If you understand the airline industry and have enough traveling experience, you can work as a travel agent and that too from your home. I have listed some top travel agent jobs to help you get started.
While Instagram may have fooled you into believing that being a travel agent is a glamorous job, it doesn’t show you what’s happening behind the scenes. Sure enough, it’s fun to travel the world and be in a new country every week.
However, the job also comes with a lot of responsibilities and time management. Regardless of the time zone, you have to be in touch with your clients. Plus, you must be extremely organized and meticulous about detail to fulfill travel agent jobs properly.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know before booking your first client as a travel agent.
What is a Travel Agent?
Simply put, a travel agent sells lodging, entertainment activities, and transport to travelers – individuals and groups. Typically, travel agents work in designated office spaces. However, they can also work on their laptops or phones, sitting in a cafe or their bedroom.
Travel Agent Salary
Travel agent jobs pay quite well. The median salary is around $40,000, but it may be higher depending on the commissions you earn from your dealings with clients and service providers.
If you’re good at your job, you can even earn more than $200,000 annually. Additionally, agents get to travel on discounted flights and live in low-cost lodgings. Thus, their salaries don’t have to cover expenses that other job holders have to pay for.
The bulk of a travel agent’s salary comes from commissions. Basically, you’ll be a salesperson trying to convince your clients to choose a certain hotel or travel destination.
For example, you might have compiled a five-day Yellowstone itinerary that you now have to find clients for. Now, if you’re working for an agency, you’ll earn via two streams. Firstly, you’ll get a base salary depending on your position in the agency.
Secondly, you’ll get a commission split. Since this differs from one agency to another, you’ll have to decide this with your workplace beforehand.
For example, if you’re taking clients to see villages in England, you’ll be booking hotels for them too.
If your agency has a 70-30 split, you’ll get 30% of the commissions while 70% goes to the agency.
Work From Home Travel Agent Salary
Once you have a vast clientele, you can work for yourself. Nowadays, travel agent jobs to work from home are pretty common. However, for that, you must have rounded sufficient clients.
Working as an online travel agent, you won’t get the base salary. But you’ll be able to keep 100% of the commission. Keeping this in mind, you should know that all your money will come from commissions.
Thus, your earnings will depend on the number of clients you’re working with every month.
In this case, the important thing to remember is that you’re responsible for any mistake you may make in the clients’ itinerary.
For example, if you’re taking a couple for a 36-hour trip to Paris and an error on your part makes them miss their flights, you’re liable to pay for the seats. Therefore, you need insurance, which is quite expensive.
However, it’s the better option since you won’t have to compensate for such mistakes out of your pocket.
Travel agents don’t need any formal education for their job. Typically, a high school diploma is enough for you to get started. Additionally, knowing basic geography and history also helps along the way.
Although education doesn’t matter much, you should have some essential personal skills to be a good travel agent. The most important of these skills is to be a great salesperson. At the end of the day, you have to sell an itinerary.
Moreover, you must pay attention to detail. Let’s say, your client wants to spend two days in Amsterdam. You can name all the places they must visit. But here’s the catch: they only have two days.
In a situation like this, travel agents have to be impeccable at time management.
Likewise, if a couple is going to Paris on a honeymoon, you can easily book a hotel for them. But you must remember that it’s a special trip.
Putting their wedding picture in the room or adding romantic activities on their itinerary will ensure they choose you for their future vacations too.
As a travel agent, you’ll have the following responsibilities:
- Arranging itineraries for individual travelers and groups
- Calculating the total cost of travel
- Planning cruises, safaris, excursions, packages, and day trips
- Making required changes along the way
- Checking the local attractions, weather, and traditions to guide the clients
- Telling clients about the required documents for travel
- Booking hotels and car rentals
How to Become a Travel Agent
As mentioned above, you don’t need formal training to work as a travel agent. If you have a knack for organization and love traveling, the field will welcome you with open arms. Here are a few things to decide before you start offering your services.
Agency or Independent?
Firstly, you must decide where you’ll work:
- Do you want to be affiliated with an agency, or would you rather work alone?
- Do you want to work independently while doing part-time work for an agency too?
Both scenarios have their own advantages. If you’re working with an established travel agency, they’ll always have clients coming in. More clients mean more commissions – that’s good news for your bank account.
Also, you’ll get a base salary from the company for your service. Even in the off-season, you won’t be out of work.
On the other hand, working independently comes with perks too. You can keep all the commissions for yourself. Plus, you have more freedom of choosing accommodations and making itineraries.
Remote or Physical?
Do you want to work as an online travel agent or sit in an office? If you work for an agency, you’ll most probably be working in an office.
However, once you start working independently, you can manage clients sitting at home too.
Choose a Niche
It’s practically impossible for one person to be knowledgeable about the whole world. Thus, you have to select a niche. You can choose one that interests you the most, such as safaris, cruises, Europe trips, local vacations, honeymoons, etc.
