Is a local guide really going to add that much value to my trip? Maybe I should just save the money and explore on my own…or hop on one of those big bus tours to get a quick overview of the city.
The choice is yours. We all have different travel styles, and some destinations and situations call for different approaches. But if you’ve never hired a private guide, you owe it to yourself to try it. But be warned, once you’ve explored with a local guide, you’re going to want to do it on every trip. Seriously.
Five reasons to hire a local guide
1. You’re short on time. Sure we all wish we had endless vacation days to soak up that Tuscan sun. But for the times you’ve only got a day or two in Florence (or Tokyo, or Buenos Aires or New York) a guide will make that time expand like magic. You’ll see more and learn more in a few hours than you would in several days of exploring on your own.
2. You want instant access to a local expert. Local guides can provide a crash course in whatever subject you’re interested in: art, history, food, architecture, photography, politics…their job is to know the answers to all your questions – and also the answers to all the things you never thought to ask in the first place.
3. You like to make new friends. Your guide is more than a walking, talking Encyclopedia Britannica. They’re a lot of fun too! They live their lives in the city you’re visiting, and love to engage in conversation about what that’s like. With your local, private guide you’ll never feel like you’re “on tour” – you’ll feel like you’re spending time with a new friend.
4. You want to feel at home in a new city. Meeting up with a guide on your first day is a great way to start feeling comfortable in a new destination. You’ll get oriented to how to get around, learn about local customs, plus get great recommendations for how to spend the rest of your time there.
5. You like the thought of being in your travel photos for once! This is a small point…but many of our travelers love it! With a local guide at your side, you’ve got someone there to snap that great photo of your entire family in front of Eiffel Tower, so no one's left on the wrong side of the lens. Just don’t forget to get a couple photos with your new friend too.