Ever wanted to travel the world and get paid to do it? Here's how to do it, as told by a professional wanderer and Contiki Tour Guide...
“If I had to define characteristics all of us as Trip Managers possess it would be confidence, professionalism whilst still being fun, being the life of the party, having the ability to take charge, attention to detail and organisational skills to make a trip run smoothly.”
Sound like you? Read on…
Rachel Bushner is a 29-year-old gal from San Francisco and has been a trip manager for over three years, travelling across the United States and Canada.
So how did it all begin? She was hit by the travel bug after her first Contiki trip to the UK and Ireland back in 2010. Inspired by her first taste if globe trotting, she moved down under to travel and work across Australia and New Zealand until her visa ran out and she had to return home.
After getting back to the States she realised her love both of travel and inspiring those around her to travel, and so began to build a path towards her dream job of becoming a trip manager a.k.a the best job in the world. Because how often do you get to show people your backyard, travel and get paid for it? Here are her top tips.
Start working on your communication skills now
Becoming a trip manager was one of the most intense and gruelling experiences, but I appreciated my crew so much more after I saw what they had to go through. One important step of the application (after getting through the next round) was presenting to a room full of people. We each had to give a 10-minute talk about a designated city to a group as a way of showing our abilities to comfortably and clearly communicate information about a place. You’re then assigned a city you may or may not have been to, and if you get through to the next round – get ready for the toughest (and most rewarding) few weeks of your life in Trip Manager training.
It’s not just one big holiday
There’s a misconception when people apply that this will be one big holiday for Trip Managers. People don’t realise how much work actually goes on behind the scenes…
Something pops up every single trip that deviates from what the “norm” is meant to be, and as Trip Managers, we need to roll with the punches. We’re there to make everything run smooth so you can get the maximum out of your trip.
You don’t need a degree, it’s about being the right fit for the brand
It doesn’t necessarily matter what qualifications you have. A college (university) degree is preferred but some definite benefits are having a background in customer service and travel.
Do everything, regret nothing, and make every moment count on your trip
Time flies on these trips. Take advantage of your time in the places you get to visit whilst still having fun with the group. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Go with an open mind. I have been in every Contiki scenario as a passenger so I think it helps that I have both that experience from their point of view as well as my own experience as a trip manager now.
Have a passion for travel and think you’ve got what it takes? Check out www.contiki.com/jobs to see what positions are available at Contiki.