A passion for travel is a must when becoming a home-based travel agent. Not only do you have to be excited about seeing the world and sharing your own travel experiences, but you must be enthusiastic about helping other people achieve their dreams vacations. That passion will propel you through a career as a travel agent. However, in addition to some basic office skills, such as working on a computer, you will need to possess some people skills to be a successful agent.
What Skills Do You Need as a Home-Based Travel Agent?
In addition to passion, there are several skills you need to be a home-based travel agent. But don’t worry, past experience is not required. Chief among the skills to be a travel agent are:
- Friendliness – Travel agencies are considered part of the hospitality industry, along with resorts, hotels, cruise lines, airlines and other segments of travel. In addition to the service provided at these businesses, it’s the warmth toward travelers by employees that keeps people coming back. Travel agents must also be social and outgoing since they work with different people every day.
- Organization – Travel agents deal with many clients at one time, and therefore need a system to keep them, their trips, bookings and needs organized. You don’t want to send the couple excited to visit Paris to Peoria by mistake because you’re not organized.
- Attentiveness – Part of what helps successful travel agents stay organized is their ability to listen carefully. It’s important to understand the kind of experiences clients want, where they want to go and amenities they need. This attentiveness will help you provide personalized service that stands out from the competition.
- Problem Solving – There will be times when a client needs help getting out of a bind – maybe they missed their flight, lost their passport or had their purse or wallet stolen. Travel agents must figure out how to reassure their clients while resolving the predicament and keeping their client safe.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (May 18, 2017) – Since 2012 Dream Vacations A CruiseOne Company has given 25 military veterans the dream business opportunity of owning a travel agency franchise, at no cost, as part of its annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest. The home-based travel franchise announces that the annual contest will begin on Monday, May 22, 2017, giving five more deserving military veterans the chance to join the ranks as Dream Vacations franchise owners.
“Those who serve in the armed forces are the backbone of our country, and upon retirement are finding new beginnings in business ownership,” said Tim Courtney, CFE, vice president of franchise development and ambassador of veteran affairs. “The International Franchise Association reports that one in seven franchises are owned by military veterans, and that is no surprise since many military skills translate well into franchise ownership. We’re honored that more than 30 percent of our franchise owners are military veterans and active-duty spouses, and we are proud to offer a home-based travel franchise that provides flexibility in their lifestyle to maximize time spent with family.”
The Dream Vacations franchise contest is open to former members of any of the five branches of the U.S. military (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are retired, off active duty and/or honorably discharged prior to the contest start date. To participate, candidates must complete an online entry form by Friday, Sept. 1, 2017. After conducting an introductory phone interview with a franchise development specialist, candidates will be required to submit a candidate profile, business plan, video and resume. Finalists will be invited to participate in follow-up phone interviews before winners are selected. The entry form and all contest details can be found at www.OperationVetrepreneur.com.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (May 15, 2017) – Jennifer Cron, franchise owner of Dream Vacations – Wanderlist Vacations in Charlotte, N.C., recently awarded a free $10,000 vacation to Rachel Gilmore. The contest is part of a larger nationwide quarterly online contest funded by travel agency franchise Dream Vacations. The Charlotte resident was randomly selected as the winner out of more than 17,000 entries, and she can choose anywhere in the world she wants to go on vacation. She learned she won the contest while hosting the weekly Business Mind, Body Spirit Networking meeting, a passionate group of like-minded/hearted local business owners and entrepreneurs who come together to build relationships, learn and grow, which is where she met Cron.
“I am happy that the winner of the free vacation was one of my clients who signed up on my website, but I am ecstatic that it was Rachel who won the grand prize,” said Cron. “Rachel lives her life in a state of gratitude and is the most appreciative woman I know. And as a single mother who invests so much into our networking group, her business and her girls, she is so very deserving of a dream vacation.”
Gilmore can use the $10,000 to fully fund any type of vacation travel of her choice and she can split the winnings to go on more than one vacation. She has always wanted to travel to Bali and Paris; however, her daughters are encouraging a cruise vacation.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (May 11, 2017) – According to the 2016 Department of Defense Survey of Active Duty Spouses, there is approximately a 23 percent unemployment rate among active duty spouses, and on average they spend five months looking for a new job.* Recognizing that military spouses who are in the job market crave flexibility to create their own hours and need a virtual office as a result of frequent military Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves, home-based travel agency franchise Dream Vacations A CruiseOne Company partnered with Military Spouse magazine to host a contest for military spouses who want to enter the travel industry. This Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Fredericksburg, Va. resident and Army wife Stacy Evans has been awarded a free Dream Vacations franchise.
“Being a military spouse is one of the hardest jobs there is. As a result of having spouses who serve in the military and spend extended periods of time away from home as well as require frequent career moves, military spouses are extremely resilient, well-traveled and have to be organized,” said Tim Courtney, CFE, vice president of franchise development and ambassador of veteran affairs. “These traits are the glue which keeps families together and also makes a successful franchise owner. We believe owning a travel franchise is one way military spouses can earn extra income, while having the flexibility of working from home.”
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (May 3, 2017) – Home-based travel franchise Dream Vacations A CruiseOne Company is launching in 2017 an Immersive Educational Series, which focuses on three unique training opportunities where travel franchise owners can engage in niche content in an intimate setting. The three summits offered in 2017 focus on luxury, groups and land vacations. They are designed for seasoned agents who want to hone their skills and build relationships, as well as for those newbies who want to increase their business in a specific niche.
