How To Become A Travel Agent From Home (A Brilliant No-Fail Guide )
Do you want to know how to become a travel agent from home?
Are you meticulous, organized, and a great planner? Have you got an eye for sweet deals and packages? Do you enjoy planning out every little detail in your itinerary when you go on holiday?
If you’ve said yes to any of those questions, then you’ve got what it takes to be a travel agent. 🙂
I know you’re picturing being stuck behind a cubicle in a tiny office but it’s 2020! That is a reality no more. In this article, I’ll show you how to become a home travel agent.
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What is a Travel Agent?
You might think that working as a travel agent in today’s day and age might seem a little outdated, but in reality, a lot of people still prefer to work with travel agents.
Because, let’s be real, traveling is fun but the planning can be a bit of a headache.
Travel agents are experienced travel coordinators that have the time and connections to help stressed travelers save time and money.
Planning a trip can be both complicated and time-consuming. As a travel agent, you simplify this process by providing consultations and giving your customers a range of packages for their journey.
A travel agent can also save you money by finding you all the best deals!!
Sounds like a pretty sweet job to me, you get to help people and fuel your passion for travel.
Benefits of working as a travel agent?
You will not believe the huge number of benefits of working as a travel agent. This list alone will make you want to learn how to become a travel agent from home.
Are you a social butterfly always looking for an opportunity to make a business connection? The travel industry is all about networking. As a travel agent, you’ll find yourself mingling with representatives from the travel sector, airlines, hotels, resorts, and cruise lines.
Did someone say free cruise and airline upgrades …..?
Travel agents get great discounts on flights and hotels. A great way to make your travel cheaper too.
- All expenses paid trips
If you are a renowned travel agent, you will be offered all-expenses-paid trips by hotels, airlines, and government tourism sectors to sell their services and destination to your customer and help a hotel chain, airline, or nation increase their revenue.
- Paid to travel
As a travel agent, you need to know the best places, hotels, activities, and gems in the country you’re planning to send your customers.
How can you do that if you’ve never been there? Part of being a travel agent means that you need to take work trips known as ‘fam trips’ or familiarization trips.
This is when you travel to a country to explore the best accommodations, restaurants, activity providers, etc. You need to know the ins and outs of that place.
Sign me up now please!
- Tax benefits
This one is a treat for all you hard-working taxpayers that are looking to save money.
All those travel expenses you have?
Well, you can deduct them on your taxes as part of your business. Things like advertising and costs related to your clients can also be deducted.
This comes with being a digital nomad! But travel agents can move anywhere in the world and work remotely or at other travel agencies.
What are the tasks of a home travel agent ?
Before we get into the ‘how?’ in how to become a home travel agent, let me first tell you the tasks you will be doing as a travel agent.
Here’s the breakdown:
You’ll be responsible for finding the best accommodations, planning the trip, and making the bookings. This is great for someone who is efficient, has excellent communication skills, and doesn’t mind being strapped to the computer.
How much can you earn as a travel agent ?
You might be wondering how much you can earn as a travel agent.
If you learn how to become a travel agent from home, you could be earning some big bucks.
According to Cosmopolitan, agents in the US can make anywhere from $50K $100K on the low end and up to $250K to $500K annually.
A large portion of your salary comes from commission. So if you’re a great salesperson, this is the job for you.
Traditionally, when you work as an in-house travel agent with a travel agency, you have a base salary and a commission split. This varies with agencies. As an independent agent working from home, you keep your commission but lose the base salary.
How To Become A Travel Agent From Home– Getting Started
Now, this brings us to our next question: how to become a travel agent without experience?
Here’s some great news, technically anyone can work in this field.
But how to become a home travel agent, you ask? All you need is a basic home office and you can get started with a host agency.
Things you need for your home office:
- A computer
- Stable internet connection
Working as a travel agent from home means you’ll be your own boss and you are a business owner. To help boost your business, I recommend you set up a website and get a bit of training.
Depending on where you are in the world, some countries and states may need you to be certified.
However, I know we all want to cut costs, and I know you want to learn how to become a travel agent from home for free:
AARC offers extensive, free online training that provides everything you need to learn how to become a Travel Advisor and operate your own online travel agency business, including:
- your own website
- the marketing secret to finding clients online for your new business
- all the insider secrets that Travel Advisors use to obtain reduced rates for their clients when booking cruises and vacation packages
Working independently VS working for a host
When learning how to become a travel agent at home, there is a difference when working independently or when you work for a host agency.
Working independently as a travel agent
- Certificate/licenses needed:
Home-based travel agents may need a certificate or license to run their business. This varies from country to country and state. So make sure you’re aware of the requirements in your country.
In Singapore for instance, travel agents are required to apply for a license with ACRA and comply with the Travel Agent Act.
In India, one simply has to register your business with the government. In the UK you need to apply for a license and comply with EU travel laws, while in the Netherlands, you don’t require any permits or licenses.
The US is a bit tricky as the requirements differ from state to state.There are different requirements to sell travel depending on where you live, if you’re an employee at an agency, affiliated with a host agency or an independent travel agent based from home.
Have a quick google to find out which certificate you need.
