One of the best ways to get to know a destination is getting to know its people. Using a local guide to accompany you can help you make the most of almost any trip. You’ll learn more about your location and its history than if you rely on guidebooks and signage alone. Local guides also help you see your destination through the eyes of someone who lives and works there. Often, this means authentic food, beautiful neighborhoods and experiences off the beaten path.
To find the right tour guide for your next trip, use these three steps:
1. Rely on Your Travel Agent
In addition to booking your group’s transportation and accommodations, your travel agent can suggest and reserve local tour guides. Rely on your agent’s experience and network to find guides that are the best fit for you and your travel companions.
2. Choose the Right Guide
There are many different types of tour guides. Some are well-versed in the history of a region, while other are focused on providing a relaxing experience. Consider the interests and physical abilities of those you’ll be traveling with. Choose a guide who specializes in the topics you’re most interested in, such as food, architecture, culture or wellness.
Walking tours are common. Some guides are willing to accompany you and your group’s driver or help you use public transportation. There are guides who love sharing kid-friendly narratives with lots of hands-on activities. Other guides are more comfortable discussing art and architecture while museum-hopping.
3. Get to Know Your Guide
Exchanging a few emails with your guide before arriving in your destination can make your experience even better. You’ll get a feel for how well they speak your language. A general outline of your itinerary can be discussed. If your group is small, most local guides can adjust their tour to fit in what interests you. Guides should be excited about getting to know you and your trip!