Luxury travel agent. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
If you’re someone who has a passion for travel and appreciates the finer things in life, you may be missing your calling. A luxury travel agent plans five-star, extravagant and downright epic trips around the world. We’re talking safaris, over-water villas in Bora Bora, the nicest suites in Paris – the works. It sounds glamorous, and it often is, as luxury travel planners frequently get to experience these high-end travel experiences for themselves. There’s also the draw of bigger commission checks, as compared to modestly priced trips.
But there’s far more to being a luxury travel agent than juicy payouts and sampling the goods. There are impossibly high-maintenance clients, unrealistic expectations and plenty of hoops to jump through. Think you’re cut out for it? We got you.
If you’re a travel planner who’s interested in leveling up into the luxury market, read on for our tips on how to become a luxury travel agent. Or, if you're ready to dive in today, sign up to become a travel agent.
Become a luxury connoisseur.
Luxury travel is one of the most exclusive subsets of an already exclusive industry. Five-star hotels and high-end suppliers (like tour companies) cater to the one-percent, which means most of us will never experience travel at the crème de la crème level. But in order to plan luxury travel, you must be acquainted with the product. No, you don’t have to fork over thousands of dollars to stay at luxury hotels in order to compare them. But you should make an effort to learn about the luxury travel industry by doing research, leveraging your fellow advisors’ expertise and poking your head into five-star hotels when you can. Developing your eye for luxury is an important step in earning your chops as a travel connoisseur, so can consult with your clients as they decide between the best of the best.
Develop your high-touch service skills.
Knowing about luxury travel is one thing, but booking is a whole different beast. Because clients are paying five-star prices, they are expecting five-star service – and that white-glove customer experience begins and ends with you. As a high-end concierge or personal assistant would, luxury travel agents do their due diligence in getting to know their clients and catering to their unique needs and travel preferences. When advising on a destination or specific hotel, demonstrate your thorough research, paint an enticing picture and be sure to highlight specific details in line with their tastes.
… including razor-sharp attention to detail.
The devil is in the details when it comes to being a luxury travel agent. In addition to providing a highly personalized service experience, it’s crucial to ensure accuracy when dealing with reservations, transportations and other logistics. When working with hotels, be sure to communicate early and often to ensure your clients are treated like VIPs. For luxury travelers, little details like a personalized welcome gift go a long way. (By the way, we have access to perks at the world’s top high-end properties that you can offer your clients). But missing a little detail – like an early hotel check-in – will not be treated lightly.
Rely on your fellow advisors (and choose your agency wisely!)
Unless you’re an experienced globetrotter, you can’t know everything when it comes to luxury travel. If a client is looking to you for advice on a destination you know little about, leverage your fellow luxury travel agents. At Fora, our team of experienced industry insiders (many of whom are luxury travel consultants in their own right) know the in’s and out’s of luxury travel planning worldwide, so you’ll never be taking a shot in the dark. For context, if you work at a boutique travel agency, you may have fewer resources. Alternatively, agents at a larger, high-end travel agency often gate-keep information, making it tricky to plan trips you’re unfamiliar with.
Market yourself, but remember: referrals are your best friend.
You’ve studied up on luxury, refined your sales skills and done your research – now what? First, market yourself as a luxury travel agent. At Fora, we offer content marketing tools and resources to help you look super professional and curate your expertise to skew luxury. But becoming a luxury travel agent largely relies on your first luxury client. To get your first client, leverage your personal network. Do you know anyone planning a honeymoon? This is often the first (and only!) luxury vacation people take, so consider offering to plan a friend’s. And when all goes well, request they share your name with their network, and so on.
Set yourself up for success with a host agency that takes care of the nitty gritty
Ready to get started? You’ll need a host agency that gets it. Enter Fora. We’ll ensure you thrive each step of the way – from your first booking to 1,000th – and arm you with the tools you need to launch your luxury travel business. You’ll get access to our cutting-edge technology (making marketing a breeze) and community of luxury travel experts. Plus, we handle all the logistics, and offer the fastest commission payments in the biz.
The bottom line...
There is a lot to love about being a luxury travel agent, and with Fora on your side, you get all the support, training, and community you need. Ready to start your own high-end travel business? Take the first steps to become a travel advisor today.
Looking for more intel? Read our piece on how to become a travel agent.