Online Travel Agent – What Does That Mean?

Once upon a time, in a place not far away, but in an era long since forgotten, there was a magical thing called a full service gas station. Do you remember? People would actually come out and pump your gas for you! It may sound like just a fairy tale, but it’s true, it really did happen!Now days, our travel agents are going the way of the full service gas station. People just don’t have time anymore, time to go in and meet with a travel agent, time to go over options, basically – they don’t have time for full service. Online travel agents are all around us now, on the internet. They are convenient, but not quite the full service “station” we are used to when making our travel plans.What is an online travel agent? An online travel agent is more like an online booking resource. It is any website that you can go to make travel arrangements. I am sure most of you have visited a site like this. You can log in, do multiple searches for flights, hotel rooms, car rentals etc. and place your order online – very convenient!Online travel agent bookings sites are helpful in many ways; people can explore all of their different options for travel right in one spot. If you are looking for a flight to Europe, for example, and your route is flexible, users can map out different itineraries online. Then, the user can pick which works best for them and make a decision about what they want to do. Also, the user gets exposed to options that they may not have thought of before; therefore broadening their horizons of what type of travel arrangements are available to them.Another pro for using an online travel agent website is the wide variety of products that they offer. Not only can a customer browse airfare, car rental, and hotel options. Travel insurance, airport shuttles, and tour tickets are also available for purchase. This is very helpful to an online travel planner, as they can cover most of their travel planning needs in one visit to a website.After booking a confirmation on a travel website, the customer will receive an email with confirmations and contact information. The information that is provided to the customer usually includes information about any E-tickets, car rental policies (or where to go to look for the policies), and provides information on what to do if the travel plans change. All of this information right at the fingertips of the travel planning consumer.Many people wonder if booking these types of travel arrangements online is safe. Yes – it is. Websites spend a lot of time and productivity making sure that their payment systems, whether outsourced or not, are safe. It is important for their reputation to provide reliable payment systems and to maintain secure sights. Bad news travels fast, and if a website wasn’t taking care of their customers, it wouldn’t take long for the world to notice.Taking from personal experience I have never had a problem with booking with an online travel agent. I have been booking travel online for over ten years and I can’t say that I have had one problem! I have even found that after booking my super cheap airfare on a we site, after I received my reservation information via email, it was s easy to tweak my reservation details with the actual airline after the fact. I have never had a situation where I have paid for my booking online, and had it not be legitimate when I showed up for the reservation, either. Basically, booking online with an online travel agent website is an easy, affordable, and safe way to book your travel.Online travel agents may seem scary to some. With news about security breaches and privacy issues, I can’t blame people for being shy about booking travel plans online. I have to say though, give it a try! You are bound to have a great and educational travel planning experience. And who knows, it might even be fun!

Travel Network Opportunities

Having instant access to network opportunities can turn out to be the nerve center of your business. Believe it or not, travel is one of the largest and one of the most profitable industries in the world, raking in close to $7 trillion every year. And many networks have made a worthy attempt in taking a big chunk of that money. Most travel network opportunities are a representation of a type of travel multi level program. However before you jump on the bandwagon, do your homework. Credibility and professionalism will be key components when dealing with companies providing this kind of unique opportunity.Consider your first impression of their website. How much time and energy was put into giving the website a professional look and feel. Keep an eye out for legitimate contact information such as a physical address or twenty-four hour customer service. With travel network opportunities, you will save yourself a lot of time, energy, headaches and hassles by checking to see if the company has a proven track record with sales that steadily increase and a customer base that continues to expand. On top of that, see what other reputable organizations have to say about the travel network opportunity you want to join. A couple to start off with includes the Better Business Bureau and the Direct Selling Association. You’ll get a clear picture of how credible and dependable the travel network is.An essential ingredient in choosing the right travel network is distinguishing just how much of the networks travel business’s revenue comes from selling travel packages and how much comes from recruiting. It the opportunity’s net worth is based on recruiting efforts as opposed to actually selling travel packages, then you know right off the bat that it may not be the best fit for your business. Another important factor is the network opportunity’s level of customer service. Look at how quickly consumer questions are answered. Do some research on how the company handles customer complaints and negativity. Determine if they are 100 percent engaged with their customers or choose to take a more hands off approach.All travel network opportunities should incorporate specific systems within the travel industry. See who is responsible for booking trips, handling orders and processing payments. Get a good feel for the types of products and services available to ensure they fit your target market. Because there are many ways to advertise within travel networks, it is important that you have clear view of what regions you want to tap into. What’s more, you also want to have a concrete understanding of what your customers needs are. A travel network opportunity will go nowhere fast if your market has no demand for what you are offering.Make no mistake about it, travel network opportunities are developing and expanding faster than you can imagine In essence, networks in the travel industry are growing to serve your better and allowing you the chance to dominate your market. Right out of tomorrow is an exciting new way to increase profits and build long lasting relationships. Travel network opportunities give you the clear competitive edge.

