So I admit, I am a member of an e-commerce travel company. But this article is not about selling you on a home-based business; it’s all about you becoming your own travel agent. Believe it or not, even if you never sign up one person in this company, you can win financially in amazing ways, regardless! For less than $1,000, you can own your own turnkey travel business, receive quick travel agent training, and become an independent, credentialed agent with all the terrific benefits that offers. And what are some of those benefits?
First, FAM or “familiarization” trips are offered by tour companies, hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, airlines and cruise lines. The purpose of these trips is to familiarize the agent with the cruise line, hotel, or tour company. Of course, the particular company is hoping you will send future travelers their way. The great thing about these FAM trips, sometimes called member trips, is that they are so easy to access. Once you become an agent you are able to take one of these FAM trips immediately. These trips are extremely discounted, and can save you up to 80% on land trips and 70% on cruises. Obviously, this is more than worth it. Here are a few random examples of some of the member trips that you can take advantage of:
4Day Jamaica Vacation for only $234.00
4Day to Cozumel, Mexico only $181.00
4Day to Cancun Mexico Vacation, $230.00
6Day Caribbean Cruise for only $285.00
Myrtle Beach golf vacation for 3 nights: $359.00
7Day to Spain: Madrid, Cordova and Seville. From $990 for agents; $1090 for spouses/companions.
Disney World 3 Day/ 4 Night, only $335.00. The kids will love this one…
(Many of these quotes cover hotels, transfers, sightseeing, and at least two daily meals).
Second, on top of the discounts, earn Travel Agent commissions on your personal travel, as well as the travel of your clients. Book any travel on your own site or point friends/family to it and you get cash back. Yes, you heard me right.
Third, enjoy sometimes being treated like royalty when traveling as an agent. Even the governments of some nations offer the red carpet treatment to agents. This is because politicians realize the huge benefits tourism dollars can bring to their economy. So don’t feel as if you owe them the world. You’re helping them too.
Fourth, enjoy tax advantages for running a business. According to the IRS, deductible expenses related to business travel are the normal and necessary expenses of traveling to perform your business, job, or profession. When you become a travel agent, you make traveling your business. Deducting travel expenses from your income before paying taxes means huge savings. The average American traveler that spends $3,000 a year on travel must earn $4,500 before taxes. For the travel professional that owns his or her own business, their income is not taxed until after travel expenses are deducted. This could equate to a 50% savings on expenses and a $2,000 a year difference in spendable money. This could be cash in your pocket! (Consult with a tax accountant for details).
Have the ability to travel more and better than you have ever dreamed while you compile frequent flyer miles as well as many other rewards. Connect your FAM rates to frequent traveler numbers with airlines, hotel chains, etc. Not all providers let you do this, but, for example, if you have a frequent guest number for Marriot, try and attach it to your reservation. Not only will you get the discounted rate today, you are working towards a free stay in the future.
Sixth, receive unbelievable discounts to shows, theme parks, and attractions. Enjoy discounts on swamp tours, riverboat dinners, dinner theaters, etc. All you have to do is ask.
You may be thinking, “All this is great in theory, but I wouldn’t have the nerve to constantly ask for travel agent discounts right in front of customers who are paying full price.” Don’t worry about that. To get these discounts, most times you will receive them when you book the trip. And if there’s a situation involving a long line of full-paying customers, travel agents go to the Guest Relations, Group, or Administration office or window and get their discounts there.