Booking local tour guides is fast becoming a lot of travellers’ favourite way to see the world. Booking a local helps the community you are travelling to and can also help your bank account. Check out our 5 reasons why you need to start booking local guides now!
1. Help the local community
By booking local people to show you around you can bypass large agencies who might not even be based in the areas you are travelling in. Often, professional tour guides are based out of larger cities and travel when they are hired to give tours. There are plenty of companies offering an extensive list of local guides, sometimes even in the most obscure locations. For many of these people (especially in poorer regions around the world), it is a much needed second source of income. Besides, these guys really know the area and give you a really authentic experience in any of your destinations.
2. Have Extra Friends From Different Culture
Lots of local guides go on to keep in regular contact with the people they show around. It really is a great chance to make friends. Before you know it you could have a list of contacts from all over the world. It’s also a great way to learn about different cultures. You may even be able to show them around if they ever decide to explore your neck of the woods!
3. Help You to Save Money
This works on a few different levels. Local guides are cheaper than professionals. Many guides work at a rate of around 10USD per hour, this is much cheaper than booking with an agency. Secondly, they will help you avoid the tourist traps (if you so wish) which often have a symbiotic relationship with profession travel agencies. Last, but definitely not least, they can help you to haggle (where haggling is part of the culture). If you want your local to help you get a good deal on some souvenirs they happily will, they know the language and the customs and can get you some really good deal that all the other tourists are missing out on
4. Learn Cultural Insights that you Can’t get Elsewhere.
Lots of professional guides give the same tours every day. This means your tour may be getting the cookie-cutter treatment. A local will show yo what real life is like in their area. More often than not you will be one-on-one with your guide so they will have lots of chances to talk and you will have lots of chances to learn! Also, you get to create the travel itinerary so you get to see the things that really interest you.
5. Save Your time
I can’t count a number of hours I have spent on tours standing to wait for the group to move on or walking around attractions that didn’t really interest me. Booking a local guide allows you to build the itinerary around what you would like to do or see. If something isn’t interesting you move on it as easy as that! This can help you to maximise the enjoyment you get out of your trip!