"What? You get paid to travel? How? Where do I sign up!?"
The typical questions I get when I tell someone that I get paid to travel. "That's so cool" they say. "How fun" they exclaim... and while they're partially right, it's still a job that sometimes burns you out. Now I'm not complaining AT ALL, I love the gigs and I wouldn't give them up for anything- I'm just letting folks know the real deal behind all the Maitai's and cute selfies on the beach.
I can go on and on about all the things I LOVE about getting paid to travel- you know... the obvious stuff- like getting paid-- to travel, lol. It gets no better than that, but instead I wanted to highlight the things people don't understand about the gig. The ugly part of the job- the stuff no one else wants to talk about because they want people to believe it's all glitz and glam and good to go... well I'm here to tell the truth. Here are the 17 things no one mentions about getting paid to travel!
1- Let's just start with the new travel restrictions and mandated PCR tests that most places require upon visiting. Because who likes getting tested every time they go somewhere? Definitely not me. Having to find a place that has open appointments on their books, that's nearby and that's free- is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It's tricky and often times if I can't find a place that does them for free within the time I need it to be done, I'm stuck paying upwards of $175+ out of pocket for a rapid test. Unfortunately it's one of the expenses I have to fork over if I want the job. It sucks but that's just one of the things that comes with the territory.
2- Can we talk about airports? I mean, who likes going to the airport? The traffic to get in, the traffic to get out- the long, confusing lines, all the people, the noise, the shuffling, the gate changes, baggage claims, searching for the different terminals, where's the bathroom, where's my boarding pass, did I pack my headphones, a bottle of water and M&M's cost HOW MUCH? Yea-- airports suck. Did I mention that this was a list of all the things NO ONE talks about??
3- Speaking of airports, I can't leave out our most favorite, beloved TSA people! (Hence the sarcasm.) I think it's safe to assume that we ALL agree that TSA is a nightmare and even I have pre-check and it's STILL a nightmare! The lines are notoriously long, sometimes they're open, sometimes they're not, the staff are often times rude and overbearing and please don't get stuck behind someone who has to go back and forth through the metal detector because they forgot to take the change out of their pocket [insert eye roll here.] Yes, it's a real nightmare!!
4- And while we're on the subject of TSA, least we not forget the random stops and searches they decide to do for whatever reason. If you've never been lucky enough to get pulled to the side and told you've been randomly selected for a strip search, pat down- kudos to you! It's happened to me a couple of times during my traveling escapades. It takes up about 10-15 minutes of your precious time while they pull you in a little room and ask to check your belongings. So much fun! (Sarcasm again)
5- Another topic about airports is when you fly international and have to return through customs. Those lines are often long and dragged out as well. However, if you have clear or global entry, you might be able to bypass all of that and get right on with your day. They're still a royal pain in the a** though. They may also pull you aside to ask random questions about where you went, what you ate, what you bought, what you touched, etc. What a way to be welcomed back into your own country- interrogated like a spy for simply going on a vacation.
6- Hey, did I mention delayed flights? Lol, we all love those, right?! Getting to the airport 2+ hours early, getting through TSA, getting your strut going to get to your gate on time and BOOM! Your monitor shows your flight is delayed 30 minutes or more. Ahhh, don't we all just love airports?! Hahaha.... but seriously, these are things that happen and when you travel for work, you just have to put up with them.
7- But enough about airports, let's talk about when you finally make it out of them... what time is it here? 3 hour difference? 5 hour difference? How about 12 hour difference when you're traveling to further away countries... Talk about being jetlag and fatigue. Those time differences can really mess you up big time if you're used to being on a schedule.
8- All the traveling can really begin to take a toll on your body. The best thing to do to avoid getting sick from running around in different climates is to take some vitamin C. It's critical if you want to keep a strong immune system. Especially in today's society, one cough in an airport and people are looking at you like you have the plague! Protect yourself and your body by staying as healthy as you can.
9- If you have an already irregular sleep pattern, you might as well get used to it getting worse with a traveling job. What is sleep? Where does it live? How do you contact it? Whenever I get off of a vacation I try my hardest to get back to a regular sleep pattern. I purposely keep myself awake until a somewhat appropriate bedtime. The last thing I want is to sleep during the day and be up all night.
10- How about those long flights? I'm talking 8+ hours in a cramped up seat next to fidgety people and crying babies. Yikes!! Let's hope there are no crying babies on a long flight, but we all know it happens. Those are the best flights, right? Your neighbor has to keep getting up to go to the bathroom, it's either too hot or too cold on the plane, the flight attendant hasn't been by to serve anything yet and someone, somewhere has some awful silent but deadly gas that you can smell through your mask! Yea-- I told you I was talking about all the things you DON'T hear about traveling jobs. Still wanna sign up??
