6 Easy Tips for Choosing Travel Agency Names
Choosing a travel agency name, how hard can it be? As it turns out, pretty hard. You've probably already had an experience like this: You check to see if your domain is available. You type in StephsTravel.com. Domain not available. You try every variation. Domain not available. What about SunAndFunTravels.com? Domain not available.
Haven't had that experience yet? Try it out: Type in a name you like at a domain registrar such as NameCheap.
ARGH! Who are these people that are taking every, single travel agency name IN THE UNIVERSE?!?
This article is going to help with you with the practicalities of what to name your travel agency, covering the following steps to finding a travel agency name in-depth:
- Brainstorm a list of names. Do at least 20, then pick a shortlist of 3-5. Show those to a few savvy entrepreneurial friends, or put up a poll on your Facebook page to see what your friends like best.
- Make sure the domain is available: Check on a domain registrar site like GoDaddy or NameCheap to make sure the domain is available.
- Google your travel agency's name. Does it compete with an internet giant that will bury you in the search? More importantly, is there already an agency or company that shows up in the local search box? If so, be wary.
- Write out your URL. Your travel agency name may seem innocent enough, but sometimes URLs like to take it to the gutter (where EllisTalksTravelers.com threatens to become Elli Stalks Travelers)
- See how your name looks on a business card. Does the name fit on a business card nicely?
- Make sure it's not trademarked already. Check your potential name to make sure that the name is not already trademarked!
- Reserve your social media vanity URLs and handles! Once you land on a name, don't forget to stake your claim on your social media accounts too!
- Buy that domain. When you've gone through all the steps, make sure to buy that domain. We also recommend buying the .net/.org and plural/singular versions if you can. This prevents someone from riding on your coattails and trying to steal traffic meant for your agency. (See promo codes at the bottom of this article)
Phew! That's a lot of steps, but don't worry, we will walk you through them. We'll address real-world factors you need to consider when choosing travel agency names. Heck, we've even put all the things you should consider when picking your travel agency name into an Excel sheet for you. And we show you how to search to see if the name is trademarked, registered in your state name, and more!
You won't find is a list of travel agency names in this article. It's kind of like naming your baby. We just can't bring ourselves to do that for you! Naming your agency is going to require some brainstorming and research on your behalf. And honestly, any list of travel agency names is kinda silly by default. If you found this article by searching for possible agency names, chances are many more have done the same before you. Any list is going to be old and used up in no time!
Now, what you will find with this article is something even more important—
Before you fall in love with a travel agency name, you want to ensure that the domain is available and ensure there aren't 100 agencies with names so close to yours that it'd become confusing. I go through this process in a Friday 15 episode. Take a look:
Going through these next steps will save you some heartbreak by preventing you from picking a name that's not available. Here we go!
1. Is the .com domain name available for your travel agency?
Resist the temptation to buy .travel, .io, .ly, or whatever else is hip and cool right now. You also want to avoid using .net/.org as your main domain! Everyone thinks '.com' and that's what you want.
The reason people buy a .net or .org is that the .com is unavailable. And if it's unavailable it means someone else owns it. Even if there is nothing there now, there may be in the future. You don't want to own the .net/.org/.travel domain and have your clients end up at the .com website thinking it's you!
When it comes to seeing if the .com is available, here's a few places you can check availability and buy your travel agency domain. Each of these sites has the exact same inventory; where you purchase your domain is just a matter of preference. We've used all of them and had good experiences. And if you buy them via the links below, it's like buying me a (half a) cup of coffee. :)
- Google Workspace: We have exclusive 10% off promo codes for Google Workspace! Drop us a line in the comments with your 1) Google Workspace Plan (basic or business) and 2) Country of Origin. You can also email us the information. Cost is $4.80/month for personal and $9.60/month for business (before discount).
- Google Workspace is my personal favorite because once you buy the domain, it integrates seamlessly to create your custom email address (i.e. Steph@StephsTravels.com). It saves you time and if you're not technical, it will save you a headache. If you're thinking, "I don't need a custom email," just remember that for the cost of a Caramel Frappuccino each month, you could be branding your business and looking a whole lot more professional! Totally worth it.)
