Getting paid to travel the world sounds like a dream job, no? You can have this dream life by being a tour guide. You will get to travel the world while being on the job and visit your dream destinations across the globe. Imagine waking up in a different country or city every other day, meeting different people, and experiencing the world as a global citizen. But, hey, don’t get carried away as you need to know what it takes to be a reliable and charming tour guide.
No wonder the pros of this job are unlimited but becoming a tour guide doesn’t necessarily mean that you are on a permanent vacation. The tour guide industry is very competitive, and it requires you to keep working hard. Of course, the job requires you to be determined, but it also asks you to activate your fun side. You will answer hundreds of questions, and probably the same questions every day. You will live out of a suitcase and work with several cultures and personalities from all over the world.
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a tour guide can make or break the experience. There is no such thing as a bad day in this job. Passengers who travel after saving a lot of money over a long period will come to you, expecting you to make their experience worthwhile. You need to ensure they have the time of their life. Be fierce, tenacious, patient, and genuine love for your passengers. Ready to do it? Your starting point, of course, is to enroll for the theoretical side of the tour guide. You can opt for hospitality and tourism degrees online. Several universities offer professional degrees in this subject. Once done with the degree, it is time to train yourself for fieldwork. Here is what you should be doing next!
Be patient and learn to laugh
One of the premier qualities of a reliable tour guide is to be patient. Whether it is answering questions multiple times or explaining complicated historical events in your speech, a tour guide should be very comfortable taking things slowly. Keep up with the people, walk as slow as you can while you wait for the whole group to catch up with you. Keep a smile on your face as you walk them through history. A good sense of humor has proven to be the most potent weapon for the tour guide. Crack a joke once or twice, use quick wit in an awkward situation to melt the ice.
For tour guiding, delivery is everything. Writing a script might be more accessible, but delivering it with exceptional zest, owning it, and taking guests on an extraordinary journey through storytelling is not a cup of tea for every tour guide. To captivate the audience, you should be excellent in storytelling and bringing the subject matter to life. This experience will give your guests something to remember and pass on to their friends for years to come. If you succeed in telling a story with expression, animation, and plot twist, you are a keeper!
Be sensitive to guest diversity
Being a tour guide, you will meet guests from different walks of life, with their own set of expectations, special needs, and social norms. As a tour guide, it is your responsibility to respect language barriers, cultural differences, and abilities. You should be equipped with the skills to tailor their deliveries specifically. On behalf of the destination, demonstrate a warm attitude. Reinforce the core values of your employer company. The tourism industry is still evolving when it comes to embracing diversity. You can be one of the change-makers.
In-depth knowledge of places
Even if you aren’t born and raised somewhere, you will likely know them inside and out as a tour guide. Tourists have several questions related to the destination and tour. For instance, they would ask you the best places to eat, the best route to reach a particular area, or what locals do for fun. You can’t get away by saying, google it. Being a reliable guide, you should be able to answer everything thrown your way. Knowing facts and figures and tips about a particular place are part of your job.
As a tour guide, you need to lead the guests to the world’s most treacherous and remote locations. You will be responsible for the safety of the guests. That means you cannot be prone to panic. Stay calm in a crisis, and help your guests to exit safely.
Punctual and organized
Increase your chances of becoming a reliable tour guide by showing up on time and get your act together before the guests arrive. From checking-in to checking-out, ensure that the process goes smoothly. Since you will be equally involved in making the booking for several people, a delay at your end will make the entire schedule fall behind.
Being a tour guide, you will not have a life routine. You will have irregular work hours but standing at the world’s greatest wonders like the pyramids of Giza outweighs the odd working hours. To be the best tour guide, you need to love your profession passionately. Remember, not all people can have the world as their office or have job descriptions that include them having to visit incredible sights and attractions. So get the required education, groom yourself, and get set go.