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Geography teacher who quit after 29 years is now living her dream life as a travel consultant 

Book a holiday with Julie-Anne and we have total confidence that she’ll know where every destination is located – and have the stamina to research a complex itinerary.

That’s because the Derbyshire-based consultant was a geography and PE teacher for nearly 30 years but quit in 2019 due to long hours and a desire to spend more time with her two children.

Now the boss of a successful home-based travel agency with over 200 customers, she chooses her hours, enjoys a monthly salary that is sometimes five figures and gets invited on luxury trips abroad too.

“I shouldn’t say this, but it’s like a hobby. I don’t feel like I ever go to work. I come back from leaving the children at school and I sometimes pinch myself. It just gives me freedom and flexibility. I feel like I’m living my life a little bit more.”

Julie-Anne (pictured below) is passionate about what she does and enjoys every minute that she spends working in travel.

“I absolutely love travelling and planning holidays. I put a lot of effort into researching trips and planning them as if it were my own and that’s really paid off. Most of my customers come to me as referrals.”

At the beginning, like the majority of our franchisees, Julie-Anne had never worked in travel and started from scratch with absolutely no customers. She began by telling all friends, family and acquaintances that she could tailormake their next holiday at a very competitive price – and be there to help if they needed anything during the trip.

It wasn’t long before word spread after she told everyone she met in the local community what she did. Her pilates group, netball team, her daughter’s dance school and son’s rugby club have brought her some regular clients and she is also an admin of a local small business Facebook page which has helped market the business without spending a penny. 

Every customer gets a great deal too, because they don’t pay Julie-Anne directly for her service – she gets a commission from our suppliers (typically around 10-15 per cent) and our 45-plus key trade partners give us some incredible exclusive offers. 

Franchisee Julie-Anne gets to travel a lot too

Over the last year or so she’s taken several ski trips, has visited Iceland and America, and also attended our 2023 International Mastery Retreat in Cyprus where she enjoyed staying in a luxury hotel, networking with other agents and training with our co-founders, Paul Harrison and Steve Witt.

Retreat in Cyprus

In 2022 she also joined us on another of our unique overseas mentorship retreats – our Elite Experience in Mauritius which is included in the Elite franchise package – and her feet haven’t quite touched the ground since.

The overseas trips, led by our co-founders Paul Harrison and Steve Witt, enable us to continue to train consultants and teach them entrepreneurial skills in a popular tourist destination. They are also an opportunity to get to know other consultants and build relationships.

“It was amazing. I didn’t have to pay for it as it was part of my sign-up fee. We did a lot of training but we got to see quite a lot of Mauritius and different hotels. We were so well looked after by Beachcomber (who own a handful of resorts on the island) and basically spoiled rotten. We were taken to all the nice restaurants and had a cocktail reception on the beach. It was like something you might dream about, to be honest. Since then I’ve sold quite a few Mauritius holidays because I can wax lyrical about them.”

Julie-Anne, like most of our franchisees, loves being able to bounce ideas off her business development manager, who has years of experience in the industry. We give every consultant access to one and it’s a resource most consultants say helps skyrocket their business. 

“Natalie’s my personal Business Development Manager (BDM) and she’s been amazing“.

So is her salary higher than when she was a teacher?

“Yes, definitely and I was an assistant head. It’s exciting and it allows you to lead a different life as well.”

Julie-Anne, however, does work quite a few hours and sometimes finds it difficult to find the time to devote time to marketing, such as post on Facebook.

However, with our expanded marketing and social media team creating ready-made templates and posts plus the tools to personalise videos and other campaigns, things have become easier.

Franchisee Julie-Anne

“It’s like an idiot’s guide. It’s great. I’m not really up with technology but the marketing portal guides you through things such as making a video!”

For agents like Julie-Anne who become busier than they ever expected, we’ve also set up a concierge service with a team of HQ staff who can help manage clients and various admin tasks. 

We want everyone to achieve the perfect work/life balance – and, of course, enjoy a holiday! Watch her full interview below, recorded in 2023.

Do you want your own homeworking travel agency? If you’re a teacher you could train in the school holidays! Find out how.

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