Travel agent schools are not as numerous as they once were, but there are still many of them scattered across the country. Travel agent 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. The first stoop for many interested in learning about being a travel agent is The Travel Institute. This professional organization represents front-line travel advisors with a host of training materials and educationally-focused webinars and events. Check out their start your travel career section before you begin any search.

Employment Benefit of Travel Agent Schools

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 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. Because of this, many host agencies have started their own recruitment and training programs where they teach you more than to just sit at a computer screen all day and enter orders. Travel agent schools that are worth their salt go out of their way to teach you that selling cheap, point-to-point airline tickets is no way to get rich quick or to get rich at all, for that matter. The key is specialization.

New Wave of Travel Agent Training Schools

To their credit, some travel agent schools are adapting to the new reality of home-based travel advisors by offering courses in how to become one. In fact, some travel agent schools are welcoming an entire new generation of travel professionals to the industry.

Interested in learning more about organizing travel for a living or hobby? Check out the Traveling Tribes book!