Wanderlust and a passion for exotic cuisine and local history might have been enough to become a travel agent in the past. Now, with internet travel sites, you have to be more creative.
Step 1: Graduate and learn Earn a high school diploma and expand your knowledge of foreign cultures, customs, and history.
Step 2: Take field training Enroll in a six- to 12-week training course for travel agent basics.
TIP: Learn a foreign language.
Step 3: Take courses and do research Enroll in computer-based courses. The American Society of Travel Agents provides a list of travel schools.
Step 4: Register with your state Register with your state through the Attorney General’s office or Consumer Affairs. Check other state laws, as you may be required to register when selling travel in those regions, too.
Step 5: Gain experience Take a job as a hotel reservations clerk, or join a host agency.
TIP: Join a travel consortium for additional marketing information and support.
Step 6: Travel and learn Travel often and learn regulations, currency exchanges, passport rules, travel advisories, industry standards, and international laws.
Step 7: Earn certifications Earn a travel counselor certification to enhance your professional credentials. Enjoy your career!
FACT: Did you know? Just 30 percent of leisure travelers use travel agents.
You Will Need
A high school diploma
A computer with internet access
Job and travel experience
Travel counselor certification
Foreign language skills (optional) (optional) (optional)