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Old July 16th, 2007, 07:51 PM
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Default becoming a T/A

hey I know the're are a lot of T/A'S on these boards and was wondering how one would go about starting a home based travel agency? I'm looking to do this part-time and out of my home. I really enjoy planning vacations for myself and my family and I would enjoy doing for others as well. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also if you can tell me if there are any license's that I would have to get (I live NJ)that would be great. Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 10:59 PM
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Somewhat sadly it is WAY TOO EASY to become a home based travel agent. There's way too many companies who'll let you become a travel agent by paying them a simple franchise fee of a few hundred dollars.

If you really want to become an agent, there's MUCH to learn to becoming a good agent. You should invest the time, effort, and yes money.. into getting the training before you begin.

There is much more to than simply booking cruises, and there's too many people doing it who think that's all it takes.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 09:48 AM
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He's right. I use to work for Quark Expeditions who do cruises on Russian Icebreakers (no stablizers folks!) to the North Pole, Artic, Antarctica. They go into the deep ice whereas cruise ships can't go anywhere near them.

There's alot involved and you do have to become licensed as an agent & get the proper registration. On the same token, that license can be revoked if you don't do honest business.

If you want a taste of the job, try to get a job with a travel agency. At least you'll have a good idea of what you are in for. From what I know and see, don't expect to be making a ton of $$ either. It's a tough job and you have to know how to be a sales person and sell, sell, sell.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: becoming a T/A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joecat890
hey I know the're are a lot of T/A'S on these boards and was wondering how one would go about starting a home based travel agency? I'm looking to do this part-time and out of my home. I really enjoy planning vacations for myself and my family and I would enjoy doing for others as well. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also if you can tell me if there are any license's that I would have to get (I live NJ)that would be great. Thanks in advance for your help.
The best place to get information about becoming a TA is from ASTA, the American Society of Travel Agents. Go to www.astanet.com

They have a lot of information about getting training to become a TA, finding the right host agency for you after you get the training and how to avoid the scam host agencies. As well as taking the ASTA certification test (Travel Agent Proficency exam) to become a legitimate agent and going on with further educational opportunities as an agent.

Good luck to you!
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Old July 17th, 2007, 06:55 PM
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Hey thanks for your replies.I have been booking vacations for family and friends for years and really enjoy doing it. I just thought I would check out what it would take to start something out of my home. I am not looking to get rich just thought it would be nice to make a little something for what I do for free now. As for being a honest agent I have dealt with a shady T/A that I was told was great and got burned so I know how it feels and would never do that to someone else. I will check out the website blueliner suggested and go from there. I think it deserves some more research and thought.
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Old July 19th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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Speaking as a former T/A, you would have to join an organization called CLIA. (Cruise Line Industry Association) This is very important for
your own liability. They will make you aware of all the rules and regulations when it comes to cruising.

Be aware that planning another person's vacation is not like planning your own or members of your family. Many cruisers, especially the very experienced variety, can be very demanding and rightly so.

Take a long, hard look into the realities of this venture, before you proceed. The world of T/A can be very exciting, but you need top-notch organizational skills in order to do it properly.

I would also recommend that you speak with the various cruise lines and get a heads-up on all recent ship policies so that you are able to pass these along to your clients. (They are clients, NOT customers!)

Have fun and good luck!

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Old July 22nd, 2007, 06:11 PM
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You must have a lot of time available for research and you must enjoy this kind of work. To formally become a TA, you don't need to get CLIA certification or to invest money. Find a certified agency to work with as an affiliate. Don't fall for internet sites that promise to make you an agent or sell "kits", they are after your money. If you have questioins, you can e-mail me.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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Hi! My wife and I home-based travel agents who enjoy selling travel! We are CLIA certified. This December we are going on our 25th cruise. We do alot of groups. That way she and I get to go almost free (just pay taxes/fees) and then we make a good commission. Feel free to e-mail with any questions. jack & linda
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Old August 27th, 2007, 10:45 AM
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As someone who just completed training last month for my home-based franchise, it is scary. I also just wanted to share my passion and enjoy the research. I will certainly join "CLIA" but it's not required. The franchise is probably less expensive than some might think and conversely, more expensive to others. Am trying to take baby steps but the bookings from friends are already causing me to do more online studying. As long as I can keep cruising, no problem (# 35 & 36 coming up in the next 2 months).

Feel free to e-mail with any specific questions, Robbie
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Old August 27th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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I became an Associate of the agent who owns the franchise that I always booked with. I had to go to Florida for a week of training but most of my expertise comes from all the cruises I take.

I am one of the very fortunate who has a great franchise owner to work with. He is capable, honest, reliable, fair and I have nothing but admiration for him. The company of the franchise is also well known and good to work with. Some of the people in my training were not as lucky and have since left the business with a bitter taste in their mouth.

I have now finished my third year in the business and it is growing slowly but surely. Anyone who thinks they can quit their regular job and do this for a living had better think again. It is a great way to supplement an income or something interesting for a senior to do who loves to cruise. I am doing 7 cruises this year and still can't wait to get on a ship. You have to love what you are doing.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: becoming a T/A

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joecat890
hey I know the're are a lot of T/A'S on these boards and was wondering how one would go about starting a home based travel agency? I'm looking to do this part-time and out of my home. I really enjoy planning vacations for myself and my family and I would enjoy doing for others as well. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Also if you can tell me if there are any license's that I would have to get (I live NJ)that would be great. Thanks in advance for your help.
Who says the´re are a lotr of T/A´s on these boards"?
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Old August 27th, 2007, 07:29 PM
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It's best to get the CLIA certification. There are tests involved. In some cases CLIA certification is required to book cruises. Two things I would recommend to get if you want to be a home based travel agent is, 1) your RTA license and 2) your CLIA certification. With those two forms of ID you can enjoy the benefits of being a travel agent when you book travel for yourself.
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