What does a travel agent do? As the experts, we’re breaking down all the details, from making reservations to planning itineraries and more.
Prefer a personalized introduction to travel agents? (Or travel advisors, the modern term that better encapsulates what they do?) Sign up to become a Fora Advisor today.
What is a travel agent? What do they actually do?
The short answer: travel agents — or again, travel advisors — help people get the most out of their travel experience, be it a vacation, work trip, honeymoon…you get the idea. This generally takes shape in two ways.
Travel advisors book hotels, rental cars, tours & more
Travel agents book travel for their clients. This can be as simple as booking a hotel room for a couples getaway or as complex as reserving rooms, tours and other accommodations for huge groups, perhaps for a corporate retreat or family reunion (speaking of: here’s why group bookings are great).
At Fora, there aren’t any real limits to the types of bookings Fora Advisors can make. Although, we should note that certain things, such as airline tickets, aren’t always worth the trouble (our FAQs explain why).
For some clients, having a travel advisor make reservations is purely a matter of convenience. For others, it’s about taking advantage of the awesome perks travel advisors often offer (Fora Advisors can score complimentary room upgrades, meals and other extras for their clients at no extra cost).
…and help you plan awesome trips
The second thing travel agents do: they consult on your travel, of course. From crafting personalized itineraries to suggesting the best restaurants, sights and hidden gems, travel advisors highlight attractions that resonate with their clients’ travel preferences.
Fora Advisors, in particular, work with an incredible network of fellow advisors, hotels, destination management companies (DMCs) and other partners — leveraging their own travel knowledge and experience — to bring travelers the absolute best value possible.
To recap: what does a travel agent do? They're your secret weapon for better travel.
(P.S. Looking for more reasons to become a Fora Advisor? Check out what existing Fora Advisors have to say.)
What does a travel agent do: FAQs
Still have questions? Here are some answers to the most common questions regarding what travel agents do.
What’s the point of using a travel agent to book reservations? Aren’t travel agents a thing of the past?
Travel advisors provide a value that can’t be matched by booking with an online travel agency, such as Expedia or Priceline, or by booking directly. By unlocking VIP perks and personalized service — at no extra cost for the traveler — travel advisors sweeten the deal for clients while also delivering a degree of convenience (a critical component of the service a corporate travel agent provides).
As far as travel agents being “a thing of the past,” this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, it’s one of the most commonly heard myths about becoming a travel advisor. In reality, more people than ever are traveling around the world. And more people than ever are seeking the sort of experiences that forgo tourist traps in favor of authenticity and immersion — two things Fora Advisors excel at delivering.
Ready to go? Become a Fora Advisor today.
Who’s suited to be a travel agent?
If you love travel, you have what it takes to become a travel agent, and it can be one of the most rewarding jobs in the travel industry. The most successful advisors are consistently available to their clients, are great researchers and have impeccable interpersonal skills. Plus, travel planning is fun and can be highly lucrative for those who invest the time.
What’s the workplace of a travel agent like?
This largely depends on whether you become an independent travel agent or an employed travel agent. The latter often (but not always) works in a brick-and-mortar office, while the former typically has the freedom to work from anywhere, which is great if you’re looking for jobs where you travel.
(Want to become a travel agent online? Our guide has details.)
Can travel agents mark up prices?
No, but they can charge fees. In these cases, this is something that’s communicated to the client for transparency’s sake, and more often than not, clients are happy to pay the difference for the convenience and potential for VIP treatment.
Are travel agents paid well?
Travel planning can be very lucrative for those who are patient and dedicated. Many Fora Advisors earn in the six figures every year.
On the other hand, plenty of Fora Advisors treat their position like a travel side hustle, spending a few hours a month hooking their friends and families up with killer perks and travel tips. Oftentimes, these advisors have “day jobs” or other commitments that draw their attention. The reward isn’t as bountiful, but the appeal is in the flexibility (and Fora fully supports either path).
Are there different types of travel agents?
Yes, and while all types of travel agents still cover the same two basic functions — bookings and planning — the answer to “What does a travel agent do?” does change slightly. Our guide to travel agent jobs provides an in-depth look at the differences.
Are there any requirements to become a travel agent?
Some host agencies have specific requirements, like attending a travel agent school or completing a degree.
At Fora, you don’t need any formal training or prior travel experience. We provide all the travel agent training you need, along with engaged community support, extensive marketing resources and more.
Want to learn more? Here’s how to become a travel agent.
What does a travel agent do? Sign up with Fora and find out today
So what does a travel agent do? Easy: they help their clients get the most value and enjoyment out of their trips. Love how that sounds? Sign up to become a Fora Advisor.
Have more questions? Check out more of our travel advisor resources: