When you think about traveling the world, which destinations are on your must-see list? Do you prefer museums and walking tours or are tropical beaches more your speed?
The average vacation costs more than $1,000 per person once you factor in travel and food. What if you could get heavily discounted rates on hotels, airfare, and local attractions? Would that inspire you to travel more?
If you have ever felt the need to explore, this article’s for you. We’ll give you a behind-the-scenes look at a travel agent career and help you make your dream vacations a reality.
Benefits of Being a Travel Agent
One of the top reasons to work a travel agent job is that you can work from home. All you need is a secure internet connection, a reliable laptop, and a quiet work environment.
You don’t have to have a degree to become a travel agent, just an outgoing personality and a drive to earn money.
Earn Unlimited Commission
Travel agents can earn an impressive amount of money, even if they’re new to the profession. The average yearly income for a travel agent is about $40,000, but experienced agents can double or triple that amount.
You can start earning money as a travel agent without having to pay for an office, a business license, or expensive college classes.
There are certificate programs you can take once you’re established and a wide range of free video classes online. You may also want to incorporate your business during your first year as a travel agent.
Take FAM Trips
Familiarization or FAM trips are one of the secret perks of choosing a travel agent career path. They are deeply-discounted or free trips with destinations all over the world.
The reason that airlines, hotels, and destinations offer these trips is that they would like travel agents to recommend their services. The best way to do that is to allow agents to get up close and personal with travel packages.
There is no limit on the amount of FAM trips you can take as a travel agent. If you find paradise and don’t want to leave, remember that you can work from anywhere with an internet connection!
Help People’s Dreams Come True
The most important benefit of being a travel agent is helping people meet their travel goals. As a travel agent, you will have access to deals and information that the general public doesn’t know anything about.
You’ll be able to use your insider status to get your customers great deals on hotels, airfare, and travel packages. You may also be able to offer repeat customers VIP upgrades for hotel rooms or even bonus travel points on their rewards credit cards.
Becoming a Travel Agent
You have two options when you start out as a travel agent: work for a travel company or become an independent agent.
There are several reasons that working for yourself is a good choice.
- you’re not confined to working during office hours
- you can pursue certification and training at your own pace
- you don’t have to share the commission with your employer
- you’re in a relaxed atmosphere instead of a competitive one
Another benefit of being self-employed, of course, is that you can travel freely.
Building Your Brand
You should expect to work between 20 to 40 hours per week at first. You’ll need to do some marketing and outreach to build up your customer base.
Marketing is easy to do online. Once you make a website with your contact information, you can share that link on social media.
Ask your friends and family members to share it, and you could reach thousands of potential customers without spending a dime.
Choose Your Specialty
While you don’t have to pick out a specialty right away, you’ll do best when you’re selling what you love. If you have a passion for Disney, for example, you probably already know which hotels are the best and which restaurants have the best deals.
Besides Disney trips, you could specialize in
- tropical vacations
- singles cruises
- business travel
- family vacations
Travel is a trillion-dollar industry so no matter what specialty you choose, you’ll definitely be able to find customers.
Generate Repeat Business
The key to long-term growth as a travel agent is to connect with your customers. After they return from their trip, write them a short note or email thanking them for their business.
You should also plan to send out a mass email during the tax return season. Your customers will have extra money on hand, and it’s never too early to plan that summer vacation.
In general, try to maintain a friendly relationship with your customers and remind them of your services a few times per year. You may want to offer discounts and referral bonuses for returning customers.
If you have a social media account dedicated to your business, try to post at least once every other day.
How to Begin Your New Travel Agent Career
Ready for a new travel agent career? Here’s how to start. First, figure out whether you’d like to work part-time or full-time.
It’s okay if you only have a few hours per day to put into your business. The important thing is to work at a job you love.
Next, look for an established travel agency that offers agent training. They may be able to help you find customers for your new business and get you started with certification.
Finally, take the time to make a vision board or list of places you’d like to visit. Where did you really want to go when you were a kid? What are some places around the world that sound amazing?
Traveling & Getting Paid!
Become a world traveler and get paid to do it? Sounds like a plan.
We offer a wide range of tutorials and support to independent travel agents. Contact us online, and we’ll get you started!