Backroads

www.backroads.com

Backroads Reviews

Updated November 22, 2014
Updated November 22, 2014
32 Reviews
4.3
32 Reviews
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Tom Hale
24 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    I love my job as a Backroads Trip Leader!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trip Leader
    Current Employee - Trip Leader

    I have been working at Backroads part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Backroads works really hard to give each guest a world class vacation experience. The focus on quality is amazing. Being a trip leader has given me opportunities for personal and professional growth like no other job I've ever had. I've learned more about leadership than I ever imagined. It's a privilege to take our guests on trips in the most beautiful places in the world. Watching their smiles and getting to know them makes my week. The best thing about working for Backroads may be the people I get to work with. I've made friends for life and had adventures in my time off that I'll remember forever.

    Cons

    It can be hard living without certainty about my schedule. There's an element of excitement about wondering where and how much I'll be working, but it would be nice if there were a way to know what I'll be doing 4-6 months in advance rather than 3 months. I understand how schedules are driven by trip sales though, and that scheduling trip leaders is complicated.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Thank you for being transparent. Whenever I've had a problem, question or frustration I've been able to voice my concern and I've been given honest answers. There have been times when I wish the answer was different, but it means a lot to be treated respectfully.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    What's it like having a management job at Backroads?

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at Backroads full-time

    Pros

    Challenging, ever changing, company constantly strives for excellence, and great work environment, fringe benefits, and work life balance

    Cons

    Owner is mercurial, most commonly focuses on what is not working, and is not a supportive or wise people person or manager. He can also be incredibly impatient and lose his temper. He has also not succeeded in building an outstanding upper management team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Owner needs to really do some work on himself, in spite of his age and success to date in growing the company.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    I have never been happier with a job in my life!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trip Leader in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Trip Leader in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Backroads full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    My favorite part is getting to work outside every single day! We get to meet new people all the time and most of our guests are fun, happy, and make work seem like play. All of the co workers I have met fit in with my life as though we have been friends forever, we share similar interests and all enjoy life more than usual people :)
    You live an active lifestyle and get to enjoy traveling while staying in new great places and eating lots of local food- it's delicious and awesome!
    Upper management is also great because they are on our side as leaders, and are there to help us and guide us.

    Cons

    It's a LOT of work sometimes and the days can be very long with some stressful moments, but honestly it's all worth it!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Great people and culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berkeley, CA

    I worked at Backroads full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great place to work. People are great and office is a fun place to be.

    Cons

    The pay is far below what it should be for managers in the Bay Area. It's a lifestyle company but that can only get you so far when you want to live in the Bay Area.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Pay your people more and give them better benefits.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6.  

    Great opportunity to experience a unique lifestyle

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trip Leader in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Trip Leader in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at Backroads part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Backroads has been a life school on two wheels for the last years. Applying and joining Backroads is one of the best decisions I have even taken. If you are ready and open to learn from the experience, the trip leader job is a unique training on public speaking, logistics, hard skills, teamwork, language, problem solving and guest service. Besides that, it is a unique opportunity to travel and discover the world, and to have an addictive lifestyle and you will find nowhere else such amazing coworkers.

    Cons

    You have to be ready to work for a performance driven company with high standards. Decisions are made based in performance, and this might take a while to accept and get used to. The lifestyle is unique, but not for everybody. It is not a job you do to become rich in money but rich in experiences. I must say though that you can save a lot during the season because all is paid for. The company is fair from the beginning about all of this, so it is a personal choice.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    More effort to make trip leader schedules better would be appreciated by most of the trip leaders at Backroads. It would be great if trip leaders in the US would get more money per day.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 3 people found this helpful  

    The company cares far more about the guests than the well-being of the employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trip Leader
    Current Employee - Trip Leader

    I have been working at Backroads full-time

    Pros

    To state the obvious, you will be working in beautiful places with the type of folks who understand what it's like to live out of a suitcase. Your travel costs are covered, you could be sent to one of our incredible National Parks or to Europe even in your first year, and you will generally not have to pay for housing.

    Cons

    The hiring process is less than transparent, and most people will go into the job having sacrificed their housing situation, their previous job, and often times their relationships for this glamorous-sounding position. Unfortunately, you are signing your life away before being told that you will be paid $4/hour, and your work schedule will be extremely unpredictable and more often than not, barely enough to get you by. You will likely be working many odd jobs of unit drives or support leader roles your first year, which means that you will make *very* little money. As a Leader, you will survive off of tips, but the tipping guidelines are woefully inadequate for the amount of work that you will be doing, and the bizarre scale that Backroads has set for the various kinds of trips means that you may be working longer hours in more difficult conditions on a camping trip and making 1/4 of what you would make leading a "Premiere Inn" trip.

     In a nutshell, Backroads seems more concerned about guest satisfaction than about creating a healthy work environment for its employees, and based on the fact that Backroads' success is a direct result of its Leaders, that should be changed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Raise compensation to adequately reflect the value of your Leaders. Be far more transparent to new hires about the amount of work and the type of work that they will be assigned and their realistic expected income. Be more concerned about the well-being of your leaders in general- give them work! They want to do their jobs! An obsession with hiring new leaders when there isn't enough work for the existing ones creates an unhealthy dynamic amongst the leaders.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Backroads Response

    Jul 11, 2014HR Manager

    While we respect this reviewers opinions, we believe that a Trip Leader position at Backroads is one of the most sought after, desirable and rewarding positions available for anyone interested in ... More

  8.  

    Amazing company with the most incredible co-workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Former trip leader, currently Regional Manager in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Former trip leader, currently Regional Manager in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at Backroads full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great vibe, employees are entirely trusted and well-supported. Work is progressive and interesting. Tom (owner) is an inspiring and forward thinking leader with an emphasis on employee experience.

    Cons

    The travel industry doesn't really pay enough to live in the Bay Area, but the job is worth it.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep an eye on company culture, systems and organizational efficiency as the company continues to grow.

    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Great people, great culture, great adventures... seasonally

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Trip Leader in Jackson Hole, WY
    Former Employee - Trip Leader in Jackson Hole, WY

    I worked at Backroads part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Worked with the best co-workers out there, a lot of independence, large budgets, free housing, beautiful places to live, supportive staff, exciting work, meet interesting and friendly clients, thorough review process.

    Cons

    the work is seasonal; you will most likely not have work October-April

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Party on!

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    You'd want this job even if you weren't getting paid for it! :-D

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trip Leader in Berkeley, CA
    Current Employee - Trip Leader in Berkeley, CA

    I have been working at Backroads part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Live and work outside with outstanding people in beautiful places. Can make pretty decent money as a leader if you don't have a lot of other expenses and travel relatively frugally.

    Cons

    Relatively unpredictable cashflow and work schedule. Limited work in the off-season (November-April), especially in the first year of leading. Definitely helps to know other languages if you want to work in Europe, especially Spanish for Winter work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  11.  

    A fun growing company that supports it's employees!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Trip Leader in Salt Lake City, UT
    Current Employee - Trip Leader in Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been working at Backroads part-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Backroads allows for a surprising amount of inter-company growth for a mostly seasonal company. They support their employees and always have their back in guest/employee disputes. I have never worked with better people than I have working at Backroads.

    Cons

    They are a bit outdated when it comes to technology. It can be very difficult to get a job at Backroads because of the personality types they are looking for and high standards they have for hiring. They also pull from a large group of highly qualified individuals, so the hiring/training process can be very intimidating.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue diving into new and exciting technologies. It is the way the world is moving and can definitely benefit the company if implemented correctly, both internally and externally.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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