The frustration of starting a travel career

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Comments (8)

CSHAW918 in Stamford, Connecticut

59 months ago

I recently graduated May 2009 with my Travel Agent certificate(4.0 average & 100% in my SABRE class) from a local Community College. I have over 20 years retail experience in the Travel Goods(luggage) industry. I'm currently a Customer service Representative at my local mall.
I just want to pursue my dream to become a travel agent. I am so discouraged. I send resumes/cover letters out(by snail mail and email) I follow up. I get 2 answers I need at least 5 yrs experience,or you can volunteer and work for free. Why is it so hard for someone to break in to the business? I'm so frustrated.

Further education is a problem because in order to get the further education on some they say I need a CLIA, ASTA, IATAN #. But to have those I need to work in an agency.
I don't want to do home based agency because I would like the experience in a brick and mortar one first to get the experience. I'm realistic and know I'm not going to get rich at it, but I do have the passion and love researching and planning trips for my family and friends.

Any other advice on how to pursue my travel agent career. What am I doing wrong? Any advice experienced agents can give this travel school graduate.
Thank you for your time

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sellphone in grand rapids, Michigan

59 months ago

There is a very easy way to start a travel agency. With both awebsite and an agent portal.

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CHSHAW918 in Prospect, Connecticut

59 months ago

I want to learn the business before starting my own business.So I don't set myself up for failure by making costly business mistakes. I run my own jewelry design business so thats not the problem. what is a travel agent portal? I keep hearing the term, is there investment involved? If so how much? how can i tell i'm not entering a pyramid scheme. Thats why I want to work in a brick and mortar travel agency before an online one.
Its still frustrating finding even a mentor in the field.

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Nanlisa in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania

56 months ago

Back in the early 80's, when I was working as a dietary aide at a Catholic nursing facility, I had wanted a career in travel. I love to travel and I wanted to share personal travel experiences with potential clients. I took a travel agency course from ICS (now Penn Foster), and I was considering becoming an independent tour specialist.

But as the years went buy, there were two things that I didn't want to do, and that is sell and handle money. And that's what a travel agent does. Most travel agent jobs that I saw required two years of experience and with SABRE and/or APOLLO experience.

You also have to know airline, hotel, and government regulations; sales taxes, tariff rules and regulations, and so forth.

I also learned that travel is a hard field to get into. Travel is also affected by the economy. It's not a stable industry. With the economy the way it is, a lot of people can't afford to travel; unless their a Hollywood celebrity or multimillionaire like Donald Trump or Bill Gates. I don't mean to discourage you, but that's just the way it is.

Talk to the college's job placement office. They might have some suggestion.

As for me, I decided to keep travel as a hobby instead of a career.

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ACT in Surrey, British Columbia

52 months ago

CHSHAW918 in Prospect, Connecticut said: I want to learn the business before starting my own business.So I don't set myself up for failure by making costly business mistakes. I run my own jewelry design business so thats not the problem. what is a travel agent portal? I keep hearing the term, is there investment involved? If so how much? how can i tell i'm not entering a pyramid scheme. Thats why I want to work in a brick and mortar travel agency before an online one.
Its still frustrating finding even a mentor in the field.

Hi, your story is indeed quite frustrating to even think you have started in the right direction and getting a good grade upon graduating. I can only say that your school should have at least a placement assistance for alumini or similiar access for employment opportunities for new graduates. I am currently in the process of enrolling myself for for Travel & Tourism Diploma Program w/ IATA Certification included. I believe that the first step is to find a school which are endorsed by your country's travel consultant & affiliated with IATA, CLIA etc. I can only say don't lose hope, you already have the points so just work your way up. If you plan to join a host agent, it would help to do a tremendous research just like what I am doing now. Regards!

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jojo in Vancouver, British Columbia

45 months ago

i want to find out follow up letter after sending resume to travel agent ? but didn't find what i want to do!

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sister7 in Olathe, Kansas

39 months ago

1980 was my first year as a travel agent. I was lucky enough to get an entry level job then. I am now home based specializing in Corporate Travel Management. I love what I do..and I can sit home with my kids. The 'free travel' days are LONG over (and it
was fun while it lasted..). But now it is the perk working from home brings.

Do you live near an airport? I would think if you could work for an airline...work front desk at a hotel..then try again to work at an agency . You could also try to escort a group..even something like Vegas for the Super Bowl..Spring Break trip. Get something under your belt to show you are serious about becoming a travel agent. And yes..why not volunteer on the weekends/evenings?..That could get your foot in the door.

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tammylc in Portland, Oregon

39 months ago

How do you get a job in Corporate Travel, home based? I have 14 years of travel industry experience, both as a customer service agent for the airlines and a travel agent. I am an independent contractor, travel agent, but need a more consistent income. Any suggestions or places where I can look for jobs would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

sister7 in Olathe, Kansas said: 1980 was my first year as a travel agent. I was lucky enough to get an entry level job then. I am now home based specializing in Corporate Travel Management. I love what I do..and I can sit home with my kids. The 'free travel' days are LONG over (and it
was fun while it lasted..). But now it is the perk working from home brings.

Do you live near an airport? I would think if you could work for an airline...work front desk at a hotel..then try again to work at an agency . You could also try to escort a group..even something like Vegas for the Super Bowl..Spring Break trip. Get something under your belt to show you are serious about becoming a travel agent. And yes..why not volunteer on the weekends/evenings?..That could get your foot in the door.

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