Former Healthcare Executives Live in Vacation State of Mind with Cruises Inc.
Melissa Vega and Frank Heyliger are former healthcare executives, she as a contract negotiator and he as an actuary and underwriter. After being downsized, Melissa knew she wanted to pursue a career in an industry she was passionate about and earned a degree as a Certified Pastry Culinarian from the Art Institute of Houston, and owned her own dessert business part-time before becoming a vacation specialist full-time with Cruises Inc. She has always been passionate about travel and was the “planner” in the family, so it seemed the perfect fit. Plus, she liked the fact that she could be a work-from-home travel agent, allowing her to spend time with her kids while earning an income, as well as traveling for a “living.”
A few months after joining Cruises Inc., Melissa and Frank attended Cruises Inc.’s National Conference and were wowed by the experience. Frank learned about an amazing industry that offered tangible fun as a product. He was overwhelmed by the many options you could choose in the travel industry at a relatively affordable budget. That is when he told Melissa he was completely invested in growing this new venture as a way to create a business they believe in, and also provide much needed guidance to those who love to travel.
Since opening in May 2019, Melissa and Frank have learned that there is a learning curve to opening a travel agency – new agents will have to study a lot, but they recommend learning one cruise line at a time and complete travel supplier certifications. They also have found the first year to be challenging, but with a good attitude and strong work ethic, it is possible to get your name out there and grow your clientele. This can be completed by hosting networking events, volunteering throughout your community or your kids’ schools and sponsoring sports teams. Most importantly, travel so you can share your experiences with clients and potential clients through social media, and in person.
To make the most out of Cruises Inc., Melissa and Frank believe it is important to meet with your Cruises Inc. sales manager, at least once per quarter, over the phone. Attend seminars, conferences, and any other events you can, so you can meet other agents in person. It makes a big difference to develop these relationships, especially on those days when you feel a little overwhelmed or need to reach out for advice on something. Additionally, believe in yourself and the products you sell, so you can offer them with confidence.
Melissa and Frank believe in order to be successful as a travel agent with Cruises Inc., it is important to have an outgoing personality and enjoy making acquaintances. One must be passionate about travel, detailed-oriented, a hard worker and have the flexibility to work at odd times when clients who are traveling reach out to you for help.
The Cruises Inc. headquarters team has been immensely helpful in supporting Melissa and Frank in their journey as travel agents with Cruises Inc.; however, the person who has made the most impact on their career with Cruises Inc. so far is the relationship they have formed with fellow Cruises Inc. agent Denise Valente, who they like to call their “personal BDM.” She has been so helpful, creating a pathway to learning, and has been providing advice on so many other important aspects of the business (tools, resources, etc.).
Melissa and Frank have multiple destinations on their bucket list, primarily Europe either on a cruise or by train, Thailand or a luxury South American cruise.
They believe travel is the only industry they’ve worked in where they get to sell FUN! If you’re passionate about traveling, and are willing to work for it, come on and join Cruises Inc.!
In operation since 1982, Cruises Inc. has an A-rating from the Better Business Bureau. Its independent vacation specialists nationwide create seamless vacation experiences, whether it be a cruise, resort stay or land tour, with the support of World Travel Holdings, the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company. For more information about becoming an independent vacation specialist with Cruises Inc., please visit www.sellcruises.com or call 888-462-4992.