How to Become a Travel Agent: All Your Questions, Answered

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Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

    Are you the go-to person for travel tips? Do you have lists of restaurant recs for your favorite cities? Obsessed with hotels and resorts? Or maybe you're looking to score epic hotel perks for your friends and family?

    Narrator’s voice: If you answered yes to any of these questions...

    If you have a passion for travel, a career path to becoming a travel agent is closer than you think. First, we answer some FAQs on  booking travel, travel agencies and the travel industry, then walk you through how to become a travel agent, step by step.

    Ready to take the first step? Become a travel advisor today.

    Let’s back up. What exactly does a travel agent do?

    Travel agents sell, curate and book travel. What kinds of bookings do Fora Advisors do, exactly? All sorts, from booking a cruise line or a hotel room to planning a multi-country journey that includes transfers, tours and unique experiences (and everything in between).

    As a travel consultant, travel agents work with clients to tailor travel arrangements based on budget, taste and vacation vibe, and communicate with hotels to ensure each trip goes off without a hitch. And when it comes to getting paid as a travel agent, hotels and other travel providers pay advisors a commission on anything they book, at no additional cost to the traveler.

    For more intel, check out our post: what is a travel agent?

    What are the qualifications to become a travel agent?

    Good news! There are no exams, accreditations or other hoops to jump through to start booking travel as a career path. Nor is a travel agent certification (or formal training, or experience at a travel agency) required. Anyone with a passion for travel, a problem-solving attitude and a little spare time can succeed as a travel agent. Solid people skills don’t hurt either!

    Eager to learn more? Download our guide on how to turn your passion for travel into $$$.

    What are the benefits of being a travel agent?

    Beyond talking about gorgeous destinations and cool hotels all day (hey, the topic could be worse), there are also tons of travel industry perks, like trips to develop your travel experience (called ‘FAM’ trips), plus in-person networking events and hotel site visits.

    Plus, you can hook your clients up with amazing perks and upgrades when they travel, becoming the go-to ‘friend with hotel benefits’ (see what we did there…). As a travel agent with Fora, for instance, you’ll have access to best-of-the-best partner programs, with perks at over 4,500 hotels around the world (more on that below). Say hello to room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, resort and spa credits for your clients.

    Learn more about our partners.

    How do I get started as a travel agent?

    Step 1: Find a host agency that gets you

    If you’re interested in becoming a travel agent, you’ll need to choose a host agency.

    Travel agents work with a travel agency, referred to as a host agency, that handles commissions and other logistics. A host agency like Fora acts as an umbrella organization, providing resources to travel agents, including access to booking systems & partner programs, marketing support and training. (And, in many cases, a host agency provides you with an IATA number, allowing you to earn commission.) Plus, host agencies give independent travel professionals leverage with suppliers, gaining better commission rates and overall credibility within the travel market.

    Why choose Fora as your host agency? As a modern host agency, we’re upgrading the travel industry by building tech tools to help you jumpstart your travel business. We’ll get you onboarded and teach you the ropes with training programs galore (more on that below). And when it comes to booking travel, our global community of experienced travel agents will help you get that first booking — and be on call for all the support you need. Learn more about what you get as a Fora Advisor.

    Plus, unlike other travel agencies, we don’t require a hefty training fee, minimum number of bookings or quotas. Being a Fora Advisor is flexible, meaning you determine your own schedule and work as much or as little as you'd like.

    Ready to take the first step? Become a travel advisor today.

    Step 2: Learn the ropes & get certified

    As an independent travel agent with Fora, we’ll set you up with everything you need to become a successful travel agent, including a best-in-class training program developed by industry experts. 

    You’ll hit the ground running — you can book hotels from day one — and get trained up with fellow advisors as part of Fora’s travel agent training. Advisors attend weekly live training sessions, receive 1:1 mentorship from industry leaders and get ‘Fora Certified’ to sell travel. (Fora certification isn’t required, but offered to equip you with all the knowledge you might need).

    And it doesn’t stop there. We offer tons of formal (yet flexible) training so you can continue to boost your know-how, including partner webinars, tips on building your client base and tutorials on itinerary planning. 

    Step 3: Market yourself

    Once you are officially a travel agent with Fora, you’ll be off to the races to boost your client base. To do so, we offer tons of resources for our independent contractors, including a dedicated profile page on Fora’s website and your own email address. 

    Thanks to our easy-to-follow marketing plan, you have all the resources to market yourself from Day One. Post on social media, send an email blast, ask your friends if they’re planning a trip — there are tons of ways to get the word out.

    Learn more about how to market yourself as a travel agent.

    Step 4: Find your first client

    As a travel advisor with Fora, you’ll get the tools, tech and marketing support to help you build your client base. First, we recommend planning trips for your personal network — your first clients can totally be your friends and family. 

    Next, word of mouth will be your best friend. After a client returns from a trip, ask them to spread the word. Next, leverage content creation tools to make yourself more visible. And finally, take advantage of Fora’s Client Lead Program (learn more about our game-changing client lead program for advisors).

