Job · March 15, 2023

How To Get A Travel Job

How To Get A Travel Job – Home » Europe » Dream Travel Jobs: How I Lived in Italy + Got Paid to Travel to 10 Countries

Does living in Italy and getting paid to travel around Europe sound like a dream job to you? Well, as a newly graduated college student who fell in love with Italy while studying abroad, this seemed like the perfect job for me! I am going to explain how to become a travel guide in Europe.

How To Get A Travel Job

How To Get A Travel Job

Today, I am talking about my one year living and working in Italy as a student travel guide. As someone who has always been passionate about travel, I wholeheartedly believe that choosing to live and work in Italy after graduation was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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While most of my friends settled into their 9-5 routines, I was busy traveling around Europe and exploring Italy. In fact, during the year I worked as a student travel guide, I actually got paid to visit over 10 countries and 20+ cities. Working as a student travel guide was a very rewarding experience and is a big reason why I get to travel so much!

Working Abroad Wasn’t Pretty Instagrams and Gelato-Keep Reading Learn more about this travel job and see if working as a student travel guide is right for you!

Believe it or not, that job fell into my lap while I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy. If you’ve ever studied abroad in Europe, you remember meeting quite a few Americans working for student travel companies in your city. I went on two trips with the company I later worked for, and the tour guide I befriended would later become my boss! When it came time to apply, my friend made sure to send me an application, and the rest is history.

You don’t always need to know someone from a student travel company to make a rental, however, it certainly helps. The job is very social, so having someone vouch for your personality will definitely make your resume go in the applicant pile. If you are planning to study abroad and think this job is for you, I highly recommend making friends with a tour guide or two who you can use as references later.

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If you don’t know anyone at a student travel company or have never studied abroad, be sure to put together a great application that shows how well suited you are for the job.

Student travel companies are looking for outgoing, social and motivated leaders who love travel and are good at selling and putting themselves out there. In your application, you’ll want to highlight any interactions you’ve had in college and social groups you’ve been a part of. In my application, I emphasized my love of travel, social media skills, previous work experience, and my involvement in a sorority in college. If you’re serious about applying, you can read a little more about what else these student travel companies are looking for here!

While the travel aspect of the job immediately comes to mind for most people, the reality is that the job can be divided into 3 main categories: sales, nightlife and finally travel. I leave travel for last because this is the reason most people dream of working for a travel company, you actually only travel on the weekends and have many responsibilities during the week!

How To Get A Travel Job

The most important part of the job, surprisingly, is sales! Most tour guides are paid on commission, meaning you get paid based on how many trips you sell. The more trips you sell, the more money you make, so this part of the job is paramount.

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You spend your weekdays meeting as many study abroad students (potential clients) as possible in hopes that they will use your promo code to book a trip. This requires excellent social skills and social media knowledge as your primary means of reaching students is in person or through Facebook.

At the beginning of each semester, you will work almost full-time. You will spend long hours handing out flyers, constantly messaging students on Facebook, meeting with students in person, and being a brand ambassador 24/7.

This brings me to the second most important part of work-night life. Many travel companies require you to attend at least 1 nightlife event each week, and at least one every night during the first few weeks of the semester. After all, the best way to meet study abroad students is in bars, and travel companies work with local establishments to promote bars, clubs, and nightlife events while promoting their travel company at the same time.

If you love going out, you’ll love this part of the job. For many travel guides, this is a great way to extend those college years a little longer. If you’re like me and like to get out 1-2 times a month, this will become one of your least favorite parts of your job.

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Finally, the best part of work-travel! After working hard to sell as many trips as possible, you can enjoy all your hard work on the weekends. Many travel companies sell based on weekend getaways, so it’s important to sell well during the week if you want to go somewhere for the weekend. As a travel guide, you will be expected to help guide a group of 50 study abroad students with another guide or two.

You’ll start as an assistant guide—usually taking photos, making sure the group is all there, making sure no one gets lost, and helping the lead guide.

Lead guides, who you may be promoted to at some point, are in charge of everything else in tandem with the bus driver, arriving on time to scheduled activities prepared by the group, leading walking tours, and handling unexpected situations that may pop up. It can be quite a responsibility!

How To Get A Travel Job

As a top salesperson at my company, I used to travel almost every weekend—which was awesome, but it could also be very exhausting! Long overnight bus rides, late night trips with students from different countries, and tour guiding can be tiring, but exploring different places every time is so worth it.

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This is a difficult question to answer as salaries vary greatly between different companies and often depend on your sales skills.

Generally, tour guides have free accommodation, earn commission from sales, and may (or may not) be paid to lead or assistant guide on tours. Commission percentages, housing conditions, and tour guide pay vary widely between companies, so it’s hard to put together an exact number.

In my particular case, I lived in company housing so my rent was covered, all my expenses were covered on a trip, and I was paid as a lead guide (although I wasn’t paid as an assistant guide).

My first semester, I was almost broke, however, I managed to save enough money for a three-month trip through Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Morocco during my second semester of work. Few tour guides make that much money—I was the best salesperson at a small company, while some of the larger travel companies are more competitive.

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If you’re thinking about working as a student travel guide, I highly recommend going abroad with some savings – there’s no way to know in advance if your company will have a successful semester or if you’ll make steady sales. Make sure you have some money saved up in case you struggle to make enough for groceries, and you’ll definitely want to save enough for a flight home.

The main reason I wanted to work for a student travel company was to travel and I did! During my year working for a student travel company, I was able to visit over 10 countries and over 20 cities around Europe—while getting paid. It was basically a dream come true. Here is a list of all the places I traveled with my company, many of which I visited multiple times!

Although everyone has a different experience working for a student travel company, I’m sure everyone can agree that the job definitely has its pros and cons. While traveling so much feels like a dream come true, in many ways it is, the job also has some major downsides.

How To Get A Travel Job

My favorite parts of being a travel guide are being able to visit so many places without spending a dime, living in my favorite city of Florence, and the amazing friends I’ve made while working. Working as a travel guide also gave me some unforgettable life experiences like attending Oktoberfest and spending time in jail.

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