How much does it cost to become a travel agent? We’re comparing the costs of joining traditional travel agencies versus signing up with us.
Already know the difference? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.
First, why should you become a travel advisor?
Perhaps of all the jobs in the travel industry, no role better allows people to share their love for travel. If that resonates with you, becoming a travel agent — or travel advisor (we like the modern term) — may be the path for you.
(Not sure about the role of a travel advisor? Here’s exactly what a travel agent does.)
Do people still use travel agents?
Yes! In fact, the value of booking trips and vacations through a travel advisor has never been better.
Fora Advisors in particular can unlock an incredible variety of VIP perks and extras at hotels and other services around the world. Travelers pay the same (or better) than they would directly or through an online travel agency (or OTA), such as Expedia, but receive much more. And that's not including optional travel planning advisors offer, which presents an additional value that OTAs can’t replicate.
How difficult is it to become a travel agent?
Easier than you might expect — well, if you want to become a Fora travel advisor, that is. We don’t require any specialized education or experience. Anyone is welcome, and we love how Fora Advisors come from such varied backgrounds.
There actually aren’t that many qualifications to become a travel agent…
You’re probably thinking there’s a catch. So what does it take to become a travel agent with Fora? No surprises: you really only need a passion for travel. But our guide on how to become a travel agent has an in-depth explanation if you’re curious.
…but certain skills are important
If you love travel, you most of the way there, but great interpersonal skills are always a plus (and we'll help you develop those!). Travel advising is a customer-facing role. It’s important to be able to understand your clients’ needs and travel goals, especially if you’re learning how to become a luxury travel agent or work with clients who have a heightened set of expectations.
And don’t worry, we'll teach you all you need to know about how to be a successful travel advisor.
You don’t need to attend a dedicated travel agent school or obtain a travel agent certification…
Just in case this wasn’t abundantly clear, let us make it concrete: you do not need to attend a travel agent school or have prior travel agent training to become a Fora Advisor. This is one of the great myths about becoming a travel advisor.
If you asked, “How much does it cost to become a travel agent?” a couple decades ago, you’d receive a completely different answer because specialized schools were, generally, the only way to work your way into the field. But the field has evolved, and Fora has kept up with the times.
Ready to become a Fora Advisor? Sign up today.
Do I need money to become a travel agent?
How much does it cost to become a travel agent? Probably not as much as you might expect. With Fora, you'll only pay a monthly or annual subscription fee, which unlocks our training, tech, marketing resources, access to exclusive partnerships, live webinars, in-person events and so much more.
Startup costs can be fairly minimal compared to most other lines of business
Startup costs to become a Fora Advisor are limited to our membership, which costs $299 annually or $49 per month. Compare that to real estate, accounting or other advisor licenses — or even other travel agency costs — and that figure is quite low.
Plus, most Fora Advisors make back their investment within the first month.
Finally, come tax time, these costs can typically be written off as a business expense (specifics vary by state and jurisdiction).
Self-employed travel agents / agencies have to pay licensing fees
We should note that if you decide to start your own travel agency (learn how to start a travel agency), the startup costs can be quite high — as in, it can cost thousands of dollars just to get off the ground.
How much does travel agent training & certification cost?
We can’t speak for other host agencies — although, even a quick Google search will reveal travel agent schools that charge well over $1,000 in tuition — but all the training you need to get started as a Fora Advisor is included with our membership (and as soon as you join Fora, you'll be on your way to receive your travel agent certification).
We should note that our membership also provides extensive marketing resources, unlimited support and access to our integrated booking platform.
How much does it cost to be a travel agent?
Again, we don’t speak for other travel agencies, but our membership covers nearly all the base expenses you need to maintain your travel business. That includes marketing (to get clients), access to booking tools and lots more.
The only major exception is internet costs, which, in today’s world, is something just about everyone has to deal with anyway.
Sound like a sweet deal? Become a Fora Advisor.
Do you have to pay monthly to be a travel agent? Are there agency fees?
With Fora, you can either pay monthly or annually. The annual membership currently slashes the total fee by almost 50 percent.
(P.S. Wondering if there are any other reasons to become a Fora Advisor? Read what our advisors have to say.)
Self-employed travel agents & agencies have a ton of overhead, especially if they're unable to work remotely
Going back to travel agents who start their own agency, maintenance costs can be quite high. You have to factor in license renewals, marketing costs and rent if you’re leasing an office space. That kind of overhead can make it very difficult to achieve success.
Even if you don’t rent an office space, starting your own travel agency can be very expensive.
(Did we mention that you can become a Fora Advisor from home? Learn how to become a travel agent online.)
What can you expect for the first couple years?
If you’re wondering, "How long does it take to become a travel agent?", check out this guide. But Fora Advisors who stay patient and diligent typically find success within the first year of travel planning.
And if you’re wondering if being a travel agent is worth it, we sure think so. Some of the top Fora travel advisor salaries are measured in six figures — which makes up for the membership fees many times over.
(Curious about travel agent salaries in general? Learn how much travel agents make.)
How much does it cost to become a travel agent? Ask Fora
If you want to know how much it costs to become a travel agent, you won’t get a better answer than connecting with us. Already convinced? Apply to become a Fora Advisor today.
Looking for more travel advisor resources? Check out these guides, as well: