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How to Start a Home Based
Travel Agency Business

Tips for starting an online travel agency business from home

If you are considering a home based business, one of the realistic possibilities is to run a home based travel agency business. This is especially relevant if travel is one of your interests and if you have travelled to many countries, which would give you some first-hand travel experiences. It's also comforting to know that when you start an online travel agency you will be part of the fastest growing segment of the travel industry.

You can either decide to operate as an independent travel agent or as an affiliate with an established travel agency or travel services provider. These days there is a host of well established online operators who work with affiliates. They will provide you with the right tools to start your online travel business easy and from the scratch.

But it will still take some level of travel and online knowledge to make this work. Below is a list of tips on how to start an online travel agency business.

Passenger crowds at airport
International travel is a big business, making travel one of the largest
and most successful online industries

Start with a comprehensive business plan

For any business that you plan, it is always wise to prepare a business plan. No need to go to some extra expenses to have this done - you should be able to do it yourself. The purpose of your business plan is to see what kind of investment of money and time would be required to start your travel business, and more importantly, to figure out for yourself what particular travel niche do you want to explore.

There are numerous possibilities when deciding on the type of travel agency you wish to run and choosing the right niche for you. Examples of travel agency niches include: cheap travel, luxury travel, cruises, flights, holiday accommodation, travel packages, country-specific travel services, or worldwide travel options, etc. Travel offers so many possibilities that you really need to have relatively clear idea of what you want to do.

As with any other home based business venture, what you choose to do should be of interest to you and something that you have some knowledge about. That makes it easy to start and keeps you motivated to make it work. Figuring out these different angles of your upcoming business venture will make things clear in your head and help you put together a business plan.

Luxury cruise ship near beach
Luxury travel, including luxury cruises are another growing segment of the travel industry

Become a travel affiliate with an established operator

This is probably the easiest way to "get your foot in the the door". There's probably "dime a dozen" travel operators that offer affiliate option to work with them. There are those that operate worlwide and those that provide travel services for specific countries only. Depending on your chosen niche, this is where you start looking at available options.

Towering pile of travel suitcases
Travel niches are a many. You just need to find yours to make it work.
Start with larger and well known operators first. They're well established, understand what their affiliates need, and provide a good support. They also have a wide range of affiliate tools, all of which helps you to start more quickly with more confidence.

Explore other affiliate sites and see what others offer and how they do it. For example, you might find that many affiliates offer online hotel room bookings. It's one of the most widely available travel affiliate options.

Online market is crowded with them, which means a lot of competition. But it also means this niche is well organized and works efficiently. You just need to find the right niche in it for you and work with it.

Learn from people in the same business

Online travel operators can provide you with their referrals and help you making an informed decision about your home based travel business. Ensure that you visit their websites and find out the type of support that is available and the offered benefits.

It is also important that you ask about their agency's licenses, affiliations and other important credentials. You can also check their credentials by contacting the Better Business Bureau. Ensure that you go through several of these home based agencies so that you compare them and come out with an informed decision.

Before you mae your choice about online travel operator that you want to work with, get in touch with other affiliates working for the same company. Ask them about their experiences and problems they might have experienced. This will help you better understand what it takes to run an affiliate travel business and how to deal with the potential problems that might arise.

Follow your country and state laws to register the business

Once you have registered, it is advisable that you open two different bank accounts for your business. Let one of the accounts be for holding all your business finances. The second one use it to keep money from your clients. Check also about other legal requirements you might have for running your business from home.

Join the travel agent associations

Register as a member of the travel agent associations, if applicable. This will help boost your online credentials. Membership also helps in raising the customer confidence in your business. Your business partners will also have more belief in you.

Enquire about the ongoing education

Some travel agenct associations offer free seminars on how to run your business. Try to find out about these seminars and attend them. This will help you learn from successful agents who are already in this business. You can also look for companies that offer online courses about starting home based travel agencies.

One of the easiest places to start a new business is Australia. If you are not a citizen of Australia, get yourself an Australian visa and visit the country. This will increase your travel knowledge and help you explore different possibilities, such as moving here.

Ruby Andrew’s author bio

Ruby Andrew, an avid reader and blogger and author by profession lives in Bristol, UK. Since her early years she’s had a passion for writing. As a writer, she could pen down on any topic that come across. Her areas of interest are Travelling, Fashion, and Lifestyle. She works as a guest blogger for different sites and currently writes on behalf of Australian visa and you can contact her through G+ profile - https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RubyAndrew/posts

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