If you work as an independent agent, you’ll need your own insurance. If you make a mistake in your clients’ itinerary, you’re liable.
Make sure you’re protected with an Errors & Omissions insurance (E&O) if you’re in the US.
This cost varies depending on your insurance provider, but this basically means if you accidentally screw something up, you don’t have to pay out of pocket for the cost of the mistake.
European business owners usually have liability insurance included in a package.
HOW to work as a travel agent independently
Let’s get into the ‘how’ in how to become a travel agent at home.
Here’s a checklist for those of you considering working as an independent travel agent
How to become an independent travel agent:
- If you work independently as a travel agent, you’ll need to choose a name for your business.
- Consider starting a blog or website.
- Find clients.
Working with a host agency as a travel agent:
If you want to be a home-based travel agent but aren’t too fond of branching out on your own or like having a support team, working for a host agency may be right for you.
There are a few things you need to be aware of:
- Adhere to company conduct
While working with a host company, you’ll be considered a contractor and will be affiliated with the host agency.
Some host agencies will ask for payment, but most are free.
Working with a host agency means training. Note: you may have to pay for this training yourself.
You typically have a support team you can contact as you learn and work with clients.
How to work as a travel agent with a host
If you’re just beginning as a home based travel agent, a host company is great because it offers oversight, connections, and the platform for you to build a rapport for yourself.
Take Dream Vacation Franchise, for instance.
By joining a host agency like theirs, you get to know how to become a travel agent from home in three simple steps:
- Apply online at Dream Vacations Franchise.
- Pay a one-time initial franchise fee.
- Complete the 6-day certification course
What to look for when choosing a host agency
- Know what you want:
The host agency you choose should highlight your strengths and compensate for your weakness.
- Research the host company:
As an independent agent, you’re the one that makes the choice as to which agency you join. You’re interviewing them, not the other way around. Make sure you read up on the host agency; see how they treat employees. Find agents that are working there or have worked there and ask them about their time there.
- Commission isn’t everything:
The best host agency is not necessarily the one that offers the best commission split. Look for a host company that offers the best value instead.
When you’re learning how to become a travel agent from home, keep in mind that the best host agency for you is the one that shows you the tools and gives you the knowledge you need to maximize the success of your business.
Best travel agent hosts/ sites
Here is a list of the best travel agency to work for from home:
Tips to Succeed as Home Based Travel Agent
Now that you know how to become a travel agent from home, I’m going to share a few tips with you, so you also know how to be a successful travel agent from home.
Earlier on, I told you anyone can become a travel agent, but there’s a difference between the agents making the average and the ones earning at the top tier. Here are some tips for you to succeed as a home-based travel agent:
- It’s all about customer service
Details matter. It’s easy to put someone in a beautiful room with a view, but if you remember why they’re on that trip in the first place, you can enhance their trip tenfold.
For example, let’s say they’re there for their anniversary and you make an arrangement with the hotel management to ensure that a bottle of their favorite champagne and a picture from their wedding day is in that room with them, those are the things that matter and will get you repeat customers plus referrals.
- Know your clients.
Think of it like dating: anticipate what your clients want and deliver it to them before they ask for it.
- Find your niche
Developing a niche is essential. It isn’t realistic to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the whole world, and being a jack of all trades is fine and dandy, but the most successful travel agents are the ones that are specialized.
Choose something you love, is cruises? African safaris? Romantic destinations? Disneyland?
Actually, now I think about it, why not become a travel agent for Disney?
Imagine that, being a travel agent for Disney. All you need to do is sign up and complete the training, and voila, you’re a Disney travel agent!
Things to be aware of when working as a home based travel agent:
My job here would not be complete if I didn’t tell you some of the things you need to be aware of. It isn’t all roses and sunshine folks, it is good to start with a healthy dose realism.
Now that you know how to become a home-based travel agent, here are a few things you should keep in mind before you become a home-based travel agent:
- Market instability
Like many other industries, the travel industry can be unstable due to the economy, global ties, weather-related disasters, and many other factors.
I mean, look at what the coronavirus did to us this year. Travel isn’t a necessity, so it’s usually the first thing people cut back on when they’re watching their finances.
- Being on call 24/7/365
Travel agents are not joking about the “365” part of the job. Holidays are a stressful time for travel agents, so you might want to book your holidays in the off season because you’ll have all your clients to keep up with during the holiday season.
- Needy clients
This is a given, some clients will happily walk away with their itinerary, and some may have you on speed dial. Regular business hours are out the window in this field.
As a travel agent, you’re responsible for any queries or issues your clients may have. This means contact at all times, no matter what time zone you’re in.
Alright my lovely readers (You, yeah YOU, are lovely !). I’ve armed you with all the information you need in order to know how to become a travel agent from home.
A career as a travel agent can make you rich in more ways than one. Monetarily being one of them. But think about all the other ways this job in enriching:
- You get to see the world and travel as a part of your job.
- Experience new cultures and cuisines.
- Meet and connect with people from all over the world.
- You get to help so many people make memorable trips.
And maybe you get to check some things off of your bucket list along the way. So, what are you waiting for?
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