“The whole concept of the travel agent is absurd. They appear to be agents of the traveler but are actually agents of the airlines.“
Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Businessman
Pros and Cons of Working as a Travel Agent
You think about becoming a travel agent but are not sure whether this career path is good for you or not? Great!
Stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a travel agent in the following so that you can better decide whether you want to become a travel agent or if you rather want to go for a different job option instead.
Travel Agent Job Profile
|Job Description||Travel agents sell flights, stays and trips to their clients and make sure that they plan their vacations the best way possible.|
|Salary||$53,000 per year on average, most travel agents make between $45,000 and $68,000 per year.|
|Job Security||Poor since you will be replaceable as a travel agent.|
|Job Satisfaction||Good if you like to plan vacations for others.|
|Work-Life Balance||Decent since you will have free weekends and not work that many extra hours.|
|Physically / Mentally Demanding?||Can be mentally demanding.|
|Future Outlook||Rather poor since an increasing number of people book vacations on the internet without the need for a travel agent.|
|Requirements||No special educational requirements. Finishing high school will often be enough to work in the travel industry.|
Advantages of Being a Travel Agent
- Working as a travel agent is not that stressful
- You can make people happy
- You can get new ideas for your own vacation
- Travel agents may get discounts on flights, stays and trips
- You can improve your soft skills
- Travel agents can work indoors
- You can talk to many different people
- You can start a travel blog
- Travel agents don’t work many extra hours
- You don’t have to work on weekends
- You may be able to travel the world
- Travel agents have a decent work-life balance
- Travel agents can make decent money
- You can start your own travel agency
- You don’t need a college degree for becoming a travel agent
- You can avoid student loan debt
- Travel agents can become independent rather soon
Working as a travel agent is not that stressful
One advantage of being a travel agent is that your job will simply not be as stressful as working in many other fields.
Yes, from time to time, you will have demanding clients who will do everything to annoy you and who will just never be satisfied.
You may also have to handle many clients at the same time during busy periods of the years.
However, you will still have a relatively comfortable and relaxed workday most of the time and this means that while other people are on fire at work 100% of their time, you will be able to enjoy nice little breaks on a regular basis and will also have enough time to chat with your colleagues.
Chances are that you will also have sufficient energy after work to meet up with your favorite people while many other people out there will be happy to just sit on their couches since they are so tired from working in their jobs.
Hence, becoming a travel agent can be great for you in case you don’t want to have a stressful job but rather want to have sufficient energy to spend on the things you like more than work.
You can make people happy
As a travel agent, you will also play a quite important role in the lives of many people.
Since vacation trips are the highlights of the year for many people out there, it will be in your hands to make those trips as enjoyable as possible.
Thus, good travel agents can really make a difference in the quality of life of numerous people and you should not underestimate how important you will be for the success of those trips.
Consequently, you should also consider becoming a travel agent if you want to make the lives of people better while earning money at the same time.
You can get new ideas for your own vacation
Another upside to working as a travel agent is that you can also get many new ideas for your own travels.
Opportunities regarding traveling are almost endless, yet you might not know many of them yet.
In fact, travel companies always invent new things you can do on your travels and if you work as a travel agent, you will be one of the first people who get to know those things.
This not only means that you will be one of the first people who can try out those new activities, but you can also inform your family and friends about those new attractions and your loved ones will be quite happy since they will get additional ideas of what to do when it comes to their vacation plans.
Travel agents may get discounts on flights, stays and trips
Many travel agents also enjoy discounts on many things related to vacation.
For instance, as a travel agent, you may be able to book flights at a lower price and may also have to pay less for a stay in your favorite hotel. You may even get discounts on trips.
Especially if you have a big family, this can add up to significant amounts of money and I am sure you know many nice things you could buy from the saved money from your vacation trips.
Hence, while your base salary may not be that high as a travel agent, you can still save some money on vacation and this means that you will get additional implied income from your job.
You can improve your soft skills
By working as a travel agent, you will also have many different clients.
While some of them will be nice and polite, others will just be difficult and demanding.
This means that you will always have to improve your people skills and learn how to deal with these difficult people to stay successful in the long run.
While this can be annoying, it also gives you the opportunity to develop important character traits and to grow as a character in general.
In turn, you will be able to use those skills not only at work, but on many other occasions in your private life.
Travel agents can work indoors
Another benefit of becoming a travel agent is that you will be able to work indoors.
While many people take this for granted, you shouldn’t!
There are still many people who have to work outdoors during bad weather and this can be really annoying and also potentially risky for your health.
By working indoors, you as a travel agent can make your work life as comfortable as possible and can even use heating or air conditioning to optimize your work environment while garbage collectors and many other people will sweat or feel cold outdoors.
