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Mentoring Program

If you want to be a full-time luxury travel advisor but have no prior experience in the travel industry, the Brownell Mentoring Program is for you. This innovative one-year structured program is designed to bring entrepreneurial business people into the travel business.

Mentoring participants spend a full year working directly with a team of professionals who specialize in a variety of areas: sales, customer service, marketing, product knowledge, vendor relations, Virtuoso products and services, managing daily work flow, professional development and continuing education, best accounting practices, and much more.

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Why Choose Brownell?

Why Choose Brownell?

There has been a lot of buzz about the resurgence of travel advisors. But beyond questions about how to plan a trip with a travel advisor, more and more people with no background in the travel industry are asking “How do you become a travel advisor?”

There are many different training programs within the industry, but Brownell’s Mentoring Program is still the gold standard in the industry. Winner of the Virtuoso award for Outstanding Mentoring & Talent Development our training program is for people who want to become luxury travel advisors. The first of its kind, this is a year-long intensive program that gives you all the tools and training to be a successful travel advisor.

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How to Become a Travel Advisor

This engaging cartoon follows a character on their journey to becoming a successful travel advisor. You’ll learn about the essential steps required to enter this exciting profession, including education, industry knowledge, communication skills, and passion for travel.

You’re thinking about applying for the Brownell Mentoring Program, but is it right for you?

Before you make a big career change, read these points to see if it will be a good fit.

  • You are ready to transition from your current job to work full-time as a luxury travel advisor – this is not a part-time job.
  • You have the financial resources to be self-supporting for a year or more as you build a new business.
  • You have no prior experience working as an advisor in the travel industry.
  • You have written or are in the process of writing a business plan for your new business.
  • You are well traveled and passionate about learning about the world.
  • You are the go-to person for travel advice for your friends and family.
  • You understand how running a business works and that you’ll spend the majority of your time at a computer (and not on a plane).
  • You are a self-starter that is highly motivated and organized.
  • You have a large network of potential clients.
  • You know the value of a travel advisor and can confidently communicate that to clients.
  • You enjoy building relationships and getting to know people.
  • You are dedicated to continuing your education and developing your skills.
  • You like working within an information-sharing community that supports each other.
  • You embrace new trends in technology, marketing, and social media.
  • You share Brownell’s core values of passion, integrity, excellence, graciousness, and innovation.
Mentoring Program Request Information

How it works

  • Inquire about the Mentoring Program.
  • Upon acceptance, head to the Brownell HQ office in Birmingham for a 5-day intensive training session.
  • Participate in monthly conference calls, trainings, and certifications.
  • Complete homework and assignments.
  • Graduate armed with extensive training and knowledge about the travel industry.

Interview with Advisor Jessica White, owner of Jessica White Travel

"It had to be Brownell!"

Jessica White, an entrepreneur at heart, found that Brownell embraced her ambitions and provided the support she needed to grow. What really stood out to her was the company’s culture, which was a big factor when she was considering joining. During her research process, she kept hearing words like “family” and “closeness,” and although many companies make similar claims, Jessica soon discovered that Brownell was different. After being in the program for a year, she could tell that the culture of Brownell was genuine and felt grateful for the opportunity to be part of it.

Five Day Startup Training

You’ve been accepted into the Brownell Mentoring Program, and now you’re on your way to starting your career as a luxury travel advisor. So what’s next? A 5-day startup training at Brownell HQ in Birmingham, AL.


You and the rest of your Mentoring class will spend a week getting a crash course on all things Brownell. We cover everything from how to make a booking to simply how to start your own travel business. You will also get to meet the team – your dedicated Hosting Support team as well as the marketing, accounting, operations, and technology teams. The Hosting team will also walk you through your IC Handbook (be sure to leave room in your suitcase for this jam-packed binder!). As you walk through each chapter, you will get an overview of all things Brownell. Topics include:

  • Brownell tech systems, like ClientBase and Travel Tribe
  • Charging fees
  • Educational travel
  • Supplier relationships

…and so much more.

Interview with Julie Sudderth, owner of Vivid Getaways

"Brownell checked all the boxes"

Learn about the positive experience of Independent Travel Advisor Julie Sudderth with our mentoring program, which she praises for its invaluable support and guidance. With her history of running multiple businesses, Julie knows first-hand the challenges of navigating the travel industry alone. However, she found the expertise and resources she needed to succeed with Brownell. Julie conducted extensive research before selecting a host agency and concluded that Brownell met all her requirements. The mentoring program provided personalized support, enabling her to learn from seasoned professionals and build a thriving travel business with confidence.

What exactly IS a mentoring program?

Think of it as a travel advisor degree from the very best Ivy League school. The Brownell Mentoring program is a year-long training program with a celebrated history of developing successful travel entrepreneurs. The program gives you the education, resources, strategies, and business development tools to launch your own luxury travel agency.

What is the difference between the Hosting Program and Mentoring Program?

If you are currently working full-time as a successful professional travel advisor and have an active client base with an annual volume of leisure sales between $300-$500k, check out our Hosting Program. If you are passionate about travel, ready to build a new career and a new business on a full-time basis as a self-employed entrepreneur, check out the Mentoring Program.

What happens after I graduate from the mentoring program?

Assuming you meet all of the graduation requirements, you automatically continue under the Brownell Hosting Program, but with higher earnings and lower expenses.

How quickly do I begin selling?

You begin selling as soon as you complete the initial training sessions in Birmingham.

Will I be paid while I am in the mentoring program?

Participants in our mentoring program (mentees) are independent contractors who are self-employed and “hosted” by Brownell vs being employed by Brownell. Just as with any start-up business, you will be investing in a new career and while you will earn money by selling travel in your first year, you should have the financial stability to be self-supporting while your focus will be on investing in the development of your new company.

Can I join the mentoring program while working full- or part-time?

No. Launching a new business is a full-time job, and then some. We know from experience that part-time travel advisors have more gray hair, a higher-rate of hypertension, and are less profitable than full-time advisors. Ok, we haven’t proven that yet, but the anecdotal evidence sure does look that way!

What does it cost to join the Mentoring Program?

You will have start-up costs and various business expenses, plus some travel and marketing expenses. We tell mentees to expect to break even in their mentee year, but many exceed their sales goals and earn a bit of money in their first year.

Will I be matched with an individual mentor?

No, you will not have a single mentor…you will have a team of mentors who are deeply invested and passionate about helping you be successful. During your mentoring year, you will have direct access to world-class in business development, sales, operations, technology and marketing teams. You will also learn best practices and sales strategies from top travel executives from hotels, cruise lines, tour operators and ground-service providers across the globe.

How many times per year do you offer training through the Mentoring Program?

We offer two classes each year: one in the winter, generally February, and one in the summer, generally July.

What is the application process for the Mentoring Program and how many mentees are accepted for each class?

People who are interested in learning more about the Mentoring Program first must fill out the questionnaire, and then someone from our team will be in touch. If we think the person could be a good fit for the Mentoring Program, we will invite them to apply (typically about three months prior to the start of each class). Once a candidate is accepted, the pre-training work begins. We accept up to five people for each Mentoring Class.