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How Much Do Travel Agents Make?

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If you possess an entrepreneurial spirit, love visiting amazing destinations and enjoy the freedom to work practically anywhere, then becoming a travel agent may be just the right career move for you. Best of all, you’ll get paid for doing what you love!

Therefore, one of your first questions before making the decision to start your own travel business will most likely be, “How much money do travel agents make?” Providing an answer to the seemingly simple question of travel agent pay is a lot more complex than you might think.

Our comprehensive guide below will address all your travel agent salary questions as you consider embarking on an exciting new career in the travel industry!

How Much Do Travel Agents Make Working From Home?

If you are considering starting your own home-based travel business, you’ll naturally want to know how much your travel agent salary will be. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to the question, “How much do travel agents make working from home?” That’s because travel agent salary varies depending on several factors, including:

  • Location — Average travel agent salaries vary considerably according to where you locate your business. Remember that it doesn’t necessarily matter where you live, it’s more important how and where you market to travelers that will make the difference.
  • Niche — Setting yourself apart from other travel agents by specializing in specific types of travel or destinations can increase your travel agent salary.
  • Experience — Becoming an expert in specific destinations can help you gain new clients and increase your travel agent income.
  • Marketing Strategy — Marketing your business directly to target clients will determine the amount of leads you will receive and sales you will make.

Other issues to consider when trying to figure out how much travel agents make include the average hours worked per week, travel industry training, and whether being a travel agent will serve as your primary income.

Another important factor when considering travel agent salary is getting the right tools and partnerships in place to make your travel business successful. This involves connecting with a host agency such as TPI to provide the expertise and resources you need to start your own travel business. Your travel agent salary can increase significantly through the partnership with a host agency.

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What Do Travel Agent Salary Surveys Tell Us About Travel Agent Income?

Beware of typing “travel agent salary surveys” into Google because you will come across a lot of wildly fluctuating travel agent salary data. For one thing, there are a variety of different types of travel agents – ranging from home-based travel businesses that partner with host agencies to traditional storefront travel agents and corporate travel agents.

Therefore, lumping all the different kinds of travel agents into an average travel agent salary can result in very misleading data to say the least. If you want to find out more specific data related to travel agent salaries, you’ll need to search by the specific type of travel agent (for example, “average home-based travel agent salary for 2021”).

In addition, Host Agency Reviews offers a detailed breakdown of different travel agent salaries in its annual Travel Agent Income Survey. Another important travel agent salary resource to consult is the Travel Institute’s report, The Changing Face of Travel Agents, which covers the four “Cs” of today’s rapidly changing travel agency environment: composition, certification, contentment and compensation.

How to Become a Higher-Earning Travel Agent with TPI

Higher-earning travel agents usually possess more travel industry training and experience than those less experienced travel agents who are just starting out. However, by partnering with a host agency like TPI, these higher-earning travel agents can get even more revenue out of their travel business. That’s because they can enjoy the rewards of the host agency’s strong vendor relationships, which will, in turn, allow them to earn higher commissions.

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Why Earning Commission Means You Can Make More As A Travel Agent

Starting a travel business out of your home means that your earnings will typically come in the form of commissions, as well as service fees. A commission is simply a percent-age of the total cost of the booking that gets set aside for the travel agent who booked the trip. Therefore, the more you book, the more commissions you earn!

Travel agents receive commissions from various suppliers such as:

  • Hotels and Resorts
  • Ocean and River Cruises
  • Tour Operators
  • Car Rental Agencies
  • Travel Insurance Carriers

For example, if you book a cruise for a client that costs $1,500 and your commission is 10 percent, you will earn approximately $150 from booking the cruise.

When you work with a host agency like TPI, you pay a travel agency fee. TPI determines its fees based on our commission split structures. We offer multiple split structures, so you decide how much you pay in fees and how much of your commission you keep.

In exchange for the resources and benefits of partnering with a host agency like TPI, you can expect to take home approximately 70 to 90% of your total earned commissions. Since major vendors work in bulk with host agencies, you can expect to earn higher commissions.

Now Is The Perfect Time To Become A Travel Agent

After a turbulent year in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the perfect time to become a travel agent and run you own travel business! That’s because the travel industry has regained momentum in 2021 for the following reasons:

  • Travel restrictions have become less stringent in many of the most sought-after destinations.
  • Most Americans have received vaccinations and are anxious to travel and explore the world again.
  • These travelers will want to rely on the expertise of travel agents to navigate the ever-changing travel landscape brought forth by the pandemic.

Best of all, an experienced host agency like TPI can support you on the journey to a successful career as a travel agent. With our extensive training and support system, you will learn all the ins and outs of the travel industry. From then on, you’ll be on the path to achieving success as a travel agent in no time!

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Joining TPI has been one of the best decisions I could have made for my business.

Rockstar Success Stories

I've worked incredibly hard to get to where I am today, and it's nice to know I have a company like TPI supporting me as I continue to make my place in the travel industry.

Theresa Chu-Bermudez
Get Out Custom Travels

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much money a travel agent makes depends on a variety of factors, including where you live, how much experience you have, your marketing strategy, and what kind of travel niche you choose to focus on, among others.

  • As one of the world’s top vacation destinations, Florida is home to world-famous theme parks and a cruise industry that’s on the verge of a major post-pandemic comeback. Therefore, travel agents who start their businesses in Florida typically make salaries slightly above the national average.

  • How much a travel agent makes per booking varies widely depending on the type of booking. That’s why many travel agents wisely choose to specialize in a lucrative niche travel market.

  • According to Host Agency Reviews, the average annual salary for a hosted travel agent with 3+ years of experience was $44,312 in 2020. Keep in mind that travel agent salaries fluctuate significantly based on many of the factors listed throughout this article. In addition, since the travel industry is gaining post-pandemic momentum, the average 2021 travel agent salary should end up being higher than the past year.

  • Travel agent pay usually comes from commissions vendors provide on vacation packages, tours, cruises, hotels, resorts, travel insurance and other add-ons.