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How to Become a Travel Broker
Travel brokers are also known as travel agents and assist clients in making the best travel arrangements possible. A travel broker will need to know how to strike a balance between cost and convenience for every client. Working as a travel broker is a great way to see the world while helping people at the same time. You will have access to deep discounts on hotels and airfare, and sometimes you will be able to travel for free. A travel broker's job can be a rewarding, fun and exciting career.
Get a high school diploma. This is the absolute minimum requirement for education that is needed to pursue a career as a travel broker. Acquire a general education diploma (GED) if you do not have a high school diploma.
Contact your state's department of commerce. Find out if you need travel agent certification to operate as a travel broker in your state. If you do need certification, sign up for classes at a travel school. You will receive a certificate after successfully completing 100 hours of course work.
Take computer classes. You must be computer literate to be competent as a travel broker. The job is software-intensive, and you will have to navigate reservation systems and conduct online research. Sign up for classes at your local college, university or computer school.
Travel as frequently as possible. Take trips both nationally and internationally. You will be able to relay experiences and give personal recommendations to clients about their travel plans.
Subscribe to travel magazines. Read as many publications as possible on a regular basis to keep up with current trends in the travel market. This will help you stay competitive in your field.
Learn foreign languages. Study the most common languages, such as French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. This is an excellent asset to have as a travel broker. You will be able to communicate with clients who speak these languages, and you'll be able to deal with the travel markets of countries where those languages are spoken.
Acquire advanced education. Enroll in a course of study toward a degree at your local college or university. An example of a relevant degree is a B.A. in travel and tourism management. Not only will you be more attractive to potential employers but you will also benefit from the education provided.
Apply for a position at travel agencies or start your own agency. Contact travel agencies directly and speak to the hiring manager about employment. Try to schedule an appointment to turn in your resume in person. If you are interested in starting your own agency, contact the Small Business Administration at 800-827-5722 to inquire about permits and licenses required by your state.
An avid technology enthusiast, Steve Gregory has been writing professionally since 2002. With more than 10 years of experience as a network administrator, Gregory holds an Information Management certificate from the University of Maryland and is pursuing MCSE certification. His work has appeared in numerous online publications, including Chron and GlobalPost.