Creating a unique travel experience means that a person is ready to embrace interacting with the locals, the local food and culture. So, peer-to-peer travel experiences are gaining popularity in recent years. Local guides have been on the rise as they provide an out-of-the-guidebook experience for travelers while making some extra money on the side.
Thus, if you haven’t decided what your calling will be, you might want to consider becoming a local guide in your city or area. This is an especially good idea if you’re passionate about your city, its culture, history and interesting places and if you want to share your knowledge with travelers. Here is how to get the vocation with local visits and earn some money along the way.
Tips to Get the Vocation with Local Visits
Earning money by hosting a private tour or experience in your city is now easier than ever. You can either organize the whole thing on your own or use a free platform, such as Withlocals, to help you share your passion and love for your city. Here are some useful tips on becoming a local tour guide as there is no better way to show a city than through the eyes of a local.
Create Your Own Tour
As there are probably many tour guides in your city, you should stand out by creating a unique tour which will blow travelers’ minds. So, you should think of cool places visitors don’t know about or share your knowledge about local food. However, creating your own customized tour requires plenty of research. Thus, prior to deciding which parts and things you’ll include in your tour, make sure you go on a variety of tours to see what you like. You can book a tour on a sightseeing bus or go to museums and historic sites. It might be best if you go on these tours with a friend or a family member who will share their likes and dislikes about the tour with you.
Make sure you write down all the pros and cons of different kinds of tours, as well as, all information they share. Travelers are all about learning interesting facts about the places they visit. Hence, you should learn every interesting fact about your city and that usually means going to libraries or looking for information online.
Check Out Tour Guide Associations’ Websites
Most cities around the world have professional organizations of tour guides which help people like you get a job and advance their careers. If you think that you won’t be able to manage to create a tour and work on your own, it’s always best to contact a professional. These organizations don’t only offer jobs, but also plenty of educational opportunities.
Moreover, you can also use free platforms which empower locals like you to host a private tour or experience to visitors. Plenty of travelers use these platforms to find a local to guide them and show them the best there is in a city. So, this can be the perfect opportunity for you to meet people from all over the world and earn some extra money while doing so. Additionally, doing local work will help you enhance your resume and you’ll gain plenty of experience while staying in your comfort zone. Plus, you can always keep looking for travel-oriented jobs while you’re working!
As soon as your account and tour profile are approved, you can expect to receive bookings directly to your email. The bookings usually contain details about the customer and there is sometimes a possibility to contact the visitors prior to the tour if you wish. If you are on an online platform, it will be easier for you to get the necessary promotion and look more professional. Moreover, some online platforms guarantee your payment even with late cancellations and no shows.
Meet Your Guests
After you receive bookings, you will have to meet the travelers and show them your city. Moreover, you should share all your knowledge, interesting stories and legends, provide recommendations and help them experience authentic local culture. Your tour will rank higher if you receive positive feedback and ratings, which means more work and money.
Likewise, it’s very important to embrace being around people and be ready to answer questions constantly and handle difficult personalities. Being a good storyteller and a cheerful person is a must if you want to be successful. Having engaging tours and enduring your group respects the environment is a must.
Money shouldn’t be your primary goal, but let’s face it – we all have bills to pay. Hence, there are two kinds of tours you can earn money on, free and paid tours. During the free tours the travelers usually give you a tip what they feel your tour is worth. So, the tips usually range from 5 to 20+ euros. On the other hand, you can create your own tour which has a fixed price. Thus, travelers pay a 20% deposit at the point of booking and the remaining balance directly to you. It goes without saying that free tours are the preferred way for travelers to discover cities.