Would you pay for a travel companion?

Old Sep 14th, 2004, 07:05 PM
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Would you pay for a travel companion?

I've had a notion to advertise myself as a travel companion and am looking for feedback from travelers. As a "paid" companion, I would drive, take photographs, go wherever the "employer" wishes to go at the time they wish to go, and basically be a personal assistant in exchange for my expenses being paid. I have a wide variety of interests and can be a good conversationalist (a better listener). I would benefit from being able to see places I could not otherwise afford.

Thumbs up or down on this one???
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 07:16 PM
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I imagine the old maids in old movies, forced to stand there holding the ladies coats and bags while shivering in the rain, while everyone else is having fun.
Or just sitting down to rest and having some spoiled old lady call me over to bring her a shawl.
Most people, take their own photographs, hire drivers who just drive..and unless they are very very wealthy, do not take personal assistants with them full time.
A friend of ours goes to Paris and (sometimes in order to hav company) takes a friend from her hometown, pays for the friend to stay in the same hotel and the airfare. The friend only has to pay for her food.
Even then, the friend is not required to do any personal assisting.
If you live in Los Angeles, you could look into the job of Personal Assistant.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 07:16 PM
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In all honesty, I would rather stab myself in the eye with a sharp object than hire someone to travel with me!
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 07:17 PM
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lyb, LOL !!
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 07:19 PM
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I cannot in my wildest dreams imagine paying someone to be a companion on my travels.The fun of traveling is taking my own pictures, soaking up the culture, driving, and enjoying my own comapny or that of my DH and children.
If I was elderly perhaps I might need someone to help with my luggage, transfers, etc... but if I became so infermed I would just stay home and look at my phot albums and enjoy the memories of vacation with loved ones.
It seems one would find company in a "group" travel package of what ever their interests may be, ie: The bird watchers of Small town USA go to Costa Rica, etc..
I say thumbs down.
But, if you get any takers,... more power to you!!!
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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I asked my husband about one of his clients who is very wealthy, alone and who travels often.
He said that she hires people from an agency in the city she travels to, such as a driver/translator.
Perhaps you should look into that.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 07:48 PM
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I don't get this. Unless you have personal expertise in the area that the "client" wants to go to, why would anyone hire you? Just for the companionship? What does being a "personal assistant" entail? Do you speak multiple languages? How could hiring you be an advantage to anyone? What's the point of taking photos? You mean you take photos of them on their trips?

Sorry, but as a tour guide who takes people on guided tours, I can tell you that it is a very serious business taking people around Europe - you're up at the crack of dawn running to the bakery to get them fresh croissants and brewing coffee for them. You spend all day with them, and most times they don't know a word of the local language. Every time they need to buy stamps or cash a check or get a cup of coffee, you're the interpreter. They're on vacation, so they stay up late and drink a lot and you're on call until they go to bed. I do 9-day tours and by the end of it I'm totally exhausted.

Unless you are fluent in the language of the country you're planning to take these people on a tour through, I'd bag the idea. They can easily find a local who speaks the language fluently to do this. If you are fluent, then you have a chance.

In general, I'd say thumbs down.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:04 PM
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Your points are well taken (and amusing in some cases), but I guess I'm envisioning a certain type of person who might have need of such service. Obviously people who have friends and family think this is a ridiculous notion, but there are many financailly secure folks who don't, but would like a safe and fun companion. Perhaps a widow or widower who might be intimidated by driving. I know I posted this on the Europe site and my credentials don't include speaking other languages, so I'm no help there. But since there's only one of me, if only half a dozen folks were interested (out of the thousands/millions of travelers out there) in such a service, then I guess there could be a need.

Hence my curiosity.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:10 PM
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If you're a woman, especially a good-looking one, I bet you'd have no problem whatsoever finding employers for something like this. However, I'd also guess your employers would be expecting a wee bit more from you than driving and taking photos and listening.

