Are you struggling with the question- How to become a travel agent? Do you love planning and arranging outings? Is helping people in celebrating their ideal vacation your passion? Are you a travel geek? Is your bag always packed and you always ready to go out? Does world geography fascinate you?
If you are also curious about “How to become a travel agent?” then this article is the right destination. It brings you answers to all your questions, from eligibility requirements to a travel agent’s career scope and life.
Before we get to the main question of “How to become a travel agent?” we will determine the possible reasons for a person’s becoming a travel agent.
Reasons for Becoming a Travel Agent
The travel industry is one of the most vital industries for any economy. Moreover, it provides ample job opportunities to individuals as well as groups. With tourism increasing at an unprecedented rate in today’s time, travel agencies have a lot of opportunities to utilize advantageously.
We often tend to have this notion that travel agents are not so celebrated by tourists these days. Or who looks for travel advisors in this modern digital era.
However, One Collaborative research on travel advisor usage by the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) and Sandals Resorts indicates that 27 percent of tourists always or often booked a travel agent before the pandemic. Furthermore, 44 percent of the overall population is willing to hire a travel agent during and after the pandemic.
This inevitably signifies that tourists look for a travel agent, and that’s going to be an even increased case post-pandemic.
From destination weddings to hub spots, travel agents are needed right from the beginning of the travel plans till the actual travel journey. Tourists prefer to host agencies more than travelling on their own as an alien. Moreover, a great number of travel agents are going to be required in the travel industry.
Let’s know about the process or steps of how to become a travel agent.
Essential Steps of How to Become a Travel Agent
After knowing the work scope of a travel agent, it’s necessary to discuss the steps to become a travel agent. We will start with education, in other words, the qualification of a travel advisor.
Then, we will move forward with some most important aspects of your career during and after becoming a travel agent.
1. What qualifications do you require to become a travel agent
To be honest, you can start your own business as a travel agent right after your high school diploma. No, we are not joking! A high school diploma is a minimum qualification that people need to become travel agents.
In other words, any other certification or diploma is not mandatory to pursue in order to become a travel agent. Therefore, any travel agent certification is not going to become a barrier when you are thinking of “How to become a travel agent?” One can simply start as a fresher.
However, if you wish to pursue any certification as your travel agent education, that too isn’t bad. A simple one to two years travels agent certification is more than enough for professional development as a travel agent.
For more advanced certifications, you can also go for one to four years of travel agent education programs from a well-known travel institute.
People can also opt for first pursuing a bachelor’s degree program from community colleges.
It may clear your first doubt of qualification in the big question of “How to become a travel agent?” remember, however, a high school diploma or a travel agent certification after completing school is just a stepping stone for those planning to become independent travel agents.
Nonetheless, there are other things too that need to be taken care of while starting as a travel agent.
2. Knowledge stands forward than the certificates
Living in the 21st century, it isn’t a doubt that certificates are more and less like a paper or minimum qualification only. Today, your experience or your knowledge is provided with way much importance more than your certifications.
This is the reason why certifications are not mandatory to become a travel agent. We would like to use a word of caution there. We don’t intend to demotivate you from going forward with your institutional education.
Undoubtedly, institutional education is necessary. But, the knowledge and experiences that you have gained by educating yourself other than the institutional one are more important. This brings us to the third step of educating yourself.
3. Educate yourself as a travel agent
The first answer that comes to my mind for the question of “How to become a travel agent?” is to educate yourself.
Educating doesn’t mean getting lots of certificates. Educating yourself means:
- Updating yourself with the latest trends in the travel industry
- Working on your overall personality, both communication skills as well as body language
- Look what problems the tourists in your area are facing and how you can resolve them, if possible.
4. Test your qualities as a travel agent
The work role of a travel agent varies according to their area, agency, and situations
Yet, some common duties of a travel agent include:
• Promoting and marketing the business of a travel agency.
• Dealing with the queries and complaints of your customers
• Planning vacations and trips
• Providing advice about necessary documents needed for a smooth travel experience
• Recruiting, training, and supervising the staff of your travel agency.
• Managing budgets
• Maintaining statistical and financial records
• Selling holidays and health insurance
• Meeting profit or sales targets
• Managing and advising travel arrangements and
• Conducting in-person meetings with tourists.
Therefore, you need to have travel agent proficiency in these duties.
You might not have to do all these duties. But still, if you are thinking about how to become a travel agent. You should evaluate if you will be willing to do these duties or not. As a fresher in the process of how to become a travel agent, you need to know them.
We hope you are getting clear about how to become a travel agent. Additionally, one can also work as a part-time travel agent.
How Much Money Does a Travel Agent Make
We understand that how to become a travel agent is a question in your mind. However, money is a necessary component. So, how can we move forward in answering how to become a travel agent without discussing the income of a travel agent?
