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The Busy Professional’s Guide to Becoming an Independent Travel Agent

travelAgentMany people dream of working in the travel industry. The fantasy of being able to visit places both near and far is made a reality when travel is your livelihood. However, many people also feel that they are too busy to start a new full- or part-time career.

Luckily, even the most time-crunched professionals can start their own independent travel agencies with the support of Travel Planners International. You can have all of the knowledge that comes with working for a big company as well as the benefits of managing your own business.

Travel Planning on the Go

The best part about starting a home-based business is that you do not have to adhere to a specific set of rules and guidelines. You can work from a separate structure near your home, a room in your house or the corner of your dining room table. Whatever works for you will work for your business.

However, some independent travel agents find that they prefer to work away from their homes. A quiet coffee shop is an excellent place to meet with clients in person or to communicate with them via phone or email. (Just make sure you have permission from the owner if you are going to be spending long periods of time in the same location.)

You may find that it’s best to blend your workplaces. Initial calls can be carried out from home while you do research and the remainder of your communication at your leisure. All you really need is a phone, an Internet connection and the passion to do your job well.

Telling Time and Managing Minutes

Time management is the No. 1 key to success when it comes to any business. This is particularly true with travel planning. Those who come to you want to get the best deals for their ideal vacations or business trips, but they also want quick turnaround. The easiest way to do this is to communicate a schedule with your clients.

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When the initial email inquiry comes to you, respond as quickly as possible with a plan of action. Give the client a time and date for a meeting, if it’s deemed necessary, or forge directly ahead and fully answer their questions. Pick a deadline that you know you can meet, and then stick to that schedule.

Bundling is Best

Are you always on the move and feel like you don’t have enough time to devote to every inquiry that comes your way? Specialize in niches or bundled packages. A niche may be a type of travel, like family travel, honeymoons or business trips. It could also be a specific location, like Europe, California Wine Country or Disney World.

When you are a niche travel agent, you become an expert in that field. Similarly, having bundled packages already compiled is one of the best choices for a busy travel agent. You may want to put together three or four packages that you can offer to clients each time they contact you. This saves you a great deal of time and effort. You can offer these packages steadily or use them as back-ups during those busy days that you simply don’t have a minute to spare.

The opportunities are endless when you decide to become an independent travel agent. Owning and operating your own business gives you control over how much time you devote to this exciting new career as well as where you want to do your work. Best of all, you can work from wherever your own travels take you.


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