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Becoming a tour guide: Basic essentials

Written by Fiona

October 05 2021

Got a passion for people and places? Then maybe it’s time you became a tour guide? Find out about the basics before making the final commitment.

How to become a tour guide

Do you love to travel? Do you enjoy meeting new people? Do you want to make money while doing it? If so, becoming a tour guide could be the perfect job for you.

Tour guides are responsible for being knowledgeable of local attractions and events while conveying their information in a fun and engaging manner.

Being a tour guide can be an extremely rewarding profession because it combines your passion for travelling with your ability to give others an enjoyable experience.

Tour guides should be able to communicate well with people. They need to be able to engage their audience and keep them interested and entertained throughout the tour.

To become a guide, you must know about your local area or other areas that you can talk about as a guide. You also need to have a strong attention span, as you will need to focus on what you are saying for the duration of the tour. 

While your passion for the trade can certainly go a long way, it’s important to also pay attention to the other important aspects of being a tour guide, more specifically, the intricacies or the typical day-to-day requirements. 

Think about your office space

The pandemic has affected many industries and the biggest change for many of us has been the concept of working from home.

If you plan to be a tour guide, you’ll also need an office space. The good news is that these days the acquisition of office space doesn’t have to be a costly affair thanks to the rise of shared office spaces.

Competitive price structures along with all the amenities of a typical modern-day office setup means that you can easily setup shop. If however you plan on operating from a regular office, you might need some decent startup capital, for which there are various online solutions.

You could build an affiliate website or you could test and review websites for cash. You could even look into online trading and procure shares in UK outdoor companies for instance. After all, if you’re going to be a tour guide, you might as well invest in companies that fall in line with your future vocation.

Tour guide gear

Typical tour guide gear includes binoculars, bottled water in case one of your clients needs it, and a good camera to capture those moments which you’ll ultimately use to entice new clients.

However, your most important gadget is likely to be your smartphone. The multifaceted nature and the constant innovations being made in the world of smartphone technology means that not only have these devices become indispensable, but if you’re going to pursue being a tour guide, then it is an essential item.

From its capacity to take great photos to something as simple as its flash-light in case you’re doing cave tours for instance, a smartphone’s utility cannot be understated in today’s age of technology.

A variety of apps exist as well that can only aid you in a number of tasks and activities. There are weather apps, safety apps, booking and payment tool apps – the list is endless. 

Making use of appropriate vehicles

While the laws vary from country to country, having an appropriate vehicle comes with a slew of requirements including, and not limited to, passenger liability and annual road worthy tests.

Special licensing is also required for operators of vehicles deemed fit to carry a certain number of passengers.

The rules that govern the traffic requirements of being a tour operator are strict and must be adhered to. As important as having all the documentation in order for a vehicle, is the documentation required to serve as a tour guide.

In countries where it’s heavily regulated, you will need to pass an examination giving you the rights to operate within a specific region of the country you’ve elected to showcase.

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