Each March, I board a flight (fully paid for!) to a different warm, sunny paradise. From swimming with whale sharks, riding ATV’s up a mountain at sunset, partying at the best nightclubs in Cabo, feeding wild sea lions and spending a lot of evenings on a boat at sunset- every day has been a new adventure in paradise. This year, I was able to live at both the RIU Palace and RIU Sante Fe, which are huge all inclusive- luxury resorts right on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. And the year before, I lived by the beach in Cancun, Mexico at the Grand Oasis for a month. Sun bathing, boating and magnificent sunsets are all apart of my daily life in Mexico.
All of these incredible experiences have been available to me because I work as a on-site destination rep for a spring break company each March. Now most people don’t even know that a job like this exists. People struggle to wrap their heads around the fact that I’m paid to stay at an all inclusive resort. It seems too good to be true- buffets full of fresh seafood, plenty of swim up bars and the beach just a few steps away. Every day I would get asked, “This is your job?! How do I find a job like this?!”
Let me break it down for you.
- Valid passport
- Availability to travel to any spring break destination for the month of March
- Outgoing and comfortable talking to strangers
- Friendly, welcoming and fun!
- Not required but it’s a bonus if you can speak Spanish
POPULAR SPRING BREAK DESTINATIONS
- Cancun, Mexico
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
- Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
- Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
- Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
- Nassau, Bahamas
- Fort Lauderdale, Florida
WHAT IS A SPRING BREAK/DESTINATION REP?
Staff who provide on-site support for the guests that book with the travel company.
Many companies exist that sell package trips to guests. During the spring break season especially, students look to buy packaged deals from a company that will provide them with their flight, hotel, party packages, excursions and on-site support all in one. These companies need friendly, outgoing staff on-site to welcome the travelers when they arrive and to manage the operations in each destination.
Meaning you can spend a month living in a beautiful spring break destination for free.
But it’s not entirely vacation.
It seems from the pictures and videos that we ONLY have fun and there’s no real responsibility. And while I do think it’s one of the best jobs in the world, there is actual work to be done.
SOME OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES MAY INCLUDE:
ASSISTING WITH CHECK IN’S
Sometimes there are massive groups of students checking in all at once. It can get really hectic. You’ll be expected to greet them in the lobby and give them the run down of the week including social events, how to get around, etc.
Each company handles this differently but typically you’re expected to make yourself available for the guests to find you and ask any questions. This might mean sitting in the lobby from 11-2pm or if the company has a staff room, you may be expected to hang out there in case the guests need anything.
Many of the companies sell trips by finding school leaders who promote the trips at their school. If that student can get 10-15 of their friends to sign up and go- that student gets to go for FREE. It’s a really great deal actually! And on site reps are encouraged to find these outgoing students who would be interested in arranging a trip the following year.
HAND OUT TICKETS FOR EVENTS
You may have to meet with guests at check-in or throughout the week to pass out their tickets for events- it depends on the company!
Now this is by far the best part of the job! The guests typically go out to clubs, concerts, booze cruises, beach parties… you name it! And they will need the staff there as well. Which means YOU get to go to all the same fun things. Some companies are more strict about reps mingling with guests while others companies want their reps there doing ALL the same stuff. The company I worked for allowed us to do any events the guests had access to (plus a few more, whoohoo!!) So we frequently saw big name DJ’s or went on sunset cruises.
HELP SELL PARTY PACKAGES
While the position is not a sales position, different companies may want you to chat up their excursions or events to the guests. This is easy since you have been to most events you’re trying to promote. Just pull out your phone and show the students all the fantastic pictures from the last island cruise and they will be dying to sign up if they haven’t already.
When you have your staff shirt on, people will come to you with all sorts of questions. Mostly they will want to know where the nearest ATM is, how to get downtown, what the party schedule is for the week etc. It’s your responsibility to be knowledgeable about what’s going on.
