40 Tips and Resources for New Travel Agents

A comprehensive collection of resources and expert insight to assist new travel advisors in navigating business, bookings and the travel industry

There's no doubt that it can be challenging navigating the travel industry landscape as a new travel advisor.

From vetting supplier partners to choosing the right host agency or consortium, wading through the near-endless options for training and education, understanding your legal liabilities, developing your business and so much more, let's face it ... there's a lot to figure out. That's why we've compiled all the best TravelAge West coverage for new advisors, creating this comprehensive resource to help you out. So, bookmark this page and start your travel agency adventure!

Is there a business topic that you wish was covered here? Please send an inquiry to letters@travelagewest.com — we would love to hear from you.

Note: This page was updated on July 5, 2022.

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New-to-Industry Education: Your Jumping-Off Point

Just getting started as a travel advisor? Wondering where to start? It might be time to hit the books! Here are a few resources to get you started on your advisor education and training path:

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Host Agencies and Consortia Can Be Valuable Travel Agent Allies

In addition to serving as a support system and business community, a host agency or consortium can offer advisors financial benefits, education, networking opportunities, a list of reliable suppliers and other benefits.

But before joining any network, it's crucial for advisors to do their homework on each organization in order to choose the right one.

If you're considering signing up (or making a switch), check out our Guide to Host Agencies and this Must-Read Guide to Choosing a Travel Agent Network.

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Host agencies or consortia can provide valuable support to agents. Credit 2021 Sikov/stock.adobe.com

Host agencies or consortia can provide valuable support to agents. Credit 2021 Sikov/stock.adobe.com

Resources for Your Professional Development and Growing Your Customer Base

How can I build a brand for my business? What are the best ways to market myself and my services? How can I ensure I'm providing good customer service? What are the best uses for all the different social media platforms? Should I charge fees for my services — and if so, what kinds?

To answer these and other questions, check out these professional development resources:

New travel advisors should consider issues such as branding, marketing, outsourcing, fees and more. Credit: 2021 WavebreakMediaMicro/stock.adobe.com

New travel advisors should consider issues such as branding, marketing, outsourcing, fees and more. Credit: 2021 WavebreakMediaMicro/stock.adobe.com

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Stick With Your Travel Advisor Training

Things can change fast in the travel industry, and it's imperative that advisors stay up to date on all the latest information. But that's not where your training ends, either.

Specialization can help distinguish you from other agents, whether you want to focus on destination weddings and honeymoons, a favorite region of the world, adventure travel, wellness vacations or any other niche. Regardless of what segment of the market you choose, you'll need to make sure you're an expert.

Even if you don't choose to specialize, completing education programs offered by your preferred suppliers and destination partners is always a good idea. Many partners offer rewards, incentives and tools to advisors who complete their training — plus, your certificates of completion will signal to clients that you know what you're talking about. Win-win!

Check out the travel agent training programs here to get started.

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    Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, Powered by TravelAge West

    If you're not already attending industry events, you should be! We'd like to take this opportunity to recommend the Future Leaders in Travel Retreat, Powered by TravelAge West. It's the only event in the industry dedicated to connecting the next generation of travel buyers and sellers — designed and created especially for newer and/or younger advisors.

    In 2022, the Future Leaders in Travel Retreat will take place Aug. 28-31, at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos. Learn more about the event and how to apply here.

    If you're curious about past events, you can read about them here:

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    Last year's Future Leaders in Travel Retreat took place at the Hilton Playa del Carmen in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Credit: 2021 Hilton Playa del Carmen

    Last year's Future Leaders in Travel Retreat took place at the Hilton Playa del Carmen in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Credit: 2021 Hilton Playa del Carmen

    Listen and Learn: Check Out Our Trade Secrets Podcast

    Trade Secrets, a podcast from the editors of Travel Weekly and TravelAge West, is where travel advisors ask — and answer — questions. On each podcast, our editors ask a veteran travel advisor to help them field listeners’ questions on topics ranging from business advice to industry trends, social media and more.

    If you have a question, please send an email to tradesecrets@travelweekly.com. Subscribe to Trade Secrets wherever you get your podcasts, or pick up some knowledge from the episodes below:

    On our Trade Secrets podcast, travel advisors ask and answer questions. Credit: 2021 Jenn Martins

    On our Trade Secrets podcast, travel advisors ask and answer questions. Credit: 2021 Jenn Martins

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    Keeping Up With COVID-19

    To put it succinctly, COVID-19 changed just about everything. That, of course, includes the travel industry — and the way travel advisors do business.

    Visit our Coronavirus and Travel: Frequently Asked Questions page for a slew of information travel advisors should know about COVID-19 and its impact on the travel industry. This updated resource addresses questions on topics ranging from insurance to vaccines and testing, health passports, aid and advocacy, legal matters, cruises, hotels, airlines, destinations and more.

    You can also browse all the coronavirus-related stories on our website here.

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    Consider How You Recruit and Hire Talent for Your Travel Agency

    Whether you're already looking to hire a team or expect to do so in the future, who you recruit for your business will be an important consideration.

    Learn more about recruitment and hiring here:

    Recruitment and hiring considerations will be important as you grow your business. Credit: 2021 Prostock Studio

    Recruitment and hiring considerations will be important as you grow your business. Credit: 2021 Prostock Studio

    The Magic of Mentorship in the Travel Business

    While we're on the topic of colleagues, have you thought at all about mentorship? Here are a few things to consider:

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    Surviving and Thriving: Travel Agent Success Stories

    Need a little inspiration or motivation? Check out these stories of travel advisor innovation, success and determination. After all, it might just be your story that we feature next!

    Mental Health Matters

    We all know the struggle is real some days. Don't forget to take care of yourself as you take care of your business. To that end, here are 3 Transformational Tools That Can Help Manage Stress.

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    Travel advisors have been more innovative and determined than ever before. Credit 2021 Vasyl/stock.adobe.com

    Travel advisors have been more innovative and determined than ever before. Credit 2021 Vasyl/stock.adobe.com

    How Well Do You Know Your Travel Industry History?

    The travel industry has a long and storied past, encompassing defining moments that range from the thrilling (the founding of cruise lines, the development of master-planned resorts, the invention of Instagram) to the devastating (9/11, The Great Recession, COVID-19). But how much of it do you actually know?

    If you're looking to brush up, here's our list of Travel Milestones From the Last 50 Years. And if you're curious about the development of your chosen career path, check out The 50-Year Evolution of the Travel Agent. Finally, learn How the Cruise Industry Has Evolved in 50 Years to learn about one of the industry's largest markets.

    The travel industry has a rich history to discover. Credit: 2021 la source de l'info/stock.adobe.com

    The travel industry has a rich history to discover. Credit: 2021 la source de l'info/stock.adobe.com

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      Additional Travel Trade Resources

      The travel business is always changing — that's why it's critical for advisors to keep up with all the latest industry news and developments. In addition to regularly reading TravelAge West, we recommend checking out our sister publications, as well, for breaking travel news, in-depth features, home-based agent advice and more travel industry coverage. Bookmark Travel Weekly, TravelPulse and Agent at Home to round out your list of resources.

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