Category Archives: Traveling

Choosing the Right Airline Travel Agency

A good and reliable airline travel agency unlocks more options and a wider range of services compared to what can be searched on the internet. Moreover, being able to converse with real people at a physical location is found to be more convenient and comforting to many flight customers. It is significant to know that in case any problems occur, there is a travel agency to help resolve the conflict.

Generally, anyone can claim to have travel agencies just by operating businesses. In the United States, it is said that the eleven states which demand business registration only call for filling out of a form and paying fees. With these, the bigger problem lies on which travel agency a customer can trust for the hassle-free experience when it comes to buying airplane tickets. This article will discuss the several factors that customers may consider in choosing the right airline travel agency.

Factors to Consider

The first factor to consider is the agency’s basic services. It is important to know about their hotline, the number of days they are open in a week, amateur or professional email addresses, as well as their internet connection. These are deciding factors so customers will know whether they can instantly reach the company after sending an e-mail or calling the company’s landline in just a minute or two.

After this, it is also recommendable to examine the size of the agency. However, bigger agencies are not necessarily better compared to the smaller ones. If the flight is intended for an individual or a family, a smaller agency might be more compatible. Conversely, if the flight being managed is for a group of a thousand people, then bigger agencies might provide better services.

Moreover, the reputation of the agency should also be noted. Being able to know what previous customers experienced with the agency and its services can build or break the trust of potential customers. Opinions of family members, relatives, co-workers, or friends who had past experiences with various agencies is a good start in choosing the right one.

The fourth factor is the agency’s speciality on a specific travel type. There are two types of travel – business and leisure. While all agencies might be willing to help, if a specific agency specializes on business travels rather than leisure travels, it is more likely that its services more corporate-focused. Customers need to keep this in mind and straightforwardly ask the agency about the primary travel type it can serve.

Lastly, the packages and promos offered by travel agencies can be a plus factor, especially to those with limited budgets. Comparing travel promos of various agencies can determine which one is the most affordable despite having the same set of services. Customers, however, should be aware that there are agencies with little or no background which are providing airfare prices which are too good to be true.

While trying to minimize costs, keep the tips and ideas stated above in mind before purchasing their airplane tickets. After deliberating, customers can then proceed to what they perceive to be the right airline travel agency for them.

Turnkey Travel Websites – Bringing Travel Agents Online

Turnkey Travel Websites are a perfect solution to those who are just starting out with an online business. These type of websites are also great for those wishing to expand their offline business into the online world. Some of the people who may benefit from a turnkey travel website include; travel agents, travel writers, tour operators and event managers. Travel writers such as adventurers and explorers will be able to write about their travel experiences and share them with the online world.

Most travel companies, both big and small, have now made the transition online. This is because they have realized how quick and easy it is to reach out to their customers all over the world. If you are not yet in the travel business but would like to get a taster, you can also purchase a turnkey travel affiliate website. This is one of the most profitable and popular ways you can get started earning money online.

Turnkey Travel Websites can help you advance your travel business in the following ways;

1) Easy to get started. Turnkey travel websites make setting yourself up online fast and easy since the website has already been created for your use. All design issues and content have already been created. Some turnkey website providers also train the buyer on how to promote the website to attract visitors.

2) Your customers can easily find you. These days, when people are looking for information about a company their first port of call is to look online. If you don’t have your own website about you and your business then you may lose out on a lot of customers.

3) Available 24/7. The other benefit of doing business online using a turnkey websites is that you are not limited to store opening times. Your customers will be able to find you 24/7. Easy access of your information leads to high customer satisfaction. These satisfied customers spread the information to friends and families, who then turn up as new customers to your business, thereby raising revenue and customer base.

4) Reduced overhead costs. Another advantage to purchasing a travel turnkey website are the reduced overhead costs, as doing businesses online is cheaper. Some of the things you will save money on is premises and staffing. Online businesses use economical advertising channels i.e. Social media and e-mail marketing. It also saves expenses relating to premises since running an online business does not require any physical space.

