Would you pay for a travel companion?

Old Sep 15th, 2004, 03:31 AM
  #21  
 
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isn't that just called a tour guide? like paying for a Rick Steves type tour, etc.?
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 04:13 AM
  #22  
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I think the service you want to provide might be used by someone who is physically disabled, who cannot safely travel without assistance with mobility and possibly other aspects of daily living. In that case, it might help if you had training as a home health aide or at least had developed the skills needed to help care for a diabled person. I don't think able bodied people use this type of service.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 04:35 AM
  #23  
 
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I get what you're driving at spootiskerry, especially in your later post trying to explain further. But I'm trying to imagine some wealthy person (and it would take a wealthy person who would be willing to do this), who doesn't have a friend in the world. Why wouldn't this wealthy person invite a friend along to do those things for her/him when traveling. Don't you think they'd rather have a friend or even acquaintance travel with them than a total stranger? Now if you're going to say "suppose this wealthy person has no friends at all", then ask yourself this. Do I really want to travel with some one who has no friends?

By the way, here in Naples, Florida there are a ton of wealthy widows who love to travel. Most of them travel together, some invite a niece or grandchild to go with them as their guest, some actually pay for a friend. But I have yet to hear of one who would look at an ad and hire a total stranger.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 04:49 AM
  #24  
 
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If you don't know the book by Peter Mayle, you might be interested in taking a look at "Anything Considered." The protagonist of that novel publishes an ad in the International Herald Tribune asking for a job and promises that he will consider anything apart from marriage. The ad was quite amusingly written -- I wish I could find the quote for you but I tried a couple of Google searches that turned up nothing.

I've read a couple of Mayle's books, and they're pretty light reading.

Perhaps that protagonist can be your model -- I'd want a job like that.

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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 04:54 AM
  #25  
 
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There you go. I guess you're not English, nor do you speak French, but here's the ad, I think:

http://www.rockymusic.org/sounds/tim...ks-frames.html

"Unattached Englishman: mid-thirties, personable, fluent French, seeks interesting and unusual work. Anything considered except marriage."

I've frequently thought about putting an ad like this in the paper myself. But I'm not English, nor am I fluent in French either. Maybe I've some other qualities to make up for it though.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 04:57 AM
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Sorry, just a tad more specific -- not only does he want interesting and unusual work, he prefers the Aix/Avignon area, according to this link:

http://www.epinions.com/content_38635867780

"Unattached Englishman- Mid thirties, personable, fluent French, seeks interesting and unusual work, preferably in the Aix/Avignon area. Anything considered except marriage."

I don't think that I've the book with me to be able to cross-check anymore, but the Curry audio book I quoted from earlier is supposed to be abridged anyway.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 05:15 AM
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Many people are paid to be travel companions. They are companion to the engineering, legal, financial, journalistic or marketing expertise that is exported to the country in question for exactly the amount of time it takes to apply such expertise. They are indeed usually expected to conduct conversations, be congenial with their hosts, and on occasion, take photographs, if only of the assembly plant.

They are then expected to go immediately to the next destination, be it home or abroad, where the process is repeated.

So, if this appeals to you, and you think you can convince someone to hire you as companion to such expertise, go for it. Your interest in conversation and photography suggests you want to be an international journalist.

I would be careful what you wish for, though, especially the 'go wherever the employer wishes [me] to go' clause. These days, most such journalists are getting all-expense-paid trips to Iraq.

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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 05:18 AM
  #28  
 
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One year as we arrived at Charles De Gaulle airport, we were hailed by a man offering his car. oblivious to warnings not to do this kind of thing, we (my husband and I) accepted his offer to drive us into town rather than take a taxi. He explained that he'd been waiting for someone who didn't show up and hoped to make some money for his trouble by taking a fare back to town. On the way he explained his occupation which was to escort women in town for business to functions and sometimes around the city for sightseeing. Often these were women doing business with a day or two in town who simply needed a legitimate escort/guide. I even got the impression that he might have been hired by companies rather than the women themselves. All seemed terribly civilized to me. This would not, however, afford the opportunity to "see the world" only to repeat the landmarks of a single place over and over and over.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 05:20 AM
  #29  
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There is only one person I would pay to be my travelling companion, and that is George Clooney. But that would cost me more than a small fortune in cash, it would cost me my marraige as well. However, if Geroge were agreeable, I would have to consider it anyway.... ;-)
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 05:28 AM
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I can't imagine anyone that has the money necessary to do this who wouldn;t have any friend or family member they would prefer to take. That said, assuming you could find one -

What are your credentials/capabilities as a tour guide (previous foregin travel, languages spoken, travel agency experience)?

Are you prepared to provide both professional and personal references (good character, no criminal history, stable work history)?

Have you been bonded yet?

And, however would you locate these people - ad in the Wall Street Journal? Or do you already move in these circles?

Honestly, can;t imagine this would ever get off the ground!

