Hands-on-experience connecting you to a career in travel.

A new 6-week travel career fellowship program for spouses

According to the Department of Defense there are approximately 641,639 spouses of active duty service members that face a 24% – 34% unemployment rate. Military spouses are more highly educated than most working Americans. A survey conducted by the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation show that 88% have some post-high school education, 34% have a college degree, and 15% have a postgraduate degree (see full report).

“Military spouses have to get it done or we fail. And we refuse to fail.” – Bonnie Amos, former Lady of the U.S. Marine Corps and Hiring Our Heroes Senior Advisor.

The Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Fellowship Program (MSFP) is a cutting-edge initiative that provides military spouses with professional training, networking, and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. The professional development and direct connection to local employers offered through the 6-week program enable military spouses to build their networks and gain localized job experience quickly. Participating host companies gain access to a highly skilled and educated talent pool.

As a veteran and business owner, I was excited to learn about the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Fellowship Program (MSFP).” WorkReady360 is proud to participate in HOH’s efforts to increase the employment of active-duty spouses and veterans. Our goal is to hire and train 100 spouses over the next 6 months, offering them full time virtual and portal careers in the travel & hospitality industry. 

WorkReady360’s cornerstone TravelAgent360⎮Engage program offers the military community careers as home-based and salaried travel agent career opportunities.

The travel agency industry is starting to see a significant demand for new travel agents, and over the next five years will begin to affect the bottom line of agencies. From a large scale, online travel sites to corporate travel management companies (TMCs), a primary cost of doing business is the travel agent.

Fifty percent of the current pool of agents are past the age of fifty. And as they start to retire, travel more, and work less hours a chasm for newly qualified agents is widening. Plus, technology and innovation is creating a new type of traveler with specific needs when it comes to booking travel.

“I participated in the TravelAgent360 program two years ago and now work full-time from home for two different travel agencies.”

Military Spouse, Army. 

Spouse attributes match the new travel agent.

  • Are in their prime years of earning potential
  • Embrace technology as a means of efficiency
  • Relocate domestically and internationally
  • Well-versed in travel destinations
  • High-level of diverse social networking skills
  • Great communicators, troubleshooters, and logistic experts

The active-duty spouse mirrors the characteristics and attributes of a travel agent. Especially the understanding of how mobile technology increases the efficiencies of their highly logistic driven lifestyle. According to a travel survey conducted by MilitaryToGo.com, spouses plan the family vacations and by default, act as the travel agent. They know the importance of planning travel and have perfected the science of ‘getting it right.’

“I know the importance of ensuring our family vacations are carefully planned and I am up-to-date on our reservations. The military can cancel our leave at any time and knowing how to navigate the airline system is important.”

Active Duty Spouses, and part-time travel agent.

Travelers are booking their travel in non-traditional ways and expect a high level of customer support. Mobile travel apps, such as Hopper.com, enables customers to save money and travel more through their predictive airfare tracker.

According to Hopper, travel agents are the face of the company. “We want people who genuinely love going above and beyond to keep customers loyal and happy.”

The Hiring For Heroes has allowed WorkReady360 to expand our footprint in the travel industry. Our focus is to prepare spouses and veterans to be entry-level travel agents. Our curriculum prepares them to be of immediate value to travel agencies, both as GDS and customer support agents. The online and mobile travel market is growing significantly, selling millions of airline tickets and hotel nights each year. And behind every reservation is a travel agent.

Our ability to train and outsource travel agents in 6-weeks brings extraordinary value to travel agencies. According to HOH, their program saves, on average, $5,000 in training and onboarding costs per new hire. The narrow profit margins in the travel industry demand work-ready agents that can immediately bring value, day one. 

Don Buynack, owner and President of OptionsTravel explains, “we spend triple the hourly wage to pay after-hour agents to monitor reservation. We are beginning to transition to hiring Andrew’s team of spouses located in various time zones to cover our evening hours.”

WorkReady360’s focus is not only on travel agent system training but on foundational and soft skills. Troubleshooting, communication, customer service, and attention to detail can reduce misspelled names and incorrect entries, eliminating refunds or fines from the airlines. Our goal is to save the agency money by providing them access to extraordinary talent. And at the same time creating great careers to the military community. It is a win-win.

