Stop daydreaming about the perfect job - one where you get to travel, see exciting, exotic and historic places around the world and actually get paid for it. Stop daydreaming and make it happen, because if you have a passion for travelling, the best way to exploit it is to work in the travel industry.
Not all travel and tourism jobs involve overseas travel, but there are plenty that do, either from the start or down the line once you have gained the right kind of experience and knowledge. Roles requiring languages in travel agencies and the wider industry provide a good opportunity for foreign language graduates. So if you are ready to chase those dreams, keep reading to learn more about the types of travel jobs that could soon have you seeing more of the world.
On-Board Cruise Consultant
This is essentially a sales job, and it relies on your incredible people skills being used to sell another cruise to passengers while they are still on their current trip, as well as encouraging them to buy certain products and services, such as off-boat trips and excursions.
You will have a very visible presence on board - attending meet-and-greets, cocktail hour events and so on, creating strong and positive relationships with passengers, sharing information on future cruise opportunities, securing bookings and completing related admin duties. Most consultants come from a sales background with travel industry experience of some kind too, which is well rewarded with both salary, commission and the chance to see the world.
Senior Travel Agent
Those willing to work through the ranks to a senior position can easily find a position where expenses-paid trips to check out the locations and facilities of new resorts, hotels and destinations are a regular perk.
This is a pretty full-on position as it involves spending several days or weeks with a tour group and being responsible for everything running smoothly throughout. From answering any questions and translating for the bus driver to handling any hiccups and complaints, this is a high-energy job, and due to the level of responsibility it's one of those roles requiring languages in travel industry.
This is a great way to get experience. A tour guide usually works either in a specific attraction, showing visitors around, or outside guiding tourists on walking or bus city tours. A decent level of specialist knowledge and experience may be required, especially for high-end tours, and a second language is useful here too.
A traditional route into the industry, seasonal summer work in resorts or kids' clubs can easily be fitted into a university break, and it's an excellent way to get experience. Candidates should be energetic, patient, open-minded and hard-working.
There are lots of jobs in the travel industry that can satisfy your urge to see the world while earning a salary, whether you are looking for a temporary gig or a long-term career.
In the past, the term 'homeworking' conjured up images of shady schemes exploiting stay-at-home parents. Opportunities to work a regular job remotely were few; however, things couldn't be more different in the 21st century. Aided by the rapid growth of technology and changing perceptions towards employment, different patterns of work are both more acceptable and even encouraged. This movement has been fuelled by the documented advantages for all parties, so let's look at homeworking jobs in travel as a good example.
1. Increased productivity
Losing the tiring commute, unofficial breaks and the many distractions of an office environment makes homeworkers much more efficient. Naturally, it is important to have enough self-discipline to focus on work at the times you have chosen and not be distracted by housework or friends who want to randomly drop by for a coffee! If your position allows, you may find working early in the morning or late at night suits your natural body clock better than the average nine-to-five schedule.
2. Meetings are more efficient
Homeworking doesn't have to mean isolation! When meetings are arranged via video or phone conferencing, they are likely to be more focused and productive than the in-office equivalent.
3. Employee motivation is higher
Homeworkers are less likely to quit simply because they are generally happier than colleagues working in the traditional way. They tend to have lower stress levels, which could be the result of avoiding office politics.
As long as you can manage your time and work efficiently as required, it is possible to have a good range of flexibility in a homeworking job. This makes it much easier to fit domestic or personal commitments into the working week's schedule. You also get to eat lunch when you are hungry rather than because the clock says it is your only opportunity.
5. Opportunities for a range of people
Homeworking jobs in travel are perfect for both experienced professionals who may have otherwise left the industry - perhaps to manage childcare or other family responsibilities - and for groups, such as those with disabilities that would make it impossible to travel into an office environment every day.
6. Less time off sick
Stress and being around lots of people are two major reasons employees take time off sick. Homeworking removes one of these and generally at least reduces the other.
For the homeworker, the obvious savings come from not spending on typical office-based expenses, such as lunch out, contributions to leaving gifts, and expensive coffees; in addition, there are less-obvious savings. No dress code means less spending to maintain a work-friendly wardrobe, and - of course - there are no commuting costs.
There is little doubt that working from home has several strong advantages for both employees and employers. It may not be ideal for everyone and doesn't fit into every business model; however, it certainly has a strong foothold in the travel industry and there are many positive reasons to consider this route.
The dawn of the digital age heralded change for the travel industry, causing seismic shifts in the typical roles and responsibilities of all involved, and creating new opportunities in the field of travel IT roles.
It's unlikely that front-facing staff will ever disappear completely from the world of tourism and travel, especially as so many service jobs are crucial to the entire experience. So whilst hotel housekeepers and porters or tourist resort staff may not be affected by the inevitable changes progress brings, behind the scenes is an industry which has come to be extremely reliant on information technology and the people who can deliver these services.
When did IT become so important?
Back in the day travel agents were on the front line of the travel industry. Trained professionals with extensive expert knowledge of airline prices, hotel deals, and popular destinations were much in demand. Whether booking a package tour or a train ticket, the customer could trust they would walk away clutching paper tickets and the best deal possible, even if it took a few visits and several hours whilst agents called hotels directly or used an Intranet style system to reserve seats on a flight. Then, over the course of time computers emerged onto the business scene and changed things forever.
