Working Online From Home As a Travel Agent

If you take a look around when you’re walking downtown, you won’t find that many brick and mortar travel agencies anymore. The reason is that most travel agents are working online from home – and so can you! You may think that there is a lot of work to get started working online from home as a travel agent and get your business off the ground, but it’s actually not that hard. In this article you will get some guidelines that will get you started working online from home as a travel agent.

There is basically two ways you can operate as a travel agent working online from home:

Booking and selling agents – Book tickets directly with hotels and airlines.
Referral Travel Agents – Working online from home under a hosting agency that books the tickets.

Booking and selling agents need to be ARC/IATA accredited in order to be allowed to sell airline tickets. An ARC/IATA card is an industry identification that allows you to book any kind of travel product. This identification is very expensive and you need to meet certain minimum standards in order to be qualified for it, so the smartest way to go if you’re inexperienced in the travel business is as a referral travel agent.

As a referral agent you do not need ARC/IATA identification, because you’re basically working under an accredited hosting agency. You promote the travels, the hosting agency books the tickets and you will get a commission.

When working online from home as a referral agent you normally do not need any kind of travel agent license or certification. Some states/countries require it though – so make sure you check with the local authorities before you start your business. It may be smart to get one anyway – a certification or license will gain trust with your customers.

One of the most important decisions you will have to make when you start working online from home as a referral agent is which hosting agency you want to work with. It’s been a “working online from home travel agent”-revolution and there are a lot of hosting agencies online. Make sure you put in the time and effort to research for a good company.

There are hosting agencies that you can join for free, but some of them will charge you a monthly fee. In return, if the company is good, you will get a lot of great marketing tools that you can use to promote your business. A good company will also give you training to make you a better agent working online from home.

A good place to start researching hosting agencies is at Professional Association of Travel Hosts (PATH – path4hosts.com) and National Association of Career Travel Agents (NACTA – nacta.com). They are both reliable sources for serious hosting agencies.

Then you need to decide what kind of travels you want to sell. You can specialize in charter trips to specific locations, only sell luxury cruises or bus tours for elderly etc. It’s all up to you. It is a good idea though, to specialize in one specific area – at least in the beginning.

To sell your travels working online from home, you should set up a website and start promoting your business by internet marketing, local advertising, and word of mouth and so on. A good hosting agency will give you all the necessary help you need to get you started.

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