Do you enjoy traveling? If you like to tour the cities you visit, to see historical landmarks in addition to local hotspots and more, it may be a good idea for you to go on a guided tour. It can be difficult to figure out how to schedule in everything you want to see when you're new to an area.
Guided tours are a great way to see a lot of the city in a shorter span of time. Guides know the best pathways and the fastest way to get from place to place. Plus they can help you figure out what's worth visiting and what you can skip. But when going on a tour, make sure you remember a few basic things so you don't annoy your guide. Here are ten things tour guides can't stand.
10 Show up late
When you show up late on tours, it's a big deal. A few minutes shaved off the experience may not seem like a problem to you, but it can throw off the tour guides whole day. When people are late, the tour has to start later.
Generally, tour guides are hosting several throughout the day. When one runs late, that means later tours will probably run late. So not only do you inconvenience the tour guide but you may also cause delays for other tourists and patrons who actually do show up on time.
9 Try to rush the tour along
The tour just started and suddenly you realize that you have other plans that might be held up if the tour goes for as long as its plan to. You get done with each area long before everyone else is looking around.
You constantly nag the guide about "how the long tour is," "is it really a full two hours?" and asking "how long before go to the next place?" It's extremely rude, both to the tour guide who has prepared the tour and to other patrons. Tour the city alone if you don't like adhering to someone else's schedule.
8 Don't come prepared
It's important to know where you're going and the travel conditions of wherever your tour is planned. In most cases, your tour guide is not going to come prepared with things like sunscreen, umbrellas, water bottles, or other miscellaneous items. They will prepare for their own needs as you should too.
If you're going on a walking tour, wear comfortable shoes. If you know it's going to be sunny, make sure you have sunscreen and dress comfortably. Tour guides can't control the weather, but you can look ahead and consider what you should wear to be sure you're ready for what the tour entails.
This is common courtesy and yet plenty of tourists don't adhere to it. When your tour guide is talking, it's only polite to not interrupt them. They know what they're doing, they will leave you time to ask them questions. There is no need to feel pressured to get your questions answered in the middle of the dialogue.
It's even worse when you interrupt them to make a correction. Tour guides are people too, and maybe there are times they make mistakes. But the worst time to bring it up is the middle of their spiel. It's embarrassing, for them, and more so for you. You won't win yourself friends with anyone else in the group who is trying to listen and learn.
6 Ruin the experience for other guests
Almost everything on this list is just as annoying to other tourists on the tour as it is to the tour guide themselves. Keep in mind that everything you do on a tour is going to affect the people around you. If you aren't following the rules, you can ruin the experience for everyone else.
Tourists who wander off, act rudely, ask insistent questions about when the tour ends, where they're going next, why they aren't visiting XYZ, etc. are going to aggravate everyone in the vicinity. Even worse, you could wind up getting the tour held up if you get yourself into trouble in the area.
5 Be a know-it-all
No one likes a know-it-all. In most situations, people who believe themselves superior to others are going to be annoying. On tours, it is especially problematic to have a patron who believes they know better than the tour guide. Tour guides are trained to do their jobs and often, they don't make much money.
It's not enjoyable for them to have someone in the crowd who tries to correct them, or follows up everything they say with, "Well, actually..." Just don't do it. Even if you do happen to know better, you're not going to win any favors by sharing your intellect in this setting.
4 Lack of participation
Not doing anything at all can be just as frustrating for tour guides as people who interrupt and get over-involved. Tour guides feed off the energy of their audience. It's not much fun to be on a tour with people who are unenthused and would rather be somewhere else. Make sure a tour is what's right for you before embarking.
Tour guides do want you to ask questions! Don't be afraid. They would rather you ask a stupid, but earnest, question (at the proper time), than just stand around stiffly ignoring everything they have to say. Just make sure you are listening and not asking a question that has just been answered.
3 Bad hygiene
Out of respect for the people you'll be spending an extended amount of time with, potentially in cramped quarters, make sure you're taking care of yourself in a hygienic sense. Some tours are walking and you may sweat, it's to be expected, so prepare accordingly and stock up on your deodorant.
Other tours are by bus or in a boat, if you're going to be a small space with multiple strangers, it's only polite to ensure you are smelling your best. No one wants to be made uncomfortable sitting next to someone that is clearly not taking care of their body. It makes it awkward for everyone involved.
2 Get lost
If you're on a tour pay attention to your tour guide. Don't wander off on your own. There have been many incidents with tourists getting lost because they aren't watching their tour guide or their group, they get caught up in looking around, and then suddenly they're left behind.
Tour guides aren't like parent chaperones on high school field trips. They don't have time to do headcounts at every single stop, especially if it's a big group and a long tour. As adults, they expect their patrons to be able to take care of themselves and follow diligently along.
1 Don't tip
For some reason, people don't realize that tour guides should be tipped just like anyone else providing a service similar. You tip your taxi drivers, and they get to drive you around in silence. Why wouldn't you tip the person you just spent a couple of hours with that has taken the time to educate you and take you around to the city's best sights?
Tour guides also aren't exactly raking in tons of money, even a couple extra bucks from everyone who attended is going to go a long way. If you appreciated them and thought they did a good job, show them that with a nice tip at the end of the tour.