Travelling is necessary and a beautiful experience although it can be stressful. Hence, it is very important that all stages that lead up to travelling be made easy. Travel agents are individuals who play an important part in all activities before and after the journey.
Therefore, you can either hire a travel agent or learn how to become a travel agent in less time.
According to Forbes, Europe currently tops the chart in the list of places people want to visit. Perhaps the reason might not be farther than football which has over 2 billion fans in the world today.
Being a travel agent requires a lot of hard work and patience. Most especially you need proper communication skills and expert knowledge of documentation. So in this article, you will become a travel to become a travel agent in less time.
Who is a Travel Agent?
A travel agent is a private retailer that provides travel and tourism-related services to individuals and groups. Their services range from car rentals, airline bookings, tour guides, and car rentals.
Basically, travel agents act as agents selling services on behalf of a supplier while they also serve as offices for airlines without a specific region.
As an agent, you don’t keep stock of your bookings unless it’s a wedding, group travel or cruise ship.
Agents usually get their earnings from commissions they charge their clients. Additionally, some service providers advertise with them so they also make additional income.
In performing their duties, travel agents use a reservation system such as Dabre, WorldSpan and Amadeus CRS. Essentially, these systems help them compare hotels and flights in order to make the best choice.
All online bookings made by travel agents rarely get confirmed immediately, hence the client needs to exercise patience.
As a travel agent, the size to which you want to grow totally depends on you. However, for the competition, expanding fast is necessary.
Nowadays, travel agents make special provisions for people with disabilities and individuals with selected preferences. An example would be the LGBT community.
Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a decrease in the number of job opportunities available for travel agencies by 12% because of the presence of software that can easily perform similar functions.
When you grow your travel agency into a big industry, you then possess a great shot at being part of the stock exchange.
Today, travel agents prefer to be called travel advisors as it gives them greater credibility.
How Does a Travel Agent get Paid?
As an agent, you can earn from many resources. However, your earnings will depend on your hard work and leverage.
This career part engages you and demands that you continue being creative to remain reputable. Anything less than these keeps you behind your competition.
A travel agent earns from commissions he charges clients to help them carry out travel and tour services. In addition, he can also earn from advert placements on his work platform.
A beautiful way in which agents can increase their income will be to build retainership with their clients.
How Do I get a Travel Agent?
Travel agents are very important in helping you secure an amazing travel and holiday experience. Without their input, the entire process will be very difficult and tiring.
So, you can leverage these experts in order to get the best experience in travel, accommodation and transport services.
So, if you don’t want to become a travel agent and only need their services, you must find them.
In the meantime, finding a travel agent is not very difficult but getting a great one is usually the problem.
Therefore, here are some hacks to use when you want to find a great travel agent.
#1 Go Online
The internet has continued growing stronger and stronger as the days come. Hence, a lot of businesses have gone digital.
Most travel agents and agencies have an online presence that represents their core offers.
While in the online space, check for testimonials where people appraised the work of the agency.
In conclusion, you can check for reviews that people have given on their social network sites.
#2 Ask your Contacts
Most times, answers to your questions can be easily gotten from your contact list. You can make inquisitions by asking individuals who know transport services.
Your contacts can easily refer to any great and tested travel agent or agency that will be beneficial to you.
#3 Check out Airline & Hotel Adverts
Travel agents are basically the biggest advertisers of these agents. Hence, most airlines refer to them in their adverts.
All airlines understand that their customers will need to have accommodation and other benefits when they travel. Then, they collaborate with the providers of this service.
In summary, all travel agencies don’t have the best plans for all destinations so your choice of location should also guide you in choosing the best travel agent to suit your utmost need.
How Long Does it take to become a Travel Agent?
There are a lot of requirements and a level of expertise you need to possess in order to become a travel agent.
Today, this involves the understanding of software programs and communication systems.
Hence, it takes at least two years to become a well-experienced travel agent.
After you must have started, you can progress by building your contact base and value offer.
Also Read: Best Schools for Hotel Management
How much does a Travel Agent Cost?
Anyone who has worked with a great travel agent will tell you it is worth its weight in gold. Besides reducing the stress of planning trips and managing problems while on the road, they can also open doors to reservations, experiences, and activities that you might not otherwise find even. But all this great service comes at a price.
The amount paid by travel agents varies from one agent to another. Hence, their income is usually a combination of fees paid directly by the customer and commissions paid by the companies they work with to create extraordinary trips or vacations for these customers.
Mostly, agents earn most of their money from commissions paid by hotels, airlines, tour operators and cruises.
These relationships take years to develop, and the large travel agencies also give agents access to special offers and discounts that you usually cannot find when you search on Expedia, Priceline, Booking.com or one of other online travel agencies and goal.
In addition, some companies, particularly in the cruise industry, offer agents special incentives, such as free travel, as travel agents direct over 60% of their activities.
Many agents also charge their clients’ separate travel rates, which can vary from $100 to $500 and more. These costs can be billed in advance as a security deposit and can be returned at the end of the planning process or apply to the cost of the trip itself.
Travel Agent Charges
Mr. Rubin, a member of the Travel + Leisure list A of the world’s largest travel agencies and specialized in LGBT luxury travel, charges his clients a non-refundable travel design fee of $250.
