Despite all that can go wrong in the world of travel, agents are still some of the most enthusiastic, career-driven people you can find. Whether dealing with hurricanes or unplannable life events or trying to succeed in an uber-competitive marketplace, travel professionals remain optimistic about the industry.
This is what we heard back when we asked travel agents around the country what the perks are of their daily work that keep them motivated, even on the most challenging days.
1. You get to share your passion.
“As a travel agent, the travel insights and sharing of experiences are just icing on top that we can provide to enhance a client’s experiences. My biggest satisfaction as a travel agent is contagiously sharing my passion for traveling and helping others create the experiences and memories themselves that they, too, will always cherish.”
- Megan Hill, Destination Fun Travel (Kansas City, Mo.)
2. You travel and experience amazing cultures.
“Besides the part that I get to travel and experience amazing cultures, I also get to share my passion with my clients and other travel agents.”
- Susan M. Kruk, Diplomat Travel (Township, Mich.)
3. You can be your own boss and work at home.
“Working from home; not having to be disturbed by drop-ins; being independent; living wherever we want to; not having to retire at a certain age. We have owned our agency since 1975, being refugees from Silicon Valley. We moved to Oregon from California in 1992 due to the high cost of living and the overcrowding. We can set our service chargers however we choose; take days off whenever we want to; and be selective about who we take on as customers.”
- Sylvia Blishak, Train Travel Consulting (Klamath Falls, Ore.)
4. You make lifelong connections.
“In my 39-year career, my biggest perk has been my wonderful clients. I’ve met some darling couples and darling people who I helped with travel and I have some long-term clients that I’ve had for many, many years. I think the industry as a whole, we group together when times are tough and I enjoy the camaraderie not just with my clients but with the suppliers, too.”
- Tammy Shamblin-Renie, Red Parrot Travel (Longwood, Fla.)
5. You’re selling a dream.
“It’s one of the more interesting jobs in the world. You can live vicariously through your clients; I’ve never been to Japan but I see my clients’ pictures and it’s kind of like you’re going with them. We’re selling a dream and sometimes those things can be really magical for you as a travel agent. I had one lady 65-years-old filling out a form, and when she wrote Hawaii, she said ‘this has been my dream my whole life’ – and I was making that dream come true. If you stay in that it can really last you a lifetime, and it’s one of the best feelings.”
- Michelle Weller, Travel Leaders (Houston, Texas)
6. It’s never boring.
“Maybe it is or isn’t a traditional perk, but my day is never boring. I have something different going on every single day and I’m constantly multi-tasking. I would be totally bored with my job if I had to do the same thing all day, every day. I enjoy meeting other professionals when I travel. I learn about the cruise industry and hotel industry, for example by meeting and speaking with those industry executives.”
Colleen Gillette, New Paltz Travel (New Paltz, N.Y.)
7. You’re connected with like-minded people.
“I love meeting my fellow travel agents at conferences and meetings; they’re vibrant, passionate, well-traveled people who have a curiosity of how the world works.”
- Lynda Phillippi, Renaissance Travel and Events (McMinnville, Ore.)
8. You get to share your expertise.
“The relationships I have with my clients and the joy of helping them fulfill their travel dreams by offering them new experiences.”
- Dawn Snyder, World Travel (Tulsa, Okla.)
9. You become an expert in what people want to talk about.
“The best perk of being a travel agent is the exposure we receive to an infinite array of opportunity, knowledge, interests, world destinations, issues, info technology, being a problem solver, an advocate, a sales virtuoso, an empathic ear and deliverer of salvation for clients in troubling situations. And the glowing satisfaction in knowing that travel agents are the worker bees and cross-pollinators of world’s largest industry – travel and tourism – worth U.S. $7.6 trillion yearly and growing.”
- Norman Payne, Uniglobe Premiere Travel (Ottawa, Canada)
10. You have an opportunity to drive your own success.
“My peers all discouraged the idea of a home-operated, cruise-only agency. I was scared to death, but at the same time I knew it was something I had to try or I could never live with myself. Thankfully, they were wrong. Now I have grown my business as host agency and have 20 home-based independent contractors.”
- Marlys Aballi, Connection to Cruise (Redlands, Calif.)