Be Friendly

A good local guide likes meeting new people. He/she is innovative, quick witted and interesting. To be a good local guide you will want in be in a good humor and smile. All of this is important because otherwise your guests won’t enjoy themselves no matter how good your tour is.

Think about going into a store and meeting a cranky sales person. Unless you really need what they are selling you will leave and buy nothing. Exactly the same thing will happen on your tour except your guests can’t leave. They have booked you and will probably stick with it. However, in their heads they will be thinking, “What a horrible experience- and this is our vacation!”

If you are having a really bad day and are in a rotten mood consider asking another guide to cover for you. Another plan of attack is to explain to your guests that you are upset and apologize in advance for any bad behavior you might display. By doing this you have taken them into your confidence and shared something everyone has experienced.

Being friendly includes putting your guests at ease and one of the best ways of doing this is to ask them short easy questions about themselves. You should be asking questions about how their vacation went anyway to determine how they are feeling physically but also ask them about where they are from, What that city is like. Why they have come to your city on holiday etc. Judge by their responses how receptive they are and don’t ask very personal questions like whether they are married or not. This is still a professional relationship.

Being friendly is much easier if you enjoy meeting new people. However, even if you are not gregarious by nature you can still be a good guide. Above all be yourself. If you have a hobby or passion share it with your guests and if they display more than polite interest keep talking while also asking them questions about their own experiences doing the same activities. Learning about where your guests are from and their hobbies can be fascinating. For example, did you know Norway doesn’t have street signs?

Getting in the habit of a smiling and being in a good humor will make your own experience as a guide much more enjoyable. Good moods are contagious and habit forming. Make them a part of your daily outlook and a part of your life.