15 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Travel Agent
Despite what you see on Instagram, being a travel agent isn’t always glamorous. As amazing as it is to jet around the world, you also have to keep in contact with clients 24/7/365—no matter what time zone you’re in. And while technically anyone can work in this field, only those who are detail-oriented and meticulously organized will excel. So we talked to former travel agent Katelyn O’Shaughnessy and current agent Erina Pindar to find out what their jobs are actually like.
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You’ll make a decent living, and you’ll get to travel the world like a rock star.
“Think about this as a lifestyle rather than a career,” says O’Shaughnessy. The pay isn’t necessarily exorbitant—the median income is $38,700 a year, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, but according to Pindar, it can actually be much higher. “Agents make anywhere from $50K to $100K on the low end and up to $250K to $500K annually,” says Pindar. But there’s no other industry where you get to travel like this. You’ll regularly go on discounted trips to luxury resorts sponsored by hotel companies, so based on your Instagram alone, your friends will definitely think you’re living the high life.
You get paid on commission, meaning you earn money based on the trips you book for your clients.
The bulk of your salary will come from commission, so first and foremost, you’re a salesperson. When you’re an in-house agent with a travel agency (on-staff positions at agencies are increasingly rare, btw, but they’re still in demand), you typically have a base salary and a commission split. This can vary from agency to agency and also depends on your level of experience. For example, let’s say you have an 80-20 commission split. That means if you get paid 10 percent commission on booking a hotel, 80 percent of that commission goes to your agency, while you keep 20 percent. If you’ve rounded up enough clients, you can become an independent agent, which means you work for yourself but remain affiliated with a host agency. As an independent agent, you lose the base salary but get to keep your commission.
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If you work as an independent agent, you need your own insurance.
Let’s say you make a mistake on a client’s itinerary, causing them to miss their first-class flight that costs $6,000 a seat. If you did something wrong, you’re liable. “There are hundreds of things that can go wrong, and they will,” warns O’Shaughnessy. You definitely need errors and omissions insurance, which can be expensive, but if you accidentally screw something up, you don’t have to pay out of pocket for the cost of the mistake.
“Travel agents” and “travel advisers” are relatively synonymous, although advisers tend to use a more holistic planning strategy.
While in the past, travel agents mainly assisted in booking accommodations, a travel adviser helps provide a client with a broader picture of their trip. “If someone says, ‘I want to go to Cabo and I want to do all these adventurous things,’ we may say, ‘Okay, great, you can go to Cabo, but you may not want to stay on the strip. You may want to consider the new Four Seasons that just opened on the cape because there’s a lot more adventure on that side of the destination,’” explains Pindar.
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You don’t need any special training to get started.
Unlike being a real estate agent, where you have to pass a series of tests to prove you know your stuff. “When I started working as a travel agent right out of college, I didn’t know anything,” insists O’Shaughnessy. “I’d barely even traveled out of Portland, where I grew up. I got the job after a series of persistent emails and a good first interview. It’s definitely useful to know things like basic history and geography but there are no real required skills.”
Travel agents tend to come from a variety of backgrounds—you can switch careers at any point in your life and become a travel agent with a pretty low barrier to entry. But according to Pindar, it does takes a specific personality to be a quality agent. “One thing that all our agents have in common is they’re great salespeople, because at the end of the day, this is a sales job,” she says.
Being type A is also a plus: You need to be a meticulous planner, be an excellent researcher, and possess extreme attention to detail. “It’s easy to put someone in a beautiful room,” says Pindar, “but if you remember that they’re going there for their anniversary and you’re somehow able to get a picture from their wedding to be put in the room and their favorite champagne that they popped on their wedding day, those little things make a difference.”
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Developing a niche is essential.
No one can have an encyclopedic knowledge of the whole world, so the most successful travel agents choose a specialty. You might focus on cruises or African safaris or trips to Italy. “[Before I started my company,] I specialized in honeymoons and travel for destination weddings, which I narrowed down to Tahiti, Fiji, Mexico, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. I knew every hotel, every restaurant, and every excursion in those areas that related to a romantic vacation,” says O’Shaughnessy.
Traveling is a regular part of the job, but it’s not a vacation.
