eTravel: The ITC solution that will change the way you work When you become an eTravel ITC, you will enjoy a permanent support from our team. Work for yourself, not by yourself. Let us show you why you should join the eTravel family Take The Leap Why Us Contact Us
Thinking of becoming an ITC?
eTravel is South Africa’s largest and most favourite independently owned travel company.
Empowering the travel industry’s best consultants, enabling them to maximise their potential and start their own travel companies with support, systems and expertise is eTravel’s mantra.
Garth Wolff’s Optimistic Economic Outlook
eTravel will collect your referral commission, do your invoicing and collect refunds, provide ADM assistance, ticketing and quality control checks, fare expert assistance, payments to suppliers, reconciliation of fund collection from clients, emergency after hours services, preferred partner networks, MIS reports and ITC business analysis tools so you know at any given moment where you stand with your very own business.
eTravel negotiates preferential rates and increased commissions on your behalf, offering up to 85% commission and/or fees on all transactions through your ITC as well as an override opportunity. Did you know up to 80% of the override can be achieved? That’s like getting a 13 th or even 14 th cheque! ITCs can earn as much as 90% of the income they generate. The more you generate the more eTravel pays you out.
THE RIGHT SOLUTION
Whether you’re a wholesale specialist or retail ITC, leisure, groups and incentives, there’s a solution that will hit the spot. If you need a partner who can take care of all the tedious admin work you don’t want to do so that you can focus on with what you do best, go for the Full ITC option. eTravel even has an option for companies seeking ITC services. If all you need is a platform to ticket through, go with eTravel’s Just the Ticket.
When I decided to “go on my own”, I was given some excellent business advice: “Surround yourself with people that make your business look good.” This piece of advice stuck and is ultimately the reason why I chose eTravel as my professional partner in travel. Relationships are everything and with the excellent preferred partner deals, great admin support and access to ticketing 24/7, my business has grown considerably and with that my personal earnings too. I am my own boss while being part of an extended eTravel family, offering the best staff in the business. I also am able to free up time to be available to my family during the day knowing that my business is in good hands. Thank you eTravel for making me look good over the past three years.
I joined eTravel in July 2007, the main reason being I always wanted to work for myself. I have been in the travel business for 15 years. I started off in Swaziland with Harvey World for 3 years and have since then been on my own. When I heard eTravel was opening an office in Pietermaritzburg I thought here was my opportunity, because of what great support ITC’s get from eTravel. The main advantage of being on your own is the freedom, you are your own boss, it’s the satisfaction and reward of earning money for yourself. The personal contact with all your clients is inspiring – having that relationship.
Moving from a corporate agency to eTravel in 2005 was life changing – it is just amazing! I receive 24/7 backup from the eTravel family and I continue to learn so much about running my own business. It has not only enhanced my family life,, but it has given me a life that I only ever dreamt of. eTravel takes care of all the admin, which frees up my time, allowing me to spend more time doing what is important – selling travel. eTravel gives me the freedom to work with preferred partners which is great not only because of the additional assistance we receive from them, but also because of the windfall override cheque we receive at the end of September every year. eTravel has become an extended family over the years and I am grateful every day for the move I made so long ago – it was truly a life changing decision.
I have been with eTravel for 18 glorious months and should have done it years ago. It’s like a wonderful marriage without your identity being taken away, so you can be an independent individual. My time is now my own and I can offer my clients 24/7. I’m in control of my own financial status and eTravel supports all my favourite preferred partners. It’s the best move I have ever made in my life.
Since 1993, most of my time in the travel industry was spent at World Travel. In February 2007, I joined eTravel as Travel Shoppe. From management, to IT to admin, the eTravel system is phenomenal. It facilitates my need for complete independence and allows me to break away from the rules and routine of being an employee. Self-employment brings new meaning to motivation and achievement watching your business grow.
I have been a Travel Consultant for the last 12 years, dealing in all types of travel, specialising in Australasia in particular. I joined eTravel in February 2008, eTravel has given me the freedom to run my own business with the knowledge that all the back office headaches are taken care of, enabling me to provide my clients with excellent service, my motto is that the customer is king and I make sure they feel like royalty. Joining eTravel was the best desicion I have ever made, I should have done so sooner. eTravel’s exclusive head office in Hyde Park gives me all the benefits of working in a busy high-tech environment. The support that I receive from management and staff at eTravel is wonderful.
