How to become a travel agent

Are you passionate about travel? Do you possess a knack for organizing seamless journeys and creating unforgettable experiences? If so, then venturing into the world of travel agencies might be your calling. According to a recent analysis by Gitnux, the year 2019 saw British travelers shell out more than £37.1 billion for travel services provided by the agencies. The analysis also predicted that travel agencies in the United States will  generate $17.3 billion by 2025. This is evidence that the services of travel agents are in high demand and travelers are willing to invest in these agencies.

However, becoming a successful travel agent is not a walk in the park. It requires a combination of industry knowledge, interpersonal skills, and a passion for crafting dream vacations. In this simple Workee guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to embark on this rewarding career path. Whether you're a travel enthusiast looking to turn your passion into a profession or someone seeking a new and exciting venture, this guide will provide you with practical advice and insights to help you navigate the path towards becoming a successful travel agent. So, fasten your seatbelt, and let's set off on a journey to unlock the secrets of travel agency success.

Who is a travel agent? 

A travel agent is a professional who assists individuals, groups, or businesses in planning and booking their travel arrangements. They provide expertise and guidance in choosing destinations, accommodations, transportation, and activities that suit their client's preferences, budget, and specific needs. Travel agents act as intermediaries between travelers and various service providers such as airlines, hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, and car rental companies. They simplify the travel planning process, offer personalized recommendations, and ensure that their clients have a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

While online platforms have made self-booking convenient, travel agents still play a vital role in delivering personalized service, expertise, and valuable knowledge. They enhance the travel experience and save clients time by offering tailored assistance.

Travel Agents - What are their roles

Becoming a travel agent is beyond just reserving accommodations and flights for clients. It is a complex role that needs an extensive understanding of the travel industry plus a passion for assisting others to explore places. Here are some simple roles and obligations of travel agents:

1. Plan trips

If you are like me who find it quite difficult to plan a trip, then you know why the first role of a travel agent is planning. Travel agents are skilled at understanding what their clients truly want and what they can afford. This helps them plan amazing trips that meet their clients' desires and budget. They recommend the perfect destinations, accommodations, transportation, and activities to create unforgettable experiences. With their expertise, travel agents turn ordinary plans into extraordinary adventures that leave a lasting impact on their clients.

2. Make bookings and reservations 

Travel agents are given access to different booking systems and are opportune to make reservations for rental cars, cruises, flights, hotels, and other travel-related services for their customers. They are in charge of the logistics and they make sure that all the crucial plans are carried out accordingly. 

3. Assist with travel documentation

Another role of travel agents is to assist with travel documentation which includes visas, passports, and additional required paperwork. They give guidance on the essential documents required and assist clients in going through the application processes.

4. Travel insurance

Travel agents can suggest and organize travel insurance coverage for their clients. They can do this by explaining the different coverage options, assisting their clients in comprehending the terms and conditions, and assisting in filing claims if required.

5. Price reduction and saving cost 

Through their industry connections, travel agents can assist clients in discovering the most beneficial promotions, deals, and discounts that are readily obtainable in the market. 

These special rates and packages can bring about substantial price reductions and help clients spend less on their travel expenditures.

6. Support for emergencies 

If there are any emergencies or unforeseen circumstances during the trip, travel agents are available to give their support and provide assistance. They serve as a primary representative for clients, assisting them through the hassles and giving them reliable guidance on the most eligible course of action.

7. Give updates and assistance for travel 

Travel agents must keep their clients informed about any modifications or interruptions in travel schedules like flight cancellations and delays, or travel warnings. They assist in rescheduling flights, providing alternative accommodations, or making any necessary itinerary adjustments. 

8. Advocate for the clients

Travel agents act as advocates for their clients, prioritizing their needs and interests. If any issues or worries come up before, during, or after the trip, agents can help in resolving those issues and address any complaints with travel providers on behalf of their clients.

Types of travel agents

Photo by Nubia Navarro

Travel agents can be classified into various types depending on their specialty and the services they offer. Here are some general types of travel agents:

1. Online travel agent

Through online media, online travel agents provide a diverse scope of travel services, including booking flights and hotels, car rentals, and organizing vacation packages. Clients can provide their own travel arrangements using the online medium or settle for the option of being assisted by customer service. If you're looking for how to become a travel agent from home, you can utilize the online medium to achieve it. 

2. Offline travel agent

As the name implies, they basically operate in physical offices rather than websites. As an offline travel agent, you can choose to be an independent contractor.  One of the largest benefits of accepting assistance from a travel agent offline is that you have the chance to entertain a face-to-face session with the agent. You can talk to him and illustrate better about your requirements. This might result in a better understanding of how he can help you. 

