You’ve seen all the ads on the web sites and in the back of the well known magazines “Start your own Travel Agency”.
Yes it can be done, because we did it.
HOWEVER there is more to it than paying a lot of money for a franchise and waiting for all those customers to come running to your front door.
The ads read “Start your travel agency in your home, part time, and grow it into a successful business.”
- No experience necessary.
- Book cruises right from your home.
- Travel free!
- Get all the tax benefits of owning your own business.
- No computer required.
- Travel agent ID card provided.
- Start you business at practically no cost.
- For only $499.00 you can be a travel agent!
- BUT does this really work? ABSOLUTELY NOT
Remember if it sounds to good to be true it probably is!
Here’s what it really takes:
- An Investment of your time
- Getting a computer and learning how to use it
- A willingness:
- To Travel
- Attend classes
- Do research
- Join associations supporting travel
- Spend YOUR money to grow YOUR business<
Cruise lines, tours companies and airlines will not deal with firms who have not established a record with them. Therefore you must start with someone else, often referred to as a host agency. You can work with any agency willing to work with independent contractors. We welcome people who want to work hard and become successful independent contractors.
Independent contractors do take up an agency’s time and that’s why we, as do other host agencies retain a portion of any earned commission. In return, we process travel documents, and assist you with your questions and other travel. In fact we even have a staff member dedicated to assisting our independent contractors.
To be an independent contractor and work with us, or any other agency, you must form your own company. Every state has and municipality has different requirements for starting and operating a business. Federal requirements differ depending on whether you form an S Corp, LLC, partnership or sole proprietorship. Check with your local and state authorities to make sure you are complying with the rules of operating as a travel agent. You will also need to purchase professional liability insurance (also called errors and omissions insurance).
As an independent contractor you are free to work with as many host agencies as you feel you need. If a host agency requires you to work exclusively with that agency, the line between independent contractor and employee becomes blurred. It is to your benefit to have your attorney review any contract between yourself and a host agency.
To sell any travel products you need to try them and judge their value and quality. You will also have to go to trade shows that offer tours of cruise ships. At trade shows you will have the opportunity to learn more about the various suppliers of travel and actually meet and talk to their representatives. The more you deal with suppliers and sell their products, the more help they will give you in the form of training and familiarization trips. These trade shows and trips do cost money and require your time commitment.
Obviously you can’t know everything about every place, so pick an area within travel that you like and start there. It is better to focus on one type of travel and know it well. Take specialist training classes; many are offered free of charge by tourist bureaus and suppliers. You will sell much more in the long run.
So, are you prepared to invest your time and money?
We also recommend that you use the Internet to drive sales to your site and help increase your profits. We are so sure the Internet can help you, we wrote two books on how to do it. It’s not that difficult or expensive, IF YOU DO IT YOURSELF.
In Summary: Work with an agency which will help you learn the business, before you go it on your own.
If you would like to work with us, email us at travel[at]onlywaytotravel.com to discuss working as an independent contractor.
This could be your opportunity to get started in the travel business.