It’s 2013 and if exploring more foreign destinations is one of your resolutions for the year, then you’re going to want to heed to our travel advice. We all know the trope: a mumbling, slow, indifferent tour guide who practically makes living history dead salmon; it’s a challenge sometimes because there isn’t exactly an audition period for tour guides. However there are more than a few red flags that you’ll be able to spot early so that you can either find a new tour guide if it’s really bad or perhaps even chance it yourself.
One of the biggest challenges of travelling to foreign destinations is that the truly exotic spots probably come with it a language barrier. A good tour guide specifically needs to break this barrier down clearly, offering travel advice about the country without confusion. A really good tour guide can even fill you in on the local lingo and slang so that you have something really interesting to tell your family when you come home.
It’s a common addition to travel advice, but the health of your holiday relies almost entirely on good time management. It can be stressful to ‘race the clock’ as you try to take in all the sights you can in a predetermined amount of time and a good tour guide understands this; that is why being punctual is incredibly important for a tour guide. You don’t want someone looking at your once in a lifetime trip as ‘just another day at the office.’
What goes without saying sometimes needs restating; a good tour guide is knowledgeable. I have been on many tours myself and it surprises me how often a tour guide has a script on hand; you’re going to want someone who lives and breathes the destination with an intimate passionate knowledge of the various sites. My travel advice for you is to go with your instinct on this – often it’s really easy to pick up when someone doesn’t actually know what they’re talking about.
Entertainment and Consideration
When it comes to travel advice for UK-based travellers or otherwise, a tour guide needs to provide more than raw knowledge; a great tour guide is also a performer, being both engaging and entertaining at the same time. Some of my fondest travelling memories have included various tour guides that have charmed me while showing me the various sites. Great tour guides are also observant of various age groups and special needs and adjusts accordingly.
It doesn’t need to be down to luck when you heed our travel advice for Europe and abroad; a great tour guide possesses all the traits I’ve just discussed but a sense of humour, apt pacing, flexibility and (of course) friendliness are all cardinal traits that shouldn’t be overlooked either. So heed my travel advice so that you may avoid something that could ruin a holiday – a very bad tour guide.
Eugene Calvini is a travel writer currently based out of a luxurious Malta hotel; he enjoys sharing his experience and advice with the internet.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mike-burns/8611121930/