Sponsored Content Provided by Dream Vacations
What do travel agents do?
Travel agents sell individual and group travel, booking air, hotel, all-inclusive vacations, and cruises for clients, as well as offer planning services and advice for travelers.
What do you have to do to become a travel agent?
There are no specific requirements to become a travel agent. Although a background in tourism, marketing and sales can be beneficial, anyone who enjoys working with people can find success as a travel agent. One great way to enter the field is through franchising. When you invest in a franchise you will receive training and support, which can be very beneficial as a new travel agent.
How much do travel agents make?
Travel agent’s salaries vary, as some agents choose to work as employees for big brands while others choose to invest in a franchise and run their own business making commission on each sale. At Dream Vacations, the franchise model is home-based and franchise owners can make can set goals toward their earning goals.
How long does it take to become a travel agent?
Since there are no required classes or certifications for travel agents, you can begin your career as soon as you graduate high school. As a Franchise Owner with Dream Vacations, you’ll receive full training and upon completion will be a certified travel agent able to sell travel.
What is the work environment?
This will depend on who you work for. Travel agents that own a Dream Vacations franchise can work from home or from anywhere in the world. All you need is access to the internet and you can make your work environment what you want!
What is the job outlook?
The travel industry is one of the fastest growing industries providing a formula for long-term success. With a strong economy, people have more disposable income and want to spend it on vacation experiences. Non-cruise sales have increased more than 30% year-over-year, 38% of millennials have used a travel agent in the last 12 months and in 2019 over 30 million passengers will cruise — 70% of which will be booked through a travel agent.
Name: Christy Scannell
Location: San Diego, California
Franchisee since 2011
Favorite vacation spots: Paris and Cambodia
Before Christy Scannell ran a successful travel business in Southern California, she worked for more than 20 years as a writer and editor. The same curiosity and attention to detail that made her successful in the publishing industry is now responsible for the six-figure income she earns today as a Dream Vacations franchisee.
Eight years ago, Christy first discovered Dream Vacations (when it was known as CruiseOne) after reading an article about what it was like to own a franchise travel business. Although the opportunity required her to stretch beyond her comfort zone, the support and structure of a franchise business appealed to Christy – who became increasingly excited about the potential of owning her own travel business.
“Not only did I not have any travel sales experience, I had no sales experience at all!” Christy said. “Because I had regularly booked travel for myself and my friends and family, I was confident (somewhat naively, perhaps) that I had the basic knowledge to start a business. Everyone around me thought I was crazy to start a travel business during an economic downturn. I happily proved them wrong—and I often jokingly remind them about it!”
Dream Vacations, a CruiseOne company under the umbrella of World Travel Holdings, is the world’s largest cruise agency. Since 1992, the franchise has grown to 1,200 franchise owners who help travelers book air, hotel, all-inclusive vacations, and cruises. Their agents are home-based and do not operate in defined territories, which allows them to sell travel to anyone throughout the world. Christy said the week-long training she received at Dream Vacations’ Fort Lauderdale corporate office helped her learn the foundation of how to run a travel franchise and connected her to corporate team members and travel suppliers. She said she also took advantage of travel suppliers’ online training, webinars, and workshops.
Worried about competing with online booking sites? According to Dream Vacations, 70% of cruises are booked through a travel agent and travel agents can save clients $452 per vacation on average. Moreover, those online transactions can take up to five hours and travelers aren’t provided with the information they need, customer service, or exclusive offers provided by suppliers that only agents are privy to.
“Dream Vacations travel industry relationships provide me contracted travel rates and extras that help me close sales and retain clients,” Christy said.
Other tools Dream Vacations provides its franchisees include access to corporate representatives, ongoing online education, web-based business tools, and marketing support. That said, a travel agency is a business you must build and grow yourself. No two days are alike, and multitasking is part of the job description.
“I can be on the phone with a supplier, while I am emailing a client, glancing at another client’s text, and printing travel documents for a third client—all at the same time,” she said. “This is not the job for anyone who is organizationally challenged, wants to work a set 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule, or gets stressed at every bump in the road.”
While you can choose to work full-time or part-time or specialize in one area of travel—for example, cruises or Caribbean travel – your main job will be to exceed each customer’s expectations. Whether Christy is serving a family on their first Caribbean cruise, millennials hiking in Patagonia, or a retired company taking the train across Europe – she’s up for it.
“I know many successful travel agencies who specialize in themed group trips and that is a marvelous way to grow your business, but I’ve learned that I most enjoy individual client bookings, particularly luxury,” she said. “I don’t mind a 2 a.m. client text from Italy when I know I can be that client’s hero and she will continue to send me business. That’s worth an extra cup of coffee the next day!”
If you are interested in selling travel, working for yourself, and taking advantage of amazing travel deals, Christy has five tips about how you can be a successful travel agent working from home.
The beauty of owning a Dream Vacations franchise is that you can do what you want with it, Christy said. Whether it’s your full-time job or your side business, you have the flexibility to make it your own.
“Thankfully, I’ve grown the business into a six-figure income but that has come with enormous effort,” she said. “Not everyone will want to work that hard and therefore their income will be substantially less. But if they are achieving their lifestyle and financial goals, that is the perfect franchise for them!”
Dream Vacations has been rated among the top franchises by its franchisees in a recent Franchise Business Review survey, where it was rated as either “Excellent” or “Very good” in eight categories, including financial opportunity and general satisfaction. Here’s what you need to know if you are considering a Dream Vacations franchise.
You don’t have to dream it to do it! Becoming a Dream Vacations agent is attainable for most people, thanks to its low investment requirement and minimal overhead costs. For more information about franchising with Dream Vacations you may call 888-202-8631 or visit www.DreamVacationsFranchise.com
George Hamilton was nominated for a 2022 Rock Star Award by the Snap-on Tools leadership team under the Veteran-Owned category. He was chosen by Franchise Business Review from among 200+ nominations for his outstanding achievements as a Snap-on Tools franchise owner in Saint Charles, IL.