- GoDaddy: Use our link for a $9.99/domain promo. GoDaddy is the name people probably recognize most when it comes to domain registrars. Buying a domain on GoDaddy is easy, but for setting up your custom email on Gmail, you will need to do some adjustments. I want to note that GoDaddy really jacks up the pricing when you renew so keep that in mind.
- NameCheap: Use our link for an $8.88/.com domain. Another well-known place to buy your travel agency domain name, and just as easy and reputable as GoDaddy. Again, you'll need to do a little extra work to get your custom email set up on Gmail. NameCheap's renewal rates are waaaaaaayyyy more reasonable. (GoDaddy was once twice as expensive when I was renewing so I switched to NameCheap)
- BlueHost: If you are planning on hosting your own website (hosting price $3.95/mo), BlueHost is the one to use since they throw in the domain for free. 😊
Not sure if you want to host your own domain? Or you have no idea what that means? We've got the ultimate resource on travel agency website options that you should definitely read!
2. Competitive Intelligence: Google your travel agency names
There's 3 main things to consider when pulling some quick competitive intelligence:
- Don't go up against an internet giant: Google your travel agency name and see what pulls up. If somehow your future travel agency name puts you up against [insert well-known site], you'll probably want to reconsider. You want to pull up in the #1 search slot for your travel agency name whenever possible. Don't set yourself up for failure by pitting yourself against internet giants. (Read on about the "G.A.P Adventures" snafu below.)
- Is there another agency with a name the same as or similar to yours? Even if your domain is available, another thing to watch out for is stumbling onto an agency with a name that is really close to your agency name. If I want to name my domain to be "www.SteinTime-Travel.Com" but there's already an established agency called "Stein-TimeTravel.Com" I won't want to risk sending my clients to a different agency. This one can be tough to avoid, but some major considerations you may want to keep in mind are: a) How active is the agency? b) How high do they rank on Google (if someone slightly misspells your agency, will they go to the wrong site)? c) How close are they in proximity to you (are you completing for a higher rank in a local search? If so, steer clear.)?
You'll have an advantage over large sites because as a local business, your name will pop up in Google's local search results. For example, when I Googled "travel agency" a few local travel agency names showed up before Liberty Travel.
However, if a big giant of a site pulls up when you google your travel agency name, staying away is still a best practice; I say, don't make your life harder if you don't have to! 😊
3. Write out your URL
This is important, you guys. A few examples of people that didn't write their website address out:
- Who Represents seems innocent enough until . . . www.whorepresents.com
- Speed of Art becomes... www.speedofart.com
- Choose Spain becomes less attractive when it's . . . www.choosespain.com
- IT Scrap could spin their services another way besides... www.itscrap.com
- Go Away Travel . . . We know you're helping to book vacations for people that want to get away, but the name is, uh, less than welcoming.
They're funny examples to read, but it probably wouldn't be so funny if it was one of your travel agency names!
All that said, check out my business name: HostAgencyReviews.com. Do you see it? How about if I write it like this: HostageNcyReviews.com. Hostages. Because I like to keep people hostage on my site to increase my 'time on site' stat. 😊
4. Check out your travel agency name on a business card
Nichole Ehrbar, an agent that took our free #7daysetup challenge, had a great suggestion we want to share with you! "I recommend playing around on vista[print] or some other business card site and seeing what your name looks like once it's put on print! That can make a big difference!"
It's a great idea to get a sense of how your travel agency's name looks visually. Here are a few places you can play around with the look of your business card online:
I've ordered business cards online but now that my company is established, I like to recommend working with local printers for your business cards. Like most of you, they depend on local clientele to be successful in business. And they very well might reciprocate and book their next trip with you! Local networking at its finest. 😊
First things first. Let's make sure your travel agency name is going to be legit in the eyes of the law.
1. Is the travel agency name available in your state/province?
As a business, you probably need to register your business name with your state/province. You'll want to see if your travel agency name is available before you start putting money into marketing that name or you'll have a headache on your hands trying to change the name of your company!
- US readers: Not all states require you to register, but check your state's laws for registering your business name.
- Canadian readers: Info on registering your business name in your province.
Your goal? Make sure your travel agency name isn't taken by someone else in your state/province.
2. Is your future travel agency name trademarked?
Trademark issues are expensive and can totally disrupt the brand you've built. Actually, they can kill the brand you've built and make you start anew.
An example of this in the travel world? The travel company now known as G Adventures used to be GAP Adventures (short for The Great Adventure People)—that is until they were sued by GAP clothing for trademark infringement. The legal battle lasted FIVE years. In the end, the court ruled against GAP Adventures (a great link to learn more about why the court sided with GAP clothing). GAP Adventures was re-branded to the company we know today, G Adventures.
Now, back to you. You don't want a legal battle on your hands like G Adventures! Avoid running into trademark infringement by searching the US Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). Did you find someone with a similar name or a variation of your name? If you found something (even if it's a company doing something totally different), it's probably best to chose a different name.
Common Sense Considerations
1. Xerox ain't for everyone:
You sell travel. Don't try to get all crazy and reinvent the wheel and name your company a word no one has heard of. Having the word travel, cruise, etc. in your agency name makes it easy for potential clients to know what you do. It also helps with your SEO. (After all, at the dawn of Xerox, they never had to worry about internet searches or SEO!)
Peoples' brains associate different word combinations and going against the grain means it will be harder for people to remember your agency name. It also makes it harder for you to do your marketing and build recognition for your company.
If you're really wanting to go for a more creative travel agency name (after all, look at Airbnb or Uber or Spotify!), test it out. Tell friends your potential name and ask them if they remember it a few days later. Sometimes, those names can be awesome, but you have to build the brand and emotions behind them, which takes time. And a lot of new companies don't have the time or budget to do that.
2. Keep it Short:
My site, Host Agency Reviews, is lengthy, but manageable. However, it can be challenging at times so I'd lean towards not much longer than 15 letters. The shorter, the better.
Some real-life reasons to keep your travel agency name short?
- More and more people are on mobile. Teeny, tiny screens. The less they need to type, the better.
- The longer the name, the more room for error whenever a client types it out.
- Short names are much easier to fit tastefully into marketing pieces.
- If your travel agency's name is long, remember your email address will be even longer.
- Lastly (and take this from me) spelling out your website/email address is a PAIN for long names! "Yes, that's Stephanie with a 'ph' and an 'ie' at H-O-S-T-A-G-E-N-C-Y-R—" (You get the picture).
3. You sell what?
When naming your travel agency, you'll want to sit down and think about your travel agency niche. How are you going to be different and set yourself apart? Certainly, you may want to provide the best customer service but in travel, people are buying your expertise as well as your service. Since you can't be an expert in everything, you'll need to narrow it down by finding a travel niche. Name your agency so people know that you are selling travel . . . not guinea pigs.
Now, I know I just told you to try to get specific. But, don't be too specific. Why? Let's say you're going to sell trips to Mexican jungles and named your travel agency Jungle Journeys. Then you got into the business and discovered you're highly allergic to unseen jungle bugs. Well, you'll have to pivot and take your agency in a different direction. Away from jungles. But, darn it, that's going to involve renaming your company.
So, be as specifically specific as you can. Easy, right? 😉
4. Get a second opinion:
Have another set of eyes (or two) give you their honest feedback. (Don't ask aunt Matilda who loves everything you do!) Have them take a look at it written down, smooshed together as a domain, and have them say it out loud a few times.
For the Truly Dedicated
I kid you not, there is a company that has written up a 26-page guide on naming companies. If you're one of those souls that can think of nothing better than cuddling up with a 26-page guide and reading all about how to name your travel agency, please, by all means, download the Igor Naming Guide. (Don't print it though. I don't want the guilt of killing forests upon forests.)
You've Picked Your Travel Agency Name, What's Next?
You've done your due diligence and now you're all set to make things happen! Once you've picked out your travel agency name, tie up your loose ends and download our Stake Your Claim: Travel Agency Name Checklist.
