Welcome to Straight Away Travel! At this point, you have signed the contract, read SAT’s introduction and it is time to begin your ultra fun side hustle, make fun memories for people, make extra income, and earn free travel.
It is very important to go through the steps and complete all of the tasks as it will make starting your business a smooth process. Along the way, you can always set up a zoom call with me to have a one on one meeting to go over troubleshooting, marketing, site support, etc. As you complete the sets, please check off each one in your one note.
Be sure you have a laptop, a google account to access the google drive. Before you start training in our product sites, you will need to have your “back office” set up and approved by SAT.
Step 1- SAT will send you your email address. Set on your email and email signature. You must use your straightawaytravel email when communicating with your clients. This is a safety measure for you and the agency.
You are set up with a Straight Away Travel email. This email is linked to your personal email so every email that you receive to SAT will be forwarded to your personal email. You can also set up your email as a separate account.
When you create your email you need to add a signature, your contact information, your head shot, our logo, and our Why Use a Travel Agent Booklet. You can also add a link to your FB and/or instagram accounts. Another great idea as you get busier, is to create a calendar for clients to set up appointments on. You can use our Canva template for your e-mail signature if you’d like. Our Canva account is firstname.lastname@example.org password is DisneySAT! There is a folder titled, agent set up.
To get to your email go to www.straightawaytravel.com/webmail and sign in your username and password. You can then
To add the Why Use an Agent booklet and any other embedded links, watch this. When you are finished, add the booklet. https://vimeo.com/642759852/ce09f19fb5
Step 2- You need to get a head shot and write your bio. This is something that your spouse can take or you can use a fun picture of you in Disney, at the beach, or other favorite vacation destination. Your bio needs to be a small paragraph that explains why clients should use you as their personal travel agent.
Step 3- Set up your social media accounts. Your facebook page needs to be your name with Straight Away Travel. Your Instagram and tiktok should be something similar. You can turn your personal Tik Tok or instagram into a business one if you prefer.
Step 4- Order your business cards. There are options on our Canva account. Vistaprint is another affordable place to order from. You may want to order stickers too. These are a great to stick to collateral (brochures from Disney, etc) that you will be able to order for free (the collateral is free).
Basic Understanding of Booking Travel
When you start to book your travel there ar any different terminologies that you will be know:
IC: Is Independent Contractor, this is what your are consider when when working for Straight Away Travels, you will be a W-1099 this is for your tax information and how you will file at the end of the year.
In order to book travel you will need to understand what the following of this abbreviations are CLIA/IATA/ARC. This is travel credential for booking travel for clients. We only use the CLIA Number or of these abbreviations. This will also be us when booking a travel!!
CLIA: Cruise Line International Association, we only have credentials with CLIA, our number: 00028137, you will use this in every time you book or call you vacations for your clients. The abbreviations below are just useful knowledge for you to know and understand when you come on a travel agent.
CTA- Call To Action. Every Social Media Post and communication with a client must have a Call To Action. What is next? Always
With our Agency Number you also might need more information:
Agency address is 11185 Scullers Run, Tega Cay, SC 29708 phone number is 585-747-3060
Tour Operators: When you are booking travel you use booking engines they are also known as Tour operates that SAT has accounts with. Here is a list of tour operates below. You will use some of them, you might find one you like better than others. Look around and practice booking in one of the site and see which on is the right one for you. Once you get comfortable with them, you will find that some offer higher commissions at certain times for certain resorts. Helpful tip: Look at them weekly/monthly to see the travel agent specials on the sites. The first one that you will be using first is DTA (Disney Travel Agents).
- DTA (Disney Travel Agents)
- Apple Vacations – on VAX
- Classic Vacations
- Club Med
- Delta Vacations
- Funjet on VAX
- Pleasant Holiday/Journese
- Travel Expressions – ON VAX
- Vacation Express
With Sandals, Beaches, Palace Resorts and AM Resorts you can book some all inclusive resorts. If you have questions on these please contact me and I will help you out with these.
