It disturbs me to see the statistics on how few educated, experienced, and capable people are able to find work in their chosen profession these days. Many of my veteran friends are severely under-employed, working in jobs that don’t fully utilize the skills that they’ve acquired through years of training and experience. Many of my military spouse friends are also under-employed as it is difficult to maintain a progressing career when they must move every 2-3 years with their service member.
I know these situations, because I’ve experienced them all. I am a veteran and military spouse, very proud of my service and my husband’s, but at times, frustrated with the challenges I’ve had to face due to the life I’ve chosen in service to this country.
So maybe the answer for some of these people (like myself) is to become an entrepreneur and create their own job! I see this happening more and more in the travel industry. Everyone’s vision of a “travel agent” is a middle-aged or older person (usually a woman) who has been booking travel in various scenarios for 20-30 years…but that is changing rapidly! We are not “order-takers” any longer, but have to also excel at marketing, social media, contract negotiation, advertising, website development, writing skills, sales and human resources (if we have others working for us). I am telling you now that those “order taker” travel agents of the past are retiring by the minute and the new bread of travel agents, or travel advisors as I prefer to call them are filling the ranks and there’s still many ranks to fill.
We have all seen the headlines and read about the demise of the travel agent. Online booking agencies like Travelocity and Expedia, booking online directly with suppliers and now Groupon and even Amazon entering the market big time, all appear to have replaced the need for the travel advisor. But was this death notice posted prematurely? And maybe…just maybe…is the career choice of travel professional one of today’s best-kept secrets? I say yes, but see here and you tell me!
- You set your own schedule and hours and mostly work from home, Starbucks, the library or anywhere that has a great Internet connection. This is ideal for military spouses who need a mobile career. And, there is growing obsession, especially among younger generations to join what Tim Ferriss calls the “New Rich” in his best-selling book, The Four-Hour-Workweek. #digitalnomad
- It doesn’t cost a lot to get in to the profession, although it definitely helps to enroll in a well-respected training program and network with others who are joining you on your journey. There is a lot of online training available and even annual events like the Book More Travel Workshop.
- You are your own boss! However, that means you are also responsible for your own success. You must be motivated! I can’t tell you how much being accountable to myself has been a blessing throughout my life. I can’t remember where I saw the quote, but this truly resonates with me, “I’d rather hustle 24/7 on something I love then be a slave to the 9-5.” Amen!
- It’s a FUN profession to be a part of! Although I can easily work ridiculous hours, negotiating with suppliers, training and researching options tirelessly online, the outcome is a fun and happy one. My clients are excited about their upcoming travel plans and I get as excited as they do just talking about it! Travel is the coolest industry in the world!
- As you grow in the business, it becomes super important to know what you are selling. There are lots of opportunities for your own educational travel provided by travel suppliers. For example, I am going on a trip to Morocco next month with a tour operator I’ve always been excited about, G Adventures so I can fully experience the tours they provide to my clients. I’m going to sandwich that tour by checking out some hotels and resorts in Marrakech for research. I’ll tour the rooms, facilities, eat in the restaurants, meet with management and receive great marketing/sales support so we can better recommend these properties to our clients. These trips can be fast-paced and hard-work, but you are working in some of the most beautiful places in the world! Not too shabby!
Do you know of a person that is passionate about travel and has an entrepreneurial spirit? They might be a great fit for this type of career. Or, are you looking for a career change yourself? I would be happy to speak with any of you, or anyone you might refer, about the wonderful opportunities that the travel industry can offer.
Kinship Vacations is currently seeking military spouses and/ or veterans to start their own travel businesses with the training, mentorship, and business foundation I’ve created. If you or someone you know fits this description, please direct them towards this form so they can get on our list and receive exclusive information about starting a travel career. We are going to soft-launch our travel agent mentorship and training program on April 9th!
I would consider it an honor to be of service in helping you create your own BEST JOB IN THE WORLD! I sure love mine!
As always, reach out to us if you have any questions at ashley@kinshipvacations.
P.S. If you are ready to start planning that trip you’ve been dreaming of taking, start by filling out our trip planning form, and we’ll get you scheduled for a free consult.
P.P.S. Or, if you want to plan a trip to either pay for your travel, increase business revenue, or raise funds for a good cause find out more here and fill out our group travel leader inquiry form.
P.P.P.S. Finally, to keep receiving travel tips and inspiration and a FREE GUIDE, “10 Ways to Strengthen Relationships Through Travel” CLICK HERE