Every few months, travel agents go on “fam trips,” short for “familiarization,” and they sound both ah-ma-zing and tiring, according to O’Shaughnessy:
“You try everything you’d want to sell to your clients: You sleep in the hotels, eat the food, get the massages. Sometimes you can even bring a guest. The first few times, it feels ridiculously luxurious, and it is. But you’re there to work. You have to be up at 7 a.m. the next day and remain professional while visiting as many as 10 hotel sites in a day, inspecting each of the rooms, and taking notes on everything. You can’t sleep in and relax on the beach like you would on a real vacation.”
Pindar echoes the same sentiment: “Ninety percent of the time when we do travel, it’s generally for educational purposes.” Travel advisers need to know a destination inside and out, as they often make recommendations based on experience. While traveling, the days can get long. You’re expected to attend breakfast meetings, go out all day, and by the time dinner’s over, you need to catch up on emails. “Even though people think you’re traveling and it’s glamorous, it’s a lot of work,” says Pindar.
On that note, you *will* stop taking normal vacations.
Some travel agents do still travel for fun, but most will do at least one hotel site inspection or other work-related task while they’re there. The industry is very small, so when hotel reps see on your Instagram that you’re in London, they’ll insist you come say hello, see the latest remodel, and try the new menu at the hotel restaurant— sometimes even for a discount! “It’s a double-edged sword: You’ll have friends and free swag everywhere you go, but you can never really travel without thinking of work,” says O’Shaughnessy. Regardless of connections, you’re not traveling for free. With discounts come expectations, aka receiving business from your clients in return. Additionally, you’ll have to front your own travel fees just like everyone else, according to Pindar.
And by the way, holidays kinda suck.
The “365” part of 24/7/365 is not a joke. Holidays are the most stressful time of the year for travel agents, since so many of your clients will be traveling.
Hotel reps will become your best friends.
When you’re working in an agency, hotel reps will come in every single day to give presentations about why you should recommend their hotel to your clients. Once you have a niche, you’ll see the same travel reps at your regular fam trips and you’ll develop a relationship with them from regularly sending them business. “Those relationships are super important,” says O’Shaughnessy, “because when you need to call in a favor, like upgrading someone’s room, you have someone to hook it up.”
14 Pros and Cons of Being a Travel Agent: Is It Stressful?
The travel industry is one that offers numerous job opportunities. Travel agents are among the most common and revered workers in the industry. If you are thinking of changing careers or adding a part-time hustle as a travel agent, here are the main pros and cons of being a travel agent that you should consider.
Is travel your passion? If you love traveling or helping people fulfill their travel dreams, becoming a travel agent might be an excellent option.
Nowadays, we all want a job that is flexible enough to save you some you-time while still promising financial stability.
Although this can be an incredible job option, there are still some pros and cons of being a travel agent.
Even with all the benefits, it’s not always an-all-rosy career.
For this reason, if you plan to become a travel agent, whether fulltime or part-time, this blog is then a must-read piece.
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We will explore all the pros and cons of being a travel agent to help you make a fact-based decision on your next move.
Table of Contents
7 Advantages of Being a Travel Agent
Want to know the pros of being a travel agent to evaluate your stress level? Let’s get into it.
1) Flexibility and Mobility
In the age we are in, people are looking for careers that allow for mobility in terms of working hours and location.
Flexibility is one significant benefit of a travel agent career. Since your primary job is to sell travel products (tickets and tour packages), how and where you undertake the tasks is your worry.
For instance, some agents will work from offices, others from call centers, while others will decide to go completely freelance and become home-based agents.
And, whether you want to work while on a trip to London, or from your home office, the job offers such mobility.
You can grab a travel agent job that is completely remote by joining a program like FlexJobs which offers hundreds of job opportunities.
2) Travel Opportunities
For any business, you must be good at what you do, to gain customers’ trust. Being a travel agent means that you must have an in-depth idea of what you are offering your customers.
In this view, you must travel a lot to see and experience some of the destinations you are selling.
Luckily, most of these destinations and hotels offer travel agents discounted trips in the form of FAM trips. These are meant to help with your research and give you an experience of the services, as your customers will have them.
Through such trips, you get to gather facts and have extensive knowledge to share with your customers.