11- Oh- did I mention early morning or late night flights? Those red eyes and crack of dawn flights that have you up at 1am scrambling to get to the airport... Those are the best right? [side eye] Sigh... just another day at the office, I suppose...
12- But at least now we've made it to our destination!! Finally, we get to check into the hotel and rest!! But wait a minute, this isn't the room I was told I would have. Is this a full bed? What do you mean there's no bathtub in the rooms? No daily room service because of Covid? Short staffed? No restaurants or cafe in the hotel? The nearest convenience store is 2 miles away?? Ugh!!! Yes, these are the things that can and will happen when traveling for work, but what can you do?!
13- Take a deep breath, it gets better... let's unpack. Hold on... where's my.... OMG. Did I forget to pack my hair products? My mouthwash? My socks? Etc... smh. It happens. Being so mentally drained from traveling for work, you forget certain things. Hopefully there's a nearby drug store or gift shop that sells the little things you need. If not, you can always pay the shady taxi driver out front of the hotel $20-$30 each way to take you 4 miles [eye roll]
14- Before you go, be sure to remember NOT to buy the big items... you need the travel sized items so that they won't get confiscated at the airport. That's right, the little mouthwash good for 2 swigs, so you have to buy 4-5 of them to last your entire vacation. The little toothpaste, the little deodorant, the little hand sanitizer, the little everything!! Because our dear friends in TSA are always so happy to take our over sized things and donate them to charity (yea right)
*HELPFUL TRAVEL TIP*
Buy travel sized refillable bottles and keep them in your luggage. You can reuse them several times and they'll save you money from having to buy more of what you run out of. Things like mouthwash, lotion, hair gel, etc.
15- Speaking of luggage- you will definitely need some durable luggage if you're always on the go. Luggage that can withstand baggage claims, rough handling, break ins and more. You'll need all different sizes too... the weekender bag, the week long bag, the backpack for your easily accessible items, your suitcase to stow away, your duffel bag to carry on, your laptop bag, the bag with all your chargers, the bags, the bags, the bags!!! Yes, lots of luggage to lug around in airports and in unfamiliar cities. Lol.... this traveling gig gets funner and funner, right?
16- And now we get to the real nitty gritty... dating and social life. Fuhgettabottit!! Lol... what is dating? What is a social life? Remind me again what it's like to go out and have fun. For 1, by the time you're done traveling and getting back to a semi-normal life, your sleep pattern is off, your body clock is off and going out is the LAST thing you want to do. Not to mention being safe... that's right! You CAN'T catch Covid or else you're out of a job. The more people you're around, the more likely your chances are for testing positive. So.... you have a decision to make, go out and wear a mask, get vaccinated or don't go out at all. It's up to you and I'm not saying you can't have a social life, but again- if you test positive, that's money you miss. And dating? Yea right... just when you think you've met someone-- BAM!! A travel gig lands in your lap and the dates overlap the day you were set to have dinner with that special person. So.... now what? Explain to them the situation and they're understanding. But for how long? Then you're in and out of town all the time and that begins to take a toll on the relationship so now you're back to square one. What's a date?
17- Did I leave the best part for last? You know I did-- that whole traveling for work thing... well, you kinda sorta still have to work. Yep... before all your playing and lounging and actual vacationing, you have to work! It's a job, remember? So after all of the airport splendor, the marvelous flights, the fantastic hotel accommodations and being burnt out ALL BEFORE even starting the trip, there's still work to be done before you can even hit the beach in your bikini and dip your big toe in the water. Lol... this is the life of a traveling blogger!
Now of course it's not all bad, but at least 50% of what I shared is exactly how it goes. There are times where you get lucky and everything goes as planned and the trip is everything you hoped it would be, but there are also the times when it's more work than play. Take it from me, I've received a few offers to travel for work this year and because this is the first year things are really opening back up, I'm starting to believe that I was selected to be the guinea pig. I'm the test subject who goes out on the front lines and reviews these places to drum up business for hotels and resorts. I take all the bumps and bruises so that you all can have an excellent vacation; and guess what- I love it and wouldn't have it any other way!
Getting paid to travel is an excellent job to have if you can look past the rough patches. I encourage traveling as a lifestyle and anyone who knows me knows I wouldn't change that for the world. I'm happy that I was chosen to experience this opportunity and I hope that my reviews, my blogs and my findings are good enough to help the next traveler make a well informed decision about their next trip.
And there you have it... the 17 things no one mentions about getting paid to travel. If you've enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends and followers and don't forget to subscribe for more! It's been fun guys!! Thanks for reading!!