Chaperone wanted

While flying from Dubai to London with the boys (and no DH) on Wednesday, it occurred to me that this is a task most mums of small children would dearly love to outsource.

Just imagine: if you hired a chaperone (and I think you can when they reach a certain age), you could come on a later flight by yourself, watch a whole movie, read, sit and think, drink wine and eat the meal, including the chocolate, in peace. Your clothes would remain stain-free, your sanity intact and you might even get some sleep. Remember those days of stress-free, champagne-swilling travel?

So without much further ado, here’s the advert:

Want to travel and get paid?

Position: Chaperone

Job description: Team leader needed for temporary work in a cramped environment. Candidates must enjoy travel and be willing to work long hours, sometimes nights, in pressurised conditions

Job requirements:
∙ Expert planning skills required, including the ability to pack for six weeks and two continents

∙ Must always be on time and have the ability to negotiate airports/airport toilets/fast food outlets with military precision. The candidate must also be able to speed walk, while dragging two small children along, to the furthest gate, without stopping at Duty Free

∙ Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Situations such as a sick child, delays or a lost favourite toy should be viewed in a positive way

∙ Ability to multi-task essential. Must be able to handle several difficult situations simultaneously, eg, consoling a distraught child who got stuck in the toilet, while stopping his brother waking sleeping passengers and balancing three meal trays

∙ Must be able to keep a smiling demeanour for fellow passengers while practising above-mentioned skills in conflict resolution. Must also be able to withstand withering looks from those seated nearby

∙ A basic aviation knowledge, so as to answer questions such as ‘What makes the wind move?’ and ‘What’s that noise?’, is a plus – as is the ability to tackle technical challenges such as operating the games

Airport hug: The smiles at the end make it all worthwhile and I wouldn’t miss this for anything
∙ Must be willing to be immobilised in a tight space for extensive periods of time, to dive for flying objects, to crawl on the floor for lost items and make multiple trips to a bathroom the size of a phone box (being double-jointed would help)

∙ Must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and preferably have a third or even fourth arm to carry all the luggage at the end

Dressing/grooming: In addition to following the airline’s dress code, it is expected that, for the duration of the shift, the chaperone will have makeup applied, not wear elasticated clothing of any kind and not develop crazy eyes

Previous experience: None required. On-the-job training offered on an exhausting basis

Possibility for advancement: None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years without complaining so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you

Overtime: Responsibilities also include rising at 5am the following morning with your jet-lagged, overexcited, overtired travellers

Benefits: Overseas travel and the joy of the airport reunion

5 thoughts on “Chaperone wanted

  1. All good except wearing makeup and no elasticised clothes. Makeup in a plane? Yuck!
    You sound like a fun mum. I’d come and take your kids with you for free!

  2. Hi there! I stumbled upon this blog while looking for a way to advertise my services in Dubai and Europe…I actually am a travel chaperone ( based in Houston, TX, but hoping to live/work part-time in Dubai. So yes, please outsource this job to me,lol! Really enjoy reading about your trials and tribulations and expat life in the Middle East! Thank you!
    Suzy Goudeau
    Ex-Flight Attendant and now Travel Chaperone
    Mom of 5 Boys
    Survival Swim Instructor
    Dubai Expat Wannabe

    • Hi Suzy – thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment! I’ll be over to check out your website asap – I LOVE the idea of a travel chaperone service! And with five boys, and flight attendant experience under your belt, you sound PERFECT! I wish I could travel with you!!! I’m sure there would be a market over here for travel chaperoning – did you hear that Etihad, the airline in Abu Dhabi, has launched travel nannies on board to help moms out. It got a lot of press coverage – there are so many moms here who have to make long journeys to get back to their families. GOOD LUCK with your plans and keep me posted! x

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