If you’re like most people, you’ve at one point or another given some thought to the idea of running your own home based business. Just imagine, firing your boss, working in your PJs, having the time and financial freedom to do what you want, when you want.But then reality hits. What are the odds that it could work out? How would you find the time to start a business? Wouldn’t it be outrageously expensive? And with so many choices, how would you ever find the perfect business opportunity without being taken advantage of? So you continue with the status quo, trading hours for money, dreaming of a better life.Sound familiar? Do you know that the definition of insanity is to continue to repeatedly do the same thing, expecting different results? Not that you’re insane. It’s just that our parents, schools, and culture taught most of us to go to school, work hard, get a good job, and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this isn’t working out so well for many of us.If you’re ready to take control of your future and create a life by design rather than by chance, I have good news for you. There’s an affordable way for you to own a home based business that doesn’t involve buying inventory, doing home parties, or selling high priced goods that your family and friends can get at a discount store at an affordable price. Believe me, I’ve spent many years searching for a work from home opportunity and was fortunate enough to stumble upon a rather unique concept; that of owning an online travel agency.You may ask, so what’s different about travel? For starters, there’s no inventory. No products for you to buy and keep in a corner of your garage. In fact, an online travel agent has no mandatory costs, other than a startup fee and website hosting fees. There are many companies offering online travel agencies for sale, and the price tags vary astoundingly across the board. If you choose to look into this type of business don’t get discouraged by startup costs. There are excellent, highly respected businesses for sale that are affordable!How about product price? As an online travel agent you’re offering services (travel) that are comparatively priced with other online travel agencies. How’s that compare to the ultra expensive vitamins you could be selling? Your family and friends may not buy what they consider to be overpriced vitamins from you, but what if you could offer them travel at a price that’s competitive with other travel agencies?Which leads me to the issue of desirability. Sticking with the example of vitamins, would you say that most people you know have a strong desire to spend their money on vitamins? Unless you have very health conscious friends, the answer to this is probably no. How about travel? Do most of the people you know have a strong desire to travel? As an online travel agent you’ll be selling recess, while others are selling geography!Have you thought about starting a home based business, but been worried that it would require too much of your time? Let’s face it, most of us can’t quit our day jobs to pursue dreams of making it on our own in the first month or so. I’ve found that an online travel business doesn’t demand a lot of time, and can be run in the nooks and crannies of your day. This is a turnkey business in that you won’t need to spend time building a booking website, reserving travel for others, or tracking purchases. You’ll receive a fully functional booking site along with customer support and tracking, and your customers book their own travel from you, just as they would from any other online booking site. Your main job is to point others to your website. This can be done simply by handing business cards to family, friends, co-workers, etc., and asking them to bookmark your site and compare your prices the next time they’re planning a trip. No hard selling involved!Naturally, you can build your business more aggressively and quickly if you’d like. As an online travel agent you’ll have opportunities to make more money more quickly if you’re able to dedicate 5 to 10 hours per week to your business. Some possibilities include booking and marketing group travel, specializing in honeymoon registries, or obtaining corporate travel accounts. If you choose to investigate companies that sell online travel agencies, be sure to look for those that offer this type of niche marketing, and that provide training on these specialties.What about the economy? Actually, the travel industry is booming, and is expected to almost double over the next 10 years. Let’s face it, in a struggling economy many of us will forgo that expensive latte every day before work, or possibly brown bag it instead of buying lunch every day. But we work our butts off all year for that one little stretch of time that we call vacation. Quality time spent with our loved ones, relaxing and enjoying whatever it is we most enjoy. This is the one precious reward that we look forward to all year and unless things are drastically bad, we’ll make sure that we don’t lose this glorious respite.You may be thinking, this sounds pretty good. Well, it gets even better! Home businesses offer incredible tax savings. In fact the tax laws were written years ago with the intention of rewarding business owners, and this is the one best legal method of keeping more of your hard earned money in your own pockets.Ordinary home expenses such as Internet charges, mileage expenses, cell phones, etc. can become tax deductions to those who own home based businesses. Cool, huh? Well, as an online travel agent, you’ll be entitled to the customary tax deductions, in addition to deductions on personal travel. This is a way to turn your vacations into paycations! The logic here is simple. Every time you travel you gain an experience that you can share with potential clients. Great resort, great recommendation. Lousy service, poor recommendation. Each vacation you take makes you more capable of selling vacations to others. Does it get any better than that?Actually, yes! Online travel agents benefit from great travel industry perks, including low cost FAM trips, commissions paid on personal travel, and occasional free upgrades.If this concept sounds fun, lucrative, and inviting, you have two choices. The first, taken by most, is to think about how cool this could be, then go about your normal routine, unable to find the time to investigate. The second is to get on the computer and start researching possibilities. Personally, I went for option number two, and am ecstatic about the great choice I made!