To learn more about how a spouse or veteran can register with Hiring Our Heroes visit, WorkReady360.com/hoh for more information. 

7 Space-A Tips and Tricks for Experienced Military Travelers

The space available travel program, or Space-A, is a great transportation option for service members and immediate family that allows them to fly free or at a reduced cost across the country or world. Even if you’ve taken advantage of this benefit before, here are seven tips – gleaned from the experiences of other military travelers – to help you make the most of the Space-A travel program.

A quick review of the basic Space-A travel process

Before diving into specific tips, here’s a quick recap of the Space-A process, formally known as Military Airlift Command or MAC. If it’s been more than a few months since you last flew Space-A, the basics can help you plan for future trips.

Book your own trip and earn 10% commission.

Ready to Book Your Space-A flight?

Now that you have learned all the tips and tricks, it’s time to start planning.SIGN UP

  • Sign up: Air Mobility Command maintains a list of terminal contact information you can use for Space-A travel planning. Sign up for Space-A flights at all potential terminals – arrival and departure – as soon as 60 days out from your expected date of travel. Most retirees and dependents try to sign up 50-55 days before their planned travel date, as those who are on the list for longer will board before others in the same category.
  • Double check: Closer to the date of travel, call the terminal to double check your status on the list. Give them the day and time you signed up, while taking notes of your conversation to create a paper trail to avoid potential miscommunication later.
  • Mark yourself present: On your intended departure date, check in at the terminal – luggage in hand, paperwork signed, car parked and all dependents corralled – at least an hour before your desired flight’s roll call for passengers. Check your terminal’s online schedule frequently, as flight schedules and roll call can change without notice.
  • Wait: Space-A passengers will board according to their travel category, not rank. If there’s still space on your requested Space-A flight, terminal staff will help you board and prepare for takeoff. If you’re bumped from this flight, you’ll still have “sign-up” time seniority – though your category remains the same – for future Space-A flights. Ask the terminal attendant to be considered for all flights going to your desired destination.

Space-A travel tips

Once you have signed up, you can take advantage of these in-depth tips and tricks used by other military travelers to fully leverage the Space-A travel program.

  1. Plan to trade your time for the discounted ticket. The lower your category, the more likely it is that others in higher categories will take available seats on popular flights. Give yourself three-day buffers on each end of your travel plans to catch flights – and remember that more Space-A flights tend to be scheduled on weekdays, Mondays through Fridays.
  2. Avoid drill weekends and school breaks. Drill tends to fill military Space-A flights, and many families schedule vacations around school breaks. To avoid these, call the terminal’s base to ask if the local Guard or reserve unit will be drilling the weekend you intend to leave. Then, check the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DoDEA, school calendar for seasonal school breaks.
  3. Be willing to take Space-A flights that get you close – but not directly to – your final destination. If you’re traveling from the U.S. to a European destination, for example, consider grabbing a more open flight from a convenient local base to a country close to your destination, then take local civilian transportation.
  4. Plan for every climate. You might be on a flight initially scheduled to go to Hawaii, but have an emergency reroute to Alaska to fulfill the military Space-A flight’s primary mission. Don’t be caught with just flip-flops in your luggage.
  5. Be flexible. Make the delays and alternate routes an adventure, rather than an inconvenience. You may not have expected to go to Germany instead of France, but it’s an opportunity for spontaneous sightseeing.
  6. Don’t expect a traditional civilian flight unless it’s Patriot Express. Sometimes, the military contracts with a civilian airline for troop movement, making a Patriot Express flight available for Space-A. Other Space-A flights will be on large – and loud – military cargo planes, complete with five-point harnesses for passengers during lift-off and landing. Patriot Express flights also charge a $20-35 fee per passenger, so plan accordingly.
  7. Bring supplies for a comfortable flight. Consider taking a small sleeping bag, pillow, blankets and even a yoga mat if you think you’ll want to sleep during Space-A flights on large military planes. While some crews provide military-issue earplugs for the noise, you may want to bring your own or some noise-canceling headphones. Winter hats and gloves might help, too – some planes get very cold.

