Online Class: Travel Agent 101

This course offers both the history and future prospects of the travel industry as well as discusses different types of travel enjoyed by individuals, including domestic and international travel and travel by land, air, and sea.

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  • 1,269
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  • 7
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Course Description

Anyone interested in beginning a profession as a travel agent should first determine the type of skills, training and certification necessary to provide travel services for clients--whether you work at an established travel agency, as an independent contractor, or as a home-based travel agent.

This course offers both the history and future prospects of the travel industry as well as discusses different types of travel enjoyed by individuals, including domestic and international travel and travel by land, air, and sea. Popular travel services will also be explored, including escorted and self-directed tours and cruises. We'll also talk about travel technology that helps not only travel agents but also clients to get the most for their money regardless of their chosen type of travel.

This travel agent course also introduces students to the office and business needs of a home-based travel agent. It will show you how to make use of computer reservations systems, and how to bank your business, develop small business know-how and will provide tips and strategies that will enhance the success of your new business while at the same time offering clients well-planned vacations.

Students of this course will also learn the basics about passports and visas and various regulations and restrictions determined by embassies around the world--offering customers and clients up-to-date travel warnings and alerts that ensure ultimate safety and security.

Additionally, students completing this course will understand how a travel agent is able to match travel and personalities to a multitude of travel options and opportunities that take into consideration budgets, needs, and desires of the traveler. Avoiding problems or conflicts with clients and helping clients deal with unforeseeable situations are also covered, as is the importance of consistently researching new technologies in the travel industry that will help build and enhance your career as a successful travel agent.

Course Motivation

People have been traveling since the dawn of time. The desire to look over the next hill, to venture down the river, or to see what lies on the other side of the ocean has tempted and encouraged man to constantly explore his or her surroundings in a variety of ways. Whether that venture is completed on a canoe, a raft, a wooden ship, paddle wheel boat, submarine, or airplane, the desire for humans to see new places and to experience new adventures has always been present, and will continue to be so.

Because people in the 21st century love to travel as much as people did hundreds or thousands of years ago, there will always be a need for travel agents, as well as travel agencies to meet those needs. Learning how to start your own home-based travel agent business or becoming a highly skilled and respected travel agent is the foundation of this course.
History Of the Travel Agency Profession
In the United States, the travel industry has gone through a number of growth phases. From the mid-1800s, when individuals traversed the country in wagon trains and locomotives, to those crossing oceans in sailing ships, individuals have constantly utilized the services of "agents" to purchase tickets, determine itineraries, and help with scheduling such journeys. 
With the growth of airline travel in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, the travel agency profession took off by leaps and bounds. Travel agencies were often specialized in particular locations or modes of travel. Whether you wanted to take a three-week cruise to Europe, schedule a flight from New York to Rome, or make arrangements to travel by train from Seattle, Washington to the depths of Peru, a travel agency was the "go to" source for schedules, itineraries, airplane tickets, train tickets, hotel arrangements, and amusements along the way. 
Early travel agencies didn't limit themselves to merely purchasing airline tickets for major airlines, but made a highly specialized field out of planning leisure and vacation travel. Tour packages first appeared in the travel industry during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Package reservations and tours enabled travel agents to tack on a 10 percent tax and service charge that was considered the travel agent's well-deserved commission for arranging all the details of such tour packages. 
Travel agents kept extremely busy making and confirming flight reservations, confirming train tickets, hotel reservations and entertainment for tens of thousands of clients who took advantage of the availability of specialized travel agents who did all the work when arranging business or leisure trips, either for independent travelers or entire families or groups of individuals. 

In the mid-1970s, travel agencies that matched certain criteria were able to utilize a Carrier Reservation System (similar, but not quite the same as the Computer Reservation System). The Carrier Reservation System enabled travel agents, regardless of location, to book, reserve, and print out boarding passes and itineraries as well as invoices for airline travel utilizing a specialized computerized database. Travel agents were able to generate tens of thousands of clients who utilized their services to book flights to anywhere in the world, without having to rely on direct contact with a specific airline. 

Retail travel agencies boomed in the 1970s. Students who completed a one-week automation training class were now able to perform the work of agents who has spent decades in the industry doing things "the old-fashioned way." By the 1980s, satellite telecommunication, toll-free numbers, and deregulation created intense competition between travel agencies.  

 The Computer Era
The advent of the computer usage and availability changed the face of the travel business forever.The Internet gave travel agents access to databases provided by every major airline carrier in the world.Travel agents had entered the automation era, and so did everyday consumers. Thanks to the Internet, every individual today has access to a computer reservation system database that once belonged exclusively to airlines and brick-and-mortar travel agency businesses. 

Today however, utilizing airline websites, in addition to travel websites -- including those owned by airlines, such as Orbitz, Hotwire, and Travelocity -- individuals are able to reserve, book, and purchase electronic tickets at the click of a mouse.
 The Advent of E-TicketsIn the mid-1990s, a new way of generating tickets was developed. No longer did an individual have to venture to their local brick-and-mortar travel agency, or to an airport, to purchase a ticket to go anywhere in the world. Electronic ticketing, more commonly known as e-ticket or "ticketless" travel, has cut down not only on traffic documents, it enables passengers to purchase his or her own tickets from the comfort of their own home from the airline carrier of their choice.