“Our network of franchise owners requested more specialized training; we listened to their feedback and as a result we added the Immersive Educational Series to our curriculum,” said Drew Daly, general manager of network engagement and performance for Dream Vacations A CruiseOne Company. “We are excited to launch this Series with three diverse summits that provide a more personal and hands-on approach to education. These trainings will be sure to have a profound impact on individual sales as luxury, groups and resort vacations have the highest earnings potential.”
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (April 27, 2017) – Dream Vacations A CruiseOne Company announces that industry sales veteran Saul Fonseca will join the team as Director of Sales. In this newly created role, Fonseca will work closely with the Marketing and Business Development teams to strategically grow and maximize revenue opportunities.
Fonseca will report to the Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rosemarie Reed. Regarded as an industry marketing pioneer herself, Reed is confident Fonseca’s efforts will quickly yield results as she notes, “With Saul’s history of strong relationship-building skills combined with his sales experience and tenacity, I know we will continue to propel Dream Vacations forward and break even more sales records.”
A resident of Miami, Fonseca brings extensive sales experience including his most recent role where he held the position of Director of Sales at Regent and Oceania. With more than 14 years in the hospitality and travel industries, Fonseca’s strengths include strong analytical skills, contract negotiation and creating strategic plans to achieve designated sales targets. He has extensive experience motivating a team of business development managers whom together were able to maximize revenue within specific markets. In addition, he oversaw a pilot program as a part of a consultancy relationship with Bain & Company which became the sales model for the entire U.S.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (April 20, 2017) – CruiseOne®/Dream Vacations recently recognized its top-producing travel franchise owners who are members of the home-based network’s prestigious “Circle of Excellence,” with an Enchanting Danube River Cruise aboard Uniworld’s SS Maria Theresa from Passau, Germany to Budapest, Hungary.
“Our Circle of Excellence is comprised of an elite group of agents who have not only achieved an impressive level of sales success year-after-year, but are engaged owners within our network who are role models for our new and seasoned agents,” said Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of CruiseOne/Dream Vacations. “This celebratory trip is just one way we show our appreciation for all they do, and it is possible because of the support of our travel partners.”
Escorted by John Restuccia, director of national accounts at Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, the members of the Circle of Excellence attended a weeklong cruise as well as executives from the CruiseOne/Dream Vacations leadership team including Co-CEO/Chairman of World Travel Holdings, CruiseOne/Dream Vacations’ parent company, Brad Tolkin; Jennifer Gasser, vice president of supplier relations and product for parent company World Travel Holdings; Senior Vice President Debbie Fiorino; General Manager of Network Engagement and Performance Drew Daly; and Vice President of Sales and Marketing Rosemarie Reed.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (April 18, 2017) – Aspiring entrepreneurs who want to turn their passion for travel into profits should consider using their tax refund to finance a new career as a home-based travel franchise owner with Dream Vacations A CruiseOne Company. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average refund in Tax Year 2014 was $2,854. Experienced travel agents with a book of business can re-launch their career with Dream Vacations for as little as $495, and those with no prior travel agent experience can start a new journey and open a travel agency franchise for *zero down and zero interest for a limited time.
“More and more people are following their passion when changing careers, and opening a travel agency is the perfect career move for those who are passionate about travel,” said Tim Courtney, CFE, vice president of Franchise Development for Dream Vacations. “Re-investing a tax refund in a business opportunity is a lucrative way for entrepreneurs to simultaneously create a better work/life balance, earn more income and experience additional growth on their returns.”
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (April 13, 2017) – The romance and wedding industry is booming, with 2.1 million Americans getting married every year according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Home-based travel franchise CruiseOne/Dream Vacations is capitalizing on this growing market by offering a variety of resources to its network of franchise owners who specialize in this niche and are seeking innovative ways to build their presence in the community. The newest offering is a partnership with David’s Bridal and its more than 320 locations nationwide.
“David’s Bridal serves nearly 60 percent of all brides and this is a prime opportunity for our travel professionals to expand their customer base,” said Drew Daly, general manager of network engagement and performance for CruiseOne/ Dream Vacations. “From destination weddings to minimoons, honeymoons and babymoons, a travel agent plays a key role in life’s momentous occasions. This partnership also has the potential to extend beyond wedding events and can include prom, Sweet 16s and quinceañeras, and more, not to mention develop relationships with others in the wedding party such as bridesmaids and mothers of the brides.”
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (March 21, 2017) – As a record-breaking wave season comes to a close, World Travel Holdings, the world’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company, is announcing a transformative multi-million dollar technology investment in 2017 in its home-based division. This investment will be a driving force in increasing individual agent profitability for its award-winning vacation franchise brands Dream Vacations and CruiseOne.
“As a leader in technology, we want to continually feed the successes we have seen from our previous technology investments and the way to do that is to invest even more in our travel agents,” said Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of Dream Vacations and CruiseOne. “The success of our home-based travel agents is our only business, and we are committed to continuously increasing our support, investments and resources so we can provide the best technology in the industry.”
In 2017 the size of the IT team will significantly increase, providing Dream Vacations and CruiseOne with the largest technology team and the best support staff to agent ratio in the travel franchise industry. These additional IT professionals will allow the company to continue accelerating current initiatives, simultaneously creating cutting-edge solutions and best-in-class technology, giving the travel agency network a significant lead over the competition.