Becoming a travel agent is an excellent way to travel the world, meet new people, and learn a lot about coordinating travel plane, train, and automobile. The job comes with a slew of perks, including free or heavily discounted travel to far-flung destinations around the globe. Large-firm travel agents are frequently encouraged to travel to new and interesting locations every year in order to better communicate with clients. Travel agents are a good fit for people who enjoy customer service and travel. It’s also a great way to share your enthusiasm for new places and adventures with others.
Working in a travel agency office is usually the first step in learning the job. Most jobs necessitate a high school diploma and a desire to travel. People with advanced degrees in history, business, communications, or public relations may be preferred some agencies. Although prior travel experience is beneficial, it is not usually required. The American Society of Travel Agents offers correspondence courses and special trips for those interested in pursuing a career in the industry. This type of travel agent certification isn’t required, but it will help you stand out when applying for jobs.
A demonstrated knowledge of computers is a strong benefit on a job application because of the complex computer systems that travel agents interact with. Some vocational schools and junior colleges offer special courses in the type of software used travel agencies, and students who successfully complete the course receive a certificate of completion. Becoming a travel agent necessitates an ever-increasing set of computer skills, ranging from quick typing to database management.
Some travel agencies specialize in a specific type of travel, such as ecotourism, ocean cruises, or trips to a particular region. If you want to work for a specialized agency, you should be prepared to demonstrate extensive knowledge of that industry. Travel agents who may find themselves negotiating with people from other countries will benefit from knowing a foreign language and having strong geography skills. Studying Chinese, French, English, and Spanish is a good idea.
It’s also necessary to be able to think quickly and combine data from a variety of sources. Coordinating various modes of transportation, hotel stays, and other travel ancillaries is a big part of the hassle in modern travel. A career as a travel agent may be a good fit for you if you can work in a fast-paced environment with a lot of sensory input. Prepare to spend a lot of time on the phone with clients, scrutinizing documents, and planning itineraries. Creating a once-in-a-lifetime trip for a client can lead to referrals and repeat business, so make sure that every customer counts on you.
If you want to work as a travel agent on your own, there are many organizations that offer courses to help you get started. Be aware that if you don’t have much experience in the travel industry, you might want to consider working on commission for another agency for a year or two until you’re ready to go it alone.