123 - Cruisin' along...

First off, I think I should let you know something about me that's not immediately apparent -- I walk on water. I do. Or I can. When it's frozen. I think. It doesn't actually freeze much here so I can't prove that. Anyhoo, now ya know how special I am. Odds are you're pretty special, too, you just don't know it. ;)

Secondly, a friend has been saying and saying it... ever since we took our trip to Ireland, 'you should be a travel agent.' And I laughed, thinking 'there's no money in it.' And I went to Scotland and people saw my photo recap and said similar things and I laughed. Then I started planning this cruise and when I sent the email with all the information in it, my friend said it again... and I laughed again. Then something changed. I realized that I was doing probably 90% of the work an agent would do, and even once I turned the trip over to an agent (and by this point I had been referred to no less than four), I would still be the central point of contact for gathering data, forever a responsible party because I was the initial contact. Why not just finish the job?

So I researched it, and there are a few agencies out there that offer training, cover you under their Errors & Omissions insurance policy, allow you the use of their resources, access to their providers, and charge a nominal fee for support. Because they have size on their side, they can negotiate larger commissions and better deals than I could get on my own, and I can work as much or as little as I want. From home. What a magical combination of two simple words... 'from' and 'home'.

When I start to see fees, I usually talk myself out of things, thinking they might not be legit. But these sites seem to be real, and the first one I found actually seems the most fair. Hell, I even ran the idea by my mom as a sanity check and she even seemed to think it was a good idea (which never happens).

I don't really intend to go global and seek out clients, I'm thinking that if my friends need to book travel and want to use me then I'll do it, and I have enough friends who travel that I should at least be able to cover my fees. Mostly I want to be able to seek out discounts for my own travels, and make a little money doing what I'm already doing (I can even make a commission on myself!). With 31 people now interested in this cruise and the potential for more (toldja I was likeable!), I would get a decent commission, even if only half of them go.

Airlines apparently don't pay commissions, so it depends on what kind of travel... but almost everything else is up for grabs... admission to theme parks, hotels, cruises, train travel, resorts, rental cars, even travel insurance if anyone wants it. I'm not looking to get rich off of it, definitely don't intend to screw anyone over, but I can do it for a couple of years and see what happens and maybe I can save my friends a little money along the way. It's something I can do part-time. That's what tripped me up before... I was thinking of it as a full-time job when it didn't have to be.

I'm a little worried that some of them may think I set this up... got everyone interested in the cruise and then SURPRISE, I'll be your travel agent for the evening! I know that's not the case, but I can see how it might look that way. Luckily I've known most of them for a long time and (hopefully) they know I'm not like that.... in fact, that's what makes me such a horrible salesperson (in so far as money is concerned) I'm usually too honest! We'll see...


  1. I think it sounds like a fantastic idea! From what I have learned about you, from afar, you are very researched and very smart. Two things I respect immensely if I am hiring someone to do something for me.

    I would hire you!

  2. I think it sounds like a great idea. By the way airlines might not pay commission but you might be able to do some stuff with affiliationg links.

    I just wish I had the money for a holiday!

    Kate x

  3. Go for it. Whatever makes you happy and whatever you are passionate in doing, DO IT!