Over 44% of travelers are likely to use the help of travel advisors. In addition, with the pandemic uncertainty that brought activities to a halt, economies are rising again.
If you are passionate and want to become a travel agent, it’s time. First, however, joining a reputable travel agency is essential to help your clients make proper bookings.
So how do you become a travel agent? In our following guide, we seek to educate you on what it entails, the perks, and expectations.
What Travel Agents Do
As an travel agent, your primary assignment is to map out the client’s travel plans and activities. While they could do these processes themselves, they are labor-intensive and time-consuming.
Based on experience, travel agents can also suggest the best destinations to their clients. You hence have to have a hands-on experience of what various travel destinations offer.
Your client’s safety is paramount, so you have to stay updated. You don’t want to plan out visits to conflict areas endangering their lives.
You sometimes have to visit the destinations to get first-hand experience. So here are the two types of travel agent you can become.
Leisure Travel Agent
These sell vacation packages to the public, families, singles, or couples going on vacations. You will be planning client itineraries based on the client’s budget and interests.
Corporate Travel Agent
As a corporate travel agent, you will be working with companies sending their employees on work trips. Your task will be contacting airlines to book transportation and hotels for accommodation.
How to Become a Travel Agent
If interested in joining the travel agents field, it’s essential to know the qualifications needed. While the processes look straightforward, an agency’s association gives a professional look.
The minimum educational qualification to become a travel agent is a high school diploma. However, taking travel-related courses has an added advantage and an increased employment chance.
You can get these educational qualifications in vocational and community colleges. Besides, there are notable 4-year colleges that offer degrees in tourism and travel, so you have various options.
Here are additional qualifications.
Any agency you choose will take you through a training session for work familiarization. Most programs don’t take long and teach software knowledge and client handling processes.
This will ensure you can provide answers each time a client approaches you with questions. After the training, you earn a travel agent’s certificate and start working from home.
Licensing and Certifications
While some states need you to have a license, others don’t. Therefore, you need to know your state’s travel regulations.
The registration process is straightforward since you fill a form, pay a fee, and get a license number. It’s valid for one year and is subject to renewal.
Since you deal with clients directly, errors are inevitable. However, you can stay covered if clients file lawsuits against you by buying errors and omissions insurance plans.
But, some travel agencies offer this coverage for their agents; hence it’s essential to ask.
Travel Agent Financial Expectations
When working as a travel agent, getting compensated for your time and efforts is vital. Furthermore, you have to know agents don’t usually have a fixed monthly wage or hour rates.
Instead, you will be working on a commission basis counted on the number of successful bookings you do. Commission percentages vary, and choosing higher-paying agencies means more compensation.
Also, note that clients in Disney vacation packages differ, which affects your commissions. For example, your commissions are low if a client only needs tickets. But if they include tickets, accommodation, and transportation, you are sure to net a good commission.
How to Choose the Right Travel Agency
The search for an appropriate host agency can be overwhelming with the many options available. However, like clients, you want to engage with a travel agency that aligns with your goals.
Here is how to skip the uncertainty and choose the right one.
Quality of Supplier Relationships
Quality relationships in the travel industry are ingredients to the success of your travel agent business. When you join a particular travel agency, you will likely work with their listed suppliers.
While the relationship between the two will be direct and professional, knowing these suppliers is crucial. You also want to freely engage with their Business Development Manager (BDM).
This will allow you to ask more about their products or services for top familiarization. By selecting a company that encourages interaction, you can be sure to get recognized for your efforts.
Check Agency Reputation
The country has 73,249 travel agencies. While some of these are reputable, others are not.
You can learn about these agencies’ reputations through feedback from veteran agents. There are also trustworthy review sites like the Professional Association of Travel Hosts (PATH).
This is a travel agencies body upholding travel standards in the industry. You can look up your preferred agency to check its accreditation.
The Agency’s Experience
Your search for the best host agency will yield many results, and knowing how experienced they are is vital. You want a host agency that has worked in the industry for some time.
Such experience shows you they have sharpened their marketing skills, built solid ties, and much more. They have also worked with new travel agents like you and are willing to guide you well.
While an agency’s operational period may be significant, this doesn’t guarantee experience. So, don’t overlook newer travel agencies and deem them unfit.
How to Market Yourself as a Disney Packages Seller
Besides joining the best agency, note that you have to become active to win clients. While your host may provide client leads, quality clients are those you convert.
This is because you develop a connection with them and understand their needs. However, dealing with an agency’s clients may lead to communication barriers and a negative experience.
One way to score clients is to join social media groups and introduce yourself. Also, be active in the groups to show prospects you can solve their travel questions.
Benefits of Becoming a Travel Agent
Becoming a travel agent comes with a fair share of perks to enjoy, besides enacting your passion and interacting with different calibers of people.
Here are some advantages of becoming an agent.
Travel and Accommodation Discounts
Traveling costs are usually high and limit new places exploration. But, as a travel agent, you don’t have to worry about this since you get significant discounts.
Since the suppliers need a considerable customer flow, familiarization trips are inevitable. Therefore, they offer these perks to travel agents to experience firsthand what they offer.
You unlock more discount benefits as an International Association of Travel Agents (IATA) or a recognized travel association member. These perks will allow you to make informed destination suggestions to your clients later.
Being Your Own Boss
Upwards of 36.2 million individuals will be working remotely by 2025. By becoming a travel agent, you can work from anywhere globally.
You have the privilege of choosing your schedule and can work late or early mornings if necessary. You also don’t have to beat the traffic to work each day or sit in crowded conference rooms.
Due to technological advancements, you can hold your clients’ conference meetings virtually. You can also choose to work full-time or part-time.
Share Passion and Experiences
By choosing to work in the travel industry, you are likely a travel enthusiast and love exploration. The digital marketing space offers an opportunity for travel enthusiasts to share ideas and experiences.
You can set up a blog to share and engage with prospects since you have first-hand experiences. This will also be useful for you in branding yourself as a travel agent.
Your expertise will attract travel leads since most travelers make decisions based on advice. With time, you can monetize your travel blog to earn passive income.
Ability to Make Decent Money
When working as a travel agent, your income isn’t tied to specific payroll ranges. Instead, you need to be excellent at what you do and convince people.
When interacting with clients, being their travel advisor is not enough. Be sure to contact your client after their trip is over to get their feedback. By doing so, you can stand out as a concerned agent who is not after their money but their satisfaction.
Also, insist on the importance of referrals since a satisfied client will likely tell their experiences to others. You are also likely to score more clients and sell more packages by being trustworthy.
Learn More About Becoming a Travel Agent Today
The travel industry is a lucrative field for passionate travel enthusiasts. However, knowledge is vital if you want to become a travel agent.
This will ensure you don’t encounter disappointments later. The above guide shows what to know about becoming a travel agent.
Are you passionate about the travel industry and want to become an agent? Join us today and become an expert travel agent.