Myth Busting! What is it really like to work in the Travel Industry?

Myth Busting! What is it really like to work in the Travel Industry?

14 August 2017

By: Taylor Williamson 

Is it really as absolutely amazing as it seems? Do they get to travel the world for free whilst we work and scrimp to save up every last penny, to afford that budget backpacker holiday? Well, I can tell you first hand, yes it is.


Image via Taylor Williamson 

As a backpacker I know the feeling of working any job possible, earning very little, and spending absolutely everything on your next holiday. Let’s rewind two years ago,   and that was me. I worked part time, I couch-surfed to save money, and at one point even went dumpster diving to find food. I walked into the Travel Agents with every last penny I had saved, and booked an incredible once in a life time six-week trip up the East Coast of Australia. Whilst sat in that store I felt the best energy, saw staff members happily chatting and having fun, and made it my mission to one day be a part of it. I was so determined, I basically begged them to hire me and luckily for me they agreed! Flash forward back to now and that is what I do. I talk to fantastic unique people every day and help them to plan their dream holidays.


Image via Taylor Williamson 

We are a social bunch, and not only am I blessed with heaps of awesome opportunities to travel, but I also have an amazing support system around me, and heaps of friends to brighten each and every day. We socialise outside of work too, and meet for drinks, dinners and good times! We work together, play together and sometimes jump out of planes together! We are human too, and despite being extremely energetic and bubbly most of the time, we can have bad days. But it is hard to stay down for long, when you have lovely smiley faces around you, reminding you how lucky you are. 


Image via Taylor Williamson 

Like any job, it doesn’t come without its difficulties so to try and help you understand the mysterious world of a Travel Agent I have interviewed three different staff members. First there is me, Taylor; An English girl who has worked in the company for one year and am only just starting my journey. Then there is Cass, an Aussie manager who has been with the company over five years! She really knows everything there is to know and has experienced almost everything there is to experience! Lastly there’s Sabrina. Sabrina’s our Frenchie intern, still completing her studies. She hopes to one day work in the Travel industry full time, but at the moment is still enjoying learning the ropes! We all come from extremely different backgrounds and working as a travel agent means something different to all of us! 


   1. Do you enjoy your job? Why?

Taylor:- Definitely. This job started off as nothing more than a crazy idea for me, and the fact I now get to do what I love is really amazing. My two favourite things are basically travel and talking, so being able to talk to new people every day and help them achieve all of their travel goals is incredible. The job is VERY social and I love nothing more than making new connections with people and forming new friendships. I have even ended up travelling with previous customers of mine, that I would probably have never met if it wasn’t for the job.  

Cass:- I love what I do! My favourite thing is when someone who has never travelled before and is a bit nervous comes in. I can sit down with them and help them to feel reassured, whilst we plan their adventures. I get so emotionally invested in all of my customers lives, and am so happy when they contact me after their trip and thank me for changing their lives.

Sabrina:- Of course I do! When I started my internship I really had no idea what to expect, but it’s the best thing to have happened to me! I’m constantly learning new things about beautiful places in the world, which makes me even more excited to travel in the future. I love being able to share my passion with my customers, and help them create their dream trip.



    2. What’s the best ‘perk of the job’ you have experienced?

Taylor:- After working closely with some tour companies in the Outback of Australia I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to go on a two week trip from Adelaide right up to Darwin. It was literally one of the best experiences of my life and something I would never have had the opportunity to do without this job! I camped under the stars in Uluru and learnt so much about the Aboriginal culture in Australia. I also recently got back from an absolutely insane ten day tour of Bali, which I am still totally gobsmacked about!

Cass:- After a long time with the company I was lucky enough to do a ten day tour of the Philippines with One Life Adventures. We snorkeled in crystal clear water, island hopped, and spent time on the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. It really was paradise. It instantly became one of my favourite countries of all time, and I made friends for life. 

Sabrina:- In order for me to learn about this beautiful country I am sent on the most incredible trips around Australia. I recently got back from doing a 2 day Sailing Adventure around the Whitsundays, where I was lucky enough to see turtles and dolphins! I also got to recently face my fears and do a bungy jump in the rainforest in Cairns. These are really amazing things for me, that I would never have done on my own. 


Images via Taylor Williamson


   3. What is the biggest challenge you have faced? 

Taylor:- For me it’s saying goodbye to people. It’s not only our customers that are travelers, a lot of our staff members are too. People are constantly relocating or going away travelling and that can be really hard. But at least now I have friends all over the world. (Free accommodation in every country…!!)

Cass:- Despite everything we can do, there are some things we just have no control over. Take natural disasters for example. Cyclones, floods, fires etc can massively effect out customer’s trips, and whilst we will do everything in our power to help, sometimes they can be a huge pain!

Sabrina:- Living in a city like Melbourne, and not getting paid the same wage as full time staff members can sometimes be really difficult. But there are heaps of advantages and hopefully everything that I have learned in this company will lead me to a job once I finish my studies. I also find it difficult not knowing as much as a lot of the other staff and feeling quite overwhelmed with all of the different destinations and products. I have to balance my school work, but luckily for me travel is my passion so I am happy to keep learning as much as possible. 


Image via Taylor Williamson 


If it still sounds as dreamy to you, then why not join the fun? I once believed that only people with professional tourism qualifications could work as a Travel Agent, but that is really not the case. All you need is an absolute burning desire to travel and a love of meeting new people from all over the world, and helping them to plan their trips! Sometimes it takes a lot of hard-work and determination, but the end results are always so amazing it makes it all worthwhile. I am not sure that I could ever go back into an office environment now that I have experienced the social, fun world of a Travel Agent. Every single day is completely different, and no matter how long you have been in the industry you are constantly learning new things. Not only can I help to inspire other people, I am consistently being inspired by my customer’s amazing adventures and we are always learning new things from each other. 


If you're ready to let your own adventure begin, want to play hard and work hard, check out some of our incredible career opportunities in the world of travel!