Become a Travel Agent for Better Travel Experiences

July 17, 2018

Love to travel, but having trouble affording your dreams?

Exploring unique and captivating places and cultures in the far corners of the world is an experience unlike any other, offering us joy and a rich sense of fulfillment that nothing else can match.

Travel helps us grow, opens our mind up to immense possibilities, and teaches us much more than we can garner from any book. It doesn’t just make us happy, but also helps us learn about the world, and about ourselves, allowing many people to find purpose along the way.

Unfortunately, wandering around the globe doesn’t come cheap. This is especially true if you want to visit the best destinations, stay in nice hotels, and experience all that a country can offer on every trip.

However, when travel matters most, there are always ways to compromise to make sure you get to where you want to be. After all, it comes with the territory, as one of the joys of long-term travel is learning how to adapt and adjust to living life on a shoestring when need be.

But what if you didn’t have to cut corners? What if you could find the cheapest way to travel, not because you didn’t have the money, but because you found a way to discount travel costs constantly?

Trawling through discount travel sites will only get you so far, and it may help you find some great deals for your next big adventure.The real solution to financing your globetrotting passion takes a little more work, but the rewards are worth it.

So, what is that solution?

Become a travel agent.

It’s easier than you may imagine, and in the end, it will save you wasted time spend on Expedia and other sites looking for deals.

By learning how to become a travel agent, you can leverage insider information to make travel cheaper every time, allowing you to save money on flights and hotels so you have more to enjoy your time in paradise.

Best of all, you don’t need to rely on anyone else to help you out.

Your life as a location-independent entrepreneur is on the horizon, and there’s plenty of good reasons to get started now.

5 Benefits of Being a Travel Agent

Professional agents in the travel industry can face a lot of issues, from natural disasters affecting flight schedules, to construction works hampering hotel stays.

It’s a competitive market and making your name as an individual travel agent isn’t easy, especially with the rise of user-driven sites like Airbnb. Despite this, people continue to use travel agents, and research indicates the industry is on the rise.

It’s clear there is still a big market for travel agents in the digital age, and so the profession continues to attract people.

When we consider the benefits of becoming a travel agent, it’s easy to see why:

1. FAM Trips

In order to become a top travel agent, you must become acquainted with the countries and holidays you are selling. The most effective way of doing this is through familiarization trips.

Better known as "fam trips”, these excursions offer travel agents the opportunity to go on package deal vacations to far-flung places, sampling the delights of other countries and cultures at a lower price.

These trips were birthed from the need for promotion shared by hotels, tour operators and cruise lines. Reaching out to travel agents, these companies offer discounted trips, with the hope that they will expand their market and get a return in the form of new customers.

Cruise lines offer seminars at sea, where learning sessions are included alongside the vacation aspect. Modern-day fam trips don’t have quite the same financial benefits as those of decades past, but these working holidays do allow travel agents time to enjoy the places they visit.

An added benefit is that you can meet other travel agents, effectively building up a professional network within the industry.

However, it shouldn’t be viewed as a cheap vacation, even if that is a great benefit. The reality nowadays is that fam trips involve a lot of business.

Fam trips give travel agents the chance to learn about what exactly they are offering to customers, acting as a learning tool to improve their service. While fam trips are changing, they still offer a great experience that can make you a better travel agent.

2. Your Passion Helps Others Achieve Their Dreams

When you’re passionate about your job, it’s more enjoyable and easier to perform well. The excitement and joy you feel for exploring new corners of the world is contagious and helps to create a better experience for your customers. 63% of people believe a travel agent can improve their travel experience, and you can help people realize long-held ambitions.

Continually making people happy and sharing in their dreams makes for an enjoyable and fulfilling career that spreads positivity into your daily life.

This ensures the job is never boring. Whether you’re meeting new people and booking exciting new adventures for a client or learning about new places that peaks your interest in a country you never considered before, the life of a travel agent is rarely dull.

You’ll discover new things about the industry. You’ll find out more about different styles of travel and constantly encounter different stories and people that guarantee your job remains engaging and interesting.

3. You Get to Experience Other Cultures

Arguably the best part of working in travel is the chance to travel more. With travel agent discounts, you can see new places regularly, getting deals on flights, discounts on accommodation, and even opportunities to book activities for a fraction of the normal cost.

Throughout your career as a travel agent, you will make connections with many different types of people, including customers and also fellow employees in the industry.

As these connections grow and the shared wanderlust ties you together, you will develop a network that makes travel easier and cheaper.

With this vast global network of travel aficionados, you will find it easier to visit new places and immerse yourself in a local culture. Having a friend who is there to welcome you and show you around will give you an experience that is a little different from the average tourist trip.

You can dive into the culture of other places, observing their customs and getting a deeper insight, making for a more enriching travel experience. These connections can enhance your travel experiences, offering travel discounts and providing inside information to turn every trip into a great one with golden memories.

4. You Are Your Own Boss

Forget about commuting to the office in the morning. Don’t worry about dealing with a boss or having to wear work clothes again. You’re in charge, which means you set the schedule and make the decisions, which can be very rewarding. Best of all, you don’t need permission to book your vacation anymore. You just go whenever it suits you!

If you want to base yourself in a foreign country like Thailand or Peru, it’s possible. You can become a digital nomad, working as you continue working your way through your bucket list.

5. You Become a Travel Expert

When you become a travel agent, you gain access to much more than travel deals. You immerse yourself in the industry, forge connections with useful contacts, and develop a skillset designed specifically for creating the ultimate travel experience.

People will come to you for advice on the cheapest way to travel or to avail of your travel agent discounts. You will have first-hand knowledge to pass down, which can inspire and encourage friends and family to travel more. With your professional advice, travel expertise, and connections, you will have the tips and tricks on hand to ensure they have a great time.

How to Become A Travel Agent

The advantages of becoming a travel agent are clear. For anyone who loves travel, it certainly is an alluring prospect. The first big step to becoming a travel agent is to find a good host agency. By using a good host, you can obtain the highest commissions immediately.

When you’re starting out, a host agency will help you get up and running. In time, if the life of a travel agent is one you want to pursue, you can look to go independent.

There are a few things you need to look for when you’re choosing a host agency, including:

  1. Do they offer email or phone support for technical issues, accounting or marketing?
  2. What booking systems do they use?
  3. How does their pay schedule work?
  4. What office equipment will be provided?
  5. What commission levels do they offer?
  6. What are their commission splits (vs. what do they charge?)
  7. Are there opportunities for social networking with other agents?

After finding a good host agency, you can make plans to get started. This may require a little time to get things in order. You may need to hand in notice at your current job or even work a little longer to build up a good safety net in your savings account.

Don’t forget that this is an entrepreneurial move, and like any other, it comes with a degree of risk. Things might be a little slow in the beginning.

If you are passionate enough about a certain type of travel, it may be very possible to become a travel agent in that area and turn your passion into a very successful business.

You may encounter some protests or resistance from your nearest and dearest. The concept of making a living from your love of travel may seem far-fetched to them, and so you may find yourself arguing the case for this quest.

Don’t worry though, once friends, relatives, and others begin to see your travels and your professionalism, they will come to you for advice. Are you ready to take the leap? If so, we can help you. Contact Travel Quest today to find out how.