How to Start an Online Travel Agency Working From Home

Have you noticed that there are not many store front travel agencies these days? I guess it may have had a lot to do with the fact that many people are using their computer to book their own flights online. Also, after the disaster in New York on September 11th, people were scared to travel and a few years ago, a couple airlines lay off their workers and caused a slow period in the travel industry.

However, I think the main reason is the comfort of booking a flight from your own personal computer that fascinates the consumer to a do-it-yourself attitude. In lieu of this fact, it is apparent that an online travel agency is a good idea for a business opportunity to assist these consumers with trip planning and other customer service issues that they may still need.

There are two types of home travel businesses:

· Referral travel agencies

· Booking and selling agencies

A Referral travel agent is the easier of the two because all it requires is a word of mouth advertising to guide the customer to the online portal where they can book their flight. It is also a relationship business because the referrals in most cases come from family, friends and associates first.

The referring travel agent is compensated with a paid commission, which is decided in advance by the agency to which the referral will go. It is easy to be an online travel agent because it only requires handing out business cards, flyers and maybe placing online ads. There is no immediate contact with the customer unless it is someone who needs additional questions answered. This can be done on a part time basis until the full time income is replaced, then anyone make the transition to a full time business.

The booking and selling agencies fall into a category of only one travel agency. Since we have already confirmed that these agencies are not so popular anymore, we will only concentrate on the referring travel agent.

A referring travel agent does not need to know too much in-depth information about the specific travel details. All they do is to direct people to the website where they book their own flights and get help directly from the airline. In the case of the booking and selling agencies, they have to do the hard work of finding out all the information for the customer, which can be quite time consuming.

If you are considering the opportunity that is open to being a referral travel agent, be sure to find out if the company is stable, if they provide adequate customer service, what the compensation is, can you work full time or part time, do you need any special training, and is it something I can recommend to others with confidence.

One of the perks of being a referring travel agent is that you can work from home, you work on your own time, you get free trips called FAM trips, you get to travel first class, you get discounted air fares and priority baggage claim.

Once you have decided to pursue a travel business opportunity, make sure you treat this as a real business. Get a business name, if possible and a tax identification number. Keep good records of income and expenses because this business is tax deductible. Your vacation trips can be tax write offs if you use it also to refer travel to others.

I would also suggest that you choose a travel category and learn as much as you can about it and specialize in that category. An example is cruises or honeymoon packages. With cruises, you can target the baby boomers who love to take cruises and for the honeymoon packages, you target anyone you know who is thinking or planning to get married.

Let your enthusiasm about this travel business be infectious to everyone you meet. Make sure you take some vacations that you can talk about or suggest to your clients. Educate yourself and take this business seriously.

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Ten Top Tips on How to Choose the Right Kids Entertainer

Kids entertainers are very popular and you want to make sure that you pick the correct one, after all your son / daughter’s birthday is only once a year and you don’t want it to be a disaster. Here are ten of my top tips to guide you through the process.1. Who are they?Many entertainers work for large organisations and they all go under the same name such as “Magic Sam the Magic Man” for example. When you locate someone who you think is suitable, see that you will be getting that person and that you haven’t landed on a company based website.2. Is their show suitable for your child’s age?Just because someone advertises as a children’s entertainer doesn’t mean that they cater for children of all ages. Make sure that the little ones will not miss out on the fun because the entertainer only caters for the older children.3. What exactly do they do?It may look like a flashy website and they call themselves a children’s entertainer but you need to know what you are getting for your money. Is it just a magic show or will they be doing the games too. All this should be clearly shown on their website, usually where they tell you the prices of various packages that they offer. If it doesn’t clearly explain on the website then go elsewhere.4. Do they give suitable prizes?If they provide prizes what are they?. You don’t want and shouldn’t expect cheap plastic rubbish that will fall apart as soon as the child gets home. If unsure just ask, you want to know what you are going to get for your money.5. How long do they stay?.If they advertise a 2 hour show for example, does this include the setting up time and what do they do when the children are having their tea? A good entertainer will arrive early, set up and be ready to begin. This time, and the packing away time, will not be included in their 2 hour show. Also, a good children’s entertainer will keep the kids entertained whilst they are having their party food.6. Are they CRB checked?It is essential that you make sure that your children’s entertainer is CRB checked, if not keep well away!.7. Are they insured?All entertainers should have public liability insurance in case anything unexpected happens. Again, if they are not keep well away. Why take the risk?8. Are they experienced?.Find out how long have they been in the business as you want an entertainer who is experienced in entertaining children.9. How will I know you will turn up?A good entertainer will always phone you a couple of days before the show to make sure that everything is still fine. This will help you to know that they haven’t forgotten about you.10. Ask!!!Never be afraid to ask the entertainer about any concerns or questions you may have. It’s your money and you want to make sure that the person you are booking is the right one for your youngster.