Remote Travel Agent: Step-by-Step Guide on Launching Your Dream Career

remote travel agents

74% of total revenue generated in the global travel and tourism market is expected to come from online sales by 2027. This leaves a lot of career job opportunities for remote travel agents whose core responsibility is to sort their clients’ travel plans while working from home. Remote travel agents book flights, secure accommodation, confirm travel arrangements, and process payments. They also establish and maintain agent-client relationships while working from home. If you want to get started as a remote travel agent, the time is just ripe. 

What Do Remote Travel Agents Do?

Remote travel agents help travelers to find the most effective routes to their destinations. Their responsibilities include booking flights, making reservations for hotels/apartments, planning cruises, and signing up for car rental services. They also plan and sell trip bouquets. A remote travel agent communicates with prospects through emails, phone calls, texts, social media, chatbox, and other virtual communication channels. On rare occasions, they are required to work closely at a facility or resort that has to do with their niche areas, even though they will still be working from home.  

Travelers and tourists often need remote travel agents to help them find the best cost and deals to their destinations whether they are traveling locally or globally. Even business-related clients require the services of remote travel agents as they sometimes engage them as part-time assistants during their stay. Remote travel agents also confirm client reservations, provide follow-up services and make professional recommendations to their clients.

Remote Travel Agents: Skills and Qualifications 

Qualifications to work as a remote travel agent varies, but it includes communication skills, sales skills, some level of experience in the industry, and postsecondary education. Remote travel agents work with a telephone, a reliable internet connection, and a PC. They also need a separate space to be used as a home office. Agents who work with travel agencies may be supplied with the necessary gadgets to get their work done such as webcams and PCs. 

To secure a remote travel agent role, the ability to speak fluently in other languages can be an advantage over other applicants. They should also be strongly acquainted with their niche audience and areas. The ability to pay close attention to details is necessary and they must be tech-savvy. Generally, the most important skill needed as a remote travel agent is proven experience. 

It is good to have a degree in a related field like tourism, hospitality, and travel, but it is often not crucial once work experience can be proven. A remote travel agent must be extremely good at communication and interpersonal relationships. You will be interacting with strangers a lot and it’s important to hit it off right off the bat. Other technical skills needed include analytical and problem-solving skills. Remote travel agents often need to be able to preempt their clients’ needs and cater to them before the clients realize it themselves. They should also be able to manage the logistical needs of their clients. 

Remote travel agents can acquire the needed skills and educational certificates in some four-year colleges and trade schools. However, those who have a degree or work fields like sales, marketing, and event planning can easily transition into a remote travel agent career path. 

Remote Travel Agents: How to Make Money

Having determined to take the remote travel agent career path, you need to make money, enough money to make you focus on this path. When strategizing how to monetize as a remote travel agent, the first thing to understand is that the competition is rather steep in this field. Your priority should be to differentiate yourself from the competition. Here are 4 ways to monetize your career and differentiate yourself from others:

Commissions: You may find yourself combining independent work as a remote travel agent with work you do for large travel agencies. Ensure you don’t sell yourself short on the commission. Charge within the industry standard and discuss what the rate will be upfront before accepting the deal. Ask important questions about how commissions work for every agency you work with and ensure you know what you are getting into before you commit yourself.

Build and grow your customer base: Your income comes from your clients. The more they increase in number, the higher your revenue. How do you get the starting numbers and build on them? By satisfying each one of your customers. When a customer is happy, they will return to you. They may even tell friends and family to patronize you. That is how good service works. Provide support for them throughout the period of their dealings with you. Get feedback from them on areas you need to improve and make adjustments to the information they provide.

Create mouthwatering freemium packages and run loyalty reward programs to reward their loyalty and secure their trust. Adapt swiftly to tools and technologies that can help you serve them better. Aim to provide an unforgettable experience with each contact they have with your brand. Run marketing emails and online ads to attract a new pool of customers using testimonials from existing customers.

Craft a niche: The tourism and travel industry is pretty large. You can work as a generalist travel agent, but niching down on a specific area may be better for your career in the long term. Because clients want travel agents that have rich knowledge of the services they need, they are likely to opt for specialists rather than generalists. They are also usually willing to pay a premium price for niche-specific travel agents than they would for generalist remote travel agents that offer the same services.

If you know specific destinations well enough to plan weddings around the location as well as itineraries and bookings, and you are morphing into a travel agent, you could make your niche destination wedding planning and focus on clients that want to hold their weddings in that location. You can combine it with honeymoon travel to widen your net a bit, but not too far off. Suppose you aim to attract tourists who just love adventure, you can combine luxury travel with adventure travel as a niche.

Sell travel packages: One of the ways to get your first leads is by selling travel packages. Not only does this help you to start building your client base, but it also adds some money to your pockets. Create unique travel bouquets that promise to realistically meet the expectations of your prospects. Most customers prefer packages to individual services because it saves them research time and sometimes money. Different customers are looking for different things so the more unique each package is, the higher the chances it will appeal to a certain category within your target market.

