Tiffany Bowne from Lounge Couture, an independent affiliate of All Star Travel Group, came from the entertainment industry, traveling with high-profile actors and film directors, and had some concierge/personal assistant-type work under her belt. When the company closed, she walked into David Odaka’s office at All Star Travel Group (which has offices in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, CA) and joined as an independent contractor (IC).
“There are so many busy, successful agents that need help and support. Offering to intern or work part time to learn the business with an IC or travel agency would be a good way to get started,” Bowne says.
Avenue Two’s Tracy Federico (who started out as a part-time travel coordinator supporting a high-producing advisor and was later asked to join the team on a full-time basis) goes even further to say, make sure that agency is a member of a travel network (such as Virtuoso or Signature). “Find an agency that is affiliated with a consortium; this offers a framework within which to learn the business,” she says. “Even if you just learn the properties and suppliers that are in-network, you save yourself a ton of trial and error.”
She adds: Take the effort to work from the agency’s office, if one is available. “Even if the IC model suits your situation, spend as much time in an office or with a seasoned advisor as possible. I learn so much just by listening to my colleagues talk on the phone.”
But how to find an agency to join? Hit the internet!
“I would recommend using social media to look for agencies in the area and see if the agency’s online presence reflects the way you would want to travel,” Stacey Loftus Cohen tells Luxury Travel Advisor. “Finding the right agency with a collaborative group of agents is the key to a successful career, professionally and personally.”