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How To Become A Work From Home Travel Agent | Over 40 Companies Hiring Now

Work From Home as a Travel Agent

Introduction

Do you have a passion for travel? Do you positively salivate at the thought of getting to help people plan their vacations?

If yes – and even if you’ve only done travel planning for yourself, friends, and/or family – then we’ve got great news for you. You could possibly make a very great travel agent – and get paid for working from home!

In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of what such a position entails, as well as where to find work with legitimate opportunities.

What Do Travel Agents Do?

Travel agents do exactly what you said you love (or at least enjoy) doing in answer to our opening question above. They help holidaymakers plan their trips by taking care of the travel arrangements.

This means you would be doing things such as booking flights, reserving hotel rooms, tickets, vehicle rentals, restaurant reservations, and so much more. Not that you’ll necessarily be doing all of that for every client: some only need help with the finer details.

There’s a huge market for this type of service. Many people find the process of planning a holiday to be so stressful that they subscribe to the half-joking notion that they need a vacation to recover from their vacation. And this makes them very willing and even eager to enlist the help of a travel agent.

Can I Work From Home as a Travel Agent?

Absolutely! There are 2 ways to go about doing so:

  1. Striking out on your own. This requires a lot of initial and ongoing work to set up a website and blog for your independent agency, marketing and advertising yourself to attract customers, and building relationships with different types of travel-related businesses.

    This includes cruise lines, airlines, hotel franchises, vehicle rental companies in different countries… the list goes on, almost without end.

    1. A much less stressful option is to join a host agency that will hire you as a remote travel agent. There are several to choose from (we’ll introduce you in a later section), but the really great thing is you won’t be just another employee.

      You’ll get a lot of the perks of working for an established company while still being self-employed and working as an independent contractor. And if you’re hoping to strike out on your own eventually, then doing your time with a host agency will open up a lot of doors for building the professional relationships you’ll need.

How Do Travel Agents Make Their Money?

Most of the time, the travel agency that contracts you as an independent remote agent will pay you an agreed-upon commission fee – typically a set percentage of the fees they charge the clients.

Some remote travel agents will also charge a small service fee over and above the commission, but this isn’t a standard practice anymore.

Then there’s the other side of the coin: agencies that hire remote agents on a full-time basis as an actual employee. If you do decide to join such a company, you’ll receive a base salary in addition to the commission earned.

There’s one last thing worth mentioning here, though it’s not really making money so much as saving it. As a remote travel agent, you can work almost anywhere with a solid internet connection.

And this means it’s easier for you to travel… especially with the fantastic discounts you’ll score as a result of your work.

What At Home Travel Agent Salary Can I Expect?

This depends on who you ask…

The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a median figure of $38,700/year, based on 2018 data.

ZipRecruiter, on the other hand, suggests an average of $57,623/year (as of June 20, 2019), with a range spreading from $15,000/year to $125,000/year. The majority of home-based travel agents appear to be earning between $28,000/year and $70,000/year.

Confusing? You bet.

Because your pay is determined by so many different factors – whether you’re fully independent (and if so, how many clients you’re pulling in) or hosted by an agency (and if so, whether you receive a base salary as well as commission, or only commission… plus how much of each), it’s difficult to get an accurate estimate.

Type of Companies That Hire Remote Agents

There are several companies who hire remote agents that are worth looking into. Each has their own unique set of requirements, but you’ll find a list of general requirements to expect in the next section.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of host agencies that hire remote travel agents. However, we’ve personally researched each one of them to ensure they are 100% legitimate.

While you shouldn’t feel limited to this list, if you do decide to apply to any other agencies or positions you find online, please do your due diligence in researching them thoroughly before contacting them.

As you’ll find out in the last section of this guide, there are also many work-at-home travel agent scams to look out for.

1. American Express

American Express always has a list of positions available in major locations where the company has a physical branch or large customer base. Not all of these are remote (and most of them are not in the line of being a travel agent).

Visit the American Express Careers page for more information. Alternatively, you can head straight to their Virtual Career Opportunities page to see what remote positions are currently available and where you need to be based to apply (for example, Toronto, Canada).

It’s also recommended you join the American Express Talent Community for regular updates and newly opened positions, especially if one that suits you isn’t currently available.

2. Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Carlson Wagonlit Travel is a reputable industry leader in global digital business travel management. As such, they have remote opportunities for talented, enthusiastic applicants from almost all over the world.

You can visit CWT Careers Page to run a search through their database for any positions currently available in your location. Alternatively, you can head straight to the Travel Counselor page to search for opportunities.

Do note that you’ll need to create a free CWT profile in order to apply for a job. It’s also worth spending time reading through their FAQs to familiarize yourself with their application, recruitment, and development (training) processes.

3. Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival Cruise Lines has been operating for almost 50 years and hires shoreside as well as onboard workers.

