How to Turn Your Love of Travel into a Career
Are you enamored with the wanderlust lifestyle and ready to turn your love of travel into a career? Good news! You can find a travel-related job that is reliable and exciting. A new generation of travelers is flocking to travel advisors or “trip designers” to help them craft the itinerary of their dreams. They’re looking for someone who is experienced, knowledgeable, and empathetic. Now more than ever before, travelers want a trip tailored to fit their needs… and they’re willing to pay!
While a job as a travel advisor requires the hard work of learning the market and growing a client base, you can certainly get started without an expensive, specialized education. Your travel career will be as profitable as your effort and creativity. So if you are passionate about sharing your travel experiences and willing to put in the time, travel advising is the perfect way to turn your love of travel into a career.
Here are four questions to consider as you start down the path of becoming a travel advisor.
What should my travel niche be?
Your niche will be where your passions and consumer demand intersect.
The key to building a profitable travel brand is to specialize in a great niche. Your niche will be where your passions and consumer demand intersect. It is very similar to the way a professional blogger chooses a niche: broad enough to capture a large audience, but narrow enough to reduce competition. You must also remember that when people do choose to book their vacation through a travel advisor, they are looking for high-level specialization. You cannot be a great specialist if you try to do everything.
If you’re not sure if your desired travel niche is viable, do some research on today’s growing travel trends to see what the market looks like. You will find everything from film and book-based tours to solo female travel. And new travel niches are rising through the ranks all the time. Find one you would love to pursue.
How can I pick the best host agency?
Most host agencies allow you a certain degree of flexibility to work independently while offering protection and support.
Rather than building a business from scratch, many travel advisors prefer to work through a host agency. Host agencies are diverse with many different business models and methods of operation. However, most host agencies allow you a certain degree of flexibility to work independently while offering protection and support.
This is different than the model of a traditional brick-and-mortar travel agency, where you would work as an employee in an office setting. Under the right host agency, you can work from home or from the road. Here is a step-by-step guide to choosing the best host agency to launch your career.
How do travel agents make money?
[Selling airfare] is an oft-missed golden opportunity for travel advisors.
This is what everyone really wants to know! Since the nature of selling travel has changed over the past 20 years, so has the way travel agents and advisors earn an income. Travel advisors make money in multiple ways. 20-30 years ago, commissions from travel vendors were substantial. While great commissions are still out there, they’re not usually a travel advisor’s main source of income. Most travel advisors charge a flat fee for their expertise. Clients are willing to pay for this because of the hours and hours of heavy research a travel advisor saves them. Additionally, a travel advisor protects clients from making costly and time-consuming mistakes.
Finally, travel agents make money by selling airfare. This is an oft-missed golden opportunity for travel advisors. The world of airfare seems complex and elusive — almost like airlines are speaking an entirely different language (yes, they do)! That is why it’s important to use an airfare consolidator like Centrav to simplify the booking process. Centrav’s simple point-a-d click technology makes it super easy to earn more income with every trip you design. You can register to sell airfare through Centrav here.
How can I market my travel brand?
The best marketing you’ll ever get as a travel advisor is a happy client.
Once you’ve established your niche and partnered with a host agency, it’s time to turn your attention to marketing. If you’ve been documenting your travels with social media, you can use accounts that you already have. If not, create brand new ones! Facebook and Instagram are great social media channels for any travel brand.
Once you are more established in the travel industry, you’ll start to gain clients through the power of word-of-mouth marketing. The best marketing you’ll ever get as a travel advisor is a happy client. Consider creating a referral program to generate new, quality leads. If you are truly growing your reputation by offering a great service, your brand will take off!