Tour guides are very important especially when you are on a solo trip. Tour guides not only give you information and advice on where to go, but they also offer some sort of company during your trip. However, getting a good tour guide can be difficult, especially because of budgetary factors. So how and where do you get tour guides when planning for a big solo trip? Here are a few options.
Commercial tours and travel companies
Part of commercial tour agency packages is offering tour guides along your trip. This is a suitable option when you choose to purchase travel packages as opposed to backpacking on your own. Company tour guides can be quite expensive so you have to factor that in. the upside nonetheless is that they are professionally trained so the services they provide are bound to be of high quality.
Accommodation provided tour guides
Some accommodation facilities, especially private retreats and some hotels offer tour guides to the guests that are interested. The charges for the guides are usually added to your staying fees. The advantage of these guides is that you won’t have to go out looking for them as they can be easily provided by your hotel or retreat. The disadvantage is that their services might be limited to specific areas of the town you are in.
Online travel groups
With social media, numerous groups and communities have been formed based on common interests. Among these groups are travel communities. You can easily get a tour guide from a facebook travel group by stating your destination and places you would like to visit. The advantage of this option is that you can get a tour guide that volunteers to help without charging. You might also end up making life-long friends. The disadvantage, on the other hand, is the fact that this person will be a total stranger who might end up having ulterior motives.
You can easily get a tour guide via referrals from friends and family. When you let the people you interact with know that you will be travelling, they might have suggestions of people who can offer tour guide services. The advantage of getting a referral is that you can trust the tour guide since they come recommended. The disadvantage is that they may not be available at the specific time of your travel due to other engagements.
Believe it or not, many solo travellers have met tour guides accidentally. You might ask a stranger for directions and they end up giving you touring services for the rest of your trip. Your cab driver might coincidentally have a sibling who doubles as a tour guide. Or you might just meet a fellow traveller in your hostel or camp who knows all the great spots to visit and they do not mind guiding you around. On one side you might end up making a long-term friendship and on the other, you may not be successful in getting an informed guide as soon as you need one.