Sponsored by Cruise Planners
As COVID-related travel restrictions come to an end, two working women recount their decisions to start a travel agency franchise at the height of the pandemic.
Right now, with the value of travel agents at an all-time high, starting a franchise business in travel and tourism is within your reach, regardless of your prior professional travel experience.
Starting a Travel Business During Covid-19
We spoke with two work-from-home women who traded in office cubicles for home-based travel careers. Melanie Sweet and Rebecca Henry told us about what it’s been like as women in franchising and starting their travel agencies at a time when the travel industry is recovering from the effects of a pandemic.
Why Rebecca Joined Cruise Planners
“I’ve always had a passion for travel. I joke on my website that my first word was probably ‘Go!’” says Rebecca Henry, 52, a Cruise Planners franchise owner who works from her home in Maryville, Tennessee.
“My first encounter with Cruise Planners was at an industry event,” Rebecca recounts, “and the impression always stuck with me.”
At the time, Rebecca was working as an hourly employee of a well-known, national brick-and-mortar travel agency. Months later, she was the victim of a massive layoff, which propelled her to do some research, and she learned Cruise Planners was listed as a top low-cost franchise in Entrepreneur Magazine. So she decided to make the call.
“Cruise Planners gives me the flexibility to do what I love, which is plan travel,” Rebecca says. “And the best thing about it, it’s MY business.”
How Melanie Found Cruise Planners
In 2020, Melanie Sweet, 64, was laid off after a corporate career in technology. She joined so many others who were displaced and spent the next nine months researching businesses she could start, looking to find one that made sense for her.
“I wasn’t specifically looking for a franchise, but I didn’t want to invest and risk my retirement income,” Melanie says.
Then Melanie discovered Cruise Planners and was able to claim a discounted franchise fee with an investment of less than $10K. She says she knew it was the right fit, and just when she was eager to get started, COVID hit. She was no longer sure it was the right time, and naysayers told her, “You still can’t travel; this is crazy.”
“But I knew travel was going to come back,” she says. So she decided to use this as an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and learn the travel business in depth.
Having owned a different franchise before, Melanie expected similar training, “a week on-site and on my own, which is typical,” but was pleasantly surprised with how thorough Cruise Planners training was. “I can tell you for a fact that most franchise businesses, which can cost millions, do not provide the level of training, marketing, and support that Cruise Planners does. It’s amazing to me.”
Getting your home-based travel agency up and running won’t happen overnight, nor does it have to. As the travel industry bounces back from COVID, now is the perfect time to establish the foundation of your business and get trained by the best in the industry (ahem, Cruise Planners) to put yourself in a position to capitalize on the coming surge in travel.
About Cruise Planners
Cruise Planners, an American Express Travel Representative, is rated by Entrepreneur as the #1 Franchise in Travel for nearly 20 years in a row. As a Cruise Planners travel agency franchise owner, you run your own travel advisor business while having the support and leverage of the nation’s largest travel franchise network behind you.
- Earn money selling amazing travel experiences
- No experience necessary
- Training and ongoing coaching
- You get industry-leading marketing and technology tools
- You’re your own boss
- Work from home or away from home
This post was sponsored and written by Cruise Planners. Please be aware we only promote advertising from companies that we feel we can legitimately recommend to our readers. See our disclosure policy for further information.