How to Balance Work & Travel as an Independent Travel Agent
Written by: Amanda Bailey on June 02, 2015
As a home-based travel agent, the line between “work” and “vacation” is somewhat blurred. It’s tempting to take a few hours during a family vacation for a site inspection or two. And if you’ve ever taken a FAM trip, you know there’s often time to unwind or explore the destination on your own.
Regardless, having the freedom to set your own schedule and number of vacation days is one of the major perks of owning your own travel business. These valuable tips for maintaining the work/play balance will help you stay inspired, yet focused on growing your travel business.
1. Embrace FAM Trip Opportunities. As an independent travel agent, you have access to discounted trips to the top destinations and resorts in the world. It might seem like a no-brainer, but there is no better way to take a “working vacation” than on a FAM trip. They are like a vacation, networking event and training session, all in one!
2. Take Real Vacation Days. According to Skift.com, 42% of Americans didn’t use a single vacation day in 2014. Owning your own travel business allows you to control your vacation time, but the real challenge is separating yourself from your phone, email, and work life. Every once in awhile, take a mental health day away from your business to refresh your mind. Your business will thank you for it!
3. Make Travel a Priority. Growing your agency should be at the top of your to-do list, but sometimes a change of scene is the only way to gain perspective. You don’t have to go far or spend too much — even a short road trip to a neighboring city can lead to eye-opening experiences. Reading up on unfamiliar destinations or travel trends can also be a very economical way of escaping your routine.
4. Work the Calendar. Travel agents have so many opportunities to get out of the office — industry events, live training sessions and of course, FAM trips. Narrow down your schedule to a few outings that will be the most valuable to your business and keep a master calendar of all your flights, meetings, etc. By planning out your trip and event schedule in advance, you’ll save money on travel costs, and you won’t have to scramble to coordinate a trip at the last second.
5. Keep Your Clients in the Loop. Before you go out of town, let your clients know you’ll be traveling, what kind of response time they can expect while you’re away, and how they can best reach you. You’ll demonstrate your professionalism and build their trust by laying out a game plan for them ahead of time. Just don’t forget to follow through!
True independence is a rare thing with most career paths, but homed-based travel agents have the liberty of deciding when and where they work. Finding that balance between work and the rest of your life isn’t always easy, but it is crucial to keeping yourself energized, efficient and in sync with your clients’ needs.
If you’re a go-getter and want more control over your routine, then contact us about starting your own travel agency. Just fill out the form on the right or call 1-888-611-1220 for our free startup packet.