Do you live in Texas and are looking to become a travel agent? While it may seem like there are tons of loops to jump through to get started, it’s actually easier than you think. And don’t think that you have to start all by yourself building from the ground up. There are programs available to help you become a Travel Agent in Texas without the expensive overhead costs.
How Do I Become A Travel Agent in Texas?
You’re first going to want to start by finding the right program to join. While you may have had thoughts of opening a brick and mortar store where people walk in to book their vacation, reality if far from that. Nowadays clients book their trips over the internet with a smaller amount booking over the phone.
Our point is that in-person bookings are a thing of the past. So you’ll want to make sure that you find a program that allows you to work from home via a computer and phone. Before you jump into programs though, let us give you a rundown of your options when it comes to starting a travel business:
1. AAA or Costco – These are your classic travel businesses that hire agents to do client bookings for them. They have call centers that agents work out of and it’s essentially a 9-5 job with no real travel benefits per se.
2. Affiliate Work – You can start a website that blog about travel, try and rank your website for certain topics so that people visit it and read your articles, and then insert affiliate links into those articles hoping people click on them and book or buy something. For someone who has dreamed about blogging 24/7, this isn’t a bad route but you never get to actually help book or plan out a clients vacation nor do you see any travel benefits.
3. Host Agency – You can join a host agency like MainStreet Travel who provides you with the tools to book clients vacations with major suppliers like Disney, Universal, Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, all-inclusive resorts, Expedia and more. You work as an independent agent which allows you to run your own agency and keep your clients. You can also earn travel benefits as you complete online training.
We’re here to focus on joining a Host Agency as this is what most people are looking to do when they want to become a travel agent.
In Texas, there are currently no set laws in place that need to be followed to join a host agency. This includes having a bond. You will want to start a business as an Independent Contractor as this is how you will be operating. All this requires this that you register with the state. You’ll need a FEIN number as well which you can get for free online.
You can join a Host Agency like MainStreet Travel while you’re in the process of registering with the state. This means you can get a jump start on your training without having to wait.
Host Agencies in Texas
If you’re looking to join a Host Agency in Texas, there’s no need to continue your search. Most Host Agencies are located all over the U.S.A. and the great thing is that it doesn’t matter where they are. You can join a Host Agency that’s located in Utah even though you live in Texas.
This is because these agencies will obtain the necessary licenses for you to sell in any states that require this. And because most travel agents work from home, you can continue to live in Texas and join a Host Agency in a different state.
What Can Texas Travel Agents Sell?
Travel agents who live in Texas can sell all major brands and suppliers including the following:
Carnival Cruise Line
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line
The great things about being part of a host agency is that independent agents can sell everything that they offer. Along with having access to a lot of suppliers, many agencies like MainStreet Travel also offer better commission. So instead of paying a flat 10% which is industry standard they may pay 13-14% which means more money to you for each booking.
How Do You Sell Travel?
This may seem like the hardest part. How do you find clients to sell travel to? The great thing about the travel industry is that practically EVERYONE participates in it. While we tend to focus on leisure travel we forget that millions of people out there also travel for work, medical procedures, and family, to name a few.
That means essentially everyone is a potential client. Most agents start by booking for friends and family members and then grow from there via word of mouth and local marketing.
Some of your best clients will come from a random hand out of a business card at the grocery store or a friend of a friend. As you take care of these clients from start to finish they’ll keep coming back and telling other people about you.
Programs like MainStreet Travel have great trainings and opportunities for you to get started and find those first clients.
The second part of this is how do you do the actual bookings. Most of this is done online these days with a little bit over the phone. Booking a cruise for instance, can be done online, just like a consumer. The only difference is when you’re done booking, you earn a commission!
Host Agencies in Texas, like MainStreet Travel, give you access to these booking sites so that you can train and book for clients. It’s a very simple process and can be learned in just a few hours.
What Tools Do I Need To Sell Travel?
Because you’ll be selling travel online you’ll need the following tools:
Computer including laptop or desktop
Phone, preferably a cell phone
Quiet place to work
It might seem strange that this is all you need to sell travel but in todays world with most communication happening over the phone and online, these are the 4 basics that any agent needs. You’ll be sending quotes via email and chatting with clients the same way. Some agents even communicate via social media.
Anytime you’re on the phone you’ll want to be in quite place away from noises of other people and animals. You want to maintain a professional environment at all times.
Because a lot of agents travel a laptop is the preferred computer for use as it can be used at home and on the go and can be easily packed into a backpack or suitcase.
Lastly, you’ll want to make sure that you have a good internet connection so that you want respond to quotes, look up quotes and ultimately book a clients vacation.
The Best Host Agency To Join
Right now the best Host Agency to join in MainStreet Travel. They have been in business for over 10 years and offer some of the best resources and tools for current and new agents. These include:
Online training for all suppliers
Access to major suppliers including Disney, Universal, Cruise Lines, Expedia, all-inclusive, hotel-only and more
Website for agents to train, communicate, submit commission and more
Pays an agency high 70% of commission paid on all bookings
Access to travel benefits and CLIA
4 options for support including chat, phone, social media and email
FAM trips to major resorts each year
No yearly or monthly fees to pay
MainStreet Travel has proven to be one of the best programs to join year over year and their agents are like a family. If you’re looking for a program to join there’s not a better one available.