Saturday, December 1, 2012

Health Benefits for Tour Directors and Travel Staff

I'm often asked about medical benefits which are extremely important.  Coverage depends on the company, type of employer and how often you work.  For example, most of the major tour operators do include medical benefits for their full -time Tour Directors/Managers.   The full-time requirements may vary with 26 weeks of travel a year being typical.  The tour operators may, as in most industries, require a waiting period to qualify.  Most will want to see if you're a success before putting you on their policies. 

You may also receive benefits when working in the CMI industry.  (Conventions, Meetings and Incentives)  The major incentive houses offer benefits to their regular full-time Travel Staff and Trip Directors.  The DMC's (destination management companies) are less likely to offer benefits to their Tour Directors/Guides since most of their staff works part-time. 
If you work in their office full-time most do offer full benefits.  You  may be in reservations, account executives, program managers and etc.

I always make sure I have personal coverage that includes international travel.  Some will offer coverage but will normally include a lower percentage.  For example, a policy in the US that covers 80% may only cover 50% when traveling internationally.  (International charges for medical care and prescriptions are usually less than in the US.) If you're not sure of the coverage, you may want to talk to your insurance company.

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