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Becoming a home-based individual travel agent is an excellent way of either working part-time or full-time from home in the hours you need and want. This type of career offers high sales commissions, travel opportunities and interesting work. You don't necessarily have to have a degree to become a travel agent, and whatever training you do need can be acquired online.
Locate a travel school or college that offers training or a relevant degree online. Many online-focused universities, such as the University of Phoenix (which is the largest, with all programs accredited by the Higher Learning Commission) offer either associate's or bachelor's degrees with a focus in hospitality and tourism, which is the degree a travel agent needs.
Research different travel host agencies you might consider working with as an individual travel agent. Research different online travel host agencies to make sure they are accredited by the Airlines Reporting Commission (ARC) and the International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN). This accreditation is typically plainly visible on a host agency's website.
Learn the job description of the independent travel agent with the host agency and how a particular agency works. Most agencies offer commissions based on hotel bookings, flights and vacation packages you create for clients.
Join the travel host agency you like best. Pay the initial fees required, which vary depending on the agency you choose.
Set up your website and include the program applications or plug-ins given to you by the host agency. A client who visits your website and books a reservation, travel package, or flight through the site will create commissions for you, which the travel host agency then pays.
Market your website by placing ads on website bulletin boards. Use social networks to spread the word about your new career and use search engine optimization tools to place your website higher in the search engine ranks.
Jennifer Moore began writing in 2006, specializing in Web content, blogs and forum postings. She is a graduate from the most prestigious university in Mexico, Universidad de Las Americas, with a B.A. in international relations, later obtaining a U.S. teacher's degree and an additional CompTIA A+ certification in computer technology. Moore has written for My Mexico Living, BoomersAbroad and various other websites.