Becoming a holiday rep is something that many young adults aspire to, many see it as a free ticket to travel the world and have a great time doing it. This however is a common misconception. Most people do not realise that these types of jobs carry a great deal of responsibility and effort. Fundamentally as a holiday rep you are on the front line, representing the holiday company at all times and having to deal with complaints and any issues that may arise during tourists' holidays. This means long hours and stress, if you don't think you can handle this, these types of travel jobs are not for you.
There is however benefits to being a holiday rep. if you are sick of the monotonous drone of office work and cannot stand the nine to the five routine then these jobs with irregular hours and interesting experiences at every turn could be for you. In addition, the biggest benefit has got to be getting away from the awful British weather. As a rep you join a community of workers somewhere else in the world, this could be Spain, Australia and even Vietnam.
While reps are not greatly paid for the jobs they do, the predominant form of income for them is to earn commission on selling excursions and added extras to holiday packages. If you have the ability to sell, there is little doubt that you will be a good rep earning far more that your basic pay. This is true no matter where in the world you are, either selling dog sledding in Scandinavia or selling banana boat trips in the Caribbean.
There are however downsides to the jet set lifestyle of a holiday rep. jobs within the travel industry can be extremely stressful due to their service nature. In addition, while you may be excited about heading away from home for an extended period of time it is almost a certainty that homesickness will affect you at some time. Most who have worked in the industry agree that the first six weeks are the hardest as you know very few people and have to take time to settle in. If you can last the first two months however you should be able to enjoy your job wholeheartedly.
It is not all fun and games as a holiday rep. It is normally the case that as a rep you are in charge and hence responsible for large groups of people in a foreign country. While working you may have to cope with instances such as minor illnesses, serious injury or even death. Having the coping skills and being able to keep a cool head during such events is an essential part of being a holiday rep.
The schedule for a rep is not easy either, not only must you look after those staying in your resort night and day but as flights come in, greeting tourists from the airport is a vital constituent of the work. Flights come in during the early hours and late at night meaning that as a rep, it is certain that your sleep pattern will suffer eventually. As well as this, you will be the primary focus for complaints, subsequently having great people skills is essential if you are to succeed as a rep.
Overall a life in rep type travel jobs is ultimately worthwhile. It is a difficult job with many responsibilities although the benefits of ensuring people have a great holiday makes it hugely rewarding. So if you are upbeat and can make those around you bubble with energy, then life abroad as a holiday rep could be for you.
Career expert Thomas Pretty looks into what skills are needed to work in travel jobs and specifically the roles involved when working as a holiday rep.