Travel Advisor vs. Travel Consultant Jobs: Are They Different?

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Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

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    Travel consultant jobs: are they any different from travel advisor or travel agent jobs? Is there a difference between travel advisors and agents? We get it — it’s confusing. That’s why we’re covering all the bases, from traditional in-office travel agent positions to contemporary remote travel consultant jobs. 

    Interested in an awesome career in travel? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.

    Traditionally, travel advisor & travel consultant jobs were different

    Today, travel agent, travel consultant and travel advisor are all used interchangeably for the most part. 

    However, if you want to get technical, there are slight differences. Here’s how they break down.

    (P.S. Here’s what travel agents do.)

    Historically, travel agents only booked trips & reservations for clients

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    Travel agents have existed since the late 1800s (it was one of the first jobs in the travel agency), where they booked accommodations and railroad tickets through networks existing in the United States. There was no internet to rely on back then, so going through an agent was the only surefire way to secure hotel rooms or train tickets in advance. 

    Over time, the types of bookings travel agents could make expanded, particularly as it became significantly easier to travel around the world in the 20th century. Meanwhile, competition was increasing among agents, especially in major cities, where people were more likely to travel elsewhere.

    Travel consultants changed the equation by helping clients plan trips

    By the 1960s, as travel networks continued to expand worldwide, it became increasingly possible to plan detailed itineraries abroad. Likewise, more involved travel agents began distinguishing themselves as travel consultants to separate themselves from ordinary travel agents. 

    Thus, in the early days, travel consultant jobs were geared toward booking and planning, whereas “standard" travel agents still focused mostly on booking.

    “Travel advisor” is the contemporary term (and what Fora uses)

    Travel agents and consultants thrived through the late 20th century until the advent of the internet, when automated, online travel agencies (or OTAs) began outpacing real people as a seemingly more convenient choice. Unfortunately, many in the industry failed to evolve properly, and like many 20th-century professions, travel planning with a person was largely reserved for bespoke trips and the occasional savvy traveler. 

    From these “survivors” (we acknowledge that may be a tad dramatic) came contemporary travel advisors — the term we feel best encapsulates the profession.

    Travel advisors — and by extension, Fora Advisors — bring much more to the table than OTAs. For one, they’re real people who can handle unusual circumstances, special requests and offer an all-around more concierge-based experience. Moreover, there’s a lot more value to booking with an advisor than through an OTA (see all the types of bookings you can make as a Fora Advisor).

    But there has always been tons of overlap, and the terms are still used interchangeably

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    There has always been tons of overlap between travel consultants, agents and, more recently, advisors. Often, it’s up to the professional to determine their title.

    Moreover, with additional categories like remote travel agent or traditional travel agent further muddying the waters, it can still be pretty confusing knowing what’s what. In reality, all three terms are more or less accurate today, so don’t worry too much about the jargon.

    Interested in a travel consultant job? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.

    (Want to know how to become a travel agent? Check out our full guide.)

    Travel consultant jobs: FAQs

    Here are a few answers to common questions about travel consultant jobs (a.k.a. travel advisor jobs).

    What does a modern travel consultant do?

    Anyone referring to themselves as a travel consultant in today’s market likely provides all the same services as modern travel advisors. Again, the terms are often interchangeable and up to the discretion of the advisor (or agent, or consultant).

    Curious about what it takes to be a successful travel advisor? Our guide has tips.

    Can you make good money as a remote travel consultant? What does a travel consultant’s salary look like?

    With patience and determination, absolutely. We can’t comment on the success of other travel agencies, but the Fora travel advisor salary of many of our top earners exceeds six figures (in case you’re wondering if being a travel agent is worth it).

    Our guide to how much travel agents make breaks this down a bit more, including topics like travel agent commissions and more.

    Sound like a great deal? Apply to become a Fora Advisor.

    How do you become a remote travel consultant online? Is it hard?

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    Becoming a travel agent online is actually pretty straightforward when you join Fora; we make it simple. As part of our membership, we provide extensive, expert-led travel agent training and opportunities for travel agent certification. More importantly, you don’t need to attend some sort of outdated travel agent school to become a Fora Advisor. We should note that some travel consultant jobs do require prior experience and education.

    (What does it take to become a travel agent? At Fora, having a passion for travel means you’re already 90 percent of the way there.)

    What experience do you need to become a travel consultant?

    As we noted, while some agencies require existing experience or travel agent education, this isn’t universal. In fact, it’s one of the most common myths about becoming a travel advisor. At Fora, we welcome anyone with a passion for travel, no experience, certification or degree required.

    Are any travel consultant jobs part time?

    Some agencies do require a full-time commitment, but there’s no reason your travel consultant job can’t be a travel side hustle. One of the perks of working with Fora is that we place flexibility front and center. 

    Looking for a part-time gig in an exciting field? Become a Fora Advisor.

    Are there different types of contemporary travel consultants?

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    Yes, though it’s probably more accurate to say that travel consultant jobs can take on a variety of niches. For instance, corporate travel agents book and plan business trips. Luxury travel advisors plan (what else?) luxury trips. And Disney travel agents plan Disney vacations. 

    The list of niches is nearly endless, and you’ll find plenty of travel consultants who specialize in travel to specific destinations, like the best places to stay in Hawai‘i.

    Want to learn more about remote travel consultant Jobs? Ask Fora

    If you’re dying to learn more about remote travel consultant jobs, why not ask the source? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor

    There are tons of reasons to become a Fora Advisor (take it from our existing advisors), but to sum it up, you don’t need experience or education, you can work as much or as little as you want and we’ll teach you all you need to know to be successful. 

    Still testing the waters? Check out these travel advisor resources, too:

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