The hardest part of starting a new venture will always be the first step. Figuring out what you need and obtaining the proper resources can be hard. Well fear no more! We want to help motivate new or potential travel agents and help you maneuver the hardest part of your journey. Keep in mind that many of these resources are optional but are recommended because we believe they can provide value for your business.
The most important job of a travel advisor is to plan out their clients trips. It is impediment that you are able to provide a consistent layout while staying organized. Nowadays most clients prefer to have electronic copies of their plans at all times, which emphasizes the importance of finding a program that you are comfortable with. Luckily for you, if you don’t have a platform, Itinza is in the process of developing an itinerary planning tool for travel advisors.
Virtual or Paper Planner (agenda)
Whether it's one client or multiple, a travel advisor must keep track of his/her commitments. Plan conferences or meetings in advance so that you have enough time to figure out what your client wants before the itinerary needs to be finalized. Ensure everything is finalized beforehand, so that last minute changes won’t cause chaos.
Tools for gathering information
While planning getaways for your client, a travel advisor needs reliable sources and tools to gather information on. You can use any tool you prefer but ensure the information is accurate. We recommend these following tools to help!
- www.hotels.com is a great website for hotels and resorts with prices and discounts. This website provides additional information about parking and amenities
- www.kayak.com is a platform that can help you book cheap flights. Their website includes an important tool that can help determine if your client’s baggage meets the requirements, while estimating any additional baggage fees
- Hopper is an app that uses past data from airline ticket prices to predict future prices. This tool has been known to be pretty accurate and is a great way to help your clients who are looking for trips within a budget
- Hitlist is an online application that helps you find the best value to your dream destination. Hitlist’s technology allows you to scan for tickets to destinations of your choice and provides you with the best airfares for the upcoming months.
- www.seatguru.com is a website that allows you to reserve the perfect seat on a plane. Whether your client prefers a window seat, or one with the quickest access out of the plane, seatguru will help you handle all the requests from even your pickiest customer.
- Wherefor is an app that works around your client’s budgets. By inputting some key information about your clients trip, the app generates a map with potential travel destinations while working around the cost. Wherefor also provides information about finding amenities and plane tickets at a good price.
Get Your License
In order to practice as a travel agent, you are required to obtain licenses or certifications. Depending on where you live, the certifications will vary. In Ontario you are required to pass the TICO Education Standards Exam if you ever want work for a travel company.
Have a Business Plan
Going into the travel industry with the hopes of finding clients is not sustainable. When starting as a travel agent, your business plan is the backbone of all your decisions. Whether it's the type of travel agent you want to be or what your niche is in the travel market, it is necessary for you to include the steps in your strategy and business model. A business plan can also be useful if you ever look for outside funding!
A Global Phone Plan
With your potential clients choosing travel destinations all over the world, being connected to your clients in case of emergencies is an important part of being a travel advisor. Avoid additional charges from outgoing or incoming international calls by choosing a plan that suits your needs. Choose a phone carrier with strong service to ensure you will never let your clients down.
All in all being a travel advisor, is a job with minimal investments upfront compared to other businesses. Most of the tools you’ll need as an advisor will be information online and the technology you already have. For more information about travel advisors and related news, visit www.alltraveladvisors.com/