where you need to take a long look at what you expect to accomplish in your sales. Do your research! And Don’t Forget - - you are paid AFTER the client returns home. A monthly fee is paid by you. It is a cost of doing business. You may have sold five vacations this month, but none have traveled. So zero commission coming in and get expensive with a fee.
Which brings up an important question - How often do I get paid?
The short answer is after my client travels. The long answer is- most suppliers, hosts, and agencies pay commission after travel. (some, like various cruise lines, pay commission after final payment. However some agencies and hosts hold the commission until after travel) This can be anywhere from one week to six months after travel. Once your host or agency is paid, they pay you based on your contract. Some are weekly, twice a month, or once a month. This is known as ‘long tail’. You can book travel a year in advance and not see the commission for maybe six months after travel.
This is the major downside to being a Travel Agent. There is no quick money! Cash flow can often be an issue.
What kind of questions will I be asked if I apply?
Mainly you will be asked about your travel experience. After all you will be selling and planning travel! If you will be with a host or agency that primarily sell Disney, then your travel to Disney Destinations will be important. You may be asked about your computer skills. Since 99.9% of your work is on the computer, having a working knowledge of basic computer skills is important. The other 0.1% is phone calls, primarily on hold! You may be asked where you will physically work. You will need a private quiet place as well as a phone dedicated to work.
You may be asked questions about your experience in Customer Service. Being able to ‘deliver the goods’ is the most important part of your job.
Will clients be supplied to me?
Maybe. Some hosts give leads to agents, but they usually charge for them. And they may remain agency clients and not yours. Meaning when they come back for a second trip, they may not go to you. Most agencies and hosts do not supply leads, so you will need a supply of family and friends to book travel for.
Some agencies have marketing in place that you can take advantage of; while some agencies and hosts have email marketing that you can take advantage of. Again, this can vary.
What does Morris Travel offer?
We are a small family run agency that specializes in Family travel. Cruises, Theme Parks, and All Inclusives in the Caribbean. With a nod to those family members that have special needs.
We offer a CRM, website, and offer some self guided training and some one-on-one training. We provide G Suites for our email, word processing and office needs. We do not supply leads.
Based on your experience, (both travel related and sales related) we may offer monthly fees or annual fees, with splits between 60/40 and 90/10. Because we are small, we are always a phone call away for personal help when you encounter a problem or question.
While we know not everyone is a fit for our agency, we look forward to getting to know you.
So, there is a brief overview of becoming a Travel Agent. Did I answer all your questions? Of course not! Did I pique your interest? I hope so!
If you think you have what it takes to be a great Travel Professional, I urge you to contact us. Our website has a preliminary application here, fill it out and let's see if we are a match!
So, you are planning a great vacation. Your Travel Professional has made all your reservations and arrangements, given you the perfectly customized itinerary and, you are ready to go!
You’ve decided to drive to your destination and the resort address is plugged into your GPS. Congratulations! But, not so fast. If you have kids there are a few more things to consider.
Special Needs and DIsney
Part 2 GAC/DAS
On our last installment we talked a bit about how Disney helps with "runners". Today we are going to touch on a few points about the old GAC/new DAS card.
On our first trip after the accident we found out about the GAC. Unfortunately, it was our very last day of the trip. It was a Game Changer!
It has been through a lot of changes over the years, including a name change. It remains a wonderful way for Special Needs families to tour Disney. Back when we first started using it the Guest Assistance Card was an actual paper card that allowed our family to go to the Fast Pass entrance and ride. Since one of Mr. D’s problems was the inability to understand personal space as well as waiting in lines, this was perfect for us. We only used it for things that had a longer than 15-minute wait time. Fifteen minutes was pushing Mr. D to the limit of his ability to wait. After that, he would start a meltdown. Even if he was semi quiet, it was not pretty for us or anyone around him. The GAC was a preprinted card, where they wrote the child's name on it, the dates and how many in his party. Then, they had a series of stamps they would put on it.
We purchased a special lanyard for Mr. D to keep his GAC around his neck. He liked being in charge of showing it to the Cast Member. Of course, this was one of the problems with this system that allowed so much abuse. It was very obvious to others that we were getting preferential treatment. It didn’t take long for people to figure out how to ‘use’ the system, and those bad apples spoiled the process. There were even people that were making money from it! (I cannot tell you how much that sickened me!)
This picture was taken about a week before his accident. You can see the mischief in his eyes. It is the picture we put on the window of his ICU room so people could see him the way we remembered him, not the way they saw him with tubes and wires and feeding in him.
At this point, he had been to Disney once, about a year prior. He remembers nothing about that trip, and all I can remember is we will NEVER stay offsite again!
Yet, less than a year after this picture, we were off to Disney again! This time, staying at Shades of Green. The one thing that stands out about this trip was the meltdowns. One in particular, really stands out.
It takes a lot of work to get ready for a family trip, even if you have a travel agent doing the planning and booking for you. Choosing the right places and activities, all while trying to maintain some semblance of your normal routine, especially if you have younger kids — can be a real challenge.
In the hectic pace of everything, it can be easy to forget the bigger reasons families choose to travel with their children: to enrich their lives, expand their emotional and cultural horizons, and help them become better global citizens.
So it’s great to encourage kids to be involved in the planning and to participate in family activities — but what are some ways that you can really get your child curious about your travel destinations without adding yet another list of to-dos to a parent’s already-long list?
Here are some ideas for sparking the love of travel in your child on your next vacation.
I know. Not the most exciting part of your trip, but quite possibly may be the most important thing to remember about your trip. Most people completely ignore this.
Even the most seasoned travelers sometimes feel confused about travel insurance — what’s out there, what it covers, whether or not they need it. While coverage and policies vary from state to state, of course, here are some basics of travel insurance to get you started:
1. There are five main types of travel insurance. What you might need depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking, what kind of traveler you are, and how frequently you travel. The five main types are:
~trip cancellation and interruption (full or partial reimbursement for a trip you need to cancel prior to departure, a trip that gets cancelled because a tour company or resort goes out of business, or a trip that gets cut short for a wide variety of reasons)
~medical (for health issues that occur outside of your normal coverage area)
~evacuation (due to disaster, dangerous weather, political emergency, or medical emergency)
~baggage (reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage)
~flight insurance (also called “crash coverage,” this is basically a life insurance policy that covers you while you’re on the plane, in the event of a statistically-rare crash)
The World is Now More Accessible Than Ever - Explore and Enjoy It!
The world is now more accessible than ever before. Twenty percent (62 million) of the U.S. population has some form of disability, and the number of these individuals is increasing daily. These people need to, want to, and can travel. If you’re part of that twenty percent, a world of travel awaits you.
Travel professionals such as myself who are accessible travel advocates certified by Special Needs Group www.specialneedsgroup.com, the leading global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry, have unique, specialized knowledge about how to help individuals with disabilities enjoy a wonderful, hassle-free and memorable trip.
Here are a few tips from Special Needs Group to ensure that when your next travel opportunity arises, you are ready to go.
Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!