Top Tips For Becoming A Home Based Travel Agent

Top Tips For Becoming A Home Based Travel Agent



Of all the​ home-based business possibilities,​ it’s hard to​ imagine one that’s more fun or​ potentially profitable than operating a​ home-based travel agency.

Not only do you​ get the​ enjoyment of​ sending people off on​ their dream vacation,​ but you​ earn a​ good commission for selling services that you​ do not have to​ actually provide yourself. What could be better than that?

If you’d like to​ become a​ home-based travel agent,​ and enjoy discounted or​ even free trips for yourself as​ well,​ then the​ following “Top Tips For Becoming a​ Home Based Travel Agent” will get you​ started in​ the​ right direction.

1. Affiliate with a​ legitimate host agency that has all of​ the​ required certifications.

The most successful home-based travel agents are independent contractors who work with a​ host agency. you​ use the​ host agency’s resources and established relationships to​ tap into their network of​ travel vendors and suppliers. It’s important that your host agency has the​ proper industry credentials and that they have a​ program in​ place that allows you​ to​ use those credentials in​ order to​ establish yourself as​ a​ legitimate travel agency.

As a​ home based travel agent you​ need certain credentials like the​ CLIA card. CLIA stands for the​ Cruise Line Industry Association. This industry-recognized credential allows you​ special agent rates on​ discounted cruises and offers a​ whole array of​ benefits to​ you​ and your customer.

To be recognized as​ a​ travel agency most host agencies are usually bonded and accredited through ARC/IATAN. ARC was established by the​ travel industry to​ provide prompt,​ efficient,​ and secure distribution and settlement of​ travel purchased in​ the​ U.S. IATAN-International Airlines Travel Agent Network endorses travel agents and provides the​ IATAN ID card,​ which identifies you​ as​ a​ U.S.- based travel sales professional.

If you​ are considering working with a​ host agency that doesn’t provide you​ with their IATAN/ARC number,​ and other required credentials,​ move on​ and select one that does.

2. Choose a​ host travel agency that provides comprehensive training

Even though you​ are an​ independent home-based travel agent,​ you​ still need professional quality training so you​ know how to​ operate in​ the​ travel industry as​ well as​ what you​ are and are not allowed to​ do.

Getting up-to-date on​ the​ best places to​ travel,​ tourism trends,​ and how to​ fulfill the​ needs of​ your customer is​ vital to​ your travel business. you​ want to​ choose a​ host travel agency that offers comprehensive training and courses on​ various travel services,​ products,​ marketing,​ etc.

For some host agencies,​ taking a​ course or​ training is​ necessary in​ order to​ be eligible for certain travel credentials. And,​ although it​ is​ not required to​ book travel,​ your job will go much easier and you’ll develop more repeat business,​ if​ you​ are well-trained and well-informed.

3. Choose a​ host travel agency that will help you​ promote your business.

Don’t choose a​ travel company that does not offer some assistance with marketing your travel business. the​ best ones will offer a​ turn-key website or​ online booking engine for your clients to​ use when booking their travel.

Even better are the​ travel companies that also provide you​ with automated marketing tools such as​ auto responders to​ handle email campaigns and promotions.

You’ll save money,​ and gain more customers,​ if​ you​ partner up with a​ host travel agency that provides ready-made templates to​ print business cards,​ postcards,​ flyers,​ etc. These are all the​ tools in​ your marketing arsenal that will help you​ get the​ word out about your home-based travel business.

4. Choose a​ host travel agency that handles ALL of​ the​ travel details for you.

Most host agencies handle all the​ booking and routine travel details for your clients,​ but what happens if​ a​ name is​ misspelled on​ a​ plane ticket or​ your customer wants a​ refund? Find out what type of​ customer support is​ available and read their policies carefully before you​ sign on​ as​ a​ home-based travel agent.

At a​ minimum,​ look for:

· How long your host agency has been in​ business and if​ they are reputable.
· 24/7 telephone support,​ not just e-mail or​ web-based.
· Clear and easy-to-understand refund and cancellation policies.
· a​ track record of​ speedy resolution to​ customer service issues.

5. Choose a​ host travel agency with a​ fair commission policy.

Notice that money is​ not mentioned as​ the​ #1 thing to​ look for when you’re choosing a​ host travel agency. Sure,​ the​ commission is​ important; it’s how you​ get paid. But the​ best commission policy in​ the​ world does you​ no good if​ the​ host travel company that you​ choose to​ partner with is​ not aboveboard and honest.

Once you​ have found a​ travel company that meet the​ requirements of​ items 1-4,​ it’s time to​ check their commission policy. Here’s what to​ look for:

· Make sure that you​ know exactly how much commission you​ earn on​ every travel product you​ offer through your host agency. Be sure to​ find out if​ you​ earn commissions for add-on sales like trip cancellation insurance or​ lost luggage insurance. the​ best host travel agency partners pay you​ a​ piece of​ everything you​ sell.

· Be sure you​ know what their commission chargeback policy is​ when a​ client cancels a​ trip or​ seeks a​ refund.

· Find out at​ which point your commission actually gets locked in. is​ it​ when the​ sale is​ made; when the​ client debarks on​ their trip,​ or​ when they return?

· Find out how long it​ takes to​ get paid. Some agencies pay Net 30,​ some pay longer. Whatever the​ payment period is,​ make sure you​ can live with it.

6. Choose a​ host travel agency with the​ best perks for you

The opportunity to​ go on​ a​ FAM trip is​ the​ most appealing benefit to​ travel agents. FAM trips are short for ‘familiarization trips’. These are special trips specifically for the​ travel agent. These trips are offered by hotels,​ cruise lines,​ convention and visitor bureaus,​ and tour companies.

The intent of​ the​ trip is​ to​ familiarize the​ agent with the​ product or​ service so that they can then sell the​ service or​ product to​ their clients. By experiencing the​ product,​ agents can sell it​ more effectively.

These trips are either totally free or​ have a​ small cost involved to​ cover the​ expense of​ the​ trip. These FAM trips are offered at​ a​ huge discount compared to​ what it​ would cost to​ the​ average consumer. if​ your host agency doesn’t offer FAM trips,​ you​ should think about finding one that does.

Also,​ since you​ will be working out of​ home and on​ your own,​ medical insurance plans or​ group coverage plans are sometimes offered. Check to​ see if​ the​ agency you​ are considering has a​ group plan that you​ can buy into. Group plans are usually less expensive than buying medical insurance on​ your own.

Some final thoughts

Owning your own travel business means you​ can take advantage of​ many tax breaks. Deductions are allowed for you​ initial investment,​ home office expenses,​ cell phone and land lines,​ automobile,​ computer,​ fax machine,​ insurance,​ and other equipment. in​ addition,​ when you​ travel anywhere in​ the​ world,​ it's a​ business expense!

Overall,​ becoming a​ home-based travel agent has some major perks and benefits. the​ important thing is​ to​ find a​ good host agency and become familiar with your product so that you​ can offer the​ best travel experience for your customers. Doing this will keeps a​ consistent flow of​ repeat and new business coming your way.

Good luck and Bon Voyage!




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