But I'm presuming you're a man. While I don't think it's completely out of the question for someone to hire you as a travel "companion," I'd think your odds would be far better if you knew a lot about specific cities/areas and could function as a guide.

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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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I mean this in the kindest way, but I think you are living in a bygone era.

There was a time when a lady would not travel alone, and a companion was both a practical and a social necessity. However, these days, anyone who is "financially secure" and able-bodied enough to travel is likely to have friends and interests that would eliminate the need for a paid companion.

I think if you advertise you should be prepared for men to respond who are seeking some very personal assistance.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:20 PM
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I have a girlfriend who did this years back. She accompanied an elderly woman on cruises. But they knew each other, she'd worked as her personal assistant previously, so it was more an extension of that arrangement.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:21 PM
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Well, Marilyn, if that's the case, it would cost 'em a whole lot more than paying for my ticket and food!
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:23 PM
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StCirq,

If you really are a tour guide as you say, then I would advise you to change your job, if that is how a tour guide thinks about the travellers on the tour then I hope I never get one with an attitude problem like you appear to have.

regards,

aussieR
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:47 PM
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spootiskerry, they will be happy to pay for more than your food and transportation, but that won't change what it is you're doing!

aussieR, I think you are naive. StCirq said she was exhausted and it was hard work -- she didn't say she detested the people she was taking around.

I'll bet there isn't a tour guide alive who doesn't feel the same way. In a group of 20 or 30 people, there is always someone needing something. I'm sure it seems quite endless.
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:47 PM
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<i>I think if you advertise you should be prepared for men to respond who are seeking some very personal assistance.</i>

Good point, Marilyn. A person wouldn't have to be a woman to get responses from men who'd be willing to pay for a travel &quot;companion.&quot; But, in either case, the men would almost certainly be, as you allude to, seeking very personal assistance in addition to driving, etc.

StCirq brings up an interesting point. I'm sure it would be a great selling point, but would a person really <i>have</i> to be fluent in a language to be employable as an individual tour guide?
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Old Sep 14th, 2004, 08:53 PM
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Ooops, that should have been &quot;fluent in a <i>foreign, or the local, </i> language.

When it comes to hard work, as long as the pay was decent and the work was fairly dependable, I'd take the hard work of dealing with customers hiring me to show them Europe any day of l'ann&eacute;e!
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 01:26 AM
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Wow, ouch, reading scarlett's images of &quot;old maids shivering in the rain&quot; and &quot;spoiled old ladies&quot; calling for a shawl had me alternatively wincing, cringing, and depressed at those ugly images of single females of a certain age. The stigma marches on. Slings and arrows sent from the &quot;safety&quot; of coupleville or something?

I'm a single traveler who travels independantly often, I'm not 25 anymore, and obviously hate that slur &quot;old maid&quot;, especially coming from a woman. As the QOE says, &quot;we are not amused!&quot;

Wish you luck on your notion that someone wants to pay your way just for having your company, spootiskerry, but personally, if I had extra money on my solo journeys, and wanted to spend time having conversation, I would always choose to seek and meet locals in the country I'm traveling in, and have my fun that way. And somehow, I manage to have amazing adventures all by my little self!

I value my alone time and the freedoms it allows me greatly, wouldn't be likely ever to pay someone else's way unless it was a family member who couldn't come up with their own fare.

I do know that people in the film, fashion, and entertainment industries hire personal assistants alot, maybe you would do well to target them, rather than just a general travel site. But, you should realize that if you travel in that role, as a paid assistant, you won't have time to do your ownsightseeing, and shouldn't expect it.

I could be wrong, but I am not immediately assuming you are trying to be an &quot;escort&quot;, as some here have suggested.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 03:08 AM
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Its a tough job sometimes, but somebody has to do it. Just don't try to horn in on my lucurative sectors: Paris and Rome.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 03:19 AM
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Hey Aussie,

Do reread StCirq's post. She is only pointing out that it is a tiring job.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 03:30 AM
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sognatrice2 : QOE ?
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