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How to Become a Travel Advisor

Becoming a travel advisor can be a fulfilling and dynamic career. It gives you the opportunity to shape, enhance, and ensure the success of your client’s travels through expert travel advice and valuable destination insights.
Smiling people sitting around a table in an office.

The travel advisor career is where wanderlust meets professionalism. The travel industry will continue to evolve and grow, meaning there’s no shortage of opportunities for individuals pursuing this career path. Traveling can be stressful for those who don’t know where to start or how to best go about booking their flights, hotels, activities, or even purchasing travel insurance. As a travel advisor, you become the travel expert and assist your clients with their accommodations and provide recommendations to create a smooth and enjoyable vacation.

What is a Travel Advisor?

A travel advisor uses their expertise and networks to book optimal hotels, resorts, tours, and activities that best align with their client’s preferences and interests. They use their vast travel knowledge to enrich a client’s vacation by taking away the stress of having to take on the burden of booking and planning their own travels. Additionally, a travel advisor will act as a lifeline of support in the event that any issues arise during a client’s travels. This includes helping to rebook flights that are delayed or canceled, assisting with luggage issues, and even recommending travel insurance plans to protect a client’s expenses.

Why Do People Need a Travel Advisor?

A person may opt for a travel advisor for a number of reasons. However, most importantly, it can remove a huge burden from the traveler’s shoulders as they don’t have to worry about booking the right accommodations and can have peace of mind knowing that their trip is curated by an expert in travel.

According to the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA), there are four main reasons travel advisors are highly recommended for those looking to plan a vacation or business trip.

  • Money savings and perks through network connections
  • Time savings and convenience of having someone else do the heavy lifting of planning a trip for an individual, family, or business
  • A go-to person for everything needed, including hiccups during one’s travels
  • Expert advice for all things travel


A travel advisor works in the client’s favor to secure the best deals for all things associated with their travel plans. They can also have access to special discounts and perks for hotels and attractions through their network connections, which can be a huge plus for a traveler looking to get a bang for their buck.

Many people see utilizing a travel advisor for their trip plans as a huge benefit as it can often result in the best vacations that are not only customized, but are protected through support and assistance.

How Do I Become a Travel Advisor?

While you only need to be a high school graduate to become a travel advisor, there are courses and certifications you can acquire in order to become more successful. Also, many agencies require at least a certificate or license to begin selling travel insurance policies. 

Below are some steps to consider for a career as a travel advisor or agent.

Expand Your Travel Industry Knowledge

Understanding the travel insurance industry is a must when it comes to advancing your career. As you start to learn more about not only the industry, but all the opportunities for travelers around the world, you realize that the more you learn, the less you know! How exciting is that? 

Staying on top of your game is important to gain and keep clients who will come back time and time again, looking to you for vacation spots, or setting up an itinerary for solo or group travel plans. 

Continuing to take courses specifically designed for gaining a deeper understanding of the tourism industry and keeping current with new developments in the field will set you apart and help you succeed as your clientele grows. These courses can be especially useful if you plan to specialize in one area of travel, such as cruises or international travel.

Develop Your Interpersonal Skills

Do you have the customer service skills you need? Your ability to interact with others, whether it’s done by phone calls, emails or in-person meetings will help you gain and keep loyal clients. Communication is so important, especially if you are working for yourself and not with other agents or within an agency.

Interpersonal skills will help as you navigate follow up questions or communicate changes that help you in negotiating with hotels, event planners, conference locations, and other businesses in order to offer the best deals for your clients.

Research Planning and Budgeting Techniques

As a travel advisor, you understand the high cost both financially and emotionally of people investing in travel. Clients depend on you to help them save the most money possible while they travel – before, during, and after their trip. Research is of utmost importance in assuring your clients that they are getting the best deals with the lowest cost available for all of their travel needs and accommodations. 

Agencies offer on-the-job training to gain access to sources that help close the deal with the best offers available. Sometimes having that training can help before you start your own business either from home or with others.

Formal Training

A college education can help you gain working knowledge in areas such as tourism, best business practices, international affairs and marketing. This serves you and your client better if you have either firsthand knowledge or have a degree in tourism or other travel health or marketing degrees.

Additionally, you may also want to obtain special licensing or other lines of authority that can allow you to start selling travel insurance plans which can help protect your client’s during their travels both for emergency medical events and nonrefundable trip related expenses. Depending on what types of policies you are looking to sell, it’s best to do your own research on the license or authority needed in your area to do so and pursue accordingly.

You could also pursue a travel agent certification program to gain expertise. The Travel Agent Proficiency (TAP) test allows you to demonstrate your skills and qualifications as an agent/advisor.

These are a few of the insurance related processes you’ll learn about:

  • Insurance Claims Adjudication/Processing
  • Healthcare Insurance
  • Policy Administration
  • Compliance and Regulatory
  • Broker Portals


As you gain more experience, you can take additional exams for more advanced certifications, even becoming a Certified Travel Associate (CTA).

These courses, among others, will help you with:

  • Business Ethics
  • Business Writing Skills
  • Customer Service
  • Customer-focused Selling
  • Teamwork
  • Listening and Communicating

Start Your Journey to Becoming a Travel Advisor

With more knowledge and a desire to help others, you’re one step closer to a successful career in the travel industry. As you’ve traveled yourself and felt some of the pain points that you wish others had saved you from, it’s a great time to help others and put money in your pocket as well. 

We look forward to hearing about your success and even partnering with you in the future. Let us know how we can help you by contacting one of our team members today to learn more about how you can start selling travel insurance.


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