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Travel courier careers

The main job of travel couriers is to work to ensure that holiday-makers' travel arrangements run smoothly. They typically escort parties from the UK to the continent, then return with another party making the journey back to the UK.

A travel courier's duties can include making sure that all passengers and luggage are successfully transferred, offering a spoken commentary on places of interest, and dealing with any problems, e.g. lost luggage or illness. Travel couriers are also be the liaison person dealing with coach drivers, ferry staff, hotel staff, and customs and immigration.

While there are no set entry qualifications, a good general education is necessary, in particular a working knowledge of foreign languages. A good level in Spanish, Italian, French, Greek or German is normally required for working overseas.

Just as important is experience - employers will look for experience of working with people or of working abroad. There are also a number of travel and tourism qualifications such as:

  • NVQ/SVQ levels 2 and 3 in Travel and Tourism Services
  • AVCE in Travel and Tourism
  • GSVQs levels II and III in Travel and Tourism
  • SQA National Modules in Tourism or Travel and Tourism and Higher National Certificate or Diploma in Tourism or Travel
  • BTEC Higher National Certificate or Diploma in Travel and Tourism
  • Degrees in travel and tourism
  • Postgraduate courses in tourism

Almost all tour operators will provide induction courses for new couriers. Areas covered will include:
  • Familiarisation with the company
  • Destinations
  • Company policies and procedures
  • Health and safety

Courses typically run anywhere from one to four weeks. For more details, contact the individual tour operators.

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