By Kelly Monaghan
Thinking of becoming a travel agent? Well, I have some good news for you. Becoming a travel agent is easy. All you need is a credit card and willingness to lose a few hundred (or thousand) dollars if you pick the wrong host agency. And if you have the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course, the risk of that happening is virtually zero.
However, if you really want to be a travel agent, that’s a bit more complicated and it’s not something that will happen over night or just by waving your credit card at someone. You see, there is a difference between becoming a travel agent and being a travel agent. The distinction I am drawing here is between outward appearances and inward reality.
So after you’ve become a travel agent, what does it take to be a travel agent? Well, there are some qualities a prospective travel agent should have to begin with and then there are knowledge and skills that need to be acquired along the way.
Let’s take a look at some of them. First the things that it helps to have before you start the journey to becoming a travel agent:
I believe that to really be a travel agent you need a passion for travel. Not just travel as a means of getting from Point A to Point B, but travel as a way to engage with the world, travel as a mode of self-discovery, travel as a way of experiencing things that will help you understand yourself and your place in the world better, travel as a means of becoming a better, saner, more centered person.
Real travel agents also should love working with people. Even more, they should love helping people. The greatest joy in this business is sending clients off on journeys that you absolutely know they’ll love and then having them return to tell you that the experience exceeded all their expectations.
I’d like to think that my Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course will inspire people to deepen their love of travel and commit themselves to serving their clients to the best of their ability, but if you don’t bring at least the basis of that passion and commitment to the table then you may have a hard slog of it.
Then there are the things you can learn once you have made the decision to become a travel agent.
The most successful travel agents love learning new things, whether that means studying up on the specs of a new RCL cruise ship, or visiting a dozen hotels on a fam, or taking advantage of supplier seminars to learn how to better promote group travel. There is always something new to learn, always a new way to expand your sales and marketing horizons. If you don’t find this fulfilling, you’ll struggle.
Being a travel agent also means knowing the business. Just because you love travel doesn’t mean you will succeed in selling travel. Like every business the travel distribution system has its ins and outs, its special jargon, its “tricks of the trade.” If you’re ignorant of how the business really works, you run the risk of making some serious mistakes starting with choosing the wrong host agency for your needs and goals. That’s where the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course shines (says he, tooting his own horn).
The course puts you on an even footing with host agencies and suppliers. Once you know the ropes, you will be able to make smart decisions that keep your expenses to a minimum while maximizing your commission income.
The business is constantly changing and evolving, most often led by technology. That’s one reason I made the decision to allow all students to have ongoing access to all future updates to the course. As the business evolves, the course evolves with it and is always available to provide you with up-to-date guidance.
If you’ve read this far you have probably come to realize that if you want to be – really be – a travel agent, you are going to have to be willing to work at it. If you are just starting to consider becoming a home-based travel agent, I hope you will take that to heart. Yes, it’s possible to make a good full- or part-time living as a home-based travel agent, but it can’t be done while sitting on the verandah sipping piña coladas.
But if you have a passion for travel and a willingness to work hard and continue to learn your trade, then being a travel agent is a great way to go. I hope you’ll bring the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course along on your journey.