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WAHM > Stay at Home Mom Work Ideas > Selling a Service > Become a Travel Planner

Start a Travel Planning Business from Home

What you will be doing.  Everyone loves to travel these days. 

Online travel sites like Travelocity and Orbitz make booking trips accessible to the individual.

Unfortunately, as a non-travel person, you still don’t know the ins and outs of the industry that could get you an even better deal. 

A travel planner is like an independent travel agent.  Using your experience in the travel industry, you search and book flights, hotels, cars, and whatever else is needed by a traveler who wants to plan a trip.  

How to start.  To run a business in the travel industry, you need to know something about how it all works.  Take an accredited course at an approved travel school.  These courses will teach you about how booking travel works as an independent agent, determining the proper accommodations for clients, using the Internet for travel planning, and how to run a travel business. 

 A good relationship with others in the travel industry will benefit your clients when making travel plans.  Travel agencies will earn commissions on the clients you bring to them to book travel and a portion of that commission will be passed on to you. 

Starting costs.  A travel planner needs a computer with high speed Internet capabilities, a fax machine, copier, and a telephone. 

You will use the Internet to search for available travel for yoru clients and work with travel agencies to book passage and create an itinerary. 

Plan on spending anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000.  Advertising will be the most expensive part of your starting costs.   

Skills needed.  A background in the travel industry, particularly if you have extensively traveled the globe, is a plus.  The more you know about travel destinations the more knowledge you can impart to your clients about travel to these places.  Travel experience is not a must to run this business.   

Independent travel planners need to be aggressive in their pursuit of success in this business.  The main objective is to get your name out there and to make contact with the people who will make your job easier.   Good people skills go a long way towards customer satisfaction. 

Marketing.  Take out ads in travel magazines and the Yellow Pages.  Send out brochures to travel agencies telling them about your travel planning business.  Listing any experience and credentials will let them know that you are serious, legitimate, and looking forward to working with them.  Use every avenue available to you to get your foot in the door so that you can show your skills. 

Travel planning can be a headache, but as a travel planner, you can ease that stress for your clients.  Your job is to make it as pleasant and effortless as possible.

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