Another great post that I want to share with you today. The title itself is an attention grabber! Her posts are humorous and positive, had me going back for more to satisfy my reading thirst. Do drop by her wonderful blog after reading this article by her.
‘How are Travel Agents still a thing…?’ For some bizarre reason there is a whole demographic of people in our world that don’t understand the concept behind a travel agent. ‘But why… when there is the internet?’ These people are obviously very savvy with the cyber world whether they are long-time travellers or fresh out of high school on their gap year about to embark on their first euro trip, endeavouring to become Insta famous with all their #nofilter sunset photos of #Santorini. Or the middle-aged woman who spends most of their evenings on their I Pad and know all there is to know about travel but really just visit Bali every year for the last 13 years (but are experts at it) #wanderlust
But what these people fail to realise is the knowledge a travel agent has that the Internet does not. You may find a million blog posts on the best hostels in Budapest or the must-see beaches in the Mediterranean but there is nothing like first-hand experiences and a real-life person reliving those experiences to you, taking their advice and booking a magical holiday with the peace of mind that if anything goes wrong there is an entire network there ready to help you.
I understand the convenience of the internet and how simple it can be to book a quick flight online, but if you do decide to use the professional services and expertise of a travel agent we just hope that you realise this is a real-life job, we don’t just provide information, travel for free and party for a living, we work extremely hard to juggle everyone’s needs and desires and ‘deliver amazing travel experiences!’
I love and I hate my job all at the same time. Who wouldn’t love to talk about travel all day long and be apart of someone’s dream honeymoon or first big family holiday? There is no better satisfaction than your customers returning home, inspired by a destination you suggested, and them thanking you for making it all happen.
But on the flip side, there is nothing worse than feeling your job, that one thing you’re good at, isn’t valued or people questioning exactly what you do or how you make your money. Unfortunately, this is so very often the case, people don’t feel they need to pay for a service with an agent. And then people harp on about bad customer service but then they aren’t willing to pay for it… Just think about that the next time you think about booking with a travel agent, rant over!
Now to the positives, the life of a travel agent definitely has it’s perks. In 24 months of working within the travel industry, I have been to Margaret River WA, Singapore, Thailand, Tasmania, Fiji and Hawaii all expenses paid, and these are just the work trips (not to mention our personal holidays with agent rates…) And when I say all expenses paid I definitely mean five-star resorts, unlimited cocktails and a $2400 bar tab on Fiji’s Cloud 9. But it’s all ‘training’ we say and there is some truth behind it. Because though we might boast about the cocktails, luxurious resorts, swim-up bars and added tours and experiences… but what we don’t post on Facebook are the 12 sight inspections a day of each hotel, all rooms and all amenities and features each property has to offer. So we do work (a little).
And then there are the award trips which you qualify for, now they are definitely something to celebrate. But that is another story in itself (stay tuned!!)
And contrary to the belief that travel agents get ‘cheap’ flights, unfortunately, this is a myth. Perhaps once upon a time, those perks were available but the only discounts we get when booking flights is our commission removed (about 5%) Just remember this the next time you ask for a discount… you are actually asking for us to pay for your flights from OUR paycheck, and we don’t get paid a lot, so help a brother out!
This job definitely isn’t for everyone, you will either love it or hate it and you will know quite quickly whether you are cut out for this kind of work and have the stomach for it. Ultimately we work in sales so on the daily you will face all kinds of rejection but then once in a blue moon, something amazing happens. That one customer sent directly from the heavens sits in front of you and happily lets you utilise all of your industry expertise and travel knowledge and suggest the ultimate package and without a hint of any objection or doubt they are in complete agreement with you that this holiday will be the best holiday for them and it is absolutely the right choice and they will love it and love YOU for it. But like I said, once in a blue moon.
The best is the Travel Expo’s though, which run over five days throughout the year and I make sure I am working at every single day because if you can face a day of rejection like this then you can face anything life throws at you. I am probably making it sound worse than what it is, but it definitely takes a certain type of person to be able to work in an expo environment. Personally, I thrive in this setting because I’m loud and I have very high energy which generally attracts people at these types of things but makes them run in the opposite direction in real life. They are great because it’s something different, you aren’t confined to your office or confined to the demographics of clients in your area of work, you meet all kinds of customers with all kinds of weird and wonderful travel dreams, the world is your oyster.
So my life as a travel agent has thus far been amazing, with a bunch of high’s and lows, great memories, great experiences, great friendships and an absolute rollercoaster of emotions but it is by far one of the best industries to be in, especially if you’re anything like me.
Stay tuned for all of my whacky stories and incredible experiences in the professional travel world!
xoxo Travel Girl… (okay, that was lame and it won’t happen again…)
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.