WAUKESHA – A Waukesha woman decided to pursue a new path, which included going into business for herself.
Emily Schultz, the owner of Magic Mom Travel, launched her agency in June.
Previously, she worked as a travel agent for seven years, serving the southeast Wisconsin area. Schultz enjoyed building new relationships by securing vacations for clients.
“After seven years, I was doing things on my own. I had my clientele and it was fine,” Schultz said.
She then made the decision to launch Magic Mom Travel.
Schultz specializes in Disney and Universal Studio destinations. She also books cruises, trips to Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.
Before entering the travel planning industry, Schultz was a hairstylist. She was going to Disney World all the time and soon people were looking to her for help with travel plans.
“I love going there and my friends came all the time to ask me for advice. I was helping them plan their trips, but I was not working with an agency,” she said. After a while, she felt she should do this professionally.
Schultz credits the Waukesha Small Business Association for helping start Magic Mom Travel.
“They helped me a lot to settle in. It can be overwhelming. Having them there is very reassuring,” she says.
She enjoys meeting new families and her goal is to build more relationships while growing her business.
Advice from a travel agency
Schultz encourages people to try travel agents like her. There is a myth that travel agents are very expensive and seek to entice people to spend more.
“When there are new promotions, I review each reservation to see if I can find one that suits me,” she said.
For her clients, she insists on a consultation call first. She said it gives potential customers a sense of her personality and gives her a better idea of the trip they want to take.
“My experience and attention to detail can help you save time, money and hassle.
“I have served the southeast Wisconsin area for many years and have enjoyed building new relationships through my clients’ dream vacations,” she said.
Schultz said she finds many people prefer travel agents to third-party online travel bookings. Often there are benefits that a travel agent may know about or special offers that other places like third-party sites may not know about or have access to. A travel agent knows the fees a resort may charge.
“There’s a ton of information online and it can be overwhelming when you search Mexico and get 1,200 hotels,” she said.
A travel agent also knows how to filter out hotels that aren’t great. Schultz said she can tell customers which hotels are recommended.
A travel agent helps customers narrow down the list and which ones are best for the customer and their family, she said.
During the pandemic, some third-party sites weren’t as reliable at getting refunds from customers, according to Schultz.
“Anyone who booked through a travel agent was more protected and had someone to advocate for them,” Schultz said.
She said she’s noticed an increase in people booking through travel agents.
“It’s not just because someone will stand up for you, but also do the dirty work of being on the phone for hours,” Schultz said.
The mom and travel agency dealt with recent news about flight cancellations due to pilot shortages and other factors.
“It’s hard to reach the airlines because they’re understaffed. It’s long wait times. I’m really pushing travel insurance,” Schultz said.
Travel insurance wasn’t something pushed on vacation packages until the pandemic began. “It gives that peace of mind when people are traveling if their flight is delayed or need reimbursement on rental cars if they have to drive there,” she said.
Travel insurance has helped her assist clients with travel headaches and helps clients in their situations.
A travel agent will also keep up to date with travel restrictions and what is changing. This is especially useful for people booking cruises as there are constantly changing rules and regulations.
Schultz said his customers also ask about coronavirus vaccines and mask mandates.
“I wouldn’t say it influences people one way or the other. A lot of people really want to get out,” she said.
For more information https://magicmomtravel.com.