Choosing the Right Travel Guide for Your Trip
Having an awesome travel guide can make all the difference on a trip, as they will be personally leading you through your adventure and a part of pretty much everything that happens along the way. If you love your guide, you will love your trip. However, there are good and bad guides out there, so make sure you are heading off with the best in the business.
Before you head off on your epic adventure, make sure your guide has some kind of training to be doing what he or she is taking you off to do. Having guiding credentials, wilderness first aid training, or any other training is far better than having nothing, so make sure you are not heading off into the middle of nowhere with someone who is doing this trip for the first time.
Nobody knows the area like the locals, so if you ever have a choice between two guides who seem to have similar amounts of knowledge, always go with the local guide. Even if someone else knows as much about the area as the local guide, no one is going to have the same support network as a local if anything goes wrong.
The best way to pick between travel guides is to see what their former customers have to say about them, as regardless of all the credentials and the local knowledge, if they are a pain to be around you are better off going with someone else. If a guide claims to have been in business for a long time but has no reviews to show you, hire someone else. Local hotels and accommodation places will also often have their own opinions on who the best local guides are.
Choose a guide who has the backing of a comprehensive insurance plan, just in case anything should happen. It is extremely rare for there to be any kind of problem, but if there is, make sure you aren’t left high and dry by an uninsured guide. You have a right to know what kind of insurance coverage they have, and if they won’t answer your questions, choose a guide who will.
The more experience a travel guide has the bigger an asset they are going to be to you, both in terms of knowing how to provide you with the best possible experience, as well as being able to handle absolutely anything that may come up along the way. More experienced guides are often more likely to have the best connections with any of the other locals, and maybe even get you a deal on local resort accommodation if you book it through them.
A guide may have all of the best training and be a really nice person, but if they are far too intense and energetic for you, it can make a trip less than enjoyable. Try and get a sense of just how relaxed or intense your guide options are, so you can find someone who will challenge you just enough without making your trip a living hell. Chances are you will be paying good money for your guide, so make sure you are paying for the right person.