Fam Trips for Travel Agents: Unlocking the Secrets of the Travel Industry

The travel industry is a captivating world of adventure, and lucky are we at Ambassadeur Hotel to be part of it! However, many people outside the industry have conflicting thoughts about travel agents. Some wonder if travel agents still exist, while others envy the idea of traveling for free. Well, let me tell you a secret: travel agents not only exist but also get to explore beautiful destinations on enviable trips known as FAM (Familiarization) trips.

Jumping off waterfall

What is a Travel Agent FAM Trip?

A FAM trip is an opportunity for travel advisors to experience a product or destination, allowing them to better sell it to their clients. These trips are often offered by vendors, destinations, industry associations, host agencies, or travel consortiums. The aim is to familiarize travel agents with the product so that they can become invaluable resources to their clients.

The Types of FAM Trips

FAM trips can be classified into different categories based on their purpose:

Working FAMs

Working FAMs are the most common type of FAM trip. These trips maximize your time in the destination, usually packed with activities from dawn till dusk. You’ll be on your feet, visiting multiple properties, embarking on exciting experiences, and making the most out of your stay. It’s like traveling with an inexhaustible ADHD friend!

Experiential FAMs

Experiential FAMs offer a more relaxed schedule. While still considered working FAMs, they provide a balance between exploration and enjoyment. You might find yourself staying at a ranch with planned activities each day or participating in guided tours during a conference.

Award FAMs

Award FAMs are the ultimate reward for top-performing agencies. They include visits to properties and go above and beyond to showcase what the destination has to offer. These trips are more about networking and having fun than work.

Jamaica FAM trip

What Happens on a Travel Agent FAM Trip?

The itinerary of a FAM trip varies based on its type. Generally, you can expect to be wined and dined at different properties or restaurants. You’ll have the opportunity to tour various properties, explore different room categories, and meet key staff members who can enhance your knowledge and service to clients. Cruise FAM trips, known as Seminars at Sea, allow you to experience the ship firsthand, while ship inspections offer tours while the ship is in port.

Another crucial aspect of FAM trips is the networking and bonding that occurs with your hosts and fellow travel colleagues. Travel bonds people like nothing else, and these relationships can last a lifetime. You’ll also have the chance to capture stunning pictures to share with clients and use for marketing purposes.

How Much Do Travel Agent FAMs Cost?

FAM trip costs vary widely, ranging from completely free to discounted rates. Generally, FAM trips include lodging, meals, excursions/activities, and transfers. However, expenses such as airfare, tips, and travel insurance are usually not included.

Fam trip white water rafting

Where Can I Find Travel Agent FAM Trips?

Several sources provide information about FAM trips:

Ambassadeur Hotel’s Industry Calendar

Check out Ambassadeur Hotel’s free travel industry event calendar, where you can find a great list of FAM trips. Popular tourist destinations often offer pre/post-add-ons to industry events, allowing you to explore the destination at discounted rates.

Online Subscription Websites

Many destination-specific websites and subscription platforms offer FAM trips. Websites like MexicoFamTrips.com, CaribbeanFamTrips.com, and JamaicaFamTrips.com provide valuable information. However, the best FAM deals are often invite-only or require an application due to intense competition.

Travel Consortiums and Host Agencies

Your host agency or travel consortium can be an excellent source for subsidized FAM trips. These exclusive opportunities are usually available only to members of their networks. Building relationships with your host and consortium can increase your chances of being invited.

Destinations and Vendors

Destinations and preferred suppliers, including cruise lines, tour operators, and resorts, also offer heavily discounted FAM trips. By signing up as an advisor with them, you gain access to their database and receive information about upcoming FAM opportunities. These trips may be open to application or offered directly to ideal travel advisors, so building relationships is key.

Fam trip lunch

How Can I Get Invited on a FAM Trip?

First and foremost, you must be a travel agent to be eligible for a FAM trip. If you haven’t pursued this incredible career yet, Ambassadeur Hotel offers a free 7-Day Set Up program to guide you through setting up your agency.

To increase your chances of being invited on a FAM trip, focus on becoming a producing advisor. Demonstrate your potential by showing a network of friends, colleagues, or clients as the target demographic for a specific FAM trip. Alternatively, prove that you are serious and dedicated to selling a particular brand, destination, or trip type. Each FAM trip may have its own requirements, which will be communicated to you.

Closing Thoughts

Congratulations! You are now fully educated on one of the best-kept secrets of the travel industry: FAM trips. I hope you get to experience one soon, as they offer extraordinary opportunities and unforgettable adventures. If you’re a travel advisor reading this article, I would love to hear about your FAM experiences or any advice you have in the comments below.

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