Travel Guide Jobs

Advice for Your Travel Guide

There are many perks to tour and travel guide jobs—also called “holiday rep” jobs by your friends across the pond (any Brits among us?). They’re great for students who want to fill the gap between semesters or their summer break. Graduates or people debating a career change can use these gigs to test their options in the short-term while picking up bonus skills.

Sound good so far? Here’s the lowdown on what it takes to be a travel guide, what employers look for and what day-to-day life is like on the job.

Job description

A tour guide or resort representative is responsible for looking after groups traveling as part of a vacation package at resorts around the world. Their main job is to ensure that the tourists (think of them as business clients, because they are) enjoy their vacation by providing excellent customer service.

You’ll hold welcome meetings, handle complaints and set up and run vacation activities like excursions.

Qualifications

You don’t need any specific qualifications to work for a tour operator. Tour companies look for communication and customer service skills, a confident and enthusiastic personality and the ability to work as part of a team.

Most tour operators seek candidates with experience working in a customer service, travel or tourism position. Yes, this is one place where that part-time job working bar in college can give your resume a big advantage!

Salary and conditions

A starting salary is usually between $720-$800 per month; more experienced folks get more, of course. Not great money, but remember: you will probably get free flights, free accommodations and either included meals or a food allowance.

Other benefits include discounted or free excursions, use of company cars in leisure time, use of hotel swimming pools and tennis courts, discounted prices in bars and restaurants and cheaper accommodation for family or friends who visit. These goodies are out there and are usually arranged on an ad hoc basis within the resort or at the discretion of management.

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