Travel assistants advise clients on their destinations and make arrangements for transportation, accommodations, car rentals and tours. For travelers who are going abroad, agents will provide information on customs regulations and assist in obtaining the necessary documents.
While travel assistants spend most of their time at a desk talking to clients, they also spend a considerable amount of time either on the telephone or computer researching travel itineraries or updating reservations. They complete paperwork and contact airlines and hotels to promote tours and make travel arrangements. During peak vacation times like summer and holiday travel they are usually very busy, often working more than 40 hours a week.
Travel assistants who work for tour operators develop, arrange and promote travel package tours. These promotions are carried out on the Internet, via direct-mail brochures or telemarketing. A background in sales and marketing is helpful. Agents also make presentations to social groups and clubs and suggest company trips to business managers.
A travel assistant must have excellent communication and organizational skills in order to gather information from various sources and plan travel itineraries. Personal travel experience is a valuable asset when advising clients about their travel plans. Courtesy is essential when dealing with travel representatives and clients. With formal training, travel assistants can advance to managerial positions.