How to Start a Travel Agency from Home

If you have a passion for traveling and want the freedom of being your own boss, consider starting a home based travel agency. Not sure how to start a travel agency? Think about joining a travel franchise, such as Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, which comes with many benefits to help you and your new travel agency business succeed.

Why Start a Travel Agency Business?

Starting a travel agency franchise with Cruise Planners, gives you access to some of the best tools and training in the industry. Starting a travel agency from home without the support of a franchise can be difficult, especially trying to learn the ins and outs of the travel industry and building a client list. By starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, you will have in-person training to become a travel agent and the back end support so you can keep your travel agency business flourishing. Most importantly, Cruise Planners is the link between you (the travel agent, franchisee) and cruise and travel companies, hospitality brands and worldwide destinations. By starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, instant credibility is then added to your travel agency as Cruise Planners is an American Express Travel Representative and offers access to exclusive American Express Card member benefits.

You don’t have to go through this process of starting a travel agency alone. Starting a travel agency with your partner, family member or friend is made easy at Cruise Planners. Take a look at the story of mother/daughter travel agency owners and their journey from a corporate career to a travel agent career with Cruise Planners. Find out the most efficient ways on how to become a travel agent.

Finding the right Travel Franchise

Once you’ve decided to start a travel agency through a franchise, selecting the right franchise is the next step. Do your research and find out which franchise is the best fit for you. Does the mission of the franchise match yours? Do they provide tools to help you reach your goals and have a successful travel agency business? Is this a low cost franchise? How do travel agents make money as a travel franchise owner? Consider these questions before making the big decision on which travel franchise to join. Cruise Planners’ franchise sales team can help walk you through all of these questions and help you get one step closer to travel agency business ownership as a home based travel agent. Contact our franchise sales team to find out how to start a travel agency.

Franchise Military/Veteran Benefits

Are you active military, a military veteran or a first responder that’s interested in starting your own business? Cruise Planners might be the franchise for you. Check out the Cruise Planners’ Armed Forces and First Responders Initiative Program to learn about the special discounts, savings and more available to you and your family. Many of Cruise Planners travel agents are military veterans, find out how this military couple started their own travel agency business by using their army background to their benefit and became travel franchise owners.

Benefits of Starting a Travel Agency with Cruise Planners travel franchise

Many travel franchises offer training and support. From the comprehensive 6-day onboard travel agent training in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to year-round training and networking opportunities such as boot camps and the annual convention, and online courses, the support found at Cruise Planners is non-stop. During these trainings, you’ll learn about every element that goes into operating your travel agency along with in-depth learning opportunities about the industry.

Because of the low franchise start cost of starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners, and the added ability to work from home, or on the go traveling, makes Cruise Planners one of the most profitable frachises to start.

Travel Agent Training Academy

In addition to in-person training, Cruise Planners offers live and on-demand webinars as a part of the travel agent training and is accessible at home or on the road with Cruisitude Academy. Access videos and tutorials that you can utilize through Cruisitude Academy as a home based travel agent to your benefit to help maximize your sales. Unfamiliar with the business aspect such as marketing, public relations and advertising? as a Cruise Planners home based travel agent, you will learn all about these areas from first-hand experiences from travel professionals.

Travel Agent Training Certification

Cruise Planners offers an exclusive training and travel agent certification program that teaches travel agents how to plan destination and weddings at sea. Certified Cruise Planners travel agents offer superior service for engaged couples, so take advantage of this opportunity to potentially expand your client list. From land to sea trips, become an expert in all aspects of travel and a wedding specialist as a Cruise Planners home based travel agent.

Travel Agent Home Office Support

Around the clock support is provided by the Business Development Team at the Cruise Planners Home Office. Providing the best travel agency tools and technology to travel agents is extremely important at Cruise Planners. You will have access to the advance technology available that is designed to give Cruise Planners travel agents the ability to work from home or on the go. Share this technology with your clients as they have access to a travel agency mobile app designed specifically for them where they can view their upcoming trip personalized by Cruise Planners home based travel agents and more.