3) Becoming Your Own Boss
Becoming a travel agent is one career path that offers the flexibility of owning a business of your own. If you are tired of the routine and hustle of being employed, it might as well be the best time to make that leap.
Freelance and independent travel agents are gaining traction each day, and you can easily take advantage of the trend.
All you need is a little research on how to become a home-based travel agent, and you are good to start. The best thing about self-employment is that you can set your working schedule, and decide where you want to work from.
The internet has made remote jobs quite possible. That’s why a remote or home-based travel agent is one of the best travel agent jobs you can have. You get to create your hours and you’ll have fewer operating expenses to generate revenue.
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4) Work Part-time
If your goal is to achieve a secondary source of income, then a travel agent profession can suit you well. The job is versatile enough, allowing you to set your own working hours, to match your full-time job.
Better still, if you decide to make the travel agent job your primary job, it still allows you to have another side hustle with ease.
This means that you don’t have to experience financial dry spells even during off-peak travel seasons.
5) Variety of Job Options
Being a travel agent offers numerous job opportunities to specialize in. You have a chance to concentrate on an area that best suits your passion and capabilities.
For instance, you can decide to deal with cruises, honeymoon travel destinations, African safaris, or vacation destinations in the Caribbean. There’s so much you can do as an agent.
You also have a choice on where to work. You can work for local travel agencies, overseas companies, large corporations, or even as an independent travel agent.
Check the job opportunities on FlexJobs now.
6) Decent Earning Potential
Possible income is a major consideration when choosing any career path. Although the earnings of travel agents are not all that exorbitant, the job promises decent pay.
For instance, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ 2019 report put the median annual income for travel agents at $44,410. This can, however, be higher, depending on the type of travel job and commissions.
In fact, reports from other researchers like Pindar, indicate that agents can earn between $50 and $500k annually.
7) No Need for Special Training
Travel agents, unlike in many other careers, do not require undergoing expensive, specialized training.
It’s mostly about passion in the travel industry plus a simple accreditation that you can attain online for free.
This makes it quite flexible, to pursue a career as a travel agent or even start your independent agency.
With proper research, a well-laid plan, and a specific niche to serve, you can sell travel products even from that comfortable couch at home.
Cons of Being a Travel Agent
Although the job seems all classy and fun, it also has its drawbacks. Some of the main challenges of being a travel agent might include:
1) The Job is Demanding
This is one of the major disadvantages of being a travel agent. When you become a travel agent, you must be ready to avail yourself almost on a 24/7 basis.
This is mainly due to the difference in time zones across the world.
As your clients travel to a different time zone, they might want to contact you in case of an issue or need some clarifications – this can be at any time of the day.
Also, some customers are just nagging and demanding.
But since that human touch is what differentiates you from online booking services, you might need to answer that call in the middle of the night.
2) Shaky Job Security
Since travelers now have more access to information than ever, most of them are quite knowledgeable and are planning the trips themselves.
Through online booking, customers can easily plan and go for a trip without the need of a human travel agent. This is putting the job security for the agents in jeopardy each day.
Also, since this might drop sales turnover for the travel agents, their jobs are at risk if they can’t hit targets. Remember, these agents are paid on commission – few sales, less money.
3) Creating and Maintaining a Credible Online Presence
With numerous large agencies and travel corporations sharing the online space, competition becomes significantly steep. For independent agents, this can be quite a challenge.
You have to find your place among those bigwigs and demand visibility if you’re to survive in the industry. This means that just a simple website won’t suffice.
You must create a responsive website that is not only easy to access, but also helps to answer all your customers’ questions.
Don’t be mean with your website. Investing in organic traffic and content marketing can play a major role in your website’s visibility.
4) An Array of Choices for Customers
With so many agents available in the market, the customers are spoiled for choice.
Travelers have more options to choose from, especially with the online travel agencies flooding the market.
This means that although people are always traveling, you have to position yourself uniquely to attract their attention.
What differentiates you from your competition?
Finding that unique selling point is thus quite necessary.
5) Increased Transparency in Prices
The internet age has brought with it a few challenges.
Unlike in the past, customers are no longer naïve when it comes to matters of prices. A lot of information is readily available online, and they can access it at any time.