Now that you've picked out your agency name, you're ready to get that agency started! Make sure to start researching your business credit card options as buying business cards, buying a website theme, joining a host agency .... they all require moola and setting up your travel agency financials ASAP will make bookkeeping so much easier for you in the long run.
- Make sure you register your travel agency name ( US | Canada)
- Buy your domain (Google | GoDaddy | NameCheap)
- When buying the domains, some people like to ensure the exclusivity of their site by buying the .net and .org or any similar names to avoid someone setting up a competing site. For instance, if you have www.worldcruise.com you may also want to buy similar names such as worldcruises.com. You could also buy worldcruise.net and worldcruise.org . . . but it starts getting expensive. That said, someone did buy the .net and .org for HAR because I didn't. It's a dog-eat-dog world, I tell ya.
Fantastic! Now, you need to make sure that you solidify your brand by ensuring you're in control of all online real estate with your travel agency's name. What does that mean?
- Reserve your social media vanity URLs.
- Even if you don't plan on being active on a social media network right now, there can be only one Facebook page with your travel agency name (facebook.com/HostAgencyReviews) so make sure you get it!
- And it's not just Facebook. Here are the sites we recommend that you set up business accounts with (we link directly to the business account setup pages, when applicable):
- Twitter (no specific business accounts)
- Remember, it's better to have an inactive company social media account than to not claim your account and have it be taken by someone else!
- Decide which travel agency website option is best for you: DIY or Hire a Developer. We walk you through the different options in our travel agency website article.
A Special Treat—Promo Codes
Congrats, you've made it this far! As a special reward, here are a few promo codes that will come in handy when buying your travel agency name:
1. Domain Promo Codes
PS - These are affiliate links but if you've found the article helpful, buying through these links is a nice way to say thanks!
- Google Workspace: We have exclusive 10% off promo codes for Google Workspace! Drop us a line in the comments with your 1) Google Workspace Plan (basic or business) and 2) Country of Origin. You can also email us the info.
- GoDaddy: Use this link to save on your domain ($9.99/domain)
- NameCheap: Just follow our link for the $8.88/.com domain! No coupon necessary, prices will show up in cart.
2. Website Hosting Promo Codes
If you're thinking of hosting your own website (more on travel agency websites), don't forget you'll need a web host!
- GoDaddy: Great if you're on a budget but you do get what you pay for. Everyone has their different experiences but for what it's worth, when I used GoDaddy, I found the backend confusing and the support not very knowledgeable. It took a long time to get problems fixed and questions answered. However, that was a few years ago so I'd like to think they've upped their game. 😊 Use our link for $1/month hosting for your first year (price goes up to $7.99/month after that).
- BlueHost: A nice, middle-of-the-road host for those that who are looking for a little more support, a better customer portal, and a step up in the customer support. Follow the link for $3.95/mo hosting for the first year (price increases to $7.99/mo after that).
- WP Engine: This is considered the white glove host for WordPress sites. If prompt and knowledgeable customer service, a user-friendly back end, and a fast website are important to you, use our link for three months free!
You're Legit. Now Get Started!
Woot, woot! Since it seems like you're getting ready to start an agency, I may as well tell you this site works with tons-o-agents that are getting started. Just want to test the waters and see if it's for you? A trip to the resources section will give you a great jumping-off point as you dive into the travel industry! We suggest taking some time to read the articles in the 'most popular articles' section to start. (Our article, Starting a Travel Agency from Home is a good start).
Want more guidance? Check out HAR's free mini-course. It's written and taught by yours truly and Bridget Lee, a professional educator with deep roots in the travel industry. Maybe you notice a last name similarity? We're sisters and we both came up in a family that is deeply rooted in the industry and combined, we've helped literally tens of thousands of advisors start their agencies. Check it out!
Go Get 'Em!
Advertising Disclaimer: This post on choosing a travel agency name contains affiliate links. If you've found the site helpful, using the links to set up your domain is a great way to thank us without costing you a thing! It also helps fill Rigel's treat ball. 😉 Now let's get to the business of naming your agency.