    Learn more about how to get clients as a travel agent.

    Step 5: Book your first trip

    Time to make the magic happen! And by magic, we mean booking hotels — not to mention itinerary planning & unlocking epic perks, of course.

    As a Fora Advisor, you make money by booking hotels — but there’s tons more that goes into it. Your services can range from simply booking a hotel room to planning a multi-country vacation.

    And Fora Advisors have tons of tools at their fingertips to plan trips. Start by researching your destination and getting intel from fellow travel advisors on our community app, Forum, then make your first booking — and compare rates and perks in real time — with our integrated booking platform. Our most game-changing tool yet, our integrated booking platform is an all-in-one tool for advisors to browse, quote & book hotels directly from their Fora Advisor Portal.  

    Step 6: Rinse & repeat — always on your own schedule

    One of the best parts of being a travel agent? Being a Fora Advisor provides tons of flexibility, because we allow you to choose your pace, niche & schedule. And thanks to our booking platform, you can work from anywhere. 

    Planning travel can be a side hustle to bring in some extra earnings. Or, you might also decide to transition into a full-time travel career with a larger client base as you build your own business. Fora doesn’t place quotas on bookings or earnings, either. Our objective is to teach you and support you when you need it. Beyond that, you’re free to choose the types of bookings you make, how often and when. 

    Step 7: Get paid

    As a Fora Advisor, you’re eligible to earn commissions on most 3-star or higher hotels, along with other travel suppliers like villa companies or DMCs (tour operators). 

    And the best part? If you book travel with Fora as your host agency, thanks to Fora’s integrated booking platform, we handle every aspect of getting you paid (and paid fast). You’ll receive your commission upon the completion of your client’s trip. Learn more about how travel agents get paid.

    Convinced? Sign up to take the first steps today to . Or, read on for more FAQS on how to become a travel agent.

    Can I still become a travel agent if I’m not a travel expert?

    Our community is made up of people who are passionate about travel. Beyond passion, travel experience and destination knowledge of any kind — be it the best beach resort in Florida, the top hotel in California or your preferred cruise line — is valuable.

    However, to become a travel agent, you don’t have to be an expert (i.e., know everything about everywhere). That's where our community comes in. 

    At Fora, our advisors get exclusive access to our community app to connect with a network of travel experts. Planning a honeymoon to Japan? A family reunion in Hawaii? A girls trip to Greece? Your fellow travel advisors will be your biggest asset in travel planning — which is why you should choose your host agency wisely. Collective intelligence is a beautiful thing.

    Learn more about our community app, Forum.

    Define “best-of-the-best partner programs": what brands has Fora partnered with?

    We really do mean “best-of-the-best.” From to Hyatt Privé, Fora has partnered with dozens of reputable brands and groups — from boutique hotels in Europe to epic Disney resorts. And we’re not just in the hotel sphere. Our list of preferred partners has grown to include popular cruise lines like Virgin Voyages and Viking, along with on-the-ground experiences like Project Expedition and more. 

    Plus, Fora is constantly seeking new partnerships our travel agents can benefit from, so their clients get the most out of their vacations.

    How much do travel agents make?

    Much like other sales positions, as a seller of travel, travel agents get paid in commissions. Your paycheck depends on how much, and what type of travel, you’re booking. (Learn more in our post on how travel agents get paid.)

    For instance, if you book a family cruise in the tens of thousands of dollars, your commission will be substantial. You could also get the same commission by handling hotel bookings at a lower price, but at a higher amount. (TLDR: In general, suppliers commonly pay 10% commission, which is split between you and your host agency).

    Check out our guide on how much travel agents make per booking.

    Why should I choose Fora as my host agency?

    Fora's Head of Travel Operations Leslie Overton coaches advisors at Live Forum 2023

    Fora's Head of Travel Operations Leslie Overton coaches advisors at Live Forum 2023

    From our inclusive global community to our super-fast commissions (looking at you, other travel agencies), there are tons of reasons to choose Fora as your host agency. 

    From Day One, Fora Advisors benefits from A+ support and training, convenient tools and an all-are-welcome ethos. Because we get it: this is uncharted territory for many. Learn more about what you get as a Fora Advisor.

    Want to know how to become a travel agent? Here’s the bottom line...

    There is a lot to love about being a travel advisor, but one of our favorite parts is that it’s easier than ever to become one. As a Fora Advisor, you get all the support, training and community you need, at a host agency reimagining the industry.

    Ready to start your own business? Take the first steps to become a travel advisor today.

    Looking for more intel on how to become a travel agent?

    Read our other articles on becoming a travel agent:

    Are you the go-to person for travel tips?

    Transform your passion for travel into your dream job. We'll set you up with everything you need to succeed as a travel advisor. From training to top-notch tech, marketing assets, community, commission tracking & payments (and more), we've got you.

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