What does an Adventure Travel Agent do?

Judith Smith Sullivan

An adventure travel agent arranges vacations and trips that involve unique experiences. Often the vacations will involve exciting activities and unusual accommodations. Like other travel agents, an adventure travel agent strives to create the right vacation for their client, find the best prices, and see that the trip runs smoothly.

A travel agent can help someone book a cruise.
A travel agent can help someone book a cruise.

Hiking, backpacking, sailing, visiting remote and isolated places, scuba diving, and safaris are popular forms of adventure travel. Of course, there are many other kinds. There are also submarine trips, excursions to the Antarctic, and mountain climbing. Any kind of experience that is atypical for a regular vacation can be classified as adventure travel. Adventure travelers often prefer to spend time outdoors and in natural settings.

The Inca Trail, which overlooks the ruins of Machu Picchu, is a popular choice for guided treks.
The Inca Trail, which overlooks the ruins of Machu Picchu, is a popular choice for guided treks.

Many avid travelers and thrill seekers turn their hobby into a profession and use their experience to start an adventure travel business. Experience in adventure travel helps agents to foresee possible complications and setbacks in travel plans, offer helpful advice about new cultures, or provide tips for getting the most out of a vacation. An adventure travel agent who does not have adventure travel experience may not be able to provide the best service to clients.

An adventure travel agent may organize a whitewater rafting trip.
An adventure travel agent may organize a whitewater rafting trip.

Agents spend much of their time marketing their services to clients. Adventure travel agents create brochures and advertisements with sample itineraries and packages and then market these on websites, in sports and recreation publications, or through businesses. They either create their own adventure packages or partner with experience providers who have already developed packages. An experience providers might be a community looking to expand tourism or businesses offering a specific travel package. The adventure travel agent fulfills special requests to develop an individualized plan for the client.

A travel agent making arrangements for a client.
A travel agent making arrangements for a client.

Sometimes an adventure travel agent will spend more time finding new and exciting experiences than working with clients. Adventure travel agents might create a website with ready-made travel packages which can be purchased directly online. What these packages lack in individualization, they make up for in availability and variety.

An adventure travel agent may connect their clients with a diving resort.
An adventure travel agent may connect their clients with a diving resort.

Whether the agent works with clients or experience providers, he or she typically charges a fee to one or both parties. If the agent works only with clients, the client is typically charged a fee for the service. The fee might be included in the package cost. Adventure travel agents that specialize in marketing the services of experience providers will charge the providers a fee. The agent normally does not charge any additional fees to the individual booking the trip.

A waterfall on the island of Tasmania, a popular destination for adventure travelers.
A waterfall on the island of Tasmania, a popular destination for adventure travelers.
An adventure travel agent can set up mountain climbing trips.
An adventure travel agent can set up mountain climbing trips.
Adventure travel activities may include paragliding.
Adventure travel activities may include paragliding.

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