Travel Expert Reviews Resorts 360 Vacation Club Scam Complaints

Another multi-level marketing (MLM) program has launched. It’s called the Resorts 360 Vacation club and bloggers were quick to label it a possible scam. Resorts 360 launches on the heals of major troubles at another travel MLM called YTB Travel, when California Attorney General Edmund Brown sued them for “operating a giant pyramid scheme”.

Travel and tourism generates over $7 trillion a year. It’s not surprising that entrepreneurs working from home want to tap into those profits. Some of the programs have been all-out scams. They’ve charged people thousands of dollars and delivered little or nothing when the actual value of the so-called products was analyzed. Not all home based travel business opportunities are scams, some actually offer retail products with real value in the travel marketplace.

Now that Resorts 360 has launched, many are asking if the program is another MLM scam or a real business. That’s a fair question.

Without a doubt, there are some problems with the Resorts 360 Vacation club, but is it a scam? While the MLM company does deliver an actual product, the Vacation Club membership they sell falls short when compared to the memberships provided by competitors in the home based business arena. The Resorts 360 program offers access to fewer resorts and members pay more money for week-long condo vacations than with their competitors. It doesn’t make it a scam, but it does put those hoping to make money marketing Resorts 360 at a disadvantage.

Resorts 360 members get access to about 4000 resorts while one competitor says they have over 5000 and another advertises well over 5400 resorts. Members of the Resorts 360 Vacation Club are offered condo vacation weeks starting at $399. That’s about $100 more than one competitor and $250 more than another. A member taking just two vacation weeks per year can spend an additional $500 a year with the new MLM vacation club. Over a ten year period, that’s $5000 more.

With fewer choices and more expensive vacation weeks, you might think Resorts 360 could, at least, claim a price advantage in the marketplace, but that’s not the case. While their competitors sell memberships with lifetime benefits (100 years}, the longest membership available through Resorts 360 is just one year.

Over a ten year period, vacation club benefits with Resorts 360 would cost $2639 if they are renewed each year at the current price and a whopping $5616 if paid at the current monthly rate. Lifetime memberships with their competition cost $2995 and $1998. That means that for $641 less, consumers can have access to over 1400 more resorts, save $250 each on their lower condo vacation prices, and still have another 90 years of membership benefits to enjoy or sell and transfer to someone else.

Providing an inferior product and charging higher prices does not make the Resorts 360 Vacation Club a scam. Just like with any other purchase, the buyer must beware and compare their options.

While product is product, many people simply buy whatever the product is to get started with a home based travel business and hope to start making money from home. The question is, can those hopeful internet millionaires actually make money with Resorts 360?

Those looking to make money from home should not pay much attention to Resorts 360. Marketing experts say the disadvantages they face with their product will all but eliminate attracting their target retail market of travelers. Their higher prices will definitely not win over those who take the time to shop around. Maximum commissions earned are just $200 compared with both competitors who pay $1000.

Resorts 360 promises residual income as memberships are renewed and payments come in for the monthly programs. That seems very unlikely, however. With other MLM programs that require people to renew, over 95% of the members drop out and don’t renew. That’s because those people joined only to make money and when they don’t see profits, they move on.

As you can imagine, it could be very difficult to actually turn a profit with Resorts 360. It costs about the same marketing money to earn $200 profits as it does to get the $1000 profits. Some sales will be made, but how many marketing dollars will be spent to earn the low commissions? If it costs a member more than $40 to get someone to buy, that could put that member in the red and they can’t plan on making that up on renewals or MLM passive commissions either. A new member will probably have to sign up over 100 people, just to get about five who actively work the business and make some profit.

