For next to nothing, you can start a home travel agency in most states. A home-based travel agency is financially and personally rewarding. However, it can be a lot of work. If you can manage time and schedules, starting a home travel agency maybe right for you. Read the information below to find out how to get started.
- Skill level:
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Fill out business license applications as required by local, state and federal agencies. (See warning below.)
Select your target market and decide which travel category to specialize in. For example, baby boomers tend to travel the most and enjoy taking cruises. Therefore, baby boomers might represent the target market while cruises represent the specialty category.
Learn as much as you can about your specialty category. Avoid taking expensive courses. Ask suppliers what type of free training they provide.
Set up a website where people can book their own flights, hotel or cruises directly from providers. Spend time online researching the best website hosting deals.
Visit the QuickBooker website and sign up for an affiliate account (see Resources below). Set up travel and hotel booking with their system directly on your website for free.
Look for travel and cruise suppliers that offer the same service as QuickBooker.
Join the National Association of Commissioned Travel Agents (NACTA) if you can afford it. They offer members a list of suppliers and training resources.
Advertise by handing out fliers and business cards. Submit your website URL to search engines. Buy magnetic signs for your vehicle or place stick-on vinyl letters with your website URL on your rear window.
Use your website to allow customers to book their own flights and to get help directly from suppliers. Provide a customer service number for questions or help with booking.
Spend most of your time advertising. Take your home-based travel agency seriously and start living the American dream.
Tips and warnings
- Currently, Hawaii, California, Nevada, Ohio, Florida and Oregon require travel agents to register with their states. Check your state requirements to avoid fines.
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