Tips for Home Based Travel Agents

Last week, four of our TravelSafe team members attended the Home Based Travel Agent Forum in Las Vegas, Nevada. The forum, described as a “unique vehicle designed to help you drive your home-based travel business”, featured seasoned experts who shared tips for home based travel agents.

  • Make a video. According to sources at the Forum, 90% of all internet traffic will be video by 2014. What does that mean for you? It means you can’t afford to not be on YouTube! Don’t be afraid to make a video – simply use your smartphone to record a video. You can speak about a popular travel destination, provide packing tips or promote a travel package you offer. Whichever topic you chose, make sure to look straight at the camera and speak directly to your customers. If you follow these tips, you’ll be a YouTube sensation in no time!
  • Focus on your LinkedIn account. Use your LinkedIn account to it’s full potential by joining various travel niche groups. For example, if you specialize in destination weddings, join groups for brides, island resorts and wedding planning. After joining these groups, create connections by starting conversations with other members online. Think of LinkedIn like a networking event – you wouldn’t attend an event and stand in the corner without business cards. The same thing goes for LinkedIn – update your profile and get social on the platform. You’ll see great results!
  • Start a blog. Creating a business blog allows you to share dynamic and interactive content. You can become an important “influencer” in your travel niche by blogging about travel tips, travel package deals, the importance of travel insurance or any topic of your choice. Whichever topic you chose, it is important to include calls to action in your blog posts. You can do this by asking your readers to comment or share your post. Blogging regularly (2-3 times per week) will position you as someone who people trust in the travel industry and therefore lead to profits!
  • Spice up your Facebook page. It is very important that your business’ Facebook page has curb appeal. You can make that happen by uploading a cover photo to ensure your page makes people want to travel. Also make sure to add interesting content on your page including destination photos, links to your blog posts and questions asking your followers about their travel habits.

Now it’s your turn to tell us – how do you connect with your customers online? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Read also…
London Airport Receives Massive Upgrades
Travel to Cancun on the Rise
Selling Summer Vacations

London Airport Receives Massive Upgrades

London City Airport is aiming to create an “airport of the future.” The airport’s goal is to eliminate the annoyances that come along with flying.

Their lofty goal includes shortening security lines and making missing luggage a thing of the past.

These experiences will be delivered by technology called Internet of Things (IoT). This technology allows a variety of devices and machines to communicate and has proven to be the foundation for ground-breaking technology. For example, the technology has helped create “smart lights” which detect when you’ve woken up to turn on and “smart cars” which are said to avoid collision.

The London City Airport is the first airport to use this technology for commercial aviation. Over the next year, the airport will integrate different technologies to provide a picture of what’s possible.

A few of these possibilities include tracking luggage and passengers and a system that would allow passengers to pre-order food through their smartphones and have it delivered to their departure gate.

Overall, the airport is combining date to create a better customer experience. So now it’s your turn to tell us — would you welcome these types of changes at airports or are you considered about privacy and safety implications of this technology? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Read also…
Travel to Cancun on the Rise
Selling Summer Vacations
Top 5 Family Travel Tips

Furloughs cause flight delays and cancellations

Air travelers are experiencing delays the government warned us about a few months ago. The delays are reportedly caused by forced federal spending cuts. On Monday, New York City-area airports reported delays for all incoming flights because air traffic controllers were forced to take unpaid time off.

Overall, furloughs kicked in on Sunday for 47,000 Federal Aviation Administration workers, including 15,000 air traffic controllers.

“Throughout today, the FAA has put in place a series of traffic management initiatives around the country to manage both reduced staffing as a result of employee furloughs and weather related issues,” Department of Transportation Press Secretary Justin Nisly said in a statement.

The FAA said there were 400 furlough-related flight delays on Sunday alone. Examples of the flight delays occurred on two Alaska Airlines flights destined for Los Angeles International Airport. The flights were diverted 60 miles away to Ontario International Airport Sunday night due to furloughs and bad weather. Due to the delay, the airline had to bus passengers to LAX. However, the airline waived rebooking fees through Tuesday, citing furloughs.

