Back in mid-June, I was running on my treadmill while I was listening to Matt on his Royal Caribbean Blog podcast. As I jogged, I wondered if Matt is a travel agent…after all, he goes on a lot of cruises! I thought about how being a travel agent must be a great job for someone who loves to travel. During my cool-down walk, I started to research how to become a travel agent in the province where I live, and discovered an opportunity to start a new business as a home-based travel consultant. (Hint: It wasn’t a multi-level marketing opportunity, and this post is not a pitch, just a story.)
How I Became a Travel Agent in Ontario
I spoke to my husband about the idea, and he thought it sounded interesting, too. I got in touch with the host agency, and later on that day I received an e-mail from a woman nearby who’s starting a brand new franchise local to us. She invited me to lunch that week to talk about her plans with the new travel agency.
I met up with Lisa later that week wearing my favourite “Seas the Day” t-shirt, which I received during a group cruise on board Royal Caribbean‘s Adventure of the Seas. I arrived for lunch armed with a long list of questions. We chatted a lot about traveling, our professional backgrounds and her plans to get the new franchise location going. I left feeling excited about the idea of joining her in the new venture. Lisa felt like I’d be a great fit for the role, for a few reasons:
- I’ve been my own boss before.
- I’ve been on several cruises with my friends and family.
- I worked on board a cruise ship for four months (more on that to come…).
- I’ve got a ton of experience dealing with the public in customer service and hospitality roles. I’ve worked for some big companies like Disney Cruise Line and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, to name just two.
- I love to travel!
After my lunch with Lisa, I began to study the Travel Industry Council of Ontario educational standards and booked my exam with a proctor. There were five modules for me to read and learn. I also signed on with my host agency and began to study the online training modules they provided. A couple of weeks later, I passed my TICO exam and celebrated with an Instagram post.
What’s the status of our new franchise location?
Our franchise location is currently under construction in Courtice, Ontario, but it will be opening up in mid- to late August, and I can’t wait! I’ll be working a few days a week in the store, and the rest of the week at home. I’ll get to take my son to school and pick him up at the end of the day. In between, I’ll be helping to make travelers’ dreams come true. Until the store opens, I’ll be working from home to get my business up and running, with regular updates here on its progress.
My journey to becoming a travel consultant may be the road less traveled, but I truly do feel like my background will be a perfect fit! Meeting Lisa and learning all about this business has been a genuinely positive experience so far. I’m looking forward to sharing stories about my new job here on Cruise Enthused.
A couple of bonus links about the perks of being a travel agent or travel consultant:
- 12 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Travel Agent
- Six Reasons to Become a Travel Agent
- Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Travel Agent?
Are you a travel agent? What is your favourite part of your job? How many years have you been working in the travel and hospitality industry?