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Top_Tips_For_Becoming__A_Home_Based_Travel_Agent

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					Title:
Top Tips For Becoming   A Home Based Travel Agent

Word Count:
1253

Summary:
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 yoursel...


Keywords:
Home Based Business,Internet Business,YTB,wealth building,make money
online,entrepreneur


Article Body:
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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posted:4/26/2010
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