You may wonder how this new method of travel would encourage an individual to create their own travel agency business, but the transition from traditional brick-and-mortar travel agencies to home-based travel agency businesses is experiencing a growing trend, even in today's depressed economy, and in spite of such new technologies as e-ticketing.

The Internet has often been called the "great equalizer," which is true, and it allows small home-based travel agents the opportunity to compete with any of the largest travel agencies advertised in the media today. This is especially true for individual travel agents who specialize or focus in specific niches within the travel industry and their ability to garner search engine dominance.

Today, the only limitations to success as a travel agent, whether working for a company, or out of a home office, is the amount of determination, performance, and quality of the services provided.

In the first decade of the 21st century, home-based travel agents continue to be courted by trade publications, associations, and suppliers for a multitude of distribution channels that include air travel, train travel, and cruise lines both domestically and abroad.
Taking advantage of consumers wishing to engage the specialized services of a travel agent to plan, schedule, and arrange vacations, business travel, or leisure travel enables travel agents working at home in the 21st century the ability to earn a lucrative income, while at the same time avoiding the expense of office overhead, leasing, and commuting expenses.
Understanding the importance of travel agents within the travel profession, regardless of how their services have changed over the decades, will enable travel agents a secure and respectable future of growth and development as the travel industry continues to change and develop. 
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.5 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(1,666 votes)

Lesson 1: Introduction to the Travel Profession

Learning how to start your own home-based travel agent business, or becoming a highly skilled and respected travel agent, is the foundation of this course. Additional lesson topics: U.S. Travel Association 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Travel Agent Course; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 1: Introduction to the Travel Profession

Lesson 2: Types of Travel

There are so many different types of travel, and reasons for travel, that a travel agent starting his or her own business will be able to specialize in specific niches. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 2: Types of Travel

Lesson 3 : Travel Agent Skills

This lesson will cover the multiple options that are available for individuals wishing to enter the travel industry. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 3 : Travel Agent Skills

Lesson 4 : Popular Travel Services

This lesson will focus on how a travel agent should be able to offer potential clients a multitude of travel services in every area of travel. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 4 : Popular Travel Services

Lesson 5: Travel Technology

This lesson will go over the basics of rating systems and what they can mean to your traveling clients. Additional lesson topics: AAA Diamond Rating System 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 5: Travel Technology

Lesson 6: Using Computer Reservations Systems

Understanding the development, as well as the capabilities, of computerized reservation systems helps today's travel agents provide the best and most efficient reservation services for their clients. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 6: Using Computer Reservations Systems

Lesson 7: Home-Based Travel Agents

Whether you decide to work in a traditional brick-and-mortar travel agency or start your own home-based travel business, you're going to need to start with the basics. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Home Based Travel Agents
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 7 : Home-Based Travel Agents

Lesson 8: Financial Matters

This lesson will focus on helping you set up the books for your new travel agent business, and t familiarize you with revenue and expense accounts, accounting systems, and record keeping. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 8: Financial Matters

Lesson 9: Marketing and Promotion

Understanding your competition, as well as being able to effectively market your services and attract clients is an important part of establishing your relationship -- not only with suppliers, but also with clients. Additional lesson topics: Marketing Ideas 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 9: Marketing and Promotion

Lesson 10 : Tours Know-How

Understanding how tours work, and what types of tours are available to travelers, will help a travel agent provide specific services that meet the needs of clients. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Tours
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 10 : Tours Know - How

Lesson 11: Dealing With Passports and Visas

Understanding the difference between a passport and a visa and the requirements to obtain them are covered in this lesson. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 11: Dealing with Passports and Visas

Lesson 12: Matching Travelers to Travel Options

One of the most important capabilities of a travel agent is to successfully match travelers with their desires. 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 12: Matching Travelers to Travel Options

Lesson 13: Finding a Job as a Travel Agent

Experience and creating positive feedback are the best ways to build and grow your business as a travel service provider. 74 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Lesson discussions: End of Course Poll; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Assessment: Quiz for Lesson 13: Finding a Job As a Travel Agent
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe what a travel agent does and determine whether or not this is a career for you.
  • Define the types of travel.
  • Identify travel agent skills.
  • Describe popular travel services.
  • Summarize travel technology.
  • Describe using computer reservations systems.
  • Summarize home-based travel agents.
  • Describe financial matters, marketing, and promotional methods.
  • Describe and sell various travel tours.
  • Summarize dealing with passports and visas.
  • Describe matching travelers to travel options.
  • Summarize best ways for finding a job as a travel agent.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Travel Agent 101
Course Number: 7550206
Lessons Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars (1,666 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Washington.
Last Updated: October 2021
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.7 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: UniversalClass Instructional Team
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $75.00 U.S. dollars

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