One of their onshore, remote work options is, of course, as a travel agent, which they call a virtual vacation planner or sometimes a group agent. To find such positions, you need to visit the Carnival Cruise Lines Jobs page or Filtered Search page.

It’s also a good idea to visit the corporation’s general jobs page to sign up for job alerts.

4. Cruise.com

Cruise.com regularly updates their Employment page as appropriate. At the time of publication, it reads that,

“During 2019 Cruise.com will be hiring team members who are professional and passionate about selling cruises and other leisure services and products and providing clients with world-class service either as a home-based agent or in our beautiful Dania Beach location.”

Further down the page, they specify “Future Home-Based Job Opportunities (Multi State Except California and Hawaii).” Included are details for 3 positions: Customer Service Agents, Cruise Sales Agents, and Online Support Agents.

It’s worth noting that Cruise.com does have strict requirements: a minimum of 2 years recent experience with cruise sales (if applying for the Cruise Sales Agents, the closest approximation of travel agents).

They also have a preference for those with call center experience, as the position entails cruise sales via telephone. You’ll also be required to sell Allianz Insurance (travel insurance), as Cruise.com is entering a partnership with them.

In exchange, successful applicants will receive base pay as well as tiered incentives.

5. FROSCH

FROSCH has been around since 1972 and focuses on deluxe leisure and corporate travel. With the aspiration of becoming “the travel company of choice,” they have high expectations of their employees – both office-based and remote.

They only hire from certain locations at present and there’s no guarantee of a position being available.

While not quite on a “first-come, first-served” hiring basis, it’s highly recommended if you meet FROSCH’s requirements, you apply as soon as possible.

To browse current job listings, please visit the FROSCH Careers page and follow the heading corresponding with your location (list included below).

  • Australia
  • Columbia
  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Philippines
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

6. Hilton

One of the most famous worldwide hotel chains, Hilton also regularly hires remote workers. Their Work From Home Talent page doesn’t give any indication of the types of position available, but their Search All Jobs page (with “Work From Home” selected) does.

At the time of posting, Hilton had no open opportunities to join their remote team. However, it is worth mentioning that they do appear to hire virtual call center agents to help with making reservations.

You can also use their general Careers page to filter results according to your location. This page is the easiest to access directly from their main website.

7. JetBlue

JetBlue was one of several airlines that announced they were no longer working with travel agencies, in order to help cut costs. However, they do hire travel agents of their own to help their clients make reservations and assist with customer service issues.

While JetBlue makes it somewhat unnecessarily difficult to find such opportunities on their Careers page, Glassdoor has several reviews by currently employed work from home customer service and reservationists (the latter being what JetBlue calls their travel agents).

It’s worth going through these reviews to get a holistic view of the opportunity to work for the company.

General consensus appears to be that it’s a great part-time, short-term solution for anyone wanting to gain experience, enjoy great benefits, and willing to work strict hours (though you can reportedly trade in hours if need be).

The major complaint among current and recently resigned employees is that cancellations and delays inevitably create a perfect storm for customer service representatives, and that JetBlue tends to micromanage, with regular updates that need to be read almost daily as soon as received via email.

Our Recommendation

Learn from the experience of those who have worked for JetBlue in the past. The complaints are almost exclusively from those who spent 5+ years working from home for the company.

While we couldn’t find any concrete requirements posted by JetBlue, it does seem to be a good way to gain experience before moving to another company to host you as a work from home travel agent.

8. VIP Desk (Now Aspire Lifestyles)

Aspire Lifestyles, previously VIP Desk, styles themselves as a “Leader in B2B Benefit Solutions and Concierge Services.”

That’s really just a fancy way of saying they offer high-end customer service/virtual assistant services, with a focus on travel, health, wellness, and assistance with home and auto.

There are 2 general types of employment opportunities within this sphere (though several others that include finance and business development): brand ambassadors, who act as customer service agents, and concierges, who perform virtual assistant duties relating to travel.

It’s the latter you want to apply for if you’re wanting to focus purely on being a work from home travel agent. Do be aware there are typically fewer of these positions open, however.

To discover available opportunities, please visit the Aspire Lifestyles Careers page. You can also filter results according to general geographic location:

  • Asia-Pacific (several countries listed)
  • Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (4 locations listed: Europe, South Africa, Turkey, and the UAE)
  • North America (several U.S. cities listed)
  • South America (Brazil only)

9. Working Solutions

Working Solutions offers several work from home employment opportunities, including:

  • Inbound technical support agent
  • Sales representative
  • Travel and ticketing agent
  • Customer support agent
  • Data entry clerk
  • Copy-editor/proofreader

Travel consultants, as Working Solutions calls them, work on a part-time basis, but the pay isn’t exactly clear. Depending on the individual project, you would invoice the company for hours worked and receive between $9 and $30/hour once every 2 weeks.

One downside is, once accepted as an independent contractor for Working Solutions, you’re expected to apply for all of its various programs (the employment opportunities listed above).

