A day in the life of a travel planner

Waking up this morning, I had every intention of finally working on the May 2016 blog for late spring travelers, but today has just been one of those bad days where nothing seems to be going right. If you’re a regular reader of my blogs, you’ll know that both Dawn and I typically keep it pretty travel focused and don’t do a ton of insight into personal lives of our families. Today I need a bit of an outlet after a rough few weeks! We’ve been renovating our kitchen since 4th of July weekend. It’s been coming close to having everything done but after a few set backs we’re still waiting on the final pieces until we can truly say its done. Like all big home projects, they cost more than we expected it to. Any homeowner can attest to that statement whether you have someone help you with the project or are a big DIY-ers!

I digress. I’ve gotten an influx of requests from friends, family, and even previous guests about what I do and how to get into it lately, so I figure now is a good of a time as any to explain what a day in my shoes looks like.

Depending on the day I’m either awake at 4:55 am to book dining for guests that are reaching their 180 day mark or I get to “sleep in” until about 6:30 when my daughter comes running into the room yelling “HI MOMMY! UP PLEASE!!” Whenever I get up, I check email, respond to as much as humanly possible and then get up with her. We eat breakfast, play a bit and sometimes I get a shower in! Sometimes I don’t because a barrage of emails come in and I have fires to put out.

We use the mornings to play outside, run errands – Target, grocery store, an occasional trip to the zoo and then come back home for lunch. After lunch for both of us, it’s a little time to snuggle (while I check email from my phone and I try to clean up any toddler toy explosions that happened that morning) and then off for her nap time. Some days I think about a nap for myself but typically I have too much on the to do list like laundry, cleaning up the house, dishes, and just keeping up with client emails and requests pretty much takes up all the time while she’s napping.

Most of the sometimes 2 hours or less I get of toddler free time is spent making phone calls to Disney – room requests, making sure multiple parties are put together in the resort, adding flight information for Magical Express, and fixing IT issues that come up. Sometimes there are holds and wait times and sometimes I get lucky since I’m calling toward the middle of the day when the part timers are at work.

After my work time is over and the toddler alarm sounds, it’s time to play again and for snack time. If it’s nice outside we play in the sand, take a walk, swim in her little toddler pool, etc. If it’s crummy or super hot, we stay inside and chase after our 2 dogs in the house. Then it’s time to make dinner which is difficulty with a picky toddler who doesn’t really eat anything right now. Thankfully daddy is home from work so he can play a little bit while I catch up on a few more emails or answer a phone call. I try and have some evening time to chat with people who work full time.

After bath and bed time, it’s back to work for me and I typically work from 8-10 pm each night working on paperwork, itineraries for guests traveling in the next few weeks, answering any additional emails, and prepping for the next days events (whether it’s FastPass selecting or dining).

If I’m lucky, a FastPass and dining date won’t be on the same day – those days are long! Up at 5 am and staying awake past 11 pm. If I’m even luckier, I’ll be able to get that Be Our Guest dinner the dining guest wants and the Anna & Elsa meet and greet the FastPass guest is hoping for. Sometimes that doesn’t always work out and I have to send emails that disappoints both the adults and the kids in the party which is the my least favorite part about what I do.

I don’t say any of this to make you feel sorry for me for the job that I do. I truly love what I do and I’m so happy I get to call this “work”. At the same time, it’s not as glamorous as it seems from the outside. Yes I get to talk about Disney a lot, but on the same side, I don’t really get days off. I deal with constant issues with Disney’s online system.It always seems to be something – dining isn’t available at 6 am eastern on the dot, the system crashes right before FastPass time, My Disney Experience won’t let me log in, the travel agent web site isn’t searching and Stitch ate the page AGAIN. It’s those little things that I save guests from on a daily basis – the unspoken, unwritten pieces of the puzzle that make the difference because the guest hopefully sees a seamless plan put into place based on their specific requests. I think every job I’ve had is like this. The unwritten, unnoticed stuff are the things that make the biggest difference and it’s only noticed when it doesn’t happen anymore. My old coworkers can attest to that (in fact, one of them is a current guest as well so he knows very well that the work ethic from my previous job has made it to this one).

I really do love what I do. I’m thankful every day that I get to play with my daughter and laugh with her and enjoy life at home. I’m thankful that I can work in my PJs and stay home when it’s snowing or freezing outside. I’m thankful I get to watch her grow from a baby to a little girl and that’s what is really important in life. My trivial trials and tribulations well come and go and Disney’s web glitches will as well. Problems from Monday are essentially a thing of the past.

Thanks to everyone who has trusted me with their family memories and vacation dreams. I do work hard to make sure you have a magical vacation but don’t sweat the small stuff. You’ll still have a great vacation even if you can’t eat dinner at Be Our Guest or meet Anna & Elsa with a FastPass. The family is what’s truly important.

This kind of morphed into a random blabbering of my emotions, but I’m still going to hit the post button because family, Disney and life are all important to me! Thanks for reading and going on my little emotional roller coaster today!

2 thoughts on “A day in the life of a travel planner

  1. You are so appreciated! Your days definitely sound so tiring, but you have such a positive outlook and in working with you, I can tell that you genuinely love what you do! Thanks for this small glimpse into your daily life and thanks for all that you do!

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