Pros and Cons of Traveling with a Tour Guide
Pros of Hiring Local Tour Guides When Traveling
- You will go to secret local spots that the vast majority of other travelers will never experience.
- You will learn about the culture and history of the place on a deeper level and from a local’s perspective.
- You will learn about etiquette and behavior (especially important at religious sites).
- You will be able to ask as many questions as you want.
- You can personalize your tour to fit your interests.
- You can choose a guide who suits you and your goals for your trip.
- You’ll get to explore places you can’t otherwise access, or do things you can’t do on your own (like high-altitude treks, or paragliding, etc).
- You’ll be contributing directly to the local economy when you hire a local guide instead of using a global tour operator.
Cons of Hiring Local Tour Guides When Traveling
- The cost of tour guide hire is an additional expense, whether small or large.
- You may be restricted to a fixed itinerary and not have the freedom to explore on your own.
- For the extremely introverted, you will not have the personal space you need.
- You may not meet as many other travelers (but a guided group tour can be a fantastic way to meet new like-minded travelers when solo!)
Choosing the Tour Guide that Suits You
Doing your research before deciding on a guide is of the utmost importance. Because the human element of a travel experience can be just as important as the choice of location, the guide you choose can truly make or break your trip.
GuideAdvisor is a great resource for finding the perfect local guide even before you arrive at your destination. Their easy-to-use search tool can help match you with the guide that meets your needs, whether you’re looking for a different perspective on popular spots or to get totally off the beaten track. Their simplified process provides extensive information on each guide, and offers the opportunity for travelers to connect directly with guides, and ask questions before booking.
GuideAdvisor also offers pre-planned trips to locations all around the world, including treks in Nepal, kayaking trips in New Zealand and safaris in Kenya. (For more information on taking a group tour, read this post: “Why Taking a Tour is Not Such a Bad Idea”.) Their website also has an entire section devoted to inspiring you with loads of travel articles and videos for when you need ideas for your next destination.
To be continued…