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Do you enjoy finding good travel deals to anywhere? And, how about working remote?
If so, getting paid as a virtual travel agent may be a job or a business just for you.
Today’s travelers have the convenience of the internet and price comparison engines, many use these to book their trips.
However, there are still others who prefer to leave the logistics to a professional travel agent.
A professional travel agent can help with booking business and personal travels.
All the logistics, such as connecting flights, car rentals, sight seeing tours etc. can be overwhelming. A travel agent can do all that for the client.
Travel agents can work remotely as virtual agents from their homes. There are many Hosting Agencies that can help you get a start as a virtual travel agent.
Another option, although more difficult, is to work on your own as an agent.
What type of qualifications do you need to become a virtual travel agent
To become a professional virtual travel agent you don’t need specific qualifications.
What you’ll be doing is selling a service to the traveling public. Therefore, sales skills are the most essential qualifications you’ll need.
In selling anything, you’ll need to be trusted, confident and likable.
Besides these personal qualities, working for a well established hosting agency will help in growing your virtual agent business.
A virtual travel agent is like running your own business from home, so you need to be entrepreneurial.
You’ll also need to sharpen your time management skills to make the most of your time. Understand that this is a professional business and not only a hobby.
Other skills needed to be an independent travel agent include; hard worker, a self-starter, organized, energetic, detailed oriented, ability to research for answers and able to work independently.
Types of Virtual Travel Agents
Virtual agents work for an established travel agency or hosting company. You can become a travel consultant or coordinator for one of these companies.
The host has a set structure for leads, sales, commissions and is already accredited by an Airlines accreditation body.
As a consultant you’ll be operating like your own business, however you take advantage of the sales structure and the marketing done by the hosting company.
Working for a hosting company is the fastest way to get a start in the virtual travel agency business.
The salary for a virtual agent is mainly commissions based. So, you’ll get paid a percentage based on your closed deals.
Some travel agents work for themselves. Having your own online travel business, you’ll have to set up a lead and sales structure. Additionally, you’re responsible for the marketing efforts of your agency.
If you’re looking to put your sales skills to work as a virtual travel agent, there are companies hiring agents and other travel staff, like customer service representatives.
Travel agencies that specialize in providing Disney vacations travel services routinely hire agents and coordinators.
These companies require agents to become accredited Disney travel agents. Training is required to become accredited.
The Disney vacation agents or planners are not Disney’s employees.
However, they do go thru special training to become knowledgeable in all things Disney. This training earns the agents the title of Authorized Disney Vacation Planners.
These are some of the companies specializing in Disney vacations.
American Express offers a variety of travel services to its credit card holders.
The company has an extensive virtual jobs department that includes travel agents, travel lifestyle counselors and travel coordinators staff.
Sign up for the company’s Talent Community to receive updates on travel positions worldwide.
You can search for home travel agent positions in the American Express Virtual jobs database.
Use key words: Travel agent, Travel coordinator, travel consultant, customer service to find a virtual position that matches your interest.
Cruise.com hires customer service and sales agents who are professional and passionate about selling cruises and other leisure services/products.
The company hires virtual home-based agents or hires for its Dania Beach location.
Other positions at Cruise.com include; Marketing Coordinator, sales supervisor and leisure travel agent. The company works with major cruise cruise lines, like Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.
Avoya is a hosting company offering support, marketing, commissions, and technology to home based travel agents and independent travel agencies.
As a home based agent you’ll receive sales leads and commission fr your travel business. Also, Avoya has partnered with American Express so you are eligible to receive Amex travel benefits.
Cruises Inc. is a Travel Host Agency for selling cruise vacations worldwide. You can become an independent contractor getting paid by sale commissions. There is an initial investment cost of $249 for enrollment in Cruises Inc.
The company offers sale leads and customer support so that you can focus on helping travelers book their cruises.
Job search engines
Search for home based opportunities search engines. Use keywords: travel consultant, travel counselor, home based travel agent and remote travel agent in these engines.
Other jobs in the travel industry
If you want to work in the travel industry, but don’t want to be a travel agent or coordinator, there are other opportunities in the industry.
Freelance Travel Writer – Travel writers go to different tourist destinations and document their experiences.
They use this first hand knowledge to write about the locale in newspapers, travel websites and magazines.
Travel writers work as freelancers and also as contractor or employee in a travel related company. They must meet deadlines and be open to edits to their work.
Tip: A good way to start a travel writing career is to join a writer’s organization, such as ASJA . These organizations provide education and guidance to writers.
Related content: How to find freelance writers jobs for beginners
Lifestyle Travel Blogger – Creating your own travel blog can be very satisfying. In a travel blog you can write about vacation destinations, post photos, and create travel related videos and news. You tell your travel stories and become a travel guide to the readers.
Travel blogging is your own business and you have to find ways to make money from it. Here are some ideas to earn passive and active income from a travel blog.
- Create a travel blog and use it to get paid writer’s gigs.
- Use affiliate marketing to make money
- Create your own products
- Get paid sponsorships – paid campaigns
Travel Photographer – Get paid to take beautiful pictures of vacation destinations. You can work as a freelance photographer or create your own photography blog or website.
Like a travel writer, a travel photographer can use a personal blog as a resume to get other jobs. A photographer can also use affiliate marketing to make money with his images.
If you like photography, check these posts out.
There are many ways to make money from home in the travel industry. You have the option of becoming a home based travel agent, coordinator or counselor. But, you can also take a totally different path to become a travel writer/blogger or photographer.
If you love travel, making a living from it is possible thanks to remote home based jobs from anywhere.