- Chelsea Guffy recently started a side hustle as a travel agent specializing in Disney vacations.
- “I thought to myself, ‘Okay, this could be really cool,'” Guffy said when a friend she helped advise on a Disney vacation suggested she make it a job.
- This is the story of Chelsea Guffy, as told to writer Jamie Killin.
This is a spoken essay based on a conversation with Chelsea Guffy, who recently started a side hustle as a travel agent specializing in Disney vacations. it it has been edited for length and clarity.
Last year, I noticed on social media that one of my family sisters had started working as a travel agent on many Disney vacations and working for a travel agency called ET Family Travel.
I had a Disney vacation that November and had already booked everything, but I had asked her if she could make dining reservations for me because they are the hardest thing to get at Disney World, and she declined. agreed. She helped me get all the dining reservations I wanted.
Then she said to me, “Chelsea, you know Disney inside and out. You should come in as an agent.” So, I thought about it, and come the new year, I thought to myself, “Okay, this could be something very interesting.” I joined the team and fell in love with it.
Traveling is just in my blood, and I love booking 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.
The first time I went, I was maybe three weeks old. I’ve always had a love for travel – I studied abroad in college, and growing up, my family took trips at least once a year to different places around the country.
Traveling is just in my blood and I love booking holidays for my family so I wouldn’t want to do it for other people.
The agency I work for focuses on Disney and family friendly travel, so most agents focus on park vacations. However, we do all kinds of travel. At first I focused mainly on Disney, but then I got requests from my friends, so I decided to branch out.
I did a trip to the UK for a friend of mine in June, and now I’m doing another trip to the UK as well as a trip to New York. I have also helped with trips to California and even stays.
My clientele is mostly my friends and people in my network, but now I’ve had two clients I didn’t know before – one contacted me through my social networks and the other was a referral through 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 even 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 give my clients as much time as possible – 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 makes money on commissions from theme parks and hotels. The amount of time I spend at work varies, but I average 12 to 15 hours a week in addition to my full-time job. I start as soon as my son goes to bed so 7.30pm and 10pm are prime.
I also get perks like free Disney tickets and hotel discounts. I have to meet a certain commission within a year to qualify for some benefits. One of these is the CLIA card, which is focused on cruise travel and once you’ve met their commission minimums, you can get special travel agent rates. For example, there are Disney cruises this October that will be available for around $20 per person per night.
I look forward to having access to those benefits.