Special Needs Girl with Friend

Advanced Assisting

In addition to their regular duties, there are additional roles that Travel Companions can undertake. 

 The responsibilities of caring for Travelers are balanced against the tasks involved. For example, the individuals on the Medication Team typically are assigned at the hotels to more independent travelers. Some examples of the additional Travel Companion roles include:

Photography & Videography

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”

Taking photos and short videos is a great way for Travelers to remember their trips. The majority of Travelers do not bring cameras, and don’t have the training/experience to fully document their travel experience. We provide the cameras and equipment for this role.

At attractions, this Volunteer follows the group and focuses on taking photos while the other Travel Companions assist the Travelers. The goal is to capture as many magical moments as possible, as each Traveler is provided with a photo/video DVD after the trip to commemorate the experience. Videos and photos are also used on the Special Journeys website, but we ask that they not be shared on social media.


Breakfast Duty

Every day of the trip stars with a continental breakfast at the hotel. Travel Companions make sure the Travelers are dressed and come down to breakfast before the bus departure time. Travel Companions in this role help with getting food (being mindful of portion sizes), as necessary carrying plates to Travelers  seats, assist in drinks, cutting their food if needed, and watching out for any food issue issues (as noted on the Traveler paperwork and the breakfast specific food sheet). When the Travelers are finished eating, they may need to be directed to the designated Med Station to receive their medicines.


Club Travelers & Meals

Club Travelers require extra assistance at meal times. Special Journeys provides a list of those Travelers and what special requirements each Traveler has. Club Travelers are all seated at the same table with one or two staff observing them. Assistance includes cutting their food (especially meat), monitoring for eating too fast or too slow and portion control.  During the ordering process Travel Companions also help travelers make appropriate choices for both Traveler’s food issues and any food intolerances or dislikes.


Medication Administration

Travel Companions must have a med license to pass out meds on our trips. The exact name of this license depends on the state one resides in.  Depending on the group size there may be more than one individual assisting with passing meds for the group. Med Aides are given a binder with specific information for the Travelers and may need to sign a MAR at the Travelers’ agency’s request.

On the first night, each Traveler who is self-medicating needs to confirm that they handle their own meds.  For all travelers we are responsible for passing meds for our Route Driers put the medicine in in custom bags.  They bags are kept by the Med Team for the duration of the trip until they are given to the route drop off driver. In addition to passing out pills, Med Aides may be need to assist with creams/lotions, check insulin levels, or administer eye/ear drops. On the last day of the trip, the Med Team will separate the meds by route to give to the Route Drivers for Traveler drop off.


Small Group Leaders

At amusement parks and large venues, we divide up into smaller groups each headed up by a Small Group Leader. The Tour Leader gives each group a designated meeting time and place for meals and for departure.  The Small Group Leader will have a company card to pay for meals, and will be in charge of the Travelers’ spending money for souvenir shopping. Typically, the small groups are assembled according to attraction and ride preferences. Small Group Leaders are paired with groups who share their preferences.

The Travel Companion program is operated by the Special Journeys Travel Companion Association. Learn more at www.sjtravelcompanions.org/