Among the most common freelance or remote jobs is being a virtual assistant (VA). It has a projected growth rate up to 2027 of 34% annually. But, even within this category, there are many niche-specific types of this role, such as virtual assistant travel jobs such as virtual assistant travel jobs and other similar travel planning services.
If this sounds like something up your alley, you can parlay this to travel the world and make a bit of money along the way! Here is a step-by-step guide on traveling the world as a VA.
As reported by Statista, the travel industry is expected to exceed $840 billion US dollars in 2023 alone. Tourism connects to virtually every other industry on Earth, so it’s easy to see why it’s been growing exponentially.
Even though the pandemic was challenging for this industry, travel is picking up again, which means more travel virtual assistant jobs will likely open up. Now is the best time to plan life as a travel virtual assistant!
What We Cover
- How to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs
- What Are Salaries Like?
- Where to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs
- Job Sites
- Freelance Platforms
- Company Websites
- Best Virtual Assistant Travel Jobs
- 1. Travel Agent Virtual Assistant
- 2. Private Virtual Travel Assistant or Agent
- 3. Hotel Booking Virtual Assistant
- 4. Social Media Virtual Assistant for Travel Agencies
- 5. Bookkeeping/Accounting Virtual Assistant for Travel Companies
- 6. Visa Services Virtual Assistant
- 7. Itinerary Planning Virtual Assistant
How to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs
There are multiple ways to find virtual assistant jobs in the travel industry. You can research the market yourself, but it’s also worth considering using a recruiter. Recruiters are professionals focused on finding the best career fits for others, so they’ll know how to help you find the best job for your skillset and interests.
A common misconception is that recruiters are only able to find full-time positions. Not so; many recruiters also focus on part-time and contract work, which means they can help you find freelance opportunities with international travel companies.
What Are Salaries Like?
The first step in finding VA jobs in travel is to examine how much you charge. Salary.com reports that the average virtual travel assistant salary is around $41k per year, topping at around $50k. Considering it requires no training or certifications, that’s pretty good money.
There are exceptions to this, of course. Depending on your rates, experience, customers, duties, and other factors, this pay range can go either way.
If working as a TVA as a contractor for a company, you’ll usually get a 1099 form at the end of your contract, which means you’ll have to report your income using the 1099 as a basis.
As a self-employed person, by technicality, you may be able to deduct some travel expenses and accrue tax write-offs. If you plan to do this, you should hire a tax advisor to prepare your taxes properly, including all exemptions.
If you’re eager to know how much VA travel jobs usually pay, salary reporting companies are a useful resource to look into. You can also find job boards and look at the proposed hourly or salary rates to get a good idea of what you can expect.
See Related: Best Travel Agents Jobs
Where to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs
Once you decide to be a VA and focus on the travel industry, what’s next? Well, there are a few places online you can look for such jobs, which we’ll cover below.
Many companies looking to hire VAs on payroll typically use job boards. Simply type “virtual assistant travel,” and you’ll see job alerts and opportunities for assistants in the travel industry.
You can also use words like “remote” or toggle the filter by location setting if you want to work for companies in different time zones or a specific city, region, or country.
LinkedIn is another talent-finding platform for many companies. Create your profile and set your career as a VA, enabling job opportunity notifications. That way, you don’t have to look for opportunities actively; they will enter your inbox!
Polish your profile with a concise, professional intro and thorough education and experiences. Also, make sure you have a picture and build an up-to-date resume!
Freelance talent websites like Upwork and Fiverr are very popular among VAs and other self-employed contractors. You can apply for VA or personal assistant travel-related jobs on Upwork by entering related keywords and other search filters. On Fiverr, you can create gigs and set up a job alert so you can see people who contact you, too.
Upwork is arguably the best platform for virtual assistants as it allows hourly billing. Since this kind of work only sometimes has measurable deliverables, it’s best to use hourly billing time to ensure you’re getting paid fairly.
If you’re keen on working exclusively for a company in a non-contract setting, start by looking at their website’s careers page and setting up a job alert to get the latest job openings right when they happen. These travel jobs will be more permanent with fixed weekly hours, pay, and benefits such as 401(k) and various kinds of insurance.
If a company you’re interested in hasn’t posted a job, you can contact them with your resume or LinkedIn profile, offering your services as a virtual travel assistant. Ensure you set up a job alert for the company’s website and other platforms like LinkedIn.
Narrowing down the VA jobs in travel can help you find employment or gigs faster on job sites like FlexJobs, SolidGigs, or ZipRecruiter. The VA field is becoming increasingly competitive, with entrants from around the world all trying for the same openings.
Best Virtual Assistant Travel Jobs
Here are the best virtual travel assistant jobs you can look up:
1. Travel Agent Virtual Assistant
A TVA is similar to a regular travel agent, except you don’t have a shop or office on the street. This job would require some training as a travel agent and preferably some experience using the typical travel agent software, for example, the IATA Ticket Booking software. You can even get accredited by IATA and get an IATA reference code.
You can work independently or with a travel agency with training or experience. As a travel agent virtual assistant, your daily tasks may include the following:
- Assisting other travel agents
- Reviewing travel requests to make sure trips are secured
- Travel research or writing
This can include searching, reserving, and booking tickets for the agency’s clients or doing fieldwork to research potential new travel destinations. You may also be asked to perform administrative tasks for the travel agency.
The most significant benefit of such a job is that you’ll have steady work. If you contract with or are employed by a decent company, you won’t need time jumping from gig to gig.
