Guided vacations aren’t what they used to be—and that’s a good thing. Today’s guided trips deliver a far richer cultural experience than you could have on your own. Led by tour guides that are destination experts, these getaways offer behind-the-scenes access and connections with locals that simply wouldn’t happen otherwise. Ready to relax and soak it all in while a travel pro handles all the logistics? Here are some of the benefits of going with a tour guide:
1. They’ve Got Insider Tips
Tour guides are often from the places you’ll visit and can share the unique history and culture of their homelands—they see things like a local. They can also offer behind-the-scenes looks at well-known attractions (often with the benefit of expedited entry), and they’re eager to surprise you with their homelands’ hidden delights.
2. They’ve Got Passion
You don’t become a travel tour guide unless you have a deep, abiding passion for travel and a desire to help others have a great experience. It’s literally a tour guide’s job to help you have an enjoyable vacation.
3. You’ll Be Less Stressed
One of the biggest pains of a vacation is the planning. Figuring out how you’re going to occupy each hour of the day can be frustrating and exhausting. With a tour guide, the details are all taken care of, and they’ll handle any problems that might arise along the way.
4. They Know the Local Language
Language barriers are just that: barriers. Miming and pointing can only go so far. It’s nice to have a phrase book in your pocket, but it’s even better having a translator by your side.
5. You Can Live Like a Local
Tour guides’ local knowledge helps you connect directly with residents while you’re introduced to the less-seen facets of daily life—the experiences that make travel memorable. Guided tours offer a chance to participate in local life and culture, like dining with hosts in their homes, farmhouses, wineries, family restaurants and other venues.