If you want to start your own business, there are a lot of options to consider. This article lays out the pros and cons of becoming a travel agent, so you can decide if this is a good choice for you.
You Can Be Your Own Boss
This is probably the biggest advantage of starting a travel agency. You will be in control of your own business, and you can set your own hours.
You Can Work From Home
If you start a traditional storefront travel agency, you will have to rent office space. But, if you start an online, home-based travel agency, you can save a lot of money on overhead costs.
You Can Help People Plan Their Dream Vacations
One of the best parts of being a travel agent is helping people plan their dream vacations. If you love to travel and you love helping others, this could be the perfect business for you.
Your Job Will Likely Be Secure
The travel industry is growing, so there is a lot of job security for travel agents. Even if the economy takes a downturn, people will still travel for business and pleasure.
You Can Expect Solid Earnings
Your actual earnings will vary depending on your experience, location, and whether you’re an independent agent or you work for an agency.
In general, the salary for independent travel agents ranges from $25,000 to $100,000 per year, while an online travel agency can make $50,000 to $250,000 per year.
You May Get to Take Free Trips
Many travel agents get to take free familiarization trips or “fam” trips . These trips are offered by suppliers or travel operators to familiarize travel agents with a destination. Fam trips can be a great perk, but they are not as common as they used to be.
You May Receive Travel Discounts
Another perk of being a travel agent is that you can often get discounted travel. Many travel suppliers offer travel agents reduced rates on hotels, cruises, tours, and more.
You Can Meet A lot of Interesting People
If you love to meet new people, then being a travel agent is definitely the job for you. You will get to meet people from all over the world and learn about their cultures.
You Can Learn About Different Cultures and Lifestyles
One of the best parts of being a travel agent is learning about different cultures and lifestyles. If you love to travel, this could be the perfect job for you.
You Can Visit Amazing Places
As a travel agent, you may get to visit some amazing places that you might not have otherwise had the opportunity to visit, and do it for free or at a discount.
You May Have to Work Long Hours
At the outset, you’ll have to invest the time to get your business up and running. Once it’s established, you may be able to cut back on your hours.
You Will Have to Invest Money Upfront
To start a travel agency, you’ll have to make a financial investment to buy software, marketing materials, and even office furniture and supplies. Expect to invest $5,000 to start a home-based travel agency and $10,000 to start a brick-and-mortar travel agency
You May Need to Get Licensed
Depending on your state, you may need to get a license to work as a travel agent. Because license requirements vary from state to state, it’s best to check with your local licensing authority. In some states, the license may be free, while in others it may cost up to $200.
You Should Be Good at Sales
You will need to be a good salesperson to market your services to potential clients and persuade them to book their travel plans through your agency.
You Have to Stay Up-To-Date on Travel Trends
Successful travel agents have to be aware of the latest industry trends, including new and popular destinations, hotels, resorts, and cruise lines. You can keep on top of travel trends by reading industry publications, attending trade shows, and taking classes.
You May Need Experience to Get Hired
Many travel agencies require their employees to have prior industry experience. This may make it difficult to get your foot in the door if you’re just starting out.
There are both pros and cons to being a travel agent. On the one hand, you have the potential to make a lot of money, receive discounted travel, and meet interesting people from all over the world. On the other hand, you may have to work long hours in the beginning, invest money upfront, and be good at sales. It’s important to weigh these pros and cons before deciding if becoming a travel agent is right for you.