It's not every day that you can travel for free, let alone get paid to go jet-setting around the world. That is, unless you're an aspiring "Sun-tern" slash photographer who wants "to travel across the country and capture the sun in all its glory," according to a new internship posting from Days Inn. If you're ready to have the summer vacation of a lifetime (and pocket $10,000 while you're at it), here's how to apply for Days Inn's 2019 "Sunternship" and satisfy your wanderlust when the weather heats up. Just make sure that your passport is up-to-date, because you'll be hitting plenty of international destinations during your two-week getaway.
From now through Friday, May 24, aspiring Sun-terns who are U.S. residents and at least 21 years old can head to the Days Inn website to apply for the annual summer gig. If you applied last year, you'll remember that the hotel chain invited a lucky applicant with an interest in photography to go on an all-expenses trip around the country and snap photos of sun-drenched locations, which were shared on the Days Inn website and social media channels.
I know it's hard to believe, but this year, Days Inn is upping the stakes even more by taking its Sunternship international and giving the lucky traveler $10,000 in cash (in addition to comped air travel and accommodation expenses) to go towards student loan debt or any other related expenses you might have. Getting to travel around the world and being paid to do it? Sign me up.
According to the press release, the ideal applicant is someone with a "passion for international travel, an eye for photography, and a love of written storytelling." The Sun-tern will spend two consecutive weeks in August in an international destination or multiple destinations of their choice, where they will write about all their adventures in a journal and come up with a list of top things to experience in the location. In addition, they'll also be responsible for capturing "as many sun-inspired photos as your camera roll can hold," meaning that knowing your way around good lighting will definitely be a bonus when you're applying.
So, how do you apply? Make sure you visit DaysInn.com/Suntern by May 24 and submit "an original sun-filled photo" that best shows off your photography skills. In addition to the photograph, you'll draft a 300-word statement that shares details about your dream destination (the press release suggests "London, Rio de Janeiro, Montreal, and beyond," but it's completely up to you) and why you want to go there this summer.
Patrick Breen, the vice president of Brand Operations at Days Inn by Wyndham, said in the press release:
We’re continually dreaming up ways to brighten guests’ stays at our hotels, fueling their days when they’re with us and their wanderlusts when they leave us. We believe everyone deserves a cultured, overseas experience – without deferring or prolonging student loans – and this mindset was the very inspiration behind this year’s global Sunternship program.
As with all internships, there's some fine print to take into consideration before you apply. First of all, the position is an international one, so you will need to be at least 21 and be a U.S. resident with a valid passport. If you're even thinking about casting your name in the ring, I'd make sure that yours is up-to-date now. In addition, they're looking for someone who is "open to new experiences, has a passion for travel, and enjoys exploring new cultures."
Once the judges evaluate the submissions, the successful Sun-tern will be notified and given $10,000, all expenses paid-hotel and economy air accommodations, as well as a $150 daily travel stipend to offset the costs of food and activities in your destination of choice. They'll also receive a Wyndham Rewards Diamond membership as an added bonus.
While these perks sound really incredible, aspiring photographers and writers who are serious about getting into the business will be here for the fact that their work will be featured on the Days Inn website and social media channels and that they'll receive a "glowing recommendation" when they're finished with the Sunternship.
Going on the trip of a lifetime to your dream destination while honing skills that could help you grow professionally? TBH, it sounds almost too good to be true, but it'll be realty for one lucky Sun-tern come August.