Going on holiday is so much fun that many of us wish we never had to go home. Well, some Brits make that a reality by flying out to work as holiday reps abroad, but it might not be as glamorous as you think.
Camille Plews, 39, from North Yorkshire, decided when she was 19 that she was going to be a holiday rep. So, when she was 20, she headed off to do just that and worked for two years in Majorca and Ibiza with Thomas Cook.
While she had a blast being a rep, Camille – who posts on Instagram @camilleplews, says it was hard work, took long hours and she didn’t get to go and party in Ibiza as much as people would expect. Plus, shows like Ibiza Weekender are simply not reality.
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Speaking to Daily Star, Camille said: "The general scope of the position was to look after guests in hotels, guide transfer coaches to and from the airport, weekly party nights and kids disco, do multiple welcome meetings every week, sell excursions, guide some of the excursions – my favourites being the full day all-inclusive catamaran and Pirates Adventure in Magaluf.
"Ibiza town by night was also one of my favourites. The best part of the job was being with my repping family, getting to know reps from other tour operators too, guiding excursions, having a laugh at the airport."
However, there were lots of down sides to the airport too. She explained: "I was given a ‘problem hotel’ to look after. In a way it was good and kept me busy, but was also quite bad at the same time.
"I had queues of people waiting to complain to me every day; some crying about the state of the hotel (it was a state), some really angry. I was constantly on the phone to the main resort office, finding alternate accommodation for people."
And, some of the guests didn’t help. Camille noted that the worst guests were those she had to placate during her time at the dodgy hotel.
She commented: "They had a reason to be upset but being aggressive towards a young lady doing her job; it was tough at times. Also the angry passengers at the airport when their flight was delayed."
But, they had nothing on some other holidaymakers. Especially those who would get into dangerous situations.
Camille told us: "I think one of the scariest things was witnessing people hopping balconies on high up floors in Magaluf. I remember being so scared watching this type of thing happen.
"So dangerous, no matter how many times people are told not to (and common sense), it still happened often. Still makes me shudder now."
Plus, she rarely went out to party. Camille added: "In Ibiza, I got one day off every two weeks and on this 'day off' I had to work until 6am (from 11pm the previous night) checking guests into hotels and apartments. I was exhausted; as were most of the reps.
"In reality (not just me, but most reps), we did a lot more resting on beaches and watching TV together than being out in bars every night.
"I quit Ibiza early (as did the majority of reps on the island) as I was absolutely exhausted; not from partying but from being so overworked. Looking after guests in seven hotels in resort; it was chaos.
"I love Ibiza but working there as a holiday rep was very tiring. I lost the momentum and love for repping a bit from working in Ibiza, I came home, got a job and a boyfriend and stayed in the UK."
Wages were low, but flights and accommodation were both paid for. Camille added: "Commission was on top for the sales of excursions; my wage was more than double in the height of summer.
"There were many perks too such as having the reps card in Alcudia and Magaluf which entitled you to free entry into the clubs and half price drinks and free entry to the waterpark and pirates adventure."
Despite this, Camille still says she loved her time as a holiday rep – and would have loved to have done it for longer. She added: "Being a holiday rep was one of the best experiences of my life. In hindsight I'd have done it for longer, but so glad I did it when I did.
"For anyone thinking of doing it; just do it! Have an open mind, repping will change you."
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