Do you think you would be a great travel agent?
If so, you should add your name to the growing list of more than 100,000 travel agents working throughout the U.S. right now. You can spend your days helping people arrange their travel plans and open up their eyes to all the opportunities traveling can offer.
Before you make the decision to launch your new career, though, it's important for you to find out how to be a travel agent. Here are 8 tips that will ensure you enjoy success working as a travel agent when the time comes.
1. Specialize in a Specific Type of Travel
When you're first getting your feet wet as a travel agent, it's a good idea to specialize in one particular type of travel.
For example, let's say you know everything there is to know about taking cruises. Use it to help others find amazing cruises at great prices. Before long, you'll have people lining up to utilize your services whenever they take a cruise.
From there, you can branch out and begin helping people with other travel plans. But by honing in on one type of travel at the beginning, you'll give yourself a better chance to stand out in the crowded travel industry.
2. Customize Your Travel Services to Meet Your Client's Needs
In 2018, it's simple enough for people to try and book their own travel through any number of online travel sites. They can compare prices and see their travel options from the comfort of their own homes.
So, why should they come to you and hand over some of their hard-earned money for you to do the same thing?
Rather than offering cookie-cutter services that don't seem personal at all, get into the habit of sitting down with your clients and listening to what they want out of a trip. Even if they already have a place in mind, suggest another one that might offer a similar experience at a better price and with better amenities.
When you do this, people will see the value in trusting you for your expertise. You'll be providing them with something they won't find on any travel website.
This blog provides an excellent example of a trip that a family might want to take after hearing more about it.
3. Communicate Effectively With Clients
There are so many different moving parts that come into play whenever you're booking travel. From finding the right hotel to considering if you'll need a rental car, it can become overwhelming.
Your job as a travel agent is to make the process of booking travel as easy as possible on your clients. You can do it by communicating clearly with them and staying in constant contact with them as well.
Make yourself available via phone, text, email, and any other lines of communication you might maintain. This will allow your clients to contact you at a moment's notice to go over their travel plans.
4. Explain the Ways in Which You Can Save People Money
Most people these days believe they can get the best travel deal possible online. It's why they're sometimes hesitant to work with a travel agent.
Part of your job is to convince and show them otherwise. Tell your clients how exactly you plan on getting them the greatest deal possible on a trip.
When you break down the numbers for them, they'll understand why it's worth their time and money to book travel through you instead of a travel site.
5. Set Up a Website That Makes It Easy to Find You
As we mentioned earlier, there are tens of thousands of travel agents scattered across the country right now. The power of the internet makes it possible for them to work with anyone in the U.S. at any time.
One of the only ways you're going to generate business is by setting up a professional website that makes it easy for people to track you down. Your website should include:
- The travel services you offer
- Travel tips that people can put to good use
- Any travel specials that you're promoting at the moment
- A blog filled with valuable travel information
- Your contact info and links to your social media accounts
Spend some time boosting your website's search engine optimization as well. This will increase your chances of bringing in more clients.
6. Use Social Media to Your Advantage
All businesses should have social media accounts these days. But travel agents, in particular, can really use them to their advantage.
You can start a Facebook page and fill it with incredible photos showcasing a place people will want to visit. Or you can start an Instagram page and feature a new travel special that you're promoting every week.
Most people enjoy looking at photos of beautiful beaches and sparkling blue water. So they won't mind seeing these pictures showing up in their social media feeds.
7. Follow the Latest Travel Trends
As a travel agent, it'll be your responsibility to keep tabs on the trends within the travel industry.
For example, things like solo trips and wellness vacations are all the rage right now. And if you don't know that, it'll put you at a disadvantage when you're competing with other travel agents.
Monitor the industry and look for potential trends all the time. It'll give you a chance to sell your clients on travel experiences they might not even know about yet.
8. Prepare to Change Your Approach to Booking Travel
Learn how to be a travel agent in 2018, but don't get stuck in your ways!
The travel industry is constantly changing thanks to technology and the fact that people are more willing to travel today than ever before.
Outside of monitoring travel trends, keep an eye out for new ways in which people are searching for travel ideas. You could stumble on something that will work for you and help you enjoy massive success.
Find Out How to Be a Travel Agent and Get to Work
Once you know how to be a travel agent, you can start working with those who come to you for your expertise.
As long as you continue to push yourself to learn about travel trends and the changes within the industry, you shouldn't have any trouble staying afloat. Your clients will enjoy working with you and taking trips that you helped design.
Check out our blog for tips on successfully launching other types of careers.