Cant I Get A Better Deal Booking Directly With A Cruise Line
As mentioned, cruise lines generally require that with the exception of groups, prices are the same across all travel agents, and this applies to the cruise lines internal sales teams as well. Cruise lines depend on travel agents to sell cruises and help service those bookings, so they certainly dont want to undercut the agencies they work with. Additionally, the cruise line has to market cruises, guide prospective guests through the process, and then be available for any changes or challenges that come about. When a travel agent does this for the cruise line, thats money that in a way, the cruise line has saved, which gets back to why cruise lines and other companies pay travel agents commission.
Getting a deal also means knowing that youre getting the right cruise for you – a lower price isn’t the only measure of value. While its true that 10+ years ago there was far less information out there on cruise line, hotel, and rental car websites making the role of a travel agent more essential if you didnt know exactly what you wanted, the amount of information on the internet today can be overwhelming. Yes, cruise lines put their information out there on the web, but like any other business, they control the message so Princess Cruises may have a ton of information, but theyll understandably be slanted to make their own line seem to be the most logical choice no matter what your preferences may be.
What Are Cruise Planners Franchise Owners Saying About The Opportunity
I had no travel agent experience. Cruise Planners supported me with incredible marketing tools, live and recorded training webinars, and are there with me every step of the way. Maria Tilton
After unexpected career changes, we wanted to fulfill our dreams of owning a business. Cruise Planners instantly helped grow our business with its marketing programs, technology, and business development support. Sheila & Chris Korte
I took early retirement, but I wasnt ready to retire. Ive always loved to travel, and Cruise Planners offered me the independence, flexibility, and fun so I can travel with a different focus. Val Dorsey
So What Might Be Right For You
Okay, okay you get it. Enough of the carpentry metaphors! How do I go about navigating this decision, you ask. Well, funny you should ask…
Ive broken it down into three things you can consider when navigating whether to purchase a travel franchise or go with a host: budget, time and temperament. Onward!
Completing The Journey: Becoming A Dream Vacations Franchisee
Dream Vacations has been rated among the top franchises by its franchisees in a recent Franchise Business Review survey, where it was rated as either Excellent or Very good in eight categories, including financial opportunity and general satisfaction. Heres what you need to know if you are considering a Dream Vacations franchise.
- What you can expect to make as a home-based travel agent varies. Dream Vacations pays out commissions to its agents weekly. According to Item 19 in its Financial Disclosure Document, its top group of franchisees had average sales of $2.2 million in travel in 2018. The lowest group, which represented 38% of all agents, had average sales of $42,563.
- Although Dream Vacations offers a low barrier to entry, initial franchise fees will vary depending upon your travel industry experience. For example, Dream Vacations initial franchise fees range from $495 to $9,800 depending on your experience level. The franchise offers a 20% discount off the franchise fee to U.S. Veterans, active-duty spouses, first responders and community heroes including teachers and medical staff. Also, Dream Vacations provides financing for initial franchisee fees for up to $7,300 over a two-year term, with a $3,500 down payment.
- Your total initial investment could range between $1,795 and $20,300, to include your initial franchise fee, initial office supplies and computer equipment, advertising and insurance.
Travel Agency Franchise Profiles
Heres the deets on travel agency franchises as we know it thus far! Weve profiled some franchises to get a sense of their range. You can count on the fact that well be updating this info as we receive it! Below are the major players when it comes to travel agency franchises:
That will give you a good sense about whats out there in terms of travel agency franchises. But what about how that compares to a host agency? Read on, fearless reader.
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Tips On How You Can Start A Successful Travel Agent Career
My Cruise Planners Franchise Review
There are a lot of great things about Cruise Planners, so lets start with the obvious, their reputation:
- Cruise Planners has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
- They have consistently ranked as the #1 travel franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine
- They are an American Express Travel Representative
Besides having an excellent reputation, Cruise Planners also has a big heart. With their CP Cares Program, theyve raised and donated over $1.5 million to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as other charities and philanthropic organizations.
Another thing I like about the Cruise Planners opportunity is the six-day, in-person training in Florida. This training allows you to understand the industry and have your questions answered on the spot. This program also gets you up and running in no time flat, so you can start earning money quicker.
Of course, the initial investment might be a barrier. But if you consider the cost of going back to school or investing in a traditional franchise, the cost is much lower. With Cruise Planners, theres no inventory to buy, no storefront space to rent, or employees to pay which makes this a low-cost business to run as well.
If youre passionate about travel, I think the Cruise Planners franchise opportunity is an excellent option!
An Important Note About Our Methodology
The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of Americas Most Lucrative Franchises.