In other cases, an agent may charge special rates for a la carte services, such as booking airline tickets, booking hard-to-find restaurants or booking rooms in small, independent hotels, which, unlike large international chains, do not pay agent commissions.
A popular travel counsellor charges a $250 Plan to go research fee, which does not apply to the trip, but she discusses the trip with the client and summarizes ‘a plan before charging the fee ‘.
Some travel agents, particularly those engaged in high-end luxury travel, do not allow you to charge a fee for the cost of a trip.
Renshaw Travel Lister David Lowy said the agency’s fees vary depending on the requests and the route.
In case of doubt, ask an agent for clarification on prices before continuing with your plans.
How to become a Travel Agent?
Well, now that you have learnt the importance and some of the duties of an agent, you might want to know how to become a travel agent fast.
To help to understand, we will break it into four steps. Hence, the steps include;
Step 1: Get a Bachelor’s Degree
A bachelor’s degree in tourism and hospitality stresses business knowledge regarding operations within the tourism industry. Additionally, this academic program teaches students how to use tourism as a source of positive economic, social and environmental change in their communities.
Students in this program usually take courses that cover topics such as human resources and facilities management, advertising and marketing, financial planning, hotel law and management, accounting.
Obtaining a degree in tourism and hospitality is helpful for graduates, as it helps them improve their skills in many areas. To be precise these areas are leadership, organization and critical thinking.
Bachelor Degree Benefits
Possessing these skills often allow graduates to have a greater range of job options, as well as a competitive advantage over other candidates without a diploma.
People who earn a degree in tourism and hospitality are often qualified for various positions in the tourism and travel industry.
Graduates can choose to work as travel agents; resort managers; event coordinators for hotels and resorts; human resources managers; marketing directors for resorts, hotels or cruises; Tourist guides; community planners or cultural tourism managers.
In summary, you can’t do without a bachelor’s degree if you want to gain the edge.
Must Read: Best Schools for Hospitality Management
Step 2: Get an Agency Certification
Depending on your country, you need to register under the agency responsible for travel agents.
These agencies ensure that travel agencies don’t defraud individuals. Additionally, they also ensure that the agents keep to the standards their suppliers erected.
As you start up your travel agency, the agency will verify your value offer. They will supervise how you deliver your service in order to check if it’s credible.
This process usually lasts for some weeks after which you will be eventually cleared to operate fully.
Step 3: Get a License
Although this is like the certification program, it is different in some ways.
As an agent, you must present your license to the agency body. Basically, your license is proof that you have passed the national body requirements.
The medium of the examination will depend on your country’s style.
In certain countries, you must present all your business registration documents while being interviewed about the core areas of your business. Contrarily, others just sit for licensing exams which they must pass a cut-off mark in order to get their license.
Step 4: Get Additional Certification programs
As a travel agent, your job is highly demanding as it continues to strongly advance. But there is a beautiful thing to it; it keeps you ahead every time.
All bodies responsible for tourism and hospitality always offer certification programs to help interested individuals such as travel agents understand hospitality better.
Essentially, this becomes very important in making a choice for their customers regarding their comfort.
Additionally, they get trained on customer service and communication which will eventually help them communicate properly and effectively.
How Do I Become a Disney World Travel Agent?
Disney World is one very popular agency who has made a name in the travel agency.
Over time, they have constantly displayed great levels of competence by delivering on their promises.
Disney World has also grown into an enormous agency that can give individuals an amazing experience on tours. Initially, they started out with three to four destinations up to the many promises they have.
While starting your own agency is outstanding, joining Disney World is a good head start.
Therefore, you can become a Disney Travel Agent by;
Getting a Degree – Earning a Bachelor’s degree is the first and most important step in your career path. Hence, you need to possess that big dream of what you seek to achieve from the program.
The Bachelor Degree program will expose you to basic tourism management essentials. Importantly, these basic understandings will become the building blocks for a grand future.
Apprenticeship – Experience is an essential tool needed for any work. Disney doesn’t joke with it too.
So, before you become a Disney agent, you need to have proper experience of the business workings.
Basically, you can run your apprenticeship at smaller agencies which will strengthen your hands.
The more experience you have on bookings, lodgings, rentals and other amazing services, the higher you grow in the profession.
Apply – Of course, you can’t get into an organization like Disney when you don’t apply.
You need to build a strong resume besides your knowledge base on necessary software systems.
Be keen to grow and remain relevant to stay ahead of other applicants.
FAQs on How to become a Travel Agent
Travel agents make the job easier and less stressful for you. So, you can leverage the opportunity to get stress-free bookings.
A travel agent helps you take care of lodging, accommodation, ticket booking, and other logistics regarding travel and tourism.
Yes, travel agents will find deals that will fit your budget.
Yes, travels agents are rewarded handsomely for doing their jobs.
Travel agents are just that beautiful bridge connecting you to your dream destination. So, all you need you to do is walk.
As hard-working people, they ensure you always have the best travel experience, no matter your budget.
They scale your vacation plan to align with all the most interesting activities in your destination area.
For their type of work, travel agents usually make a lot of money and have a high level of flexibility.
Conclusively, if you want to become a travel agent, you’ve made a great choice.