Do Travel Agents Get Free Trips?
There are some instances where travel agents can travel for free, but for the most part they do come out of their pocket. Below are three instances where travel agents can rack up extra savings and put money back into their pockets.
I will share my savings experience as a home-based agent, which has caused me to save hundreds of dollars!
Get Paid on Retail or Sale Pricing
When I travel as an insider, I get paid when I book travel for myself (and of course I get paid when I do it for others). The price I pay could be the same as any one that is not part of the industry, the difference would be I get a check and you don’t! Commissions are already built-into the price of what you see online or what your travel agent quote you already has the commissions built-in. (they are never in addition to price quoted, if you are told extra fees need to be added to cover commission… run)
Travel at Net or Wholesale Pricing
Now, if I decide that I want to travel at a lower cost and forgo my commission, I still have to pay the net cost, I just would not get paid for the trip. You can get travel at great bargains if you travel this way!
But, I must add that various agencies may have ‘special’ discounted trips that agents can take for themselves or sell to their clients and STILL get a commission! I love these because your getting paid AND the rates can be even better than net rate PLUS you have a great deal you can offer to your clients. Only downside is that there may be a limit on how many can travel and restricted to specific dates.
Travel on the Industries Dime
What about those really dirt cheap trips? Yes, dirt cheap destinations do exist and are exclusive for travel agents and are typically known as FAM trips or Familiarization trips. These trips are more educational for travel agents and teach agents about the property or destination experience they are visiting.
Vendors invite agents on these ‘FAM’ trips so they can get more in-depth knowledge to share with their clientele. The goal is to promote to get more bookings for those properties or destinations. Prices for these trips are such a steal that they might as well be free!
Just to recap, travel agents pay for their trips in four ways:
1. Travel at retail pricing & get paid the already built-in commission
2. Travel at retail minus already built-in pricing (therefore no commissions are paid)
3. Travel at wholesale plus get a commission (vary per agency and limits dates & quantity)
4. Travel on a FAM trip – steeply discounted trips (exclusive to travel agents)