Why You Should Hire a Local Guide When Visiting Places (25 Reasons)
Do you have plans to go on a tour somewhere new in your own country or overseas? Visiting places is a great way to make new memories and have exciting experiences you will treasure for life.
But, a visit to a place you are not familiar with might be too overwhelming if you don’t hire a local tour guide.
When you speak of a local tour guide, it doesn’t pertain to those people who are talking too fast you can’t even understand a single word they are saying.
Instead, local tour guides are real life locals who know the place like they know the back of their hands.
While it can be tempting to go out and explore an area all by yourself, there are actually a lot of good reasons why it makes perfect sense to hire a local guide instead.
1. Some Destinations Require Local Guides
The best local guides can make the difference when visiting more complex destinations such as Japan, India or Africa’s safari.
In these instances, a local guide is your lifeline.
They will stay with you throughout your trip and not only for a one-off tour.
Their local savvy and in-depth knowledge can also bring life to a place in a more unique way than possible.
2. Local Guides are Guaranteed Local Experts
A local tour guide knows the best offers of their place and can give you useful insider access that will let you experience the place like a true local.
In some capitals in Europe such as Munich, Paris, and Venice for instance, a local guide can put the art and history brimming in these places into easy to understand the context.
3. Local Guides Let You Get More Out of Your Destination
If you will be joining the usual guided tours, you will be left with no choice but to just stick with the guide’s tried and tested script that has probably been used hundreds of times in the past.
A local guide, on the other hand, knows their stuff. This means that if you like to get a more academic background of your destination, your local guide can give you exactly just that.
The best thing is that they don’t just give you facts. They also know the who, when, where, what, why, and how.
4. Local Guides Make Things Hassle-Free
One thing that probably holds you back from having an epic trip is the fact that you need to figure out every small detail as you go around the place.
- Where should you go?
- How do you get around?
- Where should you ask for directions?
- What restaurants are open late at night?
If you have a local guide by your side, you don’t need to bother with these minute details because they will provide you with everything you need and more.
5. Local Guides Helps You Learn the Culture of the Place Straight from an Insider
One quite important advantage of hiring a local guide when visiting a place is that this gives you the perfect opportunity to learn more about its culture directly from an insider.
A reliable local tour guide can explain to you the local culture in detail.
They can tell you why the locals do this or that at specific times of the day, all of which are presented from the perspective of an insider.
The best thing is that they will also make sure that you won’t feel out of place in the new place.
6. Local Guides Can Answer All Your Questions
If you will ask a lot of questions during a guided tour, the rest of the group will end up annoyed or irritated by you before the tour ends.
With a local tour guide, you could fire away as many questions as you’ve got up your sleeves.
Most of the time, local guides have certifications related to this area whether it is archeology or geology.
They can also put a new twist on your tour according to the certification they have.
7. Get Facts and Stories from Your Local Guide
Sure, at this day and age, it is just easy to go online to look up every fact about a place and do a self-guided tour with the help of good old Wikipedia.
But, doing so might make you end up using your time inefficiently.
What makes a local tour guide more preferable is that they can give you so much more than those facts you can find online.
Local tour guides can tell you the stories behind these facts.
It is these stories that make a place come to life and if you are on a tour with your children, good stories can keep them engrossed instead of reciting a lengthy list of boring facts.
8. Local Guides Engage and Educate
Guides undergo extensive courses in various topics such as art, history, cuisine and architecture, making them expert authorities on their specific destinations.
Also, they have undergone training to engage with clients of different interests and ages in the same group.
For example, they can cater to adults who prefer a cultural tour while keeping little ones entertained simultaneously with treasure hunts, coloring books, or small souvenirs.
9. Local Guides Give You Instant Access to Things You Can’t See Otherwise
One thing you won’t learn from travel books is that most monuments and museums around the world are working with independent local guides that they trust for bringing in visitors without requiring too much the services of on-site staff.
The result is that they become more willing enough to give privileges to those who travel with a guide they know.
When you travel with a tour guide, you also become privy to access things you can’t see otherwise.
Local tour guides also know the fastest ways for getting around a new place just like how you are familiar with getting around your own hometown.
10. Local Guides Enhance Your Trip
If there is a local guide when you visit places, you can look forward to an enhanced traveling experience.
Good guides know the perfect hours for visiting the attractions so the big crowds can be avoided.
They also know how to stay away from rush hour. They also have tricks up their sleeves to allow you to make the most out of the hottest destinations even if there are big crowds present.
11. Hiring a Local Guide is Cost and Time Efficient
There is no need for you to end up wasting your time planning your itinerary because your guide can do it on your behalf.
Good guides can structure the itinerary to make it time efficient and allow you to visit more spots.
Maybe you feel like hiring a guide is just an added expense. How will it help you save money, then? Well, it’s simple.
If you have a guide, you don’t need to figure out your route on your own and it also eliminates the risks of getting lost that might lead to more unnecessary expenses.
12. Local Guides Can Help You Skip Those Long Lines and Queues
There is nothing as frustrating as wasting your precious and limited vacation time falling in line under the heat of the sun or the cold rain.
When you hire a local guide, you can expect expedited entry to the different sites and sights.
And even if you are on the ground already, your guide can still make some special arrangements for you, such as when you decide to visit another area on the last minute.
