Would you recommend tour guides?

Old Oct 20th, 2022, 08:01 PM
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Would you recommend tour guides?

Hello everyone, I just wanted to get your thoughts on this, as I have never used a local tour guide before. What are their pros and cons, are they worth the extra cost? The important thing during my vacation (it has been a while) is that I really don't want to worry about anything and just want to relax. Please share your thoughts! Thank you!
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Old Oct 20th, 2022, 08:14 PM
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FireChariot ~ Welcome to the Fodor's travel forums. I love to plan my own trips so have never thought to use a travel agent. Do you mean a tour guide as in joining and organized group?
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Old Oct 21st, 2022, 05:28 AM
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It depends on where you are going. If it's a familiar and easy to navigate area, you should be fine on your own. Otherwise, a tour guide can be helpful and informative.
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Old Oct 21st, 2022, 06:51 PM
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In 40+ years of travel use private tour guides many, many times in and for the most part theyve been excellent. When we travel to a new area or city we usually hire a private tour guide for our first day as it gives us a excellent way to get an informed feel for the particular town/area we are visiting. Im most instances the tour guide gave us useful tips on what to see and do on our own during the rest of our visit. We find the extra cost of a private guide to well worth it. Depending on where we visited and the length of our trip weve sometimes used the same guide on multiple days or different guides in different areas or days.
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Old Oct 23rd, 2022, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
FireChariot ~ Welcome to the Fodor's travel forums. I love to plan my own trips so have never thought to use a travel agent. Do you mean a tour guide as in joining and organized group?
Thank you! Yup, more of a private travel guide than a big group type.

I guess it will definitely depend on which area or tour you are getting. We are still planning our trip and no solid destinations yet.
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Old Oct 24th, 2022, 06:32 AM
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We have certainly learned more about some areas by hiring a private tour guide.
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Old Oct 24th, 2022, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by schmerl View Post
We have certainly learned more about some areas by hiring a private tour guide.
Which area did you use a tour guide for?
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Old Oct 25th, 2022, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by FireChariot View Post
Which area did you use a tour guide for?
Israel, Jordan, some parts of the US Canyon lands, Quebec, Montreal, and I'm sure there are others. It really depends on your destination. We've taken walking tours with guides in some US cities.
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Old Oct 25th, 2022, 07:03 PM
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I see, God willing, we plan on going to Israel in the future, we will definitely need a tour guide there.

As for us, I think we will go ahead with a tour guide in our next trip Thank you for sharing your experience!
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Old Oct 25th, 2022, 10:25 PM
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Hi Fire Chariot,

I've used and enjoyed tour guides in a few places ... Regensburg, Paris, Orvieto & Gubbio, for example. My friend was the one who actually forced me to do the first one -- we were travelling together, and she said you can't ask questions of a tour book. I'm happy she did!

My nephew and his girlfriend visited me here in Germany, and I got them day-tours for almost all of their stops: Garmisch, Nuremberg, Salzburg, & Munich. They loved every single one of them.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Nov 29th, 2022, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by swandav2000 View Post
Hi Fire Chariot,

I've used and enjoyed tour guides in a few places ... Regensburg, Paris, Orvieto & Gubbio, for example. My friend was the one who actually forced me to do the first one -- we were travelling together, and she said you can't ask questions of a tour book. I'm happy she did!

My nephew and his girlfriend visited me here in Germany, and I got them day-tours for almost all of their stops: Garmisch, Nuremberg, Salzburg, & Munich. They loved every single one of them.

Have fun as you plan!

s
Sorry been gone for a while, currently busy at work and still planning Hoping all is well with you. Getting anxious since I plan to travel early next year

Last edited by FireChariot; Nov 30th, 2022 at 12:00 AM.
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Old Dec 13th, 2022, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by FireChariot View Post
Sorry been gone for a while, currently busy at work and still planning Hoping all is well with you. Getting anxious since I plan to travel early next year
We have used many guides. Like you once at a destination its nice to know its taken care of so you can just relax.
On top of that you can get to know locals and see things from their eyes. One guy we hired in Barbados gave us a great tour which included a stop at his sisters bar (he asked us BTW) and we had a ball chatting with her and local Bajans.
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Old Dec 14th, 2022, 04:02 AM
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I prefer a guide for a day (or a hop on hop off tour) to a guided group trip. Even a tip-based free tour can be helpful.