Note that it will take a lot of research, time, and due diligence to actually come up with packages that will sell. You will also need to strategically market and promote the packages so that they will be accessible to those who need them. But the investment will be worth it in the end.

3 Steps to Become a Remote Travel Agent

Whether you have any level of experience in the travel industry or you are trying to build your career as a remote travel agent,  here are three crucial steps to take:

Define the Type of Business You Want to Run

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years as a remote travel agent? You need to determine the future of your career as a travel agent to know the proper steps to take. For example, if you want to protect your personal property, savings, and interest, you may be better off registering your business as an LLC instead of remaining a sole proprietor. Formalizing your practice as a remote travel agent can pull a different section of clients such as business clients that you won’t attract as a sole proprietor. You will also need to determine if you would work as an independent contractor/freelance or exclusively with large travel agencies. 

You can also work as an independent contractor while being still registered as an LLC. If you are just starting out as a remote travel agent, you may find opportunities to work as an independent contractor that works with larger agencies more readily than building direct clients independently. Another option to explore is to buy a travel agency franchise. However, this may be an expensive option. 

One of your considerations includes tax reasons. Your tax as an independent contractor will be more complicated and you need to track your expenses to claim all your tax write-offs. 

Consider a Host Travel Agency

Working as a travel agent involves making and monitoring bookings, tracking commissions, and managing client relationships. Some of these tasks require sophisticated tools for efficiency and working with a host agency gives easy access to these technologies. Host agencies also provide covers to manage potential liabilities. Choosing a good host travel agency is a solid way to kickstart your career as a remote travel agent.

More travelers are relying on the virtual world to make their travel plans – from booking flight tickets to planning cruises- and this increases their reliance on remote travel agents. Working with host travel agencies provides the necessary groundwork such as having an audience to showcase your brand to.

Choosing a Host Travel Agency

Working independently as a remote travel agent is being in charge of marketing, sales, customer relationship management, and customer acquisition all on your own. Working with a host travel agency may grant you access to the following tools:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools – operating a fully remote travel agency requires customization tools to manage client profiles and data and index them uniquely. Excel can only go so far. Host travel agencies often provide customized CRM solutions to their contracted agents.

Accounting tools – Contracted remote travel agents need management and accounting tools to track their commissions with the agencies they work with. This tool and its cost are borne by the host travel agency involved. Host travel agencies provide accounting platforms with round-the-clock access that allows users to monitor and close invoices, track commissions, and so on.

Web design and management tools – remote travel agents need to have an updated and relevant website that provides timely and specific answers to queries from prospects. Clients tend to browse through the websites of remote travel agents to find those that connect with them the most. Sites that have destination-specific content and unique trip information rise above the competition and host agencies can help with the booking engines and other tools that establish online presence. 

Community building platforms – Working with a host travel agency helps you to focus on a niche and it reduces the competition. Moreover, collaborating with a host travel agency links you with other remote travel agents that you can network with and build new relationships.

Should You Work With a Host Travel Agency?

There are many opportunities to work as remote travel agents in the travel and hospitality industry. If it is challenging to start on your own or you want to gather experience while working with some external support, then you can work with host travel agencies that hire remote travel agents. The challenge is in choosing the right host travel agency because they have varying offers and one agency’s offerings may work better for you than another. Here are things to look out for when deciding which host travel agency to work with:

Know what you want – Identify your areas of strengths and weaknesses as a remote travel agent. Find a host travel agency that will highlight your strengths and compensate for your areas of weakness. If your strength is social media marketing but you struggle to generate leads. 

Work with referrals – search for other remote travel agents that are already working with the host travel agencies you are considering. Ask them questions and listen to their reviews of the benefits and resources they promise to provide.

Scrutinize offerings holistically – look beyond the promised commission when bargaining with a host travel agency. Consider the total proposed value. An agency that provides a lower commission may offer better value for your brand. The most suitable option for you may not be the agency that offers the highest commission and you must look beyond the commission. However, you should ensure the commission you are offered is not within the industry standard.

Select a vetted host travel agency – Some companies that aim to hire remote travel agencies are simply retail travel agencies and have little to offer independent remote travel agents. While they may promote themselves as host travel agencies, their offerings may directly compete with yours if you work with them. Ensure that the agency you work with is a thorough host travel agency that operates on a scale that can allow you to grow your brand independently.

Remote Travel Agents: Salary

Glassdoor estimates the pay for a remote travel agent in the US as $55,018 per year while the average salary is $44,455 per year. Additional pay such as bonuses, tips, commission, and profit sharing is estimated at $10,563 per year.


The most important requirements to build a successful remote travel agent career are honesty and transparency. Trust is a major currency in the hospitality and travel industry. Ensure you conduct yourself professionally and maintain a sterling reputation. When your existing customers trust you, expanding your customer base becomes easier as their reviews and testimonials will go a long way as a marketing and conversion tool. In considering host travel agencies to work with, remember to collaborate with those who will complement your shortcomings. 

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