How to Become a Travel Agent – Money Pacers
How to Become a Travel Agent

How to Become a Travel Agent

How to Become a Travel Agent

Careers (MP) Do you love to see the world or have the passion for travel? Love of travel or tourism and enjoy helping people, then you may enjoy a career as a travel agent, or travel support specialist. Most people may not use agents to book airline passage but, when it come to vacations, that’s another story. People need them to help put together their dream getaways packages. Reading online reviews of resorts or cities takes a lot of time and effort. When people book family vacations, but their destination is still a question mark, you can help steer them towards the right place and package.

You can have a full-service agency in your home, office or through a virtual internet office and begin receiving commissions on all trips you refer or book directly. Many people right now are taking advantage of one of the most exciting business opportunities available today.

What Does a Travel Agent Do??

They offer advice on trips, put together packages, research vacation spots and confirm arrangements. A travel salesperson sells transportation, lodging, and admission to entertainment activities to individuals and groups planning trips. They also offer advice on destinations, plan trip itineraries, and make trekking arrangements for clients. In addition they perform tasks like:

  • Arrange flights, insurance and accommodation
  • Use booking system to secure holidays
  • Collecting and processing payments
  • Advise clients on travel arrangements, e.g. visas and passports
  • Send out tickets to clients
  • Keep clients up to date with any changes
  • Deal with complaints or refunds

Travel Agent Salary

Required Education* High School or GED
Total jobs* 73,300
Projected Job Growth (2015-2022) -12%*
Average Annual Salary (2015) $35,600 – $49,200*

Work Environment

You’ll work in offices, or a home office where you’ll spend much of your time on the phone and on the computer. Most salespeople work for agencies, although about 12 percent were self-employed in 2012.

Training

A high school diploma typically is required for someone to become a travel agent however, a A GED is fine. This is the bare minimum for entry into an established business.

While a degree from a trade school can help salespersons land an entry-level position, a college degree can provide you with a leg up on the competition for the more favorable jobs. Bachelor’s degrees that agencies consider appropriate include business, marketing, communications or hospitality. Other degrees that could open the door to industry options include business administration, accounting, human resources and management.

To work in this field determine the skills you need, take advantage of educational opportunities and professional resources, and consider specializing in a particular type of travel. Of course, even if you’re starting your own business at home, it’s essential learn computer skills.

Specialties

Become a destination specialist and watch your business thrive. In order to shine in this work environment, it’s helpful to have an area of expertise. Have you wandered the markets of Istanbul? Cracked coconuts in the Mekong Delta? Choose a region that appeals to you.

Some specialties could include a specific geographic location like Bahamas; specific types like cruises or tour groups; price-focused travel such as luxury accommodations or affordable vacations; and particular travel groups based on hobbies, special interests or lifestyles such as seniors or vegetarians.

Home Based Business

You can become a independent agent and start your own home based globe-trotting business! There are a different routes you can take: from purchasing an existing agency, buying a franchise, or partnering with a host agency. The tricky part is that in order to work with suppliers, you must be in an International Airlines Travel Agent Network (IATAN), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) or an Airline Reporting Corporation (ARC) number. Sound confusing? Luckily there are some great places that offer affordable education and training options to get you started.

Resources:

See the BLS TA statistics. Although many travel agent training programs can be found online I hesitate recommending them for lack of experience with any. Investigate and research thoroughly before putting down money in any of them… Good luck.

Don Briscoe
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Don Briscoe

Finance educator, advisor, and leading voice in the global financial literacy movement.Founder and editor of MoneyPacers.com.He lives and enjoys life with his family in New York.
Don Briscoe
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