VAX (Vax Vacation Access): Is a website that full of tour operates and you can research and use. Apple Vacations, FunJet, or Travel Impressions to book All Inclusive vacations. They are a reputable company and have agents at the airport to transfer them and usually have agents at the resorts. You can compare prices with the other companies listed in VAX too. Most of these vacation providers have a competitive match program. In order for the match to go through it must be a exact match. (same flight, room category etc).
Our VAX number is (585-281-4848) When you are booking trip through this site
Travel Leaders Network: Is the network where clients can find you by location and your expertise. (See more under the Travel Leaders Network below.)
FAM Trip : Familiarizations Trip is a trip exclusively for travel agents and sometime their guests that are provided by suppliers or travel operators. These trips are provided as a way for agents to gain an understanding of the benefits of different tips that they can sell to their clients.
College of Disney Knowledge
You will need to begin your College of Disney Knowledge now. You will create an account with the Disney Travel Agent Portal.
You will clink first time here on https://www.disneytravelagents.com The agency number is 00028137. Once you create an account, you will get an email that you have been approved. As soon as you get your approval, you can log in and start the College courses. You can work on creating your Facebook and instagram pages now as well. Be sure to label your FB page as NAME with Straight Away Travel. You can decide if you’d like to switch your instagram account to a business one. Many agents do that so all of their current followers know their new venture. Be sure to invite me to your page so I can view and give you feedback. Once you finish your Disney courses, that can be your first post. Introduce your new venture, why you are doing it, why you are good/needed, etc. Ask your friends and family to share your page with everyone!
When you are finished with the college, send me your certification.
Once you are a grad, you can know sell Disney vacations. Disney does not provide training on how to book vacations so I have created videos on how to do this. Once you watch the training video, please be sure you know the follow information-
When someone reaches out to you about booking a Disney vacation, you need to know
- what to send them
- what questions to ask
- what options would be good for them
- why they should use your services
- what you will do to help them
- what information you need to get from them
- where to put and store that information
- INSERT VIDEO
Tess- Client Relationship Management
Tess is our client management system, this system is where your all your client information is stored and it is also your commission HUB! As soon as you book a trip you must immediately enter it into Tess. You will enter your clients information like credit cards, trips, and booking numbers. Tess is also where you can send trip proposals, send out auto email of packing lists to your clients and keep track of your commissions and commission levels. Helpful tip: You can pull in your email contracts from google/outlook into Tess to have a client base already created for you.
Please watch the training Tess videos from the Agent Only Page under basic Agency Training. I will create a Tess username for you and email your login credentials to you. There is a fee to use Tess Client Management System. There are two payment options for you to use: one is the Tess Basic Plan or two the Advantaged Plan. The basic plan is $10.00 a month (First month is Free) and Advantaged Plan is $25.00 a month. You can see the differences between these plans in the your Tess training . Please note you can change your plan at anytime. You will eventually want to move to the Advantaged Plan after you start going for business.
If you are feeling lost or stuck on your Tess training, you can reach out to your sales representative Meghane Bouchard her email is:
Travel Leaders Network
Straight Away Travel is part of the Travels Leaders Network. It is a community of passionate travel professionals and represents about 5,700 travel agencies across the US and Canada. We are part of their network where potential clients can find us by location, product and expertise. The benefit of our membership is earning higher commission levels, marketing tools, lead generations, training and more. Once you feel comfortable in your training, Please setup and create agent profile as soon as possible and then link will be sent to you.
Once you have become comfortable with with your training in SAT. I will send you invitation to to join Agent Universe within TLN. Agent Universe is the member portal that gives you access to book individual resorts(pinsight) and cruises (cruisepro). They have array of great training library, Free direct email marketing tools, and travel resources to grow your business. Please note the first training that you should be complete is the Agent Universe orientation.