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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 05:33 AM
  #31  
 
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You might want to consider, depending upon your skills, applying for job in corporate meeting planning. You would have to work your way up, but if you're as good as you apparently think you are, you would eventually travel with the group to their meeting destinations to handle details. And there is a considerable amount of free time, with all expenses paid.

This is called a "job".
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 05:35 AM
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<i> Relax sognatrice, I am not 25 anymore either. I posted with a wee bit of drama, and a minds eye view of Bette Davis in her old maids roles, always standing on the outside, in attendance to those on the inside. Sort of like a Travel Companion.

aussieR...you have obviously never been on a tour, or you have and feel a tad defensive. Nowhere did StCirq say anything negative about the people, only the chores that come with the job.

Being anyones &quot;personal assistant&quot;, no matter where you are, involves plenty of long hours, and not as much glamour or fun as one would imagine.
I would recommend looking into agencys for this sort of work and build some sort of resume, since spootiskerry has very little that makes him/her stand out as perfect for this job.</i>
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 05:53 AM
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Marilyn,

No, I am not naive, nor did I say she detested the people. It just came across to me that she threw all of the people into one category. Certainly you do get some that never stop complaining but I have only ever seen about one or two in a whole bus full of tourists.

sogratrice 2,

Ageism is alive and well!!!

ira,

Well, good luck to her.

regards,

aussieR

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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 05:57 AM
  #34  
 
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Paid travel companions who run a professional operation are called &quot;guides&quot; and there most certainly is a business for solo guides (male or female) who plan, organize, and guide the travel experience for single travelers or very small groups of two or more. There is nothing unseemly about the service (although the stereotype is similar to massage therapy). Some of you have small or one track minds.

Patrick is wrong to say the wealthy are the only ones who can afford this service. Some personal guides do not require First Class travel or accommodations and their daily fee can be as low as $150. A five day excursion to Paris could cost the client $3200, and that includes a round-trip flight from NYC. This is certainly doable at many income levels.

To an intellectual but inexperienced traveler(s), a private guide can make any trip outstanding. Many people don't have the time to do their own research but want the impact great research provides without the time commitment. In many cases, a professional guide is no different than a professional shopper or personal assistant, and those businesses do quite nicely.

This service has little to do with serving the friendless and lonely. Yet, there are millions who've lost all their friends and family. Should they deny themselves a travel opportunity simply because they would prefer not to go it alone?

Many people love history as it unfolds from a historian's perspective and prefer not to keep their face in a book as they walk. And some of us love dining with smart, personable, professional travelers who bring rich tales of life experience to the table. Should it really matter that they start out as strangers and get paid for their time and service?
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 06:12 AM
  #35  
 
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Scarlett,

WRONG!!! I have been on plenty of tours in a lot of different countries, and enjoyed them all, I was very satisfied with all the TD's and happily gave them a good tip at the end of the tour, now who is being judgemental?.

regards,

aussieR
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 06:14 AM
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A &quot;guide&quot; would need to speak the language and have an extensive knowledge of the Place, would they not?

I mean, aside from being able to drive and take a photograph, a guide is much more capable of leading a person around a city, right?

So aside from the attempts at humour that have gone over some peoples heads, where does it seem that the OP has a good idea?
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 06:21 AM
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aussie, I was, forgive me.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 06:37 AM
  #38  
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Interesting idea, Spootiskerry, but it does conjure up memories of &quot;Rebecca.&quot; I don't think you'd have a chance of doing it the way you're going about it. A blind ad? Think of all the weirdos and con artists you'd attract. And god knows what else. I wouldn't risk it--the world is not what it used to be.

However, if you were to work in the travel industry in some way, shape, or form, then perhaps you'd be able to do some networking and meet people who might be interested in your services. Most small business are started up with word-of-mouth recommendations and references. It's much better going that route than the one you've proposed for yourself.

And I think StCirq has hit the nail on the head. The combination of business and travel is in no ways an easy one.
 
Old Sep 15th, 2004, 06:53 AM
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<i>A &quot;guide&quot; would need to speak the language and have an extensive knowledge of the Place, would they not?</i>

Absolutely. Most private guides began their careers with large touring companies and the first requirement for those jobs is speaking a foreign language fluently. In essence, these were the &quot;stars&quot; of the touring company and figured they could make more money and enjoy the work more if they became their own boss. Some just want a more intimate guiding experience with a very specific kind of customer. Large group guiding is a stress-filled job as anyone can imagine.

Scarlett, I didn't read each post word-for-word so I may have missed much of the humor. My comment about small minds wasn't directed at any one person, either. Those with small minds know who they are. (But, then again, maybe not.)

As far as the OP having a good idea...I happen to look at every glass half-full until I can see it is fully empty? The subject of the thread caught my eye more than the OP's dream.

ps As for seriously funny, lyb wins the teat-twister-tickle prize. I'm hanging onto that visual all day. People are already asking about my silly smirk.
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Old Sep 15th, 2004, 07:05 AM
  #40  
 
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question mark after &quot;empty&quot; = mistake
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