15 Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Travel Agent

Travel Agent

Choosing a career path is never an easy thing. You must weigh out the pros and cons of different professions and choose the one that will fulfill you both personally and professionally. It can be about the money, the benefits, the opportunities, and the flexibility among a long list of things that make you wonder “is this the right job for me?”

Truth be told, if there was a magic ball that could tell you what the future looks like after choosing your career, most people would like to see it. That is why we now bring you 15 things you should know before becoming a travel agent. Those details that make this one a fulfilling profession and one that brings happiness to many around the world.

1. Customer Service is Key

As a travel agent, whether you own your travel agency or work for someone else, customer service is key. Your work revolves around your client and the goal is to deliver the trip of their dreams or the perfect accommodation for a work trip. Listening to their requests and demands will guarantee success. Their happiness and satisfaction means your professional fulfillment.

Getting to know your clients will allow you to plan and organize their trip better, providing the best options for them.

2. Be Available

Because your relationship with your client is one of the most important parts of your job, you need to be available to answer their questions or solve any issues. Traveling doesn’t always go smoothly which means problems may occur. In those cases, your travelers will turn to you. This may mean a phone call here and there to confirm booking numbers, reschedule flights, or find a new hotel. You must be ready to intervene and provide solutions or alternatives.

3. Flexibility is possible

After the COVID-19 pandemic, most people started looking for job opportunities that would allow them to work remotely, whether that meant from home or while traveling themselves. This career path gives you this chance by becoming an online travel agent. Through your phone or computer, you can communicate with your clients, book their flights, and arrange their stay. For those clients who need personal care, you can hop on a video call and walk them through the process.

You can work and have clients anywhere in the world by keeping your communication open and having a good wi-fi connection. The job provides a flexibility that will allow you to work from home or anywhere else you have to be.

4. Stay Up-To-Date on Technology

In the world that we live in, technology has become a key component of most jobs, and it’s not any different for travel agents. If this is the career path you’re choosing, you must make sure you keep up with technology. There are different travel portals and travel agency websites you must know how to navigate in order to deliver what your clients are looking for. This also means understanding social media, new trends, and ways to promote your work online.

If you own your agency, you want to have one of the best travel agency websites. For this, it must be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and have the answers clients are looking for: how you can make their travel planning easier.

5. Networking is a Necessity

Every profession needs you to network and connect with other like minded individuals. People who provide the same business, innovate, or will help you grow. As a travel agent, networking is a necessity for two reasons. On the one hand, this is what will bring more clients. The more people who know what you do and how you do it, the more will recommend you. Your business grows by word of mouth and you want to be on the lips of the right people.

On the other hand, you must network with hotels and airlines. This will guarantee you know the right people to bring the best offers to your clients. You want to know them and work in collaboration with them for deals and packages that will benefit them, your clients, and yourself.

6. You Will Travel

One of the biggest pros of this career path is the opportunity to travel and see the world for yourself. Remember that network? Well, it means you will be invited to places to try them out, experience them yourself, and then sell them to your clients. Hotels will want you to visit their new locations and recommend them. Airlines may offer you trips on new routes to guarantee you offer them to your clients.

7. Your Travel Experience Will Change

It’s not always easy to leave the job at the door or back at home when you go on vacation. The moment you become a travel agent, your perspective on traveling will change. You will look at everything through the eyes of your client. Whether the airline was punctual and comfortable or not. Is the hotel good enough for the stars it claims to have? Is it a good destination? Everything will feel a bit like business because you know traveling must feel as great as it does to you to your clients.

8. You Can Have a Specialty

Becoming a travel agent isn’t a one size fits all kind of deal. On the contrary, you can adapt it to your passions, skills, and expertise. You could focus on a region and only sell packages there such as safaris in South Africa. There’s the option of becoming an enterprise travel agent and work directly with a company to manage all their traveling. The possibilities are endless and you get to choose what is best for you.

9. Holidays Will be Busier

The holidays are always one of the craziest and busiest times of the year. Most people will want to travel or gift traveling to someone they know. This means your job will increase and you will be extremely busy. Great for business! However, you must be prepared to receive more phone calls, emails, or text messages from your clients. The busy season may make them anxious to travel so they may want to triple check everything is okay. But because it’s busy, problems may arise and they will turn to you to figure it out. It’s best to prepare yourself for the holidays to be busier than usual.

10. Get Insurance

There are easy mistakes to avoid as a new travel agent such as making sure you booked the right flight at the right time. But mistakes and inconveniences happen and it is best to be prepared for those moments. The best thing to do is get insurance and make sure it covers errors and omissions. This is particularly important if you work on your own or have your own agency. The insurance may be a high expense for your company, but it guarantees you don’t pay out of pocket for any mistakes.

11. No Special Training Required

In order to become a travel agent, you won’t be required to have special training. It is recommended to have a degree that will guide you through the process such as business or hospitality. But most agencies who hire you will have their own process and give you the tools to navigate your new role. If you work for yourself, you will know which travel portals, apps, and softwares work best for you. And you will learn to work on a client basis, adapting your flow to what they need.

12. Paid on Commission

There are people who need to know the kind of money they will be making in order to choose a career path and there’s nothing wrong with that. If that is the question in your mind preventing you from becoming a travel agent or not, you should know they get paid on commission. Therefore, in order to make a living, you must make sales. So, networking, customer service, and client satisfaction will help you reach your goals.

13. Be Your Own Boss

Becoming a travel agent is something you can do without the need to join a company or work for someone else. You can be your own boss, set your schedule, pick your clients, and dictate your day-to-day work life. You’d be responsible for connecting with clients, hotels, and airlines, creating packages, and selling. But at the end of the day, you would only answer to yourself and the clients you choose to take on.

14. Clients Will Return

This line of business has a huge emphasis on clients. You will work on their time to make sure they get what they want and everything is good when they arrive at their destination. You will need them to make that commission. They may make your holidays crazier and you may think about them when you travel. But the truth is that a happy client will always return. They are trusting you with the safety of their journey, and if you deliver, you will have them on your roster until you choose to retire.

15. Make Time for Yourself

Most people on other career paths travel to unwind, but for you traveling will become the job. That is why it is very important to find time for yourself. Whether you stay home, practice a sport, or not answer your phone for an hour, pick something that will allow you to focus on yourself.

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