How to choose a travel guide?

Traveling is without a doubt, an activity that let’s one expand their worldview, as well as find new and inspiring locations to visit. Doesn’t matter whether it’s for a short or long time, probably the best way to maximize your trip to another country is by hiring a professional guide.

Country, or city-based guides, for example, Kiev tour guides, are knowledgeable and experienced people willing to show you things that are not immediately apparent, help tackle language barriers as well learn as much as possible about the place to visit.

However, finding the right tour guide for you and your group of friends can be quite a tricky task. After all, there are plenty of companies to choose from, depending on where you’re going.

In this article, we will talk about just that – features to look for in your tour guide.

That person should be passionate about their job

Like with any job, passion and caring for it should be a key factor when choosing a tour guide. Some people are natural born storytellers and genuinely care about doing guide work, while others look at the profession as a way to make ends meet.

That’s what separates an average tour guide from a really good one.

That natural enthusiasm for a job can be seen from the way they act, respond to people’s questions and overall are willing to make every person’s experience with them as likeable as possible.

Commitment is another thing. Working as a tour guide is by no means a stroll in the park, since the person is spending most of their time at work, sometimes even in another country, away from their family.

So, a tour guide would be willingly making that sacrifice.

Having great, non-textbook knowledge

Would you be interested in a tour guide who recites plain facts without any personal input or enthusiasm?

Probably not.

Knowing facts is one thing, but anyone can read them from a Wikipedia article online. A really good tour guide is familiar with local stories, anecdotes and other things, which make their knowledge all that more interesting for the traveler.

In a way they will act as a bridge in you learning about a country or city and will help you taste the best local food, see the places you typically don’t consider visiting and perhaps even hear stories from some of the locals in the area.

The have experience working with people

A group of travelers is usually composed of people from different age grounds, backgrounds and experience, which makes working with them, quite a challenge in the fact that a guide has to manage the whole group and keep them interested.

The more experienced the tour guide, the more chances that they will be great at what they do.

They know how to listen

One mistake that tour guides often make is sticking „by the book“ for too long including the stories they tell, how they work with people and act. However, life isn’t always like that and tour guides have to be able to adapt to different situations.

Being a good listener for a tour guide is very important. This means treating people like individual persons with their own perspectives and interest and not as those who simply need to be told certain facts from a book.

The key thing is to try to deliver the travel experience personally for each traveler, in order to make it as enjoyable as possible.

Person-to-person skills

Like we mentioned earlier, your experience with a guide shouldn’t be a simple recital of facts and you follow along. As a traveler, you should be able to talk to them on a personal level very well. A great guide will try to make the experience as personal to you as possible by knowing what your questions and interests are.

Knowing how to have fun

A tour guide will probably follow you along with certain activities, like discos or karaoke bars which should not only be fun for you, but for the guide as well. Since they’ll be going along with you, they should be able to have fun with the activity as well.

All in all

In this article we’ve talked about the importance of choosing the right tour guide for your trip, as well as the main features that you need to look at for them. While having factual knowledge is always important, simply reciting things from a book doesn’t make a good travel guide.

As a person working for a travel agency, one should be locally knowledgeable, adaptable and of course great working with people on a personal level. Otherwise, the experiences for the travelers will be lackluster to say the least.

If you’re a guide yourself, try to feel more free with what you’re doing and you should be good to go.

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