I have been in travel for 21 years in total. I worked for a big corporation for 19 years and moved to join the eTravel family to work as an ITC at the beginning of 2007. It was the best decision of my life! My children have benefitted immensely by having me around after school for homework and extra murals and I have benefitted from the fantastic support I get behind the scenes from eTravel and their dedicated staff. I don’t have to worry about the admin side of my business leaving me to concentrate on what I love doing the most – selling travel. etravel always make sure we are up to date with the latest news and technology without us even having to leave our desks! My clients benefit from me being available to give them that extra personal touch and attention – nothing is an effort. Long may the relationship last! Thank you eTravel.
Work is not work! eTravel has given me the tools, knowledge and freedom to love what I do, enjoy what I do and renewed my passion for travel. There is something very exciting about doing things the way you want to do them, and being the boss. You don’t have to be a guru with numbers, or know everything, you only have to concentrate on customer service and selling! eTravel has been an incredible support structure for me and my family. It’s been five years of growth upon growth for SW Travel, and I am truly blessed to have the eTravel staff on my side. I have not looked back for even one second and truly encourage any potential ITC to make the brave move! My bank manager is also very happy.
Feeling like we reached a bit of a dead-end in our previous travel jobs, we decided to take the plunge and join eTravel after being introduced to the benefits and the positive feedback we received from other ITCs. While it was a challenging and daunting move, the transition ended up actually being quite easy. The support we received and still receive is amazing. You are treated like a professional and there are so many benefits such as no administrative worries and excellent preferred supplier deals.
In 2008 I joined eTravel and Travel the Globe was established and now eight years later I can without a doubt say that it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. What I thought was going to be a daunting venture was made so smooth and easy thanks to the invaluable support I received from eTravel management and staff. I was immediately made to feel like a member of the eTravel family and with the fabulous backoffice support I received from eTravel I was able to give my clients my undivided attention and outstanding service as I could now focus on what I do best – be a travel agent, without the hassle as standing in as an administrator as well. I also suddenly found myself able to spend more time with my own family and time to watch my daughter dance and my son play cricket, while not compromising on my professional responsibilities. With eTravel I can experience the joy of not only liking my work, but actually loving it and everything that eTravel stands for and their amazing staff. I have gained great independence and flourished even through very difficult health problems and an organ transplant, all through which eTravel was by my side. The relationships that we make with the preferred partners enhances our competitive edge in the market and gives us an opportunity to be able to solve issues quickly and efficiently and sell their products with confidence knowing that we have many back-up solutions and a great team behind us. Thank you eTravel for a fabulous eight years of success and to many more amazing years to come.
When I joined eTravel in 2008, I was R125k in debt with a trail of people saying I was mad to go on my own right in what was then the thick of the recession. After only three months with eTravel, my first override check was R6k – I thought I was such a winner! Needless to say, by 2010 I came out of debt thanks to the amazing opportunities that eTravel affords its ITCs. In 2014 I bought my first property and this year I received a cheque for R157k – now that’s a winner! If you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, there is always scope for attracting money and having tried another company and coming back to eTravel, I can honestly say eTravel offers unbeatable business and personal support along with brilliantly negotiated fares which helps me grow my business hugely year on year, without fail. What more could an ITC wish for? With eTravel the sky is literally the limit.
Combined, we have been in the travel industry for over 60 years and joining eTravel was the best decision we made in our travel careers. Some of the highlights that we would like to mention about working with eTravel are the help with all our backoffice and paper work. When we receive our month-end sales we know exactly what our monthly budget is as our tickets are issued when payment is made or when a corporate credit card is used – which means for us that there are no hassles or stress on outstanding accounts. eTravel also has buying power for preferred airline partner deals which in turn assists in the pay-outs for our overrides. The eTravel staff are always there to help and assist, a very professional team. Ultimately this leaves us with the time to do what we do best – Sell travel.
Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Travel Agent
Here’s what you should know before becoming a travel agent.
Maya Kachroo-Levine is the luxury and experiences editor at Travel + Leisure digital. She has previously edited at Departures, Expedia, Good, Medium, and The Balance, and written for LA Weekly, Time, The Atlantic, Marie Claire, and Refinery29, among others.
If you’re someone who spends your days scanning flights, loves hotel rewards points, and in general, is a fervent traveler, you’ve probably wondered how to become a travel agent.