Registration for Agent Universe: https://agentprofiler.travelleaders.com/registration.aspx?asi=718013
Agent Universe Login Information : https://agentprofiler.travelleaders.com/login.aspx?program=AU&redire
Benefits of using Agent Universe:
- Agent Profiler: this allows you to create your bio for leads
- Cruisepro: Where you can book your clients cruises
- Cruises space: (Special offers on certain cruises and staterooms available to our clients.)
- Pinsight: Is a tour operate is recommend for resorts booking only (this is higher commission than other tour operates).
- Worldwide Hotel Program: Exclusive rates to our clients
- Select Luxury Hotels: Over 1700 recommened luxury resorts that add an added perk to your clients vacation. (This also is a higher commission)
- Engagements: Free direct marketing for you to grow your business
- Webinars: Lots of Webinars that are recorded and live.
There are two important sites for Universal. The first is http://www.universalcommunitypartners.com. This is where you will learn about Universal Studios. You must complete this training to book Universal Packages. This site also has helpful sales tools to use on your social media or information for you to send to your clients.
The second important site is the VAX Vacation Access https://login.www.vaxvacationaccess.com/default.aspx, This is the site you will use to book your Universal Packages, Tickets and Dining Plans, etc. VAX is used for Universal Studios, some hotel only and some all inclusive options. I will email you your username and a temporary password. You will need to go in and change your password. Please see the agent only page for VAX training videos. Helpful Tip: to get familiar with the site, play around and see the different options that it has.
Please remember that our agency number for VAX is different, it is 585-281-4868.
Straight Away Travels also conducts webinars on Universal Studios every quarters as well.
Booking Hotels Only
You can always book a simple hotel room(s) for your clients. This is especially important when clients are cruising or traveling to a new city before they fly to their destination. Hotel only reservations are not the biggest money makes, but they can add up! There are many ways to book room only reservations for your clients, family, friends and even yourself. The easiest way to book hotels only is through Pinsight booking engine in Agent Universe. The very last dig effort is to call the Hotel directly, as it is very hard to get commissions paid on time. Let them know that you are a travel agent with Straight Away Travel you would like to book your clients a room and get a commission.
Please ask the hotel where to send our W9 and agency information and then provide me with an email. Make sure that they(hotels) pay the commissions to the agency and not to you directly. The commission payout is usually slower but SAT will check often if we think that it is taking too long.
Marriott Properties: Within this portal you can taking some training and become a Fam-Tastic ages t and earn extremely discounted rooms. https://www.travelagents.marriott.com/travelagents/signin.mi
Hilton Properties: This portal will allow you to scheduling hotel rooms. Please note when you quote/booking , you need to enter the agency CLIA number. This extremely important for the purpose of getting your commissions from SAT. https://www.omnihotels.com/travel-agents
Bigger Commission Options
Of course booking a Disney Vacation or Sandals/Beaches all inclusive vacation have bigger value with commissions. Another options for making bigger commission is doing some of the following:
Groups: They are one of the best ways to make big money in travel. Group travel/company incentive trips/family and high school reunion are huge. There are trainings on SAT Travel Resource page that can help you.
Weddings: These are another huge money maker! After awhile booking some Disney and Sandal vacations, you can become a wedding specialist. Sandals and Beaches is a great place to start as they have many webinars available for you to customizable destination weddings.
If you feel that you are ready to get started with booking these type of vacations, please contact me to get more information so we can get you started.
Discounts & Travel Incentives
Once you reach $20,000 in sales *per your contract. You can apply for a personal CLIA card. It is an annual card that cost $119.00 per year. This is what you show at check in or have to submit on the DTA booking engine site and hotel/cruising discounts. You will need to reapply every calendar year and the card is active for the entire year once you earn it. You can use it for TA rates at Disney, Universal, DCL, and most hotels and more!!
Application for personal CLIA Card: https://cruising.org/en/travel-agent-center/become-a-member
Also, tour operators have special travel agent discount/peaks. These type of discounts/peaks include hotel/travel/cruising etc. You can get discounts or even free travel through these operators.