Count The Perks!

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
(former Workamper Viewpoint author and RV Lifestyle Expert)

This article comes from an issue of Workamper News magazine. COPYRIGHT by Workamper News. IT IS A VIOLATION OF U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW TO PUBLISH, POST, BROADCAST OR PHOTOCOPY ANY PORTION OF THIS PUBLICATION.

When evaluating job offers, don’t forget to count the value of perks. Perks are employee benefits you receive for Workamping that are beyond your wages. Perks can come from your employer or be offered by local businesses.

Employer perks

Electricity

If your electricity is included in your site, that’s a perk. Sometimes, though, it is not. You might have an allowance or may be billed for all the electricity you use. Ask what the typical bill is if electric is not included.

WiFi/cable

Free WiFi is an almost expected perk nowadays. If it is offered, you might want to find out how reliable it is and if it reaches the entire park. Request a site with a strong signal, if doesn’t.

Laundry

When we travel, we usually spend $15-20 a week on laundry at Laundromats. For a six-month season, paying for laundry could exceed $500. If the employer offers you free laundry, ask them to spell out how it works. Will you receive tokens, have separate machines or times to do your laundry?

If you have a washer/dryer in your RV, be sure the park rules allow you to use it. If you are paying for electricity, you might check if there is a clothesline you can use or if it is okay to hang up clothes outside your RV.

Meals/Special Events

RV parks and other employers may have a restaurant or snack bar associated with their business. Do you get meals while on duty? Discounts? If you are working for a national park concessionaire or similar employer, you may be able to purchase a meal plan at fairly low cost. Institutional food isn’t always the tastiest but as a supplement or for a change, it can be welcome and stretch the time between visits to a grocery store. While working in Bull Frog, UT, several hours from a large supermarket, we were able to eat in the concessionaire’s dining room and choose the salad bar, quite welcome when our fresh produce ran out between supermarket visits.

If an RV park puts on social events, find out if you are expected to attend (a duty), or can attend if you like. Will you attend free of charge? And, if so, are you expected to help out in some way? Socialize with paying guests? Or, as in the case of a few employers, are you restricted from doing so?

Discounts

Some employers offer discounts on propane and on purchases at their stores or restaurants. You may not save a lot but you could avoid having to drive somewhere for these supplies or meals.

Uniforms

If required, are they provided? Some employers provide shirts; you provide the rest.

Equipment

Does the employer rent boats or other equipment? Or have a golf course? Will you have the use of these, if available, when you are not working? Will there be a charge? If you like to fish or golf, this perk could add up to quite a bit.

Shuttle

In some cases, an employer may offer shuttle services from their place to town or an attraction. Are you able to use this service?

 

Area Perks

We found that tourist area businesses may offer perks to seasonal workers.

Local discounts: In Skagway, Alaska many restaurants offered a local discount on meals. Even a ten percent discount was welcome! We always asked at stores too, though those were fewer. Ask individual establishments.

Area attractions: Attractions in the area love word-of-mouth recommendations and often offer seasonal and local employees who deal directly with the public free admission or complimentary tickets to their attraction. Your actual experience and recommendation to visitors goes a long ways in steering business to that activity or attraction. While working in Branson, friends attended almost two dozen shows free of charge. In Skagway, the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad had a local day where the all-day steam train trip with photo run-bys, box lunch and a tour in Canada – normally $159 – cost only $25, which Bill (my late husband) and I happily took advantage of.

Check at visitor centers and online for discounts too. Often tourist pamphlets and business cards will offer a two-for-one or a discount on admission for some attractions. Recently my sister and I visited Catalina Island and found a two-for-one coupon for the botanical gardens. Our hike began in the gardens so the coupon saved us $5.

Be subtle!

If an employer doesn’t offer any perks during the interview, I recommend inquiring in a “gentle” way. Instead of asking, “Are there any perks?” say something like: “Some parks give their employees free laundry or discounts on things like propane or the store. Do you offer anything like that to your Workampers?”

As you can see, perks have value. They can save you money. They can also add experiences to your season you might not have had otherwise. Bill and I would not have paid $159 each for the steam train trip, but it was one of the highlights of our summer in Alaska.


Thanks for reading the Gone Workamping blog from Workamper News. Join Workamper.com today to see all the new job opportunities for RVers, as well as the training and resources to confidently find the right Workamping job for you – easily and securely.

Leave a Reply