Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Listservs and the Power of Gmail - European Guidebooks

Podcast Nine

Further review of Google's Gmail and its value if you belong to a listserv and you store the email as a knowledgebase. I discuss an article found on Tripso.com that suggests three excellent guide books for Europe. I also put in a "tease" about a future show that will turn you on to a tool that will help you discover interesting destinations whether they are in your home town or out of the country.

The section on European Guide books and the travel news will be continued on an upcoming podcast. For some reason, when I paused the podcast the podcast ended and didn't record the remaining portion of the show - probably something I did??

Visit my website The Home Based Travel Agent and check out some new links.

Please email your comments, suggestions or your travel stories to barry@hometravelagent.net.

Thanks for downloading my podcast!

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Podcast Eight

Thanks to guitarist John Williams and Magnatune.com for contributing the music played on my intro.

Tim from Chelsea, Michigan email me and turned me on to the Seatguru.com website. This is a real handy sight to use as you are booking your airline flights. The sight shows you the locations of the best seats on your flight.

I gave a word of caution about using the blankets that are provided on your flights. And, I discussed some interesting travel statistics that point out travel trends.

If you belong to a listserv you need to use GMAIL. Gmail is a Google product and it offers great search capabilities within your archived email. Please email me if you would like an invitation to start using Gmail. Use this email address if you want a Gmail invitation: barry.kantz@gmail.com.

I decided to sign up with Nexion as a host agency. Nexion has waived their sign up fees for the month of April and they charge no monthly fee. They advertise a "travel agent friendly" user interface to use to book your client's trip. I will report more on this as I get experience with Nexion.

You can email your comments to me at barry@hometravelagent.net and the website for the Home Based Travel Agent is at www.hometravelagent.net

Thank you for downloading and listening to the Home Based Travel Agent Podcast!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Podcast Seven

In this podcast I discussed several host agencies and their offerings to a prospective travel agent. These host agencies, among many others, were listed in the "Agent @ Home" Magazine. Links to the agencies that I discussed are below. I also talked about new requirements for a passport to enter the U.S., about leg room on airlines and a tip on how to find a better price on airline tickets.

Academy Travel

Dugan's Travels




Vacation Centers of America

And, last but not least my websites and email address:

Special Destinations LLC my travel business web site.

Home Travel Agent the home of the podcast.

Email - barry@hometravelagent.net.

Thank you for listening! I welcome your comments.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Fake Travel Agent Credentials and Hilton Values Travel Agents

Podcast Six

In this podcast I discussed some of the technical details of making a podcast. The software that I use to produce the podcast is Mixcastlive. For my mobile podcasting I use a Sony Digital voice recorder, ICD-ST25.

I discussed a news article from the Washington Post that cautions people about travel agent card mills where you pay $300 to $600 for an I.D. card that allegedly gives you all kinds of travel perks. The only real travel agent I.D. cards come from International Airline Travel Agent Network or from the Cruise Line International Association.

I discuss another article that says that Hilton is going to begin paying travel agent commissions on a weekly basis. This really points out the value that Hilton places on their relationship with travel agents.

Another article highlights the value that Thrifty Car Rental places on travel agents. They are offering a contest called "Hug Your Travel Agent." They are soliciting stories of how your travel agent saved your vacation or business trip. These stories will be valuable marketing tools that you can use to highlight the value a travel agent brings to the table when you are planning a trip. You can enter the contest at www.hugyouragent.com.

In the second segment I discussed the commissions you might earn when selling travel and how the commission is shared with your host agency. I also brought up our ongoing problem with the Wyndham O'hare hotel.

Thank you for visiting the show notes and I hope you tune in to the podcast. You can link to the podcast at my website at www.hometravelagent.net. You can also email me at barry@hometravelagent.net.