Ways to Open a Travel Agency

images-4The job of a travel agent is to interact with people and sell trips and holiday packages to them. If this sounds interesting and exciting to you, then you are fit for this role. You may be already working in such a company, but the thought of starting your own business may have crossed your mind several times. One can either rent a place to set it up or begin from his home itself. However, an important point to remember is that like any other business, starting a travel agency is not an easy task. It requires a lot of hard work and planning to run it successfully.

Before starting it, the most important thing to do is to research about the current market status, the options available to you, etc. The initial steps must be taken with great care and planning, as there have been many such agencies that had to be closed down because of wrong decisions from the beginning.

First and foremost, inquire about the laws that the government of your country has set for the travel industry in general. You will have to gain a suitable license to begin. It is also necessary to join a trade association, because only then you will be considered as a serious travel agent. As an independent service provider, you will have to work with a tour operator or host agency. Before selecting a tour operator, you have to research well about the various options you have, and choose the one that you think would be the best for you. One has to make his own decisions and policies for his agency, rather than relying on other agents because what may have worked for them may not work for everyone. If you have rented a place for this business, you will need some people to work for you. It would be beneficial to recruit people who have some experience in this field.

Advertising is very important for people to know about a new business. Initially, you may sell packages to your close friends and relatives. They would spread the word to others, and consequently over time, you will have good business coming in. You may not be able to give high discount rates to customers initially, but excellence in your service skills will help you to gain some loyal customers. To advertise this initiative, you can also give ads in newspapers, Internet, etc.

The income you earn from your agency comes from the commission you get from the holiday packages that you sell. You have to negotiate well with your tour operator for a good commission and also good discount rates on holiday packages for you and your staff. In the beginning, the income you receive may not be much, but as your business grows, so will your income.

If you are planning to start a home-based agency, you can also opt to become a referral agent. This job is much easier than that of the booking and selling agent because he only has to guide the customers to other travel agencies or tour operators. For this, he gets a commission from the tour operator, though it is not as much as that of the latter.

Before you begin your independent business, you must remember that you are responsible for every decision that you make. The success as well as failure of your agency solely depends on you.

Ways to Starting a Travel Agency Business

There are a number of travel agencies in the world today. Unlike a few years back, you can now directly book tickets at discounted rates from dedicated booking websites. The Internet has further improved the way people want to travel. Due to all these changes, today, people expect different things from a travel agency. You don’t only have to stand out among other agencies, but also serve people with a difference. Through these tips, we’ll tell you what you can do to survive without many financial blows in the first few months, how you can get noticed among all the other players, and on what idea you can sustain your reputation for a longer period of time.

Before you Begin: The Prerequisites

Decide the services you want to provide.
A travel agency provides a lot of services such as consultation, ticketing, bookings, insurances, visa procurement, etc. However, it’s perfectly alright to provide just a few at the very beginning. If you have experience of working in this industry, and have a good team to back you up, you can consider providing as many services as you want. Also, know that customers prefer getting all their work done from a single stop; it is thus better to cater to as many requirements as possible.

Make a list of things you need for all the legal procedures.
The first thing you need to do is think of a name for your agency and patent it. The next step is to register your company. Every state has its own laws; you will get a list of required documents, along with details of the procedure, through the Internet. Once your company is registered, you can open bank accounts in its name. If you are going to rent a place, get in touch with a broker. If you don’t want to pay the commission, you need to look for places yourself. Then comes the list of services you need to offer. Each of these is going to need some sort of streamlining; do it before you open up for business.

Look for competitors and conduct a study on them.
Competition can benefit you if you research it, while it can scar you if you take it for granted. Look for competitors and try to understand their business module. Make a list of services each competitor is providing and his USP. This will help you in finding your USP. It might also help you in choosing your location; preferably an area that doesn’t have a travel agency. Once you know what is being offered by other agencies, you can offer something that is different.

Spend a good deal of time and money on marketing and advertising.
Don’t hold back on advertising―it is the only way you’re going to reach out to potential customers, who are going to get you the money. Device a good marketing strategy and back it up with creative advertising. Use social media to your advantage. Don’t just share things that come to your mind, but draft campaigns that people will tend to follow. Engaging your customers through advertising should be your main aim.

Tie-up with multiple partners for more discounts.
A lot of your work is going to be done with the help of other people. Contacts in airlines, for visa formalities, and for discounted rates in hotels are very important. Start building these as soon as possible. These tie-ups will help you offer multiple discounts, which in turn will help you provide better rates. Always file everyone’s contact information. In case your usual agent for visas is sick or on a long leave, you can immediately get in touch with someone else.

Ways to Choose The Right Travel Tour Company

Most independent travelers skip travel tour companies. However, they can come in quite handy on several occasions. At some point, travelers need to seek help from a travel company. Organized trips are better than not having any organization at all, whether you will travel for a couple of days or for a few weeks. They are hard to avoid, and these days, they are everywhere.

