The road to retirement for the 59 Travel Ambassador [wagon master and tail gunner] couples who work with Fantasy RV Tours is not all glorious travel. “This is a lot of responsibility — rewarding and joy filled, but it’s no walk in the park either,” says Nel Filliger, founder and CEO of Fantasy RV Tours. “We are so fortunate to have Ambassador couples who have completed training, are skilled to lead and manage tours, and at the same time enjoy this wonderful RV lifestyle.” After Basic Training and CPR Certification, the Travel Ambassadors are required to attend advanced training courses at least every other year and maintain their certifications.
With more than 50 RV Caravans and Rallies that creatively cover North American history, culture, cuisine, wildlife and nature, the wagon masters enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences on one or two tours each year and make enough money to cover most of their travel costs.
Is the wagon master job worth it? According to Stacey Rabung, Operations Manager at Fantasy, it definitely can be. “If you value wonderful times, exploring new places, and sharing your experiences – then yes, you’ll be rich with memories and new friends as a Travel Ambassadors,” she said.
Caravan travel, like wagon masters, has been around for many years. Today, there is a much more independent and rewarding nature to this travel style. Guests are provided with turn by turn travel instructions with interesting venues to enjoy between destinations. The wagon master travels early and the tail gunner will follow the planned route a few hours behind, so that guests can enjoy a leisurely day of travel and exploration knowing their campsite is secured and waiting for their arrival. Should they experience any difficulties on the road, help is not far behind. Once in camp, the wagon masters often plan and organize various activities.
Wagon masters take on the responsibility for groups of people who are driving large vehicles in unfamiliar territories and who are often out of their personal comfort zones. These individuals make sure that campgrounds and venues are ready to accommodate the group, that tour buses are on schedule, that restaurants and catered meals are ready and most of all that the guests are having a good time. Before the tour, they often spend weeks making preparations and communicating with their group, and when the tour ends, they must balance their budgets and submit their reports.
Although this job may not be for everyone, it is a rewarding example of fulfilling the dreams of travel, experience, culture and friendship – all the experiences enjoyed by the guests who travel. And these experiences and responsibilities help keep these ambitious characters active, alert and moving down the road.
Based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Fantasy RV Tours strives to make RV travel exceptional. As the undisputed leader in the industry, we are not content resting on what we’ve accomplished, but continue to strive for excellence for ourselves, our industry and our guests. We are a team of problem solvers who like to share our experiences with others. For more information on the tours or joining the Fantasy WagonMaster program, visit www.fantastyrvtours.com.