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Old 08-30-2009, 08:17 AM
 
70 posts, read 187,181 times
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I was thinking of becoming one so that I could get myself a discount as well as earn extra money on the side, because I would never travel alone. I just don't know what company I should try to join.....any takers?
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Old 08-30-2009, 10:10 AM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,043,348 times
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A good friend of mine is a travel agent. (Mine, in fact). She works from her home because everything is done on computer these days. I am sure there are different ways to go about it, but here is what she does: She frequently travels with other agents to new resorts and hotels, where they check out the facilities so they can recommend them to clients. While there the group goes on tours, excursions etc. Wherever she goes she takes her phone and a laptop in case a client calls with a problem since she is responsible to fix it. If someone misses a flight, she gets on the computer to find a new one. When the H1N1 virus broke out in Mexico she spent several frantic days rescheduling vacations for families who didn't want to go there. Personally, I wouldn't want to be "on call" all the time, but that's just me. She is pretty much an independent agent, although she works under a larger company's name. If you were in an office, you might have someone who could take your emergencies while you were away.
She doesn't make as much money as she used to. The airlines no longer pay a commission for booking with them. Lots of hotels offer free stays instead of a commission (book 7 client weeks, you get a free week). She does charge a fee for booking through her. Her husband provides the income they live on. With such access to booking information from Travelocity, Priceline, etc. many people no longer use a travel agent. Her money is basically extra for vacations and other extraneous non-necessities. I don't know if you can make a living at it. She has gotten to go to some great places on her "working" trips, but she never knows who her roommate will be (another agent).
Have you been through a travel agent training course? I would start with the companies in your area, calling to get information on how to get a job with them. I bet the larger ones have their own training courses. If not, AAA offers on-line travel agent training. Once you find out how to apply for a job, send your resume' and credentials. Do your background work first to make sure you meet their requirements. Get friendly with a local agent. They can have lots of insight on how to get your foot in the door. Randomly asking people online for a job is not likely to get results, especially in this economy. You are going to have to sell yourself. Good luck- I always like it when someone lands their "dream job"!
http://www.travelagenttrainingcenter.com/
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:52 PM
 
70 posts, read 187,181 times
Reputation: 33
You've been very helpful...I definetly will take all of this in
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Old 09-07-2009, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
850 posts, read 1,371,565 times
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There are a ton of companies out there that will train you but at a steep cost. If your on a budget, I recommend Manga Travel Manga Travel, LLC • travelforfive@gmail.com • 949-215-3443 - Her name is Kristen and she doesn't charge a large set up fee.

Another company is Dugan's Travel. She is an at home mom that started her business with travel and loves sharing her knowledge with other would be travel agents. She will guide you to training and she charges $10.00 a month to give you the right to use her credentials. There is a nominal start up fee: Become a homebased travel agent with Dugans Travels

Good luck, make sure you have another source of income coming in because unless your booking Group Cruises, it will be very hard. Most customers tend to waste your time in asking you tons of questions about this or that only to book the travel themselves.

Also, if you want to learn what is going on in the travel business check out: http://hbtanetwork.ning.com/ (free to join) its a ring of other travel agents that band together and talk about everything travel. They help one another and you learn from one another.
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