A travel agent listens to their customer’s travel preferences and then works to book a tailored travel plan that fits their needs. They consider their client’s ideal travel dates, method of travel, and what they are hoping to see and do on their trip.
Watch a video to learn what a travel agent does:
How to Become a Travel Agent
At a minimum, most travel agents would be required to have a high school diploma. If you don’t have the experience, some employers may want to see that you have some college or a certification. According to O*NET OnLine, over 35% of travel agents have an associate’s degree and almost 15% have a bachelor’s. However, around 30% of travel agents have a high school diploma.
Job Description of a Travel Agent
Long before a travel agent books travel for their client, they must get to know their client and the way they like to travel. These professionals aim to please and work to discover what their clients would like to do on their trip and the type of overall experience they’d like to have.
They must also consider any travel parameters their client may provide. For instance, their clients may have flexible dates or firm dates, they may prefer flying first class over coach, or maybe even have requirements not to fly and only go by train. The trips they book for clients can also range from family trips, honeymoon escapes, business trips, and even celebration trips for a group of friends. Travel agents must also work within the financial constraints of their clients to provide them with the accommodations they are expecting at the price their clients are willing to spend.
Knowing about air and train travel is important, and so is knowledge about cruise lines and their amenities. Often, clients are relying on the travel agent’s expertise and opinion about the various travel options and experiences available to them. Travel agents can also assist with booking a more cost-effective trip as they have travel software at their fingertips.
Travel Agent Career Transcript
They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. For people who want some personal help reaching their destination, the first step is to call a travel agent. Travel agents sell transportation, lodging, and admission to entertainment activities to individuals and groups planning trips. Travel agents sort through vast amounts of information to find the best arrangements for travelers. They find fare and scheduling information, calculate travel costs, and book reservations for everything from extended multi-country tours to short excursions nearby. Agents also provide information about required documents, local weather conditions, customs and attractions. Corporate travel agents specialize in making travel arrangements for businesses.
Most travel agents work full-time in offices but some work remotely, since so much of their work is done by phone and computer. Agents in call centers or large offices may work in noisy, crowded conditions. Dealing with travel emergencies and last-minute schedule changes can be difficult. Typically, travel agents require a high school diploma, but many employers prefer additional formal training.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Travel Agents.
National Center for O*NET Development. 41-3041.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.