This means you aren’t guaranteed to be hired as a travel consultant just because Working Solutions accepts your general application.

On the plus side, you’re able to set your own hours based on workload availability, and the company provides full training as necessary. After training is completed (varies from a few days to a few weeks), you’ll also receive a stipend.

Visit the Working Solutions Work at Home Jobs page to learn more and apply to become part of their Talent Community.

10. World Travel Holdings

World Travel Holdings might be one of the most attractive options on our list, especially if you’re a beginner with no prior experience.

It is worth mentioning that there is an investment required from your side.

Usually, this is a major red flag that warns you a job opportunity is in fact a scam, but we’ve done the research and are confident World Travel Holdings is 100% legitimate.

So, what is the investment?

  • $250 refundable deposit (paid over 5 payroll deductions – so you don’t actually have to make any upfront payment) for the company computer (including monitor, keyboard, mouse, and headset) and landline phone, which is provided for you
    • Cable and DSL initial setup fees, which typically max out at $200 – however, if you already have cable and DSL that meet World Travel Holdings’ requirements, you won’t need to spend any extra money here (or you can replace initial setup with upgrade fees)
      • $50 to $100 for a UPS/Surge Protector (again, if you already have one, no cost applies)

The only other expense is any optional supplies you decide to get for yourself, like a notepad and pen set, printer, fax machine, etc.

You’ll also receive paid training, ongoing support and training, benefits (including travel discounts and similar perks), and paid time off. The only stipulation is you don’t set up your home office in the same residence as any other World Travel Holdings employee.

Interested? Visit their Work @ Home Careers page.

What are the Resume and Experience Requirements for Being a Travel Agent?

The exact resume and experience requirements for being a travel agent vary depending on which host agency you apply to join.

You’ll also find if you decide to start up as an independent, the requirements might actually be a little higher, as clients will want more surety when contracting an independent travel agent.

As a general rule, however, you can expect the following requirements (including equipment, etc.) will need to be met:

  • A working computer (desktop or laptop)
  • High-speed, reliable internet connection
  • A landline
  • A fax machine, printer, and copier (if you can get a 3-in-1 model, all the better)
  • A quiet, designated working environment, such as a study or home office
  • Pass a background and employment check (when applying with a host agency, at their discretion)
  • Flexible schedule to suit client needs
  • Most host agencies will require prior experience, but some won’t
  • No special education requirements – and some host agencies will provide training and software as necessary

Finding Work-from-Home Travel Agent Work

FlexJobs

If you’ve decided to find work-from-home travel agent opportunities as an independent, or you want to consider options for host companies not included in our list above, the best place to get started is FlexJobs.

Simply visit their Pricing page to select your preferred membership subscription. Good Value costs $14.95 for 1 month’s subscription, Better Value $29.95 for 1 quarter (3 months), and Best Value $49.95 for 1 year’s subscription.

All subscriptions share the same benefits – it’s only the duration and price that changes (the longer your membership period, the lower your per-month costs).

Are There Any Work-at-Home Travel Agency Scams?

A sad fact of life is, for as long as there have been jobs, there have been scams. And online/remote work is no different.

One common scam is being sent an email from a seemingly reputable agency with an online presence overseas. Purporting to be in response to an application, this scam relies on the target having applied to various online and remote positions (including legitimate travel agencies) and not remembering whether they’ve applied to this one in particular.

The email goes on to explain that you, as the agent, will receive checks in the mail, sent by nationally local clients of the agency. All you need to do is cash the check and send the agency a set portion of the amount via wire transfer.

Where the scam comes in is that you’re obligated to complete the transfer on the same day as you receive the check. A few days after the agency has taken your money, the bank will notify you that the check never cleared. And because the payment method is untraceable, you won’t be getting your money back either.

You can read more about this particular scam and how to avoid it at Scam Alert: Don’t Take that “Travel Coordinator” Job That Requires an Upfront Payment by Consumer Affairs.

A second, similar type of scam is the travel agent certification scam. Here, targeted or organic ads online introduce you to the opportunity to become a travel agent and receive world-wide exclusive discounts. Usually, the discounts advertised are very enticing – 50% to 70%!

The catch? You need to pay a registration fee of $200+ and complete a 20-minute test. But the website looks legitimate and there are glowing testimonials designed to make you feel like you’ll make that fee up again by the end of your first trip (through the discounts, of course).

Here things start to vary. In scenario 1, you do actually receive a travel agent card via the mail. But once you start trying to use it, you’ll be informed that it can’t be used as anything other than a $200+ bookmark. In scenario 2, you never even receive the card or hear anything from the scammers again.

You can read more about this particular scam at How to Become a Travel Agent From Home Scheme by Scam Detector.

The Balance Careers has an excellent resource on the Top 10 Job Scam Warning Signs that’s worth reading.

Conclusion

Ready to get started? Here are a few more online resources to help you turn this opportunity into a success!

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