Travel agents plan, sell and arrange holiday packages including transportation, accommodation, tours and activities for individuals, families and large groups.
They are responsible for creating fixed and tailored itineraries based on their expert knowledge and recommendations while also taking their clients requests into consideration.
Duties and responsibilities
- Arrange travel for business and leisure trips
- Liaise with suppliers to book and confirm tour arrangements
- Cooperate with clients to determine their needs and provide recommendations
- Provide relevant information on top holiday destinations
- Create invoices for both clients and suppliers, and carry out transactions
- Use promotional techniques to upsell packages
- Deal with unexpected travel issues
- Network with tour operators and keep good working relationships
- Update and maintain client records
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
Standard business hours
Most travel agents work in an office environment and spend a lot of their time on the phone liaising between clients and tour operators or on their computers. Others, who have built a vast pool of contacts, work remotely and handle requests via telephone or email.
Work is usually predictable and is expected to spike during busy seasons such as summer and winter holidays. At its busiest, travel agents may be required to work overtime and immediately resolve and unexpected issues that may arise.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
No formal education requirements
While formal education is not required, some travel agencies prefer candidates with an undergraduate degree or who have completed coursework related to the travel industry.
That said, basic computer skills are a must. While employers in the travel industry always offer on the job training, it’s essential to know how to use general office programs.
With training and experience, many travel agents progress to more senior roles including supervisor, branch manager, regional director or managing direction. Others choose to start their own business and work independently.
You could also move into other sectors of travel, such as tour operations, event planning or hospitality.