Good First Impression

As a guide you will want to pay attention to your personal appearance, the appearance of the routes you use during your tour and the appearance of your vehicle if you will be driving. Tourists are seeing your city and you for the first time. Everything related to your tour can be affected by a bad first impression. There is no reason to start off on the wrong foot and make things harder for yourself.

As a guide you should have good personal hygiene. Make sure you shower, use deodorant, shave and brush your hair. If you are a woman put on a modest amount of make up. Pay particular attention to your teeth and your breath. If you have a problem with halitosis go to a dentist and see if you can fix the problem. No one wants to listen to a guide with bad breath. Dress in business casual and wear very comfortable shoes. If you have trouble with swelling in your legs and ankles look into buying compression hose or socks (Jobst is a good brand). Compression hose are like thick tights and they will help keep your feet from swelling if you have to walk or stand for long periods during your tour. Layer your clothing so that you can easily stay comfortable. Bring a jacket and/or a hat and an umbrella depending on the weather. Bring a small backpack to carry your medical kit, water, small snacks, maps and other personal items. Make sure all your clothing is clean and pressed and in good condition. Ask a friend for their opinion about how you look.

When you are designing your tour think about the appearance of your city. Plan your travel routes along the most scenic and beautiful roads even if it takes a bit longer. A tourist will be seeing your city for the first time and things you don’t even see any more like a vacant lot will scream out at them as an eyesore. You always want your city to make a great impression. One tourist can go home and spread the word that your city is a fabulous place to vacation to twenty-five friends. Tourists don’t use schools or social services and they spend a lot of money while on vacation. Having a strong tourist industry will boost the coffers of your local government and make your community better. Consider taking them to places that coincide with the traditional impression of your city as well as some nice things that your area has to offer that they wouldn’t expect. For example, in Salt Lake City you would drive your tourists past the Mormon Temple but also take them to that great Sushi bar downtown called Takashi. Sushi in Salt Lake? Who knew?

Lastly, if you will be taking guests in your car you need to make sure the car is in excellent working order and that it is clean. Wash the entire exterior of your car and clean the interior thoroughly. Make sure the seat belts are in good working order and ask your guests to use them. If you can afford it- take your car to a detailer twice a year to keep it looking it’s best.