So, why to choose a local guide?
You’re not the kind of person who takes the shorter and more simple way. You prefer to get lost, just for the heck of it. You like eating that weird local food because it is just part of the adventure! Or maybe you like meeting locals. If you have an addiction to travel, you probably want an exclusive, yet uncommon, experience. So why would you book a package vacation with an unprofessional or not-local guide when you could get a peculiar taste of local life(style)?
Hire a local guide and you’ll have an amazing and unforgettable experience. This will bring you off the beaten path so to come upon face-to-face with locals, visit tourist-free sites, taste unique food and browse local artisans’ wares. You’ll have the possibility to see something uncommon and different. You’d be surprised on how many affinities people share across the planet. The joy of travelling encompasses all the senses and lots of memories are made by the unique and the unexpected. You’re not going to find much of that if you stick to hotel’s pool and tourism offices.
Letting a local guide show you around gives you a chance to meet other locals and experience how people really live. You’ll be able to ask everything you want to everybody, also to that nice “only-strict-dialects-speaking” grandpa sitting over there. This changes your holiday into a real and unforgettable trip.
Buying local supports local farmers and artisans, the local economy. This helps sustain the very people who make your destination worth visiting. By booking with a local guide, you’re ensuring your money stays in the place you’re falling in love with.
Probably you visited Pompei, Ercolanum, Amalfi… the “you must see that place“, and then? what else? Do you really want to invest your hard-earned money and precious vacation time into hanging around a bunch of other tourists boxed into buses, without ever venturing into the unknown? It can be tough staying in a new place; sometimes, you don’t even know the right questions to ask. A professional local guide can help you, and can introduce you to things you didn’t even know you didn’t know. Going local ensures that you will have an authentic, unique experience. Why? because a local guide does the legwork, literally, for you. In one day you can have the experience that took months to acquire. Discover the hidden treasures — point of view, small churches, open gardens — that were unnoticed at a “first-glance”.
Exploring a place with a local guide gives you an intimacy and a personal connection that just isn’t possible doing alone or with a big company or unprofessional guides. The first because alone or in a group of 30 people this could be simply impossible, the last because they want to “lemonize you”, squeezing money out of you (like a lemon), with commissions on restaurants, shops and transport uncaring about locals, environment, folway… oh, by the way, a professional local guide knows which cultivar of lemon is cultivated in every garden and all the uses of the fruit (and juice, zest, flowers, leaves), not only limoncello!
Usually people book a local guide with big travel companies because they’re safe and it is easier. These days most people in the local tourism industry have a website, a Facebook account, an online presence and with all those stars, giving out ratings, it doesn’t take long to reliably assess who they are and what they’re about. Yet, many of them, have a secure online payment systems like Paypal, which is a leader in antifraud technology, so you’ll be able to hire a local guide online and safely. Before confirming anything with a local guide, or if you’re feeling a little hesitation, ask some questions, like:
What will we do on the tour?
How many people will join the tour?
How much experience do you have as a guide?
What do you do aside from guiding? Is guiding a second job done in spare time?
Why do you enjoy being a local guide?
Are you a registered guide and are you insured?
A reliable, experienced and registered guide will have a lot to say about the area and shouldn’t hesitate to answer your questions.