Travel Agency Marketing and Promotion

Travel franchises such as Cruise Planners, positions travel agents to achieve and exceed all of their goals. Cruise Planners is one of the best franchises to own and provides new home based travel agents with an initial list of potential clients to reach out to and build their very own client lists. Create custom ads, flyers and more available through the Magellan and ADDY Award-winning marketing and advertising strategies at Cruise Planners.

Join the Crusitude™ lifestyle and turn your love for the travel industry into being a successful home based travel agent today as a Cruise Planners travel franchise owner. No experience is needed when you join a travel franchise, so enjoy the freedom to create your own schedule and work from home or on the go. By combining the travel agent training and support with Cruise Planners’ award-winning marketing and technology tools, you can become a travel agent operating a successful, home based businesses. Check out our top 10 reasons to join a travel
franchise today and start your journey to becoming a travel agent with one of best franchises to own Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative.  

Please join us for an upcoming travel franchise opportunity webinar in which you can learn more about the features and benefits of owning your own Cruise Planners travel franchise.

Like Father, Like Son – How a Mutual Love of Travel Turned This Duo into Entrepreneurs

Cruise Planners’ business-in-a-box model has changed the lives of franchise owners across the U.S. by helping them build successful careers in the travel industry. With Father’s Day around the corner, father-son team, Neil and Jason Hantman, share their Cruise Planners success story.

Neil and Jason Hantman, share their Cruise Planners success story
Father and son, Jason and Neil Hantman, are Cruise Planners franchise owners based in Coconut Creek, Fla.

With travel industry experience under their belts – Jason is a former Norwegian Cruise Line employee and Neil as a former Wyndham Worldwide employee – Cruise Planners was a perfect business opportunity for the father and son team. “Both of us have a passion for travel and we enjoy helping others fulfill their passion,” Neil said. Even though travel industry experience is not necessary, in 2014, Neil and Jason discovered that Cruise Planners had exactly what they were looking for and opened their franchise, based in Coconut Creek, Fla.

This father-son team find their personal connection and mutual love of travel make them ideal business partners. “There is an element of trust and we can use our own experiences to assist our clients,” Neil said. The Hantman duo credits the many tools available through Cruise Planners for helping them operate their business smoothly, including “the ease of use of Cruise Planners technology, support from the Home Office Team and Cruise Planners partnerships throughout the travel industry,” he said.

Cruise Planners franchise owners use their extensive knowledge of the travel industry to create memorable and personalized trips for each client. Looking for the perfect Father’s Day surprise getaway? The Hantman duo recommends a fun-filled weekend cruise packaged with specialty dining and an unlimited beverage plan. Make the trip extra special by adding on adrenaline-filled excursions such as parasailing and jet skiing to ensure the ultimate Father’s Day adventure.


Contact us, by calling 888-582-2150 or register for an upcoming franchise webinar, for more information about starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners.

Customized Technology – Created by Travel Agents for Travel Agents

The Technology Team at Cruise Planners works diligently to ensure our travel agent franchises have the absolute best and latest travel technology tools at their fingertips. Travel Agency Franchise owners rely heavily on the award-winning tools created by the Technology Team to assist with cruise, land, and tour bookings. Planning and booking customized trips working from home or on the go is a breeze with the eREZ  Mobile App which allows Cruise Planners travel agents to manage their travel agency business from anywhere in the world. Clients are able to use a second consumer-facing mobile app, Cruise Planners Mobile,  to book new trips and review previously booked trips. Not into mobile apps? Cruise Planners franchises’ websites are accessible on both desktop format and mobile platforms and are responsive to all smartphone browsers.

Creating user-friendly mobile apps was a primary goal of the Technology Team. The website and app are designed for clients and travel agents of all technology comfort levels, making navigation throughout a breeze.

“I am technology challenged and the Cruise Planners system is so user-friendly,” Keel said. “It’s a database, accounting system, marketing tool, booking engine all rolled up into one system. Clients are often impressed that they can access their profile and keep in contact with me, so the mobile app is a huge plus for most of my tech-savvy clients.”

