One of the incredible perks of being a travel agent is the opportunity to travel. Travel agents have access to numerous perks and discounts simply because of their profession. There are several factors that determine how frequently agents get to travel but how often does it really happen?
To ensure that agents know what they are selling, some locations offer familiarization trips which are often referred to as FAM trips. These trips are intended for agents that are more likely to book these destinations for their clients. FAM trips are available in locations all over the world and some are completely free of charge for the agent.
Firsthand experiences with traveling actually help travel agents to do their job effectively. Knowing what challenges their clients may face when embarking on a journey allows the agents to anticipate potential problems and make the trips as smooth as possible. If an agent has personally been to the area that they’re booking for their clients, they can speak intelligently about what can be expected and recommend attractions or activities.
Although FAM trips may sound like vacations, they are intended to be educational and require the agents to pay attention. Because hotels and cruise ships often want to show the agents as many of their amenities as possible some of these trips only allow solo travel by the agent. Agents can still enjoy themselves on these trips but they must remember that business comes first.
Price is usually a huge reason for many people not to travel but agents have a way to minimize these costs. By joining the International Air Transport Association or IATA, travel agents can obtain a special identification card. IATA identification cards are globally recognized for travel professionals and they permit access AgentExperience which is used to find numerous discounted rates for travel.
These discounts were designed so that travel agents can offer great rates to their clients while earning commission for each discounted trip that they sell. Conveniently, agents can use the IATA identification card to apply these discounted rates to their personal trips. Having the ability to fly across the world at a discounted rate makes frequent traveling much more accessible.
There are some circumstances in life that also determine how frequently agents get to travel. Agents that can only travel when their agency gives permission may not travel as frequently as an independent agent that can travel as they please. Agents that have families probably can’t go on spontaneous FAM trips as often as a single agent could. Some agents simply don’t have enough financial freedom to travel as often as they would like. Some agents truly have no need to travel simply because they specialize in booking trips to an area that they already live in.
Overall, how frequently an agent travels really depends on the agent. Some travel agents may be able to take advantage of IATA discounts and FAM trips more frequently than others. Much like any other person, the agent’s travel preferences, lifestyle, and financial capabilities can all influence how often they travel.