For instance, if you’re interested in planning trips to the Amalfi Coast and want to work around the Italian and French regions; you should stick to that. You can also narrow down the country to smaller areas, like specific beaches or towns.
Then, learn about every tourist activity, experience, hotel, restaurant, and excursion in the area.
Travel Agent Jobs Opportunities
Finding travel agent jobs with no experience can be a bit tough. However, with a few impressive interviews and a display of passion for the field, you’ll get into any agency.
Here are some of the best travel agent jobs that you can apply to today.
Polk Majestic Travel Group
The Polk Majestic Travel Group is based in Denver and has a global workforce of over 150 travel agents. The company looks for professionals in different niches, including editing, client services, hospitality, travel, and writing.
They offer dental insurance and health insurance plans for their employees. Additionally, their staff gets paid holidays and competitive salaries.
Turquoise Waters Ahead
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Turquoise Waters Ahead hires travel agents to provide tourism-related services to clients all over the world. They also train people who have no prior experience in the field.
You must simply be passionate about management and traveling. The basic job description includes booking vacations for clients, talking to the vendors, and communicating information between both parties.
The agency offers a flexible work schedule, allowing you to work whenever you want. Plus, you get travel discounts for yourself and your family.
7 Seas Travel
7 Seas Travel is a Houston-based travel agency that’s paying up to $100,000 to its employees. Unlike other agencies that keep most commissions, 7 Seas Travel promises up to 90% payout.
At the agency, you’ll be booking vacations for sporting teams, military, family reunions, destination weddings, schools, and much more.
Moreover, they have access to more than 133 desired vendors, including Disney, Hilton, Universal Studios, Club Med, etc. Besides booking air travel, they also book amusement parks, concert tickets, excursions, car rentals, cruise lines, etc.
As a travel agent for the company, you’ll have a flexible working schedule and travel perks, such as Disney hopper passes and free cruises.
If you want to work online, Rollinglobe might have a vacancy for you. The company is based in New York and is affiliated with many preferred vendors. They offer full-time, part-time, and remote travel agent jobs.
Sunkiss’d Travel is a family-owned travel agency that trains people with no experience. If you’re passionate, you can join their team, and they’ll teach you all the tips and tricks of the trade.
To work for the agency, you must cooperate with their clients to determine their needs. You’ll be responsible for arranging transport, managing travel dates, and choosing appropriate spots to travel. Plus, you must have intermediate tech knowledge.
The company requires you to fill in financial records and maintain files for each client. Initially, the agency offers a 60% commission range, which increases to 90% once you gain experience. Plus, you’ll get discounts in the travel industry.
World Travel Holdings
World Travel Holdings provides travel and hospitality job opportunities. Established in 2005, the company is one of the biggest travel distributors in the US. They also pride themselves on being the largest cruise agency in the world.
The agency works with forty cruise brands, including CruisesOnly and Island Hideaways. Additionally, they have partnered with companies providing air travel and luxury lodgings. You can work full-time or take up a remote position at the company.
Happy Travels offers travel agent jobs for managing group vacations, retreats, birthdays, and conferences. They also cover weddings and business trips. Your responsibility as a travel agent will be to communicate with clients through texts, email, and calls.
Additionally, you’ll have to follow a client’s trip from start to finish. Luckily, there are no requirements for the job. You just need to be friendly and have a grip on English. As for education, a high school degree is all you need.
Since the hours are flexible, you won’t be stressed while working. Plus, you’ll get bonus pay and the ability to work from home. Keep in mind that Happy Travels does not offer training.
Ahoy Vacations look for self-starters who want to join their team. You don’t need to be experienced, but prior work comes in handy.
Even better, you can work from home and set your own hours. Since the job is commission-based, there’s no limit to how much you can earn. The company also offers training for people who might need it.
While working for the agency, you can learn how to build a clientele. Moreover, you’ll be responsible for reporting performance data and taking part in marketing activities to increase sales.
Hopper wants to make booking travel easier and faster. If that sounds like something you can do, you should try your luck at the agency. Forbes featured Hopper as the fastest-growing app.
Plus, Fast Company listed it among the most innovative companies in the world.
Your role at the agency would be to manage hotel and air booking. Also, you’ll have to work with global distributors while helping customers have the best experience.
According to the company, most team members speak with 40 or more clients per day.
When you work with Hopper, you’ll get paid medical and dental insurance plans. Plus, you’ll have access to the Retirement Savings Plan in Canada.
Working as a travel agent is all fun and games until you realize that you put ‘PM’ instead of ‘AM’ on a client’s itinerary. Errors are inevitable. But the least you can do is to be prepared to deal with them.
In this guide, we discussed the basics of being a travel agent. By now, you should have a fair idea of what is expected of you as an agent.
Also, we talked about how and where you can work to ensure a handsome income. Hopefully, my travel agent jobs list helped you decide if the jet-lagged life is for you.