Startup Cost for 4 of the Fastest Growing Travel Franchises

Posted: 30th November 2017 09:47

Every year, travel accounts for millions of dollars to the world’s gross profit.  From business travel to personal vacation, travel is an enriching experience that only gets more enticing as the world becomes more accessible.  The walls of the world are more or less down, and people want to see what’s out there.

That means it’s the opportune time to start a travel agency right?  Of course it is! 

Instead of having to trudge the waters alone, you could look into franchising with one of the many travel companies around the world.  They will feed you traffic and help you book the travel arrangements for your local customer. 

Picking your franchise is like picking your lifeline to clients outside of your own operations, so some choices are better than others.  No matter what you choose, you should be prepared to sell your heart out in the local community.

To help you decide, we put together the startup costs for 4 of the fastest growing travel franchises, so you don’t have to worry about being backed by a no-name corporation. 

Dream Vacations

Initial investment: $3,245 to $21,850

Initial franchise fee: $485 to $9,800

New units in 2017: 80 units (7.9 percent)

Dream Vacations has been on the rise as a fierce competitor in the growing travel industry, and it’s because of their amazing ability to find your cruises, local activities, wedding venues, resorts, and so much more for your travels.  With such a wide variety of travel options and activities, you are sure to be well equipped to help customers well beyond their expectations, and that is good for your franchise’s success.  The long list of support options is also extremely enticing.


Cruise Planners

Initial investment: $2,095 to $22,867

Initial franchise fee: $495 to $10,495

New units in 2017: 361 units (17.4 percent)

Cruise Planners is the all inclusive choice for a starting a local travel agency.  It’s focus is getting the best deals anywhere in the world.  From cruises to world travel, Cruise Planners allows you to plan trips for anyone to anywhere, and you can make sure your customers walk away knowing they got a great deal for their journey, especially when they get take a cruise for free with rewards points.


Expedia CruiseShipCenters

Initial investment: $167,350 to $264,375

Initial franchise fee: $39,000

New units in 2017: 11 units (5.7 percent)

CrusiesShipCenters has been around for 30 years and now they have the backing of Expedia, so don’t be shell shocked by the price tag because it comes with the territory.  You get a ton of expert training, both on-site and at their headquarters, to help you get off the ground and create a pathway to a successful travel agency.  They also provide financing options and co-op advertising to sweeten the deal.  There is nothing wrong with being backed by the big guys in the industry.


Travel Leaders

Initial investment: $2,270 to $16,910

Initial franchise fee: $1,500

New units in 2017: -1 units (-0.3 percent) [+10 over 3 years (2.8 percent)]

Travel Leaders is aiming to be a worldwide impact on the travel market, and is always looking for franchising opportunities.  They provide a 3 day training session and online workshops to help you provide your community with travel arrangements, no matter where they want to go.  Your team of 10 will learn how to provide the best travel service to your community.  Travel Leaders also supports your franchise with co-op and regional advertising, and on-going education for your team about staying relevant in your market.  Their world franchising market is just starting to pick up, and their US  franchise climate has seen a slight raise since it has stabilized after the 2008 market crash.


Starting a travel agency is a great idea in today’s fast paced world.  Especially as travel becomes a focal point for entrepreneurs. “Every dedicated career professional needs to see what their industry is like around the world,” says Nate Roberson of squareship. That means that in addition to a local market, the travel industry should make way for mid-size and startup businesses alike looking to travel. 

My best advice? If you are looking to start a unique franchise in your area, reach out to one of these travel franchising companies for more information to see just how much you can realistically make in the business. 

Victoria Howes is a entrepreneur, traveler, and consultant to multiple brands including Travelocity,, and Homeaway.  Follow her adventures at[1]