If you get itchy feet easily and like to get to know new places and experience new things, you have probably thought about finding a way to make traveling your career. Some of the typical avenues for doing that are getting work as a flight attendant or travel agent. However, another way of doing this, which maybe hasn’t occurred to you yet, is getting travel companion jobs. You can either do this regularly or just from time to time. Some of them pay really well and can be a great way of mixing business with pleasure.
Most travel companion jobs involve flying.
What exactly is a travel companion?
In essence, travel companions accompany travelers on their trips for a variety of different reasons.
In most cases, the persons traveling are in need of assistance, nursing care or supervision.
Sometimes, though, a travel companion will be asked to only provide companionship or act as an additional driver on a road trip.
For the most part, travel companion jobs involve accompanying children or the elderly on domestic flights to provide either supervision or assistance.
However, in the case of disabled travelers or travelers with different medical conditions, they may need to provide care throughout the trip.
Obviously, different levels of engagement and skills required will also be paid differently.
What are the requirements?
Depending on what kind of service you will be providing, you may be required to have an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in nursing, teaching or child care.
You would also do well if you had experience caring for one of the groups that requires a travel companion most often.
You’ll also need to have good people skills and experience traveling.
Being flexible and thinking quickly on your feet are also key qualities of a good travel companion.
Because of the nature of the job itself, you’ll also have to be able to travel on short notice (time to revise that packing checklist!)
Similarly, it would be useful for you to live in a major city, where most of the traveling occurs.
In order to be closer to the action, for example, some move to Manhattan to do this job.
How to get one of the available travel companion jobs?
In order to get regular work as a travel companion, your best bet is to get a position in a company that provides these services.
More clients will be inclined to go through them in order to ensure the safety of the whole process.
These companies will do extensive background checks on their employees.
The reason for this is the fact that most of their clients come from vulnerable groups.
This way, you will be safe as well, as the companies will screen their prospective clients to ensure they only want legitimate services that they offer.
According to payscale.com, the median annual income for travel companion jobs is over $30,000.
Certain companies state that their rate for travel companion jobs ranges between $24 and $300 per trip.
There are plenty of ads out there, even with just a simple google.
Websites like ziprecruiter.com and simplyhire.com offer many listings that might fit your wishes, even outside of major urban areas.
Here are some of the options that you may come across.
Child travel companion
Most companies that have travel companion job openings offer a variety of different services.
Accompanying a child on a flight is one of the basics. Usually, your services will be required if a child is taking a trip on their own.
The parents will need to ensure they are safe until they reach their destination and a relative picks them up.
In most cases, this will be one of the easiest gigs as you will mostly be required to keep company with a child and make sure they are safe and taken care of.
It won’t really involve extensive responsibility, though this greatly depends on a child’s age.
You’ll help them navigate their way through security, take care of their carry-on and help them through the customs and baggage claim.
Sometimes you will be hired to help a family flying with small children.
Alt. tag: People with small children climbing into an airplane.
Sometimes, however, they could hire you as an aide to a family traveling with small children.
In this case, you might be more engaged, depending on what the family requires.
Elderly travel companion
These travel companion jobs involve similar responsibilities as being a child travel companion.
The majority of cases will require you to keep company to an elderly person who may or may not be impaired to travel alone.
They might need physical assistance throughout the trip as well as making sure they go through security checks and customs okay.
If you are traveling with an elderly person, very often you will keep them company throughout their trip.
Alt. tag: An elderly man and young woman looking at something on her phone and smiling.
Travel companion for flying anxiety
Professional flight companions will often have to help out someone with flying anxiety.
Nervous fliers are very common, even people who fly very often for work, for example.
It is not uncommon to bear witness to a panic attack or two during a flight.
This is where the travel companion comes in.
If someone requires your services because of flying anxiety, your main task will be to keep them company and keep them calm.
In most cases, you will be able to do so by distracting them.
You can play an easy game, watch a movie or simply engage in small talk.
The cool thing about accompanying someone with flying anxiety is that besides providing them comfort during the flight to and back, you are free for the rest of the time.
Very often, these travel companion jobs will allow you to take full advantage of the place you accompanied someone to.
Travel nurse companion
This kind of the travel companion jobs is perhaps the one that requires the most training beforehand.
Very often, you will have to help with the traveling of a person that requires special services or medical care.
In many cases, you would remain with the client throughout their trip, providing aid in whatever sense they need.
Very often, this will require making sure they have had their medicine.
Sometimes it will even involve feeding and bathing, depending on their needs.
If you are up for a new experience and like helping people, these different travel companion jobs might just be the way you get to combine your love of travel with your profession.
You may end up doing so much traveling, you’ll want to start a travel blog!