Advantages of Tour Guides

Provided by Sherra Jones

While we sometimes prefer to venture out on our own when vacationing, there are times when you should rely on the value of a more experienced, knowledgeable and entertaining tour guide.  Here are a few reasons you may want to take advantage of this professional service:

  1. When you have very little timea knowledgeable guide can give customized sightseeing according to your wishes in a timely manner
  2. When visiting ports on a cruise—hire a tour guide to get you away from the hordes of passengers getting off your ship and visit a quieter remote scene and enjoy a lunch at a local eatery.  Because the tour guide is aware of your limited time, he/she can plan your adventure and ensure you return to the ship in time for boarding
  3. When revisiting a place—even if you have visited a place several times; New York, Paris, London, San Francisco, a talented tour guide can provide local knowledge that you may never see in a travel guide
  4. When visiting dangerous or chaotic locations—if your destination is in an area that has a reputation of political upheaval, a tour guide can keep you safe
  5. When visiting popular locations—a tour guide will know how to keep you from the crowds.  A good guide will also know places to avoid, rush hours, shopping areas that offer bargain prices, and direct you from areas under construction or closed roads
  6. On long stays—if your visit is two weeks or longer, consider hiring a tour guide for the first couple of days to get your bearings or hire a tour guide after you have had time to explore all the attractions and desire a more meaningful/lasting experience
  7. Visiting historic destinations—an experienced/knowledgeable tour guide can offer in depth information by sharing stories that a tourist may never see in print
  8. Adventure trips—unless you are an expert, hiring a professional tour guide for extreme sports such as safaris, mountain climbing, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, white-water rafting; safety precaution should be a priority and it’s best if you hire an experienced guide
  9. Language barriers—a tour guide who speaks the local language can be an invaluable source; both you and the native will be at ease with communication
  10. To hand off the logistics of planning activities/entertainment—while on vacation no one wants to  spend time with such mundane tasks as arranging reservations, obtaining tickets, confirming operating hours, figuring out options; a tour guide can eliminate this responsibility
  11. When you prefer not to drive—if you are uncomfortable navigating in a foreign country and predict that you and a spouse would spend more time arguing about directions, then do yourself a favor and hire a tour guide; it makes the trip so much desirable and memorable
  12. On hikes or a nature trip—an experienced nature guide can provide information about the type animals that you may encounter, direct your attention to different types of plants and explain the benefits to nature; an untrained eye could not do this

Article source: Independent Traveler, September 22, 2010

Sherra Jones is the travel expert for Cuisine Noir Magazine and The Culinary Scoop.  For questions, contact her at

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3 Responses to Advantages of Tour Guides

  1. i would like to understand more about a tour guide proffessional what ways can i use to understand it ?

    • Sherra Jones says:

      Hello Wilson:
      Tour guides are excellent resources when visiting a place especially for the first time. I have found that they can save you time especially during short stays. They can make vacations hassle free by taking you away from the crowds to areas that are not known to the typical tourist. A good tour guide can share information about the area that you would not be able to find in any published guides. They can provide you with specialized attention and flexibility. Tour guides are much more familiar with community and people allowing you the opportunity to get a true feel for the culture. Guides can also cater for your other travel needs such as transfers / shuttles, airport transfers, accommodation advice and booking. Because of these type benefits, a vacation is much more relaxing.

      Kind regards,
      Sherra Jones,Travel Agent

  2. Kylie Dotts says:

    I like your advice to hire a tour guide so you can get in-depth information about stories of historic destinations. This would be a really good recommendation for my friend who is going to be going down to Cape Town South Africa. Hiring a Cape Town tour would help him make the most of the time he has there because he will be able to see everything that is most popular and get stories that may not be printed about those destinations.

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