Sep 9, 2022

Community Stories

This Global Nomad Travel-Hacked Her Way to a Career as a Full-Time Travel Advisor

Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

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Fora travel advisor Brit Healey

Photo by Sehee Kim

One time, it was a $180 trip to the Seychelles.

Later, a $200 round-trip flight to Croatia.

Brit Healey has always had a soft spot for finding travel deals. The tactics to find them are as much a science as an art: keep log sheets of the various flight deal newsletters. Watch Google Flights. Track the pricing flow. Monitor closely, because they could be gone in an hour. Be swift, and if you find something you like, take quick action. Indecisiveness doesn’t succeed in flight deal world.

Brit wasn’t always a fast traveler. In her teenage years, Brit fell in love with France, studying abroad in the French Alps and completing her undergraduate career in Paris. She spent her quiet mornings taking jogs along the river Seine; afternoons sipping an espresso at her favorite Parisian café. When you ask her why she spent five years of her life overseas, she responds modestly.

“I always love exploring,” she says.

That love of exploration stayed with Brit even as she returned to the States and got a job at a law firm in New York. Between the endless hours slogging through paperwork and complicated cases, Brit realized she’d made a mistake. The travel bug had never left her.

Fora travel advisor Brit Healey

Photo by Sehee Kim

On a particularly brazen day, Brit decided to make a move and signed up for a travel agent training program.

“I just figured, ‘why not? Let’s give it a shot,’” she says.

She studied for a year, joining a host agency and going through what she thought was the standard travel advisor process. After that year, she branched out on her own.

“I wish I knew about Fora when I first thought about entering the industry, because it’s so perfect,” Brit muses, reflecting on her own journey of becoming a travel advisor, including her year of studying up. “It demystifies the requirements [to start a travel advisor business]. I feel at home now.”

Today, Brit runs Global Nomad, a creative bucket list travel designer and full-service travel agency. What started as her own desire to travel the world and a realization that she’s actually pretty good at planning travel has spun into a full-time career building international leisure trips for a variety of travel budgets and styles. Brit doesn’t stop at just booking hotels – she also offers full itinerary services, and even a membership program where loyal followers can get emailed personalized travel recommendations straight to their inbox.

“One of the biggest misconceptions of travel advisors is that they’re for people who have a high budget,” she says. “But having someone to help you cover the bases [on any travel budget] is so valuable.”

Brit considers herself a very collaborative travel advisor, planning trips in high communication with her clients as if they were her own. She designed a slick website and an Instagram channel that’s loaded with visual inspiration in order to give herself a public-facing presence. And at the bottom of her site’s landing page, the Fora logo displays proudly. Brit has made Fora her home, and she’s not going back.

As a frequent traveler herself, Brit feels pretty comfortable working from anywhere, but home is a house in Astoria, Queens. The sounds of a busy bus stop and a bustling street corner compose the soundtrack to her work space in a room filled with boxes. Brit just moved in 10 days ago and is still figuring out where her desk will go, how she’ll decorate her space which, in true New York style, doubles as both an office and a bedroom. Her ginger tabby cat, Munka, jumps up onto her computer, flexing its paws over her delectable keyboard.

“She’s my assistant,” she laughs.

Fora travel advisor Brit Healey

Photo by Sehee Kim

Despite loving working from home, Brit likes to change up the scenery now and then and work from somewhere else. She does it for inspiration, and to rejuvenate. During the pandemic, she and her boyfriend packed their belongings, their cat, and their pitbull-corgi mix into a car and drove down to Florida for three months. Lately, her obsession is California, switching her laptop on in the warm sunshine of Los Angeles or San Diego.

She attributes this desire for balance to her days living in Europe.

“PTO (paid time off) was not cutting it at the jobs I took after college,” she explains. “Ultimately, I found my way to what I wanted in terms of flexibility and being able to travel more frequently. I definitely think living in Europe influenced this. The European vs American mindset of traveling and taking vacations is vastly different.”

In a way, her own travels make her a better travel advisor, not just because she knows different destinations better, but because she is able to give herself creative flexibility and space.

“[Travel] always boosts my creativity, and that's like what it all boils down to in the end,” she says. “If I can keep my creative levels up, I can help as many clients as possible. And that goes back to the quality of your work-life balance. You can have that when you’re a travel agent.”

Fora travel advisor Brit Healey

Photo by Sehee Kim

Brit regularly touts Fora’s tech-forward approach, making it easier than ever before to not just start a business, but to get up and running and actually earn an income using some of the in-house tools that Fora creates and makes available to its travel advisors.

“I love that Fora is tech friendly,” she muses. “That’s definitely one of my favorite things.” She cites the support from the team, and the online community portal where you can interact with other agents and ask questions.

“Other traditional host agencies are not really like that. Fora is pushing the envelope and making travel advisors more accessible, and giving us more exposure.”

Between her law firm days and her travel advisor business, Brit has a wealth of travel industry experience. You might chalk up her flight deal savvy to having worked at travel tech startups like Travel Pirates and Dollar Flight Club, both of which focus on helping customers find amazing flight and travel discounts. She’s also working on developing two apps of her own. To her, tech is everything, not just making it easier to be an advisor, but helping customers find advisors that are a real fit for them in a world where that’s traditionally been really difficult. But Fora’s approach to a fresh and modern take on travel appeals to Brit.

“Travel advising should be an industry that attracts young people,” she says.

Fora travel advisor Brit Healey

Photo by Sehee Kim

As much as Fora might help travel advisors build their own business, the question of network still comes up regularly from prospective advisors. Do you need to have a robust personal and professional network to succeed in this space? Brit doesn’t believe so.

“I’ve actually found a lot of clients through Upwork,” she shares, praising the online platform that helps connect freelancers to projects. “I’ve built up my reviews on that and have a really good reputation.”

By tapping into other existing networks, many of which are online, Brit has been able to build a full-time business that gives her the flexibility and lifestyle she wants without needing the robust professional network you achieve near retirement. Because she believes that the type of travel she plans should be for everyone, she offers planning for both luxury and budget travelers – and adds a modest hourly fee for any more comprehensive itineraries. This allows her to broaden her client base and make long-term professional relationships with a variety of different travelers.

Fora travel advisor Brit Healey

Photo by Sehee Kim

Brit’s advice for anyone starting out as a travel advisor is simple: Don’t be afraid to start small.

“I started super small. I didn’t really have clients. Maybe just a handful of friends and family,” she says. “Don’t be intimidated if you think you don’t have a huge potential client base right away, or if you don’t know the ins and outs of the industry. All of that you can learn, if you have the passion for travel.”

It’s this passion for travel that has been Brit’s path forward.

“Ultimately, I found my way. This is what I love doing and I'm going to stay in this industry forever.”

Want to book your next trip with Brit? Reach out to her today.

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Advisor - Brit Healey
ADVISOR
Brit Healey
expertise
  • Multi-destination,
  • digital nomad,
  • tropical destinations,
  • luxury adventure travel

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author - Fora Travel

    Fora Travel

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