A travel job allows you to visit new locations as your job. Some choices are more obvious for a travel job, like a flight attendant, while some may surprise you.
Each month, we will highlight different travel job to give you an idea of what is possible for work when travelling. These jobs will be in a variety of fields, as the options are truly endless.
Want even more options? Check out the remote job of the month!
This Month’s Travel Job: Tour Guide and Manage
While travelling, many people go on tours to take in the highlights of the country they’re visiting. Tour guides are also helpful if there is a language barrier and often provide transportation. They provide more information about a place; it’s history and culture as well as hidden gems that tourists likely wouldn’t find on their own.
Featured Guide & Manager: Kristina
The Tour Guide Business
Kristina takes foreign tourists around London (and wider United Kingdom) and tells them about history, culture, etc.
While Kristina focuses her guiding in the U.K. and with British tourists, a tour guide is a career that can be done anywhere in the world with tourism!
Kirstina is originally from Croatia, but spent most of her life in London, UK. She got into guiding by accident. Friend of a friend of hers needed someone to chaperone tourists on a day trip from London to Stonehenge and they thought she would be a good match. So off she went and that one trip sparked her interest. Several years later, she now guides for two different companies within the UK and 1 other company worldwide.
Follow her touring adventures on Instagram at kristina_jelcic.
I absolutely love it and I think it’s definitely my dream job.
More about the job:
Kristina is both a tour guide and manager. She does most of the guiding in London, but when she manages, she takes British (mostly, but not exclusively) tourists abroad and looks after them. She makes sure that the tour runs smoothly, liaises with local guides and hotels, as well as provides some commentary on the coach trips while getting from A to B. Her role as a tour manager takes her worldwide whereas her role as a guide is mostly UK based (primarily London and places which are easily reached from London in a day trip).
If you’re good with people, of friendly disposition and highly organized there should be no other obstacles in you getting this job. That said, keen interest in history and culture is a must and it does help if you have a degree (in history, history of art or similar) or a guiding diploma/certification.
Languages are also very useful and it helps to speak at least one other language in addition to your own. Kristina speaks fluent English, Croatian, Portuguese and some Russian.
This job is all about travel. When you’re a tour guide, you may be based in one city/country, or travel around with various groups. In Kristina’s case, she managed to clock just over 40 flights and many different destinations this year alone.
Winter months are a little less busy but spring to autumn period can be quite hectic. As an example….this January I’m mostly doing English based guiding with only 1 international trip (to Paris), but if I rewind to October/November period…I think I have spent only grand total of 4 days in England (my home base). The rest of the time was spent doing tours in various Balkan countries, Portugal and South America
While working as a tour guide, you can do so as a freelancer or for a company. Kristina is a freelance tour guide independently contracted through 3 different companies. As she is freelance, she sets her own timetable and has a greater level of flexibility.
You can be a tour guide part time or full time. Salary ranges greatly depending on the city and company you’re based with. Other factors include experience, language proficiency, among other qualifications considered for raises. Kristina estimates a salary between £18000 to £30000 per year (~24,000-40,000USD).
Kristina’s “Typical Day” as a Tour Guide and Manager
Let’s say I’m doing a day trip to Stonehenge and Bath from London. I get up quite early in order to meet a coach which will pick up tourists and take them to our destination. When I get to coach yard, I check my paperwork for the day, have a look at the list of passengers and their pickups, liaise with the driver and we go to our first pickup spot. I get the tourists on board, hand them any materials about destinations we may have, chat to them, etc.
Once we have everyone and set off towards our destination, I will be doing commentary as well as phoning the attractions to advise them of our ETA, any language assistance tourists may need, etc. The time at the attraction will consist of the guided element as well as some free time for tourists to eat, shop, and whatever else they want.
When the tourists have free time, I will typically go and get a bite to eat myself or sometimes do some errands or maybe do some “sightseeing” myself just to keep up to date with any changes at various attractions and so on.
The days tend to be long with typical day tour coming back to London very late afternoon/early evening. I see everyone off the coach, answer any other queries they may have (such as help with onward transport and similar) and then it’s time for me to head home too.
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