How to Become a Travel Agent and Work At Home FAQs

The travel industry is amazing and fun, especially when you can design your role in it.

As a work from home (independent) travel agent, you can do exactly that.

I have worked online as an independent travel agent since the beginning of 2018.  I was not looking for a career doing this. But I have always been interested in travel blogging. While researching the affiliate opportunities available in travel, I came across a Facebook group dedicated to women who love travel. And one of the posts in that group introduced the idea of being an independent travel agent.

I began stalking the woman's page who posted the opportunity and it was quite intriguing to me seeing her travel photos and inspiring posts. I did about 2 months of research on being an agent verses signing up with a popular booking site as an affiliate. I realized while the independent travel agent route was a bit more work, it also offered a lot more rewards and benefits and growth opportunities.

Curious about what's it like to be a work from home travel agent? What do you do in a typical day? How do you get started? How do you make money? How do you get customers? I know there is so much you would like to know, so let's get to it.
Q. What is the difference between a work from home travel agent and one that works for a corporation?
Technically, there is not a formal certification required to be a travel agent. So there is not much difference except the travel agent who works for a corporation might get their leads for customers provided to them. And they usually must know how to use a special kind of travel software such as Sabre or something equivalent, that is often a pre-requisite to work at most travel agencies.

Whereas, a work from home travel agent has to find their own customers but no special experience is required and they work through their own special booking platform(s) or direct with the suppliers when they need to book travel.
Q. What qualifications do you need to become an independent travel agent? What is the difference between a work from home travel agent and one that works for a corporation?
First and foremost you must have a love for travel and enjoy working with people and planning their travel needs.

It also helps to understand some technology, as it is easier to go online and research trips, book travel, and share your offers on social media.

Being personable helps and open to learning new things. While skills such as marketing and sales would be an asset, they are not necessary to get started. They are skills that can be learned.

But aside from that, regardless of your background, education, or training, you can get started as a travel agent, with a short course that teaches you how to work directly with suppliers and professionally book travel for your customers.
Q. Who is eligible to become an independent travel agent?
Whether you are a travel blogger looking for additional revenue streams, a stay at home mom, a recent retiree or a college student trying to pay off some debt, it's very possible to start a legitimate side hustle as a work from home travel agent. In my 2 years of doing this, I have met both men and women who came from a variety of backgrounds.

For the agency that I work with (see next question), the only qualifications other than that is you must be 18 years of age and reside in the U.S., UK, or Mexico.
Q. How do you get started as an independent travel agent?

There are several ways you can become an independent travel agent from working for a company, to starting a franchise to being sponsored by the Connie's Travel Agency.

I did not have the money to launch a franchise as sometimes it could cost $10,000+ to choose this method. I did not have the training needed to work in the corporate environment. Also, "Travel" is the most popular searched term on Google and I felt more people would likely be searching travel online verses going into a retail storefront. I also did not have interest in working a 9-5 pm job and only being able to enjoy 1-2 weeks vacation a year because if you work for a travel company, you will definitely want to travel MORE!

So I chose the route of working with a Connie's Travel Agency.
Q. What is the Connie's Travel Agency?
Connie's Travel Agency is a company that has negotiated contracts with the major suppliers - hotels, airlines, cruises, excursion operators, etc.

When you sign up for the Connie's Travel Agency, you basically pay a nominal start up fee to launch your own online travel agency and a monthly fee that covers your personal website.

After you register you will be required to take a short training course and exam that gives you an overview of etiquette, expectations, and how to work with direct suppliers to book travel on your client's behalf.
Q. How do you make money as an independent travel agent?
If you ever have booked a trip on a popular website, whatever website you booked on receives a commission for your booking. It doesn't matter that technically you did all the research and the work. Someone else got the commission.  Commission is already built into every travel booking no matter what.

So as an independent travel agent, whenever you book your travel, your best friend's travel or your family reunion, you will receive a commission.

The Connie's Travel Agency receives the commission and collects a nominal administrative fee and as an agent you will receive up to 80% of that commission depending on certain variables such as the vendor and types of trips you are booking.
Q. How do you find customers for your travel agency?
Given the popularity of travel among people of all ages, demographics, and interests, you can find customers almost everywhere you look or think. You are not selling potions and lotions, you are selling cruises and oceans - fun things, that people love!

I found customers through social networks, through referrals from family and friends, through social organizations and clubs, and through my blog.
Q. Do you have a sales quota?
No, what I love about being independent is that I determine my own success and results by the efforts that I make. Most of my peers are successful at selling but they don't even have or use a blog. It really depends on your purpose and what motivated you on your journey.