And, while it’s true that living in the age of Expedia means travel agents are not as vital as they once were, people use them a lot more than you might think. Just because travelers aren’t calling up an agent every time they need to book a quick flight doesn’t mean they don’t want to consult an expert for a big trip. This holds especially true when it comes to honeymoons or experiential trips that have a lot of moving parts — coordinating tour companies, translators, or multiple resort stays, for example. It’s often easier to leave the logistics to someone else: travel agents.
You don’t need a specific employment background to become a travel agent, so if you’re looking for a fresh career start, that’s totally OK. You have to start somewhere on your path to becoming a travel agent, and the sooner you jump in, the sooner you’ll build your client base. On the other hand, if you’re hoping to parlay your experience in a semi-related industry, be it marketing or hospitality, that can help because you’ll have even more context for your new gig. Either way, this can be a rewarding career path (with some fun perks), so here’s what you need to know to become a travel agent.
Formal Training Needed to Become a Travel Agent
While some four-year colleges, community colleges, and trade schools offer tourism certifications, it is not a requirement for those trying to become travel agents. Certificates of tourism can be very helpful, but so can previous training in marketing, hospitality, or even event planning. Ultimately, your knowledge of destinations, sales, itinerary planning, and booking software will be crucial for your career as a travel agent.
In terms of the training time you need to put in before becoming a fully-fledged travel agent, it depends. You could start your career right after high school, or you could put in one to four years to earn a certificate, associate’s, or bachelor’s degree in tourism. Of course, you could also change course from a related job, and morph your experience as, say, a destination wedding planner into a career as a travel agent.
Training Programs Available
You could take classes with a company like The Travel Institute to earn your certification. Not only will they teach you the basics of planning itineraries, but they’ll also make sure you’re learning about new cultures, world geography, and experiences you can have all over the world. They’ll also help you decide what business route you want to take.
How to Become a Travel Agent: The Logistics
Becoming a travel agent will likely mean starting your own business. On the plus side, it requires relatively little overhead. If you’re becoming a small business owner by opening a yoga studio, for example, you will need to rent a space, deal with permits, buy supplies, build a website, and pay yoga teachers and someone to work the front desk. However, if you’re starting a travel agent business, you can operate from your living room and there aren’t nearly as many upfront costs.
You will have to think about what type of business you want to become. Do you want to incorporate or become an LLC? Would you rather be a sole proprietor? Incorporating takes the most effort, and is often the most expensive. Becoming an LLC is a good happy medium because it can help protect you as a business entity without having as many associated costs. Small business owners typically become an LLC to protect their personal assets. If you get sued as an LLC, someone can come after your business holdings, but can’t come after your house, car, or personal savings.
If you choose to remain a sole proprietor (which doesn’t require any fees or legwork), you are essentially a freelancer or independent contractor. You can be an LLC and an independent contractor, too — they aren’t mutually exclusive. If you want to be an independent contractor, it likely means you’re working as part of a larger host agency, which is smart to do when you’re starting out as a travel agent. Down the road, you can also own a travel agency franchise. Owning a franchise might come with more overhead costs, and that would be a reason to incorporate.
If you’re an independent contractor, you should know that your taxes aren’t going to be as straightforward as a full-time employee’s might be. You may have to start keeping track of your business expenses, as you might be able to write them off. You also might not get things like health benefits from your employer. As you plan your new career, consider sitting down with an established travel agent to ask them some logistical questions: Where do they get their health insurance? How do they keep track of their income and expenses? Do they use an accountant to do their taxes? While meeting with the travel agent, you can discuss the pros and cons of working for a larger agency, too. If you’re not sure how to get in touch with other travel agents, consider using social media, like LinkedIn or even Instagram.
What to Think About When You Become a Travel Agent
Once you’ve secured work as a travel agent, you’ll want to think about how you can earn more money and distinguish yourself from other agents. Here are three things to consider as you start your career.
Making Commissions: If you’re working for a larger travel agency as an independent contractor, how do commissions work? Make sure you have this conversation early on before accepting the position. When you’re starting out, you want to make sure the commission rate you’re receiving is similar to the industry standard.
Growing Your Client Base: How do you make more money as a travel agent? Clients, clients, clients. You want happy customers who will return to you every time they want to book a travel experience. You’ll want to keep your clients happy by finding them great deals, curating unbelievable experiences for them, and simply being great to work with.