3. Wholesale travel agent

Wholesale travel agencies purchase travel products in large quantities from airlines, hoteliers, and transportation companies and have them sold to retail travel agencies. They specialize in planning, coordinating, crafting, and marketing special vacation packages according to the preferences of travelers, serving as the middleman between suppliers and retailers. Generally, these individuals function as business-to-business sellers. 

4. Business travel agent

Travel management companies (TMCs), or business travel agencies, focus on handling corporate travel demands. They offer multiple advantages with online travel agencies (OTAs), including extensive knowledge of business travel, quick booking, largely reduced rates for airfare and accommodations, 24/7 on-trip aid, with crises under control, and much more.

5. Niche travel agents

Niche agents oversee specific travel interests or markets, such as honeymoons, eco-tourism, religious pilgrimages, or medical tourism. They possess specialized knowledge and resources to meet the unique needs of their target audience.

6. Leisure travel agent

These travel agents specialize in planning vacations and leisure trips for people, homes, and parties. They help in organizing itineraries, booking flights, lodgings, and organizing activities and excursions.

As an individual who aspires to become a travel agent, you can choose to specialize in more than one area, because the lines between these categories can sometimes overlap

How to become a travel agent

Becoming a travel agent requires you to cultivate knowledge, develop skills, and build a good network in the travel industry. Follow these seven simple guides on how to become a travel agent:

1. Study and acquaint yourself with the travel industry

Begin by studying the travel industry and the different kinds of travel agencies, trends, destinations, their products, and the kind of services they offer. You can enroll in a travel agent school to acquire more insight or  be informed on the latest travel news, occurrences, and growth.

2. Obtain the necessary  education and training

Enroll in a travel and tourism study or acquire a related certification or diploma. Many vocational academies, community universities, and online media provide courses particularly organized for individuals who aspire to become travel agents. This study will cover the necessary topics including travel regulations, sales techniques, booking systems, and customer service.

3. Get the right licenses and certifications

Find out the legal rights of operating as a travel agent in your jurisdiction. Some areas may mandate precise licenses or certifications. Ensure you look into industry-recognized certifications including (CTA) or (CTC), which stands for Certified Travel Associate and Certified Travel Counselor, respectively. 

4. Gain practical experience

There are several chances to gain hands-on knowledge in the travel industry, look for those opportunities and utilize them to build experiences. This may require you to work as an intern or part-time worker at any travel agency, or other businesses related to it. The experience you will get will aid you to develop the necessary skills and knowledge while building a good network in that niche. 

5. Establish an online hub for your clients

An essential facet of becoming a successful travel agent is having an online office where clients can visit to get every information about you and your services. And what better place to start than to create a website where you can communicate, address customer inquiries, provide personalized guidance, and deal with any issues that may occur during the travel booking process.

If you aren’t sure of where to begin, deploy Workee to manage your customers, automate meetings, and seamlessly manage your client onboarding process while you focus on other areas of your business.

When you sign up for Workee Pro, you have access to the following tools without any stress.;

  • A free and personalized no-code website for your agency business

  • A CRM enables you to manage all your clients effectively

  • Booking and scheduling features that seamlessly allow your clients to book your services and schedule sessions with you.

  • Video collaboration for easy and efficient communication with your clients

  • And seamless integration with some of your favorite tools like Google Calendar, Stripe, PayPal, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.

6. Get accustomed to travel industry tools and technology

Get accustomed to the newest travel booking systems and platforms. Stay up-to-date with different technological tools used in the industry. Acquaint yourself with online travel agencies (OTAs), and global distribution systems (GDS). You should also familiarize yourself with the industry-specific software that facilitates state travel bookings.

7. Establish relationships and network

Going to trade shows and industry events, and joining professional organizations is one way you can build relationships within the travel industry. Intentionally build a network with suppliers, travel agencies, tour operators, and other industry experts as this can unlock doors to beneficial co-operations, discounted rates, and insider tips.

As you know, the travel industry is frequently developing, so it's crucial to always learn and adjust to the latest trends and technologies. Now you have been given a guide on how to become a travel agent, note that several qualities or skills are required of you to enable you to build a successful career as a travel agent. Imagine getting an unannounced update that your flight reservation plans were interrupted.How would you handle such without allowing emotions to run wild? Check out our article on How to manage last-minute cancellations like a pro


To be a travel agent means that you must have a passion for travel, give attention to details, and possess a commitment to providing excellent customer service. It may involve so much time to gain ground in the industry, but with devotion and consistent learning, you're sure to be a successful travel agent. 

Are you ready to improve your travel agency business? Then check out our 8 strategies to improve your business performance.

Ihor, CEO at Workee

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