Choosing the Best Tour Guide/Operator

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A tour guide and tour operator can make or break your journey; they are at the core of your trip and making an excellent choice will be a good step in ensuring great reaping. Jumia Travel explores handy tips to guide you in choosing the right lead for your script.

#1 A good communicator

Communication is key where any effective exchange of ideas and insights is expected. It’s proper and acceptable to pick the nitty gritties when choosing your guide; how long do they take to respond to your inquiries and how conversant are they with your route. When these two are fulfilled, check on their ability to listen and engage as you do not want to go out on a lifetime excursion with an impatient, all-knowing chatterbox or their extreme opposites. On top of driving you crazy with unnecessary information or lack of the needful insights, you will be courting a migraine at the end of the day.

#2 A skillful handyman

Like any other job, the added advantage clause remains constant. Once in the wild, you are likely to encounter incidents and even accidents that will call for some jungle skills that you may not possess. While booking your tours, ask for the qualifications, skills and real-life situations that your guide has handled, better still, you can check out reviews on the hotel or company of working with the guide and ask guests for their experience. You are most likely to get a good recommendation from unbiased reviews, as the guests are less likely to have vested interests in the subject.

#3 Up-to-date with techie-world

In this age of digital-everything and Internet-everywhere, it’s critical that the person taking lead understands a thing or eleven in techie-world. He certainly doesn’t have to be a nerd or a code cracker, but needs to understand basic tools like social media, wifi settings and well, getting the perfect shot just anywhere along his trail. It’s worth of note that communication has migrated from the conventional phone call and email to Whatsapp, Instagram, Telegram and the like; every five people joined by a common purpose -even for just 48 hours will tend to group themselves up to enable sharing of great memories and sightings on the go. A guide needs to be on top of his gadgetry, as well as have a mind open enough to learn new tricks from his tourists.

#4 A little spontaneity is welcome

Dos and don’t while on tour are important, but they need not sound like the Mosaic law. A little spontaneity is definitely welcome and a little deviation from the scripted hour to hour activities will do more good than harm. For instance, the rules may advocate for taking shelter immediately dark clouds are spotted winding their ominous ways to your direction, but if the tourists are game and the terrain does not pause harm to explorers, a good measure of logic and spontaneity will allow you to fully enjoy your trip, as opposed to cutting it short.

tour de area

Base Camp Masai Mara: Tour van drives guests up and close in the wild

#5 The unfailing cheerleader

Sometimes the climb and the trek will become tough, as the energies start diminishing, you’ll definitely need a soul to cheer you up. It maybe challenging to pick out this traits until you meet and interact, but again the internet makes all things close to possible. Fill this in your pre-trip research sheet and find out the most crowned guide on review sites. Your guide must also be planetary, to embrace and respect diverse cultures and customs; positive energy is what we seek to spread while on the course.

#6 Truthful and trustworthy

Commitment to excellent customer service goes beyond a handshake and a glass of cold water at the front desk. There should be no discrepancies in what is said and what is delivered; the same applies to ‘hidden’ costs prone to springing up when least expected. Great guides and operators will table everything at the time of negotiating, give you room to bargain and settle on final costs, charges and expectations without leaving room for future surprises.

#7 That scholarly attitude

They may not know everything under the sun, but it’s within your (paid) rights to expect your guide to have a sterling grasp of your destination and itinerary. Its also their job to keep up with current news on the area as well as global news that could affect his/her locality and offerings. Remember tourism goes beyond sights and sites; you must seek to quench the mind with knowledge, with new information and education wherever you set your tent.

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3 Comments

  1. Cindy Tesler

    November 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Thanks for the tip to choose a tour guide that is a great communicator that can respond quickly to your inquiries. You also mention choosing a tour guide that’s also handy in case something happens on your tour, such as a breakdown. I think it’s a good idea to choose a tour that is also located close to any shops or restaurants that you might want to go to as well.

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