As jobs go, being a travel rep is one of those jobs that everyone thinks is really easy- an extended holiday with a bit of work thrown in. But what is it really like to be a travel rep? Elin Jones-Thomas is at Aston University in Birmingham studying Marketing and Psychology, and has spent her summer working for Party Hard Travel in Malia as a party travel rep/host looking after up to 500 guests in a single week. And as the party season closes, Elin shares her secrets from the season.
1. Being approachable is better than uber-confidence
When you tell people that you are a party travel host, they get this perception of you like you’re this uber confident party animal. They imagine you’re like the old style travel rep dragging people off sun loungers to play games. Of course, you’ve got to be confident and like having a good time, but the most important thing to being the party-starter is being approachable.
2. You’ll be living on Berocca and coffee
The one misconception about being a party travel host that I’d love to smash is that it’s an easy, alcohol fuelled ride! You need so much energy that you’re far more likely to be downing Berocca and coffee than cocktails and beer! I knew what Party Hard Travel was all about because I’d been on holiday with Party Hard Travel before but being the party-starter is a whole new ballgame.
3. The guests make it
We go to the same events and club nights each week like Go Deep at Apollo and Welcome to the Jungle, and guests always ask us if we get bored. The truth is that the guests make it different each week. We had a group of Irish girls here in Malia a few weeks back. They were such a great bunch, real characters. They wrote us a card when they left, I was so touched I could have cried! We didn’t want them to leave.
4. A friend not a babysitter
Before I started, I had all these ideas in my head of what the job would entail. I kind of thought I’d be like a babysitter making sure everyone was having a good time. But it’s more like being a friend so that guests have a friendly face around if they need something. Most people stay for a week, and the welcome meeting is when you get to see what you’ve got ahead for the week- you can have a chat, get to know people and break the ice.
5. And sometimes a grandma
As much as you’re a friend, sometimes you have to get your serious head on. And walking up to 500 guests along The Strip in Malia is one of those times. It’s not far, but with that volume of people you can feel like an old grandma fussing around and trying to ensure no-one gets run over! You just see this massive wave of white Party Hard t-shirts- it’s quite a sight!
6. QR code jealousy
One of our weekly jobs as hosts is scanning guests into club nights. Party Hard guests have a QR code that I scan and it’s hilarious because the non-Party Hard clubbers are desperate for one too. They get FOMO and want to be scanned too. Sometimes I just pretend to do it!
7. Dirty Dancing at Varsity
One of the best things I’ve seen this season was at club night Varsity. I’d turned away from the dance floor for a second and the next the whole floor had cleared and two guests were doing the Dirty Dancing lift. They were an actual couple who said they always went on clubbing holidays together- it’s not just traditional girls or lads groups anymore!
8. The highs
This season, I’ve seen Tom Zanetti, Not3s, Big Shaq (and his jacket), Phillip George- it has been immense. But of all the events, my favourite is the Malia Pool Party. It’s more chilled out and you get a bit of time to chat to guests whilst they lounge by the pool
9. Just be yourself
I’d definitely be up for being a Party Hard host again next year. At first I was really nervous and watching everything I was doing, but I soon relaxed. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed everyone else will be and that makes for a better experience all round. Next time though, I’d know to pack some Berocca in my case!