While Resorts 360 is not an all-out scam, it is obvious that they have painted a much rosier picture than MLM history would suggest. Those looking for a quality vacation club membership will find more benefits and more robust memberships else ware. Those looking for a home based business will also find better options with better vacation clubs and larger commissions. One competitor accepts credit cards for their lifetime membership and even offers payment plans with just $198 to start.

Travel Merchant Accounts – Your Round Trip Ticket For More Sales

In the world of e-commerce, the success of your business will depend largely on the credit card processing service that you give your customers. The fast changing worlds of trade is becoming more and more revolutionary that you can now have your dinner delivered through online and paying through your credit card. In a few minutes, your dinner is served, you enjoy hot food and you never left your couch. Absolute bliss.

Now, as an online businessman, you must be able to cater to your customers with much high quality and security as well. When it comes to the online travel agencies, you will soon find out that there are only a few merchant account providers catering to this high risk business.

Online travel agencies today need a way to process payments online among anything else since travel agencies are believed to be a high risk commercial enterprise by many experts.

Being one of the businesses in the travel industry, getting a merchant account is quite difficult. With a possible high charge back, it makes it hard and complicated to accept credit cards because of the long term booking. When you think about internet payment processing that would suit your needs, it is very important to have the information and understand the types of merchant services. Every company has their own specifications of requirements and they usually offer a range of methods in accepting credit cards.

Choosing the right kind of merchant services accounts helps businesses in increasing their sales. Being a part of the online business world, your online travel business successes will largely depend on the payment processing service that will be provided to your customers, whether it’s some kind of high risk merchant or a travel merchant.

Travel merchant account providers offer merchant account holders with a facility for high risk credit card processing together with some tools to be used for online credit processing services that will help the customers to make it easier for merchants to accept credit card payments. This will boost sales and profit. Doing a thorough research is the ultimate key in choosing the most reliable credit card processing. It keeps things smooth and definitely helps in increasing your customers.

Due Diligence Travel Agency Acquisition Process

The due diligence review (DDR) is a critical part of the travel agency acquisition process.

There are five key objectives:

1. Identify deal-breakers, which, if unresolved could preclude pursuing the transaction any further:

• Company personnel engaged with conflicting, outside interests

• Financial commitments – employment contracts, leases from previous acquisitions, liens, etc.

• Legal/Regulatory issues- lawsuits, client complaints

– Quality of work

– Questionable accounting

– Questionable expenditures

2. Verify representations received from the seller, such as key assumptions made about employees, compensation, systems, key statistics.

3. Obtain a more detailed understanding of the business:

• Types of clients

• Business mix

• Sources of revenue

4. Obtain information vital to negotiating the transaction:

• Salary and benefit information for employees

• Inventory of furniture and equipment

• Inventory of computer systems and software

5. Identify potential transition issue or areas of focus:

• Compensation and benefit issues

• Technical and workflow process issues

• Other

The DDR is designed to assist the Due Diligence Manager (DDM) in efficiently planning, executing, and reviewing the planned transaction. Following a standardized DDR is critical to the successful completion of the review and will ensure that:

• A consistent approach is used by all due diligence team (DDT),

• A standard output (format) is created for each DDR, and

• The duplication of information gathered or requested of the owners is eliminated.

The DDM is responsible for the overall planning and final review of all work and the development of the final report.

PHASE I: Meeting/conference call with Deal Owner, Acquisition Manager and DDM

Goals:

• Communicate overall vision and strategy of the DDR.

• Share information that has already been obtained to eliminate the duplication of data- gathering efforts.

• Identify DDT members.

Reporting: Recap the discussion/decisions and provide a copy to each party.

PHASE II: Meeting/conference call with Acquisition Leader, DDM and DDT Members

Goals:

• Share new information.

• Review the need for confidentiality with acquired firm contacts and external sources (i.e., media).

PHRASE III: Meeting with DDM and Firm Owner and/or Main Contact

Goals:

• Review the DDR.

• Provide the list of items that the firm will need to produce.

Reporting: The DDM will complete the recap of each call.

PHRASE IV: Data gathering process begins with the DDM, Team Members, and Firm Owner & Contacts

Goals:

• Complete the due diligence data gathering (DDM, Firm owner/firm department contact).

• Complete the “Summary Report” memo (support team member).

PHRASE V: The DDM completes the Final Report and provides it to the Deal Owner and Acquisition Leader.

Offsetting Air Travel Emissions As a Green Business Practice

We all know that air travel has impacts on the environment and a number of companies now include offsetting their air travel carbon impacts as one of their green business practices. However this is not as easy as it seems. Carbon emissions are not the only impact from air travel and different offset calculators use differing methodology to determine how much should be offset. Aside from this, the level of your personal emissions also varies depending on flight distance, the type of plane and whether you are flying business or economy. This article will help you understand some of the different factors that contribute to your personal air travel carbon emissions.

Aeroplanes burn fossil fuels to operate which release CO2 into the atmosphere. There are different opinions on how much air travel contributes to global CO2 emissions with figures ranging from 2% to 10%. Not only are CO2 emissions an issue but aeroplanes also release water vapour, nitrogen oxides and methane. The environmental impact of these is greater when released at high altitude than what it would be at ground level. While these impacts are not entirely understood, it is generally agreed that a radiative forcing factor should be used when determining the impacts of air travel. Radiative forcing is the rate at which a given atmospheric gas alters radiation that is entering the atmosphere.

Not all emissions calculators include the radiative forcing factor in their calculations which underestimates the environmental impact of the flight. To make it even more complicated there are differing opinions as to what the radiative forcing factor should be set to. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommend a radiative forcing factor of 2.7 and this seems to be most commonly used. So for a more accurate assessment of your flights impacts, you want to choose a calculator that includes radiative forcing but the story does not stop there.

There are a range of other variables that affect your individual emissions. First is the distance traveled and whether this is long or short. Short distance flights are less fuel efficient overall due to the fuel consumed during takeoff and landing but they also generate less condensation trails (water vapour) due to the shorter time spent at high altitude. The type of plane will also impact the level of emissions from the flight as newer model aeroplanes tend to be more fuel efficient.

As for the emissions each passenger is responsible for, this will vary depending on whether the flight is full and whether the person is traveling economy or business. If the flight is not fully occupied, each person will have to offset a higher level of emissions to offset the whole impact of the flight and if you are traveling in business class, you are taking up more space and will be responsible for a greater percentage of the emissions.

As you can see calculating the emissions to offset air travel is not as straight forward as it first seems, in spite of this an understanding of the factors that contribute to your personal emission levels from air travel gives you a better idea how your travel decisions impact the environment.

Y2B Travel Review – Where Can I Make Lots of Money Fast? Marketing Opportunities and Key

Y2B Travel

The chance to have the freedom to be your own boss, manage your own schedule and organise the business in your own way, to suit your own needs and personality is an amazing opportunity. This is a dream for many people and has been for many years, now we are seeing this dream come true for many with the variety of online home business opportunities that are cropping up all over the internet and offering amazing deals and promises of major financial gains.

Y2B Travel offers you the chance to own a travel business that you can use from your own computer anywhere in the world, you can start selling travel booking and tickets through the internet to make your own commission and profits. Y2B Travel has two parts to its structure, as you will receive the program that allows you to sell the travel bookings but also it is a multi-level publicly traded company and you will receive further commissions by on-selling the offer to other people. This is the area that is most profitable as the 2-up system means you will receive the first 2 sales of all the people you recruit and a percentage of their sales after that.

The travel industry is currently one of the most popular and competitive industries in the world and you are going to find it difficult to break into a decent profit margin by selling bookings as there are so many competitive rates and sites out there. Using the products that you receive for your own advantage is still a good deal though, there are many travel discounts as well as learning and educational materials relating to internet marketing and advertising.

