Are you looking for a new and exciting career? A travel career could be for you! The AAA Travel Agent Training Center trains you the skills needed to get started working in a travel agency or you can learn how to setup your own home-based travel agency. Travel agency career positions include:
The travel industry offers many opportunities for careers. Many experienced travel agents may cross over into other areas of the travel industry as they grow in their careers so many opportunities are available in this broad industry. Some examples of other travel career options include:
With our experienced staff working with you starting a career as a travel agent will be fun and exciting!
A typical day as a leisure travel agent working in a travel agency includes a day filled of multiple tasks. Travel agents assist customers with leisure travel plans and advise them of all their travel needs. Agents must build a relationship with their customers, understand their wants and needs and determine the best products to match their vacation desires. Agents helps customers select their destination, arrange hotel and air reservations, makes suggestions for sightseeing and dining. Travel agents can assist customers with something as complicated as a 21-day African safari to a simple 2-day car reservation. A travel agent must be able to research destinations, fares, hotels, suppliers and be able to handle multiple tasks. Some basic skills travel agents must have include:
Working as a home-based travel agent requires the same skills as a retail agent, but you are working independently. You must be very organized and have the self discipline to work your business. You are responsible for finding your customers so you must have a good business and marketing plan. Your typical work day can be as varied as you like and filled with as many tasks as you plan. As you build your client base, your client’s must know the hours you are available and the best way to get in touch with you. Owning and operating your own business has its many advantages and can offer flexibility but you must be in control of how you want to operate it. It is always recommended to specialize in an area of travel as a home-based travel agent so choose an interest or passion. For example; focus on selling cruises; sell a particular destination, region or area (Caribbean, Europe) or weddings and honeymoons.
Hotels have many positions to offer. Most people new to the travel and hospitality industry will start working at the front desk. From this position you can work towards a job as the front desk supervisor, reservations department agents or reservations supervisor, sales and catering staff, restaurant and housekeeping positions. Hotels are located around the world so working for hotels or resorts can take you many places.
Cruise lines have many positions available within their companies but most people start in the reservation department. Relocation to the company's reservation center is required. Cruise line reservationist's work directly with travel agents in making cruise reservations. Working onboard is another option. Many positions are available onboard such as wait staff, retail sales clerk, kitchen positions, children's activities, entertainers, etc. Cruise lines are very selective in hiring for these positions and many positions require experience. When working onboard, you normally work a contracted period (3-6 months) and must share a cabin with 2 - 3 other persons.
Work in the reservation department, in the airport as a ticket counter agent or customer service representative. Airlines also have sales positions available, and probably the most appealing job with the airlines is working as a flight attendant. Airlines offer extensive training for flight attendants and relocation may be required.
Work with a tour company in reservations, tour planning, negotiating, tour directing or escorting. Tour companies typically require people to have experience before hiring. Tour companies are located throughout the world and relocation usually is necessary to work for these companies.
Work for a convention and visitor bureau to help promote leisure and business travel to the city. Bureau positions require excellent customer service and sales skills. Administrative positions or sales positions may also be an option with the bureaus.
A corporate travel specialist assists business travelers with their arrangements. Business travelers' needs include air, hotel and car rentals. Many corporate agents will assist businesses arrange special meeting fares to a city for a discount. A corporate agent must be very quick, efficient and organized. Good computer skills are a must for this position.
A group travel planner works exclusively with groups, a minimum of 10 or more passengers. The planner works with the tour leader or organizer in developing an itinerary and making all arrangements for the group, such as hotels, transportation, group meals, group sightseeing, local tours and any special functions the group would like included.
A meeting & incentive planner usually works with businesses in planning company meetings and/or conventions. The planner will negotiate hotel room rates, meeting space, meal inclusions and meeting equipment needs. Incentives are trips offered to company employees who have reached certain goals or company recognition. The incentive trip planning includes choosing the destination, hotels and activities for the incentive group.