Teresa Bacal
3 min readSep 20, 2020
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

My travel career started right after college when I was fired from my marketing job. I was working for a small company that had to downsize and I was the last one hired so the first one that was let go. I was devastated as I really liked my job but regardless, I had to find something new to pay my bills.

As I was perusing the paper, yep, that’s how we looked for jobs back then, I saw a position for something called a “Trip Director”. I didn’t know what a Trip Director was but it included managing corporate groups for dealer meetings, sales training, incentive trips and included extensive travel. Hmmm, extensive travel? I was young, not married, no kids and the thought of traveling on someone else’s dime was intriguing, so I applied for the job.

Had I truly known, at that time, how stressful and exhausting being a Trip Director would be, I may not have applied for the job, but ignorance was bliss in this case. I managed to secure one of the three positions they were looking to fill and I felt pretty lucky! I was ready to travel the world and my first trip was off to Las Vegas. Maybe not the first place I would have picked but I was a team player and ready to do whatever was needed, I thought.

My first job as a Trip Director was to assist the Ground Transportation Lead and assist the Food & Beverage Lead. I didn’t know what that meant but Ground Transportation meant busses and cars and Food & Beverage, well, that meant Food & Beverage, so that could be fun, right? Well, when you are a “newbie” you are low man on the list so my days consisted of a lot of standing and giving directions. I think the hotel was The Mirage, not positive as I tried to block it out, but my days consisted of the following:

- Standing in the lobby from 7:00am — 6:00pm to greet and direct the arriving attendees in our group to their exclusive check-in counter at the front desk.

- Once attendees checked in to get their room, I then gave them directions to the elevators so they could head upstairs and check in at the group hospitality suite.

- At 6:30pm, I headed to the dinner function and again greeted the attendees as they got off the elevator and directed them to their private dinner in the ballroom.

- At 10:30pm, we had a staff meeting and then to bed at midnight.

That was my schedule for the three days I was in Las Vegas. Not so glamorous, actually the opposite. So much so, that when I arrived back home I thought this was the dumbest job ever and I wanted to quit. In the end, I did not quit and, as in many jobs, the more I learned the higher up the ranks I went until I was the Lead Trip Director. That meant I was the one telling some newbie that part of his or her 17 hour day would be to stand in the lobby for 11 hours as a “greeter” and “human arrow” as we used to call them.

That was the beginning of my travel career that has taken me around the world. I am definitely addicted to traveling and plan on continuing to travel as long as I can.



Teresa Bacal

Always looking for ways to Live Better | Addicted to Travel | Serial Entrepreneur | Outdoor Enthusiast | Event Consultant | |