Friday, January 30, 2009

Live Your Dreams and Passion for Travel: Become a Tour Director

(ARA) - What do I really want to do with the rest of my life? Am I going to let another year go by, wasting my time, doing what I don’t want to do? These are tough questions we have all asked ourselves at one time or another.

Perhaps travel is your passion and you live to feel the excitement of not knowing what is around the next corner. Or maybe you want to do something meaningful and share your knowledge with others to make a difference. If you answered yes to these questions, it's certain that your DNA is programmed for tour directing.

Travel has always been the most important medium to self-discovery. The interactions each day with people, cultures and backgrounds different than your own offer perspectives unmatched in any other profession.

Leading tours not only provides countless opportunities for personal fulfillment, creativity and happiness, it can also be quite lucrative. Certified tour directors are part of an elite group of travelers. Besides getting a free trip to worldwide tourist destinations including meals, expenses and private accommodations, tour directors earn approximately $200 to $250 per day.

Tour directing is not for everyone. As satisfying as tour directing is, it can be quite demanding at times. It requires you to be creative, think on your feet and utilize all of your leadership skills. Being able to laugh at yourself is a great attribute when things don’t go according to plan, cautions Ted Bravos, co-founder of the International Tour Management Institute (ITMI), a state-certified school for training tour directors.

Since 1976, ITMI has been helping thousands of people discover how they can make a difference, grow as individuals and simply enjoy their life in a whole new way. The beauty of following your heart's desire to travel as a tour director is that you can still be the caretaker of your personal and financial responsibilities, while transforming your passions and dreams into reality.

Obviously, there has been a change in the travel industry, just as there has been a change in every segment of the global economy. However, the tour industry is so diverse that most tour directors work on a freelance basis with numerous different tour companies throughout the year, even as they maintain a completely different form of employment.

The secret to creating your dream life as a tour director is to have other work that is flexible enough to allow time off throughout the year. Maybe you have a few hours, a week, a month or more. Most tour directors are very entrepreneurial and actually own their own business or freelance their skills with a flexible and understanding employer.

ITMI has been conducting intensive 15-day training programs for people to become tour directors for over three decades. Students learn about the tour industry through practical “hands-on” experience in the field, and five days training aboard a touring motor coach including a two-day overnight tour where they actually perform the role of a tour director. ITMI not only trains you how to be a tour director, they also train you how to get a job with free lifetime placement assistance.

You can view a free 90 minute on-line Tour Directing Video by visiting the ITMI Web site at You can also e-mail or call (800) 442-4864 to learn more about tour directing.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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