As the summer months approach, many mystery shoppers are making plans to hop on a plane or hit the open roads for a fun-filled summer vacation. Whether you plan to travel by car or plane, you actually can continue mystery shopping while you are on vacation. Of course, you may not want to spend your entire vacation working, but this is a great way to enjoy the benefits of earning income as well as a few tax deductions while away from home. Before you make plans to mystery shop on your vacation, however, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Exploring the Job Boards
First, you may want to explore the job boards and see what type of assignments are available. You can consider looking at the job boards for layover destinations you may pass through en route to your final destination. This may include places you plan to spend the night at on a road trip or where you have a layover with air travel. Keep in mind that most providers have a customized job board search in place, so your current job board layout may only include assignments that are located within a certain radius of your home. You may have to adjust your settings in order to view assignments in other locations.
The Logistical Aspect of Working on the Road
If you are an experienced mystery shopper, you may be aware that there is more to mystery shopping than simply showing up to complete a site visit. You will want to make plans to bring along all of your paperwork, such as assignment requirements, on the road with you. Also, consider if you need to have access to a stop watch, a video camera, a digital camera or some other equipment in order to complete the site visit. If you need these items, be sure to carry them with you in the cabin of the car or on the plan. In addition, consider how you will complete your report. Will you need access to a scanner or fax machine for the receipts or photos? Will you need a printer? Will you have access to a computer, or will you need to bring your own. You really do need to think through every last deal of these assignments in order to do them on the road. Double check before you leave the house to ensure you are bringing all of the paperwork and equipment necessary with you.
Mystery shopping is a job where timing absolutely is critical. Assignments often need to be completed on a certain day and within a certain window of time. In addition, reports also need to be completed and submitted within a certain period of time. For most assignments and providers, the reports have to be submitted within about 12 to 24 hours. If you are picking up an assignment on the road, such as while traveling between locations on a road trip or on a short layover at an airport, you may find that the window of time to complete the site visit is not suitable for you. You may also find that completing the report within the specified time frame is not suitable. Before you accept any assignments, you should consider your ability to meet the timing requirements in place. If not, make a written request for an alternative time frame for the requirements. Be sure to keep all written correspondence regarding deviations from the requirements.
There are many factors to consider when applying for an assignment to complete on the road. While some mystery shoppers may opt to simply forgo working while on vacation, others enjoy mystery shopping on vacation and earning money even when far from home.