Making your love of travel a job

Old Mar 9th, 2005, 06:36 AM
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Making your love of travel a job

While I appreciate that my current corporate-world job pays me sufficiently to do a fair amount of travel for pleasure (on the limited vacation time they allow me to take, that is) and they're helping me to travel a bit more for business since my new job is with a swiss company...my dream would be to find a way to turn my love for travel, and love for helping others to travel, into a decent-paying job in and of itself!

I could take a pay cut to do it, after all a decent percentage of my pay is currently funding my travel habits as it is....but any unique suggestions as to how to do it?

I guess travel agent is the most obvious, but I'm wondering about jobs a bit more unique...how difficult is it to find work as a travel writer or critic? (Fodors, want to hire me?? ) What other unique ideas are out there?

Or should I just resign myself to the rat-race until I retire and can travel full-time for fun?

And last question....does making a job of your love for travel remove the 'love' part of it? Or does it ruin the fun?
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 07:38 AM
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I hope you get some replies to this because I have been considering this myself. I only work part time right now, so I have time for another part time job. I have been considering working for a travel agency, I even went to one a couple of days ago and spoke with someone, they said to bring in a resume. Problem is so far most travel agencies I've been to only hire full time.

My husband and I travel about 3 and a half weeks each year and I plan elaborate trips and just love it. So I thought it might be a good job for me. But like you said happymz, I wonder if it would just become another job and take all the fun away from it.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 07:42 AM
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I visit my travel agent as often as I can.It makes me appreciate everything he does and has done for 15 years for me.I call him when I cant visit just to let him know I care.I also tell him I couold never in a heart beat do what he does.He has always been in a "hectic" to say the least office.Clients in the office phones ringing off the hook.Helpless clients stranded and stressed and unable or unwilling to do anything for themselves.A ten hour day is a short day for him.My greatest fear is that one day he will simply log off his computer,pick up his briefcase,get in his Jeep and drive off into the sunset.On more than one occasion I have gone to his office just to sit and watch.Everyone in the office is crazed.Lunch? Thats something the rest of the world does.Got life? Not a chance.Just some observations.Best of luck in your choice.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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I tell people all the time if I could travel and make money doing so then that is what I would do for a living! I hope someone will give you some suggestions!
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Travel writing is an option but it is quite difficult to make a living at, especially when you are beginning. Almost no one is hired to do that kind of work without first learning both the art and business of writing for publication. For a few, that may be through jounalism school and then writing for hire on a newspaper or magazine. For most others, it is a long hard journey through the school of freelance writing and rejection. It can certainly be done but it is difficult and you need tenacity to succeed.

I did not start wiriting in travel. I wrote as a freelancer for many years before submitting my first travel piece. I have been quite fortunate in my acceptance rate for travel articles, however, it has never reached the level where it would support me.

When I travel primarily to write, I travel much differently than when I travel for fun. That's not to say that you cannot have fun while working or that you'll never develop a story from fun travel. However, the fact gathering, interviews, and on-site research mecessary to in-depth reporting is often more tedious than one would like when on a "fun" trip.

If you are driven to write, travel can be a satisfying venue, if not the most lucrative. If you don't have that drive, finding another way to be paid for travel will probably be a more successful route for you to take.

Have you explored corporate jobs that require travel? The regular paycheck is a source of comfort not usually available to writers. There are a variety of jobs with travel opportunity. For example, many customer training positions keep people on the road. In addition, auditing, management, sales, sales support and similar positions can be travel intensive. Just don't expect that you'll constantly be travelling to romantic destinations or that, when you do go to a romantic locale, it will be the same as when you went for leisure.

Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 08:11 AM
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What about a job in your current field that involves more travel as part of the job - it might work if your personal situation and amount of vacation time of job allowed you to extend trips. My husband is a management consultant (salaried, not self-employed) with at least 6 weeks of "Paid Time Off" - also known as earned time per year. He goes all sorts of places that could be extended into a pleasure trip if he wished.

Not really the job option you requested, I know, but perhaps another way of looking at it.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 08:28 AM
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i have a friend who works in incentive travel--meaning she plans and executes travel programs for clients--such as corporations who offer group trips for their top salespeople. she's been doing it for over 15 years and has traveled the globe with her clients. you can work in house somewhere or with a company that specializes in it. i don't know how you get into the field though, maybe check within your own company or do a search for companies in your area.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 08:34 AM
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I lead service-learning trips through my work with a church.I've seen lots of the US by taking high school, college students and adults to build houses through Habitat for Humanity and other service organizations. We get to know local people who recommend places to see or eat that are off the beaten path. I took a group to Costa Rica in January-it was a dream come true.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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I have a friend who started a training program for marathon walkers - and
has added to it by leading walking trips around the world -
you can check her website- "walk with me."
she has several trips going this summer-

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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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If you want to check the walking trip website I mentioned above -
its walk-with-me.com
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 09:19 AM
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Here are my tips: 1. stick with your current job. 2. make as much money as possible. 3. bank/invest as much money as possible. 4. Retire very early. 5. Travel as much as you like for FUN!
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 09:29 AM
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great responses so far!