Looking to start your own home-based travel business. Training starts this week. Learn more.

Always have a back up plan by reserving a MIL Fare Airline Ticket.

Powered by Active Duty Spouses & Veterans

If you’re ever unsure of the Space-A travel program’s current processes or information, Air Mobility Command will have all the latest updates to make your next Space-A trip successful.

Article written adopted from MilitaryOneSource, January 2, 2019

Travel Agent Training Video

Welcome to the world of travel! I thought I would create a quick video to explain our military travel agent program and how you can start your own home-based business.

The Travel Agent Online Training Program will teach you all you need to know to start a travel career. You will learn about the airline industry, ground transportation, hotels and resorts, cruises, tours, international and domestic travel, reservations and pricing, specialty travel, and more.  

This online program consists of three modules. You will first participate in a travel career development program, which will teach you the basics of the travel industry, followed by a second module in which you will study geography for leisure travel professionals, focusing on destinations all over the world that you are most likely to recommend and sell to your clients. In the final module you will choose the GDS computer reservation system you wish to study. We will help you to select the proper GDS system to best achieve your career goals.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. Our limited for this week is five new agents so if you are interested please register quickly. The price is $200 after the promotion code and there are no other fees or ongoing costs.

Thanks!

Andrew, CEO (USMC Veteran)

Why Work With a Travel Advisor?

You can book travel yourself – but why would you want to? A Virtuoso travel advisor elevates every trip. They know how to get the best value for your time and money, and, thanks to their global connections, they can VIP you at hotels, on cruise lines, on tours, and more. With a portfolio of nearly 1,700 top hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and more, Virtuoso represents the best of the best in travel.

A great travel advisor…

…takes it from ordinary to extraordinary.

A Virtuoso travel advisor can secure special benefits that you can’t get on your own, such as complimentary breakfast, spa credits, and upgrades at hotels. But they also see the nuances in every trip. From big-picture aspects (where to go – and when) to the details that matter (booking the hotel rooms with the best views, where to get the most authentic pizza on the Amalfi Coast), your travel advisor knows how to plan a memorable trip.

In bloom in Sant’Angelo on the Italian island of Ischia.
 
Photo by Photo by GoneWithTheWindStock/iStock/Getty Images Plus
In bloom in Sant’Angelo on the Italian island of Ischia.
 
Photo by Photo by GoneWithTheWindStock/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Looking to become a Certified Home-based travel agent? Learn more.

…knows the world.

Just as you might use a financial planner, an interior designer, or personal shopper, it makes sense to entrust your most valuable asset – your time – to an experienced travel advisor.  The best advisors spend a lot of time on the road themselves – scouting out hotels, deepening relationships with tour guides, and finding the best restaurants and things to do. 

Watching the sunset over temples in Myanmar.

…knows your travel style.

A Virtuoso travel advisor understands what’s most important to you and your traveling companions. You may want to take a cooking class or a private tour, or you may not want to leave the resort pool! Perhaps you want to use travel to educate your kids, plan an unforgettable anniversary trip, or celebrate a milestone birthday with friends and family. Your Virtuoso travel advisor will have plenty of suggestions on what might work best for you.

Relaxing with food and wine along the coast of Greece.

…expands your horizons.

A great travel advisor will help you think creatively about where to go and what to do. Italy, France, and Hawaii will always be popular. But your advisor also knows the best ways, say, to see Chile, Portugal, New Zealand, and many other hot destinations – plus new ways to experience the places you’ve already visited. Together, you can plan your next dream trip or weekend getaway. 

Spelunking in Iceland.

…can handle anything.

Have you ever been on a trip where everything went exactly as planned? Right – this almost never happens. Issues are bound to pop up, and your Virtuoso travel advisor is your personal help line and “fixer” who knows how to quickly turn things around for the better. When they follow up after your trip, you’ll surely have an answer to this question: “Where do you want to go next?”

Camel ride in Egypt.

Ask a certified TravelAgent for your next trip.