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Readers Respond: The Real Life of a Travel Agent

Responses: 3


When choosing a career, it is helpful to get information about it from those who actually work in the occupation one is considering. Please share information about your career as a travel agent so that those thinking of entering this field can make an informed decision.

  1. Describe what you do as a travel agent?
  2. What do you like about being a travel agent? What don't you like about it?
  3. With the proper training, how easy or difficult is it for someone to get an entry level job as a travel agent?
  4. Are you happy you became a travel agent? Why or why not?

Travel Agent

I have been a travel agent for 31 years from NJ to AZ to FL. We are overworked and underpaid! I'm ready to get out. Working for a large national company is just as bad as working for a Mom and Pop. We are dinosaurs! Min salary is not in the 30,000 range now. I was making more in 1989 in NJ than I am in FL in 2012.
—Guest Renee

Travel agent in Canada

I have been working as a Travel Consultant for six years now, in addition to two years of college for Tourism and Travel. Within 8 years of combined schooling and work, I have seen a lot of changes in the industry. There is definitely a lot of competition out there with the online agencies, but I find that a lot of people still don't feel comfortable booking online. As with most other things, consumers are looking for the best value for their money, however, doing things on your own can be a gamble because there are a lot of things that people don't necessarily consider when booking on their own. The worst thing, I find, is when someone will use you for information and then book online. As with other consulting jobs, we do our best to use our knowledge to arrange the perfect trip for our clients. There is the misconception that if you are a travel agent, you can travel for next to nothing. That may have been true at one time, but not anymore unfortunately.
—Guest Canadees

Travel Agent

As a travel agent for about 10 years I have seen a lot of changes in the industry. We still have the die hard clients that will always want to talk to a live person locally to book trips, mostly expensive and comprehensive trips. I love and became a travel agent because I loved working in a couple of National Parks and a very large theme park. I like setting that up for people and seeing them experience the meaning of the word awesome. What I don't like is the person who calls and says "I can get that cheaper online." or "If I found this price online, should I get it?" My response is that you are on your own. If something goes wrong you only have yourself to blame and no one to be your advocate. If you truely want to be a travel agent, don't expect to be traveling to exotic far away places all the time, unless you are independantly wealthy. The days of the free trips are gone. There are some familiarization trips that are reduced, but you have to go during the off peak season.

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