Resort Jobs for Married Couples: A Guide to Working and Traveling Together
Getting a job in a resort is a popular travel hack for backpackers and others who want to have adventures and explore new places but don’t have the luxury of an extended vacation. Many resorts offer housing for visiting employees, and may also come with discounts on local attractions or restaurants that can help you stretch your budget even further.
This also makes resort jobs appealing for couples who have a passion for travel. Getting work at a resort is an easy way to both live and play together, letting you explore a new place with someone you love. Many couples find working together also brings them closer together and makes their relationship even stronger.
The most common resort jobs for married couples are in housekeeping, guest services, and food service. This is hardly surprising, considering those will be the largest departments in any resort. These aren’t the only jobs you can get as a couple, though, and doing some research to find the ideal job for each of you will set you up to have the best experience possible during your resort employment.
Types of resort jobs available for married couples
There are a range of different roles available in a typical resort, both on the customer service and operations side of the business and behind-the-scenes employees who oversee the financial and administrative aspects of the resort.
The easiest jobs to get in a resort are those that work directly with guests. This includes housekeeping staff who clean guest rooms and front desk and concierge agents who check guests in and answer their questions. Most resorts are full-service, meaning they have an on-site restaurant and room service, opening up food and beverage jobs like server, bartender, or chef.
Depending on the resort, there may also be other guest-facing roles related to the resort’s activities. Examples of this could be ski lift attendants and instructors at a winter resort, or surf instructors and lifeguards at a beach resort, or drivers for the property’s complimentary shuttle service.
All of these roles listed above have a similar set of pros and cons. On the plus side, you often don’t need any prior experience or specific education to get these jobs. The downside is that the pay is often around minimum wage, though in many positions this will be supplemented by tips. Your schedule may not be ideal, either. Resorts are 24/7 businesses, and new hires and seasonal workers may be the first to be scheduled for evening, weekend, or overnight shifts, something to keep in mind if you’re working a resort job as a way to travel for cheap.
Back office roles in a resort are a different beast. This includes positions like accounting, human resources, and sales. These positions are often not available seasonally but are instead permanent full-time positions. In addition, many will require a relevant Bachelor’s degree or several years of experience (or both). The payoff for this is that they typically come with a higher salary and a more consistent schedule, sometimes even a traditional 9-5.
There is a third type of job in many resorts that falls in between these two categories, and these are positions in maintenance and care of the property itself. Resorts often have large, beautiful properties that need to be maintained by a team of groundskeepers and landscapers. They also employ people to repair issues within rooms, and may have security personnel who ensure the safety of guests. These roles may require specific skill sets or expertise but often don’t require a full four-year degree. In terms of pay and schedule, they tend to fall between guest-facing and back office roles.
How to find resort job opportunities for married couples
1. Consider your skills, experience, and interests.
As you can see from the section above, there are quite a few different types of jobs you can get in resorts as a married couple, and figuring out what positions are the best fit for you will help you hone in on the best opportunity. Bear in mind this doesn’t need to align for both of you. In fact, it’s often easier for married couples to both get hired if they’re not applying in the same area of the property.
Along with different types of roles, there are different types of resorts. The first question is what part of the world you want to be in. Are you looking for a job close to home, or is working in a resort a way to travel? Are you interested in the winter sports of a ski resort, or would you rather lounge in the sun during your free time working at a beach resort? Knowing exactly what you’re looking for (and the types of jobs you’re qualified for) before you start looking will help you find the right options more quickly.
2. Decide if you’re looking for a full-time, part-time, or seasonal position.
For couples who are travelers, seasonal work is often ideal. This is temporary employment during the resort’s peak season, and is found in lots of hospitality businesses in locations that aren’t all-year destinations. Seasonal resort jobs let you have variety in the city or countries you work in. Many seasonal employers love hiring couples, too, because they’re more likely to stick around for the full season than single travelers.
The downside of a seasonal role is that it’s almost always exclusively entry-level. If you want the possibility of advancement, or you plan to stay put in one place for longer than 6 months, a permanent position will be the way to go.
3. Choose your country and city and look for openings.
Even if you’re open to a variety of locales, it’s going to be easier to see what roles are available if you focus in on one location at a time. If you don’t have a specific city you want to work in, sit down with your partner and come up with a short list of ideal destinations.
