What Are the Different Types of Traveling Companion Jobs?
Updated July 18, 2023
As a travel companion, you can work in a specialized career field of your choice while accompanying a travel partner on their trip. You may have the opportunity to pursue this type of position, whether you have a background in nursing, education or child care. Understanding the types of industries that employ travel companions can help you ensure you find the role aligns with your training, skills and credentials.
In this article, we discuss what a travel companion is, list the requirements for this role and describe what different travel companion jobs entail.
What is a traveling companion?
A travel companion is an individual who accompanies travelers throughout their trip for various reasons. Generally, the traveler they're supporting requires supervision, health care, companionship or a driving partner to assist them throughout their journey. The individual who requires assistance is the traveler or travel partner, while the individual providing the service is the travel companion. Depending on the needs of the traveler, they may hire a traveling companion who has specialized skills or experience in a specialized field, like nursing, veterinary medicine or child care.
Travelers may hire a traveling companion through a travel agency, a company that specializes in travel companion services or a caregiving facility. They may also decide to hire a freelance traveling companion. Typically, an agency or the individual who hires travel companions pay for expenses, and the companions receive compensation for their services.
Related: Travel Jobs: Are They Right For You?
Requirements of a traveling companion
If you're interested in using your industry training and expertise to assist or support people while exploring a new destination, becoming a traveling companion can be an exciting opportunity. The requirements to become a traveling companion depend on the service you're providing. Here are several requirements that travelers may prefer you to have:
If you're providing services related to caregiving, like health care or child care, travelers may require you to have a high school diploma, GED, associate degree or bachelor's degree. Before deciding on which education to pursue, first decide on what type of traveling companion you're interested in becoming, then base your education on your decision. For example, if you're interested in becoming a traveling tutor, then you may pursue an education in teaching. Alternatively, if you become a travel companion involving medical care, it's essential to have specialized education and possibly relevant certifications.
Since traveling companions work closely with travelers, it's useful to have excellent teamwork skills, which include active listening and encouraging two-way communication between you and your travel partner. For example, your travel partner can feel comfortable coming to you with a problem so that you can both work on a solution together.
As a traveling companion, it's important to possess strong organizational skills and time management capabilities. These competencies can help you manage a traveler's schedule, especially when administering medication or handling other time-sensitive tasks. You may also be responsible for keeping or tracking travel documents, which can require you to stay organized for the duration of your journey.
As a traveling companion, you may travel frequently, possibly to areas with which you're unfamiliar. It's important that you're able to adapt to your surroundings quickly so that you can continue providing high-quality service to your travel partner. Strong problem-solving skills may also benefit you and help you understand how to overcome issues or challenges while abroad and adapting to a new culture.
Some travelers may request that you travel with them on short notice, so having a flexible schedule can help your career. You may have to adjust your sleep schedule, travel plans and any work you have planned while working as a traveling companion.
Types of traveling companion jobs
If you're considering a role as a traveling companion, it's important to consider your training and skills and any visa requirements before you begin your job search. Here are several types of traveling companion roles to consider:
A traveling nurse monitors the health of their travel partner to ensure they're in stable condition while traveling and provide any medical assistance necessary throughout their trip. Traveling nurses may have a treatment plan that they receive from their travel partner's healthcare provider, which they can follow closely during their trip. Individuals may hire a nurse within a specialized field, like pediatric nurses or geriatric nurses, depending on their age and medical conditions.
A traveling nurse's duties include administering medicine to their travel partner, taking their heart rate and blood pressure, analyzing the state of their health, ensuring they follow a proper diet and nutrition plan and communicating with the patient's family about their health.
Individuals may hire a private tutor to receive a private education while traveling. For example, if a family travels frequently, they may hire a traveling tutor so that their children don't fall behind in their studies and remain aware of their coursework. The private tutor's duties include:
Creating lesson plans
Assessing the best teaching techniques based on the student's abilities
Developing practice exams
Teaching effective study habits
Identifying the areas where a student struggles academically
Devising solutions to help them achieve academic success
Related: Learn About Being a Tutor
A nanny who works as a traveling companion ensures the safety of the children throughout their travels. A family can choose the level of engagement that a traveling nanny has with their family, depending on the family's childcare requirements. For example, a family may only require their nanny to work a certain number of hours per week while traveling.
Their duties may vary depending on the age of the children, though they mostly include supervising children, creating activities for children to play, cooking meals, washing the laundry and helping with bathing. They may also accompany a child on a flight, help them navigate the airport and supervise them throughout the flight.
Anxiety relief companion
Individuals may hire a companion to help relieve their anxiety while traveling, typically during a flight. It's very common for individuals to feel nervous about flying, so hiring an anxiety relief companion is a great way to combat feelings of stress. Anxiety relief companions may have a background in psychology or mental health counseling, or they may have extensive experience in flying, which they can use to bring relief to others.
An anxiety relief companion's duties include talking with their travel partner to help them calm down, distracting them with games or conversations, actively listening and monitoring their mental health throughout the flight.
A personal assistant may travel alongside their manager and assist with organization and planning throughout their travels. Their duties include planning itineraries, informing their manager of the daily schedule, answering phone calls, preparing documents for their manager, organizing paperwork and creating schedules.
Content creators also have the potential to hire a travel "companion". This is becoming a common job for influencers and celebrities who want an assistant to handle tasks for them while they travel. They may look for a travel assistant just to take videos and photos to create content for their blog or social media accounts.
Read more: Learn About Being a Personal Assistant
A makeup artist may accompany individuals who need their makeup done regularly throughout a trip. For example, a news reporter who travels frequently for their job may require a makeup artist to travel with them to do their makeup before a broadcast. Their duties include enhancing an individual's appearance with cosmetics, consulting with the client to see what type of makeup look they prefer and using makeup tools and brushes.
Translators may travel with individuals who are going to an area where the population speaks another language. They may hire a translator who is fluent in a country's native language to travel with them so that they can help them navigate the territory and communicate with individuals in the area. Their duties include translating written and spoken language for an individual to better understand and facilitate communication between fluent speakers and non-fluent speakers. Since they speak the local language, a translator may also be responsible for organizing logistical details for a traveler.
While it's a less conventional traveling companion role, some individuals may decide to hire a personal chef to accompany them while they travel. They may do so because of strict dietary restrictions, or if they want to ensure they have an experienced chef with them while they explore a new location. This can be especially helpful if a traveler is nervous about trying local foods or getting sick from unfamiliar ingredients.
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