Why IT appealed
Computer software was being developed to transform the fortunes of businesses around the world, making them faster and more efficient - and therefore more profitable - and better able to track and store information. The birth of the internet brought information technology to the attention of the public too, and set the scene for the modern travel industry today, one which could not survive without talented IT professionals.
Changing expectations and new roles
The digital age has created expectations of both choice and instant outcomes amongst the general public. When anyone can go online and instantly compare flight ticket costs, or book themselves some accommodation, the travel industry has had to adapt to meet those needs. This has created essential roles for website and app developers.
Tour guide companies may branch out to offer self-guided tour apps for phone or tablet alongside the standard 'shepherded' group, to appeal to the independent travellers. And airlines have developed systems which allow customers to book a ticket, check in and do pretty much everything else without any human contact at all!
The future is bright
The gradual redefining of roles in the travel industry has allowed those who work in it to adapt to, and perhaps even exploit, progress - an approach which has created space for roles to be redefined, and others to be expanded or introduced.
There's no doubt that the travel industry is now completely dependent on the world of information technology to operate efficiently, so the need for staff in travel IT roles is likely to grow substantially over time. From software engineers and web developers to social media experts, the future for work is very, very positive.
Airports are major employers and provide secure and often well paid work in a huge variety of roles. Whether you have specific, relevant qualifications or just want to be part of the hustle and bustle of a travel hub, there could be the perfect job for you.
A good starting point is to research the type of roles available and narrow down to the ones you may be suitable for. In addition to the obvious roles requiring pertinent qualifications such as pilots and air traffic controllers, there are also a plethora of support roles, from baggage handlers and flight attendants to customs officers and information assistants. This variety means most skill sets are catered for and it should be easy to find a role you will be perfect in.
Certain attributes are useful in most of the roles or could set you apart from other candidates. Try highlighting any experience incorporating customer service, any foreign language skills, communication, diplomacy, tact and the ability to remain calm in high stress situations. Airports are emotional places with reunions, departures and stressful timekeeping all at play. As such, many staff will benefit from being equipped to deal with awkward, upsetting scenarios and maintain a calm facade.
Some roles in airports will require security clearance, particularly if the work requires time to be spent airside. In order to prepare and manage your expectations, investigate if clearance will be required for the type of job you're interested in and that you will pass. Any criminal convictions could impact on your chances of working in this area, though it is always advisable to query if you have concerns.
Depending on the role of interest, it may be worthwhile completing a relevant course. For example, qualifications in travel and tourism could aid your application if being a ticket information assistant is the type of role that appeals. If becoming a flight attendant is your dream then try looking at hospitality courses. Most, if not all, roles in airports will require a number of GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C).
Ensure you complete any application carefully and if requested attach an up to date CV. If you are invited for interview then practice answering questions beforehand, trying to incorporate all the relevant skills and clearly showing how you evidence these. Try to maintain a confident attitude, make sure you dress professionally and prepare some questions ahead of time for the interviewers. Another helpful tip is to smile as you greet them and give a firm handshake.
Career progression can be great once you have a foot in the door. Financial rewards can be generous and there are often opportunities to step up the ladder or make a sideways move to a role of more interest. There may be shift work involved with any airport jobs, but there can also be amazing opportunities to work abroad or obtain reduced air fares, allowing you to travel more in your own time. Good luck!
Whether you are just about to launch yourself into the exciting world of travel and/or hospitality or are a seasoned professional looking for your next move, there are many reasons why using a recruiter rather than going it alone will help land you the ideal job - and all with the least amount of fuss, expense and stress. Here are five of the most popular.
1. Their net is much wider
Recruiters network. They make and maintain connections in the industry and are first to hear of any new opportunities. They also have established relationships with human resource departments and a large contact list to source a good fit for every decent candidate they interview. This is a very powerful plus point travel industry recruiters bring to the table.
2. It is time saving
Applying for jobs is a time-consuming mission. After tracking down a lead and researching the company, there is your CV to tweak and a cover letter to write. Each application could take hours, but during this time a recruiter could have approached 10+ companies with your details.
3. Recruiters are trusted to make good matches
When someone hiring is sorting through CVs, they don't have time to examine them all in detail, so even making it through the initial stage can be tricky. This is where recruiters have a huge edge. Basically, an employer chooses an expert to send them either a ready-to-go worker or a shortlist of those most qualified for the position. As your travel job recruiter knows your background, skill set and experience really well, they make excellent recommendations that an employer can be confident will work.
4. Travel job recruiters can get you a better salary
In a regular interview it would probably feel awkward to haggle over your salary or job conditions, but recruiters can take on this challenge quite easily without you getting involved.
5. You have more chance of getting the perfect job
The bottom line is that for agencies, hospitality job recruitment in London is all about finding the very best people for each role or they don't get paid. This may sound a little daunting, but it is perhaps the main advantage of using one to find work in the travel industry. There is no point in recruiters sending the wrong people to final stage interviews or to meet a potential employer face to face before a final decision to hire is made. Apart from wasting everyone's time, this would destroy their credibility. You can be assured that every job you are recommended for could very well be yours.
It is therefore no surprise that using a recruiter to find work in the travel industry is becoming increasingly popular. Their pool of job vacancies is wider than one person alone could ever access; it saves you a lot of time; and ultimately you can be sure the jobs you pursue are a great potential match from the start.