A Great Travel Career....

Old Sep 26th, 2005, 06:40 PM
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A Great Travel Career....

Hi all!

Although similar threads have been done in the past, I have a serious inquiry into a career in travel.

First off, I've been posting here for just a few yrs and not a regular for lack of time. However I was raised in the hotel business and have traveled all over.

In just 2 yrs my husband is going to retire and we no longer will need an additional large salary. I have for the last 15yrs enjoyed a long and rewarding career as a self employed nutritionist, cookbook author and cooking instructor. It is just simply time to move on.

I would like to parlay myself into a travel career and I am clear on what I'd like to do and what I wish not to do. I would like to ask all you dear folks your opinions and input in perhaps steering me in the right direction.

I will start with what I do not want to do at all:

1. I do not want to be a travel agent

2. I do not want to be a tour leader

3. I do not want a job just for the travel. I know alot of folks want a career in travel just to travel, but it is more of the planning, research and detail I enjoy that goes into a trip. So I am not interested in working as a courier or with an airline. It must involve research and planning.

4. I do not wish to work on the retail level, dealing directly with clients. After 15 yrs of all client based work, it is time to move on.

In my own company I have delved into the culinary tour business a small bit and found I liked the planning of the itinerary and all the details rather than being with a group overseas ( I still go with my group of neighbors each yr to Europe, as you have seen from my posts, but this is not for profit and I do enjoy this)

Having being brought up in the hotel business ( yes, it was just like Eloise at the Plaza)and having worked for both Marriott and Hyatt in my 20's, I still have hotels in my blood. And having developed itineraries for many group trips and all the organizational skills I have culled over 15 years of being a successful business owner, I feel I could move into this arena.( I should say, my contacts in the hotel business have all since moved on, it was a long time ago. And the hotel in which I was raised no longer exists)

What I am thinking I'd like to do is to work for a company to evaluate hotel facilities and also rate traveling sites and develop itineraries for companies. I'd rather travel alone to Europe, do my research and then plan for the company who in turn sell to their clients.

I don't wish to start my own company again. Once is enough, thank you. Mine has been like I said extremely rewarding, but now I'd like now not be a business owner.

I'd prefer to work in the upscale, luxury market.

Does anyone know if such careers exist and with whom? I'm willing to travel as much as need be as I would be able to be away often.

And as I mentioned earlier, money, although we still need to bring in some income, my part will not be as crucial.

I'd like to get a good start on exploring this now, as two years is not far away and my husband agreed if a good opportunity came about now that would be fine too.

You guys are always the best so I know someone might know something.

I also have my feelers out to a few travel agent friends of mine who are pretty savvy.

Thanks a mil.......
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 06:44 PM
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Don't know if this matters, but I am in my mid 40's. It might have sounded that since my husband is retiring that I would be about retirement age too. We are 21yrs apart.

( that's probably more info than you need!)
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 06:47 PM
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During my first visit to Santorini, that wonderful Greek island, I met a man from Los Angeles who had what I thought was the perfect travel-related job. He had strong ties with a very well-established travel agency or tour organizer in the L.A. area. What he did for them seems to satisfy much of what you're looking for. He was the "advance man" for them, setting up a tour itinerary by making necessary contacts with hotels, restaurants, museums, transfer services, local guides and anyone else necessary to make a guided tour run smoothly. He set the dates, made the hotel bookings, arranged airport transportation, bus tours, restaurant reservations, etc. When he was done he turned this itinerary over to the tour company back in L.A. and sat back to collect his fee, which if I remember correctly was $300 per person who signed up for the tour, with a minimum number of participants being set by the tour company to assure profitability.

At the time I thought this was a fantastic way to be able to travel and work at the same time, and not have to deal with work visas or any sort of bureaucratic red tape. It was his responsibility to fund his own research/travels, but that becomes a tax write-off, which makes it even better.

Of course the success of such a venture is dependent on the reliability and long-term staying power of the tour company who markets the results of his efforts. In his case he had apparently found the right one.

Your background in things culinary might give you a leg up getting started by setting up some sort of tour for those wanting to experience the cuisine of a particular region or country while you look for other avenues of emphasis to expand your own horizons.

Good luck with this, I believe it's something worth exploring.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 10:07 PM
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At the risk of sounding very cynical, your dream has this fatal flaw... you want to make more than peanuts.

I will start the company. I will let you do exactly what you want to do. I will pay you $1 per hour, with a cap of ten hours per client. I will do the marketing, sales, accounting, payroll and human resources work for our company. I will pay myself $50 per hour. I anticipate that we will get a few clients per year in the beginning, and if we both do a fantastic job, more after that.

As you and I... and many other Americans both know... running a small buiness is easy... you only have to work half the time.

And you get to decide which 12 hours a day, seven days a week it is.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Sep 27th, 2005, 06:08 AM
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rex,

What are you saying, your post makes no sense to me at all.m I don't want to begin another business. I want to go to work for an already established company that has people do what i described to you.

Thanks brotherleelove for your input.

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Old Sep 27th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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tripgirl,

"I think" Rex is theoretically proposing a scenario where HE is your employer, and YOU the employee. (Tongue in cheek)

Rex, am I right?
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Old Sep 27th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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Almost 20 years ago a friend worked for a company like one you describe. This company was hired by US hotels to secretly evaluate their operations. She and a coworker would check into the hotel as guest and take advantage of as many of the facilities as possible, including all the restaurants and room service. She traveled half the year all around the US. Unfortunately they only had three days for each evaluation, including time to write it up and fax it in.

She told hilarous stories about trying to fit in all the points to review. One evening she ordered room service for two. When the waiter brought the food, she had the shower running to imply that her dining partner was busy. But the waiter kept coming back . . . with dessert, asking if they needed anything else, and so forth. . . and her fictitious partner was always in the bathroom. Since she had to eat later in one of the restaurants, she would taste each food item and then dispose of it.

Later that same evening, she and her coworker had dinner at the best restaurant in the hotel. Who should be their waiter but the same fellow who brought her room service. He took the orders, turned to my friend and said, "Would madam like anything else?"

She actually said it was an exhausting and unpleasant job after a while--she didn't get to really enjoy any of the visits and traveled more than half the year. Sorry I don't know the name of the company.
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Old Sep 27th, 2005, 08:06 AM
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What I am saying, tripgirl, is that the SUPPLY of the part you want to do is very high, and the DEMAND is very low - - therefore you only can do it, if you are wiling to work for near-zero compensation.

The supply of what you DON'T want to do (at least the supply of those who can do it well) - - marketing, sales, accounting, payroll, human resources and management is relatively low, and the demand is high... because these are the functions necessary to make profitable, the "think" part - - which you want to do.

Like you, I have started, and run a company. What I saw as the skilled service(s) we offered... we could never charge what we thought we were worth... and get someone to pay for it; ironically, we got better paid to lick and stuff envelopes.

What I was trying to say is that for a company to exist... to be able to employ you to do what you want to do... requires all those ordinary functions which will actually generate the lion's share of the income.

A hundred "experts" here (and I count myself among them) would like to do what you want to do. To actually generate the kind of revenues - - coming FROM that high end market... which would pay a salary for the "analysis" part... requires plain old simple hard work... of the less glamorous type.

I was not trying to make fun of the dream job you are seeking. I was trying to explain a cold hard reality, and I did it (perhaps) a little bit too figuratively.
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