The Dos and Don’ts of Campsite Repping

Written by: Olivia Lazenby

A Guide To Being A Campsite Pro

To postpone the day I would be forced to confront real life, I signed up to work a summer season as a campsite representative after finishing university in 2011. A few short weeks after completing my final exam, I was flown out to the Cote d’Azur in France to begin four months working for Thomson Al Fresco.

Immersed in stunning surroundings and bathed in Mediterranean sunshine, working as a campsite rep is at times like living in paradise. But long days cleaning caravans isn’t all you have to contend with. You’ll likely have to deal with angry customers, late arrivals, language barriers, drunk holidaymakers, power cuts, and even flooding.

Campsite reps work hard, and they party even harder. Cleaning on a hangover will become the norm. Ritual drinking games, unspoken park rules, romances and rifts develop quickly within the tight-knit community. If you’re thinking of working a summer season, these survival tips from a seasoned rep will prepare you for a summer like no other.

A Guide To Being A Campsite Pro


Keep hold of your map

Welcome to your new home for the season. Two kilometres from the park entrance to your caravan, with seemingly endless rows of almost identical mobile homes branching away into the distance. You’re going to get lost, no doubt about that.

You might be ok for the first few days while you shadow your team leader’s every move, but when you eventually strike out by yourself, the campsite becomes an unsolvable maze. Keep your map with you at all times – especially when you’re showing new arrivals to their holiday home! A lost rep with a lost family equals a lost tip.

Nap at lunch time

Work starts at 7am and doesn’t finish until 7pm on days when you’re needed to man reception, and after that the party starts. Luckily you often get two blissful hours for lunch – and if you clean your caravans quickly maybe even longer. Napping on your lunch break is often the only way to catch a few hours’ shut-eye, so make the most of it.

Head to the pool and kip in the shade of a parasol, or get your tan on and sleep in the sunshine. You’ll probably find the other campsite reps snoozing in a choice location every day like a pride of lions.

The Dos and Don'ts Of Campsite Repping

Learn the language

Wherever your summer season takes you, learning the basics of the language is only polite. Often large campsites are a little way out of the tourist hotspots, so the staff might not speak much English. If you can say hello, please and thank you you’re sure to be rewarded with a smile, and if you can go as far as to ask for a loaf of bread and some cheese, even better.

You might need those language skills when an unlikely family from Luxembourg show up without a word of English. I surprised myself (and no doubt my GCSE French teacher) when I managed to welcome them to their caravan, warn them not to turn the air conditioning below 20, recite the emergency mobile phone number, and even tell them where the bins were located, all in French – albeit with a terrible accent.

Make the most of your days off

This might seem like an obvious one, but with one day off a week and every night spent partying at the bar, it’s tempting to spend it catching up on some much needed sleep. But you’re living in a foreign country! There’s miles and miles of beautiful countryside to explore! There’s cool cities to visit! You’re only allowed to leave the campsite on your day off, so make the most of it and go on a mini adventure.

While I was working in France I visited Cannes, St Tropez, Antibes, Monaco, Frejus, St Raphael and the Verdon Gorge. If you’re savvy you’ll find out when the reps from other companies have their days off and organise a trip together. Even if you just grab your bikes and cycle to the beach, getting off the campsite once a week gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the local culture.

Make friends in high places

While you’re working on the campsite, the chances are you’ll meet most of the staff there. Making friends with the security guard might mean you can sneak the car you borrowed back in after hours. Befriending the restaurant staff could mean a free pizza now and again. Bar staff are surprisingly generous with drinks if you get to know them. I even befriended a tour guide who would visit to sign up holidaymakers to her bus tour to Monte Carlo, which got me a free trip to Monaco and a nearby perfumery!

Stray cats in France


Befriend the resident cats

Adorable little balls of fluff though they may be, the resident cats on the campsite know how to beg. If you feed them, they will show up at your caravan every day, and they will somehow manage to get inside. Possibly with fleas.

Not only that, but I was told that they’re only permitted to stay on the campsite because they keep the rats out. Come winter when the site closes, they won’t have anyone to feed them and they will either starve or be killed by the camp owners. Sob.

