Rewards of the job
The recruitment process is very demanding due to our wanting to recruit the best candidates. But once you've succeeded you will find that working for Explore as a tour leader has many plus points...
Exciting and satisfying
Being paid to travel
Great deal of autonomy
Opportunity to meet interesting people from all walks of life
Opportunity to get to know local people very well
Paid well and easy to save money
Full training given - best available in the UK.
First aid qualification gained during training
Good for developing organisational, interpersonal and leadership skills
Never a dull moment
Always a challenge!
We have uncompromisingly high standards for our tour leaders and look for active, resourceful, and well-travelled candidates with the following:
Demonstrable leadership and organisational skills
A genuine interest in people and high standards of service delivery.
Willing and able to work overseas for periods of up to 6 months on a fixed contract basis.
If your availability is limited we may be unable to offer you work, although we do have highly seasonal work available in the summer and during school holidays due to our growing family programme.
We especially encourage applications from education professionals who want to work overseas during their holidays. Languages (especially French, Spanish, German or Italian) and mountain leadership qualifications are preferred but certainly not essential.
Pay and benefits
Although the reason for applying for this job should not primarily be the money, it is true to say that we offer one of the best packages available in the adventure travel industry. Whilst on tour, leaders tend to spend very little and can quite easily save the whole of the fee payable for a series of tours.
Explore normally covers costs such as:
Travel from home to the office and on to the countries in which our leaders work
An allowance whilst on familiarisation ('recce')
Insurance and all visas and vaccinations required.
Meals and accommodation are provided as they are for the group, which is usually bed and breakfast.
Full training, including a first aid qualification, plus all accommodation and most of the food during training
Full remuneration details will be discussed at the selection day.
We offer the most comprehensive training programme available in the adventure travel industry. All successful applicants (those that are accepted after the selection day) are asked to join us at our offices for a week long in-depth training course covering all aspects of the role. This training is run by a team of experienced Operations Managers who have themselves led tours for the company for many years.
On completion of the in-house training, all new Tour Leaders travel on an overseas training tour with an experienced Tour Leader to experience what it's really like to be 'on the road'.
First aid qualification
For those attending our in-house training we run a 2-day Rescue & Emergency Care (REC) course which covers all the necessary standard first aid training as well as subjects specific to tour leading such as altitude sickness, dealing with emergencies in remote areas and camp health and hygiene.
This course is provided free of charge and gives trainees a recognised REC qualification, which lasts for 3 years.
Life on the road
The life of an Explore Tour Leader is one of excitement, variety, and hard work (we never hide this fact!). Tour Leaders live overseas for the duration of their fixed term contracts, which are on average 3 or 4 months long (but which may be anything from 2 weeks to 6 months).
It can be tough at times as you are effectively on the go for the whole duration of the contract. Along with looking after the group, there are lots of logistics to sort out, a budget to manage and paperwork to complete each day.
However, the responsibility this carries and the buzz of being in exotic locations, being continually on the move and meeting and working with lots of new people is what attracts most people to the job.
What kind of trips could I lead?
Explore operate tours in over 130 countries worldwide so the possibilities are endless! Normally our Tour Leaders start their tour leading careers out in Europe or countries such as Tunisia. Please note that in certain countries, such as Australia, New Zealand, Nepal, Turkey, Egypt and much of South East Asia, we only use local Tour Leaders. We also operate short breaks, cycling, special interest and family tours, which have shorter seasons.
The majority of our trips involve a variety of activities and use a range of different transport and accommodation styles, from comfortable hotels to wild camping. Some have a more specific focus, for example, on wildlife or trekking and on all trips we hope to get closer to the local people and show our clients the real country.
Naturally, we want to try to match the interests, aptitudes and experience of our leaders to the tours they lead. However, we cannot always offer our leaders work exactly where they want. Flexibility is the key.
If your only motivation is to travel, this may not be the job for you, but if you relish the challenge it presents and love working with people, whether working in France, Russia, Chile or China, it can be one of the most instantly fulfilling occupations imaginable - it really is a case of 'you get out of it what you put in'.
Does it cost me anything?
As a sign of intent we ask that all successful applicants pay a £250 deposit before joining our training programme, to cover some of the in-house and overseas training costs. This is automatically refunded once the trainee satisfactorily completes his/her first 26 weeks work.
Although life as a Tour Leader is very rewarding, if you are worried about any of the following, think carefully before applying...
Long periods spent overseas
Having to deal with problems and crises on behalf of company and clients
Being responsible for company funds
Writing reports and keeping expense accounts
On occasions dealing with difficult clients
Being on call 24 hours a day
Putting clients before yourself - this is a service industry!
Still interested? What to do next.
You will need to download these....
...to make sure you feel you're totally right for the role.
Note: Unfortunately we are not recruiting for new tour leaders at this current time