13. Local Guides Save You from Making Embarrassing Cultural Mistakes
During your travel, it is only normal to worry if you are doing things right and to ensure that you don’t end up offending people with different cultural backgrounds.
But still, it can be tricky to try to avoid making cultural mistakes such as in greetings, accommodation, or diet.
Foreigners aren’t used to the culture so arguments are sometimes common.
When you have no idea about the culture of the place you are visiting and you don’t want to make careless mistakes, your local guide can tell you some stories of their culture and even inform you on where and what you have to keep cautious.
14. Your Local Guide Can Tailor Your Tour to Your Preferences
A local guide can tailor your tour to your specific interests.
If architecture or history is your cup of tea, they could provide you a tour of a more historical context.
It doesn’t matter if you are on a tour with your kids, you are from overseas or you already got basic knowledge of the place, your local guide can tailor your tour to you and not generalize as is common in large groups.
They can give you the kind of tour that you will find engaging.
15. Local Guides Can Change Plans and Adapt to Situations Immediately
With nuanced knowledge of the destination and extensive local contacts, local guides are always at your service and change the schedule of the day easily such as when your kid suddenly throws a tantrum that a visit to the museum should be replaced with a candy store visit instead.
They are experts in modifying tours as needed as well as transfers and dinner reservations to help you save time and make things less stressful on your part, which sometimes comes in very handy if you are traveling with kids.
16. Local Guides Will Make Sure You Will See Everything You Want and Wish to See
One more thing you will love about hiring local guides is that they will make sure that you can see the specific attractions and sights you really want to see without sticking to same old tourist route.
Your local guide can give you a more individual experience with more personalized touch.
To make things even better, they can even let you in on discounted admission fees to attractions and even the taxi, bus, subway, and boat fares.
17. You Can Become More Familiar with the Place Thanks to Your Local Guide
There are times when a new place can feel overwhelming and downright scary at times.
You have no idea where to begin and you can’t even understand the local language.
A local guide can help you become more comfortable with the area throughout your trip.
You can ask your guide to teach you how to use their public transport system.
They can also tell you the best places to eat and they can even accompany you there, show you the right way of placing an order or how to eat a dish unfamiliar to you.
18. Local Guides Offer a Sense of Security
There are some areas where red tape and bureaucracy make it hard for visitors to get to places while other areas are just unsafe for solo travelers.
For many travelers, the value of hiring a local expert who can show them around the place and help them score good deals with the locals is simply priceless.
When you have a local guide, you can enjoy the added security of knowing where you are going.
And when there is another person with you while exploring, you will also feel more secure.
19. Local Guides Can Give You the Chance to Participate in Local Festivals
It is easy for travelers to get overwhelmed with the packed schedules for their trip that they just have no idea where and how to have fun.
Thanks to a local tour guide, you can easily immerse yourself in the fantastic cultural festivals of the place you are visiting.
It is an even more exciting way to learn about the place and just enjoy its very essence to the fullest.
20. Local Guides Teach You How to Find and Eat Delicious Local Food
Everyone loves to go on a food trip when visiting a new place and your local guide can offer some great suggestions for the best places to grab delish meals.
Hiring a local guide can also come in helpful if you have food allergies or restrictions but the severe language barrier makes it impossible for you to communicate well.
You can just inform your guide instead and they can recommend you the places where you can eat based on your needs and preferences.
21. Hiring a Local Guide Makes Sense if You Want to Chill Out
It doesn’t really matter what type of traveler you are, arranging your travel is the most taxing part of any trip.
There are people who are simply not good at checking and gathering important details from different sources while some are easy to fall for misleading information.
With the help of your local guide, you can be more at ease and relaxed so you can chill instead and use your time and energy on the things that really matter in your itinerary.
You can have a fun night instead of spending it researching about what to do the following day.
22. Local Guides are Better Than Local Friends
As the world has become more connected, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you actually have someone you know in the place you are visiting.
But there are instances when even if you consult them, they might fall short in giving you all the details you need unless they are a tour guide themselves, of course.
Also, it might not be polite to ask your friends to give you a tour of the place, which makes a local guide a better choice.
23. Your Local Guide Can Help You Take the Best Photos
Photos are the best ways for you to capture and relive the memories you made during your travel.
Photos of tourist spots will be boring if you are not in them anyway.
Say goodbye to those selfies and ask your guide to take photos for you instead.
24. Hiring a Local Guide is a Great Way to Support the Local Businesses
A very important thing you can do when travelling somewhere new is supporting the local entrepreneurs.
It is something you can do easily by hiring a local guide.
This will bring in more income to their communities and help build the economy of the area and promote its potential for tourism.
Travelers visiting a place with a local tour guide can expect a more rewarding and authentic experience filled with the most interesting tales.
25. You Can Gain a New Friend in Your Local Guide
After you spent the whole day or several days with your local guide, you just didn’t meet someone new because you also gained yourself a new friend that you can continue to keep in touch with even after you go back home.
This new companion of yours is someone you can also contact should you decide to visit again or someone you know is in the area and needs help as well.
There is more to places than the photos you see.
If you really want to immerse yourself in a more different and detailed perspective of a new place, hiring a local tour guide is one of the best decisions you can ever make in your life.