What does it take to become a travel agent? From the necessary skills to travel-agent certifications (or lack thereof), we’re breaking down all the “requirements,” true-or-false style.
Already think you have what it takes to be a travel agent? Become a Fora Advisor today.
All the things you need to start being a travel agent, true-or-false style
Read on to learn what it takes to become a travel agent, or, as we prefer, a travel advisor.
(P.S. Want to learn exactly how to become a travel agent? Check out our guide.)
You need weeks or months of formal training & certifications: false
This simply isn’t true. It may have been necessary to attend a travel agent school in the past, but Fora offers a simplified path.
If you sign up to become a travel advisor with Fora, you can actually start booking travel right away. Don’t worry if that’s intimidating, because we can support you every step of the way: Fora offers extensive online travel-agent training that can be completed at your own pace, and we teach you everything you need to be successful.
All courses are taught by Fora travel experts, with advanced courses allowing Fora travel advisors to take their industry knowledge to the next level. Best of all, all training is included in a Fora subscription, meaning you don’t need to fork over extra cash to start selling trips.
You need loads of travel experience & knowledge: false
While industry experience certainly helps, it’s not required.
Fora Advisors can lean on our community to supply answers to travel questions of all types, from relatively simple things like “Where to stay in Tokyo?” to more advanced topics such as “How do you facilitate the buy-out of a Costa Rica jungle resort for a client?”
Whereas most travel-agent jobs more or less leave advisors to their own devices and research, Fora’s community is built on cooperation.
Love the sound of that? Become a Fora Advisor today.
Your schedule needs to be free to dedicate your time to becoming a travel agent: false
This is one of the most widespread myths about becoming a travel advisor. Can you work as a travel advisor nonstop for 40-plus hours a week? Sure. Can you devote only a couple hours a month (or less) to your travel side hustle? Absolutely.
Excepting our highest tier of travel advisors — members of Fora X, an elite program intended for the most dedicated and high-earning travel planners — Fora does not place quotas or restrictions on the number of bookings an advisor has to make.
In terms of commitment, what it takes to become a travel agent really only depends on how much time you’d like to (or can) devote.
A niche or specialization is required to be successful: false (but it can help)
This one’s not so black and white. A niche isn’t required for you to be successful as a travel advisor. But it can make a difference, especially early in your career.
Specializing in booking one or two types of travel — be it cruises, theme parks or even specific locations, such as the best places to visit in California — allows you to hone your skills and expertise while also establishing your brand. It’s much easier to learn how to book one type of travel before moving on to other aspects of the trade. Over time, and as you develop your craft and knowledge, you’ll find it’s much easier to branch out.
For example, you can learn how to become a cruise travel agent or how to become a Disney travel agent first. After you sell a few vacations and build up a client base, you may find that your clients return to you with different vacation ideas. Since you’ve already developed a rapport with them, booking something entirely different is a little bit easier.
On the other hand, it should be noted that a niche is purely optional. If you’re eager to dive into the full spectrum of bookings right off the bat, no one will stop you (in fact, Fora will lend you all the support you need).
Great interpersonal skills go a long way toward your success: true
Great communication and customer service skills are assets to travel advisors. But if you're not as comfortable in this department, Fora can still help you get there.
Whether you’re booking travel for a family, a couple, a solo traveler, a corporation, you’re working with people directly. You need to be able to understand their travel goals and needs, even if they’re not quite able to articulate exactly what they're after. And if you can do so with a calm demeanor — even if things go awry — you’re much more likely to regain your client’s business in the future.
Patience & determination are also important: true
What does it take to become a travel agent? Perhaps more than anything, you need to be patient and vigilant. Chances are, you’re not going to be swimming in potential clients as soon as you declare yourself a travel advisor. But if you stick with it, the success will come.
Fora Advisors receive tons of support from the get-go in terms of marketing resources, courses that cover how travel agents get clients and more. The tools are there for you to use as you please (and remember that we can help you along the way).
What does it take to become a travel agent?
Before we wrap up, here are a few common questions people ask about what it takes to become a travel agent.
Can’t wait to share your passion for travel? Become a Fora Advisor.
Does it take a long time to make good money as a travel agent?
Not necessarily, but a lot of factors go into this. Among them: your existing network, how much time you invest into your travel business and your niche (if you have one).
If you’re not opposed to rolling out the white-glove service and catering to demanding clients, becoming a luxury travel agent tends to pay out higher commissions. Alternatively, organizing group bookings can be lucrative (see why group bookings are great).
(Also check out how much travel agents make per booking.)
What’s the job outlook for a travel agent?
Ultimately, how much time you put into your travel business is what you’ll get out of it. Plenty of Fora Advisors make decent money selling the occasional business trip or family getaway. There are also Fora Advisors who make well into six figures.
Most travel advisors fall somewhere in the middle. The cool thing about this is that you can do what works best for you — and few jobs are this flexible.
Perhaps you're asking yourself, “What does it take to become a travel agent?” At the end of the day, a love for travel is the only real requirement. If you have that, join Fora and we'll give you everything else (training, tech tools, community, expertise, marketing resources...) you need to succeed.
What does it take to become a travel agent? Join Fora
What does it take to become a travel agent? If you love travel, you're 90% of the way there. Become a Fora Advisor to start your dream job in travel.
Not quite ready? No problem. Here are a few more travel-advisor guides to check out before diving in.