People need to be aware of all the products available and what they have to offer. Reading the small print and getting the most detailed description of all the companies will allow people to make the best and most informed decision regarding which company they want to sign with. Y2B is one of the higher priced companies and is not brilliant for the price they are asking, though it does have the advantage of different entry levels which can be cheaper and less involved.

You will also need to put in a lot of work to your business to ensure that you are successful and gain the most profits you can. There are many other business opportunities that require less effort on your part, though of course still some, and that are less competitive and have higher chances for increased profits. You can find a lot of opportunities through internet searches and related websites.

Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Travel and Tour Franchise

If you are considering investing in a travel and tour franchise, it is likely that you have many questions. For many people, the idea of setting their own business can be incredibly daunting experience, but also one of the most liberating experiences of their lives. In this article, we will look at some of key considerations which you should factor in when making this decision.

The travel and tourism industry is literally booming globally – now contributing over two trillion pounds to the economy. More and more people are thinking about how they can get involved in the travel and tourism industry, recognising the explosive and exponential growth. Starting your own travel business from scratch is one option that people often consider, however starting without a network of contacts or even a base starting point can be extremely tricky. A huge number of start ups will fail within 12 months, so always try to avoid this pitfall.

The more popular market to success within the travel industry is the travel, or tour franchise market. What this essentially means is instead of setting up a travel business from the beginning, you can buy a travel franchise which actually gives you a firm starting point to begin your business. There are quite a few travel franchise businesses online, however there are probably only a couple of established businesses. If you do choose to purchase a tour franchise, make sure to do your research and pick the franchise company which is the best fit for you.

So what can you expect in terms of support when you buy a travel franchise? When buying a franchise, there are always different levels of support. Think of this a three-tiered membership: platinum, silver and gold. The more initial investment that you are willing to put up, means the greater level of support and guidance that you are likely to receive. Nonetheless, there are some common levels of support which you should expect from all travel franchises.

The first thing you should expect is a fully comprehensive training or induction programme. Lots of franchise operators will actually offer a residential training course, so this is likely to be an intensive course over a number of days or weeks. This can be a great opportunity to spend significant time with the franchise tour operators and really pick their brains, whilst trying to soak up an incredible amount of information.

It is also likely that they will be inducting a number of other new franchisees at the same time. This is also a fantastic opportunity to meet some like minded people who are also at the beginning of the same journey that you are on. If you can take the opportunity to spend time with them and get to know their motivations behind setting up a new franchise, you can increase your knowledge but also begin to build up your travel network. In the travel industry in particular, your network and who you know can really be a determining factor in how well you do.

You can also expect some of the more practical tools for setting up a new franchise. This might include a laptop, hopefully pre-loaded with any specialist software and templates that you might need. This may not always be included as a standard support tool, so you should always try to make sure that you fully understand everything that is being provided. A functional website, which is branded towards your company name and logo, is also something which you expect.

Finally, you might also receive some branding materials, such as leaflets, tri-folds and business cards. Remember when you meet potential clients, handing them a business card can be a great way to exchange your details with them and keep in touch.

7 Ways To Cut Travel Expenses From Your Next Funding Round

You’re on the funding round trail to secure cash to boost your start up or to take your existing company to the next level. If you’ve tried and failed at all the sources you could try without leaving your office, and you simply must travel with following seven suggestions for getting you there – and back – without doing it on a wing and a prayer, and without giving your bank balance too much of a pounding.

