Google has all the answers out there for you (somewhere), but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a site that linked to resources for those looking to become a home based travel agent? I thought so too!
We’ve got two sets of readers here:
- Experienced travel agents – I know just the thing for you. Check out our calendar of industry events and make sure to read our education and marketing articles to help you grow your home based travel agency even more!
- New travel agents – If you’re looking to become a home based travel agent, you came to the right place! You’ll find our travel agent basics (there are multiple pages so make sure to click the ‘older entries’ button!) will give you the ‘big picture’ on how things work – a super important foundation. After that, we’ve got a host agency list (with over 600 agent reviews) for you to peruse. Speaking of…
Four Steps to Finding the Perfect Host Travel Agency
We’ve helped a LOT of home based travel agents find a host agency. We also answer a lot of the same questions because, as it turns out, most new home based travel agents feel confused, frustrated, and unsure of where to start or how to find a good host agency!
If that’s you, this video guides you through the questions you need to be asking yourself in order to narrow down your host agency options. You’ll also want to check out the Finding the Best Host Agency article for some more tips.
And after watching the video, we’ve created a spreadsheet to help you compare host agencies. You can download it below:
Home Based Travel Agent Newsletter & Popular Articles
We write some seriously in-depth articles to help out newbie and veteran home based travel agents. Check out our blog posts and join 6,500 other subscribers signed up for our newsletter to have articles written just for home based travel agents delivered straight to your inbox!
Some of our most popular articles:
- A Travel Agent Career – No, It’s not an Oxymoron
- How Do Travel Agents Make Money?
- Explaining Travel Agent Commissions
- How Much Do Travel Agents Make?
READY TO GET STARTED
- Starting a Travel Agency from Home
- 6 Tips for Choosing Your Travel Agency Name
- Finding a Travel Niche: A Step by Step Guide
- The $100 Travel Agency Marketing Plan [VIDEO]
ADVICE ON CHOOSING A HOST
- List of Lawyers Specializing in the Travel Industry
- Do you Need a Travel Agent License?
- Travel Waivers: Protecting Your Home Based Travel Agency (Free Samples & Downloads)
- How to Protect Your Agency from Credit Card Fraud
- Do You Need E&O Insurance?
If you’re finding this page of resources useful, we’d love it if you gave it a like, tweet, or +1 – it really helps us out!
Important Travel Trade Associations for a Home Based Travel Agent
While there are many benefits a host agency passes down to you, membership to certain organizations isn’t included. Your host may belong to them but that doesn’t mean you do. Many of the travel industry associations have continuing education, events, and networking opportunities for home based travel agents that will help take your travel agency to the next level. We’ve created a list of the travel industry associations for you to explore.
- ACTA – Association of Canadian Travel Agents
- ARTA – Association of Retail Travel Agents
- ASTA – American Society of Travel Agents
- ATTA – Adventure Travel Trade Association
- CLIA – Cruise Lines International Association
- IGLTA – International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association
- NACTA* – National Association of Career Travel Agents
- OSSN* – Outside Sales and Support Network
- TPOC – Travel Professionals of Color
* These associations are focused solely on the needs of the home based travel agent.
These are not travel-specific organization, but hold value none-the-less. Here are some outside resources we think every home based travel agent should be familiar with:
If you have questions on state, federal, and local legalities for starting up your home based travel business and aren’t sure who to turn to, this is a great place to start. Beyond legalities, they also have great programs available for mentoring and supporting small business owners.
>> Find the local SBA office nearest you to setup an appointment.
A non-profit dedicated to helping small businesses. Mentoring, use of business tools such as Business Plan Pro, free legal counseling, and more. If you’re struggling on where to start in terms of setting up your home based travel business, stop in at your local SCORE branch.
>> Find the local SCORE office nearest you to setup an appointment.
While you can choose to be completely independent, many home based travel agents choose to align themselves with a host agency. If you’re a home based travel agent, you should be aware of PATH. PATH was set up by host agencies to establish a code of ethics and performance standards for hosts. Not all hosts belong to PATH but if they do, you know they have at least met these basic requirements. We’re fans because when we worked at a PATH host agency, the best practices shared and the discussions on home based travel agent and host issues were invaluable to helping us become a better host agency.
>> A list of host agencies that are members of PATH.
Training and Continuing Education Opportunities
The industry abounds with training and educational opportunities. Nearly every vendor has their own training programs to help travel agents learn their product (Disney, Carnival Cruise, etc.).
The list below does not include vendor specific trainings but highlights a few sites where you can pick up some knowledge.
- Travel Agent Chatter – Our Google+ Community for Travel Agents – area for newbie questions, business questions, destination questions, and more! For both experienced and new agents.
- Cruise Radio – Podcast with cruise news and live ship broadcasts.
- IC Travel Agent – E-magazine focused on marketing for home based agents.
- The Travel Institute – Offers CTA, CTC, CTIE certifications and industry trainings.
- The Home Based Travel Agent Show – A podcast for home based travel agents.
- Travel Agent Revolution – Portal of travel agent resources, trainings, & coaching.
- Travel Industry Dictionary – Your ally in the fight against industry acronyms and more!
- Travel Industry Events Calendar – We have all the industry events for travel agents in one handy calendar.
Book Recommendations for Your Home Based Travel Business
A list of books I’ve read and think would either help you with starting up your home based travel business, marketing it, or succeeding in the travel industry.
While helpful anytime, I’d suggest this book before you jump into things so you can create your agency with the right frame of mind. Bigger isn’t always better and this book will guide you through what type of business you want and what type of business will work with your lifestyle. For many, you’ll never work as hard as you do for yourself so make sure it’s an enjoyable ride!
I highly recommend this for one simple reason. While you may love to travel and researching trips, it’s important to remember being a home based travel agent is more than just traveling and researching. There is bookkeeping, marketing, managing, sales, and more. This book helps you prepare for running a business and how to make sure it can run without you – something many home based travel agents forget. My two cents: The author is a little cheesy at times but it’s easy enough to skim over.
Thems are big claims, I’ll be the first to admit. But, I’m telling you, it really is the best book for low cost, effective marketing ideas. For any new business owner, getting the word out is the toughest part and what Duct Tape Marketing does is give you loads of easy to implement ideas. I suggest picking it up every 6 months of so and finding some fresh ideas and remind you to evaluate how your current marketing is going. Me gusta this book. Mucho.