Recently I had a conversation with someone new to the travel industry that literally left me scratching my head. Like many people who are interested in working in the travel biz, this woman, I will call Trish, told me she didn’t want to get into a training program or host agency right away. She wanted to take time to figure things out on her own. Huh?

I really don’t understand why people who are new to doing something would WANT to go it alone. Why wouldn’t you want the guidance of people who have been there before? Why would you want to make mistakes you don’t have to make? Or lose money or miss opportunities? I get it if you really can’t afford to pay for a training program, but if you can, why wouldn’t you?

But I think I get it. There are a lot of people out there that believe that success without suffering or sacrifice is cheating. I don’t understand that at all, but I’ve heard it from lots of people.

Here’s the bottom line: If you are new to this industry and you go it alone, you WILL make mistakes, you WILL miss opportunities, and you WILL NOT make as much money as you could if you were with a supportive host agency.

You don’t know what you don’t know and you cannot possibly be as successful in any industry going it alone as you will be with a great mentor.

And this doesn’t just apply to those brand new to the industry. If you have been in the business for one year or ten, you still need to have a great community to learn from and be supported by. That’s why going it alone isn’t always the best option for experienced agents. For some the idea of having your own IATA number is the ultimate goal. But in reality you are often better off with a host agency that will pay you 100%. That allows you to have an agency handling a lot of the back office things that are a distraction and you can focus all of your time on working with clients.

If you are just thinking about getting into the industry or have been in it a year or two, I encourage you to not go it alone. Find a great host agency (or training program if you are brand new) who will provide guidance. But don’t just ASSUME they will provide guidance. Ask them if they do and how they provide it. If you are a fairly new agent, think back to how many times you have had questions over the past year. Wouldn’t it be great to know you have a resource to reach out to for help?

And speaking of help, next week you can tap into some great training that you can do in your pajamas and it is FREE! Our sister company, Global Institute for Travel Entrepreneurs (GIFTE), is a hosting the 3rd annual Travel Entrepreneurship Week. This is a week-long celebration of the travel entrepreneur where we provide outstanding content to celebrate the people in this industry. You can read more about the sessions (all of which are free!) and reserve your spot by visiting And all GIFTE content is completely independent and appropriate for agents affiliated with any agency.