By And Large, Business Travel Is Not A Pleasurable Experience

Business travel has become so common that a considerable proportion of the corporate world of America is spending more time in airplanes and hotels than on their couches or in their automobiles.According to a recent estimate, about 40 million adults in the US travel on business at least once a year to a location about 50 miles from home. More than 20 percent of the trips made by African Americans, for instance, are related to their work.Those who do not need to travel frequently on business consider business travel glamorous and exciting. However, in reality, business travel is often arduous.It is tough physically, tough on the family, and especially tough on the pockets of businesspersons who do not have the luxury of generous expense accounts to take care of their travel expenses.In addition, those who travel on business regularly, quickly wise up to the fact that a stress-free and safe journey requires the smooth functioning of a number of interconnected factors, which includes the vagaries of the weather.According to a study conducted recently, monitoring business travel trends:- 58 percent of business travel is undertaken for association meetings and conferences,- 43 percent comprising of business travel made by individuals,- and 29 percent for corporate meetings.The study also identified some of the most popular destinations within the US for business travel. They are:- Washington, D.C.,- New York,- Los Angeles/Long Beach,- Chicago,- Atlanta,- Boston,- Houston,- Minneapolis-St. Paul,- Detroit,- and Dallas.Irrespective of what the destination is, business travel is seldom an enjoyable experience. Some companies will allow their business travelers the opportunity to enjoy their travel surroundings but this is usually short lived depending on the demands of the trip.Business travelers, who have to make frequent trips, need special facilities to ease the hassles of traveling. Airlines and hotels are increasing the levels of services they provide in order to meet the growing demands of business travelers:Usually, business travelers research fares on their own and make their reservations online. According to a survey, it was found that only 32 percent of corporate travelers used the services of travel agents for their reservation needs, while the rest, 68 percent, preferred using the internet or online services to plan at least some part of their business traveling arrangements.Business travelers are usually technologically conversant; hence, choose to handle all their traveling arrangements through the Internet, limiting the necessity of having to interact with travel agents and professionals dealing with customer service.Most tourism related sites offer one-stop travel facilities for reservations of flights, booking rooms in hotels, and providing transportation on the ground.Major airlines like Delta and American have included travel-friendly features like locating cheap fares, finding economical hotel accommodation, and hiring cars on a rental basis inexpensively on their websites.Travelers, thus, can make arrangements for an entire business trip, which includes seating preferences, confirming special food requests, and a text message or e-mail verifying their flight status and information about the departure timings with a few clicks of the mouse button.
Most of these sites provide boarding passes that can be printed out and online check-ins within 24 hours of the departure of the flight.At the airport, those travelers in a hurry can take advantage of check-in kiosks in order not to have to wait in long lines, and get their boarding passes and their seating information.Frequent Flyer Miles, Automatic Upgrades, and Comfortable Seating:One of the biggest perks of traveling frequently on business is the facility of accumulating points, which can be exchanged for vacations. Travelers, therefore, are always on the look out for hotels offering generous points facilities.Frequent air travelers also favor automatic upgrades and comfort inside the airplane, such as generous legroom and additional storage facilities overhead. Business traveler programs like EliteAccess provided by Continental Airlines offer comforts like guarantees of no-middle-seat and upgrades to the first class if possible.Getting Value for Money:Companies are constantly curtailing overhead expenses by cutting down on the travel allowances they give their executives, while business travelers look for ways in which they can maximize their allowances to the fullest.For example, several hotels offer free breakfasts, while others provide complimentary facilities such as a welcoming snack or allowing their guests to make free long distance and local calls. Many hotels also offer free newspapers, tea and coffee.Feeling at Home Far Away from Home:Business travelers are so frequently away from home that they look for services that replicate their home comforts.Although hotels are selected primarily for value and location, but business travelers expect home-like comforts like high quality toiletries, comfortable bedding, choices in beverages, cable TV and films, broadband internet access, exercise and convenient check-in/out facilities, and so on.