Once you know where you’re looking, it’s time to see what’s available. Along with general job marketplaces, there are some specific sites that can help speed up your job search:
- ResortJobs.com – A listing specifically for hospitality jobs, including those at resorts, hotels, campsites, and other accommodations and travel destinations.
- WorkingCouples.com – A worldwide listing for a range of jobs suitable for couples, including many in the hospitality industry.
- Hcareers – This is a great site to find permanent positions, especially for those with a background and experience in hospitality who are interested in a senior or management role. You can also find some seasonal and part-time roles on the site.
- Hospitality Online – Job board where you can find employers and opportunities across the hospitality industry, including many vacation destinations and resorts.
- Wander Jobs – A job marketplace focused on travelers, this site lists seasonal opportunities from employers who offer their employees housing.
Of course, not every job ends up on this kind of listing, so you can also go straight to the source. Once you know what city or location you’re interested in, bring it up on Google maps and search for “hotel” or “resort”. Large chain properties will most likely have their openings listed online, likely with an application portal, while you may need to call smaller, independent properties to find out whether they’re hiring and in which positions.
Benefits of working at a resort as a married couple
The general benefits of working at a resort still apply when you’re doing it as a married couple. First among these: it’s a great way to travel and see the world without having a ton of money. You may not even have to pay for lodging if you work for a resort with staff accommodation. You also see these cities from a different perspective and open yourself up to unique experiences when you work while you travel. Some of the people you work with will be locals, and they’ll have insights about the nearby sites and highlights you probably won’t get as a tourist.
There are other benefits to working in resorts as a couple, too, such as:
You have a built-in source of support.
It can be lonely and stressful to start a new job, especially if you’re also traveling to a completely new and unfamiliar place. Having someone you love there beside you can make things easier, letting you actually enjoy your time as a resort employee.
More time spent together.
Normally, time spent working is time away from your partner, but that’s not necessarily the case when you work on the same property. Even if you’re in different departments, you can ride to work or enjoy meals together, and being coworkers as well as a couple can often bring people closer together.
It’s a way to travel as a family.
For parents, a vacation at a resort is even more expensive and complicated to arrange than it is for those without children. Working at the resort gives you the ability to travel for an extended period of time as a family (and not put yourself in debt as a result).
Challenges of working at a resort as a married couple
If working together is so great, why isn’t everybody doing it? The first thing to keep in mind: it’s not a great experience for everyone. You may find that seeing your spouse at work and around the house is a bit too much, and that can lead to stress and arguments if you’re not prepared for it. Some also find that working together means work bleeds over more into the time you’re not on the clock. This is why many married couples who work together set a “no talking about work” rule when they’re not on the job.
Arranging your schedule can also be tricky, particularly for couples with children. If you’re working the morning shift and your partner is scheduled in the evening, that can mean less time together, not more. Requests for time off can also be more challenging since you’ll need to coordinate with two managers and departments, not just one.
Pay can also be a concern for couples working in resorts. The salary for entry-level and seasonal resort jobs tends to be fairly low. The jobs that do pay more, like Assistant Manager or General Manager, are going to be full-time permanent roles for professionals who have already established a career in the field. Even if you have that experience, being employed as a couple can be a detriment to getting the position since many companies have rules against hourly employees being in relationships with management. This can lead to a situation where you either have to pass up an advancement opportunity or have your partner find a job elsewhere.
Making the most of your resort jobs as a couple
Any job is going to have its pros and cons, and that’s true for positions in a resort, too. Before you decide where you’re going and what you’ll do there, sit down with your partner and talk about your expectations and what each of you hopes to get out of the experience.
If possible, you should secure at least one of your jobs before you embark on your trip. This is especially true if you’re looking for a specific position, especially one that requires specific skill sets, like a ski instructor or back office roles like bookkeeper. This is also advised if you plan to take advantage of on-site housing so you can ensure there will be lodging available for you when you arrive. Getting the jobs before you leave will also let you know how much you’ll be earning in advance so you can plan your budget accordingly.
The bottom line is, if you and your partner want to go on an adventure, working together in a resort can be a great way to go about it. We hope the advice in this article has helped you decide how to find and choose the right roles for you.
Bristol Associates, Inc. is an executive search firm with over 55 years of excellence in recruiting nationwide. Bristol specializes in recruiting for the Casino Gaming; CBD; Facility and Concession; Food and Beverage Manufacturing; Healthcare; Hotel and Resort; Nonprofit; Restaurant and Foodservice; and Travel, Tourism, and Attraction industries.
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