Establishing a Niche: This is by no means a requirement for becoming a travel agent, but as you establish your career, you may want to consider focusing on a specific niche. For example, perhaps you’re someone who focuses on honeymoon travel, luxury travel, or adventure travel. Your niche can help you attract clients, and it can be anything in the travel realm, as long as there’s a need for it.
How to Become a Travel Agent (and Work From Home)
Have you ever thought about what it takes to become a travel agent? Do you like traveling? Do you know how to (or would you like to learn to) find great deals on vacation or travel destinations?
Or, are you simply looking to make money from home? Maybe it’s both: Maybe you want to make money from home and you love to travel. Or you want to earn money to travel.
Whatever the case, you may want to know that you can have a full-time or part-time career as a travel agent.
What’s more, you can navigate that career and work from home. You can get the training you need, the clients to serve and more, all from the comforts of your home office.
Want to learn more? Read on to find out how to become a travel agent and work from home.
In This Article
How to Become a Work at Home Travel Agent
There are only a few steps you need to take to become a travel agent and work from home doing your job. The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to work independently or through a host agency.
The travel industry has a vast opportunity of travel agent jobs.
Working Independently as a Travel Agent
If you work independently as a travel agent, you’ll need to choose a name for your business. You’ll also want to consider starting a blog or website.
Your blog will help people find you and your services. Luckily, it’s easy to start a blog in just 10 minutes.
Having your own blog and/or website can be an important factor if you choose to start your own travel agent business. Think about creating a niche area such as Disney Vacations or European Historical sites.
Know that if you choose this route, you’ll be responsible for finding clients, advertising, etc. You’ll also be responsible for forming relationships with different travel companies such as cruise lines.
There can be a lot of work that goes into starting your own travel agent business. However, there is another potentially less tedious way to work from home as a travel agent.
Working as a Travel Agent for a Host Agency
Another option you have is to work as a travel agent for a host agency. While these jobs are typically classified as independent contractor positions (meaning you’re self-employed) they do have perks.
First of all, most travel agent positions with host agencies come with training. Note that you may have to pay for this training.
Second, working with a host agency can allow for more support. You typically have a support team you can contact as you learn and work with clients.
If you have very little travel experience or just want to increase your knowledge, or if you like the idea of having a support team, working for a host agency may be right for you.
All host agencies work a bit differently. For instance, CRUISESinc.com helps you sell cruises to clients.
This article on How to Find the Best Host Travel Agency from Host Agency Reviews might help you too. When researching host travel agencies, be sure to check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) information as well.
And inquire if these companies require you to go into a worksite such as a call center or if they offer work at home jobs.
Note that even with most host agencies, you still technically work as an independent contractor. This means you will be directly responsible for keeping track of your income and expenses for tax purposes.
Any time you work a job as an independent contractor, it’s a good idea to get a plan to manage your accounting and to set aside a percentage of your income for paying taxes.
Now you’ve decided whether you want to work independently or for a host agency. Your next step is to set up a home office space.
Set Up a Home Office Space
You’ll want to have a home office space to work from home as a travel agent.
Your office space need only to consist of a few basic items:
- Home computer with internet access
- Desk or table to hold your computer
- Headset for your computer so you can speak with clients
- A phone line
- A home printer
If you have these things in your home office space, you’re all set to work as a travel agent from home as far as supplies go.
Get Your Training
In order to work from home as a travel agent, you’ll need to get some training. The best places to find training are probably from host travel agencies that hire work from home travel agents.
As I mentioned earlier, a host agency will help you with all of the training you need to become a travel agent. Each host agency has specific training you can complete to help you be more proficient at your job.
If you decide you don’t want to work with a host agency, you’ll need to find and complete training on your own. Some people decide to go to college to be a travel agent.
Understanding what it means to be a customer service representative and provide top customer care, will take you far as a travel consultant.
An associate’s or bachelor’s degree in tourism could help you with this. However, a degree is not necessary to become a travel agent. This leads to our next question: Do you need a license to sell travel?
Do I Need to Have a License to Sell Travel?
In most states, there are no licensure requirements for becoming a travel agent. Note that in some U.S. states, you do have to register before you work as a travel agent.
Those states include:
- Washington state
The laws for each of those states differ, so check with their respective governments to learn more. If you live in one of those states or want to sell travel plans to residents of those states, you’ll need to be registered.
