Online Travel Agent – What Does That Mean?

Once upon a time, in a place not far away, but in an era long since forgotten, there was a magical thing called a full service gas station. Do you remember? People would actually come out and pump your gas for you! It may sound like just a fairy tale, but it’s true, it really did happen!

Now days, our travel agents are going the way of the full service gas station. People just don’t have time anymore, time to go in and meet with a travel agent, time to go over options, basically – they don’t have time for full service. Online travel agents are all around us now, on the internet. They are convenient, but not quite the full service “station” we are used to when making our travel plans.

What is an online travel agent? An online travel agent is more like an online booking resource. It is any website that you can go to make travel arrangements. I am sure most of you have visited a site like this. You can log in, do multiple searches for flights, hotel rooms, car rentals etc. and place your order online – very convenient!

Online travel agent bookings sites are helpful in many ways; people can explore all of their different options for travel right in one spot. If you are looking for a flight to Europe, for example, and your route is flexible, users can map out different itineraries online. Then, the user can pick which works best for them and make a decision about what they want to do. Also, the user gets exposed to options that they may not have thought of before; therefore broadening their horizons of what type of travel arrangements are available to them.

Another pro for using an online travel agent website is the wide variety of products that they offer. Not only can a customer browse airfare, car rental, and hotel options. Travel insurance, airport shuttles, and tour tickets are also available for purchase. This is very helpful to an online travel planner, as they can cover most of their travel planning needs in one visit to a website.

After booking a confirmation on a travel website, the customer will receive an email with confirmations and contact information. The information that is provided to the customer usually includes information about any E-tickets, car rental policies (or where to go to look for the policies), and provides information on what to do if the travel plans change. All of this information right at the fingertips of the travel planning consumer.

Many people wonder if booking these types of travel arrangements online is safe. Yes – it is. Websites spend a lot of time and productivity making sure that their payment systems, whether outsourced or not, are safe. It is important for their reputation to provide reliable payment systems and to maintain secure sights. Bad news travels fast, and if a website wasn’t taking care of their customers, it wouldn’t take long for the world to notice.

Taking from personal experience I have never had a problem with booking with an online travel agent. I have been booking travel online for over ten years and I can’t say that I have had one problem! I have even found that after booking my super cheap airfare on a we site, after I received my reservation information via email, it was s easy to tweak my reservation details with the actual airline after the fact. I have never had a situation where I have paid for my booking online, and had it not be legitimate when I showed up for the reservation, either. Basically, booking online with an online travel agent website is an easy, affordable, and safe way to book your travel.

Online travel agents may seem scary to some. With news about security breaches and privacy issues, I can’t blame people for being shy about booking travel plans online. I have to say though, give it a try! You are bound to have a great and educational travel planning experience. And who knows, it might even be fun!

Online travel planning can be daunting and time consuming. If you would like some more information on onli

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Become a Travel Agent For Massive Savings

So I admit, I am a member of an e-commerce travel company. But this article is not about selling you on a home-based business; it’s all about you becoming your own travel agent. Believe it or not, even if you never sign up one person in this company, you can win financially in amazing ways, regardless! For less than $1,000, you can own your own turnkey travel business, receive quick travel agent training, and become an independent, credentialed agent with all the terrific benefits that offers. And what are some of those benefits?

First, FAM or “familiarization” trips are offered by tour companies, hotels, convention and visitor bureaus, airlines and cruise lines. The purpose of these trips is to familiarize the agent with the cruise line, hotel, or tour company. Of course, the particular company is hoping you will send future travelers their way. The great thing about these FAM trips, sometimes called member trips, is that they are so easy to access. Once you become an agent you are able to take one of these FAM trips immediately. These trips are extremely discounted, and can save you up to 80% on land trips and 70% on cruises. Obviously, this is more than worth it. Here are a few random examples of some of the member trips that you can take advantage of:

4Day Jamaica Vacation for only $234.00

4Day to Cozumel, Mexico only $181.00

4Day to Cancun Mexico Vacation, $230.00

6Day Caribbean Cruise for only $285.00

Myrtle Beach golf vacation for 3 nights: $359.00

7Day to Spain: Madrid, Cordova and Seville. From $990 for agents; $1090 for spouses/companions.

Disney World 3 Day/ 4 Night, only $335.00. The kids will love this one…

(Many of these quotes cover hotels, transfers, sightseeing, and at least two daily meals).

Second, on top of the discounts, earn Travel Agent commissions on your personal travel, as well as the travel of your clients. Book any travel on your own site or point friends/family to it and you get cash back. Yes, you heard me right.

Third, enjoy sometimes being treated like royalty when traveling as an agent. Even the governments of some nations offer the red carpet treatment to agents. This is because politicians realize the huge benefits tourism dollars can bring to their economy. So don’t feel as if you owe them the world. You’re helping them too.

Fourth, enjoy tax advantages for running a business. According to the IRS, deductible expenses related to business travel are the normal and necessary expenses of traveling to perform your business, job, or profession. When you become a travel agent, you make traveling your business. Deducting travel expenses from your income before paying taxes means huge savings. The average American traveler that spends $3,000 a year on travel must earn $4,500 before taxes. For the travel professional that owns his or her own business, their income is not taxed until after travel expenses are deducted. This could equate to a 50% savings on expenses and a $2,000 a year difference in spendable money. This could be cash in your pocket! (Consult with a tax accountant for details).

Have the ability to travel more and better than you have ever dreamed while you compile frequent flyer miles as well as many other rewards. Connect your FAM rates to frequent traveler numbers with airlines, hotel chains, etc. Not all providers let you do this, but, for example, if you have a frequent guest number for Marriot, try and attach it to your reservation. Not only will you get the discounted rate today, you are working towards a free stay in the future.

Sixth, receive unbelievable discounts to shows, theme parks, and attractions. Enjoy discounts on swamp tours, riverboat dinners, dinner theaters, etc. All you have to do is ask.

You may be thinking, “All this is great in theory, but I wouldn’t have the nerve to constantly ask for travel agent discounts right in front of customers who are paying full price.” Don’t worry about that. To get these discounts, most times you will receive them when you book the trip. And if there’s a situation involving a long line of full-paying customers, travel agents go to the Guest Relations, Group, or Administration office or window and get their discounts there.

Would you love to travel almost free in years to come? This is the way to do it!

Debra Fortosis is a professional travel agent. She owns her own travel business and you can book travel at her user friendly site: [http://www.mndgetaways.com]. She loves helping others book travel or actually start their own turnkey travel business for very little cost.

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