I read another series of posts from last year on the 'glamour' (or lack thereof) of being a travel agent, so I figured that wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

The idea of being a consultant who does a fair amount of travel appeals to me most...because I am a bit more conservative particularly when it comes to work I doubt realistically that I could ever jump completely from my career field into something completely different, at least not in the near future...and in fact I do hope to move into consulting in my current career field at some point, if only to be able to re-locate back closer to my family and away from the expensive living that is in NJ!

Re: travel writing, does anyone on this board actually know anyone who works for Fodors, or Frommers, or Rick Steves...or National Geographic Traveler, etc....and what they think of their jobs? Perhaps most of the travel magazine writers are free-lancers, so maybe that falls into the area dwooddon describes.

Keep the ideas coming!
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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Why not a job as a tour guide, if you can be away from "home" a lot, or if you can't, a job as a tour salesperson. My friend works for a big company that organizes tours to all kinds of places in the world. His job is in sales to local travel agents throughout his state, but at least 2 or 3 times a year his company sends him on one of the tours so that he knows more about selling them.

I have also seen advertisements for all kinds of custom tour planners, more than what a typical travel agent would do, usually specializing in a certain place. Look in the back of any travel magazine for examples.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 09:30 AM
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We discussed something like this a while ago. You might want to look at it.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34540826



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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 10:21 AM
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I work for a large corporation that has many different branches, including a travel agency. I work in that division as a writer. I usually take about 3 big trips a year and have been able to do things in this job that I either couldn't have afforded to do, or taken the vacation time to do, otherwise. For example, I've rafted 100 miles of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and spent several weeks driving the coast of California. I recently returned from Europe, where I visited several major cities including Paris and Amsterdam. Although I once dreamed of having a travel job that put me on the road every month or so, I think this job suits me well. I don't get burned out on work travel, and I have the time and energy to plan and take personal vacations too. My degree is in journalism, and I spent about 10 years as a writer/editor for various magazines before I found my current job.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 10:22 AM
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After being laid off after the tech bubble burst a few years back, I took the down-time to research becoming an importer.

The great thing about importing is that you can choose to import something unique from the part of the world in which you love to travel.

I chose Europe and Ceramics, started up an online merchant site (http://www.ceramicsofeurope.com) and packed my bags.

I planned on starting with the South of France, but when I found the ideal supplier they eventually told me they could not sell to me in California because someone else had an exlusive lock on the state. Wasn't I surprised when that "other" company turned out to be Williams-Sonoma. Well, at least I had good taste.

I then redirected my efforts to Italy - and bam, I'm in business.

Next up I'm heading to Portugal for some fresh discoveries. Heading there next month.

While I sure couldn't live on what I make via my website - it's a fun side-business that's tax-deductible travel.

In the meantime, I'm back in the regular work force to make a living - but I eventually want to run my own physical shop.

I do have to add that while this kind of travel is fun - it's still work. I'm taking my domestic partner on my next trip - and while his head is filled with soaking up the sun in the Algarve - I have to remind him that I won't be able to relax until I've ironed out a deal with an exporter.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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SFImporter -
Need a Spanish-speaking employee to bring you the best from the fabulous markets of Mexico City and other locations in Latin America?

When I took the job I have now, they told me I would be traveling. What they didn't tell me - I would be traveling to Oklahoma.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 12:57 PM
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If there was an obvious, practical, financially feasible way to do this... about 50% of the people on this BB would be trying it for themselves!
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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My name is rb_traveler & I love travel.

Now that's out of the way, years ago I worked in hotels & restaurants. I always loved the work, whether bartending, waiting tables, even bussing, but most of all: desk clerk.

I enjoy helping people, suggesting dining spots, museums, giving travel directions ... and even handling guest problems. I like people.

Nine months ago, I started "moonlighting" at a chain hotel, in addition to my fulltime (& overtime) software job. I love it.

But what's really great are the employee discounts I get when I travel.

I've had to do a fair amount of business travel for customer software installation & support for a couple of different employers, and while it's not the same for everyone, I *HATE* business travel.

Like a bad Dilbert cartoon, I always found business travel the worse: longer work hours than back in the office, companies who schedule all travel during *MY* time, not the employers, and having to "schmooze" ticked off customers who the lying weasel sales people promised features that did not exist, and now the customer is mad at me. All others I've met with similar jobs seem to feel the same. So watch out for what kind of business travel you saddle yourself with.

I like "eileenleft"'s method of finding travel opportunities. I've volunteered as "ride leader" for a number of bicycle rides. It's been fun, but I doubt I'd like doint that too often. This is an interesting thread.
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Old Mar 9th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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My husband and I never liked working for anyone. He loves vintage guitars and I love travel. We turned his love of guitars into our business, in which we work from the home. I have my own travel business, which is a total loss against our booming guitar business. Since we are internet based only, we can go anywhere, anytime...between our 2 businesses, it is all tax deduction.


My advice to you is this...there really is not a lot of money in the travel industry. What you have to do is do something that gives you freedom to travel. We get to choose where and when....it really is not "work". We are very lucky and have a very unique situation. Just a few years ago, we were both working 6 days a week, long hours and had to beg borrow and steal for 1 week's vacation. We decided we had enough and took our money and invested in our own idea.

You really cannot get any "ideas" from anyone, it's what is in you. Sometimes you can't always look to the obivious...it's about being creative and taking risks. If you are up to it, you can have anything you want.

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