If you’re looking to find a host agency to join that allows your to work from home, book travel for money, set your own hours, earn 70%+ commission, receive free training and on-going support, there are several host agency options out there including MainStreet Travel, Boardwalk Travel, and Explore World Explore Travel. In this article we’re going to review each one and recommend the top host agency.
What Is A Host Agency?
If you’re come across an ad saying you can work from home selling travel, you’ve likely come across a host agency advertising their program for independent agents. Programs like these have access to major travel suppliers which is shared with agents. They also train you on how to sell travel, use the suppliers and pay you commission.
This of a host agency as a manager who helps you run your business. They provide all the tools and support you need to be successful.
Host Agency Support
Picking the right host agency is important because not all are created equal. Some offer little to no support from start to finish, some offer it up front but not on-going and some keep supporting you from day one and on.
MainStreet Travel offers top-notch support for their agents including online chat, community ask, email and DM when agents need it most. They can help you with basic questions, one-off questions, and support from beginning to end to ensure you feel comfortable in completing your booking.
Boardwalk Travel Agency offers many of the same tools that MainStreet does including support from day one that you join.
Explore World Explore Travel is hit and miss when in comes to support and is very bleak and not timely from our research.
Host agencies also take care of and offer commissions to their agents. Depending on the volume of revenue, some host agencies can offer their agents more commission on their bookings. Don’t just look at the commission share. Find out what commission the agency is getting paid from the supplier (10-15% or more). In the end this is what makes all the difference and ensures you get paid the most for your bookings.
You also want to find a host agency who pays you on-time. Once travel is complete you want to be able to collect your hard-earned money as soon as you can. Pick an agency who will pay you via ACH instead of check. You also want to make sure they can pay you within days and not weeks of your request.
MainStreet Travel Agency is known for paying agents via ACH/direct deposit within 1-2 days once the agent has made the request.
Boardwalk Travel uses the same system as MainStreet and gets agents paid quickly.
Explore World Explore can take days to weeks to get an agent paid.
A good host agency will give you access to multiple suppliers so that you can offer them to your clients. This allows you to book not only theme park vacations but also cruises, all-inclusives, hotel-only, car rentals and transportation, tickets and more.
Once you book for someone and they become your client you’ll want to be able to offer them any type of travel that they are interested in. This ensures they remain your client and continue to book with you.
MainStreet Travel offers over 20+ suppliers for their agents including Disney, Universal, all major cruise lines, Expedia, Beaches and Sandals resorts, 100,000+ hotels around the world, shuttle and shared transportation, and complete packages.
Boardwalk Agency has almost all of the same suppliers while Explore World Explore Travel offers the least amount of suppliers for their agents.
Both MainStreet and Boardwalk are winners in this category.
Being able to train online is one of the most important offerings a host agency can offer. This allows agents to train on their own time and at their own pace. It’s also important to have a host agency who offers not just supplier training (directly from the supplier) but also their own training to help you learn how to use all their tools, how to market, and how to find/use support when needed.
Training should be offered in video format so agents can visually see what the agency or supplier is talking about. Having to read long articles with no visuals can be hard and time-consuming without great learning.
Your host agency should also offer on-going training as agents progress and the agency itself grows. Online training and webinars from both the agency and their suppliers is key to offering clients the most up-to-date information on their vacation. This draws clients back to the agent as they feel well taken care of.
MainStreet Travel once agains tops this category as they are adding new trainings every week from both themselves and suppliers who offer them in-depth training beyond the basics.
Boardwalk Travel seems to be catching up to MainStreet but currently does not have as much to offer.
Explore World Explore Agency comes in last as far as agency trainings and supplier trainings.
A good host agency offers their agents a lot of tools online to help them book. This includes a website when you can access and learn including travel news, offers, marketing tools, training and more.
Suppliers do offer booking tools online so agents can book for their clients and these are important to learn. However, without the correct tools from the host agency you’ll find yourself having a hard time moving forward.
Make sure you join a host who allows agents to have access to all these tools including commission submission online, email newsletters, benefits and more.
We feel both Boardwalk Travel and MainStreet offer the best online booking tools for their agents.
Explore World Explore offers some booking tools but seem to be a bit scattered.
Overall Rating and Review
We highly recommend MainStreet Travel as the best host agency to join online. They top all of our categories for agents and have an excellent program for new and existing agents. They pay very high commissions, receive amazing benefits for their agents including training trips from major suppliers, weekly giveaways and personal travel benefits.
Boardwalk Travel is right on the heels of MainStreet and their program continues to grow well each month.
Explore World Explore Travel Agency is the last on our list and we feel their program has been thrown together and add agents without giving them the support they need. They also have not been around for very long without any type of reputation.