Teaching English, selling art pieces overseas, editing, blogging, getting a job on a cruise ship, becoming a Youtuber or an Instagram influencer have become popular career choices that many people choose without hesitation, mostly because they get paid to travel the world instead of working from 9 to 5 for a moody superior. If you enjoy discovering fascinating places across the globe and meeting new people, then you should definitely consider becoming an international tour guide. Apart from the most obvious benefit, which refers to seeing more destinations than ever thought possible, you escape the office cubicle, you can achieve the best work-life balance by determining your own schedule and selecting assignments according to your personal interests, you earn while you travel and learn, you can become an expert on architecture, art or history and you can make friends in different parts of the world, which means that you can seize great opportunities for networking, both socially and professionally.
Do you have what it takes to become a tour guide?
Undoubtedly, this represents the ideal job, but do you have what it takes to show tourists the most popular attractions of various destinations around the world? The truth is that, if you intend to give up on your current stable source of income for becoming an international tour guide, you probably have many other questions in mind, such as the type of skills you need to possess for excelling in this job, your own safety during peak seasons, the languages that you have to master in order to communicate with foreign tourists and the necessary qualifications. There are people who also wonder: how can I guide others in a country that I never got the chance to explore before? All the questions above have answers that you will find in this article so that you can determine at the end if you can or cannot become an international tour guide. However, it will be a shame not to grasp the nettle and follow your passion, which is traveling. Not many people afford to explore breathtaking locations abroad from their monthly salary. In fact, most of these people barely managed to leave the country or the city once or twice, either because of the lack of time or money.
Top qualities that all international tour guides must possess
When it comes to qualifications, some cities demand you to have a license in order to lead tours and indeed, a tour guide must know accurate information concerning the history, architecture and main attractions but also hidden gems of each destination explored by tourists from different parts of the globe. Offering guests interpretive anecdotes and entertaining them throughout the entire tour is also fundamental meaning that you must have well-developed communication and people skills. Other characteristics include organization, quick learner, logistical management and good public speaker. Tour guides should be able to ensure a smooth process and take responsibility for the planning of each trip. If you have a natural interest in different cultures, architectures and rich history, then you probably would not mind learning the necessary details that you need to verbalize during the tour. Remember that acquiring all these pieces of information might prove to come in handy at some point in your life, not to mention that you have the possibility to broaden your horizons and increase your general knowledge.
Remain calm under pressure: tourists are counting on you
Of course, there will be times when you do not have an answer for each question coming from a group of 30 or 40 tourists. Furthermore, do not expect everyone to inquire about the history and architecture of the respective country or city. You might even hear questions like: what can you tell me about Uber Sacramento? You do not have to panic: you can either try to use the mobile device with the tourist in question in order to find out the required information or you can simply say that you do not know because you never thought about it or never need it. Nobody is going to judge you for such a minor fail. The most important thing is to know how to handle this type of situation properly and move on. After all, everybody makes mistakes, but you have to learn from them not beat yourself up for it. Keep in mind that you cannot control every single thing during the tour so anything could happen, but people are counting on you so when everyone else gets in a panic, you have to remain calm.
Become familiar with the field and make Important decisions
If you decide to work as an international tour guide, you do have to make a choice, which refers to being independent or collaborating with a company. The latter might come with certain requirements that you have to meet, such as knowing a specific language, depending on the country, but also benefits like having all or most of your expenses paid, including accommodation, food and obviously, travel if it is work-related. On the other hand, if you want to become an independent tour guide, you have to track down job opportunities on your own, which might prove to be a big challenge, not to mention that you must handle taxes. Nevertheless, you have to be aware that such a job includes numerous options. For instance, there are many types of tour guides including cultural guides who you mostly encounter in museums, wine farms and towns, nature guides, who conduct a green experience in areas like National Parks and adventure guides, who are experts in paddling, rock climbing and other similar activities. Furthermore, you might want to consider training in order to gain more confidence.
In conclusion, becoming an international tour guide can be an ideal career choice, especially if you do not want or afford to spend money on traveling, as long as you are a master of multitasking and you are able to speak in front of a crowd without being overwhelmed by emotions. All you have to do is jumping on opportunities, get certification, if necessary, take classes or choose training, overcome challenges and work your magic.