People always have a good fantasy about tour guiding, basing on an image that this job is able to get you to everywhere around the world. Tour guiding is a rewarding job for sure since there are many good chances of exploring different countries and meeting up new foreign friends. In the meantime, tour guiding confronts plenty of challenges and pressures when organizing itineraries, taking care of every guest, and coping with any traveling problems.
If you have made up your mind to become a tour guide, you may need to take a deeper look at the role of tour guides and realize the tears, sweat behind its fantasy as well. We have pointed out the truth about being a tour guide, and made a list of challenges of tour guides you will face once becoming a tour guide in the near future.
Here are the truth and challenges of tour guiding you will face:
No Stable Income & Labor Insurance
This is a brutal problem faced by tour guides. There is no guarantee that tour guides are able to lead a stable number of tour groups in a month. It is possible to have no income during off-season. However, the situation will turn better only if you know how to build up your brand and reputation.
Also you cannot expect to receive labor insurance unless you are officially a company or agent’s employee. If you are concerned about any employment security, the only resolution would be finding other legal approaches, which may be complicated and lengthy to process.
Nearly Work 24 Hours
If you think tour guide is basically traveling with a group of travelers, you completely misconstrue the role of tour guides. Their work mission, instead, is mainly to ensure everything runs smoothly and to satisfy every tourist on tours. Since problems may happen to guests any time, tour guides need to pay one hundred percent attention on tour groups rather than having their own relaxed trips.
As a result, tour guides should be “on” all the time because they have responsibilities to cope with the language barrier, problems with hotel rooms, and other unexpected situations that does not comply with itinerary. Also they are required to understand all detailed traveling information right before gathering at airport, so they usually start working ahead of leading trips.
Although tour guides are not exactly like Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air, their job still requires them to travel with a group of tourists abroad, flying away from their families and friends. One of the problems faced by tour guide is to strike a balance between working and their own private lives—missing out on old friend’s wedding, critical growing moments of children would happen to them due to working in another foreign country.
Of course tour guides are surrounded by many people while working, but those people still cannot feel as intimate as family members and old friends in just a short period of a trip.
You may also be interested:
3 Major Tips to Become a Top-Rated Tour Guide
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Repeat Traveling the Same Place
It may sound appealing to you, but once you travel in the same place with the same itinerary for over forty times, the traveling would deplete your excitement toward the destination little by little.
Eventually, traveling in the destination would turn out just a business trip. This would be a problem faced by tour guide. As a result, it is pretty essential for tour guides reviving their interests in tourist attractions that have repeatedly been to for multiple times, such as creating terrific traveling moments with interesting people on tours.
Being Knowledgeable is a Must
This is the basic role of tour guides but also one of the problems they face. If you want to become a tour guide, you are supposed to understand culture taboo, geography, history of a country. You will deal with language communications, currency exchanges once situations occur, so you have to prepare well all the time. All the actions and decisions you make for tours heavily influence your later business and reputation in this industry. Clearly, tour guides are not merely about physically traveling but also knowing every stuff during a trip.
Test Your Patience
Traveling with people from all over the world is enchanting only if your guests respect you and do not take everything for granted. Tourists with poor attitude or difficult requirements tests your patience. Perhaps there is a need to adjust the time schedule due to weather conditions or traffic problem, sometimes tourists on the tour would complain about your expedient resolution and even try to argue with you. Even if guests are not reasonable, do not really conflict with them. Patiently communicating with them at that moment is a win-win strategy, and that is part of the role of tour guides.
Do the truth and challenges of tour guiding start to change your mind? Despite the challenges of tour guides and problems they face, tour guiding will enrich and reward your life in the meantime for sure.
If you are considering about being a tour guide, MyProGuide is a tourist company which is able to answer your further questions. Also, if you have any career problems with the role of tour guides, we like to resolve them as best as we can.