PROS OF THE JOB
*this may vary by spring break company
- One month at an all inclusive resort – how incredible is that?!
- Free round trip flight to one of the world’s most beautiful spring break destinations
- Free access to boat rides, concerts, DJ, night clubs,
- Weekly cash stipend
- Possible access to free or discounted excursions (My first year they sent me scuba diving for free, my second year I was taken on a sunset ATV excursion!)
- Depending on the destination, free drinks in the nightclubs or bottle service
- Warm, sunny weather- you’re living in paradise!
- New friends and new experiences – you’ll be rooming with your coworkers at the resort! Depending on the size of the company and destination you might have a lot of coworkers or only a few.
CONS OF THE JOB
Some mornings you will have early check ins and events during the day. Then you’ll be expected to go on a bar crawl or attend a big concert in the evening. And a lot of nights you come back to the resort late! Personally, I had no problem with the long days because I loved everything we were doing. But it can be easy to wear yourself out quickly.
Things will go wrong, guests will get upset. Guests have injured themselves jumping in a pool while drunk at 2am. Or the tickets were miscounted and the venue isn’t allowing anymore of your guests inside. Things definitely come up and you have to be ready to deal with them responsibly!
DEALING WITH DRUNK PEOPLE.
Like really, really drunk people. A lot of them. Spring break is wild everywhere (but especially in Mexico!!) and undoubtedly your guests will get into trouble. I’ve had guests get lost, lose all their money at a strip club, get robbed, wind up overnight in a Mexican jail, lose their passports, miss their flights home or get angry with the company because they misunderstood something. Situations get messy when you’re dealing with drunk guests. They will forget you told them what time to arrive for the sunset cruise then accidentally miss it and expect a refund.
BEING AVAILABLE 24/7.
While it wasn’t a requirement for me to share my contact details with guests, I frequently did. That way, it was much easier for them to get in touch with me if there was a problem. But that does mean the occasional “I need help!” at 4am text waking you up. But I was always more than happy to help out. If you genuinely love traveling and helping people, this part of the job is no issue.
You can expect to make around $200-$250 a week your first year. Now that isn’t a lot of money so if you have student loans or rent to pay back home it can be more challenging. However if you’re not paying rent or if you a can find a sublease for the month, you can pocket most of that money since all your expenses are covered.
LOTS OF GOODBYES.
You’d be surprised how close you get to some of the guests, local workers and staff! With new guests cycling out every 4 days to a week, you meet (and say goodbye!) to lots of new friends.
OVERALL, AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY!
All that being said, the majority of the time- the guests are fun, lively and so excited to be there! The positives definitely outweigh the negatives but you need to be prepared.
WHERE TO APPLY
These are the companies I’m familiar with- there may be more! Try googling “destination rep” or “spring break host”- keep searching and good luck!
TIPS FOR APPLYING
These companies are looking for high energy leaders who can multi task and keep organized! The spring break season is surprisingly hectic so you need to show them you are both fun and responsible. Some of the websites have applications right online, others you will have to email yourself.
Every company I reached out to got back to me right away because my initial email was full of personality, confidence and I had a solid resume attached. I had my pick of where I wanted to work. You can do the same if you’re a good fit for the job and show them that.
Make your resume POP! You aren’t applying for an office job so build yourself a resume that both highlights your leadership and management skills but also shows that you are “the life of the party” or “make friends with everyone”. I cracked jokes in my first email, had a colorful resume and attached a picture of me at the pool having a drink. Make yourself memorable! If you truthfully aren’t the chatty, outgoing type- this job may not be a good fit for you anyway. There are plenty of other travel jobs out there!
Get a recommendation. Truthfully a lot of people get these jobs because someone they know worked a spring break season in the past and recommended them. But if you’re like me and didn’t know any employees- then just start apply and emailing!
Go ahead and add this to your goals for 2020 and hey, maybe we'll end up working together!