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Simple Ways On How To Become A Travel Agent

Simple Ways On How To Become A Travel Agent
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Want to know how to become a travel agent? We’ll show you precisely how to become an agent, the average earnings you can expect and what you’ll do!

With disposal income far higher today than in decades before, travel is becoming common. While it’s possible for us to book our travel, it’s often challenging, and we might be missing out on great deals because of a lack of experience. This scenario is where a travel agent can step in and become incredibly beneficial.

Are you interested in finding out how to become a travel agent? It’s an exciting job opportunity, and with relatively good pay for a comfortable job, it’s not surprising that a lot of people are interested in the field. In this guide, we’re going to show you what the job entails, how to become a travel agent and the requirements for getting the job.

What Is A Travel Agent?

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A travel agent is an independent third-party who can book travel for you. They work directly with travel companies, hotels and airlines to get you the best deal. Plus, if you have no idea what you’re looking for, they can give excellent ideas based on their experience. A travel agent works for the travelers, helping them to get the greatest value for money.

Typically travel agents will work face to face with their clients. However, it’s possible that you will handle online inquiries from customers. With technology developing, more and more travel agents can work remotely, rather than needing to come into physical contact with the person they are booking travel for.

The majority of travel agents will work for an agency. This agency is customer facing and almost always completely separate from the airlines, hotels and travel firms that they purchase goods and services from. This separation helps to ensure better reliability so that the agent can recommend the best offers from any company in the industry.

What Does A Travel Agent Do On A Daily Basis?

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The day-to-day activities of a travel agent can vary greatly. This change makes the job interesting and desirable. One day you might be meeting customers from 9 am until 5 pm. Another, you might have no meetings. You could spend your day talking to hotel chains looking to get a great deal for the clients you’re working on behalf of.

Typically, the average day involves a little bit of everything. Agents work at a fast pace, with lots of other individuals and this makes the job exciting, rather than repetitive. You’ll also get the chance to talk to a lot of people, making it a great job for people who enjoy socializing.

Almost all travel agents will work a standard schedule, from 9 am until 5 pm, Monday through Friday. It’s unlikely that you will need to take work home at the end of the day.

Travel agents are also there to help clients when things go wrong. As a go-between for the client and the airline or hotel, the agent can help to resolve pressing issues. If a flight becomes delayed or a hotel is overbooked, you’ll be able to help clients to find suitable accommodation, re-book flights and to assist them in receiving compensation for the inconvenience.

The ideal travel agent is a problem solver. Customers will come for you looking for a solution to their inquiry. It’s your job to find them to perfect holiday, within their budget and on the correct dates. You’ll also be able to fix problems for them, work directly with travel companies and spend time getting to know your clients and their needs.

How To Become A Travel Agent

Becoming a travel agent is relatively easy. Unlike medicine or law, where you need particular qualifications, travel agencies are looking for intangible skills. While some may have a list of requirements, most care more about your personality, approachability, and ability to solve problems quickly. Even if you’re not qualified, don’t be afraid, put in an application!

To become a travel agent, you’ll need to start by identifying a job in which you have interest. Most agencies will hire new travel agents through job sites like Indeed and Monster. However, you could email specific companies and ask them if they have any vacancies in your local area.

If you’re coming from a related field like customer support, account management or management, you should find it easy to get an interview. The skills that you will have accrued through these positions can be beneficial for a travel agent. In particular, personal skills like fluency, being polite and knowing how to listen and identify critical points can be helpful.

Education Requirements

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There are no formal education requirements to become a travel agent. Some companies might look for candidates with a bachelor's degree. However, there is no legal or industry requirement for a degree. In most cases, candidates who have job experience in relevant or related fields will be favorably considered regardless of having a degree or not.

There are some degrees which can look great on your resume. A degree in tourism is a fantastic option because it specializes in the industry. Graduates from a tourism program will have a good understanding of different businesses in the industry and how to get a good deal for their clients.

A degree in Marketing, Business or Communications could also be useful. These programs focus heavily on sales, statistics, and deal-making, which can be valuable skills for a travel agent. In your day-to-day role, you might need to do basic mathematics like addition and multiplication using a calculator or Microsoft Excel.

Similarly, knowing how to talk to customers to sell them on a holiday package will help you to do better at your job. Often travel agents are reviewed based on sales numbers and therefore being personable and knowing how to sell can be very important.

Training Requirements

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As with education, there are no training requirements to become a travel agent. You don’t need to complete any specific course or pass an exam to get a job in this industry. The vast majority of training will be on the job, learning as you go and from those who are more experienced.

It’s also common for new travel agents to get an initial training period, lasting a week or two, in which you will be mentored and giving educational materials. This training will show you how to use the systems they have, how to talk to clients and where you need to look to find the best deals and options for customers.

With little to no formal training outside of the business itself, travel agents need to be able to learn independently. Employers will look for candidates who are proactive and can solve problems themselves. In your resume, you should emphasize these skills so that the employer can be confident that you will fit smoothly into their business.

If you wish to undergo training or to take a course, a sales training program could be helpful. Knowing how to sell to people, face to face can help you to perform better in interviews, as well as to be more convincing to customers. These skills will improve your sales numbers, allowing you to advance further and faster in your career.

Potential Earnings And Career Progression

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According to the American Society of Travel Agents, the median salary for travel agents is $34,600 for 2012. Presumably, this figure has risen slightly with inflation in recent years. The top ten percent of earners can bring in up to $57,400 per year. This salary is somewhat competitive and does not include potential benefits.

Many travel companies will give their agents standard benefits packages that include insurance and even gym memberships. An additional benefit is that you’ll often get discounts on flights, hotels and other travel expenses. Therefore, you might find yourself able to travel more and to places that you would otherwise not be able to afford.

Many travel companies will give their agents standard benefits packages that include insurance and even gym memberships. An additional benefit is that you’ll often get discounts on flights, hotels and other travel expenses. Therefore, you might find yourself able to travel more and to places that you would otherwise not be able to afford.

Most travel agencies are relatively small. Therefore, the opportunity for career progression is limited. Typically, an agent might be able to move out of sales and into management. As a manager, it will be your job to supervise, assist and monitor the transactions of the agents who are working below you.

A common alternative career step is for an agent to open their own company. Travel agencies aren’t expensive to start, and therefore this path is a frequent choice for top performing agents.

Alternatively, you could move into another sales role. Many enterprises and B2B sales jobs will involve commission, meaning that you could earn a considerable amount of money each year. This commission makes other sales jobs very desirable. The skills you will learn as a travel agent can transfer well to different face-to-face sales positions.

Applying To Become A Travel Agent

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To apply to become a travel agent, you will need to:

  • Find a job that interests you
  • Create a resume that details your education and experience
  • Send your application through their website or job portals like Indeed and Monster
  • Attend an initial interview
  • Attend a final interview
  • Complete on the job training or a short education period

By following these steps, you’ll now know how to become a travel agent. When compared to other career paths, it’s a relatively simple step by step process, and with determination and good personal skills, you’ll be able to thrive in the role.

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