Picture this: a rewarding travel career with support and resources galore. But instead of being beholden to an overbearing host agency, you get to call the shots.
No, it’s not too good to be true – it’s called being an independent travel agent. Do we have your attention? Maybe you already work in the travel industry and are looking to be your own boss. Maybe you're a creator looking to level up your business. Or, maybe you are searching for an exciting but flexible gig. Whatever the case, read on for Fora’s two cents on how to become an independent travel agent, on your terms.
Looking for more intel? Read our piece on how to become a travel agent.
Let’s back up. What’s the difference between an independent travel agent and a regular travel agent?
We’re glad you asked! There’s a lot of gray area when it comes to being an independent travel agent, as all travel agents operate under a host agency of some kind. (Working under an agency umbrella is what allows agents to get perks for their clients and earn commissions). Some travel agencies function like any company would, with agents collaborating and sharing commissions. Some host agencies are completely hands-off and rarely communicate with their independent contractors – for better or worse.
If you’re looking to become an independent travel agent, it’s crucial to choose your host agency wisely. You’ll likely want support, training and community, without sacrificing the freedom of being your own boss. Interested? Take the first steps to become an independent Fora travel advisor today.
How to become an independent travel agent: FAQs
So you know you want to become an independent travel agent, but you have questions. Luckily, we have the answers!
How do I get clients as an independent travel advisor?
The first step in becoming an independent travel agent is finding your people. Your first clients are often in your personal network, and booking travel for your family and friends is a fantastic start. Once you’ve nailed your first trip, request that your new ‘clients’ tell their friends about your services, and so on and so forth. Word of mouth will keep your business moving, but don’t forget to be proactive about marketing yourself on social media and via email (more on that below). Learning how to become an independent travel agent is about making connections!
How do I stand out?
Being an independent travel agent comes with its perks, but it also means you’re developing your own business – and competition is fierce. The best way to stand out among the crowd is thoughtful, creative and consistent marketing.
As an independent travel agent with Fora, you'll have access to content marketing tools like email templates and social media resources to make you look super professional. We’ll also help guide you in building your brand around your niche. Do you know the ins and outs of cruises? We’ll help you create gorgeous marketing emails on cruising. Are you a Disney travel aficionado? You can publish a guide on your tried-and-true tips. These will surface on our destination pages on our site, and we’re investing in SEO to ensure your high-quality content also appears in Google search results.
How do I get started?
If you’re interested in becoming an independent travel agent, we’d love to have you in the Fora community! As an independent contractor with Fora, we’ll help you build your own business so you can get paid to book travel. You’ll have access to all our resources, including cutting-edge technology and destination knowledge, but leave you to call the shots. 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.
We have a cohort-based learning model wherein you can learn how to become an independent travel agent online alongside fellow advisors. We'll support you every step of the way, from your first booking to 1,000th & beyond. Sign up to take the first steps today to become a travel advisor.
Looking for more intel? Learn how to become a travel agent and make a career as a travel advisor.
Or, check out resources on other types of travel agent careers: