Is being a travel agent right for you?

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Being a travel agent is an exciting and rewarding career choice that allows individuals to explore their passion for travel while simultaneously helping others create unforgettable experiences. However, this profession is not always easy, and it is important to clearly understand the realities of this job — including the qualities that make a good travel agent and the benefits of working under a travel host agency.

If you need further insight into this fabulous, and potentially lucrative career, keep reading!  Together, we will go over some of the pros and cons of being a travel agent.

First and foremost, travel agents are able to enjoy job flexibility to promote a healthy work-life balance.

As an independent travel agent under a host agency, you have the flexibility to set your own schedule. This level of autonomy enables you to achieve a desirable work-life balance. You can determine the number of hours you want to dedicate to your business, allowing you to accommodate personal commitments and interests. Whether you choose to work full-time or part-time, being a travel agent offers the flexibility to shape your career around your lifestyle.

Another one of the perks of being a travel agent is the exclusive travel benefits.

One of the significant advantages of being a travel agent is access to exclusive benefits, even on your personal vacations. Travel agents often enjoy discounted rates, complimentary upgrades, and special amenities at hotels, resorts, and other travel-related services. These benefits enhance personal travel experiences and allow agents to explore destinations at a fraction of the cost.

By leveraging their industry connections, travel agents can unlock opportunities for unique experiences, such as FAM trips, VIP access to attractions, private tours, and insider recommendations. The ability to enjoy these perks is a true privilege of the profession.

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Travel agents have the potential to scale their businesses and participate in leadership opportunities.

For individuals with leadership qualities, being a travel agent presents the potential to scale their business. As a successful travel agent, you have the opportunity to recruit and train agents to work under your guidance. By building a team, you can earn a percentage of their commission without personally having to book trips. This model allows you to use your experience, mentorship, and business acumen to create a sustainable income stream.

Additionally, as a leader, you have the chance to contribute to the success of other agents and witness their growth and development. This sense of accomplishment and the ability to build a network of talented professionals is a rewarding aspect of the travel agent profession.

As a travel agent, you will undergo continuous learning in order to adapt to this growing industry.

Being a successful travel agent requires a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation. The travel industry is dynamic, with trends, technologies, and destinations that are constantly evolving. A good travel agent stays informed about industry changes, emerging destinations, and new travel experiences.  This dedication to ongoing education ensures that agents can provide up-to-date information, valuable insights, and personalized recommendations to their clients.

Moreover, a good travel agent possesses excellent communication skills, attention to detail, organizational abilities, and a passion for customer service. Building strong relationships with clients and understanding their unique preferences and needs is crucial to delivering exceptional experiences.

You will literally sell dreams to your clients!

It is no secret that many people grow up wanting to travel to different places around the globe.  Some people create a bucket list and never mark off anything.  But, as a travel agent, you will be able to help others realize that life is too short not to invest in the trip of their dreams.  And, seeing the smiles from photos your clients send you while traveling is a gift in and of itself.

“It’s one of the more interesting jobs in the world. You can live vicariously through your clients; I’ve never been to Japan but I see my clients’ pictures, and it’s kind of like you’re going with them. We’re selling a dream and sometimes those things can be really magical for you as a travel agent. I had one lady, 65 years old, filling out a form, and when she wrote Hawaii, she said ‘This has been my dream my whole life’ – and I was making that dream come true… it’s one of the best feelings.”  – Michelle Weller, Travel Leaders (Houston, Texas)

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Being a travel agent may be a lot of things — but boring is not one of them.

There are some jobs that drag on and on throughout the day, and you wake up absolutely dreading the monotony.  Then, there are professions like being a travel agent where every day is a learning experience filled with adventure and challenge.  If you want to step out of the workplace world of endless boredom, then perhaps becoming a travel agent is the perfect solution for you!

“Maybe it is or isn’t a traditional perk, but my day is never boring.  I have something different going on every single day, and I’m constantly multi-tasking. I would be totally bored with my job if I had to do the same thing all day, every day. I enjoy meeting other professionals when I travel. I learn about the cruise industry and hotel industry, for example, by meeting and speaking with those industry executives.”  – Colleen Gillette, New Paltz Travel (New Paltz, N.Y.)

Travel agents also get to work with like-minded individuals and have access to an incredible support system.

