5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Tour Guide

A tour guide can make or break a vacation or business trip. When you hire a great tour guide, they expand your experience with their knowledge and experience. A poor tour guide can ruin the trip and make you regret the decision. Ask these five questions before you book with any tour guide or company. Do not solely trust the information provided on the internet.

1. Is your company a member of a professional organization?

There are professional travel organizations all over the world. National tourism associations regulate companies in the tourism sector. As a member of one these organizations, the company needs to follow protocols for finances, administration, and safety rules.

2. How long have you been a tour guide?

A tour guide that has been in business for a substantial amount of time should have quality testimonials and references. Businesses that have been around for a long, have “seen it all.” An experienced company is prepared to handle any problems that might arise.

3. Are there any additional costs or ancillary expenses?

Not all tours or tour guides are created equal. The services and packages will vary. Know what you are buying before you pay. You might find a great deal with one operator, then realize another operator charges $100 more but saves you $250 in the end. Before booking a tour know what the price includes, what other fees are required, and what additional funds you might need to make the tour better.

4. What conditions apply to the booking?

Just as tour package differ, so do the conditions of the bookings. Ask the operator about the conditions of the booking agreement, including deposit requirements, payment plans, and cancellation and refund policies. Read the fine print of all booking agreements. Ask the operator to clarify any portions that seem unclear or are questionable. If the operator does not offer a refund ask your travel insurance company to see if they would cover a cancellation.

5. Will our group join other groups on the tour? If so, do you have a maximum limit on the number of people on the tour?

Tour guide advertisements often show a minimum number of people, but rarely list a maximum number of people. Ask the tour operator the maximum number of people they allow on each tour. If your group is joined by 20 other people, will the trip be memorable or remembered as torture?

In addition to these questions, you should look up their social media accounts and listings on tourism websites. Find out what other people are saying about the tour guide. Thousands of positive reviews indicate a good company. Read the negative reviews, was it the fault of the company or the person’s attitude.