First MLM and Travel Agent Model Arrives

In this exciting new century there is a new way to become a travel agent. The days of the expensive travel agent courses are becoming ancient history, and so is the overhead traditional travel agents had to deal with.

Classic (old-school) Travel Agent Opportunity

There are still travel agent trainings, that cost an arm & a leg, and leave you with the ability to book travel, but that’s where it ends. My wife took this old-school training and it cost her over $10,000 and she had to pay for room & board for the month-long course. She ended up with a basic privilege to book travel.

With these kind of old-school credentials, you are missing out on something BIG, and I’ll get to why further in this article.

Internet Travel Agent Opportunity

Then along came the Internet, and soon there was hundreds of web-sites offering cheap eBooks, online courses claiming that you would get the information, and training you needed to succeed as a travel agent (home-based, or overhead based).

None of these cheap deals actually deliver on their promise, and this avenue usually leaves you out of pocket for some of your hard-earned money. How much can vary – from as low as $5.95, and as high as $2500 USD. OUCH! You want to stay clear of these scams for sure.

Then Came Programs Like YTB

YTB is a smoother, and slicker Internet based company that promises to provide you with the resources to become a home-based travel agent. The problem is that there are better offers out there now. These new-world networks cost less money, set you up faster, pay higher commissions, and provide for residual income as well. The travel agents make high commissions, and they have lucrative down-lines that grow wealth perpetually.

The New-World Travel Agent System

The new-world travel agent systems use a Network that provides for online travel booking so that the agent can work from anywhere there is an Internet connection, and they pay much higher commissions. The best example to date is a new travel company known as Pro Travel Network.

This new breed of travel agent gets all the travel benefits the old-school agents get, but they have more freedom because of the Internet based model, and they (more importantly), have down lines. This is where it gets very lucrative.

Terry Zuit is a full time blogger with extensive experience in marketing, online business creation, and home business opportunities. Learning how to become a home-based travel agent [http://www.zulit.com/2007/07/24/pro-travel-network-review-to-end-all-pro-travel-network-reviews/] only requires a little bit of online research, and the above article is a good place to start.

This article also breaks down the different ways new members can become agents. They can either sign up like the old-school agent with the ability to only book travel, or they can sign up for the PTN multi-level marketing side.

This is not unlike the old Amway system, but it’s based on travel booking, and this is why it’s such a lucrative system. Signing up people for travel deals, and a residual income is an easy sell.

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My Travel Agent is a Crook and Other Horror Stories

There was a recent article on CNN where a women listed all the various ills she experienced in her vacation because of a “bad travel agent”. The airplane ticket she bought wasn’t upgradeable or refundable. The hotel wouldn’t upgrade her to a better room. Her car didn’t have unlimited mileage. She said the travel agent had done all these things in order to earn a bigger commission. And the list went on…

My first reaction as a traveler is that she had a good right to be angry and upset that her vacation wasn’t fantastic. My first reaction as a travel agent was – hold the fort – did she ASK for any of those items when she met with the travel agent?

We aren’t mind readers. We do are best to screen our clients to find out likes, dislikes and preferences. However, the client DOES pay a large part in the process.

To understand how best to utilize a travel agent, you should understand how a travel agency operates.

In “the good old days”, travel agents receive commissions from airlines, hotels, cars and resorts for travel purchased on behalf of a client. With the advent of the internet, these commission checks began disappearing. Regular airfare (without hotels or car rentals) is generally not commissionable. That means when the travel agent does the research for your best fare, s(he) isn’t going to receive any money for the time and effort spent on your behalf. Booking airline tickets alone is actually a money losing proposition for the travel agent. However, many good agents will continue to book these flights as a gesture of goodwill in hopes that you will bring them your other travel.

Your budget determines the type of airfare and accommodations you will receive. If you are on a tight budget, you will likely end up with non refundable / non changeable plane tickets and hotel rooms that won’t allow you to upgrade. Make sure to discuss your budget options and the pros and cons associated with your airfare, car and hotel before you make a purchase. Keep in mind that your travel agent is likely to receive a higher commission on the refundable / upgradeable fares so buying non refundable / non changeable tickets really doesn’t benefit the travel agent.

If you want to use airline or hotel points for upgrades, make sure and tell your agent up front. That way s(he) can find you the best upgradeable bargain.

Your travel agent can be an invaluable asset when planning your next trip or vacation. You, as the consumer, do have certain responsibilities to volunteer information if not directly asked.

Questions to ask your agent.

1. Do you charge any research or other fees?

2. Will you work with me if there are any issues?

3. Do you work with any companies that allow me to pay out my vacation?

4. Is there a 24/7 phone number in case of critical issues?

Questions your agent should ask you

1. What areas of travel interest you?

2. What kind of budget do you have?

3. What types of travel do you like – air, cruise, all inclusive etc?

4. Do you have airline seating preferences?

5. Smoking or non smoking hotel rooms (if applicable)?

6. What level of service do you expect – budget, 5 star etc?

7. Ask about visas and passports for international travel.

Fantastic vacations start with detailed planning. So, get together with your travel agent and start planning your next dream trip.

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