Networking and building lifelong relationships are among the invaluable perks of being a travel agent.  In this profession, you have the opportunity to connect with a diverse range of people, from clients seeking their dream vacations to fellow travel agents who share the same passion. These connections not only enrich your personal and professional network but also create a sense of community within the industry.

By fostering genuine relationships, you can collaborate, exchange knowledge, and even gain referrals, further enhancing your business and reputation. Building lasting connections with clients and colleagues alike not only adds depth to your travel experiences but also opens doors to new opportunities and a vibrant support system that will accompany you throughout your career as a travel agent.

Fellow travel agents are willing to do what it takes every day to make sure their customers are satisfied and enjoying the trips of a lifetime.  These agents often have undergone mindset coaching to not only become the best versions of themselves but to also boost their confidence in closing sales.  They are the “go-getters” you want in your network — and in your corner — especially on the days when you may struggle.

Contrary to popular belief, being a travel agent is not all fun and games; you will wear multiple hats, which can be a real challenge as a business owner.

While being a travel agent offers many advantages, it is essential to acknowledge the challenges that come with running your own business.  As a travel agent, you have to wear multiple hats, including setting aside time for marketing, accounting, customer service, and a host of administrative tasks. Juggling these responsibilities — often at the same time — can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially for those without prior business experience and new to the travel and tourism industry.

However, working under a travel host agency can alleviate some of this pressure and stress. Host agencies provide valuable support in areas such as marketing, technology, supplier relationships, and administrative tasks.

By partnering with a host agency, travel agents can focus more on providing exceptional service to their clients and less on managing the day-to-day operations of a business.  So, finding a reputable, trustworthy host agency is definitely worth consideration.

perks, on top of the world

Being a travel agent is a multifaceted and fulfilling profession that offers numerous benefits and opportunities.

From enjoying exclusive travel perks to enjoying a flexible work schedule and the potential to scale your business, the possibilities are vast. However, it is important to recognize the challenges of being a business owner and the need for continuous learning and adaptation.

Working under a travel host agency, such as Pickles Travel Network, can provide valuable support and resources, enabling travel agents to focus on their clients and deliver exceptional service. By embracing the qualities of a good travel agent and understanding the realities of the profession, individuals can embark on a rewarding career that combines their love for travel with the joy of creating memorable experiences for others.

Remember, success as a travel agent is not solely defined by the number of trips booked, but by the lasting impressions and happiness that you bring to your clients. When you understand the realities of this amazing profession and sharpen your business skills, you can embark on a journey that allows you to turn your dreams into reality.

 

Meet Pickles Travel Network: The Host Agency That Makes It Easy to Start and Scale Your Travel Business

Whether you’ve just started your travel agent journey, or you’ve been on it… Pickles Travel Network has the tools and resources to help grow your business. Unlike other host agencies, we believe in letting our members choose what works best for their business. Pickles Travel Network allows you to choose your commission rate, along with whether or not you want to charge planning fees. As a member, you’ll receive instant access to our list of suppliers, several marketing platforms and monthly coaching/trainings. 

IATA | CLIA Membership

PTN IATAN code: 45769253

PTN CLIA number: 00032299

When you enroll with suppliers, you must use PTN’s codes to receive a commission from us. Want to sign up for your own CLIA or IATA numbers for exclusive travel benefits? See below.

Get your own IATA/IATAN ID Card:

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The IATA/IATAN ID Card is the industry-standard credential to identify bona fide travel professionals. Key benefits include access to concessionary incentives from industry suppliers. Just added, the IATA MemberPerks program provides cardholders with daily savings at over 300,000 merchants across North America.

To be eligible, you must be registered with IATAN under PTN’s IATA number 45769253, working a minimum of 20 hours per week and earning a minimum of $5,000 per annum in commissions. You’ll need to send PTN a support ticket asking for approval. Once approved, we will send you a PRIN # to allow you to register with IATAN and ask for an ID card.

Get your own CLIA EMBARK ID:

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Obtain a CLIA EMBARC ID for travel discounts and FAM (Familiarization) trips. Join CLIA as an Individual Agent Member, under Pickles Travel Network CLIA #00032299.

Once you’ve registered, submit a support ticket to let us know, and we will approve your registration.