Friday, May 2, 2008

Do it yourself travel and reservations

My friends referred me to the website inteletravel which allows you to become an independent at home travel agent with all the benefits and commissions. They send you some literature to study and you pay a small fee yearly, but you can start using your travel agent ID as soon as you receive your enrollment package. Travel agents get nice perks like discounts and upgrades that the general public doesn't get, and the prices they can get are comparable or better than the discount travel websites, so if you travel frequently, or know people who will book their travel through you, this might be worthwhile for you.

It's also a nice career to start from home if you have a family or just want to do something part time. All commissions vary based on whether you are booking airfare, hotels or cruises. Inteletravel takes a 30 % cut of your commission unless you meet certain dollar sales amounts (if you meet the performance levels they set, they take only 20%), but there is no minimum you must book, so consider your commission money a bonus just for booking your own travel package.

Another do it yourself website that I love is opentable which is completely free and allows you to book restaurant reservations worldwide while earning points that are redeemable for cash. For people who eat out more than 12 times a year they also give you VIP status and restaurants see that when you make your reservation. I love hearing about new restaurants or seeing menus for the ones I'm considering all in one place. I've gotten over $100 in open table money for eating at the same restaurants I already love, all just because I made the reservation through open table.

The service is helpful when you travel to a new town and want to find a good restaurant because you can search by city, type of cuisine and/or price. The only things to note are that reservations made by telephone or through the restaurant websites don't count towards your points and changes or cancellations should also be made through the website to avoid penalties (like not being allowed to make anymore reservations through opentable). They even have a convenient feature which allows you to invite people or send a map for a party.

Go travel & eat and make some money while you're doing it!

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