Travel Agents help turn people’s travel dreams into reality. Planning a trip can be a time-consuming and complicated process, so a Travel Agent’s role is to simplify the process as much as possible. This way, people can spend more time getting excited about their next adventure and less time fretting about the arrangements.
What do Travel Agents do?
As a Travel Agent, you’ll essentially be a knowledge base for people who come to you wanting to know more about a specific travel destination or looking for recommendations. They’ll trust you to find them the best locations, hotels, and flights/cruises available – and all at the best price.
The role involves a high level of interaction with people – both with customers looking to travel and also with the various different holiday providers. To deliver the best possible holiday experience, you’ll need to really understand what people want, many of whom don’t know themselves when they start looking.
Having the ability to work with people to tease out what they are looking for is an important part of the role and often it’s the little personal touches that make all the difference with planning a special trip.
Customers may also need the finer details of their trip taking care of e.g. rental cars and tickets to major events. Travel Agents can provide information about weather, health considerations, and safety, and ensure that customers have all the relevant documents needed to travel.
Helping people uncover what it is that they are looking for and then helping them plan their dream escape can be a highly rewarding career.
What skills do I need to become a Travel Agent?
The right person will:
- Enjoy learning about different travel destinations and be willing to conduct in-depth research.
- Be an excellent communicator.
- Have a passion for travel.
- Be able to stay calm under pressure, especially during peak summer periods.
- Have sales skills.
- Have excellent organisational and admin skills and be comfortable using a computer.
What will I love about being a Travel Agent?
- The chance to help people get excited about their travel adventures – very satisfying!
- The opportunity for occasional travel; usually for work training purposes.
- There are usually part-time and full-time roles available depending on the amount of flexibility you’re looking for.
What are the challenges of being a Travel Agent?
The world is huge, so there’s a lot to learn about different travel destinations. The quality of service you can offer is dependent on your knowledge and experience of different destinations, so the amount of research required can be daunting at first. However, this is a positive challenge for anyone who is eager to learn.
How much will I earn as a Travel Agent?
A Travel Agent has a typical starting salary of £14,000, potentially rising to £25,000 plus, often with a generous commission on top and usually discounts on travel.
Are there opportunities to progress?
Travel Agents who are interested in career progression can go on to become Branch or Tour Managers.
How do I get started?
Apply straight away and train on the job...
You don’t need any formal qualifications to become a Travel Agent. Many travel companies, such as TUI, are happy to take employees with little or no skills/experience in the industry and train them on the job. However, if you’re well-travelled with extensive knowledge of different cultures and countries, then be sure to bring this to life with a well written cover letter, as it might give you an edge against the competition.
If you’re feeling confident and you’re ready to take the plunge, then there’s nothing to stop you from applying for a job as a Travel Agent today – your next adventure awaits!
...Or take a travel and tourism course to boost your confidence and employability
Although it’s not essential for you to have an industry-related qualification, it could increase your chances of getting hired.
New Skills Academy offer a Level 2 Diploma in Travel and Tourism course which covers everything you need to know, from an introduction to travel and tourism, to how to deal with issues in the travel and tourism industry. There’s no experience needed, so you can get on the path to your chosen career straight away.
After you’ve completed the course, you’ll feel confident applying for your first job as a Travel Agent. You’ll be able to download a PDF certificate which can be shown to prospective employers as proof of your new skills.
Alternatively, you can search a wide range of travel and tourism courses on our website.
Are you considering a career as a Travel Agent? If so, did you find this article helpful? We’d love to hear from you. Join the conversation over on the Rest Less community forum or leave a comment below.