Travel agents work with the general public to help them book their travel arrangements and even help them with their travel insurance policy. Though the industry has for the most part shifted away from traditional brick and mortar establishments and moved toward online outlets, the demand for good travel agents is still there. While many travel agents have the flexibility to work from the comfort of their own homes, there are still some very important steps to take to become a travel agent.
Interested parties should have at least a High School Diploma or GED. Some travel agencies will prefer a Bachelor’s Degree or other degree from a college institution before their applicants will be considered for the position.
Those who want to become travel agents of course need to be knowledgeable when it comes to the subject. Study up on the most popular vacation destinations, what makes them popular, the attractions, the accommodations, the financial demands of the area, and any other facts about the destinations that will help you sell. Focus on areas that are popular for honeymooners, families, tropical, and fun filled. Take time to learn about travel insurance as well, because people may be interested in protecting themselves and their belongings while away on vacation. For those who travel often, multi trip travel insurance is an option to help them save money.
Don’t stop with a high school diploma. There are many travel related industries and degree programs to become involved in that will help a career as a travel agent to grow and flourish. Seek out programs in travel and tourism if possible. The important part is to establish expertise in a related subject area.
A travel agent should be well traveled, to better be able to speak about the areas they are booking. People enjoy hearing first hand accounts of vacations including accommodations and attractions, so the travel agents who have been to a particular destination are able to sell it a little easier than those who have not.
Some states require their travel agents to be registered. Check with the state Chamber of Commerce on their requirements and register if necessary.
Tips and Tricks
- Becoming computer literate will help reach a broader audience of people through Internet marketing. Many agents use websites to help their clients book travel without having to meet face to face, so knowing about the web is a major plus. Consider enrolling in a simple web design course at a local community college to learn even more skills.
- Learning another language, such as Spanish will make it easier to reach more people and make it easier to market to potential employers. Being bi-lingual is a very marketable skill and opens up the doors for more customers.
- Consider becoming a Certified Travel Counselor. After 5 years of experience as a travel agent, a course is available to certify people as travel counselors. This will enhance the career.
People who have always enjoyed interacting with others and have a knack for or desire to learn about other people, places, and things should strongly consider a career as a travel agent.