Holiday experiences are incomplete without a competent tour guide. Guides augment your visits abroad, helping you make unforgettable memories of your tour. But who are they? Tour guides are the special people who welcome you to their country, show you around, care for you, and ensure your travel is smooth. Hence, hiring a local tour guide has many advantages. Below is a list of the top reasons you need that will also help you pick the best.
Guides Bridge Any Communication Gap
The inability to effectively communicate in a new destination far from home is among the biggest challenges you will face when traveling. In the past, you had to take classes to try and learn the basics of foreign languages before taking a trip. Over the years, it has become easier to translate using language apps. However, this cannot supersede the benefits of working with a local tour guide.
Most local guides are fluent in major languages like English, Spanish, French, and Italian. Hence, you don’t need to learn a new language because all you need is a guide who speaks your language. You can leverage the power of Leadar to find a professional tour guide, especially in the US. Another way would be to contact local tour agencies for quality leads.
Extensive and Engaging Knowledge of the Place
Immersion is the best way to learn the most about a community. Every place has its unique and interesting culture. Some communities have cultural expectations, such as a way of greeting, which, if not done correctly, is considered rude. Only a local tour guide would know of such standards, saving you from embarrassing moments and inadvertently offending locals. Guides also offer background information on local etiquette you often would not find in guidebooks.
It Is Time-Saving
About 30% of travel time is spent on logistics and planning the travel instead of having fun. Tour guides do all the planning for you and assist you in finding your way to your destination. They will cater for the admittance fee on your behalf and find appropriate means of transport, which saves you the time you’d have spent trying to figure out what to do. Tour guides also structure your itinerary for efficiency, allowing you to maximize your vacation time.
You Visit Places You Wouldn’t Find as a Visitor
When booking a tourist destination, everybody goes for the top and most well-known spots worldwide. However, a local guide can enhance your experience by taking you to interesting spots you can’t find as a visitor exploring a tourist destination on your own. Additionally, they have good knowledge and history of places with high insecurity or accidents and can therefore advise on the places to avoid. Most importantly, they will expose you to hidden gems only a local would know, making the trip exciting.
Schedules Are Flexible
Anything can happen when you are traveling. It can suddenly start raining when you have just booked a cycling expedition around the city. Again, the perfect weather might crush a day scheduled for indoor activities. When it happens, adjusting your itinerary might be impossible and will probably attract some cancellation fees. However, a local guide understands the weather best and will guide you on the perfect activities to book on certain days or depending on the season.
It Directly Impacts the Community
Tour service providers are predominantly small businesses owned by the locals. In countries where tourism is the main source of income, tourists’ spending significantly affects their economy. While the economics of your travel destination may not interest you, it is essential to understand how that short trip directly affects the local community. Hiring a guide means supporting the locals by providing opportunities for them to feed their families and change their communities.
It Is an Opportunity to Meet New People
Unless you plan to take a solo trip and don’t intend to meet anyone, having a tour guide is a great way to connect with other tourists and locals. Some tour guides offer group packages that include tourists from around the world. Hiking and food tours are common for this setup; featuring lengthy conversations, making friends, and learning about different cultures and people. Sharing meals with different people also makes the visit much merrier. People have even met their spouses this way in a foreign country, enjoying their vacation.
You Feel More Safe and Secure
If you are visiting a different country, you need to know the laws of the land to avoid getting in trouble with the authorities. Guides brief you on important rules and regulations to follow during your visit. They advise on areas with security risks that you should avoid. Additionally, they keep contact information of agencies like paramedics, emergency hotlines, or fast responders. Hence, working with a local guide removes all this burden off your shoulders and lets you enjoy your visit worry-free.
Guides Are a Whole Package
Guides are a great addition to a trip because they offer a wholesome package. They do everything on your behalf, from navigation, admin work, being your chauffeur, interpreting, pre-booking, negotiating great deals, photographing, interpreting, and so on. It saves you the hassle of having different people do all that work for you, saving time and money.
You Enjoy a Personalized Tour
The beauty of working with a local guide is flexibility, which allows them to stick to your preferences. Sometimes while traveling in a group, you are trapped in uninterested destinations or have to do activities you dislike in favor of the group. However, a private tour is personalized to your interest, so you only do activities you enjoy and visit places you like.
International trips, especially the first one, can be very stressful. Picking a hotel to stay in, booking flights, getting means to move around, visa application, and choosing spots to visit can be overwhelming. Luckily, you have guides available in almost every destination across the planet, waiting to make your travel experience magical. With everything handled for you, there is ample time to immerse yourself in your vacation with peace of mind.