If you work with a host agency, your support team will take care of handling your registration or tell you how to do that.
What Does a Work From Home Travel Agent do?
You might be wondering exactly what you would do as a work from home travel agent. Here are some of the responsibilities of working from home as a travel agent.
Researching, Planning and Booking Travel Events
Of course, one of the main responsibilities of a travel agent is to book vacations for people. In order to do this, you’ll need to start by doing some research.
As a good vacation planner, you will need to focus on each client’s vacation needs. You’ll need to research based on what they’re looking for, the best deals on hotels, activities, and best travel arrangements.
If you work for a host agency as a sales agent, this will be easier as they’ll take care of having the deals readily available for you.
As a travel agent, you may find yourself doing some event coordination. For instance, if your client is planning a destination wedding, you’ll need to help with travel plans.
You may also need to help with booking a venue for the wedding and more. Or, if you’re planning an event such as a birthday party, you may need to coordinate activities and other aspects of the party.
Again, if you work for a host agency you will have help in doing this for clients.
As mentioned earlier, the main responsibility of a travel agent is to provide great customer service. You need to have a heart for helping people and the diligence to research their travel options.
If you have this level of care in your heart, you can learn the rest. Next, let’s talk about how much money a travel agent can make.
How Much Does a Travel Agent Get Paid?
The money a travel agent earns can vary. According to the latest Bureau of Labor and Statistics data, travel agents make a median annual wage of $40,660.
The entire wage earnings from 2019 span from $23,660 average for those in the bottom 10% of earners to $69,420 average for those in the top 10% of earners.
Note that the above-referenced numbers are average wages. That doesn’t necessarily mean your income as a travel agent will fit within these parameters.
Your income working as a travel agent will vary based on a number of factors. Some of those factors include whether you work independently or with a host agency, how many hours you work and more.
What are the Perks of Working as a Travel Agent?
You might be wondering what some of the other perks of being a travel agent are. Here are some perks to keep in mind.
First Notice of Great Deals
One of the main perks of working as a travel agent is that you often get first notice of great travel deals. This is a phenomenal perk if you like to travel a lot.
By getting advance notice of travel deals, you can book your own vacation before trips are sold out. In addition, you can let clients know about these types of travel deals too.
Another benefit: you can be among the first to learn about new travel opportunities such as new cruise themes.
Another perk of working as a travel agent comes in the form of “familiarization trips”. Some hotels, cruises and other getaway venues offer these types of trips to travel agents.
The reason they offer familiarization trips is that they figure it’s a lot more enticing to sell a getaway if you’ve experienced the getaway yourself.
You can tell clients first hand what you enjoyed about a cruise or trip. And you can give them tips on sights and experiences to see and to avoid. Familiarization trips often come at low, next-to-nothing prices for travel agents.
Deep Discounts on Travel
A third perk of working as a travel agent is that you often qualify for deep discounts on travel excursions in general. Travel destination venues tend to offer you great deals on travel, just as a benefit of being an agent.
It’s one of the ways they help spread the word about their travel destination features. Resorts, cruise lines and other companies target market to travel agents.
And they often offer to let them come and experience the destination at deeply discounted prices. You can take advantage of these discounts when planning you and/or your family’s own travel trips.
Tax Deductions for Travel
And a fourth benefit or perk of being a travel agent is that you may be able to deduct some of your own travel expenses from your income tax statement. Since travel trips help you to do your job more effectively, you may be able to count a portion of them as work expenses.
Note that all tax filing situations are different. This means you may or may not be able to deduct travel expenses on your taxes. See a trusted tax advisor for more information on this.
So, as you can see, there are many benefits to being a travel agent. Working from home as a travel agent is one of many legit ways you can make money from home.
Working from home as a travel agent isn’t for everyone. However, it might be for you. If you love to travel, love learning about travel and like helping people, this might be the perfect side hustle for you.
Along with getting to learn about different types of travel, you can get the insider scoop on travel opportunities for your own family. You can have first shot at great travel deals.
In addition, you can learn more about new travel destinations. Maybe that’s a new around-the-world cruise or a new resort on your favorite island.
Or maybe it’s insider information on the newest spa resort in your favorite vacation destination state. Whatever the case, as a travel agent you can be among the first line to learn about new and exciting vacation opportunities.
You can use this information to serve other travelers and to serve yourself and your family.