Expect your mobile home to look like the ones in the brochure

Those beautiful luxury caravans with an open plan living area, power shower and air conditioning advertised on the company website are reserved for the holidaymakers. Yours will not look like that. It will be older, less sleek, and there will not be air conditioning. Get used to sleeping in 35 degree heat. You’ll be lucky if you even get a mobile home – most companies house their reps in tents.

Envy the kid’s club reps

They might get to spend their days playing Frisbee and volley ball and painting faces, but come the evening when everyone else is refreshing themselves with cold beers and letting loose on the dancefloor, they will be fighting off packs of children who still want to play while their parents get drunk.

Your customers will see you once or twice for the duration of their holiday – kid’s club reps spend every day with theirs, and the children will love them so much it’s nearly impossible to get away. Good luck getting drunk and making a fool of yourself when 15 eight year-olds want to plait your hair and play catch.


Diving & Marine Conservation in Thailand

from £1.00

7 days

As a volunteer, you’ll support the work of local conservationists and actively protect marine life. You’ll also take part in...

Veterinary Experience | Buenos Aires

from £1,395.00

2 - 12 days

Our Veterinary Placement is located in the heart of Buenos Aires and is perfect for a passionate animal lover looking...

120-Hour Online TEFL Course

from £168.00

15 - 365 days

Take our 120-hour online certification course and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

The Ultimate Roadtripper

from £1,899.00

21 - 360 days

Head overland from Nairobi to Jo'burg, Cairns to Sydney and Los Angeles to New York. We've basically put together all...

Children’s Day Care in Peru

from £675.00

14 days

Work alongside the local nursery teachers and run exciting activities with children in the beautiful city of Arequipa.

Exotic Morocco

from £351.00

10 days

Begin your Exotic Tour in the amazing city of Marrakesh. Enjoy a remarkable day in the Desert including an entire...

Volunteer in Wild Elephant Conservation in Sri Lanka

from £677.00

14 - 84 days

Volunteer on the Wild Elephant volunteer project in Sri Lanka. Located in the Wasgamuwa region.

In-Class TEFL Course in Cebu

from £1,125.00

20 days

Join our 4-week TEFL in-class course in Cebu and become a TEFL/TESOL certified teacher of English as a foreign language.

International Environmental Internship In Hong Kong

from £2,200.00

60 - 180 days

As Asia develops as a region, the environment becomes an increasing global concern. With so much focus on economic growth,...

Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica

from £895.00

7 - 84 days

Join an active conservation team monitoring and protecting sea turtle populations. Protect turtle nests against the risks of poaching and...

Check out these awesome tours!


Highlights of Vancouver Island

from £739.00


There’s nothing quite like Canada’s southwest coast, with snow-capped mountains on the city skylines, top-notch hiking and watersports, and that...

Gorillas & Chimps In Depth

from £2,910.00


The stunning beauty of East Africa’s steamy rainforests and sprawling savanna is a breathtaking backdrop for an adventure into the...

ANZAC Day Dawn Service 2018

from £110.00


On April 25th, 1915, Allied troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The military campaign that followed was disastrous for the...

US & Canada Discovery

from £2,482.00

Canada and America. Both big places with big reputations, so take your time soaking it all in on this tour...

Inca Explorer from Lima

from £839.00

Discover all the incredible highlights of Peru in a short space of time on this epic adventure. Jam-packed with optional...

Freedom Trail

from £839.00

For those who are short on time, this trip offers a whole heap of must-see East Coast sights in just...

Bagan Short Break

from £205.00


There’s more to Bagan than ancient temples, beautiful as they are. Maximise your time in the city on this action-packed...

Crossing the Antarctic Circle via Falklands & South Georgia from Ushuaia

from £20,000.00

Become well acquainted with Antarctica's icy wilderness on this crossing of the Antarctic Circle that stops by the Falklands and...

Southern BLT from Los Angeles

from £2,999.00

Take the southern route through sun-drenched San Diego, the mighty Grand Canyon, the exciting neon desert city of Las Vegas...

Iceland Explorer


When it comes to environmental wonders, there’s simply nowhere in the world like the top of the world. This trip...

Find more articles like this

[contact-form-7 id="4" title="Contact form 1"]