How do I Become a Travel Agent?

Sheri Cyprus
Sheri Cyprus
Travel agents may plan trips around a theme, such as visiting lighthouses.
Travel agents may plan trips around a theme, such as visiting lighthouses.
Travel agents may plan trips around a theme, such as visiting lighthouses.

If your career dream is to become a travel agent, a focus on building the ability to give customers great advice can help you stand out from the competition this field often attracts. To do this effectively, you'll need to travel as much as possible while looking at accommodations, attractions and different transportation options from the point of view of industry clients. You don't need to have traveled extensively to get started in a travel agent career though; at this point, enthusiasm and passion for the field as well as high school graduation and a strong customer service mindset should help you get hired.

Travel agents have to know how to find deals on hotel rooms for clients.
Travel agents have to know how to find deals on hotel rooms for clients.
Travel agents have to know how to find deals on hotel rooms for clients.

Mastering computer software is important if you want to become a travel agent, as there are numerous databases and booking systems. Try to become certified in the software used by the agencies you are interested in, as this can increase your chances of getting hired. Don't forget to not simply "sell" your computer skills to future travel employers, but also your strong ability to enter data accurately into the system as well as follow through with customers. When corresponding with potential employers via email, always reply promptly, as you'll be expected to do this with customers asking travel questions or confirming bookings.

Some travel agents specialize in niche travel, such as booking couple's packages or luxury hotels.
Some travel agents specialize in niche travel, such as booking couple's packages or luxury hotels.
Some travel agents specialize in niche travel, such as booking couple's packages or luxury hotels.

Most travel agencies are strict about high school graduation as the minimum education level for an entry-level job. While an agency is not likely to ask for your geography grade, this is a good subject to understand if you want to become a travel agent. If certification for travel agents is required in your location, this is something you will need to get. Accredited online programs are something to consider, as you may be able to earn your certification while also working in a travel agency.

Travel agents should be familiar with different airlines and potential discounts.
Travel agents should be familiar with different airlines and potential discounts.
Travel agents should be familiar with different airlines and potential discounts.

Even during entry-level work at a travel agency, you're likely to get discounts on trips. It's best to take advantage of these and build on your travel experiences. Consider these experiences from how agency customers would tend to view them so you can learn how to give excellent travel advice to clients. Think about issues such as getting the best value when choosing accommodations and packing for the weather conditions in different climates. By thinking like your future clients during trips, you can become a travel agent with knowledge and expertise that will help keep you in high demand in a competitive field.

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    • Travel agents may plan trips around a theme, such as visiting lighthouses.
      Travel agents may plan trips around a theme, such as visiting lighthouses.
    • Travel agents have to know how to find deals on hotel rooms for clients.
      Travel agents have to know how to find deals on hotel rooms for clients.
    • Some travel agents specialize in niche travel, such as booking couple's packages or luxury hotels.
      Some travel agents specialize in niche travel, such as booking couple's packages or luxury hotels.
    • Travel agents should be familiar with different airlines and potential discounts.
      Travel agents should be familiar with different airlines and potential discounts.