Being a travel agent will potentially open many doors and create many opportunities to travel and experience many things at greatly reduced prices.
The special benefits and perks which have been allotted to the travel agent by the travel industry are almost as real as the tales and legends you have heard…almost! However, like everything else, you can be told a half-truth and be totally unrealistic in your expectation of what you may receive. This would be a shame, because the truth is very powerful and exciting! So let’s try to clear up any misconception — and lay a clear foundation as to what you can expect — and when.
The first point we need to address can be stated as a working principle. The principle is this:
In the travel industry, travel agents do not have “rights,” they have “privileges”.
What follows will explain this in more detail but, if you always keep this principle in mind, everything else will make perfect sense.
Industry Specials: Agent Only “FAM” Trips
One of the most exciting travel opportunities available only to travel agents are known as the “FAMS” or Familiarization Trips. “FAM” trips are designed by tour operators, cruise lines, resort owners, airlines and tourist boards of individual countries to show off their products and familiarize the people who they hope will be selling them — the Travel Agent.
These familiarization trips often may include your transportation costs, meals, hotels, tours, etc.
You pay for the “FAM” trip yourself, but the price is often 50-70% off the normal price. There is usually no limit to the number of different “FAM” trips you can take each year. You will often be expected to participate in the educational seminars on true “FAM” trips, so plan to go only to places you really want to know about!
Cruise lines also offer “FAM” trips…competition in this industry are motivating more and more cruise companies to promote their cruises to travel agents — especially the newest cruises or the newest ships. Your total cost for these trips (which they offer mainly in the “off” season) is usually an unbelievable $30-70 per day per person!
Taking your spouse is not a problem and often at the same travel agent rate. In case you forgot, cruises include room…and all meals! Cruises are an unforgettable experience.
Check with the “FAM” supplier to determine if there are any qualifications for their trips. Some “FAMS” are restricted to agents who have earned the IATAN identification card. Many will accept your ID card with your travel agent verification letter. Most allow all agents to participate. Be sure to check.
Truth About Travel Agent Discounts
The fact is that travel agent discounts are real and are probably one of the most compelling reasons most people get into the business.
Not all trips that are advertised as “FAM TRIPS” really are. They may be deeply discounted trips being offered to travel agents. It may be that the travel supplier just wants to fill the tour or cruise with as many people as they can. Either way you get the benefit.
We will also provide you with information on “FAMS” we feel are particularly outstanding bargains. Remember; book “FAM” trips directly with suppliers. There are no commissions on these trips.
There are numerous publications that provide constant information on the travel business and on many of the “FAM” trip opportunities. There are, literally, thousands of “FAMS” offered each year — some are better deals then others. We will try to supply you with information of some of the best bargains available.
As a travel agent, you can expect discounts like this: Tours & Cruises, Hotels, Resorts, Car Rentls: 50-70% off, sometimes free upgrades.
Help your Clients Achieve their Vacation Dream by staying informed about their desired outcomes and matching them to our supplier opportunities!
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We teach those with a passion for travel how to travel like the 1%’er while earning a primary or secondary income. We provide a turn-key solution to start and support your travel business so all you have to do is start selling today!