Melissa Cohn worked as a Deputy County Attorney for eight years before deciding it was time for a career change. Always the go-to person for booking friends and family vacations, she knew that becoming a travel agent would allow her to start a career in an industry she was passionate about – travel.
In 2014 Melissa became an independent vacation specialist with Cruises Inc. Learn how Melissa found the perfect work/life balance as a work-at-home travel agent.
How was the transition for you and your family when you became a work-at-home travel agent?
It was a smooth transition, and the timing was perfect. Shortly after I became a travel agent with Cruises Inc., my son was born. It was wonderful to be home with him all of the time and still have an income.
How does your current career compare to your former career?
Working as an attorney for my local government, there was no opportunity to work-from-home or have flexibility to make my own hours. I really enjoy setting my own hours and working around my family’s schedule.
Being there for all of the milestones in my son’s life is priceless. Plus, I am so privileged to send people on dream vacations that gives them memories to last a lifetime.
Melissa and her family at Glacier Bay
How do you juggle the work-life balance?
My work-life balance changes daily based on the needs of my family and my wonderful clients. I am able to get a lot of work done in the evening while my son is sleeping, which works for many of my clients who have standard 9-5 jobs.
But I do conduct a decent amount of business during the day while my son is playing and in preschool. I make sure both my family and clients get ample amount of attention.
What type of person should become a travel agent?
Being a travel agent is the best job in the world! You need to have patience, be organized, attuned to detail and really listen. It is very important to tailor a trip to a client’s wants and needs. Having traveled a lot, it allows me to make personal recommendations to clients based upon my firsthand experience.
I find my clients really appreciate this, and it is just one reason why many continue to book their vacations with me and send me referrals.
Carving a totem pole
How was it getting started as a travel agent new to the industry?
I had to learn how to market myself as a new travel agent and build a client base from scratch. Working from home, it was important to put my services out to the local community and to be involved.
The local moms Facebook groups were really lucrative for my business and building my client base because many of my clients are active members of the groups and recommended my business.
Word-of-mouth and loyal customers has been key to my growth to becoming the top sales producer for Cruises Inc. nationwide in less than five years.
What advice do you have for someone just starting their Cruises Inc. business?
For new Cruises Inc. agents, it is important to put yourself out there and be visible in the community. If you have happy clients, they are going to refer you to their friends, family and co-workers. Take advantage of the training and resources provided by Cruises Inc. Even though you are working from home independently, you have a network of travel agents and a corporate headquarters team who have your back every step of the way.
In operation since 1982, Cruises Inc. has an A-rating from the Better Business Bureau. Its independent vacation specialists nationwide create seamless vacation experiences, whether it be a cruise, resort stay or land tour, with the support of World Travel Holdings, the nation’s largest cruise agency and award-winning leisure travel company.
For more information about becoming an independent vacation specialist with Cruises Inc., please visit www.sellcruises.com or if you have questions for Melissa about her experience with Cruises Inc., please call (631) 278-4738.