Being a travel agent can be a rewarding job. It also offers many personal benefits, such as discounts on travel, lodging and car rentals. But what exactly does a travel agent do?

  • Travel agents make reservations.
  • Travel agents help the client develop the best travel plan.
  • Travel agents often have to deal with unexpected or last-minute changes and cancellations.

These tasks can be very involved and complex, so you'll need both patience and willingness to put in long hours. Does this sound like it's for you? Read on to learn how to get started in this rewarding field.

  1. Obtain the necessary training. Decide if you'd like to attend a vocational school or college, and if you'd like to study through an online course (or some other distance learning program) or on site. Make sure the school of your choice is accredited. Travel agency is a highly competitive field. You can give yourself an edge by earning a college degree. At the very least, you'll need a high school diploma. Some travel agent courses offer degrees [source: Travel Agent Training].
  2. Seek employment after successfully completing your course. You may have to work in an entry-level position, such as receptionist or reservation clerk, until you learn the ropes [source: Travel Agent Careers].
  3. Consider starting your own travel agency when you feel you've gained enough experience. This will require official approval from the agencies you'll deal with, such as hotels chains and airlines. However, the rewards will be well worth the efforts.