Are you the go-to person for travel tips? Do you have lists of restaurant recs for your favorite cities? Are you a foodie or outdoor adventurer? Obsessed with hotels and resorts?
*Narrator’s voice* If you answered yes to any of these questions...
But seriously, if you have a passion for travel, a career path as a travel agent is closer than you think. Read on for answers to your burning questions about becoming a travel agent, including FAQs on travel agencies and the travel industry. You never know, booking travel might be The Career You Didn’t Know You Wanted.
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. This can mean booking a cruise or a hotel room, or planning a multi-country journey that includes flights, 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. Travel agents often work with a travel agency, referred to as a host agency, that handles commissions and other logistics (more on that later).
Want 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 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!
What if I’m not an expert on travel?
You don’t have to be a globetrotter or hotel connoisseur to be passionate about travel — that’s where the travel industry misleads us. Travel experience and destination knowledge of any kind, be it your favorite beach in Florida, your top hike in California or your preferred cruise line, is valuable. (And, if you’re a hotel enthusiast, all the better!).
If you’re not sure how to plan travel to a ‘new’ destination, that’s where your travel agency comes in. Never been on a honeymoon, but planning one to Hawaii? Your fellow travel advisors will be your biggest asset in travel planning – which is why you should choose your host agency wisely. At Fora, our advisors get exclusive access to our community app to connect with a network of travel experts. Collective intelligence is a beautiful thing.
How do I get started as a travel agent?
If you’re interested in travel as a career path, join the Fora community! We’ll set you up with everything you need to become a successful travel agent. As an independent travel agent with Fora, you can get paid to plan trips. Why Fora, you ask? As a modern host agency, we’re upgrading the travel industry with cutting-edge technology to help you jumpstart your travel business. We’ll get you onboarded, help you set up your profile, and teach you the ropes with training programs galore. We’ll even provide resources to make you look like a star, including tips on using social media. And when it comes to booking travel, our team of experienced travel agents will help you get that first booking - and be on call for all the support you need.
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), being a travel agent provides tons of flexibility. Because you can work from anywhere and on your own schedule, planning travel can be a side hustle to bring in some extra earnings. You might also decide to transition into a full-time travel career as you build your own business. There are also tons of travel industry perks, like complimentary trips to develop travel experience (called ‘FAM’ trips).
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 ~3,600 hotels around the world. Say hello to room upgrades, complimentary breakfasts, resort and spa credits for your clients.
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. For instance, if you book a family cruise in the tens of thousands of dollars, your commission will be substantial. Learn more in our post on how to become a luxury travel agent. You could also get the same commission by handling hotel bookings at a lower price, but at a higher amount. (TL,DR: In general, suppliers commonly pay 10% commission, which is split between you and your host agency).
If you book travel with Fora as your host agency, we handle all payments. You’ll receive your commission upon the completion of your client’s trip. And the best part? We’ve got the fastest payments in the biz. Want to know more about Fora’s mission? Read more from our co-founder's post on A Better Equation in Travel.
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. Plus, as a Fora advisor, you get all the support, training, and community you need at a host agency that is reimagining the industry with fresh eyes. Ready to start your own business? Take the first steps to become a travel advisor today.