Is traveling a passion of yours, and is it something you like to talk about often?
There are many jobs related to travel, but one of the most flexible and rewarding careers is being a travel agent.
Though online travel websites are frequently used among travelers, travel agents can still make great money.
Many people refrain from using travel agents because they assume the travel agent will charge a fee. However, it's common for travel agents to work on commission and charge the agencies you end up using.
If a travel agent does charge, it won't be too expensive, and it'll definitely pay for itself in case the unpredictable happens, which usually does. Travel can get stressful, especially if you're on a long-distance trip, and travel agents can relieve you of that stress.
They'll be able to put your mind at ease and create the perfect hassle-free trip for you.
The number of travel agents is decreasing, which can actually be a good thing. The travel agents that are left are professionals in the field that are incredibly passionate about their work.
They've become experts in the field and have a level of expertise that no travel website will ever have. There are ways to stick out among other travel agents and agencies, and we'll speak about it further below.
You'll save plenty of time on creating your trip, get help from someone who has most likely spent most of their life traveling the world and be able to create a trip that fits your budget.
What does a travel agent do?
Travel agents make planning a trip easy and save you time. They are in charge of creating entire travel packages. This can include but is not limited to flights, rentals, accommodations, cruises, tours, shows, and a lot more. Travel agents are in charge of creating a trip that is designed to fit your needs and interests.
On top of that, they are in charge of letting you know of any travel advisories as well as reminding you of which documents you need to have for the country or countries you're going to visit. Since safety is an important topic and can be confusing when traveling, travel agents make sure to stay on top of safety issues.
Specialize in a few niches or interests of yours that you're passionate about.
Do you enjoy vacations that help out the town you're in while also experiencing a new culture? Or are you the type to want to go on sailing trips and snorkeling in the Caribbean? Specializing in certain niches will make you stand out and become an expert in your field. It's always to get better at a few things than trying to cover every single niche.
There are several different types of travel agents, with the most popular being travel agents for people who are going away on business, and those who are going away for a fun and relaxing vacation.
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What are the benefits of becoming a travel agent?
- You can be your own boss, or join a travel agency if you prefer.
- If you have set hours, you'll have good work-life balance as your work won't carry over to all hours of the day.
- Free stuff. Certain companies will give you free accommodation or tours depending on your relationship with them.
- You get to share an experience that will end up being one of the most memorable moments of someone's life.
How do I become a travel agent?
There aren't many requirements to become a travel agent, but you'll stick out against other travel agents if you have a certification. Certifications aren't required but can be quite helpful.
A few reputable certifications for travel agents are from:
- The Travel Institute Travel Agent Certifications
- Cruise Lines International Association Travel Agent Certification
Before jumping into a training, make sure you are positive about wanting to join the field by meeting with people are travel agents and seeing their thoughts.
If you do decide to get your certification, you can start working at a host agency which allows you to start your own business. You get to set your own hours, how you'll become known among others around the world, and more. Host agencies are helpful because they do a lot of the legwork that can be time-consuming, such as assisting in the creation of your website, how you'll market your business, additional training, and more.
- Check out online forums on how to become a travel agent
- Register your business
- Find out if you should register as an LLC, sole proprietor, or corporation (will most likely be one of the first two)
- Create a website with your business name and invite family and friends to try out your services
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How do I stick out among travel agents?
Make sure you specialize in several different types of travel. This can be related to adventurous trips, Eco-tourism, safaris, and more. Market yourself in a way that will make someone choose you over someone else. Be genuine, honest, and as helpful as possible.
Having great communication skills and a welcoming personality can help make people like you more and ensure they keep coming back to you.
Helpful tools for travel agents:
- Marketing For Travel Agents (how to get a consistent and abundant flow of clients)
- How to Start a Home Based Travel Agency
- How to Monetize Your Passion for Travel: The Seven Habits of Highly Successful Travel Entrepreneurs
- How to Sell Cruises Step-by-Step: A Beginner's Guide to Becoming a “Cruise-Selling” Travel Agent
Are there any downfalls of being a travel agent?
Work can be difficult to get if you're a complete newbie or don't have much travel experience. Also, having too many clients at one time can be overwhelming, especially if a lot of problems arise such as flight cancellations or issues with hotel booking.
You'll also be working with people constantly, and those people might get a little impatient when things go wrong on their trip. You'll need to be understanding and calm.
Related: 50+ Ways To Make Extra Money
How do travel agents make money?
Travel agents can make money by receiving a commission from the hotel and tour companies their client's book from. Other travel agents will charge their clients a fee for using their consultation services. You also get paid in other ways which, like I mentioned above, can be free or discounted accommodations, flights, tours, and more.
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