You can talk to many different people
As a travel agent, you will also be able to talk to many different people.
Good travel agents realize that their level of success in this field not only depends on the tours they have to offer, but also greatly on how they treat their customers.
If clients feel well in a travel agent office, they are far more likely to buy trips, flights and other things.
Hence, becoming a travel agent can be great for you in case you are the type of extroverted person who loves to talk to people all day long and who can give them a good feeling in general.
You can start a travel blog
As a travel agent, you may not only make money from your day job.
If you know a little bit about digital marketing and are also willing to expand your knowledge in this field, you may be able to start your own travel blog and to make serious money from it.
Sure, this will not be an overnight project.
You would have to put in lots of work and it will likely take you several years to get to this point.
Yet, if you are willing to work hard and work on the weekends and before or after work, chances are that you will get to a point where you can quit your day job and solely rely on your income from your travel blog.
Sure, you could also just keep your job and enjoy an additional passive income stream from your blog.
Hence, working as a travel agent can also help you become financially independent sooner or later and this can be great since it gives you the opportunity to work less and to enjoy the nice things in life instead.
Travel agents don’t work many extra hours
Employed travel agents will also not have to work that many hours.
In fact, most travel agents don’t work more than 40 hours a week and some of them even work significantly less.
This means that you will have enough time to spend on your hobbies and that you will also not be as exhausted from work compared to someone who works 60 hours+.
You don’t have to work on weekends
Travel agents usually also don’t have to work on weekends.
Sure, there are exemptions to this rule and if you are really ambitious and want to get promoted as soon as possible, you may also have to put in the work on Saturday or Sunday.
Yet, most travel agents are able to enjoy free weekends and this gives you the opportunity to spend your weekend with your favorite people or with the things you love more than just work.
You may be able to travel the world
As a travel agent, you may also be able to travel the world.
Of course, this also greatly depends on the type of travel agent you are.
While many travel agents mainly do office work and work for a local travel agency, you may be able to travel the world in case you offer pretty specialized trips and there will be a need to be present in your even locations quite often.
Thus, becoming a travel agent can also help you travel the world for free while even making money at the same time.
Travel agents have a decent work-life balance
Since you will usually enjoy free weekends and you will also not work more than 40 hours as a travel agent, you will be able to enjoy a pretty decent work-life balance.
In fact, most travel agents report that they have more than enough time for their hobbies or for meeting up with friends.
Travel agents can make decent money
If you are really good at what you are doing, you will also be able to make pretty good money from working as a travel agent.
Sure, you will not make a fortune.
However, if you are a trustworthy person and know how to convince people, you will sell lots of vacation trips and this means that you will also get a commission for each trip.
In turn, your income will often increase with the number of trips you sell and if you are a really good seller, you may be able to earn more money than many other people with similar qualifications.
You can start your own travel agency
Becoming a travel agent can also be great for you in case you don’t want to work as an employee forever but rather want to have your own business sooner or later.
You could just work as a travel agent for a few years to gather some experience and to save some money and start your own specialized travel agency later on in your life.
Of course, this will not be easy and will also take quite a lot of work.
However, it is definitely possible to build a business in this field if you are willing to work hard and you are the entrepreneurial type of person who can’t just work for someone else for your whole life.
You don’t need a college degree for becoming a travel agent
Another advantage of working in the travel industry is that you will also not need to get a college degree or any other sort of certification.
Sure, those degrees and certificates can help you with getting a job in this field.
Yet, they are not mandatory and many travel agents don’t have this fancy education.
What’s more important is that you are a polite, friendly and convincing person who can sell trips to your clients.
You can avoid student loan debt
Since you will not have to go to college for becoming a travel agent, you can also avoid spending lots of money on tuition and other expenses related to college.
In turn, you will have a much more comfortable life later on since you will not have to pay back debt from student loans like many other people have to do in our current state of the world.
This also gives you more financial freedom to save and invest money or to buy your own home while many other people who have to pay back student loans will often struggle with those things.
Travel agents can become independent rather soon
Since you will earn money right after high school, you can also become independent of your parents rather quickly.
This is especially important in case you don’t have a good relationship with your parents and just want to get away from them as soon as possible.
As you can see, there are definitely many advantages to working in the travel industry.
Yet, we should also talk about all the issues that come along with it so that you get a more comprehensive view of what working as a travel agent really looks like.
