How to Become a Travel Agent
How to Become a Travel Agent
Travel is a major aspect of many people’s lives around the world. Many people are busy and need assistance with their travel plans. To make travel plans easy and efficient travel agents help people with all of their travel needs from booking a destination to arranging transportation.
What does a travel agent do?
Travel agents assist travelers in going through a lot of travel information to help them make travel arrangements that best fit their needs and budget. They provide advice on travel destinations and make hotel reservations, transportation arrangements, car rentals, and book attraction sites for their clients. They also provide information on local attractions, customs, and ordinances as well as common weather conditions for the time of year. For international travel, travel agents provide customs regulations information, currency exchange rates, travel advisories, and required documents information such as certificates of vaccination, visas, and passports. When something changes on a traveler’s itinerary, travel agents intervene and accommodate the client the best way possible.
Travel agents are also the main source of booking passengers on most major cruise lines. Often times, specialty travel groups and resorts use travel agents to promote their clients with exclusive travel packages.
What kind of training does a travel agent need?
Travel agents must have at least the equivalency of a high school diploma. Many employers prefer candidates who have a college education and travel or business experience. Most travel agencies provide a significant amount of on the job training. Many vocational schools, community colleges, adult education programs, and online schools offer travel agent training and some offer bachelor or master degrees in travel and tourism. Continuing education is necessary for travel agents to stay up to date on travel information.
What are the prospects for a career as a travel agent?
Employment of travel agents is projected to have very little change, increasing only 1% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The increase in Internet booking is a major reason for the decrease in growth.
Job prospects are expected to be fair to good depending on travel agents’ experience and qualifications. Job opportunities will be the best for travel agents who specialize in type of traveler, travel destination, or mode of transportation. Job opportunities will also arise for the need to replace agents who retire or leave the field.
How much do travel agents make?
As of July 2009, travel agents with less than 1 year experience earned annual salaries between $27,469 and $51,097. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn annual salaries between $23,811 and $35,984 (2).
A career as a travel agent is a great choice for people who have a love for travel and enjoy advising people on their travel plans. Excellent computer and communication skills are necessary for meeting with clients and making travel reservations. Travel agents must also be accurate, well-organized, detail oriented, courteous, and professional.