- RESEARCH – A tour guides “spiels” will never ever be finished. Constant research on current affairs, news, knowledge of opening / closing times of sites and attractions, current prices and the newest restaurant or night life hot spot is a must for any guide so that we can relay the most updated of information to our passengers.
Before any tour departs, we are double checking for special events in each city, possible major events that could interrupt public transport or road closures etc, public holidays, pop up markets, pop up attractions or anything that would benefit or potentially hinder the tour.
Local knowledge about where the closest ATM’s, Supermarkets, Chemist, Doctor/Hospitals are located together with the closest public transport options are etc, are also the most common questions, so we need to know / learn this information too. A tour guide will always be perfecting their knowledge and spiels, it is never ending.
2. KNOW YOUR PASSENGERS – Learning your manifest prior to the tour gives you a big advantage.
It tells you:- who is travelling with who, if there are any special interests, dietary requirements, what the average age will be, any comments or things we should know about our travel tribe, which is super important to understanding our guests. These little details go a long way, especially on Day 1 of the tour when you are already familiar with who is who and who needs what.
It also helps you to learn each person’s name! It gives you a glimpse of your passengers before you meet them and will help you set the tone of the tour and understand the needs of the passengers before you even set off.
3. PLAYLISTS – Music has the incredible ability to remind you of some of the most memorable moments of your life.
There are songs that we hear that take you back to a specific moment in time and you remember exactly how you felt, exactly what your saw, exactly the scents & tastes around you. Having the perfect playlist for a destination can make the experience for our passengers much more memorable.
No matter young or old, pairing a WOW moment with the right song has a huge impact on the memories that people will have for a lifetime.
4. PACK YOUR BAG – We are master packers! We can’t afford to forget anything when heading out on the road. We often pack light, take the essentials and will have various amounts of medicines and an assortment of band-aids, creams and multi vitamins (after all, if we get ill, we can’t just call in sick!) However, a successful pack needs preparation and we will never leave packing our bags to the morning of departure, we always have our bag ready to go the night before.
5. REST – Multi day tours require an enormous amount of energy. A tour guide is often the first up in the morning and the last to bed after a long day, even if the passengers don’t see us working, we are! A good guide will make it look like the job is easy & fun, when behind the scenes we are busy ensuring that the logistics of moving a group of passengers seamlessly around many cities, organising dinner arrangements, checking in to all accommodations, managing the social aspect of the group and providing entertaining and interesting commentary, is smooth and stress free for everyone involved.
We must be incredibly organised and often work 2-3 days in advance. A tour guide wears many hats on tour (a walking/talking history book, a travel agent, a teacher, an accountant, an event coordinator, a Mother, a mediator, a photographer, a doctor – the list goes on).
So it’s important that we get proper rest leading up to the tour, to be fresh, energised and to be able to provide a trip of a lifetime.