allows easy access to many fam offers, it would be
literally impossible to list all the suppliers that
offer discounts for travel agents. There would be
tens of thousands of listings (over 100, 000 hotels
alone). As mentioned earlier, advertising can be costly
and time consuming, this still holds true for many
suppliers who offer travel agent discounts and incentive
programs. Therefore its almost imperative that
you be proactive in requesting your travel agent discount.
If you really want to
travel for FREE, its going to take a little
work on your part. This guide will demonstrate how
I was able to arrange countless comped FAM trips for
myself and other agents. The up front work is time
consuming, but the reward is a highly discounted custom
FAM trip itinerary tailored to fit your individual
Lets get started, first
and foremost, dont be shy! At first, even I
was a bit apprehensive asking for comps, but be assured
that you too will be providing a service. There really
isnt a substitute for the opportunity to say,
Ive been there or Good choice,
I was just there and loved it. In addition,
your personal photos can add a great deal to your
However, after arranging
a few fam trips, you will be requesting without hesitation!
As far as getting started; its imperative that
you plan early. I usually start to plan a FAM at least
2-3 months before the departure date. I use the time
to research the destination and to request early.
Also, there is strength in numbers, therefore, try
to network with colleagues and get at least 5 or more
agents to attend the fam with you. Although Ive
had great success traveling alone, suppliers like
to entertain as many agents as possible to obtain
the most advertising exposure.
This brings me to my
next tip; be flexible. In fact, once you are set on
one destination, your plans may change because there
may be better offers available to a similar location.
For example, Ive always wanted to go to Turks
& Caicos, but Arubas Travel Agent Month
special was to good to pass up. One week in the Caribbean
for under $300 was good enough for me!
Hence, narrowing your
fam search to a region will often time yield better
opportunities. To save on airfare, often times I fly
into an alternate airport at a better rate and then
rent a car with an agent discount and drive to my
choice destination. You may want to also consider
cruising or ferrying as another option for saving
money. Ive done that on several occasions whereby
I had free domestic tickets and took a ferry from
Ft. Lauderdale to the Bahamas for only $69.00.
The time of season and
availability is also instrumental in getting the best
fam offer. We all know its always less expensive
to travel in the off-season. This still holds true
for requesting your fam trip. You may also want to
consider having the supplier (especially hotels) suggest
the dates of the fam for you. They will more than
likely accommodate when occupancy and reservations
levels are low. Flexibility in these areas (destination
& time of travel) will give you the best chance
of getting comped.