Travel companies have become a staple of travelers because they offer flexible rates alongside affordable prices. But be sure to know how to select the right travel company before you settle for a particular company. These travel tours can help first-time travelers on their way to experience the best holiday they have had in a while. If you decide to visit a particular place, then make sure to know the things to look for when selecting a good tour company.

Tips To Selecting A Good Travel Company

•    Cost – Perhaps the most important aspect of choosing a travel company is the cost. You must know that travel companies do not always stay true to the saying that “you get what you pay for”. Tour companies today tend to overcharge their clients who know little about the rates. You must ask the breakdown of where your money went. Likewise, ask if you will pay extra fees when you arrive at your travel destination.

•    Reputation – Always look for a travel company with a great reputation. Check the reputation first before you choose a particular travel company. The biggest companies might not have the best reputations. There are times when the upstart  travel companies can totally offer a good service to you. Also, find out what the past customers say about travel companies.

•    Safety – Safety is of paramount importance, so make sure that your chosen travel company follows all the right safety requirements, and has an accreditation by your government. This ensures that your safety will be protected.

•    Guides – A travel company must offer local tour guides that are knowledgeable about the place. They must likewise know the history of the place, as well as the life-saving methods if in case there’s a problem regarding health.

•    Market – Make sure to know the target market of the travel company. Travel boards can help you. If the travel company caters to a specific group age, then make sure that you belong to that bracket. You do not want to be included in a travel tour for elderlies when you are a teenager.

Always remember these tips when you choose a particular travel company. These will surely help you have the best travel experience.

Travel Trailer Insurance Tips for You

So you have bought an expensive travel trailer and are now worried about its safety, right? Happens! Humans usually indulge first and then think later – that’s human mentality. However, there are a lot of options for getting insurance and most of them would be quite suitable to you. You need to be vigilant, and make sure that you are getting what you bargained for. It is quite a cliché to say that you have to minutely read the fine print, but there it goes – YOU HAVE TO MINUTELY READ THE FINE PRINT! There is no way you can ensure you are getting what you want without that.

Now, here are some of the things you need to keep your eyes peeled for:-

Tip # 1- Check What Coverage You Are Getting
Make doubly sure what your insurance will cover you for. These are the least types of coverage that you must get:-

  • Losses due to accidents and collisions
  • Destruction or damage due to fire and related perils
  • Losses due to natural calamities such as hurricanes, floods, landslides, hails, storms, lightning, etc.
  • Damage done due to animals
  • Damage done due to vandalism
  • Damage done due to unavoidable roadside perils such as low hanging branches and bad road conditions
  • Loss due to theft

Bad faith is not unheard of in the claims. Hence, it is important that you make sure everything you want is specified clearly.

Tip # 2- Check the Emergency Expenses Coverage
Most policies must cover for the unexpected expenses that you might have to incur if your trailer broke down on the way. There are many such expenses that might happen, such as you might have to spend a night in a motel, you might have to pay extra for towing the trailer or making repairs, etc. If you want coverage in such situations, check that the documentation explicitly mentions that.

Tip # 3- Check for Fixtures Coverage
Do you have expensive gear affixed on your trailer? Your policy should, by default, cover for the permanent fixtures that came with the vehicle, but if you have done any additions later, see how you can cover them with the policy. You might have expensive awnings or even drapes on your travel trailer windows. Or there might be some antennas and satellite dishes you have connected. Such peripheral accessories can be covered for, but only if you specifically mention them. You might have to pay extra premium on that, but if you are traveling a lot in unknown places, you might as well equip yourself against their losses.

Tip # 4- Check for Parked Trailer Coverage
This coverage is different from the coverage you can get when the trailer is moving. In case your vehicle is parked at a campsite or any other such place and you are using it as a temporary residence, you will get a different kind of coverage during those times. Be aware of that, and speak with the policy representatives about it.

Tip # 5- Check for Distance Conditions
All these policies have some restrictions about the claims they will pay depending on the distance of the trailer from the permanent residence of the person. Some policies will have more coverage if the damage or loss is afflicted out of a particular area, which is mostly about 50 miles away from home in any direction. Check out what the policy conditions are based on these distance restrictions. See whether they will pay at all if the damage is done much closer to home. If not, you better look for some other policy.

Tip # 6- Check for Other Miscellaneous Terms and Conditions
Like all other policies, travel insurance policies also have a very long list of yeses and nos when it comes to paying out the claims. Some policies would be applicable only if the damage was done when the trailer is moving, while some will cover damages occurred when parked. Such policies are called full-timer policies, and even if they are dearer on the premiums, they are the wiser choice to take. You cannot imagine how many dangers lurk for your trailer in your own neighborhood. Take vandalism for instance. Make sure you cover your precious trailer for every moment that it is with you.

The final point that needs to be made is that you should go for travel trailer coverage only from people who are experienced. Check out some references and do an online search on their reputations. Most vendors of housing, car, and other types of insurances may not be quite adept at managing these insurances, because this is entirely a different ballgame. See that you do not end up with the short end of the stick with a company that doesn’t know what it is actually in the business for.