Why You Should Do It With Your Spouse

Spouse travel agent? But of course!

By Kelly Monaghan

Maybe you are just considering getting into the travel business or 
maybe you’ve taken my course and your career is well under way.
 Either way, I’d like to ask the married folks among you whether
 your spouse is in the business with you. And if not, why not?

As I travel around the country and hear from students of my course, 
I am impressed by the number of husband and wife teams I have 
encountered and by the success they are enjoying.

There are any number of advantages to being a “mom and pop”
operation. Some of the most obvious are financial.

As I explain in some detail in the Home-Based Travel Agent Success 
Course, much of a travel agent’s travel is a tax-deductible business 
expense. So when you go on a fam trip or take a cruise that
features onboard seminars, the cost of that trip can be taken off 
on your tax return (with the advice and consent of your tax 
accountant, of course). Pretty simple and straightforward.

However, if your non-industry spouse comes along for the ride,
you are facing an accounting nightmare. Before you can deduct
your own expenses, the expenses of your spouse must be 
carefully removed. And documented! IRS rules are pretty strict
on this point.

But if your spouse is also a travel agent, this problem disappears.
What’s more, suppliers will almost always charge a higher fee to
non-industry spouses on a fam trip or seminar-at-sea. If you
travel regularly on fams – and I believe that you need to take at
least one or two such trips a year to stay current with what’s 
going on in the industry – the savings add up quickly.

There are other reasons for spouses to work together in this
 business, not all of them as easily reduced to dollars and cents
considerations, although I’ll be bold enough to say that the
synergies offered by spouses working together will invariably
lead to financial rewards.

For starters, it’s a fun way to make a living, either part-time or 
full-time, and who says married couples can’t have fun?

Then, too, the talents and abilities of spouses often compliment 
one another. One might be better at customer service. One might
 have computer or Internet skills that the other lacks. One might 
be better at negotiations with suppliers. The list could be endless.

And spouses provide mutual reassurance and morale boosting 
for those inevitable times when things aren’t going as smoothly
 as you might like.

So I’d encourage you to have a heart to heart with your spouse, 
no matter where you are on your career path. You have nothing 
to lose and the rewards, both financially and psychically, can be 
considerable.

Having said all that, let me add some caveats.

Not all spouses are meant to work together. Doing so can
 strengthen some marriages and destroy others. So proceed with 
caution. And if your spouse doesn’t want to get involved, respect
 that decision. Browbeating and guilt-tripping has never been a 
great recipe for a strong relationship.

Remember, too, that if you are both in the business you must 
both be in the business. That is, your husband can’t say he’s a 
travel agent unless he is actively involved in the operations of
 the home-based enterprise. This does not mean putting in 80
 hour weeks, but it does mean making an honest and
 demonstrable effort.

Saying your spouse is a travel agent when that is not the case
 can ruin your reputation with professional organizations and
 it might get you into serious legal difficulties with the IRS.

As I always find myself saying in situations like this, consult 
with your trusted, professional legal and financial advisers 
before making any move that might affect your legal or
 financial situation.

Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course

Why You Should Do It With Your Spouse was last modified: October 23rd, 2015 by Kelly Monaghan