Disadvantages of Working as a Travel Agent
- You will be replaceable quite easily
- Travel agents have rather questionable future job prospects
- You will not get rich as a travel agent
- You may dream about vacations you will never be able to afford
- You will not learn many hard skills as a travel agent
- Hard to work in different fields
- Travel agents can’t brag about their jobs
- Your clients may be difficult
- Travel agencies will have a hard time to compete
- Travel agents are away from home quite often
- Your income will depend on your selling skills
You will be replaceable quite easily
One problem with being a travel agent is that you will be replaceable rather easily.
Since travel agents don’t need special qualifications in most parts of the world, there will be plenty of competition in this field and if someone comes along who is willing to work in this field for a lower wage, chances are that you will get fired pretty soon while programmers and many other people who are in high demand right now don’t have to worry much in this regard.
Travel agents have rather questionable future job prospects
You should also not expect to have good future job prospects as a travel agent.
In fact, many people book their vacations over the internet instead of consulting a travel agent right now and this trend will likely continue in the future.
This means that you will become obsolete as a travel agent sooner or later and will have to search for work in a different field.
Hence, if job security is really important to you, you should likely not become a travel agent but rather go for a different career path instead.
You will not get rich as a travel agent
While you can make decent money as a travel agent, you should know that you will just not get rich.
Thus, if money and luxury are really important to you and you urgently need many nice things to be happy, you should either go for a different career path or marry someone who has lots of money 😉.
You may dream about vacations you will never be able to afford
Another downside to a career as a travel agent is that you will also see many nice vacations that you may urgently want to do but you will simply not be able to afford them.
In fact, it can be quite frustrating to present all those nice vacations to your clients while you know that you will never be able to do those nice trips yourself.
You will not learn many hard skills as a travel agent
While you will become pretty good at dealing with people and can therefore greatly improve your soft skills thanks to your career as a travel agent, you will just not learn that many important hard skills.
This can not only be frustrating, but it also implies serious issues in case you no longer want to work as a travel agent since you will just not be prepared to compete in the job market.
Hard to work in different fields
Due to your lack of hard skills, it can indeed be pretty difficult to find a job in a different field.
In fact, many travel agents get stuck in this field and have to work as a travel agent for many years or even decades before they find another job from which they can pay their bills.
Travel agents can’t brag about their jobs
Travel agents also don’t have the highest social standing.
While people will appreciate your work if you sell them nice vacations, you will just not have the same social standing as people who work in fields where they can save lives.
Consequently, people may often belittle you since you are “just a travel agent” and you should make sure that you are able to deal with those snarky comments in an emotionally healthy manner.
Your clients may be difficult
Another disadvantage of becoming a travel agent is that you will also have to deal with difficult clients sooner or later.
While some people will be nice, others can be quite demanding and some of them even only try to bring you down.
If you deal with the last group of people, this can really stress your nerves and you need lots of patience to handle those people in a proper manner.
Travel agencies will have a hard time to compete
Since an increasing number of people will book their vacations themselves without a travel agency, your travel agency may also have a pretty hard time competing in the long run.
In the long run, you may become unemployed or your own travel agency may just become bankrupt.
Travel agents are away from home quite often
If you work in a specialized niche as a travel agent, you may also have to travel quite a lot.
While some people love traveling, this also means that you will be away from home quite often and this can lead to all sorts of family problems.
Your income will depend on your selling skills
Last but not least, you should also be aware of the fact that your income as a travel agent will not be independent of your performance.
In fact, a significant part of your income will depend on the number and the volume of vacation trips you sell to clients and if you are not a good seller, your income will be pretty low.
Top 10 Being a Travel Agent Pros & Cons – Summary List
|Being a Travel Agent Pros||Being a Travel Agent Cons|
|Travel agents have a rather relaxed job||Travel agents don’t get rich|
|You can work indoors||Salary will depend on your performance|
|Travel agents can make decent money||Clients can be difficult|
|You may get discounts on trips||You will not be able to afford fancy travels|
|You can start your own travel blog||Travel agents are replaceable|
|Travel agents can travel a lot||Poor future job prospects|
|You learn how to handle difficult clients||You may get bored in the long run|
|You can get ideas for your own vacation||Hard to switch fields as a travel agent|
|Travel agents can make people happy||You will not learn many hard skills|
|You don’t need any fancy education||You may be away from home quite often|
Should You Become A Travel Agent?
Now that you know all the advantages and disadvantages of being a travel agent, you should take an honest look in the mirror and ask yourself whether your personality profile fits the arguments made before.
You should definitely take your time to make a profound career choice since it can greatly determine how your life will look like in the future.
If you are still interested in becoming a travel agent, you should also get detailed information on salaries, job prospects, future outlook, working hours, educational requirements, duties and job satisfaction of travel agents.
Also make sure to check out the following articles:
About the author
My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.
This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.
Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.
I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.
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