Jan 26, 2024

THE JOURNAL

/

Travel Advisor Resources

The Outlook of a Travel Agent Career: Fora’s Full Guide

Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

Icon Share

SHARE

Folding chairs, one with a shirt hanging from it, are set up at a Medeterranean resort to look out over the water

Considering a travel agent career? You’re in the right place. When it comes to details on education and experience requirements, daily tasks and salary info, we've got your back. 

Already know you’re interested in a career as a travel agent? Apply to become a Fora Advisor today: we offer endless support, pro tools and access to an extensive network of supplier perks.

What do travel agents — or travel advisors — do?

You can check out our guide to what travel agents do if you’re completely new to travel planning, but here’s the short version. 

Travel agents — or travel advisors — plan and book trips for their clients. These trips can be for leisure, business or both, and at global travel agencies like Fora, we send travelers anywhere in the world. 

Planning can be as hands on or off as clients prefer. Some clients are after more of a concierge approach, where the advisor researches everything from restaurants to travel routes. Other clients just want their hotels booked. Either way, a travel advisor can help.

Do travel agents work for themselves?

Generally, yes: most people who work in the field are independent travel agents who belong to a host agency. 

Through this relationship, advisors are provided a variety of benefits, including access to supplier partnerships — which allow advisors to score perks for their clients — advanced booking software and the ability to operate under the agency’s licenses, among other benefits depending on the agency (see what Fora offers below).

How do travel agents make money? Who pays them?

Pinks, purples and blues fill a twilight sky over a ritzy Egyptian beach resort filled with pools, lavish furnishings and palm trees

There are two common ways travel agents make money: commissions and service fees. Our guide to travel agent commissions breaks down both in detail, but here’s the short version.

When travel advisors book accommodations, rental cars and so on, the supplier (the service provider) pays them a small percentage of the sale, usually between five and 10 percent. Additionally, many travel advisors also charge their clients to build itineraries, make larger bookings (find out why group bookings are great) or provide other related services. 

(Curious about how much travel agents make or how travel agents get paid? See our guides.)

What does a travel agent career path look like?

Not every travel agent career looks the same. Flexibility and variety are built into the role, and most travel advisors approach their craft differently. However, there are a few common beats that unify the profession — particularly if you apply to become a Fora Advisor.

First, you need travel agent training

It’s hard to sell travel without knowing the industry: relationships between suppliers and host agencies, various types of accommodations, destinations…there’s a lot to know. At the same time, travel agent training doesn’t need to involve a formal travel agent school (which probably teaches an outdated curriculum).

Fora offers the opportunity to become a remote travel agent online with exceptional training & certification paths

A working couple works on their laptops from the lavish comforts of a gorgeous overwater resort in the Maldives

You can become a travel agent online with Fora. As part of our membership, you have access to training that covers everything you need to be successful as a travel advisor.

Moreover, we offer full travel agent certification and the ability to advance to higher ranks to help your career grow and stand out.

Can’t wait to start your travel agent career? Apply to become a Fora Advisor today.

Once established, the average travel advisor salary is solid (and some Fora Advisors make six figures or more)

Across the industry, the average travel agent career can be quite lucrative, earning enough to be comfortable anywhere in the United States. Many remote travel agents at Fora make great money, and our top earners pull in six figures — or more — annually (see our breakdown of Fora travel advisor salaries).

Certain domains, like luxury or corporate travel agent jobs, tend to be among higher-earning travel agent jobs.

Travel agent careers can also look different depending on the niche

A man in trendy business attire works on his laptop from an airport terminal, with wide windows at his back

While all travel agent careers include making reservations and planning, the nature of trips can vary wildly by niche. 

Luxury travel advisors spend much of their time booking elite hotels in premier destinations, like the top hotels in Downtown NYC or the coolest hotels in Japan. Disney travel agents and Virgin Voyages travel agents cater specifically to their respective brands. Destination-specific advisors may specialize in booking vacations to Europe or even certain cities or regions. 

The list of potential niches is long, and at a host agency like Fora, you’re free to carve out any specialization you choose.

How do I start a travel agent career? (Hint: Fora makes it easier)

On one hand, learning how to become a travel agent isn’t overly complicated, at least not compared to other jobs in the travel industry (like hotel managers or cruise directors). On the other hand, starting a travel agent career does take patience and dedication.

Think you have what it takes? Apply to become a Fora Advisor.

Is it hard to get started as a travel agent?

