Sponsored by Cruise Planners
Teresa Downs loves her job as a work-from-home travel agent. She also loves her other job: mom. Teresa shares her insights on what it’s like to balance the two jobs, how she started a successful home-based travel agency, and what advice she would give others looking to do the same.
How do you maintain work-life balance?
Because of Cruise Planners’ technology, I can live my personal bucket list while owning a growing and successful travel business. In the past four months, I’ve been to Mexico twice, taken a cruise, and toured Ireland. No job on the planet offers this flexibility to travel and still earn an income!
How do you split your time between business owner and mom?
The flexibility of working from home or anywhere is amazing. My schedule allows me to attend all my family’s activities, I get more work done by eliminating a commute, and I can handle the occasional client call during travel. I have everything I need to help them with Cruise Planners’ mobile technology.
What are the benefits of franchising versus starting your own business?
Cruise Planners offers a travel business opportunity that is a “business in a box.” All the back office, IT, and marketing functions are essentially taken care of. As a franchise owner, I don’t have to worry about all the support functions and departments you need to run a traditional new business.
What are the benefits of being a Cruise Planners Travel agent?
We have access to a support coach who helps us set goals and grow our business, an amazing community of fellow franchise owners, automated accounting reports and commission payments, and several in-person learning opportunities throughout the year. Plus, we also get a lot of travel agent perks like discounted travel and the opportunity to go all around the world.
Do you actually travel as a travel agent?
Yes! I travel what I sell because it gives me credibility and is a great way to get new clients. I specialize in cruises and custom international luxury trips for couples and families, and I always post my travels extensively on social media. Telling a story with pictures about exciting destinations and what’s unique to that city positions me as a travel professional and keeps my name in front of people when they think of planning a trip. I love sharing that in Cape Town, South Africa the stoplights are called “robots” or sending a “good morning” post from the swans seen from the balcony on my river cruise in Germany.
How else do you get new clients?
As I have grown my business over the last four years, many clients are now repeat travelers and referrals. When I started my business, I did small local trade shows, advertising on Next Door and other community sites, and asking for referrals. I recently joined a women’s networking group and already have leads from the group. This fall, I am hosting a River Cruise Travel Information Night at a local restaurant to showcase river cruising. I am also doing a live webinar on cruising to Alaska which any of my clients nationwide can attend.
Cruise Planners makes it easy for us to start a conversation with people as we are going about the daily business of life – I have worn my branded CP apparel to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, my daughter’s sporting events and more. Don’t be shy about what you do – there is huge opportunity out there. As a Cruise Planners travel advisor, I help people travel seamlessly around the world so they can focus on making lifelong memories with their loved ones!
Real talk: what would you tell someone considering becoming a Cruise Planners travel agent?
Like any business, it takes time and effort to be successful. You need to treat this like the business it is and set yourself up with functional, professional office space in your home. You need to educate your family that you are working, not just surfing the Internet looking at beach resorts and flights to exotic destinations. You can establish office hours, but you also need to realize this is a customer service business. Sometimes you will need to be available outside those hours to be successful. Cruise Planners helps you each step of the way.
About Cruise Planners
Cruise Planners is the nation’s largest home-based travel agency franchise with over 2,500 franchise owners in all 50 states. As a Cruise Planners travel agency franchise owner, you will run your own travel advisor business while having the support and leverage of the nation’s largest travel franchise network behind you. You will earn money helping clients plan amazing travel experiences such as cruises, land tours, all-inclusive resort vacations and more. Cruise Planners’ home-based model gives you the flexibility to work your business from anywhere you choose — no storefront is required! As your own boss, you also get to determine a schedule that fits your lifestyle. Work the business full-time, part-time, your time!
- No experience necessary
- Earn money selling amazing travel experiences
- Training and ongoing support provided
- You get industry-leading marketing and technology tools
- You’re your own boss
- Work from anywhere, even while traveling- no storefront required
To learn more about Cruise Planners and how you can start your own home-based travel business, visit cruiseplannersfranchise.com.
Originally published June 19, 2018. Content updated September 23, 2019.
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