How to Become a Travel Agent

Interested in learning how to become a travel agent? Although not always as glamorous as it appears at first glance, travel agents can work from home or in a variety of settings. As more people travel more often, the need for travel agents is increasing, and many people are eagerly building their careers in the field. With all the competition, it's important to understand a few steps worth taking to succeed in this career field.

Acquiring Knowledge And Experience
It's hard to be a good travel agent if you've never left the city you were born in. Before jumping into the travel agent waters, do some traveling so you can speak about vacation locations with authority. Trips need not involve expensive jaunts to paradise, and they can be done on the cheap with a little research. Traveling a bit is critical, as it's the only way to understand what needs and wants arise during a vacation. Beyond experience, it's a good idea to mix in a little research. Learn everything you can about the career, and talk to others about their positive and negative experiences with travel agents. You'll want to know a thing or two about the travel agency world before you start a business or get a job as a corporate travel agent.

Certification And Registration
For better or worse, some states require a person to have certification before they work as a travel agent. Additionally, a travel agent may be required to register with the state before setting up shop. While certification may require various demonstrations of competency, registering with the state is not a difficult process. Before starting work as a travel agent, call the state Department of Commerce to determine the steps required.

Taking The Extra Step
As competitive as the world of travel agencies is, especially with the rise of online travel planning, it's always valuable to acquire a few skills and credentials that will make you stand out. Even if you don't work from home, developing your computer knowledge and literacy can simplify the process of working with customers and also help you keep track of information. It's also generally recommended that modern travel agents learn a second language, as the United States and other countries are becoming more ethnically diverse. Being able to speak competently with foreign speakers will earn their trust and turn them into customers. Advanced credentials can never hurt, but they often require considerable time spent in professional training. Ultimately, any step that can help you stand out as a travel agent is worth taking. 

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