  1. Why are you booking all this travel? Yes, I know, you couldn’t get funding sitting in the office. But that’s why you’re travelling, not why you’re booking it. Get a travel agent involved. They’re specialists and you’re not. Every trade has its tricks, and the travel business is no different. Giving a list of dates and destinations, and let them iron out the hassle. You could spend the time saved with the family to iron out the hassle of being away on another business trip. Hey, I’m just saying…
  2. Set the rules. Don’t let the travel agent upsell you into upmarket hotels with complicated pillow menus and in-room saunas. You’re trying to generate cash on this funding round, not spend it. The hotel room is a place to sleep for one or two nights; you’re not moving in. Set a budget and have them work within it. Being clear at the outset helps them to help you.
  3. Get on the chain gang. There’s something comforting in the familiar, and that’s what you’ll find if you work with the same chain of hotels. What’s even more comforting is that you’ll be able to tap into loyalty schemes that will make your trip cheaper. We’re trying to raise money here. See tip 2.
  4. Travel light. You can move faster if you travel light. Get your packing down to a fine art, and manage with a carry-on bag. Be sure it’s a size that airlines will accept, and you can be the first to the cab rank when the flight’s landed, rather than watching a broken push-chair trundle round the baggage carousel. Look, it’s coming around again… I wonder if your case has gone to Birmingham, UK, rather than Birmingham, Alabama? Maybe that’s why it hasn’t appeared yet… Oops…
  5. Eat out. What kind of crazy advice is this? Why would you eat out, when you’re staying in a hotel? Well, a couple of reasons, actually. Firstly, if you’ve squeezed the budget very tight, you may well be staying in an hotel with no restaurant, but even if you’re not, getting out in the evening will get you some exercise whilst you’re walking around to find the right kind of eatery, and secondly, you’ll get a flavour of the city you’re visiting, and that’ll come for nothing. Exercise and sightseeing at no cost? What’s not to like?
  6. Whose money is it anyway? If you’re on the hunt for finance, chances are it’s your business that’s footing the bill, so consider this. How about paying for your own meals? It’s what you’d do at home, having shopped for groceries or picked a restaurant, so why not do the same on a business trip? In the grand scheme of things, it might save only a few pennies, but hey, it’ll all add to the profitability, even if only a tiny bit. Travel expense management software is a brilliant tool for keeping track of what you’ve spent, allowing you to reassure yourself that you’ve had value for money.
  7. OK, you win. So, you want to do it yourself, all this travel booking malarkey. Go ahead – but do me a favour. Use some travel and expense management software. Failure to do that means the whole thing will be out of control, and no matter what it says on the plane ticket, you won’t know where you are financially.

Top Tips For Business Travel Safety

Do Your Research

If you’re going abroad, do some research on the country before you go. Make sure you have any vaccinations you may need and all the correct documents, and are familiar with the laws of the country. It’s also a good idea to keep up to date with any political disturbances to avoid dangerous situations.

Electronics

You can never be too careful when using electronics. If you’re working whilst travelling, ensure you have arranged a data plan before you leave so you don’t have to use open Wi-Fi connections – these are not always secure and could result in data loss for your company. It’s also not a great idea to use public computers as again these are usually pretty simple to hack.

Watch your Luggage

Throughout your journey, always keep an eye on your luggage. If you are taking a carry-on, choose a bag that fully zips up and if any of your luggage contains important documents be sure to use a coded padlock. When taking a laptop, avoid putting it in the overhead as it could be stolen or damaged; instead keep it on your lap or place it under the seat in front of you. As long as you’re careful with your items you should be fine.

At the Hotel

One of the first things you should do when you get to the hotel, is check that there is security available 24/7 – available by phone and there should also be a patrol. You should also always leave the “do not disturb” sign on your door to stop anyone from coming in, and only answer the door if you are expecting someone. If you have booked the hotel independently, make sure your company know where you’re staying.

Business Travel Security

Business travel security is available; this can be especially useful if you’re going to a high-risk area or carrying out important work that you could be targeted for. They can provide risk assessment and management, travel training and close protection amongst other things. If you work for a company, you could suggest they look into this for all staff to reduce the risk of any issues and make staff more comfortable with travelling for work.

Avoiding any threats to yourself and your work should be your biggest concern when travelling. By taking small precautions you’ll make your trip run smoothly and ensure your security, leaving you to focus on the work at hand and come home safely.