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Is it possible to become a travel agent without any experience?

close up of man holding plane tickets travel agent

Being a travel agent is an exciting job, offering a variety of diverse experiences that few vocations can provide; not least of these is helping people design their dream holidays and even giving you the ability to travel to exotic destinations yourself. 

If you’re considering joining the industry but you have no experience yet, you may be wondering if you can still become a travel agent without experience.

In this article, we explore the reasons why you can do this, including answering the questions of what a travel agent does and what skills are beneficial for the job. 

Let’s dive in and take a closer look.

What does a travel agent do?

On the surface, it may seem that all a travel agent does is book holidays for people. However, their responsibilities go much further than this. 

With their ability to navigate insurance, flight, hotel and tour operator terms and conditions and contracts, they need an eagle eye to help ensure their clients get the best holiday experience possible. 

In addition to navigating legal complexities, they’re also responsible for:

  • marketing and advertising 
  • creating travel itineraries
  • advising clients on travel requirements such as visas and vaccinations, 
  • dealing with customer queries and complaints
  • booking car rental services
  • ensuring their clients get the right travel insurance, 
  • booking flights or cruises and a whole lot more.

Overall, the job is diverse and offers a lot of variety. That’s why no two days will ever be the same. It really is a highly rewarding job that gives you opportunities to travel the world often at discounted prices or on free fam (educational) trips!

Although most travel agent opportunities today are office-based, there are opportunities to become a travel agent from home. It’s just a matter of finding the right opportunity that fits you, your personal and professional goals and your lifestyle requirements best.

What skills do you need to become a travel agent?

Being a travel agent requires a lot of attention to detail. 

It also involves being patient, flexible, efficient, having good interpersonal skills and being a careful listener to determine what your clients’ requirements are and not missing any details.

Furthermore, a travel agent should be computer literate and have the ability to navigate different booking software.

It’s also as much about persuasion, sales and negotiation as it is about being well-organised and always being willing to go above and beyond to help your clients.

Although maths, geography and English skills are quite useful for the job, in addition to other languages, an aspiring travel agent will often wonder: what qualifications do you need to become a travel agent? The answer is that although there are nice-to-have certificates and diplomas, you don’t need prior experience to become a travel agent.

How to become a travel agent with no experience

If you have no experience as a travel agent but are keen to pursue an opportunity in the industry, there are several ways you can make yourself stand out from the crowd. Here are our five tips for doing so successfully.

1. Expand your knowledge of the travel industry and launch your own independent agency

Our very first suggestion for how to become a travel agent with no experience is to expand your knowledge of the travel industry. The more you educate yourself, the better equipped you will be to handle the responsibilities of this career pursuit. 

There are multiple online platforms such as Reed where you can take online courses and learn from those in the industry with experience they are happy to share. 

You can also educate yourself about insurance regulations, air travel, visa and vaccination requirements and so much more. One of the best industry organisations for this is the Association of British Travel Agents.

It is possible to launch your own homeworking agency but this will come at a price. 

2. Develop key skills and abilities as an apprentice or through work experience

Although you may have no prior experience as a travel agent, you may be surprised at the fact that you already possess most of the skills a travel agent needs to thrive in the industry. 

If you have retail experience and have worked in client-facing roles, you’ll already have a good understanding of how to provide exceptional customer service. 

If you’re an accountant, manager, marketer, sales person, administrator or anything in between, you can rely on the important skills you’ve gained during your career and apply them to your new job as a travel agent.

Some of the skills that will come in quite handy include communication, attention to detail, ability to crunch numbers and others. Once you are aware of what skills you can bring to the table, it becomes much easier to sell yourself as a travel agent and apply for an apprenticeship or work experience. Perhaps you can get a Saturday job in a high street travel agency. Once you have your foot in the door, who knows what will happen…

3. Get a scholarship and improve your qualifications

Although they can be time-consuming and often pricey, you can also choose to go the formal education route and pursue a diploma in travel and tourism or hospitality. 

Many colleges and universities such as Bournemouth, Sheffield Hallam, Northumbria University, University of Bedfordshire and more offer such courses but you should be aware that they have minimum requirements for acceptance. 

For example, you may need a certain level of maths and English before you are accepted into their programme. It’s simply a matter of doing your research and finding the right educational opportunity for you. However, you could get a scholarship.

Once you have a formal qualification in your hands, you can also pursue internships and/or apprenticeships to gain real-world experience to help you get a foot in the door and start your journey towards your dream career. 

You might be wondering how to become a travel agent without experience but remember, everyone has to start somewhere. You’d be surprised how quickly you will pick up the necessary skills. 

READ MORE: How long does it take to become a travel agent?

4. Build your online presence

In our digital world with rapid technological advancements, it’s becoming ever more important to have an online presence. The world of travel agents is no different. 

One of the reasons behind this is that you’ll get more exposure and you will be able to build a strong customer list that you can target prospective customers in a more effective way.

Whether you choose to create a website marketing yourself, build your social media presence and profiles, create an email list with a valuable newsletter or even start blogging with useful tips about travelling to certain destinations abroad, being online is a must these days. Armed with a long list of potential clients could be your route into becoming a travel agent. 

5. Become a part of The Travel Franchise

If you want to build your own travel agency, be your own boss and choose your own hours, you may want to invest in a travel franchise and become a work-from-home travel agent. While some franchises require experience in travel, others such as The Travel Franchise require no former experience as a travel agent. 

Being a franchisee means you’ll get a proven business model to follow plus training and support. You’ll be working for yourself but never by yourself. With incredible levels of training and support to help you succeed in the industry, the sky is literally the limit.

READ MORE: How to become a travel agent without any former travel experience

So, is it possible to become a travel agent without any experience? Absolutely!

In short, it is absolutely 100% possible to become a travel agent without any experience. 

All you need is the drive and determination to succeed but if you’re looking for one of the quickest ways, take a look at The Travel Franchise which has helped hundreds of people new to travel become successful travel agents. 

Training takes just five days and you’ll be able to earn commissions based on your input and efforts with no caps or limitations.  

Interested in exploring new opportunities with The Travel Franchise? Watch our Discovery Tour to find out more.

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