What I have learned is that people I know who work for certain travel agencies also have to find their customers. Their companies may have marketing strategies in place to help them get leads here and there, but at the end of the day, they are salespeople TOO and need to make their quota. So if they do not make quota, they will get let go.
Q. What is a 'Typical Day' like as an independent travel agent?
You can create your day however you want as this opportunity as you can work - part-time, full-time, or your-time based on your availability and goals.

In a typical day here are some of the things you would do:
  • Research and prepare quotes for your clients preferred travel destinationsTake an online certification course for a travel supplier you want to learn  A LOT more about
  • Network in private groups with other travel agents to get marketing ideas or support  for something you are doing
  • Travel to learn about and share a new destination with your clients and fans
  • Post inspirational travel photos to attract new clients
  • Tell a friend about your travel business
Q. What are you able to sell as an independent travel agent?
As an independent travel agent,  in addition to selling hotels and airfare and cruises, you can personalize your clients trip and earn more commission in the process. You will have access to tickets for games, major sporting events such as the Olympics, Wimbledon, etc., concerts, comedy shows, and more. You can also sell activities and special outings such as dolphin watching or Baja Beach Buggy excursion to further enhance your clients' travel.
Q. What are some of the pros and cons of being a work from home travel agent?
In my opinion and experience the cons would be: Having to prepare your own quotes (until you can afford a Virtual Assistant or software). They can be time consuming. Finding your first customers (after you have secured the first ones it gets soooo much easier). Staying up with the ever-changing travel deals and pricing (literally changes on a day-to-day basis).

The pros would be:

  • 'WORKING' in  a very fun industry!
  • No quota or formal experience required to get started
  • Opportunity to work with your friends and loved ones as their travel agent OR their travel business partner
  • Getting paid on your own personal travel - that you were gonna do anyway!
  • Getting paid on friends and family members travel
  • Familiarization Trips (FAM's) which allow you to travel, at a very reduced rate so that you can better promote the property
  • Work From Wherever capacity allows you to set up shop wherever you have internet access
  • Discounted travel, bonuses, and special perks from major suppliers when you reach certain training or sales goals
  • Work full-time, part-time, or your time
  • Getting to travel more - because when it's your livelihood you most definitely will!
  • Free, awesome, and supportive travel agent community with amazing culture (specific to my travel partners)
Q. How much does it cost to start your work from home travel agency?
Launching your own travel agency is surprisingly affordable and fast!
You can get started for just $179.95 (one -time fee) and $39.95/mo which covers the monthly fees for your personalized booking sites, ongoing support, and access to different supplier platforms.
Option 1. Become an Independent Travel Agent (ITA) Only
This option enables you to sign up as an InteleTravel home-based independent travel agent (“ITA”) and you will earn sales commission when you book travel for yourself or others. No experience is necessary to become a travel agent. You just need a passion for travel, helping others and learning new things. 
To sign up as an InteleTravel Independent Travel Agency business (an ITA) there is a one-time fee of $179.95 and a recurring monthly fee of $39.95. You will receive your own booking platform and access to free training videos from hundreds of major travel suppliers, destinations, hotels and tourism boards in the U.S. and around the world. And you are eligible to book travel in the United States and those traveling from the United States to other global destinations.
Option 2.  Become an ITA AND Build a Team (REP) and Earn Override Commission
In addition to booking travel and getting paid, you can also sell the InteleTravel business opportunity.
As a team-building Rep, you will build your own team of Reps who are also selling the Inteletravel business opportunity and earn override commissions on their enrollments and bookings.
You will be provided with an online back office complete with all of the marketing and sales tools and support that you need to grow your business. When you enroll someone as a PlanNet Marketing Rep ($19.95 and $19.95 monthly*) and they make an ITA sale, you, as their Sponsor, are paid a 50% Match ($25.00) on their ITA sale. There is no limit to the number of 50% Match Commissions ($25.00) you may earn. And that’s just the start!
As you continue to enroll Reps and they, in turn, do the same your team will grow and so will your your earning potential. As your business grows, you become eligible for tiered Director levels, not to mention higher earning levels!
*There are no commissions paid on the Rep enrollment Fee of $19.95 or the monthly administrative fee of $19.95. Rep commissions are paid only for the ITA sale (signing up someone as an InteleTravel Agent).
Q. Sounds great, but what if I sign up and don't like it?
It's completely understandable. The Connie's Travel Agency I am certified with offers their own one year guarantee. So rest assured that if things do not work out as you imagined, you will be given ample opportunity to ramp up your business and there is an exit opportunity available.
Ready to Launch Your Travel Agency?
Be in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Join my team as a work from home travel agent. Opportunities available in the U.S., UK and Mexico.