After all, possible income and incentives work as a motivation for moving forward with a career option. Moreover, it signifies if you will be able to live a comfortable life or not along with going with your passion. Inevitably, who wants to suffer in terms of finances?
The good news here is that it is typically not the case with travel agents. How? Here is the answer. A report by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ 2019 indicates that an average annual income for travel agents is $44,410.
When converted to Indian rupees, it is somewhat around 33,05,012 INR. This can, however, varies according to the type of travel job and commissions. Yet, it’s pretty good in terms of income.
Travel agents can also make more money than what this report indicates based on their own business targets, charges and conditions in their areas. More clients more money is the case there. Therefore, it would be great if you learned some client-based building skills. You may also feel proud of yourself for asking how to become a travel agent.
What are the costs associated with becoming a travel agent
As clarified earlier, further education and training programs are not mandatory for becoming a travel agent. Nonetheless, starting your career as a travel agent may cost you at least some money. This we will discuss in detail here.
Cost in the process of how to become a travel agent is influenced by many factors. Obviously, if you plan to start as a startup travel agency, it may cost you more money when compared to an independent travel agent or contractor.
It may also vary according to the staff you are planning to keep. So, plan things according to your vision plus budget and present conditions.
Moreover, going with formal training and degrees is also added to the cost of becoming a travel agent. Contacting an expert or a more knowledgeable person, in that case, would be more beneficial.
Now, after knowing about the steps of how to become a travel agent, the cost of becoming a travel agent, and possible incomes, you might feel clear about “How to become a travel agent?” We will look into the perks of becoming a travel agent now.
Perks of Becoming a Travel Agent
“How to become a travel agent?” is a question, but the perks of becoming a travel agent should also be known.
Job opportunity and job scope post-pandemic is certainly a reason to become a travel agent. Still, there are plenty of other perks right after becoming a travel agent.
1. Travel! Travel! Travel: Ample travel opportunities
You get lots of travel chances, more than you would have imagined, as a travel agent. Just build your client base in the initial period. Moreover, you can also travel and explore a plethora of travel destinations.
2. No need for training
The second perk of becoming a travel agent is no need for training. Apparently, you don’t need to get pre-service training, unlike other careers such as a teacher, designer, painter, web developer or anyone else, to start as a travel agent.
3. Plenty of job opportunities
There is a lot more within the work duties of a travel agent. You may choose to become a travel agent for an adventurous journey, or you may prefer to go for peaceful vacation spots. Just choose your specific niche and go for that one. It all depends on you. This takes us to the fourth perk of being a boss.
4. Your own boss
Unlike typical 9 to 5 (and sometimes more hours) desk jobs with a toxic boss and a few holidays, you become your own boss as a travel agent. Having lesser or zero outer authority restrictions on your life.
5. Work-life balance
Work-life balance is a major concern while choosing an appropriate career. One may get a good career but no life, which results in an imbalance between one’s life and work. This might also be the factor why you chose to ask how to become a travel agent.
Along with mobility and flexibility, in terms of work, one also gets a work-life balance after becoming a travel agent. In fact, it is more of a life than work because you choose to go for your passion.
Consequently, love for your work and lesser stress and bad moods. Plenty of family time and me time too. Cheers!
6. Healthy life
If focused, one can live a smooth and healthy life after becoming a travel agent. It’s all about the matter of priorities.
You will have a work-life balance, financial freedom, freedom of time, reason to follow your passion, ample travel opportunities, family time and me-time. Consequently, one can go for a healthy life.
You might be wondering about the possible cons of becoming a travel agent. Let’s look into that as well.
Cons of Becoming a Travel Agent
1. Some stressful situations
No doubt, Covid-19 has affected the whole world in every aspect, no matter what they do. Considering that situation only, one might have to suffer in the situations when there are lesser or no tourists as the income of a travel agent is sales based. This precisely indicates that no sales will be equal to no pay. It may ultimately lead to stress then.
Other than that, peak season pressures need to constantly update yourself may also become stressful for some people. But, managing it with the right stress management techniques and maintaining good mental health will cover this con of becoming a travel agent.
So, if you are asking how to become a travel agent but find yourself unable to manage stress, then there is a need to learn some techniques of stress management before entering this career.
Additionally, suppose we compare the cons of becoming a travel agent with the pros and other benefits of becoming a travel agent. In that case, it will ultimately take us to go with the passion of becoming a travel agent.
What to wait for? This is all about how to become a travel agent, from education to getting clients, pros and cons, along with possible income.
We hope this article has provided you with an insight into the career of a travel agent. Steps of how to become a travel agent will have also provided you with more clarity. Why worry then? Get started with your vision.