August 4, 2016 #AskMeredith, Blog

There is one, big, wrong reason to become a travel agent that continues to get included in so many recent articles about this subject, that I decided it was time to write an article on the right reasons to become a travel agent. The number 1 wrong reason to become a travel agent is to feed your insatiable hunger for travel for less money because you think you will get free travel.

It’s common for people to mistakenly believe that travel agents get a lot of free travel or free travel perks like upgrades, etc. They don’t. Maybe they used to 25 or more years ago. But the free travel and VIP treatment is reserved mostly for agents or agencies selling a LOT of a specific travel supplier’s product. Yes, there are familiarization trips for a travel agent to experience the product, but they are fast paced, high intensity, long days, and require a lot of focus and energy. Simply put, they are no vacation.

Becoming a travel agent is a fabulous career option. You can have the “laptop lifestyle,” get paid for deepening and nurturing your passion, help people make memories that will last the rest of their lives, and spend a lot of time on a very happy topic – vacations. But, it’s no picnic either. To be successful and make enough money to support yourself, becoming a travel agent will require passion, commitment, investment and a lot of stepping outside the comfort zone. So if you are going to become a travel agent, then make sure you become a travel agent for the RIGHT reasons. Here they are:

1) You have a passion for travel AND helping others

So A passion for travel is a GREAT reason to become a travel agent, but not so you can satiate your never ending hunger for more travel. Rather, a much better reason to become a travel agent is to channel your passion for travel in the direction of sharing whatever life changing results you have realized through travel to others. In other words, the best reason to become a travel agent is to combine your passion for travel with a passion for helping people.

2) You have excellent project management skills and are detail and task oriented

There are a LOT of moving parts when it comes to planning a single itinerary for as little as 2 people. The best travel agents are naturals at detail and task oriented things, can juggle many things at one time and have the initiative to move a project forward and follow it through to its end.

3) You want to have a “laptop lifestyle.”

One of the greatest benefits of becoming a travel agent is that you don’t need a physical office, thanks to today’s digital world. You really can do your job and grow your business from anywhere in the world with a laptop and wi-fi connection. There’s a ton of flexibility in this career choice so it can be a great option for many different types of people – moms with school aged children, newly retired professionals, and recent college grads.

4) You want to be your own boss

Most travel agents are independent contractors and thus, work for themselves while the travel agency owners are business owners too. An entrepreneurial spirit is a must for those who want to become a travel agent. When you become a travel agent, you will own your own business and find yourself wearing many, many hats. But if you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I don’t want to work for someone else” or something of that nature, then becoming a travel agent is a great path.

For taking this further: If you want the industry’s best travel agent training program; one that will walk you through the process of becoming a travel agent and business owner over a 12 month period, then go here: www.getyourtravelmba.com

By Meredith Hill