A career as a holiday rep is one of the most desirable roles in the travel industry. If you want to see the world, and get paid for it, there are few jobs where you can do so in such an outgoing, social environment.
The first thing most people think of when they think of holiday reps is clubbing holidays. However, there are many other different types of holiday rep, and though all holiday rep roles are full-on, energetic roles, not all of them will demand as much from you as a clubbing holiday rep. This will be a relief to those for whom endless pounding dance music and an excess of Bacardi Breezer does not appeal. For those who relish the prospect of being the sober one amongst a dribbling mass of sunburned flesh and Lycra, well, good on you.
To make it in the world of the clubbing holiday rep, you’re going to need the stamina of a paratrooper porn star. If you need your beauty sleep, dream on. You’re going to have to be able to be winding yourself around a pole on a club podium at 4am, then up, sober and full of beans for the day ahead at 6. If anything goes wrong, you are the first port of call, so it’s no good being fast asleep or AWOL when your guests need you. What’s more, if there are any rows involving your guests, you have to be the one stepping between them and diffusing the situation to everyone’s satisfaction. There is no room for short tempers.
Holiday reps of all varieties still need to have one main trait in common, and that is a positive, energetic and enthusiastic outlook. Having outstanding people skills and the ability to be incomparably diplomatic are an absolute must for rep jobs of all types. Also, many employers will ask that you have a conversational level of a second language under your belt.
Whether you’re repping for a ski resort, kid’s club or generally within family package holidays, there are a few constants that you can expect from the role. Your work activities will typically consist of meeting guests at the airport and escorting them to their accommodation, usually via airport shuttle transfer, as well as dealing with any issues that they may have on arrival, such as lost luggage or paperwork. Dealing with problems such as delayed flights, strikes, adverse weather, or even arguments, illness and death are all your responsibility. You will therefore need to be able to think on your feet and remain calm in crises.
You will also be responsible for organising and hosting welcome meetings, which can be for upto two hundred people, so confidence in public speaking is a real must. In addition to this, there is a seemingly endless list of duties and responsibilities, which can include everything from organising and supervising activities for children, to maintaining an in-depth knowledge of the resort and local area. It is also your responsibility to make sure your guests are transferred to their accommodation in one piece. Most of the time, airport transfers will have been organised by the tour company, but there will be occasions when you will be required to arrange this. You will need to complete risk assessments and health and safety checks, keep basic accounts, and write reports whilst taking part in and organising daytime and evening entertainment for guests. It may sound like fun, but you will quickly find yourself run off your feet.
To work in a kid’s club, there may be somewhat less demanded of you. The hours will certainly be shorter, and more finite, so you may actually get some time to yourself. Nonetheless, this does not necessarily mean that the job is easier. Children are notoriously challenging to work with, and their parents are scarcely much better. You will still need those interpersonal skills, as well as reservoirs of patience, energy and organisation. All the health and safety and risk assessment reporting will still apply, and you will need to be CRB checked to ensure you meet all legal obligations. Oh, and if you want to rep at a ski resort, it will probably be necessary for you to be pretty proficient at skiing and snowboarding.
Assuming that this heavy deluge of reality check hasn’t put you off the idea of becoming a holiday rep, and you’re still chomping at the bit to get out there, then you’re in luck. There are hundreds of companies out there seeking suitable candidates for rep roles. So, if you think you can handle all of the above, can speak a second language, stay up all night then emerge at dawn with a smile and organise 50,000 things at once, then what are you waiting for? A busy, sociable and unforgettable work experience awaits!
Images courtesy gloriashealth and radio1interactive.
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