If you're going somewhere "exotic" for the first time, I can understand wanting to use a travel agent even if just to have a local contact. Most of the time, I haven't bothered with one but sometimes it doesn't cost much more than doing your own bookings. The trick is finding a trustworthy one. I also find the hotels to be helpful for arranging transfers and day tours.

Last edited by mlgb; Dec 14th, 2022 at 04:07 AM.
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Old Dec 14th, 2022, 06:00 PM
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I would make the distinction between Travel Agent and Tour Guide. And even then, I don't necessarily think it's a "One Size Fits All" situation. At least, it's not for me.

Travel Agents: Unless it's a particularly complex routing or one that requires TA booking for some places/planes/boats - I prefer to do my own bookings. And even then, I'm wary. I don't want to turn up at an airline or hotel check-in counter, find there's a problem .... and 2am wherever the Travel Agent is located. The airline/hotel wont deal with me because I didn't make the booking and it's 7 hours until the Travel Agent's office is open. That said, I've had a few better priced deals on routes and connections of my choosing, through Travel Agents than I could find/get. So - travel bookings: Maybe.

Itineraries: Never. It would be fair to say that in my years here and on TA, I've seen far too many terrible Itineraries put together by Travel Agents which betray their ignorance of the geography, distances, climate, current conditions of the places they are recommending and of the interests of their clients, to ever rely on one to plan an Itinerary for me. Horses for courses, but my horse won't be on that course anytime soon.

Tour Guides: I think they can add a lot to special interest places and events - generally 1 day or less. Or if on a group tour, very limited numbers & days. As an example, a trip to Kakadu & Litchfield national parks in Australia's Northern Territory was immeasurably better with the indigenous guide to show us all manner of plants and other things, including good swimming holes, that we would either not have seen or not recognised, left to our own devices.

Other than that, I prefer to research and do my own thing in cities and on road trips. There's a wealth of information lots of self-guided tours available. And I like the "City Greeter" idea offered in many places.A guide in a way, but a volunteer local. I think Forums like Fodors and more especially Trip Advisor are invaluable resources with an immediacy and range of viewpoints and experience that can't be matched by travel books.

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Old Dec 14th, 2022, 10:32 PM
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Would you recommend tour guides?

Originally Posted by FireChariot View Post
Hello everyone, I just wanted to get your thoughts on this, as I have never used a local tour guide before. What are their pros and cons, are they worth the extra cost? The important thing during my vacation (it has been a while) is that I really don't want to worry about anything and just want to relax. Please share your thoughts! Thank you!
Your local tour guide will take you to streeets and corners you have never explored, food joints and architectural structures you have never seen before, and provide you with cultural and historical infromation. Their objective is to show you the best side of a his/her country that you have never seen before. Recently I had family trip to Vietanm, We hired there personal local guide thats was really such good experience. We can't explore that places ourself even visiting again and again over there.
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Old Dec 16th, 2022, 06:32 AM
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I consider cost of travel guides to well worth it. They help me not just to learn new things, live like a local, get useful tips but also to maintain all this new info. I do memorize information better when somebody tells me stories and shares the experiences
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Old Dec 25th, 2022, 04:08 PM
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Thank you for this, as I love to hear other people's stories as well.
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Old Dec 29th, 2022, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by swandav2000 View Post
Hi Fire Chariot,

I've used and enjoyed tour guides in a few places ... Regensburg, Paris, Orvieto & Gubbio, for example. My friend was the one who actually forced me to do the first one -- we were travelling together, and she said you can't ask questions of a tour book. I'm happy she did!

My nephew and his girlfriend visited me here in Germany, and I got them day-tours for almost all of their stops: Garmisch, Nuremberg, Salzburg, & Munich. They loved every single one of them.

Have fun as you plan!

s
Hi! I am planning a Germany vacation for my family this summer and Nuremburg, Salzburg and Munich are on the list. Do you have the tour information on those cities? Thanks!!
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Old Jan 5th, 2023, 03:49 PM
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It depends on the activity really - like someone said above if a place is easy to navigate then it's better without. Also, if going ahead with a tour guide, check their reputation and feedback, and check if they allow free cancellation to the last minute.
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