I know I’m guilty! That’s why, whenever I have to travel, I call in the professionals: Travel agents. These pros help make getaways picture perfect, and often have option to work from home!
Virtual Travel Agents
So, that got me to thinking about how valuable travel professionals are in a world where many favor a do-it-yourself approach to travel of booking flights online and making car reservations through major travel deal sites.
Jumping online may be a quick and easy way to book travel, but it certainly doesn’t ensure you’ll have a travel experience that goes off without a hitch (in fact, if you’re anything like me, it probably increases your odds of having something go awry).
And that’s where virtual and work from home travel jobs come into play — experts in travel who can help plan and book business and leisure trips that are detailed and well-thought out (lessening the chance of unexpected circumstances popping up!).
If you’re interested in working as a virtual or remote travel counselor, coordinator or agent, there are a number of companies who routinely hire work from home travel agents and support pros.
You probably know of American Express as the credit card people. They also offer some pretty nice travel perks to their cardholders. To help them redeem these rewards, American Express has Travel Counselors who offer world-class service while helping cardholders plan a memorable travel experience.
As a Travel Counselor, you’ll help Card Holders book domestic and international travel arrangements, make recommendations, and resolve any issues that might come up. If you have 2+ years travel experience and a quiet home-office area, this position, which offers full and part-time opportunities, might be a good fit. Being flexible in your schedule is a must! You also need to be legally eligible to work in the United States.
Authorized Disney Vacation Planners are specially trained travel pros in all things Disney. These travel agents or vacation planners, as they’re often called, aren’t affiliated with Disney but go through certification and training to become “Authorized Disney Vacation Planners.”
It doesn’t cost the traveler anything extra to book their Disney vacation using a Disney Travel Agent. The travel agents earn a percentage of each sale they make from Disney.
This is one of those opportunities that will likely take a large time investment before you actually see monetary return. You’ll need to go through training and actually start booking vacations to begin the earnings process.
Keep in mind, you won’t actually get paid your commission until a vacation is complete. So, if you book a vacation in January, but the actual vacation isn’t until July, you won’t see your commission for six months!
There are a number of companies that specialize in Disney Travel and welcome applicants who are interested in learning more about becoming a Disney Vacation Specialist:
- Love The Mouse Travel
- My Favorite Mouse
- Off To Neverland Travel
- Mickey’s Travel
- Tiggerific Travels
- Mouse Counselors
- Mouse Hunters Travel
- My Mickey Vacation Travel
- Mickey Travels
FROSCH is a privately-owned travel management company. They provide travel solutions for both business and leisure travelers. With headquarters in NYC and Houston as well as offices nationwide, they employ hundreds of professionals in the travel industry, but they frequently hire virtual travel pros, too. Some positions you can expect to find at FROSCH include:
- After Hours Travel Consultant
- Apollo Travel Consultant
- Sabre Travel Consultant
Positions offered are usually full time and come with benefits. FROSCH employee reviews are mixed. Many virtual agents report enjoying the freedom of being able to work just about anywhere (as a bonus you get a company-issued laptop). Others note that management is difficult to work with. All in all, reviews hover right around the 3-star mark, which is slightly above average.
As FROSCH continues to grow, they will certainly offer more and more virtual travel industry jobs. Keep your eyes on their careers page for the latest work from home travel jobs at FROSCH.
Cruise.com is an online cruise booking agency. They offer destination cruises, specialty cruises, and work with some of the largest cruise lines around like Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean. Part of their services include finding discount cruises and offering tips and valuable information for those taking or thinking about taking a cruise.
Cruise.com hires Cruise Sales Agents, Online Support Agents, and Customer Service Agents to work remotely. They hire in rounds in order to conduct online training in a classroom-like settings. Training takes four weeks and is done entirely online.
All positions at Cruise.com pay a base rate plus commission. These are employee positions which offer some benefits (you may even qualify for travel agent discounts!). Candidates will need to pass a background and employment check before being offered a final employment offer.
Red Butler is a virtual assistant company offering executive services to busy professionals and entrepreneurs. It’s not surprising to know that their most requested tasks from clients center around travel (flight arrangements, hotel stays, itineraries, rental cars, etc.).
To help their busy clients with their travel needs, Red Butler hires Virtual Assistantsknown as Travel Specialists. As you might imagine, Travel Specialists handle all aspects of travel for corporate and leisure trips. So, you might need to find great deals on a car rental or find a flight from Point A to Point B on a specific date and time. You might also handle travel rewards points and redeem them as needed for clients.
Red Butler does so much within the travel industry that some companies exclusively use them for their travel needs. As a Travel Specialist for Red Butler you might find yourself working on behalf of a company to make sure all their employees have great travel experiences!
There is an entire @Home division over at World Travel Holdings. Most of the opportunities involve selling and servicing travel packages at resorts and with cruise lines.
If you don’t have professional travel experience, that’s okay. World Travel Holdings provides training to help you succeed. As an added bonus, you’ll be considered an employee, which means a work from home job with benefits!
World Travel Holdings also gives their agents a computer, monitor, keyboard, mouse, telephone and headset. But it’s important to note, you will have to pay a refundable $500 deposit for these items. The deposit is spread out over five paychecks and will be refunded once you return the equipment.
All Customer Care Reps must successfully complete 6 weeks of paid training before taking calls. After training, your schedule will change depending on demand and need. But agents are able to ‘bid’ on shifts every 12 weeks, giving you a chance to create a schedule that works for you.
At Travel Leaders Group, they believe successful travel agents are highly motivated and passionate about travel. Sound like you? You may just be the perfect addition to their virtual team.
Keep in mind, if you’re not an experience travel agent, this is an opportunity to learn the ropes and get your foot in the door. But it’ll cost you. There are two travel agent programs to choose from:
- Travel Agent Training Virtual Campus
- Travel Agent Training Independent Learner
Both will prepare you to enter the world of travel as a beginner. The difference is the Independent Learner is self-paced while the Virtual Campus program offers more support.
Regardless of the program, once complete, you may be eligible to work with Travel Leaders Group as an independent agent or land a role at a partner agency. Travel Leaders Group has partnerships with big-name companies like Delta and Hertz.
For anyone looking to launch a career as a virtual travel agent, Travel Leaders Group can help (and even offer job leads post-completion). And, if you land a position with Travel Leaders Group or one of their partner agencies, you can earn as much as $1,000 of your tuition back!
Train To Become a Travel Agent
Not sure if any of these opportunities are right for you? That’s okay! If you have zero professional experience as a travel agent but a desire to learn, consider training to work as an agent.
A great resource is the American Society of Travel Agents. This group was established by agents for agents. You’ll learn about online courses you can take and ways to break into the industry, even if you have zero experience.