Do you want to become a travel agent from home, or you fall under the categories of those who enjoy hotel rewards points, scanning flights, and a frequent traveler? Trust me; you are not far from being a travel agent. People believe the world has gone digital, and anyone can storm the internet for information. While this is true, it shouldn’t stop you from working as a travel agent. People use travel agents more than before.
Travelers may travel on their own on a short trip. Still, when it has to do with a big trip, they are left with no choice than using a travel agent. I’m not sure anyone will like to organize honeymoons, Business travels that require translators, and multiple resorts stays. This can be very difficult and required logistics that can only be handled by a travel agent.
To become an online travel agent, you don’t need to have a specific degree. You can pick it up as a fresh career start. The first thing you need is to start somewhere, the earlier you start this career path, the sooner you will be able to build a strong client base. Although if you have previous knowledge in the semi-related industry like hospitality and marketing, it will help you to grow your travel agency business at a swift pace.
I want to be a travel agent. Where do I start?
You are about learning the step by step guide to starting a travel agency even from home.
Focus on a niche
I know this may look awkward to you because you don’t see it as a significant requirement to becoming a travel agent. But you must focus on a specific niche. It can be Holiday travels, Honeymoon destinations, Female solo travel, Adventure Travel, or even Luxury travel.
Choosing a niche makes you an expert who can easily attract clients. There are several other niches related to traveling. You can also start an online travel agency. Make sure you conduct the right market research to be sure you are choosing a high demanding niche.
Get certified or licensed where required
people are fond of asking me, are there any special certification or license requirements to become a travel Agent? In some countries, you can be an independent travel agent without a license or certificate, but in some countries like the United States, you are required to register with the state. Although the process is not all that difficult. You obtain a form, fill it, pay a certain fee if needed to get your registration number that should be displayed at your office before clients can be sure of your services.
While some countries don’t require this type of registration, you may have to purchase “errors and omissions” Insurance to begin your travel agent career. This insurance policy covers professional liability. It’s coverage for travel agent’s errors on their client’s travel arrangements.
Understand the concept of timing
Another question you need to answer for your travel agent career is, how long does it take to become a successful travel agent? As earlier mentioned, there are no specific industry standards in terms of educational qualification and training to becoming a travel agent. So, you can venture into the career shortly after your high school graduation. But if you desire to be at the peak of your job, you can pursue a bachelor’s degree in Geography and regional planning, tourism, or it’s equivalent. And this can take a minimum of 3 – 4 years. I don’t think this is too much time for such a lucrative career like that of a travel agent.
Growing your client base
Now that you know the required credentials, you need to become a travel agent; how do you expect to make money as a travel agent? No doubt, a travel agency is centered around clients who are satisfied with your services. Try to keep happy customers that can easily refer you to their friends and family members because of the level of satisfaction they get each time they book their travel through your agency.
People are happy when you find them great travel deals and creating unbelievable experiences. All they need is an incredible experience and a great travel agency they can work with.
Determine your game plan
One way on how to become a travel agent is first to design a suitable game plan for yourself. Here you are left with two primary choices, to work within a travel agency or stand the risk of starting your travel agency. Someone with excellent travel experience and a good business degree can decide to start up a personal travel agency. But I will advise you to look for a mentor or somewhere to develop your skills to become a professional in your niche.
The acquired experience will make you stand out in getting a job, and gain more advantage over others because you know something others don’t. A formal degree will help you a lot, but have you considered an actual travel experience? It’s not enough to determine what your niche will look like, but when you visit some of the target places yourself, it helps to become a specialist in some parts of the world. Having personal experience with the locals and top areas is an added advantage.
If it happens you choose to be a cruise-specific agent, I think your ability to explain your experience in a blog or an interview of your experience on cruise ships with videos or graphical expressions will convince clients to work with you.
One thing you should also note about the job of a travel agent is that you must be ready to turn up for 24/7 jobs. Some clients prefer their travel agents to provide the financial budgets for their trip. Should anything go wrong while they are away, they will contact you regardless of the time.
If you are a traveler, travel agent, or you handle everything regarding your trip in person, you can leave your question or contribution below.