“Baggage Master” is the “less sexy” of our two itinerant jobs. Long hours on trains and behind the wheel of a luggage van, lots of hard, physical work, less social interaction with our guests....
But you get paid, unlike the Trip Coordinators (whose pay comes largely in nice dinners). And this is a great way to discover Europe. Your time off is in places like Paris and the Austrian Alps, the trains show off the scenery out the window....
This is not a career, but for a summer or two, it is a pretty good way to get by, and even bank enough funds to keep you alive for a couple of months at the end of the season.
A brief overview of the job follows, and the qualifications needed to apply can be found at the bottom of the page.
Our Baggage Masters take care of much of the “behind the scenes” work necessary to keep our cycle trips running smoothly. The job has three essential components:
- Office work -- preparing trip materials, ensuring that Trip Coordinators receive the necessary equipment (bikes, tool kits) to run the trips, helping with miscellaneous paperwork, making copies, answering phones, running errands, some minor book keeping.
- Physical labor, including heavy lifting -- shuttling bikes to and from train stations and transporting clients’ luggage and trip materials by rail.
- Travel, sometimes by train, sometimes driving a van (with lots of bikes and / or luggage aboard), to and from our trip destinations all over Europe.
Additionally, a candidate who shows sufficient warmth, cultural awareness, and public relations skills may perform some guest welcoming and hosting functions.
This job includes generous travel benefits, and possibilities for time off in Europe, if desired.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS needed to apply.
In order to be considered for a Baggage Master position, you MUST...
- ...be available for at least four months (more preferred) in the period between May 15th and November 1st. It helps to be able to work at either the beginning or the end of this time span, if not both.
European tourist visas are only valid for three months. While we are not required to verify the legal status of independent contractors, there is a risk of deportation for overstaying a visa.
- ...possess a valid driver’s license, and be old enough to rent a motor vehicle from a major agency (at least 21 in Europe, 23 is preferred). You must also be able to operate a manual transmission vehicle (generally a light truck, but of a size that can be driven with a normal license).
- ...possess at least rudimentary French language skills. Other language training is a strong plus.
- ...have the physical ability to handle heavy lifting and carrying. This is the bulk of your job, and you should address it seriously before applying. If you weigh 120 lbs. but are “strong for your size,” your core talents probably lie elsewhere.
- ...be willing to work flexible hours (late nights, early mornings), dictated by train arrival and departure schedules. We spend a lot of late nights in train stations....
We are looking for responsible, conscientious, reliable and well-organized individuals who can work well without direct supervision. Applications will be considered from all candidates 21 or older. However, this job requires a high level of professional responsibility, generally manifested through past professional experience. We do not encourage applications from candidates with little or no prior work experience.
In addition, this is not a job that is well-suited to someone with an average suburban upbringing. It is a great job for someone who has spent at least one night on a bus station floor, and who has to think it over before saying that that night was his worst.
We apologize if this sounds harsh: we receive perhaps 50 carefully-prepared applications every year which do not meet these criteria. (Not counting, or even taking seriously, e.mail resumés sent to every company on some endless list.) Shortcomings on points 1, 2 and 3 are the easiest to identify. Youth, though beautiful, is not seen as such by rental car companies.
While we consider all applications received, we do not normally respond to those who do not qualify to apply, since doing so with any other than a curt rejection letter (worse than no reply at all, in our view) would occupy all of our waking hours. We beg for your indulgence.
If you are qualified to apply, and would like to do so, please send an e.mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line should be “Baggage Master Application,” and your last name.
Please address each of the above 5 points. No other information is immediately needed.
If a position is open that fits your criteria, we will quickly forward a detailed application to you.