Travel agent schools are not as numerous as they once were, but there are still many of them scattered across the country. Travel agents schools certification is a major draw for students and many sign up without thinking too much about it. Before you start looking into travel agent schools certification, however, it is a good idea to determine what, exactly, you hope to gain from enrolling.

If you are looking for employment, you should be aware that travel agent schools can seldom guarantee that there will be a job waiting for you once you complete their training. If you are looking for know-how, you should be aware that travel agent schools are designed, primarily, to train low-paying, entry-level employees for travel agencies. Consequently, travel agent schools concentrate on dull, rote tasks like using the GDS (Global Distribution System, sometimes called a computerized reservation system or CRS). Travel agent schools are very good at this and if you want to learn how to use a specific GDS, then turning to one of the travel agent schools might be a good choice.

Even then, travel agent schools are not your only choice. Many GDS vendors offer computer based training on their systems that you can use at home. If you work through a host agency as a home-based travel agent, the host agency might offer training on the GDS it uses.

By and large, travel agent schools do not teach you how to think like an agency owner or how to get out in the community and sell travel. That’s because travel agent schools are designed to serve the needs of storefront travel agencies, providing them a steady stream of entry-level employees who will sit at a computer screen all day and enter orders. Travel agent schools also do not go out of their way to teach you that selling cheap, point-to-point airline tickets (which is what the GDS is designed to do, after all) is no way to get rich quick or to get rich at all, for that matter. Once again, this is because travel agent schools serve the travel agency business first and foremost. To their credit, some travel agent schools are adapting to the new reality of home based agents by offering courses in how to become one. In fact, some travel agent schools are using my materials to teach their courses! The same materials you get in my home study course for far, far less than the tuition charged by travel agent schools.