How to Become a Travel Agent in the USA

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Become a travel agent and free yourself from a physical location.

Walking into a travel agency or working with a travel agent online can keep you sane while you are planning all your vacations.  When you utilize these services, all you need to know is where you want to go and what you want to do, and the travel agents will work their magic and figure out all the details for you.  While this is a huge timesaver for you, you may feel a slight twinge of disappointment if you happen to do any of the following:

Do you love spending time researching vacations that you may or may not take?  

Do you spend hours talking to people about your past vacations or all the fun and exciting destinations you have discovered through your research? 

Do you love to travel and do your friends, family, and even barely known acquaintances ask you for your advice before they travel somewhere?   

If you answered yes to any or all these questions, we can guarantee that you would love being a travel agent in the USA!  

Being a travel agent is not always going to be fun and games.  After all, it does take a little bit of work to keep everyone happy!  However, at the end of every day, you will sit back and be happy about the fact that you have made more vacation dreams come true!

What Type of Education is Needed Prior to Becoming a Travel Agent?

How to become a travel agent in New York may look slightly different than how to become a travel agent in Texas, simply because some states require more education than others.  That doesn’t mean that you won’t be an amazing travel agent in the USA if you only have your high school diploma.  

While a four-year college degree in business, travel, tourism, or even hospitality can help you thrive in a travel agent job, you can be just as successful with only a diploma or a degree in almost any field of study.  

What Training is Necessary for Becoming a Travel Agent?

It may not be necessary to have a specific degree to work for a travel agency or be a travel agent online, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t need any specialized training.  Learning how to use specific computer programs, as well as learning multiple business skills from someone else can turn you into a successful travel agent much sooner than if you struggle to figure it out all on your own.  There are numerous training programs available to help you learn how to create itineraries, keep track of commissions, and even learn how to deal with those hard to please clients.  

Once you have the basic skills, you may want to work on getting certified as a travel agent in the USA.  This is not always necessary right away, but as you continue to improve in your travel agent job, this certification can take you to the next level.


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Skills Needed for Being a Successful Travel Agent

As with any other job, a travel agent must have certain skills if they want to thrive.  Some of the skills are basic, while others may require some training and practice.  

  • Excellent Communication Skills – You will be communicating with all types of people as a travel agent and you will need to find ways to work with them all, whether via email or over the phone. 
  • Excellent Customer Service Skills – Many people think that communication and customer service are the same thing, but in reality, they are not.  You can communicate really well and still not have what it takes to provide excellent customer service.  This skill is talking about taking lemons and making lemonade every single time!
  • Amazing Organizational Skills – There are going to be many days when you are juggling multiple trips for numerous customers all at the same time and you must be very organized to get it all done at the end of the day.  
  • Technology Savvy – Knowing how to send an email and enter information into a computer program are only two of the technological things that you will need to do every single day.  If your computer skills are only subpar, this is something that you will want to improve on your journey to becoming a travel agent.  
  • Excellent Listening Skills – You may think that your client knows what they want for their upcoming vacation, but it is only by listening carefully that you can really determine what they are saying.  A prime example could be that your client is saying that they want a relaxing vacation, while stating that they loved the mountains they saw during a past trip.  If you are not listening carefully, you might miss the mountain reference and try to book a beach vacation for them instead.  
  • Patience – Many of your clients will be wonderful, but there are always those few that require a little extra patience.  

Available Options for Working as a Travel Agent

You have many options when it comes to being a travel agent in the USA.  You can choose to work for a travel agency, or you can be a travel agent online.  Depending on the travel agent job you choose, you may need more training or additional equipment. 

A travel agency will have all the equipment you will need to perform your job and it will be easier to find clients to work with.  However, they may require you to be certified before you work with them.  

When you choose to work as a travel agent online, you would be responsible for all the equipment that you need.  You will also need to do quite a bit of marketing to find clients for your business.  Certification is not required for working online, but as mentioned above, it can come in handy.  You will also need to decide if you want to be a sole proprietor or if you might expand one day and have an LLC or be incorporated.  The good news is that you can easily start as a sole proprietor and then change as your business grows.  

Becoming a travel agent online or working for a travel agency is not difficult, as long as you take the time to learn everything that you need to know to be successful.  This is not a job that you can halfheartedly do, but when you do it right, the rewards are tremendous.  

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