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How to Travel the World as a Virtual Assistant

How to Travel the World as a Virtual Assistant

One of the most common freelance or remote jobs is being a virtual assistant (VA). However, even within this category, there are many niche-specific types of this role, such as virtual assistant travel jobs. 

If this sounds like something up your alley, you can try to parlay this to travel the world and make a bit of money along the way! Here is a step-by-step guide on how to travel the world as a virtual assistant.

According to Statista, the travel industry is nearly worth $3 trillion. What probably helps is the fact tourism is linked with virtually every other industry on Earth.

Even though 2020 was a tough one for this industry, travel is slowly picking up again, which means more travel virtual assistant jobs are likely going to start opening up, which means now is the best time to plan out life as a travel virtual assistant!

So, whether you’re already working as a VA or want to make it your new career, let’s look at what opportunities are out there. 

How to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs

Working Online

There are several ways to find virtual assistant jobs in the travel industry. You can research the market yourself, but it’s also worth considering using a recruiter.

Recruiters are professionals whose career is focused on finding the best career fits for others, so they’ll know how to help you find the best job for your skillset and interests.

A common misconception is that recruiters are only able to find full-time positions. Not so; many recruiters focus on part-time and contract work as well, which means they can help you find freelance opportunities with travel companies.

It’s absolutely worth knowing how much you should charge for these roles!

What’s Available?

The first step of how to find virtual assistant jobs in the travel industry is to look at how much you charge.

Typically, expect to be paid around $25-$50 an hour for these types of roles.

If working as a TVA for a company, you’ll usually get a 1099 form at the end of your contract, which means fees are often deducted from how much you make while traveling.

If you want to work how much do virtual assistant travel jobs usually pay, there are many other VA roles in this industry offering lower rates.

Here’s how to find freelance opportunities with DMOs (Destination Marketing Organizations) and how to get the job.

See Related: Best Travel Agents Jobs

Where to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs

Once you’ve decided you want to be a virtual assistant and focus on the travel industry, what’s next?

Well, there are several places online you can look for such jobs:

Job Sites

If you want to work for a travel agency or company as a VA, the best places to look for such jobs are job sites like Indeed.com or Monster.com

Many companies looking to hire VAs on payroll typically use job boards. Simply type ‘virtual assistant travel,’ and you’ll see opportunities for assistants in the travel industry.

You can also use the words like “remote” or filter by location if you want to work for companies in a specific city, region, or country. 

See Related: Minimalist Travel Accessories

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the preferred talent-finding platform for many companies. Create your profile and set your career as a VA, enabling job opportunity notifications.

That way, you don’t have to actively look for opportunities, as they will come right into your inbox!

Make sure to polish up your profile with a concise and professional intro and detailed education and experiences. Also, make sure you have a picture and build an up-to-date resume!

See Related: Important Pros and Cons of Travel Insurance

Freelance Platforms

Freelance talent websites like Upwork and Fiverr are very popular for VAs. You can apply for VA jobs related to travel on Upwork. On Fiverr, you can create gigs, and people will reach out to you. 

Upwork is the best platform for virtual assistants as it has the option for hourly billing. Since this kind of work doesn’t always have measurable deliverables, it’s best to go with hourly billing. 

See Related: Tour Operator vs Travel Agent: What’s the Difference?

Company Websites

Many companies also post directly on their websites. If you want to work exclusively for a company, especially a travel company, start by looking at the careers page of their website.

Such virtual assistant travel jobs will be more permanent with fixed weekly hours and pay. 

If you want to find something more stable than looking for contracts and gigs every week, finding a permanent VA position would be the best way to go about it. 

Even if a company hasn’t posted a job, you can reach out to them with your resume or LinkedIn profile, offering your services as a virtual assistant for travel-related matters. 

See Related: Best Insurance for Pre Existing Conditions

8 Virtual Assistant Travel Jobs

Narrowing down the VA jobs in the travel industry can help you find employment or gigs faster. The VA field is becoming increasingly competitive with entrants from around the world vying for the same openings. 

So, it goes without saying that in order to make it, you have to stand out from the rest. Here are the best travel virtual assistant jobs you can look up:

1. Travel Agent Virtual Assistant

Working Homebased

A travel agent virtual assistant is pretty similar to a regular travel agent, except you don’t really have a shop or office on the street. 

This job would require some training as a travel agent and preferably some experience using the common travel agent software, for example, the IATA Ticket Booking software. You can even get accredited by IATA and get an IATA reference code. 

As a virtual assistant with travel agent training or experience, you can either work independently or with a travel agency. 

As a travel agent virtual assistant, your duties may include assisting other travel agents or performing jobs for the travel agency virtually, wherever you may be located.

  This may include searching, reserving, and booking tickets for the agency’s clients, or doing fieldwork to research potential new travel destinations. You may also be asked to perform administrative tasks for the travel agency. 

The biggest benefit of such a job is that you’ll have steady work. You don’t necessarily have to find gigs every now and then. With fixed hours, you can make decent money sitting at home or really anywhere with an internet connection. 

Plus, if you’re working for a few hours a day, you can take up multiple gigs to earn even more!

See Related: 11 Practical Tips for Working While Traveling

2. Private Virtual Travel Agent

A private virtual travel agent is not much different than working as a VA for a travel agency. The only distinction is that here, you’ll be working for another company or individual. 

Many companies hire virtual travel agents to book the itineraries of their executives and employees traveling domestically and abroad.

It would be your job to book their flights or hotels at the best prices (although price typically is not as important a factor for business travel as time is). 

Again, you need to be a certified travel agent to pick such a gig. However, getting this certification isn’t difficult at all!

Some individuals may also need a virtual travel agent to book their itineraries. These are typically business people who travel very frequently, for example, CEOs, managers, or lawyers. 

See Related: How to Travel Full Time

3. Hotel Bookings Virtual Assistant

As a hotel bookings virtual assistant, you’re specifically tasked with finding and booking hotels. Again, this could be for a company, family, or individual. 

With so many hotel choices everywhere, it often gets confusing for people. So they prefer a professional to do it for them. 

While you may think that this is an easy job, it may not be so easy when clients have very specific demands. For instance, if they want a specific hotel or a specific room which is typically booked months in advance. 

As a VA dedicated exclusively to hotel bookings, you’ll need to learn the ins and outs of getting a room you want. For many clients, price doesn’t even matter!

For this reason, you should develop a strong network in the hotel industry so that you can guarantee your clients the best rooms available even at the eleventh hour.

The more exclusive hotels you can get for them, the more they’ll rely on your service in the future. 

It’s a tougher job, but potentially one of the better-paid routes to go down.

See Related: Epic Tips for Stress-Free Travel

4. Travel Insurance and Claims Virtual Assistant

Obviously, the travel insurance industry is a huge part of the travel industry. Flights get canceled or delayed, baggage gets lost, and people get sick.

Those are some unfortunate realities travelers often deal with. In those grim eventualities, travel insurance comes in very handy. 

More and more travelers are becoming cautious and prefer to insure their trips, and we at Viatravelers totally recommend doing this; insurance is better to have and not need than need and not have. That’s where your services can come in, by providing the best insurance plans and coverage for a traveler’s particular trip. 

You can work with a company or individual exclusively, searching and purchasing the best insurance plans for their travels. 

These days, there are so many travel insurance comparison sites you can use to find the best coverage at the cheapest rates. Once you’re familiar with all the options out there, things will get much easier. 

To provide the best service to your clients, make sure to read the coverage details thoroughly. You’ve been hired for that very purpose and your client doesn’t really have time/want to read all that. Remember that any unfortunate misunderstanding might not just lead to unfavorable feedback, you could potentially be screwing someone over for life in the most extreme circumstances! 

You can also directly work with travel insurance companies to offer your clients the best rates. Of course, the more clients you bring in for a company, the more money they make, so they’ll probably be willing to offer you concessions, commissions, or discounts on your own insurance plans. 

See Related: Best Travel Makeup Kits

5. Social Media Virtual Assistant for Travel Agencies

Social Media Marketing

Social media has become the dominating platform for marketing and advertising. In addition to traditional forms of marketing, travel agencies also rely on social media like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to promote their services.

Not every agency can afford an in-house marketing team to manage their social media. As a social media VA, you can offer your services for promoting the company on social media and managing its accounts. It’s one of those virtual assistant travel jobs that coincides well with the marketing industry. 

Your job would typically be to post content on their accounts daily or weekly, run ads, and engage with the audience when they comment or message. In simpler words, you’ll be assisting the travel agency in managing its social media presence. 

While you don’t necessarily need a college degree or certificate to get such a job, it may help if you have a marketing background (education or work). If you have experience, travel agencies may be more likely to hire you. 

You can work as a marketing VA for just one travel agency or several, whatever helps you pay your bills.

The best part about this VA is that you can build your own travel website but then also provide your solutions as a service! 

See Related: Pros and Cons of Being a Travel Agent: Is It Stressful?

6. Bookkeeping/Accounting Virtual Assistant for Travel Companies

Similar to social media management, travel companies may also require virtual assistants for bookkeeping and accounting purposes. As a VA for their accountant or accounts department, your job may include processing payroll and transactions. 

In most cases, you’d be using accounting software like QuickBooks to manage their billing and invoices. While you don’t need a degree in accounting, it’s recommended that you complete an accounting course and get some certifications. If you’re a CPA, you’re golden, but even a PA should suffice.

Most travel companies looking for accounting assistants and bookkeepers would want to hire a qualified VA. Make sure to demonstrate your skills and experience, as it will make it easier and quicker to get a job. 

Such travel VA jobs are more permanent even if they are remote. You may be working on an hourly basis or with fixed monthly payments. This is much more like a regular 9-5 job, but one you can do virtually from home. 

See Related: How to Travel with A Drone

7. Visa Services Virtual Assistant

For many travelers with weak passports or those traveling to countries with entry restrictions, securing a visa can be a real hassle.

They might have to gather tons of documents, fill in reams of applications, and answer invasive questionnaires. If anything is wrong, their application gets refused, and they lose the visa fee, which, by the way, is often quite high. 

Such individuals benefit from the services of a visa virtual assistant. Your job, in this case, would be to apply for the visa on their behalf or perhaps just fill in applications and gather requirements and documents for them, depending on how much they’d like done for them. 

Travel agencies could also hire you as a VA for their visa services section. Many travel agencies offer not only travel bookings but also visa services from start to end.

It would be more suitable if you target travel agencies and travelers in your own country as that would allow you to find relevant information easily. You’d also understand the requirements, documents, and language better. However, like virtually everything in this list, nothing’s stopping you from going global.

You will need to equip yourself with knowledge of the visa processes for different countries. You can try a specific country or group of countries for this purpose, especially if their visas are difficult, time-consuming, and expensive to acquire.

For instance, certain Middle Eastern and African countries have very restrictive visa policies, making it difficult even for people with powerful passports like the EU members, Singapore, and Japan. On the flip side, the US visa can be quite tricky to obtain for people from nations with weaker passport power. 

See Related: Best Travel Movies to Inspire You

8. Itinerary Planning Virtual Assistant

Planning a whole trip can be a nightmare for some, especially if they are short on time or don’t know much about the destination, or the booking process.

As a VA with expertise in itinerary planning, you can offer your services to companies or individuals to plan their trips for them according to their needs and likes. 

For instance, a client wants to travel to Italy with their family for a week and needs you to make a plan for them to see as much as possible. You may or may not be asked to book the whole itinerary or parts of it.

So, as a VA, you’ll help find the best places to visit in Italy, the best hotels, and create a day-to-day plan of activities and meals. 

In simpler words, you basically do all the research for them, and perhaps make the odd reservation here and there. The goal is to make sure to plan it in the most personalized way possible.. 

Find out what your client is all about when it comes to traveling. Ask your client what they prefer to do on vacations, the kind of food they like, the activities they prefer, who’s coming along, and how much money they want to spend. Then, use that information to plan a trip that will blow their mind. 

The happier they are, the more likely they are to recommend you to other people! Plus, it’s a good way to plan out your own dream vacation!

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