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Holiday Rep or Summer Camp?

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 1 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Holiday Rep Summer Camp Role Job

When you start looking into opportunities for working abroad, you may think that working at a summer camp or as a holiday rep is basically the same thing. This is not true! It’s important that you know the difference because they are very different jobs, with different expectations, conditions and requirements.

Of course, there are plenty of similarities. Both types of job involve working with holiday makers and tourists, are usually in hot and sunny places and need plenty of get up and go, but the differences are more likely to help you choose which is the right ‘go work abroad’ adventure for you.

Holiday Rep

Working as a holiday rep can be rather more raucous than working at a holiday camp, especially if the target audience of the package holiday company is young people looking for sun, sea and sangria. The reps are required to be upbeat and positive all the time in order to encourage the holidaymakers to have a good time – and spend plenty of money! Most reps and/or package companies have some partnership agreements with bars, restaurants and nightclubs and the reps need to bring in the customers to meet their targets.

Working as a holiday rep for a young person’s package holiday company is the very definition of ‘work hard, play hard’ – shrinking violets need not apply!


The very fact that holiday reps need to be bright, confident and up for a good time means that your colleagues will often be larger than life characters. Consequently, there can be a lot of ‘beach politics’ with cliques, relationships and issues that can blow up and blow over very quickly.

You can also meet some great new friends as your colleagues will usually be great fun. Many holiday reps are young people that are keen to see a bit of the world before they settle down. They are statistically more likely to have finished their education that summer camp workers.

Job Description

Working as a holiday rep involves long hours. Package holiday flights can often be at the most unsociable hours, with the reps expected to be bright eyed and bushy tailed to meet the holidaymakers off their flight. A holiday rep will usually be involved in arranging activities such as excursions and pool games through the day and then take people to clubs and bars in the evenings. Although reps are often given free drinks and the more rowdy package holidays can be very alcohol-focused, they need to have the self-discipline to stay in control.

Summer Camp

The very fact that summer camps are more geared up for families means that the environment is more about having fun appropriate for all ages, rather than the booze-fuelled fun of the package holiday.

The working environment is one of enjoyment, leisure and relaxation, although the role of the summer camp worker is to offer this to the holidaymakers rather than for themselves!


It’s usually a less rowdy bunch that’s attracted to working at a summer camp, although that’s not to say that summer camps are without their adventures. Crazy antics are usually enjoyed well away from the holidaymakers, though, and turning up for your shift the next day with a hangover will not be tolerated. Many summer camp workers are students that are taking a gap year before or after university.

Job Description

With summer camp workers’ job description centred around making the holiday more enjoyable for families, most days are filled with practical tasks such as helping pitch tents, guide new holidaymakers around the camp, organising games and generally being on hand. It’s certainly hard work, helped by the fact that you tend to be out in the sunshine all day.

In conclusion, while the roles are similar, it takes a different type of character to succeed in each environment, so it’s imperative that you pick the option that suits you best.

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