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What It’s Really Like To Have A Job That Travels the World

Are you interested in finding a job that travels the world?

I’m lucky enough to have had one for over 30 years.

Read on to find out what’s it really like!

A Job That Travels the World – Being a Tour Manager

Which job is best for travelling the world?

Being a travel tour manager is the best job for travelling the world. You get to travel to great places and learn all about them. You get to meet and work with lots of interesting people too.

For over 30 years I have been lucky enough to have a job that I have enjoyed and a job that travels the world.

A Tour Manager is someone who leads touring holidays and escorted tours. They are responsible for running the tour and sorting out any issues. It’s a complex role and once out on tour, you are generally working on your own.

I fell into the role because my boyfriend was a coach driver and I used to tag along with him. At Christmas and New Year, he got to take me for free on trips. I made the tea and thought that getting paid to travel sounded like fun.

Having embellished my CV I managed to get a job working in Italy and the rest is history as they say!

My job has taken me all over the world. I was lucky enough to go to China over 20 years ago, I’ve been to Australia multi times and many more places.

That said having a job that travels the world can definitely have its ups and downs!

Having a Job That Travels the World Means Work Comes First

When you are travelling the work the most important thing is the work, not the travelling.

Working as a Tour Manager means that the needs of the guests and the tour always come first. For example, there might be a free day on the itinerary for the guests. That is rarely a free day for me. Often something will need sorting out like some sort of guest illness or injury.

For those reasons, I never plan anything on ‘free days’ because I know I will have to do some sort of work. Even if there is some free time often I am too tired to do anything other than rest. Travelling is tiring. Travelling with a group of people for work is exhausting!

Having a job that travels the world means you are going to work. If you don’t do the work you won’t have the job!

Tower Bridge taken just as the sun coming up and I was getting ready to sort group departure out from Tower Hotel

Having a Job That Travels the World Means Working Hard

In tourism type jobs the work is often hard and busy. There is often a very busy season with a quieter off season.

In the UK and most of Europe the season is from around April to October. That’s the busiest time for travelling. That means you can be working much more during these months because there is going to be no work in the winter.

To give you an example this year I have worked from the end of March to the middle of November. It’s looking like a very busy year for tourism, with still lots of catching up to do from a previous couple of years.

It can be difficult to manage working so hard during a shortened period of the year. It is difficult to do much else other than work and of course, tourism jobs are 7 days a week too.

As a Tour Manager when I am travelling with groups I am also on call in case of any emergencies or issues. These do happen, here are a couple of examples!

On a river cruise trip in Russia, I was a cruise escort. The pay is lower because the role is to make sure the itinerary gets delivered. On my trip things didn’t quite go like that. The two guests fell getting onto the boat. One snapped his false leg. The other had to go to the hospital in St Petersburg. I went with them. Another guest’s luggage didn’t arrive so I had to pick it up from the airport. The following day another guest fell requiring hospital treatment.

I saw very little of St Petersburg other than hospitals. During the river cruise, 40 guests contracted Norovirus. Due to the cruising route, we had to continue. In Moscow, another guest fell and needed hospital treatment. During the whole trip of around 10 days, I got a free afternoon in Moscow. Worse still the pay rate was only £45 per day!

In Prague, I was responsible for 150 guests staying in a hotel for 3 nights. They had a city tour and then free time. At the end of the stay they headed off to a cruise and another 150 guests arrived for a 3-night stay. The 150 arriving guests got to the hotel 3 hours ahead of schedule. That meant no rooms were ready. There was such a lot of work to do I managed to leave the hotel once in 5 days, and then only to a cafe next door.

Having A Job That Travels the World Means Some Amazing Moments

It may sound that having a job that travels the world is not that much fun. There are some perks that make up for the hard work and the difficult times, otherwise, people wouldn’t do the job!

Over the years I have travelled with thousands of amazing people. I have met people from every walk of life. Most of the people, most of the time, have been great.

To travel with a group of people that get on well together and are nice people makes the job not feel like a job at all. I can’t tell you how many times I have told my group ‘I can’t believe I am getting paid for this!’.

As a Tour Manager, I am lucky to get some great experiences too. In China that meant dining with the locals and seeing the real China. In Australia, it meant taking a hot air balloon flight over Cairns. There are so many examples!

Then of course there is the pay. I once worked out the value of the trips I had taken and I stopped when I got to £250,000. Of course, it’s different working than holidaying, but still, that’s an awful lot of money.

Here are My Top Tips To Get the Most from Having a Job That Travels the World

  • Extend your travel if at all possible to get some free time to explore and enjoy your destination.
  • If your flights include a stopover see if your job will allow you to split your flights. Then all you need to pay for is your accommodation!
  • Sometimes shorter activities can be easier to fit in – a local theatre or restaurant?
  • Check out what’s nearby before you travel so you have a few ideas if you do get some spare time.
  • Give yourself time to recover and do what suits you best. Sometimes the best thing to do is to have a room service breakfast in your pyjamas!
  • Make sure you request a quiet room and take everything you need for getting good sleep. Travelling for work means that sleep is vital to being able to do your job. Think sleep mask, ear plugs, sleep app – whatever you need.

You Might Also Like

If you have found my Having a Job That Travels The World article useful then you might also like;

Coach Holiday Tour Manager – a detailed look at exactly what this job involves

Coach Holiday Tour Driver – another key role in a coach holiday

Check out my other articles on my Professional Traveller page

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