Posts Tagged With: Becoming a Travel Agent

My Journey to Becoming a Travel Agent (So Far) Part 2

Loyal readers, I know it has been 4 long months since my last blog post. I must apologize. But to be fair, a lot has happened since then that I can’t wait to tell you about! In this time my husband, Jake, and I have completely uprooted our lives, moved halfway across the country, changed careers, and are finally starting to settle in.

Now some of you are probably wondering how I managed to go from my Travel Leaders of Tomorrow program to my new-found career. The last time I had written about my travel agent journey I was only part way through the online program. So allow me to fill in the gaps. Since then I have finished my program with flying colors when I passed my TAP (travel agent proficiency) test. From there I was put in contact with MAD Travel through the Travel Leaders of Tomorrow’s program director. It started out as just talking, and allowed me to ask some questions from someone in the field. Then as I got closer to the end of my program, I reached out to MAD Travel to see if they might be interested in taking me on once I finished. They agreed to let me interview and job shadow. I did let them know in advance that it would take some time for us to pack up our lives. MAD Travel was very understanding and willing to work with me. After meeting everyone at the agency, doing the interview, job shadowing, and taking in Naples both parties were in agreement that it would be good fit.

Let me first express my utter excitement, I am officially a travel agent!!! For real, legit, have my own desk, business cards, and everything! This was the reason behind our road trip to Naples, FL. Then came the stressful part: saving, planning, and coordinating a cross-country move. It sounds about as fun as actually was… But thankfully it is behind us.

Lizards everywhere!

Lizards everywhere!

Jake has also started a new career as a Direct TV service technician (technically an independent contractor). He was hired on almost immediately a week after we moved into our apartment. He gets to play outside with the lizards and satellite dishes. Plus he will be able to set his own schedule, which will work great when we travel!

I have been with MAD Travel for just over a month now. I honestly have to say that it is been very intense! There is so much to know and to learn. The hardest part has been learning their computer system (aka Global Distributing System or GDS). It is basically learning computer code, which might as well be another language! But “to whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). As intense as it has been, it has been just as thrilling and I have learned more than I could have imagined! I have booked flights, hotels, researched Cuba a lot, learned of a place called Scrub Island, I helped book a trip that was more than I make in a year for a 6 night stay, learned about Australian E-Visas… And the list goes on! I really do love each part of it.

As for my personal travel, I have been many places in Naples of course, back to Bonita Springs for their Flamingo Flea Market, we spent a brief day in Miami, and another brief day in Marco Island. There hasn’t been much time to travel yet with our demanding careers, and settling into our new life. But I do have 2 mini work trips planned in the next few months: I will be going to Travel Leaders National Meeting at the OMNI Resort in Orlando. And in early November I will be going to Cruise World in Fort Lauderdale, which has several workshops to help me learn about cruises. The cherry on top will be that I get to do a ship inspection aboard the Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas! This will be my first time ever on a cruise ship.

Welcome to Florida

Welcome to Florida

Jake and I are still getting settled into our new lives. It is weird not really knowing anyone besides the people you work with. But it has brought he and I closer together. I know I love trying the new restaurants and finding our old favorites here! It is feeling more and more like home as we go along. Until next my fellow travelers, Безопасные путешествия (safe travels)!

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Categories: Activities, Adventure, ASTA, Becoming a Travel Agent, Bonita Springs, Cruise, Fort Lauderdale, Marco Island, Miami, Naples, Orlando, Royal Carribbean | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Road Trip Update

Being in the car with someone good looking helps! ;)

Being in the car with someone good looking helps! 😉

So Jake and I are back from Florida and settling into non-vacation life. It is difficult to return to the land of the working after such a wonderful vacation! The road trip actually took us much longer than we had initially anticipated, just under 30 hours on the way there, and around 25 hours on the way back. I suppose it was easier on the way back because we knew where we were going and what to expect. Those who have read my previous post “How to Survive a 20+ Hour Road Trip” know that I had many ideas for what to do to make this trip manageable. Some worked, while others fell flat.

The Snacks

We had chosen a specific list of snacks and drinks for good reasons, like caffeine and ones that won’t wear us down. The snacks actually were perfect for the trip and did just as we had hoped! We didn’t have to stop or be tempted by gas station snacks or drinks. We did pack some salami to go with our cheese and crackers on the way home though, that really hit the spot. So I would really recommend our snack list to anyone taking a long trip.

Went through several states.

Went through several states.

The Activities

Mostly we just listened and sang to the radio/CD’s, or just talked and laughed. The scenery didn’t really change until southern Florida. It all just looked like highway. So we HAD to keep busy in the car. Jake and I actually loved the scavenger hunt game, and played it both ways! Jake won on the way there and I won the way back. It was the best activity, and we were both very competitive with it. The bets were also a lot of fun. Jake won 3 out of 4, all but the first one to complain. As far as games, we only played the ‘would you rather’ once, and that was it for the games. The scavenger hunt and singing were enough to keep us occupied most of the time, I guess because we liked the idea of winning something.

Rest Stop in Florida!

Rest Stop in Florida!

Stopping to switch drivers fairly frequently came in very handy, every couple of hours or so, depending on when the driver got tired. After around 14 hours or so of driving we did agree to take a 2 hour sleep break for some shut eye, then pressed on. Another way to really recharge after hours on the road was stopping for a real dinner. It was great to think about something other than driving, and look at something other than the road. We didn’t touch our laptop in the car at all, because of the glare, and it was kind of awkward trying to watch a movie in the car, so it wasn’t really practical. We did however, use it in the hotel. There was free wifi, so it was great to look up directions or things to do.

The drive started out pretty strong, with Jake and I pulling our weight equally driving. While we did have a lot of fun, after 15 hours of driving, it got really challenging. It was not easy, but it was worth it. So if you are planning a long drive like this, definitely go in with realistic expectations and planning ahead really helped. I hope these posts about my trip are helpful in your own planning process. If there is something specific you are curious about, or want to tell about your own road trip, please feel free to leave a comment. And don’t worry, I will be writing more posts about my time in Florida!

Categories: Activities, Adventure, Becoming a Travel Agent, Career, Florida, Games, Travel, vacation | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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