These delays are the only beginning. FAA workers are required to take a total of 11 days off by the month of September. The workers must take off at least one day every two weeks which means 1,500 controllers could be off the job per day.

“The best indicator of what this is going to be like is (that) we ran delays on Sunday — not one of the busiest days of the week — … on a perfect weather day,” said Stephen Abraham, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association representative in JFK.

In addition to delays, there were another 400 flights canceled Monday and 50 flights canceled Tuesday cancelled as of 5 am ET.

So what is your best bet for dealing with the delays? Be sure to check your flight status before heading to the airport. Be sure to purchase travel insurance to make sure your travel investment is protected against delays, cancellations and many other unforeseeable events.

We’d like to hear your thoughts about the recent flight delays and cancellations. Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Travel to Cancun on the Rise

According to the Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau, more than 2 million visitors will be visiting Cancun this Spring.

Throughout the past month, families, students and friends are selecting Cancun for their vacation destination. In fact, Easter week saw more than 500 daily flights and an approximate 90 percent occupancy rate. The vibrant city held events like Oasis Dance U brought together a variety of performers from the worlds of electronic music, hip hop and dance, as well as top DJs from around the world that attracted thousands of vacationing college students and other audiences.

Now it is your turn to tell us – is Cancun a popular spot with your clients? Has anyone shared safety concerns about traveling to Mexico? Leave a comment below, write on our Facebook page or Tweet us. We look forward to hearing from you!

Read also…
Travel Insurance Available for Canadian Residents
Selling Summer Vacations
TravelSafe Vacation Plan Named Number One for Second Consecutive Year

Get Featured as the Most Social Travel Advisor

Are you a travel agent who connects with their clients on Facebook and Twitter? Do you pin exciting destinations on your Pinterest page? Do you share interesting travel tips and articles on your Google+ page? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be featured as the Most Social Travel Advisor in Travel Agent Central.

The publication is reaching out to travel professionals who are on top of their social media game. If you are using social media to answer your clients’ questions on Facebook or boosting sales through Twitter, they want to hear how social has worked for you.

Make sure to nominate yourself here by April 30, 2013 and share your agency information along with your proudest social media moments and tips for other agents.

Please pass this along to friends and other travel agents who may want to enter as well, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Good luck to all!

Travel Insurance Available for Canadian Residents


We are excited to announce that beginning April 10, 2013, US travel agents may now protect Canadian residents and citizens with the most popular TravelSafe travel insurance protection plans – Basic, Classic and Classic Plus (Quebec excluded).

Each plan offers distinct advantages depending on your customers’ needs. For coverage highlights, see the chart below.

Coverage Highlights for Canadians Basic Classic Classic Plus
Max Trip Cost/Days $10,000/30D $100,000/30D $100,000/30D
Max Age 79 80* 80*

*For passengers age 80, max eligible Trip Cost is $15,000.

In addition, when purchasing Canadian plans for your customers, a final purchasing stage will require you to complete an enrollment with the assistance of Northbridge Insurance Co., our Canadian underwriter.  Since US travel professionals are not licensed in Canada, we are required by Canadian Provincial regulations to complete enrollments in the following manner.

After entering and submitting the customer’s information, you will receive the following notice:

“To complete this enrollment, your client, or you and your client, must call the following number for verification purposes: 1-877-851-4523.”

Please have your client’s Enrollment ID available when you call.

For additional information, please see the Canadian TravelSafe Travel Agent Guide. If you have any further questions, leave a comment below or call us 1-800-523-8020. We’d be happy to speak with you.

Thank you for your continued support!

TravelSafe team

Read also…
Selling Summer Vacations
Travel Safe Vacation Plan Named Number One for Second Consecutive Year
Let’s Get Social