I have been a travel agent since 2013. Over the last few years I have learned so much about being a travel agent. I actually keep learning new things all of the time! A few months ago I asked my social media followers what questions they had about travel agents. And I’m JUST getting around to answer them. They were supposed to be answered in a YouTube video on our channel, but I figured a blog post would be easier to refer back to! The post will be broken down into two parts. Travel Agent facts about WORKING with a travel agent & BEING a travel agent.
Facts About Working with a Travel Agent
Q1: How much extra does it cost to book through a travel agent?
Zip. Zilch. Nada! It should not cost you anything extra to book your trip with a travel agent. Some agents do charge extra fees for planning services or other non commissioned services, but I do NOT! If you booked your trip yourself it would cost you the exact same amount of money compared to booking your trip through me. If you’ve found a cheaper price online, ask me to match it!
Q2: How do you get paid then?
I get paid by the vendor/company after you travel. Your commission is already built into the price of your vacation whether you use a travel agent or not. If you book through a travel agent that commission goes to the travel agent after you travel. If you book on your own that commission goes back to the million dollar company instead. They NEVER give that money to you!
Q3: Do I get a say in my own vacation/planning?
This is a concern for many people. They think that if they book their vacation through a travel agent that they can’t plan any of their vacation. This isn’t true. If you are working with me you can have as much or as little planning control as you want. In all honesty, I want my clients to have a lot of control over their plans. It’s YOUR vacation. Some people don’t want any of the control and that’s okay too! I just need to know up front!
Q4: Why should I book through a travel agent if I already know everything or my friend knows everything?
Here’s the thing about travel agents. The good ones are TRAINED officially by the companies they are selling. Things are changing ALL of the time especially when it comes to destinations like Disney World. If you or your friend were there two or even one year ago there may be a bunch of new things that you won’t know about! But not only that, booking with a travel agent is like having a personal concierge. Your travel agent should help you take care of so much more than just booking your trip. They are also there for you if you need them in case something should go wrong (sometimes they do)!
Q5: Can you get me a deal?
Well, here’s the thing. I can get you the best deal that you can get yourself. However, I do offer discount monitoring services. This means that if you book your trip through me and a discount comes out AFTER you’ve booked, I will do my best to make sure that the discount is applied to your vacation! You should always have the best price that is available to anyone else whether you book through a travel agent or not!
Q6: How early should I book my trip?
For the best planned trip I always recommend booking a year out. However, sometimes it’s hard to know a year from now where you will be or what you want to do. That’s understandable. My recommended booking timeline would be 6-9 months minimum for a stress free trip! Places like Disney World have certain time frames where you need to book dining or activities before they are booked solid! So you definitely want to book early!
Facts About Being a Travel Agent
Q7: Are you “certified” with Disney?
There is no thing as being “certified” with Disney although I do see that term out there a lot. In order to sell Disney I did have to take a comprehensive course called the Disney College of Knowledge and pass the certification exam. This course covers ALL Disney’s parks, cruises, ticket options, and more. Each year I have to take the updated courses and quizzes in order to continue selling.
Q8: How much training is required?
It really depends on your goals as a travel agent. I feel that if I’m going to sell a certain destination that I should be trained in that destination. The only training that is REQUIRED is if you are going to sell Disney. However, if you are looking for a travel agent you should go ahead and ask them what their training is in the destination you are looking into or their own personal experience booking that destination. Don’t be afraid to ask your travel agent questions!
Q9: How many hours do you work?
This really depends on the types of bookings, how many bookings, and your experience. It also depends on how much time you WANT to put into your business. I will say that in the beginning you are working a lot more than you are getting paid. Being a travel agent isn’t a get rich quick scheme. If you are thinking of becoming a travel agent to make a lot of extra money right away it’s not going to be for you. Remember that you get paid AFTER the client travels. So I do hours and hours of work up front and then sometimes the client cancels their trip. Guess what? I don’t get that commission for all that work I did. You have to be ready for that!
Q10: How do I become a travel agent?
If after all these travel agent facts you’ve decided you want to try it out then being a travel agent may be for you! There are a lot of options out there to become a travel agent. Basically you just need to research agencies and decide who would fit your wants/needs for your business. I work with Goldgell Getaways travel agency and have for the past couple years. If you are interested in learning more e-mail them today and let them know Lau Family Travels referred you!