Travel agent career professionals consistently help people plan family vacations, corporate trips, cruises, international travel, and specialty tours such as adventure vacations. Travel agents generally have access to important information regarding fares and discounts, and are knowledgeable about particular geographic locations. Overall, a travel agent career professional can help consumers plan the most appropriate travel arrangements for their needs.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, travel agents typically do the following:
- Arrange travel for business and vacation customers
- Determine customers’ needs and preferences, such as schedules and costs
- Plan and arrange tour packages, excursions, and day trips
- Find fare and schedule information
- Calculate total travel costs
- Book reservations for travel, hotels, rental cars, and special events, such as tours and excursions
- Describe trips to clients and give details on required documents, such as passports and visas
- Give advice about local weather conditions, customs, and attractions
- Make alternative booking arrangements if changes arise before or during the trip
The majority of travel agents work for a travel agency with around 11% being self employed. Most travel agents work normal business hours, but they are also able to do planning from home in the evenings. Around peak travel times, they may also be required to work longer and later hours.
The most successful travel agents have the following:
- Knowledge- a successful travel agent must stay current on the best places to travel, as well as airline offerings, accomodations and dining.
- Professionalism- a successful travel agent conducts themselves in a professional manner and takes great pride in the quality of their work and being able to meet customer's needs.
- Integrity - a successful travel agent will not try and sell a vacation or destination only for profit. They will do their best to make sure that their recommendations match the traveler's request. They are also up front about cancellation fees, rules, fares and other regulations.
- Enthusiasm- a successful travel agent is excited about what they do and the best ones get their clients excited about the travel too!
- Communication skills - a succesful travel agent has great communication skills and must learn to decipher what a client wants, even if they are having trouble expressing it clearly. A travel agent not only works directly with clients, but they also must communicate with hotels, resorts, restaurants, and more.
- Organization - a succesful travel agent is organized, and able to put their finger on important information quickly. They must know their product(s) and know them well so as to be able to quickly meet client needs.
- Problem solving - a successful travel agent is quick to problem solve. Schedule changes, missed connections, canceled flights are all part of the job.
If you would love to help people travel and create many memories and new experiences with their families, sign up for our Travel Agent Professional Program today!
Ed4Career offers creative careers including the Travel Agent Professional Program including Travel Agent and Tourism, Travel Agent Geography, Start Your Own Business, Personal Excellence, Better Interpersonal Communication and Customer Service Survival Skills. Upon successful completion of our Travel and Tourism course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position as a travel agent in a travel agency and will be prepared to take the National Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) Test. The TAP Test is a basic competency test that measures the entry-level knowledge of travel professionals within all aspects of the travel industry. The test was developed by The Travel Institute and the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) to provide a national standard of entry-level proficiency for the travel industry.