Career Management

Career Management


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Home Based Travel Agency

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There are two types of candidates who can earn money as a home based travel agency owner/operator. The first group consists of experienced travel agents who have decided to pursue the lifestyle change that comes with managing one's own business. The second includes those who may or may not have some sales experience and who want to explore the option of working from home in one of the largest industries in the United States.

Online Options

As with so many other career options today, there are hundreds of websites offering information about becoming a home based travel agent. The problem is that some of these sites do not comply with state or federal regulations. Others promise outrageous success but do not provide their students with the appropriate levels of training. Potential agents should compare several training courses, including local and online options. Be sure to determine whether the courses being considered are accepted for licensing in your state. A nationally accredited school is a good choice.

Because of this, the key to becoming a successful home based travel agent is research up front. This includes finding out whether your state or local government requires a certain level of education, internship, and experience before you can begin your home based career. Some states may require that you pass an exam prior to licensing, and operating without a license in those states can cost you thousands of dollars in fines.

Home Based Travel Organizations

One of the most important associations a home based travel agent should have is with an agency that offers trip protection to your customers. Without that protection, if there is a problem with a trip, the travel agent can lose money as well as customers. Finding a trip protection company up front can help the agent avoid costly refunds or losses.

While experienced agents may not need to take additional courses online, it is always a good idea when starting your own business to get as much information as you can about the current state of the field and area in which you plan to operate. This means doing and understanding the research about any applicable local laws and requirements, knowledge of taxes, and a keen understanding of the market.

Getting Started the Right Way

For novices, a good online course of study will provide substantial study on what a travel agent needs to know, how to establish a new business, and how to deal with state and local governmental issues. The courses should be geared to Internet operations because, even established travel agencies conduct the majority of their business by phone and online. Knowledge of how travel agents book with and get the best deals from airlines is also critical.

Some of the courses should include: how to use computerized reservation systems, how to understand and sell vacation packages, how to know which world destinations are the most popular, how to get the lowest rates for your customers, and how to get your business off the ground. Agents should also seek comprehensive knowledge about travel insurance.

A solid, comprehensive program will take some time to complete, up to six to nine months. Some of this time will be spent learning about the culture and key points of interest about the locations to which your customers will be traveling. Be sure to check out the school's accreditation before you begin and before you pay for the courses. As part of the process, you will also learn about the travel discounts afforded to travel agents, so that seeing the world will be part of the fun.

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