With fixed hours, you can make decent money sitting at home or anywhere with an internet connection. Plus, if you work a few hours daily, you can take up multiple gigs to earn even more!
See Related: Practical Tips for Working While Traveling
2. Private Virtual Travel Assistant or Agent
Being a private virtual travel agent is similar to working as a VA for a travel agency. The main distinction is that you’ll work for another company or individual, likely by contract. Many companies hire virtual travel agents to book the itineraries of their executives and employees.
Some of your tasks would be to book flights or hotels at the best prices. It would be best, both in terms of being selected for the job and for doing it well, if you were a certified travel agent. If you aren’t, though, don’t worry–getting this certification is pretty easy.
3. Hotel Booking Virtual Assistant
You’re tasked with finding and booking hotels as a Hotel Booking Assistant or Reservation Specialist. Again, this could be for a company, family, or individual.
With so many accommodation options everywhere (not just hotels), what to choose and who to book with often confuses people. Oftentimes, people prefer having an experienced individual doing it for them.
While it’s a fairly straightforward job, it can get complicated when guests have very specific demands. For instance, a client might need a certain number of rooms with the same amount of beds in each room, but they need to be next to each other.
As a VA dedicated exclusively to hotel bookings, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of getting the room you want. For many clients, the price doesn’t even matter!
For this reason, you should develop a strong network in the hotel and accommodation industry to guarantee your clients the best rooms available even at the ’11th hour.’
The more exclusive hotels you can get for them, the more they’ll rely on your service in the future. It’s a more demanding job, but potentially one of the better-paid routes to go down.
See Related: How to Travel Full Time
4. Social Media Virtual Assistant for Travel Agencies
Social media has become the dominating platform for marketing and advertising. Along with traditional forms of marketing, travel agencies also rely on social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to promote their services.
Not every agency can afford an in-house marketing team to manage social media. As a social media VA, you can offer your services for promoting the company on social media and managing its accounts.
Your job would typically be to post content on their accounts daily or weekly, run ads, and engage with the audience when they comment or message. Simply put, you’ll assist the travel agency in managing its social media presence.
While you don’t necessarily need a college degree or certificate to get such a job, it may help if you have a marketing background. If you have experience, travel agencies may be more likely to hire you.
You can work as a marketing VA for just one travel agency or multiple, whatever helps you pay your bills, thanks to how flexible Upwork contracts are. The most appealing aspect of this VA is that you can build your own travel website and provide solutions as a service, with the experience you make on Upwork boosting your credibility.
5. Bookkeeping/Accounting Virtual Assistant for Travel Companies
Like social media management, travel companies may also require virtual assistants for bookkeeping and accounting. As a VA for their accountant or accounts department, your job may include processing payroll and transactions.
In most cases, you’d use accounting software like QuickBooks to manage their billing and invoices. While you don’t need a degree in accounting, completing an accounting course and getting some certifications is highly recommended. You’re golden if you’re a CPA, but even a PA should suffice.
These credentials are important because most travel companies looking for accounting assistants and bookkeepers want to hire a qualified virtual travel assistant. Remember to demonstrate your skills and experience, as it will make it easier and quicker to get a job.
Such virtual travel assistant jobs are more permanent, even remotely. You may be working on an hourly basis or with fixed monthly payments. These jobs are more like 9-5s, but you can do virtually from home.
See Related: How to Travel with A Drone
6. Visa Services Virtual Assistant
Securing a visa can be a hassle for many business professionals moving to countries with entry restrictions that may impede their ability to work or otherwise conduct business. They may need to gather countless documents, fill in reams of applications, and answer invasive questionnaires. If anything is wrong, their application gets refused, and they lose the visa fee, which is often relatively high.
These people benefit from the services of a visa assistant. In this case, your job is to apply for the visa on their behalf or fill in applications and gather requirements and documents, depending on how much they’d like done for them.
Travel agencies could hire you as a VA for their visa services section. Some travel agencies offer travel bookings and visa services from start to end.
It would be more suitable if you target travel agencies and travelers in your own country as that would allow you to find relevant information easily. You’d also understand the requirements, documents, and language better. But, like virtually everything on this list, nothing’s stopping you from going global.
You must equip yourself with knowledge of the visa processes for different countries. You can try a specific country or group of countries for this purpose, especially if their visas are complicated, time-consuming, and expensive to acquire.
For instance, certain Middle Eastern and African countries have very restrictive visa policies, making it difficult even for people with powerful passports like the EU members, Singapore, and Japan. Conversely, the US visa can be tricky for people from nations with weaker passport power.
7. Itinerary Planning Virtual Assistant
Planning a trip can be a nightmare for some, especially if they are short on time or don’t know much about the destination or the booking process. As a VTA with expertise in itinerary planning, you can become an events assistant and offer your services to companies or individuals to plan their trips according to their needs and likes.
For instance, a client wants to travel to Italy with their family for a week and needs you to plan for them to see as much as possible. You could be asked to find destinations, communicate with clients about their interests, find hotels, and more.
As a Travel Itinerary Assistant, you’ll help find the best places to visit in Italy and the best hotels and create a digital travel guide for activities and meals. You do all the research for travel arrangements and even make reservations. The goal is to plan it in the most personalized way possible, particularly for international travel.
Ask your clients what they prefer to do on vacations, what kind of food and activities they enjoy, who’s coming along, and their budget. You can then use that information to plan a trip that suits their needs and desires perfectly.
The happier they are, the more likely they will recommend you to others. Plus, it’s an excellent way to plan out your dream vacation!