14 Pros and Cons of Being a Travel Agent

Travel Agent

Do you love traveling?

Then working in the travel industry may be the ideal opportunity for you.

Travel agents are the most common and revered workers in this industry.

And, there are a plethora of opportunities that open up to you when working in this industry.

It is a life filled with fun, excitement, and new destinations, and it is emotionally rewarding.

You will be working with people who are at their happiest when they are dealing with you.

Overall, it is a very positive and light-hearted industry to be working in.

Pros of Being a Travel Agent

Without a doubt, being one of the most exciting industries has many benefits.

Here are the top seven benefits of working in this industry. 

1. Opportunities to Travel

One of the many perks of being a travel agent is the ability to travel to the destinations that you are offering to your clients.

In some instances, these hotels will invite travel agents over for a free stay in exchange for business or being promoted by the travel agent.

In other cases, the travel agent may receive a discount from the hotel that is meant to go towards their research of the best facilities to promote.

Either way, the agent is able to travel to many local, national, and international destinations in order to experience the location in the same way that the client will, so as to best promote the hotel or establishment. 

2. Flexibility

Another great benefit is flexibility and mobility.

Your primary goal is to sell holiday packages.

This is a job that can easily be done remotely.

Whether you decide to work from home, from the office, on your trip to London, or at a local restaurant, it is entirely up to you. 

In addition, there is the fact that you will be very mobile.

You often travel from one destination to another in your research efforts.

Unlike an office job that requires you to be present at the office for a certain amount of time, you can literally say that the world is your office. Because it is. 

3. Part-Time Employment

Keep in mind that there are in-season and off-peak hours in the travel and tourism industry.

What this means is that at times you may experience somewhat of a dry spell in terms of finances when it is off-season. 

To offset this, you could easily get a second job.

The flexibility of this job allows you to schedule your working hours around your full-time job, or alternatively, you may work in the travel and tourism industry part-time.

Again, this industry is flexible enough to allow you to get another job to prevent dry spells. 

4. Being Your Own Boss

Working as a travel agent, you will quickly pick up the ropes.

This is the kind of job that will allow you to become your own boss in a very short amount of time.

In fact, you may only need to do some research online to be able to start your own business from home.

The start-up cost is relatively low and you will be able to break even in a short amount of time.

And, since the pandemic, work from home opportunities have skyrocketed.

This is the ideal work-from-home job. 

5. Good Earning Potential

The salary is usually the first consideration when thinking about a specific industry. 

According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ 2019 report, the average annual salary for a travel agent is $43.810 with top earners raking in $ 74,220 per year. 

The salary will also depend on your specific position in the industry, the type of holiday packages that you are selling, and the segment of the market that you are selling to.

In fact, some of the top travel agents bring in up to $500,000 annually. 

6. Job Variety

There is a wide selection of areas that a travel agent is able to specialize in.

Agents can place all of their focus on their specialty.

These may include the ability to only book cruise ships, African safari, honeymoon destinations, or even Caribbean trips.

In addition to this, the agent can select if they prefer booking local holidays, international holidays, work from home, for an agency, or for an international company.

7. No Training is Required

While there are many courses that may prepare you for a career in this industry, it is not a prerequisite for you to enter this segment of the market. 

It is simply a matter of understanding your niche, having a rock-solid plan in place, getting accreditation online that is for free and having a passion for the industry.

Then you are set to go. Keep in mind that this job may require you to be very organized. 

Cons of Being a Travel Agent

As hard as it may be to believe, there are some disadvantages to working in this industry as well.

We have listed the top seven disadvantages of working as a travel agent. 

1. Customers Have Choices

Agents are flooding the market.

Customers are spoilt for choice.

This means that whichever niche you are planning to enter, you can already expect serious competition to be in that market.

The key to being successful is to find your competitive advantage, what makes you stand out from the crowd, and sell your services by focusing on that point. 

2. No Job Security

Many people still book holidays through travel agents.

But, the introduction of the internet and access to information means that many people are now comfortable with booking their own holidays.

This poses a very big risk to travel agents all over the world as their job security is being challenged. 

3. This is a Demanding Job

Possibly the biggest disadvantage is the fact that this job is very demanding.

If you are an international travel agent and you are booking holidays all over the world, you may need to make yourself available 24/7 for your customers.

This is because your clients may be entering another country and be in a different time zone from you.

Therefore, should they need immediate assistance, you may need to answer the phone in the middle of the night.

While this is a very big disadvantage, it is also a great opportunity for you.

Online booking sessions will not give the client the human touch.

This may be your chance to establish yourself above and beyond what your clients expect from you and thereby secure you more future work through word-of-mouth references. 

4. Keeping a Strong Online Presence

With SEO optimization and big travel companies fighting for the first five spots on the first search engine page, it may become quite challenging for you to compete with these bigger companies.

One way to avert this is to create a responsive website that addresses clients’ problems in a timely fashion and that is also easy to navigate.

In addition, investing in content that will drive traffic to your online website may be a good idea to keep your online presence active. 

5. Lawsuits

Customers seem to love to fight out their grievances through lawsuits.

They may claim negligence or misrepresentation on your part.

It is fair to say that some things may be out of your control but your customer will expect you to give sufficient information about the trip and destination. 

It may be a good idea for you to get business insurance for just such an incident.

This kind of lawsuit can cause serious damage to you, your company, your reputation, and your finances.

6. Stressful

It may be hard to believe, but there is a lot of stress associated with this kind of job.

Firstly, as a travel agent, you are required to remain up to date with the latest travel news, travel destinations, discounts, and special promotions. 

Aside from this is the fact that you are replaceable, you will only earn a commission for the packages that you do sell, and peak season brings an array of its own challenges.

In addition to this is the constant need to be available to your clients who are traveling all over the world in different time zones. 

7. Price Transparency

The internet now gives more power to the customer.

The customer has access to prices and this makes the market more competitive in terms of being able to offer something to your clients that they themselves can easily find cheaper on a different site. 

Travel agents are now faced with the added responsibility of finding trips that meet clients’ needs, budgets, and destinations while also making a profit on these trips. 

Pros and Cons of Being a Travel Agent – Summary Table

Pros of Being a Travel AgentCons of Being a Travel Agent
1. Opportunities to Travel1. Customers Have Choices
2. Flexibility2. No Job Security
3. Part-Time Employment3. This is a Demanding Job
4. Being Your Own Boss4. Keeping a Strong Online Presence
5. Good Earning Potential5. Lawsuits
6. Job Variety6. Stressful
7. No Training is Required7. Price Transparency

Should You Become a Travel Agent?

If you love to travel and see the world, then this may be the ideal job for you.

There seem to be many more benefits associated with this type of career, than there are disadvantages. 

It may be the ideal career when you are young, free, and looking for opportunities to travel the world.

As for those with families, this may not be the ideal job due to constant traveling, job insecurity, and financial flow. 

Jamie Willis