Cruise Planners continuously improves its travel technology services and systems and launches new technology that not only helps agents be more efficient but also provides better services to our customers. The convenient benefits of using Cruise Planners’ technology continue to be used by agents and their clients every day. The Technology Team is constantly enhancing and creating the best resources for everyone.

“In today’s world, if you don’t have a mobile app, you’re obsolete,” Furst Matulonis said. “My clients love being able to view all their trip details, chat directly with me and even look up the weather in their destination all from the Cruise Planners Mobile App.”

Travel Agency Technology

How this Mother-Daughter Team Turned Franchise Ownership into a Family Business

Cruise Planners, an American Express Representative, allows franchise owners to combine their passion for travel with the power to be their own boss and to work whenever and wherever they want. For some travel franchise owners, opening and operating their Cruise Planners franchise is a family affair, giving these travel agents the opportunity to build relationships with both their clients and each other. Terry McKinney, a franchise owner since 2011 based in Magnolia, Texas shares how running her work from home Cruise Planners franchise with her daughter Andrea Mickan, has allowed them to make a difference in their clients lives – and their own – through travel.

Terry, Andrea Travel Agency

Terry McKinney and Andrea Mickan, Cruise Planners franchise owners based in Magnolia, TX.

How did the idea of entering the travel industry together come about?

I opened my business in September 2011 and knew I wanted to do trade shows to get my business name and face out in public view so I asked my daughter Andrea if she would be able to help me work at the trade shows. I immediately saw that she was a natural fit for the romance travel industry. After my asking her to join me for a couple of years, she finally said yes and made the move from her corporate America position in human resources to becoming a full-time independent contractor with my company. 

What makes your daughter your ideal business partner?

Andrea loves talking to people and making people happy. She knows her products and if she isn’t familiar with a particular destination, resort or cruise ship she’ll research it backwards and forwards until she becomes an expert.  I am so proud to have my daughter working by my side in my company.

What is the best part about being a mother-daughter team in the travel industry?

We work together in tandem, bouncing marketing ideas off one another, always working together to better ourselves and exceed our company goals, always working hard to make sure that we provide the best options to our clients and getting to revel in our successes together. We both love the romance travel industry so it’s a great feeling of joy and pride when our couples get married and go from college sweethearts to parents and then being called ‘Aunties’ by our clients when they start having children. What a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve made a difference in someone’s lives!

How has the Cruise Planners travel agency model allowed you to smoothly run your business together?

Cruise Planners is amazing in their support to their franchise owners on so many different levels.  They truly care about our successes and are always coming up with new initiatives that serve to improve our efficiency, training, technology education and sales strategies. Andrea and I are aligned with our Cruise Planners Home Office in that we know what to expect and who to turn to in the event we need assistance or special guidance. They have our backs and we are never alone.

What’s your favorite travel memory you’ve shared since starting your Cruise Planners franchise?

My personal favorite memory was our Mediterranean cruise to Italy and the Greek Isles. We started with a few days in Paris and toured the city as well as the Champagne Region – such a beautiful country. We traversed down to Rome and spent a few more days sightseeing and going down to the Amalfi Coast. Then we boarded our cruise ship and were rewarded with an unbelievable suite upgrade as a surprise. The entire experience, both on land and on the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, was absolutely amazing. Our travels always seem to make us better people and we love working side-by-side as a team. 

With Mother’s Day coming up, what vacation options would you recommend as a gift for moms and what amenities on this trip would make it special?

Providing a mother with a special trip on Mother’s Day with her children creates beautiful memories that will stay with her the rest of her life. A cruise onboard the Celebrity Reflection staying in a Spa Suite – absolutely perfect; a trip to El Dorado Seaside Suites with a beautiful beach cabana and butler service in one of their gorgeous swim-out infinity pool suites – unbelievable; a European River Cruise onboard the AMASerena floating gently down the Danube River with their included shore excursions and local wines – nothing like it! The idea list for a Mother’s Day family trip with her children is truly endless. But that’s what Andrea and I do…we can create all of those ‘wow’ moments to make every person feel so very special.

Want to Start your Own Travel Agency?

Contact us, by calling 888-582-2150 or register for an upcoming franchise webinar, for more information about starting a travel agency with Cruise Planners.