What Is The Advantage Of Using A Travel Agent
Beyond the perks offered with your booking, another great reason to book with a travel agent is the service. A good travel agent has personal experience with travel, but also gets great feedback from his or her clients so theyre continuously learning about different offerings. This means that the agent can help get to know you, find out what you enjoy, what type of vacation youre looking for, etc, and make recommendations based on the knowledge theyve amassed. There is no best cruise line, but there probably is one that is best for you, and for this particular trip.
Another great service agents provide is being your primary point of contact for your trip. This can be a big factor, as your cruise may be much more than just a cruise. You might need a car to get you to the airport, a flight to the city youre cruising from, a hotel in that city, a rental car, restaurant reservations, your cruise, shore excursions, and more. Your agent can not only make these arrangements, but if you need to make changes or get more information, youve got one person you can speak with that will help you with everything.
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A Tiny Index Of Franchise Terms
Here’s a little franchise terms cheat sheet, straight from Entrepreneur magazine. Hey, why reinvent the wheel?!
Should I Use A Travel Agent To Book A Cruise
We just spent some time answering this, but the real answer is that you should use a travel agent for booking much more than just cruises! We mentioned that if you have pre or post cruise plans, an agent can help with your hotel, car, and other reservations – but it turns out some people take trips that aren’t cruises! Who knew? Keep this in mind, as whether it’s business travel or a land vacation, it really can be a relief. Personally, we’ve booked hotels and other arrangements for entire department meetings using our cruise travel agent, and looked like the hero when we just said, “don’t worry everyone, I’ll handle it all.”
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The Story Of My Dream Vacation
On Dec. 30th, we checked into the Westin Hotel at LAX airport. This is the headquarter hotel for City Escape. Before this we had received a large packet with total details of what the tour would include. Almost moment by moment steps so there were no surprises . There were over 500 people booked with this company and each person had many choices of what to do for the 2 days. This first night was a buffet dinner at the hotel with Bo Adams, the president of City Escapes, explaining all the details. He accompanied us the whole time.
We arrived at 7 AM and toured 2 pavilions where the floats are made. For some, this is a year long project. There are about 24 pavilions scattered all over the Pasadena area where the parade is held. We only had time for 2. What a huge job!!! Every float MUST have roses. Thousands and maybe even millions of live flowers, grasses, seeds and any other living plant must be used on these floats.
- As we walked overhead to see the floats under construction it was hard to believe that in 5 hours they had to be finished and lined up for the voting. But it did happen.
After leaving the pavilions and wondering what these would all look like, we were onto some other wonderful places. Next stop was Graumans Chinese
- Now we are off to the Getty Museum. The structure is very unique and well laid out. Filled with painting from hundreds of years back, furniture and sculptures as well as beautiful gardens.
What Is A Travel Agency Franchise
A travel agency franchise is essentially a business in a box. Its like buying a housethe foundation and scaffolding are already in place. All you need is your moving truck. If an agent invests in purchasing a franchise, they are walking into an established brand . . . everything from marketing materials & plans, procedures & operations. A travel agent who purchases a franchise can bypass some business development when opening an agency.
Among other things, brand recognition is a major part of a franchisees investment. You can probably imagine what pops up first when you google the word fast food hamburger . For folks who dont want to invest the time and energy to build their own brand, this can be appealing.
Franchises, unlike hosts, are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission , so there are certain things theyre required to do by law:
Breaking it Down Further
The travel agency franchise model can be further broken down in two different types :
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Customer Responses Reviews Or Complaints
Instant Credibility With American Express Travel
Cruise Planners is the #1 cruise sales franchise for the American Express Travel brand, one of the most trusted names in business. With the American Express Travel affiliation, you will gain instant credibility and access to double the amount of group inventory and promotions. You can also utilize exclusive tools and travel programs for your clients, such as the Pay with Points Program, all while earning full commission on every sale.
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This Is Your Opportunity Turn Your Business Dreams Into Reality
With a low-cost franchise that has low overhead and no inventory, the world is your oyster when you start a travel agency franchise with us. Pursue your dreams of running your own home-based travel business AND seeing the world by helping others plan the vacations theyve always dreamed about.
Our home-based franchise opportunity has changed the lives of our 1,500 franchisees, and it could change yours too. What we hear most from our franchise owners is, I wish I did this sooner! So, what are you waiting for? Become your own boss with Dream Vacations. Become part of the Dream Vacations family and position yourself to be on the receiving end of the greatest rebuild the leisure travel industry has ever seen. Youll become part of a travel industry powerhouse where you can.
Should I Use A Travel Agent Or Book Directly With A Cruise Line
One of the most common questions I find myself passionately answering both in person and on online communities , is about how to actually book a cruise. Should you use a travel agent or book directly with a cruise line? Ill tell you right out the gate that whether youre looking into your first cruise or well on your way to the highest levels of a cruise lines loyalty program, I highly recommend using a good travel agent, but lets talk about why by addressing some common questions and misconceptions.
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