6 Things No One Will Tell You About Becoming a Travel Agent
Written by: Amanda Bailey on January 18, 2017
We happen to think that becoming a travel agent is one of the most rewarding paths you can take! However, it’s as much a lifestyle as it is a job. Clients can be demanding, and in such a rapidly-changing industry, it’s important for you, as an agent, to be adaptable as well!
As a host travel agency, we want the agents that partner with us to have an honest, clear picture of what to expect. Before launching your own travel business, read over these six things you might not have heard about being a travel agent:
1. The job is pretty much 24/7.
As an independent travel agent, you can set your own hours. Many KHM Travel Group agents work on their businesses part-time to supplement their income, and then gradually build up to full time. Of course, many of them have other jobs. While you aren’t researching or booking travel 24/7, when clients are traveling there’s always the potential for the 2 AM emergency call or email. Being responsive is part of having stellar customer service.
2. You will also have to be your own salesperson – especially in the beginning.
Travel agents get paid on commission, so you only earn if you sell. While this may terrify some prospective agents, being a salesperson doesn’t necessarily mean making cold calls and throwing your business card at every new acquaintance. Rely on your strengths, whether that be your networking skills, your established connections in the community or your social media savvy, to promote yourself.
3. Education is essential.
There’s no official degree or test you have to pass to legally be able to sell travel. Having a basic knowledge of geography and a desire to learn about the world are definitely helpful to start off, but most KHM Travel Agents have no previous experience as travel professionals. That being said, new travel agents must be willing to invest in their education if they are serious about growing their businesses. Knowledge truly is power for travel agents.
4. Learning how to sell travel is like learning a new language.
Or rather, multiple new languages. KHM Travel Agents work with suppliers directly to book their travel, and becoming familiar with each supplier’s products, booking engines, and policies is one of the first things a new agent should focus on. Between airport codes, fare categories and other travel agent lingo, Google will definitely become a close companion!
5. You need insurance to protect yourself and your business.
Travel agents are liable for mistakes they make when booking travel for their clients. Say you book the incorrect flight time for your client, and then end up missing an important event or appointment. If they decide to take you to court, the expenses could get costly. Errors and Omission Insurance is a must for every travel agent, which is why our $2 million professional E & O policy is included in all of our agents’ memberships.
6. Once you start selling travel, your own vacations will never be the same!
As a travel agent, you hopefully love to travel! Once you start taking trips as an agent, whether they be FAMs or your personal vacations, you’ll find it almost impossible to completely remove your travel agent hat. You’ll always be thinking about how you could sell an experience or product to clients, or what first-hand advice to pass along to them.
Are you curious about the other benefits of being a travel agent? Request our free Travel Agent Information Guide to find out why it’s one of the fastest-growing professions and how KHM Travel Group can help you get started from home.
Just fill out our simply request form on the right side of the screen for access to our guide. We are also available by phone at 1-888-611-1220 if you’d like to chat with a member of the KHM Travel Group team.