Posts Tagged ‘Wedding’

Why Gen X & Y Should Consider Using Travel Agents

November 24th, 2022

Tom Lewis is a travel agent with Alliance Travel Partners, a Virtuoso affiliate (which means they are a part of a luxury travel agent consortium). While the majority of Lewis’ clients want high-end travel, he can book anything.

Lewis told me about a study that found that only a very small percent of people under the age of 35 use travel agents. He said the industry is baffled as to why younger people are not using them and most travel agents don’t know how to reach us.

I called Tom this week to learn why 20somethings (and even 30somethings) should think twice before booking their next trip online. Read the interview below, and be sure to follow Tom on Twitter at @tomtravel2.

Emily Gerson: As a travel agent, do you work with 20somethings? Why would they want to use a travel agent?

Tom Lewis: We are high-end travel agents, but surprisingly, I have quite a few clients who are in their 20s. Its been growing by word of mouth within that group. I’m 54, I have two daughters – one is 27 and one is 25. The 27-year-old’s husband works for Wells Fargo and most of his friends are business majors, lawyers, and other young professionals. Once I got them hooked on my services, they started referring me to their friends. People in their 20s are a generation that trusts their friends. That’s where this industry has done a poor job – getting its foot in the door. Once people use me, they get their friends to call me. It’s more personal.

Do Travel Agents Get Free Trips? Part 2

April 13th, 2022

Yes: travel agents DO travel for free

There are several scenarios that could allow travel professionals to travel for free. In a previous article, I discussed 4 ways that travel agents do come out of their pocket to pay for their trips. This time around I will explain how they also save and even travel for free.

Booking Groups Could Get You a Free Pass

There are incentives for booking groups (the fact that group travel is the most lucrative bookings in the travel industry should be incentive enough). If an agent books so many rooms (hotel) or cabins (on a cruise), they cold get a free room or cabin or money (not counting the commission) that they could use toward their room or cabin. Of course this all depends on the vendor’s group policy, quantity needed and who is assigned as group leader.

Actually you do not have to be a travel agent to get this benefit I am described above. If you are not a travel agent and you decide to book a group, if you are the group leader, you could very well get these benefits (ask your travel agent they should tell you that up front). This is the only way (outside of a frequent guest program) that a non-travel agent could get perks extended to them… so if you want to get some perks out of your trip…think in groups!

Travel Contests

Another way an agent could go free could be based on sales volume for a specific property or destination in a particular niche. Some travel vendors and agencies may offer free trips to top agents as incentive or awards for sales performance. These kinds of awards are offered as contents too! I’ve seen some really exotic destinations, life a fully expense paid trip to Costa Rica (wow!) offered to contest winners in my agency, which makes it really worth trying to get your sales

Travel Perks can be Good

Agents can sometimes take advantage of extended ‘courtesies’ or perks, which is an added benefit of being in the travel industry. We call them courtesies because no vendor is obligated to extend perks just because a travel professional identifies themselves as such. If an option for a room upgrade or car rental upgrade is available, agents will ask first if of course, and it’s up to the vendor to extend free services, amenities or perks to agents up presentation of valid credentials. These perks may also include shows, attraction tickets, tours and much more.

Agents Travel Free in the Long Run

This is the part I love about being a home-based travel professional! It really is all free in the long run! How is that? Travel professionals are allowed to legitimately write off their travel 100%. Yes, they can, so regardless if you are an agent who paid for their trip, you are in the business of travel, which makes all your travel 100% tax deductable. So if you are a travel agent, the key is to document your trip and save your receipts so you can legally write off your trips at the end of the tax year!

Just to recap, there are 4 main ways travel agents can travel for free:

1. Booking groups and getting room, cabin, or monetary credit
2. Agency and Vendor Contests
3. Perks & upgrades
4. Write-off your travel 100%

Attention All Agents: save those receipts and document, document, document!

If you are not a travel agent and you are an avid traveler, you are throwing money away! Learn how to become a part time travel agent and get the benefits of owning an online travel business!