Are you ready to live the laptop lifestyle? You can do that in the travel industry.Imagine this: you are hard at work on a project when you glance up from your laptop screen to take in the view:

That’s the dream, isn’t it? To truly be able to work from anywhere while making a great living, not just getting by. It is possible in the travel industry! Really!! There are a lot of people traveling the world and running their business from wherever they are on any given day.So how can you make this happen for yourself? First, recognize it doesn’t happen overnight. These people have spent at least a couple of years building their businesses. But they built them the right way!Another important thing to know is that success in the travel industry doesn’t come from learning everything there is to know about products (cruises, tours, etc.) and destinations. Of course, you have to know about the places you are sending your clients, but that’s not the crucial piece of knowledge. Managing your travel business as a real business is what’s important.In order to maximize your income, you have to be focused. It’s simple: travel specialists earn more than generalists. Many newcomers to the travel industry make the mistake of just taking whatever business comes along with the intention of specializing later. But then they find it hard to make that shift. Their clients already know them as the person who will handle any type of booking, even though they might only make a few dollars on it.OK, you know you need to specialize, but in what? There are lots of choices! Some agents choose to focus on honeymooners and/or destination weddings. Many like to plan trips and reunions for multigenerational families. Others focus on groups traveling related to a specialty: wine, food, even exploration of shared history. Some organize incentive trips for businesses. There are lots of options! The important thing is to match your specialty with your passion. If you aren’t passionate, you won’t be successful! People won’t be attracted to you and want to work with you.So why would people work with a travel agent when they can book online? Two words: expertise and guidance. If you have ever planned a trip on your own you know it can be an overwhelming task. People easily spend hours online searching, only to end up more confused than when they started! There are lots of people out there (including lots of Millennials – it isn’t just Baby Boomers) who love working with travel professionals because they want to know they are getting the best vacation possible.Don’t just take our word for it! There has been a lot of media coverage recently on the importance of using a travel agent. From the New York Times to Fortune to USA Today, there have been lots of articles in the media lately explaining why travelers need to work with a travel agent. While travel agents never went away, it is nice to see a renewed appreciation for the work we do!If you read any of these articles, you will see references to the fees that skilled agents charge. That’s one of the two ways travel agents are paid: professional fees and commissions paid by suppliers. Of course, in order to successfully charge a consulting fee the client has to know they are getting value for their money. That’s one of the reasons being a specialist is so important. When you are a subject-matter expert you can ask for fees and people are happy to pay for the benefit of working with you.At this point you may be ready to make a career change! Lots of people come to the travel industry after successful careers in other fields. Teachers, nurses, pharmaceutical sales reps, retired military, and many others have chosen to work in travel as their next chapter.So, how can you make this career change? The first thing you need to do is to learn what it takes to be a successful travel professional. That does not mean just taking courses offered by cruise lines, destinations, and tour companies. Instead it is about learning what business management and marketing techniques work in the travel business. It really is unlike any other industry! Gifted Travel Network’s Travel MBA program gives you access to both comprehensive self-study modules, but it also includes small-group and one-on-one coaching – for an entire YEAR! For one year you will have a mentor who has been there and helped many other people develop successful travel businesses, just as she has done herself! That means you can start building your business and assisting people with travel plans with the guidance of your mentor.Sure, you can do what many people have done and figure it out as you go along. It just takes a lot longer and delays your success. Instead, we are offering comprehensive guidance to help you build a travel business that you are passionate about and allows you to live the laptop lifestyle!Want to know more? Schedule a time to talk one-on-one with us or join us for our next information session on December 6th at 2:00pm. Click here to register.