There has been a lot of buzz about the resurgence of travel agents (just read this article, this article, and this article). Of course, we could list a million reasons (here are 50) why travelers should use a travel agent (or travel advisor as we like to say). But beyond questions about how to plan a trip with a travel agent, we’ve had more and more people with no background in the travel industry asking “How do you become a travel agent?” If you’ve been asking that same question, you’re in the right place. Learn how to become a travel agent below!
Research the Job
Before you make a big career change, do some research so you know exactly what you’re getting into. From the outside, a travel advisor can look like a pretty glamorous job — jetting to new resorts, testing out spas, dining at Michelin-starred restaurants. And while there are some pretty awesome perks with the job, the majority of the time is not all that Instagram-worthy. (Think: researching and pulling hotel rates, calling airlines, emails on emails, conference calls, and invoicing.) Talk to a current travel advisor to get an idea of what their week looks like, and even set up a time to shadow. You’ll get a better feel of what your day-to-day will look like.
Evaluate Your Client Base
So you’ve decided to continue down the path of becoming a travel agent — we don’t blame you! One of the first things you’ll need when you launch your business is clients. Do you have a network of friends, family, neighbors, and acquaintances that would be potential clients? Make sure you have a good base and network to market to in these beginning stages of launching your business.
Decide Your Niche
You can’t be everything for everyone, so figure out what type of travel you want to sell (hint: think of the destinations and types of travel that you are passionate about!). Whether you’re all about luxury travel, cruises, honeymoons, budget travel, or something else, narrowing it down will help you as you research and learn as well as market yourself to clients. After several years in the industry, you can expand and learn more, but to start focus in on what interests you and what you can sell.
You know you want to become a travel agent, you have a potential client base, and you know what you want to sell. Now it’s time to change your career and join the travel industry full-time! (And by full-time, we mean 40+ hours/week, 52 weeks/year — this is your main job and not your hobby.) There are many different training programs within the industry, so you will want to find one that fits you. The Brownell Mentoring Program is the premier, award-winning training program for people who want to become luxury travel agents. The first of its kind, this program is a year-long intensive program that gives you all the tools and training to be a successful travel advisor.
After training, you can launch your business and be a full time travel agent (but call yourself a travel advisor!). Learn more about your next steps and the Brownell Mentoring Program here.