This means that customers can now browse for different prices and offers and choose the one that best fits their budget and needs.
What this has done is to make the market even more competitive.
Travel agents now have to offer more than just price undercuttings to survive in this market.
6) It Can be Stressing
How is being a travel agent stressful with all the perks, travels, and flexibility?
Well, as we mentioned earlier, the job comes with its share of challenges and drawbacks.
Travel agents can get bombarded with work pressures from all sides, such as:
- The need to always have up-to-date information
- Peak season pressures
- Ever looming risk of being fired – for the employed agents
- Commission-based pay – no sales, no pay
All these are stress-contributing factors that can make this job, not so amazing for those who don’t want to deal with constant pressure.
7) Possible Customer Lawsuits
This is one thing that can hurt both your reputation and finances. Just like in many other business fields, customers nowadays tend to use lawsuits more when trying to settle disputes.
You might find yourself being sued by a customer claiming such things as negligence or misrepresentation.
And although you are not responsible for what happens during the trip, your clients expect you to offer accurate trip information and advice.
Having an insurance policy to cover such occurrences might ideally come in handy.
What is Exciting about Being a Travel Agent?
More and More Travel
If you love traveling, then this will really be an exciting career. Travel agents get lots of chances to travel for research and familiarization – FAM travels.
As travel destinations, tours and hotels are competing for travelers, they often offer travel agents discounted travels, to entice them into recommending clients.
This means that the agents can enjoy numerous travels, and are not always stuck behind a computer and a phone.
For people passionate about travel, being a travel agent allows you to work and enjoy travel at all at once.
Make Money Doing What You Love
If travel is your thing, then selling travel products and planning tours for people might be just what you need.
Being a travel agent allows you to make a living while pursuing your passion. You’ll spend more time researching and planning for tours, helping others create life-long memories.
Although the job might be challenging and demanding, seeing the smiles on customers’ faces is enough joy for some people.
Better still, since you are passionate about this, making enough commissions won’t be that daunting.
A Chance to be an Entrepreneur
There’s no better feeling than having complete control of your work.
Becoming a travel agent offers you multiple options to achieve this. This means that you no longer have to endure your boss’s sharp spying eyes all day long.
You can now plan your day’s work with greater freedom, and find ways to satisfy your clients better.
You can perfectly plan for everything from pick up, mode of travel, destination, to travel concierge services, to ensure that your clients are happy.
Being your own boss also means that you can earn what you desire.
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Do Travel Agents Get Discounts for Themselves?
Most often than not, travel agents encounter numerous questions like, “do travel agents travel for free, or do travel agents get discounts on flights?”
People asking these questions are mostly interested in joining the travel industry and want to know the benefits that come with it.
However, they often get discounted trips from travel destinations and hotels that seek recommendations from such agents.
These discounted trips are mostly research-based for the travel agent as they try to get the best places to recommend for their clients.
Also, since travel agents are always up to date with the trends in the industry, they can easily spot trips offered at the lowest prices and book for themselves.
Better still, they sometimes get to earn commissions on their personal trips.
Is Being a Travel Agent Worth It?
It depends on what you are looking for to make it worth it. A travel agent’s salary can range from around $24,000 to $60,000 a year. That’s not including the bonuses and commissions that many agents earn. So in that, combined with the fact that you can work in the travel industry and from wherever you’d like, it can be quite worth it.
However, the work can be demanding during non-traditional business hours. You have to be able to think on your feet and be very organized. And there’s a lot of competition out there, so you need to be good at marketing yourself. But if you’re passionate about travel and have some people skills, then becoming a travel agent could definitely be worth it for you.
Even with the many benefits associated with being a travel agent, no business is immune to challenges. However, these challenges have solutions that can help turn them around, leaving more benefits than drawbacks.
Understanding both the pros and cons of being a travel agent is a significant step towards informed career decision-making.
Pros and Cons of Working as a Travel Agent
You think about becoming a travel agent but are not sure whether this career path is good for you or not? Great!
Stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a travel agent in the following so that you can better decide whether you want to become a travel agent or if you rather want to go for a different job option instead.
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Travel Agent Job Profile
|Job Description||Travel agents sell flights, stays and trips to their clients and make sure that they plan their vacations the best way possible.|
|Salary||$53,000 per year on average, most travel agents make between $45,000 and $68,000 per year.|
|Job Security||Poor since you will be replaceable as a travel agent.|
|Job Satisfaction||Good if you like to plan vacations for others.|
|Work-Life Balance||Decent since you will have free weekends and not work that many extra hours.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Can be mentally demanding.|
|Future Outlook||Rather poor since an increasing number of people book vacations on the internet without the need for a travel agent.|
|Requirements||No special educational requirements. Finishing high school will often be enough to work in the travel industry.|
Advantages of Being a Travel Agent
Working as a travel agent is not that stressful
One advantage of being a travel agent is that your job will simply not be as stressful as working in many other fields.
Yes, from time to time, you will have demanding clients who will do everything to annoy you and who will just never be satisfied.
You may also have to handle many clients at the same time during busy periods of the years.
However, you will still have a relatively comfortable and relaxed workday most of the time and this means that while other people are on fire at work 100% of their time, you will be able to enjoy nice little breaks on a regular basis and will also have enough time to chat with your colleagues.
Chances are that you will also have sufficient energy after work to meet up with your favorite people while many other people out there will be happy to just sit on their couches since they are so tired from working in their jobs.
Hence, becoming a travel agent can be great for you in case you don’t want to have a stressful job but rather want to have sufficient energy to spend on the things you like more than work.
You can make people happy
As a travel agent, you will also play a quite important role in the lives of many people.
Since vacation trips are the highlights of the year for many people out there, it will be in your hands to make those trips as enjoyable as possible.
Thus, good travel agents can really make a difference in the quality of life of numerous people and you should not underestimate how important you will be for the success of those trips.
Consequently, you should also consider becoming a travel agent if you want to make the lives of people better while earning money at the same time.
You can get new ideas for your own vacation
Another upside to working as a travel agent is that you can also get many new ideas for your own travels.
Opportunities regarding traveling are almost endless, yet you might not know many of them yet.
In fact, travel companies always invent new things you can do on your travels and if you work as a travel agent, you will be one of the first people who get to know those things.
This not only means that you will be one of the first people who can try out those new activities, but you can also inform your family and friends about those new attractions and your loved ones will be quite happy since they will get additional ideas of what to do when it comes to their vacation plans.
Travel agents may get discounts on flights, stays and trips
Many travel agents also enjoy discounts on many things related to vacation.
For instance, as a travel agent, you may be able to book flights at a lower price and may also have to pay less for a stay in your favorite hotel. You may even get discounts on trips.
Especially if you have a big family, this can add up to significant amounts of money and I am sure you know many nice things you could buy from the saved money from your vacation trips.
Hence, while your base salary may not be that high as a travel agent, you can still save some money on vacation and this means that you will get additional implied income from your job.
You can improve your soft skills
By working as a travel agent, you will also have many different clients.
While some of them will be nice and polite, others will just be difficult and demanding.
This means that you will always have to improve your people skills and learn how to deal with these difficult people to stay successful in the long run.
While this can be annoying, it also gives you the opportunity to develop important character traits and to grow as a character in general.
In turn, you will be able to use those skills not only at work, but on many other occasions in your private life.
Travel agents can work indoors
Another benefit of becoming a travel agent is that you will be able to work indoors.
While many people take this for granted, you shouldn’t!
There are still many people who have to work outdoors during bad weather and this can be really annoying and also potentially risky for your health.
By working indoors, you as a travel agent can make your work life as comfortable as possible and can even use heating or air conditioning to optimize your work environment while garbage collectors and many other people will sweat or feel cold outdoors.
You can talk to many different people
As a travel agent, you will also be able to talk to many different people.
Good travel agents realize that their level of success in this field not only depends on the tours they have to offer, but also greatly on how they treat their customers.
If clients feel well in a travel agent office, they are far more likely to buy trips, flights and other things.
Hence, becoming a travel agent can be great for you in case you are the type of extroverted person who loves to talk to people all day long and who can give them a good feeling in general.
You can start a travel blog
As a travel agent, you may not only make money from your day job.
If you know a little bit about digital marketing and are also willing to expand your knowledge in this field, you may be able to start your own travel blog and to make serious money from it.
Sure, this will not be an overnight project.
You would have to put in lots of work and it will likely take you several years to get to this point.
Yet, if you are willing to work hard and work on the weekends and before or after work, chances are that you will get to a point where you can quit your day job and solely rely on your income from your travel blog.
Sure, you could also just keep your job and enjoy an additional passive income stream from your blog.
Hence, working as a travel agent can also help you become financially independent sooner or later and this can be great since it gives you the opportunity to work less and to enjoy the nice things in life instead.
Travel agents don’t work many extra hours
Employed travel agents will also not have to work that many hours.
In fact, most travel agents don’t work more than 40 hours a week and some of them even work significantly less.
This means that you will have enough time to spend on your hobbies and that you will also not be as exhausted from work compared to someone who works 60 hours+.
You don’t have to work on weekends
Travel agents usually also don’t have to work on weekends.
Sure, there are exemptions to this rule and if you are really ambitious and want to get promoted as soon as possible, you may also have to put in the work on Saturday or Sunday.
Yet, most travel agents are able to enjoy free weekends and this gives you the opportunity to spend your weekend with your favorite people or with the things you love more than just work.
You may be able to travel the world
As a travel agent, you may also be able to travel the world.
Of course, this also greatly depends on the type of travel agent you are.
While many travel agents mainly do office work and work for a local travel agency, you may be able to travel the world in case you offer pretty specialized trips and there will be a need to be present in your even locations quite often.
Thus, becoming a travel agent can also help you travel the world for free while even making money at the same time.
Travel agents have a decent work-life balance
Since you will usually enjoy free weekends and you will also not work more than 40 hours as a travel agent, you will be able to enjoy a pretty decent work-life balance.
In fact, most travel agents report that they have more than enough time for their hobbies or for meeting up with friends.
Travel agents can make decent money
If you are really good at what you are doing, you will also be able to make pretty good money from working as a travel agent.
Sure, you will not make a fortune.
However, if you are a trustworthy person and know how to convince people, you will sell lots of vacation trips and this means that you will also get a commission for each trip.
In turn, your income will often increase with the number of trips you sell and if you are a really good seller, you may be able to earn more money than many other people with similar qualifications.
You can start your own travel agency
Becoming a travel agent can also be great for you in case you don’t want to work as an employee forever but rather want to have your own business sooner or later.
You could just work as a travel agent for a few years to gather some experience and to save some money and start your own specialized travel agency later on in your life.
Of course, this will not be easy and will also take quite a lot of work.
However, it is definitely possible to build a business in this field if you are willing to work hard and you are the entrepreneurial type of person who can’t just work for someone else for your whole life.
You don’t need a college degree for becoming a travel agent
Another advantage of working in the travel industry is that you will also not need to get a college degree or any other sort of certification.
Sure, those degrees and certificates can help you with getting a job in this field.
Yet, they are not mandatory and many travel agents don’t have this fancy education.
What’s more important is that you are a polite, friendly and convincing person who can sell trips to your clients.
You can avoid student loan debt
Since you will not have to go to college for becoming a travel agent, you can also avoid spending lots of money on tuition and other expenses related to college.
In turn, you will have a much more comfortable life later on since you will not have to pay back debt from student loans like many other people have to do in our current state of the world.
This also gives you more financial freedom to save and invest money or to buy your own home while many other people who have to pay back student loans will often struggle with those things.
Travel agents can become independent rather soon
Since you will earn money right after high school, you can also become independent of your parents rather quickly.
This is especially important in case you don’t have a good relationship with your parents and just want to get away from them as soon as possible.
As you can see, there are definitely many advantages to working in the travel industry.
Yet, we should also talk about all the issues that come along with it so that you get a more comprehensive view of what working as a travel agent really looks like.
Disadvantages of Working as a Travel Agent
- You will be replaceable quite easily
- Travel agents have rather questionable future job prospects
- You will not get rich as a travel agent
- You may dream about vacations you will never be able to afford
- You will not learn many hard skills as a travel agent
- Hard to work in different fields
- Travel agents can’t brag about their jobs
- Your clients may be difficult
- Travel agencies will have a hard time to compete
- Travel agents are away from home quite often
- Your income will depend on your selling skills
You will be replaceable quite easily
One problem with being a travel agent is that you will be replaceable rather easily.
Since travel agents don’t need special qualifications in most parts of the world, there will be plenty of competition in this field and if someone comes along who is willing to work in this field for a lower wage, chances are that you will get fired pretty soon while programmers and many other people who are in high demand right now don’t have to worry much in this regard.
Travel agents have rather questionable future job prospects
You should also not expect to have good future job prospects as a travel agent.
In fact, many people book their vacations over the internet instead of consulting a travel agent right now and this trend will likely continue in the future.
This means that you will become obsolete as a travel agent sooner or later and will have to search for work in a different field.
Hence, if job security is really important to you, you should likely not become a travel agent but rather go for a different career path instead.
You will not get rich as a travel agent
While you can make decent money as a travel agent, you should know that you will just not get rich.
Thus, if money and luxury are really important to you and you urgently need many nice things to be happy, you should either go for a different career path or marry someone who has lots of money .
You may dream about vacations you will never be able to afford
Another downside to a career as a travel agent is that you will also see many nice vacations that you may urgently want to do but you will simply not be able to afford them.
In fact, it can be quite frustrating to present all those nice vacations to your clients while you know that you will never be able to do those nice trips yourself.
You will not learn many hard skills as a travel agent
While you will become pretty good at dealing with people and can therefore greatly improve your soft skills thanks to your career as a travel agent, you will just not learn that many important hard skills.
This can not only be frustrating, but it also implies serious issues in case you no longer want to work as a travel agent since you will just not be prepared to compete in the job market.
Hard to work in different fields
Due to your lack of hard skills, it can indeed be pretty difficult to find a job in a different field.
In fact, many travel agents get stuck in this field and have to work as a travel agent for many years or even decades before they find another job from which they can pay their bills.
Travel agents can’t brag about their jobs
Travel agents also don’t have the highest social standing.
While people will appreciate your work if you sell them nice vacations, you will just not have the same social standing as people who work in fields where they can save lives.
Consequently, people may often belittle you since you are “just a travel agent” and you should make sure that you are able to deal with those snarky comments in an emotionally healthy manner.
Your clients may be difficult
Another disadvantage of becoming a travel agent is that you will also have to deal with difficult clients sooner or later.
While some people will be nice, others can be quite demanding and some of them even only try to bring you down.
If you deal with the last group of people, this can really stress your nerves and you need lots of patience to handle those people in a proper manner.
Travel agencies will have a hard time to compete
Since an increasing number of people will book their vacations themselves without a travel agency, your travel agency may also have a pretty hard time competing in the long run.
In the long run, you may become unemployed or your own travel agency may just become bankrupt.
Travel agents are away from home quite often
If you work in a specialized niche as a travel agent, you may also have to travel quite a lot.
While some people love traveling, this also means that you will be away from home quite often and this can lead to all sorts of family problems.
Your income will depend on your selling skills
Last but not least, you should also be aware of the fact that your income as a travel agent will not be independent of your performance.
In fact, a significant part of your income will depend on the number and the volume of vacation trips you sell to clients and if you are not a good seller, your income will be pretty low.
Top 10 Being a Travel Agent Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Travel Agent Pros||Being a Travel Agent Cons|
|Travel agents have a rather relaxed job||Travel agents don’t get rich|
|You can work indoors||Salary will depend on your performance|
|Travel agents can make decent money||Clients can be difficult|
|You may get discounts on trips||You will not be able to afford fancy travels|
|You can start your own travel blog||Travel agents are replaceable|
|Travel agents can travel a lot||Poor future job prospects|
|You learn how to handle difficult clients||You may get bored in the long run|
|You can get ideas for your own vacation||Hard to switch fields as a travel agent|
|Travel agents can make people happy||You will not learn many hard skills|
|You don’t need any fancy education||You may be away from home quite often|
Should You Become A Travel Agent?
Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of being a travel agent, you should take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself whether your personality profile fits the arguments made before.
You should definitely take your time to make a profound career choice since it can greatly determine how your life will look like in the future.
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About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.