Route Driver

More Details

We are looking for responsible drivers who want to help make the Travelers’ dreams happen.

Drivers Needed

Special Journeys provides chaperoned vacations for individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. Each year, we offer approximately 25 vacations for people who otherwise might not be able to travel without the specific type of supervision, care and assistance we provide. Because our Travelers generally do not drive, Special Journeys provides pickup and drop-off service across Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota so they can join up with the tour group.

For many of our Travelers, this is their only chance to get away from their home, work, or other house residents they see day-in and day-out. Their vacation experience is one of the highlights and most anticipated events of their year, and would not be possible without our dependable drivers.


This is a Paid Position

If you’re looking to volunteer, our Travel Companions are the perfect place to get involved. Our Drivers are paid, per day, in full- or half-day increments. We encourage couples to travel together, and we cover all expenses – vehicles, fuel, food, and lodging – for both individuals.


Types of Routes

Each trip has 2 routes – pickup and drop-off. Some of our routes leave and return on the same day, but most are a day and a half long (driving to the starting city the day before).

  1. Same-Day Local Route – Drivers start in the morning, pick up Travelers and drop them off at the bus, and are finished later that afternoon. There are fewer of these routes available.
  2. Overnight Route – Drivers depart in the late afternoon for the city of their first pickup the next day, stay overnight in a hotel, begin their route the next morning and are finished that afternoon/evening. This is the most common route.
  3. Overnight with Pre-Pickup Travelers – Drivers pick up 1-2 travelers the first day, stay at a hotel that night (making sure Travelers shower and go to bed), and then pick up the rest the following day. These routes are for Travelers who are significantly remote enough from Omaha that pickup the day before is only way they can take a trip. About 5-10% of our routes involve pre-pickup.
  4. Overnight with DropOff?


Driver Responsibilities

While every Driver is expected to perform the following duties, volunteer Travel Companions often accompany the routes to provide additional assistance with our Travelers.

  • Driving – Our drivers operate a minivan or Ford Transit passenger van (with a step stool to aid loading/unloading). We don’t travel in August due to the heat, and we wrap up for the year by mid-December. We don’t resume trips until March/April due to winter weather.
  • Pickup/Loading Travelers – Pickup involves tagging the Traveler’s luggage and loading it into the van, collecting their meds and spending money, and give them a nametag. We have custom medicine and spending-money bags marked with Traveler information for these items. Med bags have times marked on them. Drivers usually verify at pickup what meds need to be given before meeting up with the tour bus.
  • Traveler Meals & Pit Stops – Stopping for bathroom breaks (or just to stretch), and at least one meal (usually just lunch). Feeding Travelers involves helping them select a meal and get drinks, assisting anyone who needs their food cut up, and monitoring their eating (ie, eating too fast). We don’t do waiter-type sit-downs or gas stations for these meals, only fast food or fast-casual restaurants. Drivers are provided with a Special Journey’s debit card for meals, along with a spreadsheet of Travelers’ food restrictions.
  • Distributing Medication – Not all of our Travelers take meds, but those who do require assistance. Meds are collected at pickup and marked by time in med bags, and typically just have to be passed out at noon. All Drivers complete a Nebraska medication class and have a special, limited license to pass out medication.
  • Drop-Off/Unloading Travelers – Drop-off involves unloading the Traveler’s luggage from the van and making sure they get into their residence. Drivers return their souvenirs and any unused medications and spending money.


Driver Requirements

Don’t worry, you don’t need a CDL or prior experience working with people with special needs. We’re looking for individuals with heart and compassion who want to make a difference in someone’s life–this is an opportunity to help make our Travelers’ dreams happen. What that requires is that you have a clean driving record, can pass a background check, are okay with some night driving, and are capable of lifting suitcases into/out of the vehicle.

  1. A regular, non-commercial license is required, along with a clean driving history and background check.
  2. New drivers start by doing a Ride Along on a trip or two until they are comfortable with our Travelers and procedures.
  3. The final step is to attend a Medical Training Class to get the Nebraska license to pass out meds. This is a 2-day class, taught by a nurse. Special Journeys covers the cost of the class and pays you to attend! Upon completion, you’ll receive a 2-year NE license.

As our vacations occur, we offer driving opportunities as they become available and your schedule allows. Drivers may have up to five routes available monthly, but are under no obligation to commit to a minimum number of routes each month.


Our Typical Drivers

We have Drivers from all walks of life. While prior professional driving experience is not a requirement, it is absolutely welcomed! Great fits with us are retired truck or school bus drivers, and people with rideshare (Uber, Lyft) experience. This is a great position for retirees, or anyone looking for part time work. It’s a particularly good fit for couples because we cover expenses for both of them. In many instances, the spouse riding along is a volunteer Travel Companion.


How We Support Our Drivers

Because Special Journeys vacations would not be possible without our Drivers, we strive to make this position as seamless, enticing, and headache-free as possible. This means:

  • We supply the vehicles and cover the insurance
  • We cover all expenses on the routes including fuel, food, and hotel
  • You have corporate fuel card for gas, debit care for all other expenses
  • Hotels are pre-booked by our team
  • We pre-plan the route for you including verifying addresses, providing complete plan with exact route directions, and using Google Maps Street View to add notes as appropriate.
  • Dispatch is available on every route with all information concerning each traveler (how to handle meals, etc.)
  • Pay is based on length of route. Additional pay for overnight with Travelers.
  • There is NO forced dispatch – only drive when you are available
  • Ongoing access to video-based, online training about our processes and steps

Forms & Next Steps