Perhaps one of the most obvious jobs that requires travel are the Tour Guide Jobs. As a tour guide you have the responsibility of managing a whole tour group of people, taking them from one memorable site to the next. That's right, people work for years to save up their hard earned money so they can spend it all on that one "trip of a lifetime" with you as their tour guide. No pressure, just don't mess up!
There are many varieties of tour guide jobs, ranging from local city tour guides that ride around on double decker busses, to the all out 14 day or more European capital cities tour. In this article we will focus on getting a job as a tour guide who works abroad. This position can also require you to live in the destination country, as the tour group goes to you.
If you are coming from the angle of little or no experience, then you will be seeking the local tour guide job. This is the job that will get you into the business as a newb. It will allow you the experience of leading smaller tours and speaking in front of groups of people. You will also get to accustom yourself to the stupid questions that tourists ask and even see some cool things as well.
This job can be had in a couple ways. If you want to do it in your own city or state, it is easiest. You already have knowledge of the area, so you have less facts to learn and can focus on the other aspects of the job such as public speaking, diving a coach or answering stupid tourist questions as you sell them tickets.
"Is walking required on the walking tour?"
If you are new and still want to give the tour guide business a shot in a faraway land, give the good folks at Cool Works a holler. They have the best list of seasonal tour guide jobs in places like Alaska and other tourism hot spots around the USA. Like many travel jobs abroad, turnover can be quite high, so you will find tour companies are regularly looking for guides and drivers every year starting a month or two before the tourist season begins, usually in summer.
Then you have the long term tour guides. They are away for months at a time doing back to back tours for groups of people who come from around the world. These tour guide jobs might be located in South America, Canada, Europe or Asia and working for a company out of the USA, UK or Australia. These tour guides are in charge of all the tour activities and decide how the tour operates.
This position requires more experience in travel and tourism, but can be yours if you have the right attitude and a solid head on your shoulders. Some positions might require specific training in being a tour guide, while others will hire based on your travel experience, attitude and work history.
The best people to work as a tour guide are the outgoing people who love to travel. You also have to be good at self management as you are out there with little direction from the company. Sure you have your duties, and assignments, but when you are on the other side of the world with a tour group, you will have to be decisive and know how to lead people.
This job is also great for people who love meeting new people from all backgrounds. As a tour guide you will have people from all walks of life joining you as you take them to unforgettable places the world has to offer. You have to be personable and on point at all hours of the day. This is why it is so important to understand the demographic of each of the tour companies you apply for. To understand people and be very personable is the most important aspect.
Beyond that it is helpful to have an interest in specific geographic areas of the world that you may be tour guiding. Europe, South America, Asia, or wherever you end up, that is your home for the next few months, so you better enjoy it.
There is no shortage of tour guide jobs out there. The easiest way that I know of to find and apply for tour guide jobs is to find the kind of tour company you want to work for. Youth adventure travel, old people fancy travel, local tour guide? When you decide that, you can go into Google and search for the companies that offer those tours. Each company has a website, and on each website is generally a career or employment page. I'll even help you get started. Depending on where you are from and where you can legally work, you will have very different options for tour guide jobs.
There are literally hundreds of tour companies who provide tours worldwide and thus need smart tour guides to keep their customers safe and happy. The key to finding the right tour guide job for you is understanding the client demographic of each tour company and applying to the company and clients that works best with your skills and personality.
As mentioned, the high turnover in travel jobs is a symptom of the rigorous schedules, long days and sometimes less than average pay. As a tour guide you might not make a lot of money, you will at the least not have to pay for lodging or food as that is all covered while you are on tour.
This job is best by people who are young and single. It can work if you and your partner are tour guide team together. That is something you can work out if you both fit the job requirements and work it out with the tour company. This job does take you away from your family for months at a time. As well, it can be late nights and early mornings. People do burn out when working this hard.
During the high season you are flat out, working night and day guiding one tour after the next. During the slow season you can expect to have a lot of free time. Many tour guides will head to another part of the country where the tourist season just started and become a tour guide there. This method is also best practiced by singles or people working as a tour guide team.
Finally, depending on the type of tour you are guiding, you may have a lot of opportunities to drink and party with the people in your group. This is especially true with tours aimed at younger folks who may be traveling solo or away from home for the first time. Aus Adventures, Contiki, Gap Adventures and Imaginative Travel are a few of the companies that come to mind. Companies that cater their tours to youth travelers are everywhere, and if you are interested in being a career tour guide, it is a great place to start your career.
What are you waiting for? Make some life decisions and get yourself a tour guide job today.
The world is too amazing not to share.
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