Yes and no. Garnering clients can be one of the toughest parts of the job, especially if you’re not starting with an extensive network of friends, family and coworkers, which can be a great way to establish your foot in the industry.

That being said, we teach our travel advisors how to build up a client base early in our training program (you can also check out our guide to how travel agents get clients). 

Do you need prior training or education to become a Fora Advisor?

No, you don’t need prior experience, travel agent education or training to join us. 

Travel agent career FAQs

A dozen or so travelers relax on stunning white sands near turquoise-blue water in Tropea, Italy

Have more questions about travel agent careers? We answer a few of the most common questions below.

Do you have to make travel planning a career? Can you plan travel as a part-time gig instead?

Some host agencies may require full-time commitments or set schedules. We do not. Within that context, you can pursue a full-blown travel agent career or a part-time endeavor. It’s whatever works best for you. 

Many Fora Advisors make great side money on top of their normal careers. Ultimately, flexibility is one of the best reasons to become a Fora Advisor (and also makes travel planning one of the best remote jobs for moms and dads, if you’re interested).

Is a travel agent career stressful? Is it fun?

Like any profession, it can be a little stressful to get your travel agent career off the ground. At the same time, travel planning is really fun. For one, you get to research awesome destinations, hotels and attractions for a living. Second, you’re selling people happiness and excitement: vacations are often among people’s fondest memories. Both aspects can be extremely rewarding, especially for those with an insatiable wanderlust. 

The most successful travel advisors are often invited to sample the product, too. Site inspections and hotel tours are some of best ways to know the what you’re selling.

Love the idea of selling travel to excited clients? Apply to become a Fora Advisor.

How many hours do successful travel agents work?

Candid photo taken behind other travelers with a historic structure standing prominently in the background in Ericeira, Portugal

Some travel agent careers encompass the 40-hour workweek standard. Some work considerably more. And others may only dabble a few times a week, whenever they can. The time spent planning travel as an advisor varies dramatically, even among those at the top of the field.

How quickly can I start my travel agent career? (With Fora, more quickly than you might expect)

There’s no real timeline for establishing your career as a travel agent. Many Fora Advisors have been known to start earning big bucks almost immediately, while others need more time to build their client networks. We do offer a considerable amount of training, advice and assistance that can help you along, however. Even better, you can start booking from day one.

(For more intel, check out our guide to how long it takes to become a travel agent.)

What does a typical day look like as a travel advisor?

Every travel advisor is free to set their schedule, and you’ll probably find that everyone has a slightly different approach. 

Still, there are common elements. Successful travel advisors tend to split their time between self-marketing, researching industry topics and actual travel planning with clients.

What kind of overhead do travel agents have? Are there monthly fees? How about licensing fees?

Golden, rugged hills lead up to a large outcropping in the distance where the Hollywood sign is faintly visible

A travel advisor’s overhead — the cost they pay to maintain their business — varies by the host agency they work with. Monthly fees to use the agency’s tools and access partnerships are industry standards, but licensing fees usually only apply to the agencies themselves (one of the reasons starting a travel agency is so difficult).

Fora’s membership currently costs $299 annually or $49 monthly. With it, Fora Advisors receive access to our expansive network of partners, our in-house reservation system (which dramatically cuts down on booking times), expert-led training, professional marketing tools and more. 

If you want to learn more, read our guide to how much it costs to become a travel agent, which compares joining Fora to the industry at large.

Will a travel agent career take you around the world? Do travel agents ever get industry discounts?

It certainly can, especially as you become more successful and suppliers work with you more. Moreover, compared to most jobs where you travel, a travel agent career tends to require considerably less investment in education or prior professional experience. 

It’s also worth mentioning that travel planning can be counted among the most exciting jobs you can do remotely while traveling, at least with Fora. All you need to become a Fora Advisor is a passion for travel, an internet connection and a capable device (even a smartphone will do).

Industry rates and other special perks are generally only unlocked once advisors surpass a certain booking threshold.

Overall: is a travel agent career worth it?

A few dozen travelers enjoy their time in Icelandic hot springs as steam rises up to cover mountains in the distance

We think so! If you love travel, working with people and researching awesome destinations and sights, a career as a travel agent is probably for you.

(Is being a travel agent worth it? Our guide offers more intel and context.)

Start your awesome travel agent career: become a Fora Advisor

Eager to start your travel agent career? Apply to become a Fora Advisor today.

Or check out the travel advisor resources below for more guides:

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author - Fora Travel
    Fora Travel

    We empower anyone with a passion for travel to transform it into meaningful revenue. Sign up to become a travel advisor today.