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What is it really like being a Contiki Trip Manager in America?

Ever wondered what being a trip manager actually entails? Contiki Trip Manager Phil gives us the low-down on living out his dream job in the USA...

What’s your name?

Philip Thurner

What’s your Instagram handle?

ContikiPhil

How long have you been a Contiki Trip Manager?

4 Years

How many trips a year do you go/how many days of the year are you on the road?

On the road ~300 days a year

Best part of the job?

Helping people learn about the places we go, about each other, and about themselves.

Worst part of the job?

My sleep schedule is a bit… inconsistent.

What’s the biggest misconception about being a Trip Manager?

My travellers often ask if I get bored going to the same places and I always answer no! Different groups, times of year, and special events keep me on my toes and make every trip interesting and unique.

RELATED: 35 EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE TO DO IN THE USA & CANADA BEFORE YOU’RE 35

Favourite bit/site of America?

We have so much to offer in North America it’s almost impossible to pick but I have to say I love National Parks, specifically Zion National Park. It’s magical hiking through a canyon made of the highest sandstone walls in the world. Quick shoutout to my hometown Boston as well. Sharing a warm summers eve at Fenway Park watching a Red Sox Baseball game with new friends and a Fenway Frank in hand is pure bliss.

Favourite thing to eat in America?

At risk of sounding cliche, I have to go with fried chicken. The history of how it was brought to and developed in the American South and the comfort it brings in every bite is unbeatable.

RELATED: 5 CONTIKI FOOD EXPERIENCES YOU CAN’T LEAVE THE USA WITHOUT DOING 

What does a normal day on the road look like for you?

Wake up early to go through the daily schedule, load up bags at 8am then off on the coach to a local lunch stop. After lunch and talking about the areas we’re going through, I’ll throw on a relevant movie or maybe play a game or two on the coach. After we check into the hotel, we have a classic American dinner depending where we are, then out on the town to see if we can’t find some live music and new friends.

What’s the best part of showing people America?

For me, helping people understand American culture through the places we go and the history we talk about is the best. There’s usually a reason, good or bad, for all the cultural differences.

What surprises people the most about America?

How friendly people are! Everyone always wants to know where everyone is from and why they’re visiting. Americans, especially in the smaller cities and towns, love accents.

Your job in 3 words…

Perpetual immersive entertainment

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