A guided tour that is narrated by a knowledgeable tour guide is one of the best ways to get the most out of any group tour experience. There are many different types of tours, and while some, like performance tours, do not necessarily require guidance when on tour types like educational tours, one might benefit from the experience of a guided tour. For those wondering how to get the most out of their tour guides, here are some few pointers.
Look for a knowledgeable and personable tour guide: the importance of having a highly experienced and knowledgeable tour guide cannot be stressed more. However, the tour guide needs also to be entertaining and engaging. Look for a guide who has deep knowledge of the areas to be visited, but also one who is personable. Ask the following of the tour company when making initial inquiries;
- Are tours led by professionals?
- What is their level of experience?
- What information do they share with visitors on the tour?
- Can one make a choice of tour guide themselves?
Choose an articulate guide: the presence of a guide is well and good, but being able to hear them is the other half of the equation. Imagine being stuck with a guide that cannot answer questions above the buzz of other tourists visiting the same site, especially during peak tourist periods where the crowds are huge. A clever trick to avoid such scenarios is to go for tour companies that have their guides use advanced communications technology, like wireless microphones which then transmit directly to the tour guide. With such systems, one does not have to strain too much to hear what their host is saying.
Size of group: choose the size of the group depending on the nature of the location being visited. Some locations simply have no space to allow guests to gather around a tour guide. Facilities like factories or wineries often require tour participants to stand in a single file to avoid congestion, or for safety reasons. To avoid such restrictions getting in the way of the fun one can have, confirm with the guide beforehand. With a large group, arrange for an advanced listening system that can have people hearing everything even at the back of the line.
Freedom: even on a guided tour, everyone wants the chance to go out on their own and interact with the environment. If possible, choose the tours that are not too rigid, where the guides can answer questions and allow an element of freedom. Even then, visitors should make sure the surroundings are safe, and confirm with the guide before venturing out on one’s own. The best way to approach this is to look for details before the actual visit either from the tour operators or from individuals who have actually done the tour before.
Translation: when traveling to a foreign country, always go for those guided tours that will give narrations in one’s language. Most tours provide options for specific languages, and those who do not speak those languages are left in trouble. One should make sure their language will be covered.