Question from a mystery shopper:
Can I mystery shop while traveling on business or vacation?
I love to travel, and I make at least two or three trips a year. In addition, my job sometimes sends me on the road to our remote offices. Would it be possible to mystery shop while I am traveling for business or pleasure?
Yes, certainly. Here is what you need to know.
There are many secret shopper assignments that are perfect for travelers, including hotels and restaurants, although you are not limited to those.
You may perform mystery shopper jobs at your destination or en route. If you are driving, your route may take you through areas with hard-to-fill shops that schedulers will be happy to give you. And many of those businesses at the airport get shopped, too. Those are often hard to schedule, as shoppers must be able to get through security to shop the stores and restaurants at the gate. These days, that requires a boarding pass or a badge as an airport employee.
How do you get assignments? Companies that self-assign shops will usually allow you to search by zip code, area code or state to find available shops. You can assign yourself the shops that fit your itinerary.
Contact schedulers with whom you have worked and let them know about your travel plans and what your availability is for assignments. Let them know the dates of your trip and how you will travel, including your expected route if you are driving or which airline you are booked on.
There are some special issues to consider when you are mystery shopping away from home. One is getting your reports done. Will you have your computer with you? How do you plan to access the Internet to file your reports? Will you be able to submit your reports by their deadlines? You may be able to get permission to file reports a little late (it depends on the client and the location) but think about the reports before you accept a bunch of mystery shopper jobs.
Schedulers may be hesitant to give you a lot of shops that are not in your home area because of the possibility that you will not complete them. If you forget to stop in that little town to complete your mystery shopper jobs there, or you cancel the trip all together, they may be stuck trying to reschedule a bunch of assignments at the last minute.
Finally, consider whether you really want to use a lot of time on your trip mystery shopping. Some people do, but you may not want to spend your vacation mystery shopping and filling out reports.