Friday, March 16, 2012

Travel Agents Are Your Guides

Travel agents assess individual's and business people's needs to help them make the best possible travel arrangements. An agent may specialize by type of travel, such as leisure or business, or destination, such as Europe, Africa or Australia. Travel agents also promote travel packages on behalf of cruise lines, resorts and specialty travel groups.

On a typical day a travel agent will give advice on destinations. They also make arrangements for transportation, hotel accommodations, car rentals, tours, and recreation. They advise on weather conditions, restaurants, tourist attractions, and recreation. They provide information on customs regulations, required papers (passports, visas, and certificates of vaccination), and currency exchange rates to international travelers. They consult published and computer-based sources for information on departure and arrival times, fares, and hotel ratings and accommodations. And they also visit hotels, resorts, and restaurants to evaluate comfort, cleanliness, and quality of food and service.

You can hear horror stories each week where tourists get caught out by arriving at a destination only to find out that the connecting flight has already gone all because they did not allow time for transfers, delays and overbooking seats. We hear many stories that hotel rooms are not what they looked like in the picture.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

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.