“They may forget what you said… but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Carl W. Buehner
Here are 7 reasons for hiring a tourist guide:
1. A guide will tailor a tour to your needs and tastes.
A guide can create your itinerary, arrange your transportation and even probably save you money. He/She can offer tips on where and what to eat, what to enjoy and what to avoid. He/She can adjust and deliver a family-friendly tour to a family with children or a fact-filled one to a group of history buffs. A knowledgeable guide can emphasize on the important facts of any sightseeing visit, and this will prove quite valuable especially when you have very little time in one place. This is a very common occurrence when on a cruise with limited time at each port.
2. A guide can take you to places that you would never know about.
Even if you spend hours searching the Internet or reading guide books, you will never really know the lesser-known places of interest. A good guide can tell you all the best places frequented by the locals and how to experience your trip as a true insider.
3. A guide will point out things that you would never notice.
A guide will explain and make sense of what you are looking at. He/She will make what may seem as a pile of stones come alive! A guide will put what you are seeing in its historical, religious and cultural context. He/She can answer questions about anything that sparks your curiosity. He/She will tell you about the customs, habits and morals of the people and explain what makes the country different from yours.
4. Using a guide is the best use of your time.
The hassles of obtaining tickets, making reservations, checking operating hours are easy for a good tour guide. A tour guide will always know the best hours to visit attractions, when prices are best, which places you can skip and any number of tricks and tactics that will help you get the most out of travel to a heavily visited location. A good guide might bring you to an attraction in the morning before the crowds arrive, or arrange for a private, after-hours tour. You’ll get to do and see more when hiring an expert.
5. A guide is educated and trained to guide and then licensed by the Portuguese Ministry of Tourism.
You need to be a university degree holder in Tourism and then to attend a 3-year bachelor degree and approve in the National Exam for Tour Guiding in order to become certified. Only certified tourist guides by the Portuguese Ministry of Tourism may conduct tours within monuments and museums in Portugal. Licensed guides can be recognized by the badge they have to wear when on duty.
6. A guide is your personal resource.
He/She can answer your questions and is able to suggest things that match your interests, both before and during your trip. In places that are exceptionally rich in historical or cultural significance, an educated tour guide can offer a depth of experience and knowledge to which no guidebook, audio guide or plaque-reading will come even close. A good guide can explain the stories behind the monument, temple or statue and is always up-to-date with the facts.
7. A guide is a new-found friend in a foreign country
When hiring a tourist guide when abroad, you will always have your personal connection in that country. You can always contact your guide and inquire information, refer your friends or book your next trip easily and hassle-free, while saving a whole lot.
Although a certified tourist guide is an optional service when visiting, it is worth your time and effort investing in one. A guide will enhance your experience of this country and will save you a lot of time, money and hassle.