See the World and get paid for it
If you’re the type who loves to wake up in a new city every morning or just wish you could find a job that offered travel and adventure, here’s the scoop. There are many, many traveling jobs that can take you around the country or around the world. For the self described “road warrior,” these jobs are a lot easier to find than you might suspect; all you need is a few tips on where to look.
The Travel Industry
In today’s global marketplace, people travel all over the world for fun, business, education, and exploration. These traveling jobs need special help, and the travel industry is critical to providing that help, making sure those travelers can get where they need to be on time, on budget, and in comfort. Industry professionals are more than just the clerk at the airport reservations counter; there are many kinds of jobs for traveling professionals.
Travel Reservation Clerks
Also known as passenger service agents, passenger booking clerks, reservation clerks, airport service agents, ticket clerks, or ticket sellers, travel reservation clerks are at the front line of the industry. They’re the people we depend upon to sell tickets at the airport, train station, bus depot or other onsite location. They also check baggage and give customers useful travel information about flights and connections.
Travel Reservation Agents
Unlike travel clerks, travel reservations agents handle mass travel plans from huge reservation centers. Typically, these are the people you reach when you dial a number for an airline or other large travel provider. They take phone calls, answer email, or other inquiries; give information on routes, schedules, rates, accommodations and the like. Using specialized computer systems and networks like SABRE, they also take, change, or cancel reservations for flights, hotels, car bookings, and airport transportation.
Travel agents are more personalized than travel reservation clerks or agents; they’re there to work directly with individual clients to get them the best possible travel arrangements. Agents also specialize in kinds of travel: cruises, resort bookings, specialty travel tours. They also specialize in destinations: Europe, Africa, Asia, etc. Travel agents plan trips, sell and book transportation and tickets, set travel dates, book hotels or other transportation, sell tour packages, and book restaurants. In short, they take care of anything and everything that a traveler needs. They also have access to the same network tools (SABRE) that travel reservation agents have, allowing them to shop for the best fare prices.
Travel counselors specialize in handing travel needs for special clients. They do more than book travel; they smooth out the problems clients might encounter with schedules, fare changes, political issues or natural disasters, or in providing specialized needs (like a camel to take you into the Outback). Counselors also make travel arrangements, research client travel needs; gather the information or paperwork for travel document requirements or health paperwork. Travel counselors also do a lot of traveling to sites to find information on destinations; they then can make personal recommendations based on this firsthand knowledge. Depending on the needs of the clients, these trips can be very unusual and interesting.
Tour Guides/Tour directors
Tour Guides are responsible for shepherding groups of travelers to sites or destinations. They typically coordinate travel, hotel bookings, restaurants, ground transportation, and visits to interesting locations for entire groups. They also make sure that all documentation, health information, and travel fees are dealt with; the idea is that the clients need do little more than pack and show up at the appointed time to find all elements of the trip are already handled. Tour guides may actually lead the tour group on the trip, while Tour directors are more responsible for setting up the tour but may not necessarily be involved in the actual travel.
Travel Clerks /Administrators
These personnel handle the booking of flights, hotels, and ground transport for companies or corporations. They typically are part of a company structure and report to a manager in a business services department. They do much the same jobs as a reservation agent, but have a bit less latitude as they are not allowed to exceed certain preset travel limits (no luxury travel accommodations for the Sales manager, for example). They may also handle paperwork such as entry documents, shipping, and travel to and from the airport.
Travel specialists handle high end, luxury or other specialized travel packages. Like travel agents, they handle all the details for the client, but these details often cater to providing luxury accommodations or experiences for these VIP clients. These specialists work to build relationships as the personal travel agent for the client; in some cases, they may not even communicate with the client directly, instead dealing through agents, personal assistants or other support staff.
Looking for traveling jobs? The travel industry is an important part of today’s global economy. Whether its travel for business, fun, or education, travel professionals make sure that travelers get there in style.