Travel agent career professionals consistently help people plan family vacations, corporate trips, cruises, international travel, and specialty tours such as adventure vacations. Travel agents generally have access to important information regarding fares and discounts, and are knowledgeable about particular geographic locations. Overall, a travel agent career professional can help consumers plan the most appropriate travel arrangements for their needs.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, travel agents typically do the following:
- Arrange travel for business and vacation customers
- Determine customers’ needs and preferences, such as schedules and costs
- Plan and arrange tour packages, excursions, and day trips
- Find fare and schedule information
- Calculate total travel costs
- Book reservations for travel, hotels, rental cars, and special events, such as tours and excursions
- Describe trips to clients and give details on required documents, such as passports and visas
- Give advice about local weather conditions, customs, and attractions
- Make alternative booking arrangements if changes arise before or during the trip
The majority of travel agents work for a travel agency with around 11% being self employed. Most travel agents work normal business hours, but they are also able to do planning from home in the evenings. Around peak travel times, they may also be required to work longer and later hours.
Military spouses tend to need more flexibility in their career choices as they move around frequently. At Ed4Career, we are dedicated to providing training in portable careers for this reason. A portable career, such as a travel agent, is ideal in this situation. Travel agents can work from home in many situations. Some travel agents start their own businesses which would make it easy to take it with you wherever you go.
Centrav lists seven characteristics that make a successful travel agent:
- Knowledge- when someone books a travel agent, they are looking for an expert. A successful travel agent will soak up any information they can regarding airlines, destinations, dining and accommodations. They read travel articles and stay current on the best places to travel.
- Professionalism- travel agents take pride in their work even if they work from home. They double check emails and other correspondence with their clients to ensure they gain confidence in their abilities from their clients. They set high expectations for themselves and their employees.
- Enthusiasm- they are excited about what they sell to their clients which catches on. They keep their standards high and it’s important for them to experience their own travels which will keep them excited and passionate about what they do.
- People skills- a travel agent must be able to pick up on subtle communication skills and figure out what a client really wants in a travel experience if they are having trouble expressing it clearly. A travel agent works closely with their clients, but also resorts, hotels, restaurants and much more.
- Integrity- a great travel agent will not try and sell something they don’t believe their client will love. They are up front about rules, fares and regulations.
- Resourcefulness- quick thinking is essential for a travel agent. Sometimes there are forced schedule changes, unusual requests and missed connections that will require quick solutions. They must stay calm in emergencies.
- Empathy- flights can be delayed, bags lost and travelers may become sick and unable to travel. You must be able to show compassion when something goes wrong, even when it isn’t your fault. Advocate for your clients whenever you are able.
If you would love to help people travel and create many memories and new experiences with their families, sign up for our Travel Agent Professional Program today!
Ed4Career offers creative careers including the Travel Agent Professional Program including Travel Agent and Tourism, Travel Agent Geography, Start Your Own Business, Personal Excellence, Better Interpersonal Communication and Customer Service Survival Skills. Upon successful completion of our Travel and Tourism course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position as a travel agent in a travel agency and will be prepared to take the National Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) Test. The TAP Test is a basic competency test that measures the entry-level knowledge of travel professionals within all aspects of the travel industry. The test was developed by The Travel Institute and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) to provide a national standard of entry-level proficiency for the travel industry.
Turn your love of travel into a lucrative career! Contact us today to learn more!