Travel Agent

Job Description:

Travel agents book and plan travel for customers.

Job Category:
Tourism, Hospitality & Entertainment

What you will do:

You may work in a high street travel agents or a call centre, specialising in personal or business travel.

Depending on your role, your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • understanding and meeting customers’ needs
  • using your geographical knowledge to help customers find a suitable package holiday or plan independent travel
  • making bookings and payments using online computer systems
  • advising customers about passports, insurance, visas, vaccinations, tours and vehicle hire
  • informing customers of changes like cancelled flights
  • arranging refunds and handling complaints
  • meeting sales targets
  • keeping up to date with developments in the travel industry


You’ll need:

  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to sell products and services
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • administration & organisational skills
  • active listening skills
  • persuading skills
  • ambition/drive
  • a desire to help people
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a Travel Agent, you don’t typically need specific subjects, but certain subjects can be helpful in preparing you for a career in the travel and tourism industry. A Travel Agent helps clients plan their trips, whether for leisure or business. Here are some useful subjects:

  1. Mathematics: Proficiency in mathematics is beneficial for tasks like calculating costs, handling financial transactions, and understanding currency exchange rates.
  2. Geography: Geography is valuable for understanding different countries, cultures, and tourist destinations. It can also help you provide accurate information to clients.
  3. English: Strong communication skills are essential in the travel industry, as you’ll often need to communicate with clients, suppliers, and other industry professionals.
  4. Foreign Languages: Learning a foreign language can be advantageous, especially if you plan to work with international clients or in regions where a specific language is prevalent.
  5. Business Studies: This subject provides insights into business concepts that are applicable to the travel industry, including marketing, management, and customer service.

Post School

College courses in travel and tourism could help you prepare for this job. Experience in customer service or sales, or knowledge of foreign languages, could also be useful.

It’s common to find work with a travel agency and then train on the job.

You may be able to start this job through an apprenticeship.

In the UK, The Institute of Travel & Tourism (ITT) and Careers that Move have more information about the industry.

Working Hours and Environment:

You’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week over 5 days in 7, covering evenings and weekends.

You’ll be expected to have a smart appearance, and will usually be provided with a uniform.

You’ll work at a desk in a travel shop or contact centre.

Your employer may arrange short visits to resorts to improve your knowledge of the holidays that you’re organising and selling.

Career Path & Progression:

With training and experience, there may be opportunities to progress into senior roles like branch or call centre manager, operations director, regional director or managing director.

You could also move into other roles in the travel sector, like tour operating.